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Record-Breaking Rocket Barrages on Northern Israel

by Hana Levi Julian Arutz Sheva July 30, 2006

Hizbullah terrorists fired a record 148 rockets at northern Israel on Sunday. More than 80 of the missiles hit Kiryat Shmonah. Many fell in the center of town, causing heavy damage.

The northern town has been hit with more than 450 rockets since the war began 19 days ago, according to Army Radio. At least four people were hurt in the barrage, including a Haaretz news service reporter who sustained moderate to serious injuries.

Four people were injured by flying shrapnel in barrages in Kiryat Shmonah earlier in the day, with seven more suffering from shock.

Six fires broke out in the city and the upper Galilee, including several forest fires. Teams of firefighters were working to extinguish the flames. More than 550 fires have been touched off by rocket attacks in the area since the start of the war.

Other rocket attacks were fired at Tzfat, where most landed in open areas around the city. No one was injured and no damage was reported. Four rockets hit the Rosh Pinah – Hatzor area and four more fell in the Ma’alot area. Tiberias was hit by two rockets. Rockets also landed in Haifa and the Krayot.

Eight rockets were fired at Nahariya, damaging two vehicles and several empty buildings. Eight missiles also slammed into Akko, causing heavy damage. One rocket scored a direct hit on a home, and another landed near a kindergarten.

More than 90 rockets were fired at northern Israel on Saturday, injuring five people. Three of the rockets were of a new type not yet seen in this war.

Three long-range missiles crashed over the weekend near the lower Galilee city of Afula, in the Jezreel Valley. Several fires were ignited by the explosions, destroying tens of dunams of vegetation. The impact and explosions were heard 15 kilometers from the landing sites.

Hizbullah identified the missiles as Khayber 1 rockets, a name that refers to a Jewish tribe in the Arabian Peninsula that converted to Islam after being defeated in battle.

According to Northern District Police, the three rockets were a new type, with a range of more than 100 kilometers. The commander of the police bomb squad, Chief Superintendent Yehuda Peretz, said the rockets carried warheads of dozens of kilograms of explosives. “We are still examining the debris in order to be precise in our assessment,” he said. “We know about the Hizbullah arsenal and therefore were not surprised.”

A hospital in Nahariya was struck on Friday, damaging a floor but injuring no one. Patients had been moved earlier to an underground shelter. A Magen David Adom dispatch center in Tzfat was severely damaged when it sustained a direct hit on Friday, and a medical facility in Akko sustained heavy damage. No one was injured in that attack.

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