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December 29, 2013 10:12 am

Kiryat Shmona Mayor on Rocket Attack: I ‘Went Outside and Saw the Smoke’

avatar by Gidon Ben-zvi

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A Gaza rocket that fell in an Eshkol Regional Council field in Israel during the ongoing conflict. Photo: Ronit Minaker.

Residents of Israel’s northern town of Kiryat Shmona recounted their experiences during the rocket strikes that targeted the city 7:00 am Sunday morning in interviews with Israel’s Channel 2.

As soon as the rockets hit his city, Kiryat Shmona Mayor Nissim Malka said he, “…went outside and saw the smoke.” Malka immediately contacted the IDF, who confirmed the attack.

Tzion Peretz, a local eyewitness, told Channel 2 that he was on his way back home when he saw the rockets falling. “There has been no such incident in a long time,” he said. “It is impossible to get used to such things. We had gotten used to peace and quiet for a very long time, and suddenly it starts again.”

The mayor went on to say that schools across Kiryat Shmona are operating as usual and municipal bomb shelters have not been opened. However, Malka stressed that residents need to remain ever vigilant, Channel 2 said.

Following the rocket attack, shooting could be heard along Israel’s border with Lebanon. However, Malka stressed that these shootings were all originating from the Israeli side. In a Sunday morning interview with Israel’s Army Radio, Mayor Malka told listeners that, “city workers are out in the field and we are carrying on as normal.”

According to Channel 2, there have been no reports of property damage and the IDF has responded to the rocket launchings with a massive artillery barrage aimed at the source of the rocket fire.

This reaction was intended to make it clear to the Lebanese government and the UNIFIL peacekeeping force in southern Lebanon that Israel will not tolerate any violations of United Nations resolution 1701, implemented in the wake of the 2006 Lebanon war, Israeli daily Yediot Ahronot said.

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