Israel: Iranian Grad Missiles Hit Ashkelon Mall

Hours after President George W Bush arrived in Israel, Iranian Grad missiles penetrated the roof of an Ashkelon mall. Four people, including a mother and her toddler, were seriously wounded. In addition, 87 others were transferred to a hospital.

The early warning siren that was supposed to warn of the missile attack on Ashkelon was turned off in the early afternoon because Military Intelligence said there was a low probability of an attack on Ashkelon. False alarms which caused panic in the city also prompted the city to turn the sirens off.

They turned off Ashkelon's siren system because some complained that the false alarms made them anxious, and thus it was decided to take down the our protection.
I cannot find the appropriate words to describe just how infuriated I am by this. Even the 15 seconds that we get from the alarm is taken from us? 15 seconds… that's nothing, right?
But these 15 seconds can be the difference between life and death.
In 15 seconds you can reach a shelter, hide away from glass windows, seek a secure space or even hide under a table. You can say a prayer, hug the children real hard, say a calm word.
Ashkelon's residents who spent their time in the mall yesterday did not get these “spoiling” 15 seconds.
only 15 seconds… source

Below are photos and a video clip taken in the mall shortly after the missiles hit Ashkelon:

above: damage from the rockets

above: toddler's bloody shoe, left in the mall

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs analyzes the underlying message sent by Hamas:

Firing the grad missiles on Ashkelon during Ehud Olmert's meeting with George Bush, carries a clear political message. Negotiation with Hamas came to a halt after much pressure from the Israeli public ,forcing to add the request to free (the captured soldier) Gilad shalit, which was not included in the early agreement with Hamas. It seems like the Ashkelon bombing is intended to shake Israel from its request to free Shalit, and return to the original agreements. The fact that a high profile delegation from Hamas is heading to Cairo, along with messages coming out of Israel, teach us that an option for ceasefire is still preferred by both sides.

Arguments have been developing within virtual spaces within talkbacks (web-comments) around the Hebrew blogosphere – on images, videos and articles describing the Ashkelon bombing. Hundreds of user-generated comments have been written in response to news articles. Below is a translation of one thread which is fairly popular these days, especially after attacks in the south – a wish for missiles to finally hit Tel-Aviv and shake the country out of its current status quo:

No brains… No worries – I'm talking about our government

I really hope there will be rockets on Tel-Aviv
Because as long as there are rockets only on smaller cities nobody cares. Maybe if rockets land in Tel-Aviv finally someone in the army headquarters will wake up and deal with the situation in a harsh manner.

Transfer either us or them. You decide.

Even if rockets fall on Tel-Aviv and Israel reacts in a severe and outstanding manner, qassam missiles will keep landing in the south. I am sad to write this, but the problem is that in the eyes of the government, and most Israeli residents, who do not live in the south – this has become a status quo.

There is no difference between Sderot and Tel-Aviv.
Why the panic?
I wish they would execute the said threat. Israeli public got used to Hizbollah's katyusha rockets in the north. The public also got used to katyusha and qassam missiles in Sderot. Qassams missiles hitting settlements in the outskirts of Gaza is routine. Back then, we all got used to shootings in the Gilo neighborhood of Jerusalem. So what will happen if katyushas hit Tel-Aviv? …We will all become accustomed to it. Maybe in 20 years we will understand that we shouldn't have restrained, not even for one second. Go learn how to deal with bad kids. Very simple. If you concede to their wrongdoings they spin out of control. Here is precisely the same thing.
So perhaps katyushas on Tel-Aviv will wake this nation up!!

Olmert, Peretz and the rest of our “acting” politicians!
Why don't you all stop with the game of positions in this musical chairs you are playing. The situation with our enemy is heating up. It is necessary to manage the country under threats, perhaps even war.
Climb down from the tree – you were not chosen by the people so that you could play around.
Start working!

Amen! God give us rockets on Tel-Aviv.

Nobody protests over the 500 missiles which were fired since disengagement from Gaza.
Because this is not Tel-Aviv.
Because we are type B citizens.
We were promised that if one qassam hits all of Gaza will shake…
Only here, as long as it is not Tel-Aviv, it is normal.

Links to related posts from GVO:
Ashkelon is ‘on the map’
Two Sderot Kids Severely Injured by Hamas Missiles
Israeli Bloggers Respond to Crisis in Palestine
Rockets Hit Sderot, Flame the Israeli Blogosphere
Sderot's Invisible Wounds


  • Ramada

    despite the deep sorrow I have to know about the Israelis wounded and injured lets not forget that Israel has killed a thoudand Palestinians after Annapolis alone and 1500 civilian in Lebanon about 15 months ago..and has killed 3 today and 4 yesterday in Gaza and many more every single day and non stop wheather there is truce wih Hamas or not.

    before we express our sorrow (which is legitimate) let us regard human lives equally even when they are brown or muslims.

