Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Rocket terrorism in the south

From Israel Daily Alert, Monday,October 31, 2011:

Gaza Rocket Fire Kills Israeli Man in Ashkelon on Saturday
On Saturday, Palestinians in Gaza fired at least 27 rockets at Israel. Moshe Ami, 56, a father of four, was killed in Ashkelon. Two rockets landed outside Beersheba. Nine Islamic Jihad terrorists have been killed in airstrikes since Saturday. Schools were closed in towns within 40 km of Gaza, including Beersheba, Ashkelon and Kiryat Malachi. (Ynet News)

Israeli Towns Hit By Palestinian Rocket Attacks - Shmulik Hadad
In Ashdod, cars were destroyed, apartment windows were shattered and holes in an apartment building's exterior bore testimony to the Grad rocket that hit on Saturday. One rocket landed directly between two apartment buildings. Haim Elimelech, 50, said he was in his car when a rocket hit mere meters from him. "The neighbor's car, which was located between me and the explosion, got the worst of the damage," he said from his hospital bed. "Maybe if it wasn't there, we wouldn't be sitting here talking right now."  (Ynet News)

Israel Attacks Gaza Rocket Squad on Monday - Elior Levy
The IDF announced Monday that the Air Force attacked a rocket squad in Gaza after at least six rockets were fired at Israel. Two members of the Al-Ahrar movement's military wing were killed in the strike. Al-Ahrar consists of ex-Fatah men and is partly sponsored by Hamas. (Ynet News)

The Islamic Jihad Threat - Ron Ben-Yishai
The current round of escalation from Gaza was initiated by Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Islamic Jihad has more long-range rockets than Hamas, thousands of activists, and some 10,000 supporters and collaborators. The group intends to utilize this power in order to challenge Hamas and force it to continue the armed struggle against Israel. (Ynet News)

Israel Kills Palestinian Rocket Commander in Gaza - Nidal al-Mughrabi
Israel's air force on Saturday killed Islamic Jihad commander Ahmed al-Sheikh Khalil and four of the group's munitions experts in Gaza following an earlier Palestinian cross-border rocket launch at Israel. The Israel Defense Forces said in a statement that its aircraft had "targeted a terrorist squad...that was preparing to launch long-range rockets."  (Reuters)

Islamic Jihad Becoming a Threat to Hamas - Khaled Abu Toameh
With the help of Iran and Syria, Islamic Jihad has become the second-largest armed group in Gaza after Hamas. Today, it poses a serious challenge to the Hamas government. In the past two days Hamas chose to sit on the fence while Islamic Jihad militiamen fired rockets at Israel, acting on instructions from Tehran and Damascus.
Hamas can't afford to be seen as playing the role of "border guard" for Israel. Dozens of disgruntled Hamas members are reported to have defected to Islamic Jihad, as have former Fatah security officers, some of whom were trained by the U.S. and EU. (Jerusalem Post)

Schools closed in Ashdod, Beersheba, Gan Yavne for third straight day; 4 projectiles fired in latest attack; Iron Dome intercepts Grad over Beersheba; none hurt, no damage reported; US ambassador condemns barrage.

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired at least seven volleys of rocket fire into southern Israel on Monday afternoon and evening, undermining reports of a cease-fire.

No injuries were reported from the rockets, but they prompted local officials to shut schools on Tuesday for the third day in a row.

Classes have been cancelled in Ashdod, Beersheba and Gan Yavne by municipalities and regional councils.

The school closures were accompanied by reminders sent by authorities to residents on the need to remain in designated safe zones for a period of 10 minutes following the sounding of air-raid sirens.

...Meanwhile, Military Intelligence concluded that the video released by Islamic Jihad of a truck-mounted rocket launcher firing several projectiles successively was a forgery. The video had been released as part of a boast by the terror organization of improved rocket-firing capabilities.

On Monday night, a Grad-type rocket fired at Beersheba was successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-rocket shield, minutes after air-raid sirens rang out across the Negev city.

Another rocket fell near Ashkelon, and three additional rockets landed in open territory around Sderot and the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council. Earlier, a rocket exploded south of Ashkelon, shattering a period of calm that had been in place since early Monday morning.

No injuries or damages were reported in any of the attacks.

Shortly after midnight on Monday, the Air Force struck a rocket-launching crew after it fired three rockets at the Eshkol Regional Council.

“We identified an accurate strike,” an IDF spokesman told The Jerusalem Post.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Monday the IDF does not pay attention to empty calls for cease-fires from various terrorist groups.

In an interview on Monday with Army Radio, Barak said if they want a cease-fire, Islamic Jihad and Hamas will need to actually stop their attacks, he explained. He said Israel holds Hamas accountable for all rocket fire from Gaza.

The defense minister said the IDF is not interested in returning to Gaza. It will, however, respond accordingly to attacks against Israel’s citizens.

... US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro strongly condemned the continued rocket barrage.

“There is no excuse for attacking innocent civilians,” Shapiro said. “The US and Israel stand together in their fight against terror.”

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