Up to eight civilians, including two children, were reported injured when a rocket struck a residential apartment building on Rambam Street in the city of Ashkelon, southern Israel at 6am on May 11th, 2021.
Sources differ regarding the number of civilians injured in the attack and the severity of their injuries. Amongst the injured were a family of four.
A 40-year-old man was described as having sustained injuries ranging from moderate to severe. The sources Mariv and Kan Darom said this was the result of a head wound, while Magen David Adom said he sustained cuts to his limbs from broken glass.
A woman, 39, named Marina, was described as having sustained light to moderate injuries. Two children aged 12 and 6, were described as having been lightly injured. A 63-year-old man was described as in a light to moderate condition and an 82-year-old was described as having sustained light injuries. Paramedic Israel Lugsi told the source Kan Darom that “this is a direct hit on a residential building. When we arrived at the scene we conducted searches in the apartments and located a number of wounded who were hit by shattered glass fragments, 2 men were moderately injured and 4 lightly. We took them to ambulances and vehicles to the intensive care unit, provided them with medical treatment that included dressing and stopping bleeding and evacuated them to the hospital when their condition was stable. Two victims of anxiety who suffered from breathing difficulties were also treated and evacuated to the hospital.”
Marina, a resident of Ashkelon whose husband and children were injured, described the attack to WallaNews: “The ceiling collapsed, I saw my husband crawling and all blood. It was six in the morning, there was an alarm and we put the children on mattresses in the hallway. I left the bedroom and my husband did not have enough, there were many explosions.” The strikes also caused the plaster ceiling to fall, injuring the children.
All the patients were transferred to Barzilai Hospital for treatment.
The mayor of Ashkelon, Tomer Glam, arrived at the scene of the fall and talked to the residents, according to Kan Darom. “A difficult morning in Ashkelon due to a heavy barrage of rockets towards the city that cause direct damage to two buildings in the city and to casualties of varying degrees of difficulty,” said Glam. “The security reality in which we live and how important it is to obey the Home Front Command’s guidelines that have been proven to save lives.”
France24 quoted residents as saying “The sirens woke us up around five in the morning (0200 GMT),” said Israeli Shelly Belyaev, whose apartment building was severely damaged and its facade turned black. “We had to hide in the wardrobe because there was no shelter in the house,” she says. Belyaev recalls how “there was a very powerful explosion, I had never heard such a sound before, but I quickly realized that a missile had landed here. I went out and was in shock,” she continued.
Al Qassam posted in their Telegram group “Al-Qassam Brigades is now directing a major missile strike on the occupied city of Ashkelon, in response to targeting the safe house on the heads of its residents west of Gaza City, and if the enemy repeats targeting civilian safe houses, we will make Ashkelon a hell. The enemy admits that 7 of its [settlers] were wounded, and electricity was cut off in large areas as a result of the intensive Qassam bombardment of Ashkelon.”
Images from the scene show extensive damage to at least one apartment as well as other apartments in the building and a vehicle.
The incident occured at approximately 6:00 am local time.