A Palestinian suicide bomber blew up an explosives-laden truck on the Palestinian side of the Erez Crossing on the Israel-Gaza Strip border early Thursday morning (22 May) causing damage but no injuries. The blast was heard 30 kilometres (18 miles) away, also causing damage to homes in Netiv Ha’asara. The terrorist driver was the only casualty in the attempted attack.
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At a meeting with French FM Bernard Kouchner, Israeli FM Tzipi Livni said, "The attempted attack this morning at Erez Crossing Point should demonstrate to the international community that, while it demands that Israel take care of the situation in Gaza and open the crossing points, Hamas, which controls Gaza, is not interested in improving the lives of the population."
– Gaza: Israeli aid and Hamas attacks
– Humanitarian assistance to Gaza since the Feb 27 escalation in terror
– Main terror attacks at Gaza Strip crossings
At about 6 pm on Wednesday, 14 May 2008, an Iranian-made Grad rocket launched from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip hit a busy shopping mall in central Ashkelon. 90 people were wounded, four of them seriously. Among those seriously injured are a 24-year-old mother and her infant daughter.
The aftermath at the Ashkelon mall, after being struck by a Grad missile launched by Hamas from Gaza (Photos: Edi Israel)
PM Olmert: "What happened today is entirely intolerable and unacceptable. The Government of Israel is committed to stop it, and we will take the necessary steps so that this will stop."
On Friday, 9 May, Jimmy Kadoshim, 48, a member of Kibbutz Kfar Aza and father of three, was killed by a mortar attack on his kibbutz.
This is the first death caused by mortar fire since Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. A second mortar shell exploded next to the kibbutz community hall, wounding three people, including an IDF soldier who sustained moderate injuries.
Over the weekend (10-11 May), terrorists launched 21 Kassam rockets at the western Negev, five falling in Sderot. A total of five people were lightly wounded, mostly by flying shrapnel, and at least that many suffered emotional shock.
One of the Kassams exploded close to an apartment building, causing serious damage to the structure and several nearby buildings. The attack also caused a dangerous gas leak. Miraculously, no one was physically injured although a number of people suffered emotional trauma.
In another miracle earlier in the day, a Kassam rocket scored a direct hit on a house while family members were inside – and, although the home was damaged, no one was physically injured. The family will be temporarily housed in a hotel in Ashkelon.
A Kassam also slammed into the courtyard of Sapir College on the outskirts of the city and damaged a building. Another rocket exploded next to a yeshiva in Sderot. There too, the building was damaged but no one was hurt.
Kassam rockets launched from the Gaza Strip have claimed another victim: 70-year-old Shuli Katz, visiting relatives in the small community of Yesha, located about 15 kms (9 miles) from the Gaza Strip, was killed on Monday evening (12 May 2008), by a Kassam rocket.
Shuli arrived with her son, Yariv. She had just stepped out of the car when the rocket exploded next to her, causing fatal injuries. MDA paramedics alerted to the scene fought to resuscitate her, but were ultimately forced to determine her death.The al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Foreign Ministry Spokesman issued the following statement: "Today’s murder of the elderly woman in the Negev is the second such murder in four days as a result of hostile fire from the Gaza Strip. Hamas controls the Gaza Strip, they are responsible for these murderous attacks and they will be held accountable."
5 May 2008
In the past 24 hours, there were two intensive barrages of Kassam rocket attacks aimed at Sderot and the western Negev communities. Two rockets landed in Sderot, hitting a cemetery and damaging headstones while one hit a supermarket, causing structural damage. There were five shock victims. On Monday (5 May) there were three hits in Sderot, including one that landed in agricultural lands near Sapir College.
Paramedic covers Jimmy Kadoshim’s body outside his home in kibbutz Kfar Aza (Photo: Edi Israel)
Medics remove the body of the woman killed after a rocket fired from Gaza scored a direct hit (Photo: Reuters/Amir Cohen)
Two Israelis killed