Notes From Beer-Sheva
From my brother-in-law:
We are starting to be weary of the missile attacks. They got the air raid sirens working again yesterday afternoon. Before that the warnings were given on local radio stations. Radar at the border of the Gaza strip picks up the rockets taking off and estimates the trajectory. At the farthest range, where we are, we have a 60 second warning – residents of the closest towns, like Sderot only get 10 seconds to take cover.
Yesterday (Thursday 1 Jan) there were three alarms between 5 and 7 pm. A few seconds later you hear a muffled boom or often two detonations, because the Iranian Grad missiles come with dual launching tubes.
The civil defence here has been imploring people to stay low, away from outside walls and especially large windows where there could be flying glass.
The Iranians pack their Grad rocket warheads with round shot (like BB pellets), which on detonation disperses upwards at an angle, which is why you should stay low — so we sit on the floor. The rockets are just pointed in the general direction of a city and fired. They are not accurate but can cause great damage if they actually do manage to hit something. 75% of the rockets land in empty fields, but so far two of them have hit buildings here in Beer-Sheva: one fell into a school classroom (school was suspended by the Mayor because of the attacks, so damage was limited to the structure with no injuries) and the previous evening a rocket made a direct hit on a kindergarten (closed and vacant because the attack was at night).
Hamas have been storing their weapons in houses, mosques and in underground tunnels. The photos released of the IAF pinpoint bombing (only highly accurate directed weapons have been used) show very large secondary explosions. Many of these videos have been placed on You-Tube (if you can get to them before the arab hackers). I imagine that the population of Gaza that are not involved in the fighting and are not Hamas supporters are suffering terribly (The term “PTSD” probably does not cover 6 days of being under constant air attack). The Hamas terrorists are probably revved up on amphetamines and brainwashed to believe that they are going to go straight to the 72 virgins waiting for them on the other side.
We hope that today will be quieter. The weather has cleared up so as soon as the water level in the fields around Gaza recedes the armour can go in. I believe the IDF want to have the operation essentially complete before Europe and the US get back to work on Monday, 5 January – but only on condition that Israel is rid of unprovoked attacks on civilians that we have suffered during the past years.