Thursday, January 29, 2009

Kassam rocket fired from Gaza strikes Eshkol region

From THE JERUSALEM POST Jan. 28, 2009, by Yaakov Lappin and staff:

A day after Gaza operatives breached the cease-fire with a deadly bomb attack along the border, terrorists in the Strip fired a Kassam rocket at southern Israel on Wednesday night.

The rocket hit an open area in the Eshkol region, causing no casualties or damage.

Haim Yalin, head of the Eshkol Regional Council, told The Jerusalem Post that the rocket represented a moment of truth for the government, and called for a firm response to avert the next war.

"During Operation Cast Lead, I and other local authority heads sat with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and told them: 'It does not matter at what stage the military operation ends, what matters is what Israel does after the first rocket is fired,'" Yalin said.

"We have now reached that stage. If the government fails to respond, and says the rocket was fired by a marginal group, we will be faced with another war soon. If we respond as we should, then we can hopefully spare ourselves another war," he added.

"Israel must not show restraint. We have known this situation for too many years. It is like a child in a kindergarten testing his limits," Yalin said.

"The children have gone to sleep with raised pulses. What we will we tell them tomorrow at school?" he asked.

Earlier Wednesday, ahead of an additional Israeli response to Tuesday's bomb attack, Defense Minister Ehud Barak canceled a planned visit to Washington DC on Wednesday where he was scheduled to meet Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Barak said that he canceled his trip so he could oversee the developments in Gaza. The IDF, he said, was prepared for every possible development.

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