BY RYAN JONES, ISRAEL TODAY—
An Israeli man was killed and dozens more were wounded on Saturday night when Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip unleashed a torrent of mortar and rocket fire on southern Israel.
More than 40 rockets and mortars were fired from Gaza between Saturday evening and mid-morning Sunday. The attacks included a number of medium-range Grad missiles.
The attack that killed 59-year-old Moshe Ami occurred in the coastal town of Ashkelon. Moshe was driving home to his family when the air raid sirens sounded. His partner, Ela Costin, called Moshe to make sure he was alright, but Moshe responded that he had been wounded.
Moshe Ami was originally listed as “moderately injured,” but his condition rapidly deteriorated as he was transfered to a local hospital. Two hours later, he died on the operating table. Moshe Ami is survived by four children.
In addition to the numerous casualties, most of the residents of southern Israel were forced to spend the night in bomb shelters. Schools in the region canceled studies for Sunday so as not to further endanger the lives of local children. One of the buildings damaged in the overnight bombardment was a schoolhouse in the port city of Ashdod.
Israeli forces responded to the rocket fire by targeting terrorist cells and rocket fire locations in the Gaza Strip. At least 10 Islamic Jihad terrorists were reportedly killed in the strikes.
Earlier on Saturday, the Israeli army had attacked an Islamic Jihad training facility in Gaza, killing five terrorists, including the group’s top local commander, Ahmed Sheikh Khalil.
Egyptian officials reported that efforts to mediate a ceasefire had failed due to Islamic Jihad’s refusal to cooperate. Israel insisted that ultimately the ruling Hamas organization is responsible for the violence emanating from Gaza.