Israel’s military has been ordered not to respond to Palestinian missile strikes.
Israeli military sources said Southern Command was banned from sending ground troops into the northern Gaza Strip to halt Palestinian gunners.
They said the military does not want to upset efforts by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to form a national unity government.
“We’re not doing anything, just waiting,” a military source said. “Naturally, the other side sees this and intensifies its attacks.”
Palestinian gunners have launched daily short-range missile strikes against Israeli communities. On Tuesday, several Israelis were injured in a missile salvo on the southern city of Sderot.
The Iranian-sponsored Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the missile strike. Jihad said it fired its new Quds-3 missile, described as a more accurate and powerful version of the Hamas-origin Kassam-class missile.
“Only a system-wide solution, what [then-Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon did in 2002, would stop the missile attacks,” parliamentarian Yuval Steinitz, former chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said. “If we don’t stop against the rocket infrastructure, in another year or two, they will acquire the Hizbullah infrastructure now in southern Lebanon.”