Iron Dome, Rockets, Tel Aviv
Canada Free Press Film Reviewer and other passengers at Ben Gurion airport Take Cover from Missiles
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Canada Free Press (CFP) longtime film reviewer Larry Anklewicz, travelling through Israel sent word this morning about his air raid siren accompanied arrival in Tel Aviv: “I can tell you that Tel Aviv is still standing, and standing tall,” Aknlewicz wrote.
“Within a few minutes of touching down, we received a special welcome to Tel Aviv. The air raid sirens started wailing and we were ushered into a safer place in the terminal. Most of the passengers crouched down behind counters and any other protection they could find. A few minutes later life returned to normal. We retrieved our luggage and went on our way.”
Anklewicz, who had arrived in Tel Aviv after a pleasant one-hour flight from Eilat, said he learned on the way out of the airport that the Israeli air defense system had intercepted the rocket and destroyed it in mid air.
On Friday he had described his visit in Eilat in southern Israel as “surreal”. “The weather is beautiful, sunny and almost 30 degrees Celsius. The beaches are lovely and it is so calm and peaceful. You would never know that missiles are flying back and forth a couple of hundred miles from here. We are getting most of our news from TV and the Internet, although the Internet has been hit and miss.
“Things were so calm here until a few days ago. If someone had asked me to describe Israel last week, I would have said that I had never seen it so stress free. It felt wonderful being here and we were seeing so many new and exciting things, even though this is the 6th time we have been here.
“Well, things never stay the same here for very long.”
Israel’s Iron Dome has been doing a stellar job intercepting missiles aimed at Israel.
“The Iron Dome intercepted two Iranian-made Fajr-6 missiles aimed at Tel Aviv on Saturday. (The Jerusalem Post, Nov. 17, 2012). “The missiles marked the third attack on the heavily populated central city in as many days, after Palestinian terrorists from Gaza fired four missiles toward the financial capital on Thursday and Friday, prompting red alert air raid sirens to sound in the city.
“While police said that one of the missiles landed in an open area, a military source told The Jerusalem Post that the Iron Dome intercepted both missiles.
“The Defense Ministry deployed an upgraded Iron Dome battery in the Gush Dan area in the center of Israel on Saturday morning, after rushing its production in light of escalation. The battery is the fifth Iron Dome system operational in Israel.
“Islamic Jihad leader Khalid Batsh said on Saturday that the launch of rockets at Tel Aviv from Gaza show “the rules of the game have changed in the region,” Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported.
“The attack followed volley after volley of rockets aimed at southern towns on Saturday, as red alert sirens wailed repeatedly, warning residents to flee for cover. Two rockets also landed outside the capital Jerusalem on Friday. One rocket landed near a Palestinian village in the West Bank, shattering windows and scaring residents. Another struck a home in Ashdod directly, injuring five Israeli civilians.
“On Friday, rockets in Ashdod lightly injured five people, and caused damage to a house. Houses were also damaged in Eshkol and Be’er Tuviya. Four IDF soldiers were lightly injured by shrapnel from a rocket in the Eshkol area.
“In total, Palestinians fired 740 rockets toward the Jewish state since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense on Wednesday, but only 30 landed in built-up areas. Iron Dome intercepted 230 projectiles in total, maintaining a 90% intercept rate. Only 27 of the rockets, about 4 percent, ultimately landed in urban areas.
“Officials in Gaza said 41 Palestinians, including eight children and a pregnant woman, had been killed since Israel began its air strikes.
“Among the targets was Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh’s headquarters in the northern Gaza Strip early Saturday morning, according to the IDF Spokesman’s Office.
“Haniyeh was not at the headquarters during the IAF strike, Israel Radio reported. Other targets included the Hamas Interior Ministry and its police compound, as well as a training facility and rocket launching squads.
“On Friday evening Defense Minister Ehud Barak received Cabinet approval for the IDF’s request to increase the maximum number of reservists it could enlist to 75,000 ahead of a possible Gaza ground operation.”
Meanwhile, having safely exited the airport, Anklewicz wrote “And so our visit to Tel Aviv had begun.”