Eight hurt as record number of rockets hits northern Israel
Haaretz reporter among the wounded as 140 Katyushas rain down; residential buildings hit in Acre, Kiryat Shmona.
Hezbollah fired a record 140 Katyusha rockets at targets in northern Israel on Sunday, wounding at least eight people, including a Haaretz correspondent.
Seven of the wounded sustained light injuries. The wounds of Haaretz reporter Yuval Azoulay were described as moderate. He was evacuated to Sieff hospital in Safed.
One of the rockets hit a residential building in Acre, lightly wounding two people. A number of other people were treated for shock.
Six more rockets landed in Acre, causing no injuries or damage.
Some 30 rockets landed in and around Kiryat Shmona, lightly wounding two people, one of them an Israel Defense Forces soldier. A building in the town was hit and sustained damage.
Eight rockets landed in Nahariya, five hit Ma'alot, four landed near Rosh Pina and two landed in Tiberias.
Sirens also sounded in the Haifa suburbs, western and upper Galilee, Afula, Nazareth, Migdal Ha'emek and Beit Hasheeta.
Three Hezbollah rockets with warheads of 100 kilograms each landed in fields near the town of Afula in the Jezreel Valley over the weekend. No injuries were reported but a number of fires destroyed dozens of dunams of shrubs and vegetation.
Over 90 rockets were fired at northern Israel on Saturday, leaving five people wounded.
Israel Air Force jets later destroyed the launchers used to fire the long-range missiles at Israel.
According to residents of the area, the explosions on impact were very loud and nearby homes were shaken by the blasts.
Villages and towns as far as 15 kilometers from the point of impact reported hearing the explosions.
Northern District Police said the missiles were of types not seen since the outbreak of the fighting in the north.
"These were rockets with warheads of dozens of kilograms of explosives and a range of more than 100 kilometers," said the commander of the police bomb squad in the Northern District, Chief Superintendent Yehuda Peretz.
"We are still examining the debris in order to be precise in our assessment," he added. "We know about the Hezbollah arsenal and therefore were not surprised."
Police instructed Afula residents to remain alert.
The city mayor, Avi Elkabatz said he was still waiting for further instructions from the Home Front Command.
"If there is a need, we will open the bomb shelters," he said.
For its part, Hezbollah announced that the targeting of Afula was carried out in line with the promises of the group's leader, Hassan Nasrallah, to bomb targets south of Haifa. The group also identified the missiles by the name Khayber 1.
Khayber was a Jewish tribe in the Arabian peninsula that opposed Mohammed and his new religion, but which, following a defeat in battle, converted to Islam.
The term is frequently used throughout the Arab world as a taunt against Israel.
Meanwhile, five people suffered light shrapnel wounds on Saturday when more than 90 Katyusha rockets fired by Hezbollah guerrillas struck towns across the western Galilee.
The injuries occurred in Nahariya and Ma'alot, where several homes sustained direct rocket strikes. In Ma'alot, five Katyushas also fell in fields.
At least four rockets fell in open areas in Safed, causing no injuries or damage. One rocket struck a medical facility in Acre, causing great damage but no injuries.
In Tiberias, two rockets hit a factory, causing some damage. Another five fell in open areas in the city. Five rockets landed in the vicinity of Rosh Pina, causing no injuries.
On Friday, a rocket scored a direct hit on a hospital in Nahariya causing damage to a floor. At the time the story was empty of patients, as medical treatment had moved to an underground shelter at the beginning of the fighting.
In Safed, a Magen David Adom dispatch center was severely damaged in a direct hit.
More than 1,600 Katyushas have hit northern Israel since the start of the fighting.
The Health Ministry announced that 1,733 people have been treated at hospitals throughout the north, mostly for shock and anxiety attacks. Of that number, 98 people remain hospitalized, 10 in serious condition, 36 in moderate condition and 52 with light injuries.