  • zahadum

    so, more missiles are fired by islamists into israel … so, once again the animals show their true colours!

    @ramada (the previous poster) you just don’t “get it” …

    the difference between the muslim terrorists and the israelis is that the hamas/hezzbollah/al qaeda/etc/ believe that political violence is morally justified – ie the deliberate murder of civilians is CELEBRATED precisely because of the fear which it can inflict upon an enemy …

    whereas the application of force by israel is – as a matter of policy (if not always perfect in practice) – regarded as the last resort, not the first resort! … moreover, the application of force is designed to minimize civilian causalities, not to maximize them!


    Hamas, Hezbollah, Al Qaeda (and until recently, Fatah) etc etc etc have as their supreme goal the ‘liquidation’ of Israel … to ‘push the Jews into the sea’.

    ie GENOCIDE.

    The right of Israel to defend itself against a second holocaust is NOT OPEN FOR DEBATE.

    Anyone who excuses, tolerates or harbors the terrorists is no different than the appeasers were in europe were against Hitler.

    yes, the refugee problem is sad – but it mostly a self-inflicted wound by the arabs themselves … it was the ARAB leaders who rejected the UN partition of trans-jordan in 1947 … it was the ARAB leaders who told their community to forsake their homes in israel …it was the ARAB leaders who launched a war against israel upon its creation by the UN …

    in short: it was the arab _leaders_ who rejected any possibility of peace … and now (for) 60 years later it is the arab _people_ who must suffer the sad consequences of their foolish ‘leaders’ petulant myopic and tragic miscalculations, which are truly of /historic/ proportions!

    it is ludicrous to hear the plea -full of crocodile tears – that we should ‘regard all human lives equally” when we recall that the Arabs danced in the streets while watching 911 on TV!

    the Culture of Death has so deeply permutated the Arab & Muslim zeitgeist that it seems almost impossible to imagine them rejoining the civilized world anytime this century

    what is the underlying cause of this sociopathic indifference to human life? … it is not (just) the blind hatred of The Other; it is (also) a schizophrenic & self-loathing rebellion against the Self …. the disgust with being weak & backward while the rest of the world advances forward with almost unlimited energy (even the most impoverished nations in asia are able to transform themselves).

    the muslim world is in the throes a death rattle — and it the struggle is not just confined to the slaughterhouse which has become the middle east: almost everywhere else in the world there are muslims there are also bombings: in europe, north america, russia, india, china, thailand, Philippines.

    the civilized world will not be safe from islamist violence until the fever which grips the musilm world has broken.

    until then, we are in for some long nights.

  • Reason

    Is it a surprise that more people do not condemn muslim violence? It has been continuing for centuries? Daily news from all over the world reports muslim killings. History records violence conquered some Mediterranean lands. An historic muslim tactic was claiming an insult, however small, to justify revenge such as killing a whole tribe. It thereby took wealth, land and slaves. It continued for centuries.

    The same continues very obviously today in places like Sudan and Somalia. Such violence has been imported to the UK. UK muslim leaders stated on Channel 4 Dispatches that 33% of UK muslims, 500,000+, say it is right to kill someone for changing to another faith. Implying also it is right to kill all of other faiths. Why is this not debated?
    Why are people not applying pressure on muslims to renounce violence? Who is condemning muslim violence?

    The same tactics apply for Israel. It was Jewish land before the mulsims conquered the land. When Israel was created arabs who stayed prospered. Arabs who listened to arab governments fled to camps. The other arab countries could easily let them make lives in their vast lands. But they did, and do not. Israel is used as a constant excuse for muslims to be violent. They use the refugees to attack Israel, and destroy jews. Huge funds have flowed into Palestinian coffers controlled by leaders who have a vested interest in continuing the attacks, and the more their people suffer the more it benefits them. Until muslims end violence and accept Israel can exist the jews will struggle to live. That has meant defeating arab armies who attacked at once, and fighting several wars initiated by arab countries, especially Syria. Who is condemning muslim violence? Yes the Israeli army has to defend Israel. Bad has been done. The defence is used to excuse more muslim attacks. Muslims seem defined by their attitude of being superior to others, and being encouraged to attack them.

    Are UK journalists, commentators and people frightened of muslim violence? What about all the muslims who convert to Christianity and have to live in terror? Who is speaking for them? Who is condemning muslim violence?

    For christians and UK values, Archidiot Williams says the wrong things. He makes lives worse for the 100 m + christians in muslim countries. The police are tied in tape. They paid fines after investigating TV producers who exposed muslim hate preachers. They did not investigate the hate preachers. Why not? Why are UK muslims allowed to preach death to UK citizens who choose to leave the hate and fear of islam? Why are they not prosecuted? Why are so called ‘honour killings’ not investigated properly and vistims properly protected? Honour is in protecting your family not murdering them. Who is condemning muslim violence?

