My dear chaverot,
“May it be Your Will, L-rd our G-d and G-d of our forefathers, that You will have mercy on us and on all the residents of the south.
Protect us in the bounty of your kindness and spread out over us the shelter of Your peace.
Strengthen the arms of the fighting soldiers who protect us and give their souls for us.
Protect them and guard them from all misfortune.
Foil the plans of our haters and enemies; “Their swords shall plunge into their hearts and their bows shall break.”
Sovereign of the Universe, give our leaders wisdom and courage and strength of heart to annihilate all of our enemies, and let the prayer of King David, may he rest in peace, come true regarding them: “I shall chase after my enemies and I shall catch up to them and I will not return until they are destroyed.” Amen.
(A prayer written in 2009 specifically for the besieged residents of southern Israel by the Rishon LeTzion, former Sephardic Chief Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu.)
I wish I had better news, The IDF is currently on standby for a security deterioration on both the northern front and the border with Gaza.
As I write to you, the red siren alert is heard all over Israel’s South. Residents have been told to stay within a 15 second distance of bombs shelters and safe locations. Municipalities near the southern border canceled school today amidst ongoing Palestinian rocket fire. This is no way to live; this is no way for children to grow up. For over ten years this is the life experienced in Israel’s South. Do they not deserve to enjoy the same life as that enjoyed by children in the rest of the free world? How much trauma must the children and adults sustain? Would you be willing to live like this? Would your government allow such attacks to continue?
A barrage of rockets fired from Gaza landed in southern Israeli cities last night, as violence continued to escalate along the Gaza Strip border following an anti-tank missile attack against an IDF jeep patrolling some 200 meters inside the Israeli border with Gaza on Saturday evening. Four soldiers were injured, two in serious condition and underwent surgery last night. One of them remains in critical condition, the other has been stabilized.
Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired at least 35 rockets and mortars into Israel since midnight last night, according to the Southern District Police, injuring three civilians. The barrage continued a serious escalation that began yesterday evening and progressed through the night, with two Israel Air Force strikes targeting a weapons manufacturing site, two weapons storage facilities and two rocket launching sites in the northern part of the territory.
The fresh launches bring the total number of rocket and mortar attacks to over 60, though Islamic Jihad claimed credit for firing 70 rockets, some of which may have not landed in Israeli territory. Hamas announced that it was also taking part in the rocket attacks.
The IDF vowed that it would “not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians or IDF soldiers, and will continue to act against any organization initiating terror attacks against the State of Israel.”
At the start of a cabinet meeting today, Prime Minister Netanyahu said that “Israel will escalate its response to ongoing rocket attacks against citizens of the South. The IDF is striking and will continue to strike Gaza, The world must understand that Israel will not sit idly.” He added: “We are ready to escalate our response.
Magen David Adom paramedics treated three Israeli civilians injured by Palestinian rocket fire in the South this morning. The victims – two in the Eshkol region and one in Sderot – all suffered light wounds from shrapnel, and were evacuated to the Soroka and Barzilai hospitals.
“Something from the heavens told me not to take my son with me to school today,” Moshik Levy, a Physical Education teacher, told Army Radio today after being injured by shrapnel from a rocket fired by Palestinian terrorists.
“Shattered glass from my car windshield exploded into my face,” he said. “I started bleeding. I didn’t understand what was happening. Thankfully I was alone.”
In addition, a rocket fired by Gazan terrorists hit a factory in Sderot on Sunday morning, but caused no injuries. The factory has been hit by rockets three times in the past.
I can now report that two Gazan rockets exploded a few minutes ago in the Eshkol Regional Council Area Sunday morning, causing no injuries or damage.
Please keep the resident’s of Israel’s South in your prayers.
In the North, it is also very tense. The IDF fired a warning shot at the Syrian military today, after a Syrian shell landed in the Golan Heights for the second time in recent days. The shell failed to cause injuries or damages. The incident marks the first time the IDF has fired at Syria since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.
Israel says further attacks from Syria will “illicit a vigorous response” from the IDF and sent a letter to the UN warning Syrians to avoid spillover; saying that any further firing into Israel will result “in a real response,” sources added.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Israel was closely following events along the Syrian border, and was prepared for all possibilities on that front, highlighting international concerns that the civil war in Syria could ignite a wider regional conflict.
In addition –`to guarantee that we don’t get bored here, the elections in Israel will take place on Tuesday 22 January 2013.
Tova Ben Dov