Israelis Pressure Gov't. for Kassam Response

Ad Feedback - JERUSALEM, Israel - Israelis across the political spectrum are growing increasingly discontent with the government's failure to take effective action in stopping the daily Kassam rocket attacks by Gaza-based Palestinians.

An intensive rocket assault continued Thursday, following a deadly barrage on Wednesday, when 50 rockets, primarily Kassams, but also several Grad-type Katyusha rockets, fell in and around Sderot and in the coastal city of Ashkelon.

Roni Yihye, a 47-year old father of four, who was taking a course at Sapir College, was fatally injured by a Kassam rocket that landed near him in one of the college parking lots.

Fifteen of the 47 people treated for shock and two for shrapnel wounds were hospitalized at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued its standard response Wednesday night, saying that Israel "would continue to defend itself against terror attacks from the Gaza Strip."

Salai Meridor, Israel's ambassador to the U.S., said the government would have to weigh its options in response to Hamas' arms buildup.

"Nobody, basically, is confronting Hamas," Meridor told a group of reporters.

Following Wednesday's rocket attacks, the Israel Air Force (IAF) targeted the empty offices of Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh and the Interior Ministry offices nearby.

Palestinian officials reported that a six-month old baby died of shrapnel wounds and 25 people were wounded.

Earlier Wednesday, three Palestinian children were killed in an IAF air strike targeting a rocket-launching pad in Beit Hanun.

Palestinians often send children to retrieve rocket launchers, knowingly putting them in harm's way.

In Thursday's attacks, a Kassam scored a direct hit on a home in Ashkelon, sending several people into shock.

Authorities report that another rocket hit in the northern part of Ashkelon for the first time.

In Sderot's industrial area, a Kassam hit a factory, setting the building on fire. Two people were injured and several suffered shock. Firefighters arrived to fight the blaze.

In another attack, a 70-year-old woman injured by shrapnel was transported to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.

Another rocket hit a home, damaging the building and sending people into shock.

Earlier Thursday, a rocket exploded near an elementary school in Sderot.

Source: YNet news service

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