A senior Israel Defense Forces official said on Saturday evening that should Hezbollah guerillas fire rockets that reach areas south of Haifa, a warning siren will be heard one minute before they land.
The head of the IDF Home Front Command, Yitzhak Gershon, also said that residents of hard-hit areas of the north that have been instructed to remain in protected rooms and bomb shelters should continue to do so and not go to work on Sunday.
The order is relevant to anyone living north of Route 85 between Acre and Amiad, as well as the residents of Carmiel, Tiberias, Migdal, Arbel, Kfar Zeitim, and Kfar Hitim. Gershon also urged residents of Haifa, its northern suburbs, Nesher and Tirat Hacarmel to remain in their homes.
Defense Minister Amir Peretz will sign a declaration on Saturday evening declaring a "home front emergency," after barrages of Hezbollah rockets reached Tiberias, 35 kilometers from the northern border. The declaration will be brought before the government for approval on Sunday.
The approval of declaration allows senior defense officials - including the IDF Chief of Staff, Home Front Command, northern command and other officers - to issue orders relating to the protection and rescue of people and property.
The declaration would be valid in Israel's north, both along the northern border but also in Safed, Tiberias and Carmiel.
In the first of two attacks on Tiberias on Saturday, one of three rockets directly struck a residential building, sustaining damage. The owners of the residence were abroad.
Two rockets landed adjacent to a stadium in Tiberias and near the town's Club Hotel. Six people were lightly injured from rocket shrapnel.
Authorities have asked that bathers on the coast of the Sea of Galilee evacuate the area for fear of further Katyusha attacks.
Early Saturday evening, four more Katyusha rockets struck Tiberias. Magen David Adom rescue services received a report that one of the rockets directly struck a house in the city.
In the second barrage, two people suffered light wounds while two others were treated for shock. A Nahariya resident also sustained light wounds when a rocket barrage struck the northern city on Saturday evening.
For the first time since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the IDF has deployed Patriot missile batteries in Haifa.
The missile defense system cannot destroy Katyusha rockets - hundreds of which have been fired at Israel from Lebanon in recent days - but could protect against surface-to-surface missiles, such as those possessed by Syria, the army said.
Additional rockets landed near Tiberias - in Kfar Hitim, Evron, and Abu Snan. One person suffered from shock.
Rockets also landed Carmiel, Hatzor Haglilit, Peki'in, Safed, Nahariya, and Moshav Ben-Ami, in the western Galilee.
Two rockets hit empty homes Carmiel and Safed. Another landed adjacent to Carmiel College, causing a brushfire.
Saturday's rocket strikes came one day after a woman and her 7-year-old grandson were killed and four others were injured when a Katyusha rocket slammed into a home in Moshav Meron. The victims of the strike were named as Yehudit Itzkovich, 57, and her seven-year-old grandson Omer Pesachov.
Early Saturday, dozens of rockets were launched, landing in Nahariya, Safed, Moshav Meron and the northern Golan Heights, causing no casualties or damage.
Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said Friday that Hezbollah has rockets with a range of up to 70 kilometers (43.5 miles) or more, an admission that brings more major cities within their range, including possibly Hadera and Netanya. This would mean that Hezbollah has rockets that could reach within 20 to 30 kilometers of Tel Aviv.
Halutz also put the blame on Lebanon's government for the numerous rocket attacks on northern Israel that have killed four people and injured dozens more.
Dozens of people were injured throughout the day Friday, as Katyusha rockets landed in the Galilee. Injuries were reported in Nahariya, Yesod Hama'alah, Kfar Szold, Kibbutz Hulata, Safed, Peki'in and Hatzor Haglilit. Kiryat Shmona was also hit on Friday, but no casualties were repoted.
The Prime Minister's Office responded to the attacks, saying it was "totally committed to bringing about a cession of this terror."
"These two Israelis, a woman and child, were totally innocent victims of the terror pouring out of Lebanon of which Israel vows to put an end to," David Baker, a spokesperson at the Prime Minister's Office, said.
On Thursday, two Israelis were killed by rocket fire and some 120 were wounded when scores of Katyusha rockets rained down across northern Israel.
Haifa hit by Katyusha for first timeKatyusha rockets struck Haifa, Israel's third-largest city, for the first time Thursday night, and the Home Front Command ordered area residents Friday to stay near bomb shelters so they could go inside as soon as they hear an air-raid siren. There were no casualties in the rocket strike on Haifa's Stella Maris area.
Hezbollah said Friday that Israel should expect an attack on Haifa at any time.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Daniel Ayalon told reporters in Washington that Thursday's rocket attack on Haifa was a "major, major escalation" by Hezbollah.
The rocket fire began in the early hours of Thursday, after Israel Air Force jets struck targets across Lebanon following cross-border attacks by Hezbollah during which eight Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed and two others abducted.
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