Ashdod in the Line of Fire
Ashdod was warned last December that it was in danger of rocket firing from Hamas terrorists if they were able to extend the distance of their rockets. Ashdod is a city half the size of Portland with about 204,000 citizens and it's less than 25 km from the Gaza strip. Sderot has been receiving the most shelling and now Ashkelon has been hit several times. Ashdod could be next. They have prepared with alarms which Ashkelon does not have. Ashdod is the 5th largest city in Israel and is a port like Portland, Oregon. 60% of imported goods come through here.
Terrorist groups have been smuggling in TNT through the Egyptian border, said the Police sapper Dep. Cmdr. Michael Kardash.
The first Kassam rocket hit Kibbutz Nir Am in January of 2001. From then to December 2007 71,463 rockets and mortars have been fired at Israeli civilian targets.
Israel is trying to avoid an all out push into Gaza to finally stop the shellings. They have had to sit back and watch Sderot being shelled and the city become deserted by half its population. Now that a much larger city is possibly in danger, they must do something to prevent this loss.
Ashdod is only 43 miles from Jerusalem and Beer Sheba.
The land is very small. When one town is hit, all are in danger. This is why the IDF has had to act quickly. They knew it was just time that terrorists needed to extend their distance for the rocket firings.
References: Jerusalem Post Newspaper
USA Today: Israel turns up heat on Hamas: 18 killed in Gaza