The fifth rocket attack from Gaza in the past 48 hours, killed a 23-year old Thai foreign worker, Monny, late Thursday morning, March 18.
The Qassam rocket struck the greenhouses area in Netiv Ha’asara located just north of the Gaza Strip. Medics at the scene said there wasn't much they could do to save him.
Over 325 rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel during the third Hamas-Israel ceasefire that began on January 18, 2009 following Operation Cast Lead.
Visiting the residents and the site of the attack in the late afternoon, Israel Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, said, "This man did not return home today because of Palestinian terror." Ayalon went on to blame the Goldstone Report for the legitimacy to continue the ongoing terrorist rocket fire.
It was not the first time that a Gaza rocket attack on Netiv Ha’asara, an agricultural community, has caused a fatality. On July 14, 2005, a local Sapir college student Dana Galkowicz was sitting on a porch when a rocket exploded next killing her and wounding another Israeli. Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah claimed responsibility for the attack.
Body of the thai worker leaving the scene in an ambulance. (Photo: Jacob Shrybman/Sderot Media Center)
The al-Qaeda affiliated Ansar al-Sunna Brigades claimed responsibility for today's attack. In an e-mail sent to reporters in Gaza, the Islamic extremist faction stated that the attack was in response to the “Judaization” of Islamic holy places in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
The rocket attack on Thursday, came at the same time that Europe’s top diplomat, EU Foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, visited the Gaza Strip. Following the attack, Ashton stated that she condemned “any kind of violence.”
Rocket fire on the western Negev has steadily increased in the past week.
On Wednesday night, March 17, two Qassam rockets exploded in an open area in Sderot, triggering the rocket alarm and sending two people into shock. Both victims, one of whom was a girl were treated by Magen David Adom personnel and were then evacuated to a shock treatment center.
Last Thursday, a rocket attack from Gaza struck an abandoned structure on Kibbutz Nirim in the Eshkol Regional Council on March 11. Ansar al-Sunna Brigades also claimed responsibility for the rocket that destroyed the kibbutz building.