Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Update from Itai, Wed., Dec. 31, noon

  • Areas within 4.5- 10 km (around 2.5 – 6 miles) range of Gaza- no school- only factories deemed as "essential services" open- 15 second warning available before rocket attack.
  • Areas within 10-20 km (around 6 – 12.5 miles) range of Gaza- no school-30 second warning available before rocket attack.
  • Areas within 20-30 km (around 12.5 – 18.5 miles) range of Gaza-school according to individual approval-45 second warning available before rocket attack.
  • Areas within 30-40 km (around 18.5 – 25 miles) range of Gaza- 60 second warning available before rocket attack.

AP Map, Dec. 30, 2008, Seattle PI

As most of you heard, yesterday missiles hit K.Malach region for the first time. As much as it was expected, it was also obvious we are in a new stage in this operation. Orit and myself were at Yedid center when the alarm sounded, and the hit was pretty close. We then walked in the neighborhood, and it was obvious that the people who had not been part of this “experience” yet, were under a huge stress. Fortunately, no serious damage was caused in this attack. Today another rocket fell in an open field near Kiryat Malachi, and over 60 Grad and Qassam rockets were launched from Gaza today.

Hof Ashkelon keeps suffering from missiles all over the place from south to north. The government has provided temporary shutters to the “caravilla” settlement in Nizan (where the evacuees from the Gaza Strip are), which is not protected. Luckily no serious damage has been caused since the beginning of the operation.

Due to the situation, the 5 post-college age Otzma volunteers (from Arizona, Seattle, and California) will not come to KM at this point. We hope we will have them here when the operation is over and quiet will come to the region.

In both regions, the education system did not reopen after Hanukkah yet, and the municipalities are working in emergency setting: meaning that they are dealing only with the situation; everything else is postponed.

Aside from Kiryat Malachi and Hof Ashkelon, Hamas is attacking targets all over the south of Israel.. The last major destination was Beer Sheva where missiles hit yesterday and today. Yet so far the number of victims in the Israeli side is low According to the news, approximately 800,000 Israeli citizens are at risk within the range of these missiles. The IDF is continuing the operation and we hope it will reach its successful end soon.

We would like to thank you all for your support, it really means a lot to us and help us go through these days.

Happy and quiet new year to all of us, Itai

Itai Ziedenberg

Partnership 2000 Director, Jewish Agency for Israel

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