An Israeli father was moderately injured by shrapnel Thursday morning, moments after he helped a group of young children — including his son, whose birthday it was — to scramble to safety when a rocket slammed into the Eshkol region community kindergarten.
None of the children was injured in the attack and the man was taken to Soroka Medical Center for treatment.
Jan Berman, 35, and his wife Leora had brought their three-year-old son to the kindergarten for his birthday celebration that morning, when a siren sounded, warning of an incoming projectile from Gaza.
The Eshkol region is so close to the Palestinian enclave that the rocket warning system allows just 15 seconds to run for cover.
With many children still gathered outside the kindergarten, Berman and the kindergarten teacher dashed to herd them inside the building that was reinforced against rocket attacks. As the last of the kids made it into the building, a rocket struck. Although Berman was inside, shrapnel blasted through a window, injuring him in the arm.
In sweeps of the area, residents discovered that another rocket also hit a barn, killing several cows and causing extensive damage to the structure.
Over 80 rockets were fired out of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip at Israel on Thursday, targeting southern towns surrounding the Palestinian enclave, as well as Ashkelon, Ashdod, Modi’in and the central region.
Israel has been battling Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups since the beginning of last month in an effort to stem the indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli cities. The IDF launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 to end the rocket fire and destroy a network of tunnels dug under the border by Hamas that have been used to launch deadly terror attacks inside Israel.
A ceasefire that had lasted nearly six days ended on Tuesday afternoon when Hamas resumed rocket attacks on Israel hours before the lull was set to expire.