TEL AVIV – Three children aged a year-and-a-half, and three and 12 years old, were among the seven injured in Monday morning’s rocket attack on a residential building in central Israel that saw the building leveled.
A 59-year-old woman suffered moderate blast injuries including burns and shrapnel wounds. A 30-year-old woman was also moderately wounded by shrapnel. A 30-year-old man, 60-year-old man, 12-year-old girl, three-year-old boy and 18-month-old baby all sustained light injuries. The 12-year-old is undergoing surgery for shrapnel in her foot. Four dogs were also killed in the blast.
The injured persons were members of the Wolf family, residents of the community of Mishmeret. A siren blasted just after 5 a.m., waking Daniel Wolf from his sleep.
“I ran to my eldest daughter, my wife and my youngest daughter, picked them up and took them to the safe room. At the same time I also went to my parents and told them,” he said, referencing the reinforced room that all Israeli homes built after the 1990 Iraq war are required to have.
“My wife and two daughters were in the safe room but my mother was not there, she didn’t have time, she stood between the safe room and the kitchen.”
“Then there was a boom, quiet. And then dust everywhere, screams. It was terrible,” he said.
Wolf, whose family are British nationals, said he saw his mother lying on the floor bleeding, and moved her to the safe room where he spoke to her to keep her alert until the ambulance arrived to evacuate her to Beilinson Hospital.
Wolf said that the blast happened so fast, he didn’t have time to shut the window in the reinforced room so his father “poor thing, saw the rocket hit the house.”
“We’re all shocked. Shocked. But the main thing is everyone is okay.”
The rocket caused the building to catch fire, burning the structure to the ground.
The J-80 rocket, which has a range of 120 km (75 miles), was the third long-range rocket fired from Gaza in two weeks and traveled the longest distance of any Gaza-launched rocket since 2014’s summer conflict. As with the other two rockets over the past month, Hamas said Monday’s rocket was fired by mistake. It was fired from a Hamas launchpad in the southern Gaza town of Rafah, IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis said.
Hamas operatives abandoned their posts throughout Gaza in anticipation of an Israeli response.
The IDF did not directly comment on the Iron Dome’s failure to intercept the rocket, but seemed to suggest it was because the missile defense battery was not deployed in the area that the rocket struck.
The army deployed two additional brigades to the Gaza border area comprising 1,000 troops as well as reservists for air defense units.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cut his trip to the United States short after news of the attack.
“This was a criminal attack on Israel and we will respond forcefully,” Netanyahu said from Washington.
He said he would return to Israel “to oversee our response first-hand” after he meets with President Donald Trump on Monday morning local time.