By Marcy Oster
JERUSALEM (JTA) — Two Israelis were killed Sunday afternoon in a rocket strike on a factory in Ashkelon and on a car, bringing to three the number of Israelis killed by rocket fire from Gaza.
Two other men who worked for the factory in southern Israel are reported to be injured in critical condition.
A factory worker told Haaretz that his killed and injured co-workers did not reach the factory’s shelter in time. The killed worker was a truck driver for the factory, the Kan national broadcaster reported.
As of late Sunday afternoon, more than 600 rockets have been fired from Gaza at Israel, in an escalation which began on Saturday morning at 10.
Meanwhile, another rocket fired from Gaza scored a direct hit on a car driving near Yad Mordechai in southern Israel, killing the driver, according to Kan.
Early Sunday morning, Moshe Agadi, a 58-year-old father of four, was hit with shrapnel to his chest and stomach in the yard of his home in Ashkelon after a rocket fired from Gaza slammed into an apartment building. He died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital. Agadi had gone outside to smoke a cigarette between frequent rocket warning sirens and did not make it to the home’s bomb shelter in time.
A farm worker from Thailand, 30, working near the border with Gaza was moderately to seriously injured when a rocket landed in the field where he was working.
Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon also sustained a direct hit, reportedly to its oncology unit, but there were no injuries reported.
Barzilai Hospital reported that it saw 115 Israeli casualties since the escalation of rocket fire from Gaza. The casualties include three dead, three seriously wounded, one moderately wounded, 53 lightly wounded, and 55 requiring treatment for shock.