Protect Israelis Under Relentless Rocket Attack
By: David Parsons, ICEJ Vice President & Senior Spokesman
Israel has weathered several days of intense rocket barrages launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza, while dealing serious blows to the radical terror militia. More than 800 rockets and mortars have rained down on southern Israel over the past three days, with one civilian killed by a direct hit on his home and several others injured. Meanwhile, the IDF has used precision strikes to take out five senior commanders of the PIJ along with numerous rocket squads and launchers.
The escalation came after the Islamic militia fired over 100 rockets into Israel last week right when children were heading home in the afternoon from school. The IDF waited several days before finally answering on Tuesday night with pinpoint air strikes which successfully targeted three of PIJ’s top commanders in Gaza.
Israelis then braced for the terror militia’s response, while also worrying if the larger terror militia Hamas, and even Hizbullah in Lebanon, would join the fray. So far only PIJ has engaged in battle, stopping first to bury the three slain commanders before firing off an initial rocket volley on Wednesday afternoon. They have since lobbed hundreds of projectiles into Israel’s populated coastal region as far north as Tel Aviv.
Nonetheless, Israel has been able to quickly gain the upper hand, with Iron Dome batteries intercepting most of the rockets and the IAF eliminating two more top PIJ commanders and a number of their rocket squads. Still, several million Israeli civilians are stuck in their safe rooms hoping for a rumored ceasefire to take hold.
Yoav Limor, a veteran Israeli military reporter, told an ICEJ delegation on Thursday that a ceasefire could possibly be reached soon with Egyptian mediation. But he cautioned that any resulting quiet will likely be short-lived, as Hamas is already threatening to fire its own rockets next week to pressure Israel into canceling the annual flag march into the walled Old City on Jerusalem Day.
“In these recurring rocket wars, the Palestinians are always trying to kill as many Israeli civilians as they can,” said Limor. “Meanwhile, the IDF aims to take away as many assets of the enemy as it can, while buying as long a period of quiet as possible for Israeli civilians to go back to their normal lives until the next round of fighting erupts.”
As the rockets began to fly on Wednesday, the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was still able to deliver a mobile bomb shelter to a youth center in the Hof Ashkelon region that afternoon. The shelter is the first of two being donated to the Youth Leadership Training Center in Bat Hadar, just north of Gaza. These particular shelters were funded by the ICEJ’s German and Canadian branches.
Over recent years, the ICEJ has donated more than 190 mobile bomb shelters to Israeli communities vulnerable to rocket attacks along the Gaza and Lebanon borders. Over 150 of these shelters have been placed in Israeli towns and villages near the Gaza border who have borne the brunt of the repeated rocket attacks. They have only 15 seconds to find safety, and the Iron Dome system does not protect them from shorter-range rockets.
The portable bomb shelters we have provided so far are saving lives, but more are urgently needed. Hopefully, a ceasefire will be declared soon, but we also know Hamas is already preparing for what could be an even bigger escalation next week.
So, please consider donating towards more mobile bomb shelters to protect Israeli communities under intense rocket fire. You can do so by contributing to our Israel in Crisis fund.
Your donations will be used to rush more shelters to the most vulnerable communities along the Gaza border. The ICEJ also is receiving requests to help take Israeli youths and the elderly away from the front lines of this conflict and give them a respite in safer parts of the country. In addition, we are looking to assist those who have been injured or suffered damage to their homes. And there is always a need to help support resilience centers and provide trauma counseling to those impacted mentally and emotionally by the raging battle.
Send your gift today to help comfort and protect Israelis under relentless rocket attack.