February 6, 2022: Naomi Perlman, 90, died of wounds sustained in May 2021 from a Palestinian rocket fired from Gaza. Her housemaid, Soumya Santosh, from Kerala, India, was killed by the rocket when it hit the house last May.
Perlman’s son, Shuki, said upon his mother’s death that her health had been deteriorating due to the injuries she sustained, and she had recently moved into a nursing facility. “Before she was wounded, we could talk to her, but she simply couldn’t endure this experience at such an age.”
Ashekelon Mayor Tomer Glam issued a statement noting that Naomi Perlman and her husband “had made a significant contribution toward the establishment and development of the city in its early years.”
The day that the rocket hit her home followed two straight days of Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip, during which time Israeli bombs killed 35 Palestinians including 12 children. Palestinian resistance fighters in the Gaza Strip responded with a barrage of rockets across the border into Israel, killing five Israelis, including a teenage girl and her father. In addition, a 50-year old Israeli woman was killed in Rishon Lezion, just south of Tel Aviv.
Rocket sirens sounded throughout the night in Israel’s southern towns and cities, and the Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv was briefly shut down. 26 Israelis were reportedly injured – most with minor injuries.
The rockets were fired in the early morning hours on Wednesday, as Gaza’s hospitals were besieged with hundreds of wounded Palestinians, many of them children, who suffered traumatic and severe injuries from the numerous Israeli missile strikes into crowded Palestinian neighborhoods throughout Gaza on Monday and Tuesday.
In addition to bombing Palestinian neighborhoods for two straight days, the Israeli military called up 5,000 reservists and had them stationed at the border with Gaza to threaten the Gaza Strip with a possible ground invasion.
The Palestinian resistance responded to this violent aggression with rocket fire directed toward Tel Aviv. This marks the longest-range rockets that have been fired by the Palestinian resistance to date. Other rockets fired in the past have reached as far as the coastal Israeli city of Ashkelon (formerly the Palestinian town of Azkalan), but had not had the range or capacity to reach the Israeli capital Tel Aviv (built on the former Palestinian town of Yaffa) before.
Israelis in the cities of Sderot, Holon and Ashkelon rushed to shelters and many stayed there overnight to try to avoid the impact of Palestinian resistance rocket fire.
Israeli media reported that at 8:45 A.M. on Wednesday, Israeli forces intercepted a drone crossing from Gaza into Israel.
The teen girl and her father who were killed by a Palestinian resistance rocket, Nadine and Khalil Awaad, were themselves Palestinian – with Israeli citizenship. But their town, Dhamas near Lod, being a mainly Palestinian village, was never provided bomb shelters like the Jewish Israeli towns were provided by the government. In fact, their village, Dhamas, was not recognized by Israeli authorities, and so lacks basic services and is under threat of demolition by the Israeli government. One of their relatives, Ismail Arafat, lives there as well and has been part of leading the struggle for recognition of the village.
The Israeli news agency Ha’aretz quoted Ismail Arafat as saying, “We have nowhere to go. We don’t have a bomb shelter here for everyone. For the Thai [migrant] workers they built shelters, but we were not allowed because we are not humans. Nadine and Khalil were in the middle of breakfast before fasting [for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan]. It seems that he opened the door and that’s how he was hit.”