Two die in Hamas rocket attack

The men were Thai nationals working in Israel


Palestinian protesters clash with Israeli security forces near the Hawara checkpoint, south of the West Bank city of Nablus May 18, 2021. Photo by Nasser Ishtayeh/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ????? ??????? ???????? ?????? ????? ??????

Mortar fire on Israel killed two people today and injured ten, during a hit on an agricultural facility near the border.

“This was a direct hit on a packing house,” said paramedic Eliyashiv Buchbut from the ZAKA rescue organization. “We rescued and began treating several workers but unfortunately two of them suffered fatal injuries and paramedics pronounced them dead at the scene.”

The two men were Thai nationals who were spending a stint working in Israeli agriculture on a moshav in the Eshkol region. 

Mr Buchbut remained on the scene after the wounded were evacuated to collect all blood and body parts for burial — a task he described as “holy work.”

Dani Shmuel, Chapter Head of United Hatzalah, told the JC: "The site of the rocket attack was a harrowing scene. The rocket struck a building that was a packaging plant to which a makeshift home was built for foreign workers. There were two critically injured people who were pronounced dead. 

"As one of the first people at the scene, I had to do triage which involved determining who to treat. This is true in any incident involving a number of casualties. It is always a difficult and sad decision. In today's case, we had two people who were critically injured and we had to treat the person in serious condition as he had a better chance of survival. 

"As additional forces arrived they went to treat those in critical condition whose chance of survival was minimal. This is the sad reality of our times when there are so many emergency situations involving a large number of injured people."

Local council head Gadi Yarkoni claimed that the moshav did not have adequate bomb shelters, according to Israeli media. "We have been demanding the government provide adequate protection for our residents who are under constant threat from Gaza," he said. 

The fatal mortar came on a day of heavy fire from Gaza, and of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli police and soldiers in Jerusalem. The Health Ministry in Ramallah said that 14 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in clashes, three of them seriously. 

The IDF says the clashes started with Palestinian fire on soldiers, wounding two. “A number of rioters fired extensively at IDF troops who were adjacent to the scene, as well as at a commander in the Judea and Samaria Division,” it said in a statement. “The troops and additional soldiers responded with fire towards the sources of fire.”

Israeli police announced that in Jerusalem officers were pelted with stones and bottles, and also broke up a demonstration where “protesters called for incitement to terror.” They arrested one man for assaulting an officer. 

Early this afternoon Gaza militants fired at the Erez Crossing between Israel and the coastal enclave, just as trucks carrying civilian aid were being waved over the border by IDF soldiers. The fire lightly injured a soldier. “Hamas prioritizes attacks on Israel over humanitarian aid for Gazans,” the military claimed. 

Israeli war planes have struck more than 100 Hamas targets in the last 24 hours, including hits on nine underground and above-ground rocket launch sites. Israel’s defence minister Benny Gantz stated this afternoon: “The fighting will not stop until we bring complete and long-term quiet.”

He insisted: “We have thousands more attack targets, no terrorist is immune.” 



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