Two Sisters Wounded by Rocket Explosion in Israel's South

10-year-old in critical condition, 13-year-old in moderate condition after rocket explodes near their village in Negev town of Lakiya; 'We feel forsaken, we're worse than second-class citizens,' their cousin says.


Two girls in southern Israel sustained serious and moderate wounds on Monday after a rocket from Gaza exploded near the Negev village of Lakiya.

Maram Wakili, 10, is in critical condition, and was evacuated with her 13-year-old sister Atir to Soroka Medical Center, Be'er Sheva.

"We heard a very faint siren," the sisters' cousin, Omar Wakili, said. "The girls started running but there was no time to hide, the rocket hit our cowshed and shrapnel scattered everywhere.

"There's really nowhere to hide, everything here is made of corrugated iron, there are no cement walls," he said.

He said another rocket exploded a kilometer from the village. Half an hour later officers from the Home Front Command arrived. "We asked them to bring portable shelters, at least temporary ones, so we'll have where to hide," he said. "We feel forsaken, we're worse than second-class citizens."

Rocket fire toward Israel from the Gaza Strip continued on Monday, as the IDF continued to carry out massive strikes within the enclave from land and sea. Since the start of Operation Protective Edge, more than 700 rockets have landed within Israel. Only a fraction landed in urban regions. The Iron Dome, which is only meant to intercept rockets that are headed for such areas, has an 87 percent success rate.

IDF strikes in the Gaza Strip have killed nearly 200 Palestinians and wounded about 1,200.