Thursday, July 13

Katyusha scores direct hit on Nahariya apartment during live broadcast (UPDATED)

Israel Foreign Ministry range chart showing distances involved
in missile attacks on Israel. (Hat tip: Sarah D)

19:40 Thursday, UPDATE:

A Katyusha rocket hammered into a residential apartment building near Nahariya's main avenue a few minutes ago. Channel 2 reporter Moshe Nussbaum and cameraman caught the blast during a live update from the Ga'aton St. promenade.

There are initial reports on casualties in the strike, and thick black smoke was seen billowing over the site of the report, moments after the loud explosion interrupted Nussbaum's update.

An individual with a cameraphone closer to the point of impact sent flim clips showing flames and destruction. Three or four people sustained minor wounds, according to the report.

A live camera is showing an electrical generator ablaze.

10:30 Thursday, UPDATE:

Senior IDF sources are threatening to bomb and level Beirut skyscrapers if the Katuysha barrages continue, according to Channel 10 news. The Israeli army has imposed an air, land and sea blocade on Lebanon, in an effort to force the goverment to take action against Hizbullah.

IAF jets and missile boats struck the Beirut air and seaport and dozens of Hizbullah targets througout the country Thursday morning, killing and wounding some 30 terrorists and civilians, including a family of ten who were buried beneath the rubble of their home.

Hizbullah head Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah says his organization fired a long-range Raad 1 rocket at an Israel Air Force radar ops base on Mt. Meron, according to an 11:00 update. There is no confirmation of the claim, although an unspecified rocket was reported hitting the base earlier today.

11:45 Thursday, UPDATE:

Minister of Defense Amir Peretz on Thursday morning convened the Knesset foreign affairs and defense subcommittee to discuss the situation, and, reading from a prepared statement after the session said: "The aim of the operation is to keep Hizbullah away from Israel's northern border, and bring about Lebanese army deployment in the area."

A volley of at least five Katyusha rockets hit downtown Nahariya near a main avenue Thursday morning just after 0700. One woman, in her 40s, was killed in the strike, and more than 25 other local and area residents are being treated for wounds.

One rocket slammed through the roof of the victim's top floor apartment, killing her outright and causing damage.

UPDATE: A second barrage hit near a major avenue shortly before 0800. There are reports of wounded in this attack as well.

Officials halted commuter railway traffic to the city, due to the severity of the bombing, and closed one of the cities shopping malls, fearing more attacks. The regional hospital has gone on a war footing, moving wards to underground, bombproof facilities. Bomb shelters were opened.

Dozens of similar attacks are being reported along much of the northern border, including an Air Force bases on Mt. Meron near Zafed and Kiryat Shmoneh in the Galilee panhandle. Kibbutzim , towns and villages throughout the region have also been hit, as some 250,000 northern area residents spent the night in in bomb shelters and security rooms, and remain there, as this report is posted.

The IDF's Home Front Command ordered residents of communities north of the Amiad-Acre Road to remain close to their homes throughout Thursday and to pay attention to media outlets. Their emergency telephone number (in Israel) is 1207 from any cell or landline telephone.

Zefad is located just above the Sea of Galilee; Mt. Meron just to the left.
From Ynetnews:

Israel fears Hizbullah will attack with long-range rockets capable of reaching populated areas in Haifa, Sharon region.

Elsewhere, a Fatah al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades rocket maker is threatening Palestinian-made rocket fire at Jewish communities near Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Israel Matzav has more on the Israeli response.

Abbagav has a strong op-ed. I almost posted the money quote, but its better if you read it.

Ynetnews as well:

"This is no competition of false machismo. This is a fateful decision: Even if these two radical Islamic movements gain symbolic propaganda victories – it could free other enemies around the Middle East. The need to win this war is absolute. There can be no debate about it."

Israelinsider has a good overall roundup, with background material.

This report will be updated as further information becomes available.


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