UPDATE: SOUTHERN ISRAEL REMAINS ON HIGHEST TERRORIST ALERT.
The Israel government and the IDF are always so proud to tout the effectiveness of Israel’s incoming rocket siren warning system, and of Israel’s Iron Dome system for shooting down those incoming missiles.
When a Hamas missile is fired from Gaza, Israel’s launch detection system relays the information to the community that is likely to be hit. Red sirens are sounded throughout that community, and the residents have varying amounts of time (from 15 to 30 seconds depending on the proximity to Gaza) to run for cover.
Meanwhile, if an Iron Dome battery happens to be stationed near the community that is going to be hit, its radar system picks up the trajectory of the rocket and fires its own rocket to shoot down the rocket that it calculates is going to hit a residential area. Other rockets which are calculated to not hit residential areas are not targeted. At a cost of $50,000 per rocket fired, the Iron Dome system has to be selective.
This is precisely the sequence of events that has occurred many times throughout the South in recent weeks.
During one attack on Askelon two weeks ago, sirens sounded and the Iron Dome system went into action ‘protecting’ the city. The next morning the media blathered its usual “No injuries were reported”–in other words, no one was struck directly by a missile.
Yet when the sirens sounded, 79 year old Eliyahu Naim was sitting in his Ashkelon home with his wife and a live-in nurse. He immediately got up and began running for his bomb shelter. As he entered his fortified location, he stumbled, hit his head on a sharp edge, and fell to the floor unconscious.
The nurse immediately called Naim’s three children who lived nearby, and they rushed to his house and called Magen David Adom (MADA) who transported Naim to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. He was subsequently taken to the Neurosurgery Unit at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital where he has been for the last two weeks.
Up until this point, Naim had led an ordinary yet remarkable life. One of the pioneers of the new city of Ashkelon that was built in the 1960s, he had worked as an accountant in an agricultural products company and had served in the IDF as a medic. By all accounts, Naim loved people, loved to socialize, and was much loved by the community in which he lived.
In the end, the Iron Dome system worked perfectly, shooting down the Hamas Grad rocket that had been fired by Palestinian terrorists. And Eliyahu Naim died last night having never regained consciousness.
“No injuries were reported.”