Rocket From Gaza Hits as Israeli Schools Reopen

By JTA

Published August 27, 2012.
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A Kassam rocket fired from Gaza struck Sderot as children returned to school after summer break.

The rocket fired Monday morning landed in an open area and did not cause any damage or injury.

The attack on the first day of the new school year came a day after three rockets were fired at southern Israel, hitting two factories, one in Sderot and one in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council. Both were damaged.

The fundamentalist Salafi organization Jamiat ul-Mujahedin Bayt al-Maqdis late on Sunday claimed responsibility for the three rockets launched fired on Sunday. The organization is affiliated with al-Qaeda and is believed to be operating in the Gaza Strip.

Israeli schools opened across the country for more than 2 million schoolchildren.

It is the first time that the number of Israeli school children has topped 2 million, which includes 145,374 first grade students.

It is also reportedly the first time that the school in Israel did not begin on Sept. 1, since a new yearly school schedule was introduced last year.

Many cities throughout Israel by Monday had not completed building new preschool buildings in time for the start of the school year, in order to accommodate the government’s decision to provide free pre-school for 3- and 4-year-olds, the Times of Israel reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting: “Hello to all the first graders. This is what Israeli children who are starting the 2012-2013 school year will hear tomorrow. Each one of us remembers this exciting day. I remember it, with my book bag, pencil case and empty notebooks. Today, the technology has changed a little, but the excitement is the same, the children’s great excitement, and that of the parents, teachers and principals as well.”

Netanyahu also spoke Sunday with Moshe Holtzberg, whose parents were murdered in the November 2008 terrorist attack on the Chabad House in Mumbai. Moshe, who is now living in Israel with his grandparents, Shimon and Yehudit, started first grade on Monday. Netanyahu wished him well and said that the prayers of the entire Jewish people are with him.


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