    Brown’s government are useless pathetic and frightened. They give welfare to muslim men for all wives and familes, even though bigamy is illegal and has 6-7 years in jail. They pay £1m to keep Abu hamza preaching and with legal representation. Hate preachers and terrorists are allowed citizenship, yet Gurkhas are not.

    No wonder the moral compass is not clear. It does not exist. It is taxpayers money to buy votes. Who is condemning muslim violence? Who condemns the muslim attacks around the world and the attacks on Jews?

  • Ed

    for zahadum
    clearly you hate Islam so much you are willing to blame the Palestinian and iraqi victims for being are blaming the palestinians of today for a mistake that some arab leaders had 60 years ago?..that is pathetic..

    talk about terrorism?..Israel itself is a terrorist was built on the shoulders of gangs like the Hagana and it killed and deliberately massacred publicly tens of thousands of palestinians to clear the largest land possible..the Massacres of Deir Yassin and sabra and Chatilla and Qana1 and Qana2 are just are in part morally responsible coz you are justifying their crimes..and NO..those crimes were never a last resorts since they have been happeining on a daily basis in a matter of fact Israel is the only country in the world that has an official department for assasinations..if you cant see the systemic assasinations or targeted killing they have been doing for decades then you are blind or implicit.

    the culture od Death in not an islamic invention have to read to old testament first and see the horror ghory scenes about slaughtering the enemy and stabbing the pregnant women’s bellys. if you are islamophobic that much and blame everything on Islam then you should be christianophobic too for what Hitler and Stalin did.

    and by the way, since when the conflict in Palestine was about religion?..Palestinians are both muslims and christians and the conflict is about the 60 years misery and holocaust of 9 million Palestinian refugees that you simply label as sad..well thank you for your sympathy Sir.

  • Ramada

    Mr Reason
    funny how you call palestinian missiles islamic missles and the israeli missles are not Jewish can anyone condemn the muslim violence when it is completly legal in your mind for to Jews kill Palestinians on a daily basis.

    clearly you are islamophobic, and would not stop until they are all eradicated..well let me tell you what most Rabiis in Israel say about Palestinians ( Rabii Ofadia Yousif)..they called them spiders and snakes multiple times and they need to be eradicated..if you cant condemn that too then you dont have the moral authority to condemn anyone else.

    you want the Iraqis and Palestinians to be stripped of their land and houses and oil and all human rights and live in modern day slavery in tents under occupation for decades and not lift a finger, and yet you keep lecturing them about piece and democracy!!!.. and yet keep every inch of land Israel can seize regardless of WHO it belongs to wheather Syria or lebanon or egypt..what a hypocrite.

    and just to let you know..Palestinians dont wanna live in Arab countries..Palestinians wanna live (surprisingly to you)in Palestine since they are not fromanother planet and they used to9 have a land…and trust me they are going back.

  • Suzie

    The picture of the bloody shoe is compelling – why isn’t it on the front page if the NYTimes?

  • ” so, more missiles are fired by islamist into israel(2)Not all palestnians are muslim.George Habash. Hannan Ashrawi etc.When grad missiles is fired you wrote IRAN Grad missiles.When israel fired other missiles why dont we mention American Tomahawk,American Hellfire and so on.All missiles are lethal either its was fired by Hamas,Hesbollah;Israel American or Iran.

  • Rabbi Clive Rosenberg

    Israel fires American missiles at Arabs all the time, but no one notices Arab dead and wounded.
    The lives of brown skinned people is always considered of less value than the lives of whites.
    Israel is not a Jewish state, it is a Zionist state. It was built on Murder. The Arabs had to be killed for Jews to move in.
    When the Arabs are killed no one notices, when they fight back everyone points and says “See how evil they are, look at what they have done to Jews”.
    Israel has done irreparable damage to the Jewish nation. In the past whenever Jews were killed by Christians, the Jews moved to Muslim countries.
    In the post Zionist world, where will Jews go?
    Will the Muslims ever take Jews back for what Jews did to them with Zionism?
    Jews have to make it clear to Muslims that Jews are not there enemies. Zionists are their enemies. And Zionists are not Jews.

  • […] Iranian Grad Missiles Hit Ashkelon Mall (May 2008) […]

  • Palestinan soldiar

    You guys, all i can say is that Israel is now hated by all the countries, we’ll except for America. And also they say they are defending their country right now from Hamas, Israel has a bunch of military weapons and equipment. Israel is commiting a war crime, theres so much anger in people now, and my question is now does Israel have the balls to defend them selves using fists, or are they going to use thier weapons?

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