Jerusalem – Since the 26th of November last year, the day of the “cease-fire,” the number of missiles fired from Gaza toward Sderot and the Western Negev has reached 270.

New Missile Victim In Sderot

In Sderot, Hanna Ben Yaaiesh’s home was hit by a direct missile attack on Monday morning at 6:42 a.m. Hanna is a widow, a grandmother who has six grandchildren in Sderot. She moved there in April 1956, with her parents, three brothers and four sisters from Morocco.

Sitting in her kitchen all day yesterday, Hanna and two of her of her daughters welcomed the stream of visitors who came to express their concern.

Hanna says that she was glad she was the only one in the house at the time of the attack, because her grandchildren often sleep by her to keep her company.

On Sunday night, she was feeling that something wrong might happen, and she told her grandchildren that she wants to be alone that night.

The second thing Hanna was thankful for, was that the missile hit before 7:30 a.m. in the morning, when over 80 children go to- ‘Gan Kalaniet’ – the kindergarten that is located exactly 10 meters away from her home.

The only complaint that Hanna had was that she has no “secure room” where she can take cover from the threat of the rockets.

Hanna’s situation is like over 1,000 resident families in Sderot who have no “secure room” or “secure area” they can run to in 15 seconds after they hear the siren.

So what do you do when you hear the ‘Tseva Adom’ – [The siren alert], The Bulletin asked Hanna.

“I put the pillow on my ears, because the siren itself is horrifying … .”

Meanwhile, there are still six kindergartens in Sderot which are still not protected and which have no “secure area,” out of 31 kindergartens in all of the Western Negev that also remain unprotected.

Tepid Response Of Israeli Government

The reaction of the Israeli government to the latest missile attacks was best summarized in the statement issued by the Israeli prime minister’s office that Mahmoud Abbas should stop the missile attacks.

When The Bulletin asked how the Israeli Prime Minister could ask Abbas to do anything when he seems to have no power, no response was received.

Meanwhile, the Israeli defense minister’s office issued a statement that anyone seen launching a missile will be dealt with.

The Israeli defense minister’s office would not answer The Bulletin’s question as to why it will not kill those who give the orders to fire the missiles, since the leaders of the Palestinian Authority appeared on official Palestinian Authority television giving orders to fire these missiles. Three years ago, the Israeli government authorized the killing of Palestinian leaders Sheikh Achmed Yassin and Dr. Abdul Rantissi after they endorsed similar attacks on Israeli civilian targets.

Israeli Air Force

In Action

In response to the continued missile attacks on Sderot and the Western Negev, the Israel Air Force did resume unmanned aerial vehicle [UAV] operations in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian sources also confirmed that the Israeli air force has sent combat UAVs in operations to detect and destroy Palestinian missile squads and launchers in the northern Gaza Strip.

On Sunday, an Israeli UAV fired an air-to-ground missile toward a Palestinian missile squad in the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, in northern Gaza. None of the squad members were injured.

This was the first report of an Israeli combat UAV employed in the northern Gaza Strip in 2007. The Israeli military significantly reduced air operations over the area since the Palestinian Authority declared a cease-fire in November 2006.

On Monday, Israel’s military confirmed that an Israeli helicopter targeted a vehicle from the Islamic Jihad and injured two men.

“The Israel Defense Forces carried out an aerial attack against a vehicle laden with explosives that was on its way to launch rockets from the northern Gaza Strip into Israel,” the military said in a statement on Monday. “The vehicle and the explosives inside were destroyed in the attack.”

Plan Of Action Made By Israeli Army

A plan of action was presented by the Israeli Army on Monday to the Israeli government cabinet which discussed engaging hostile forces that have been attacking Israel from Gaza.

The head of the Israeli Army Southern Command, Major-General Yoav Galant, listed five components for the plan:

1. Creating a buffer zone on the Palestinian side of the fence separating the Gaza Strip from Israel. The buffer zone would not be intended as a permanent presence of IDF forces, but rather limited military activities aimed at throwing local terror organizations off balance, as well as keeping them at a distance from the fence.

2. An escalation of retaliatory actions following the firing of missiles to render launching the missiles counterproductive by extracting a price from the Palestinians.

3. The renewal of aerial killings of high-ranking terrorists as well as Palestinians responsible for firing missiles and arms smuggling.

4. Developing improved technology for detecting and destroying tunnels employed for arms smuggling.

5. Reinforcing intelligence capabilities.

So far, the Israeli government has not approved this or any other plan of action.

David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com

©The Bulletin 2007

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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