Residents of the western Negev woke up yesterday to another morning of Kassam rockets; armed Palestinians launched no less then 20 Kassam rockets at the area, with one of them landing on a street in Sderot.
Two women went into shock and damage was caused to a car. Magen David Adom director Eli Bin gave an order to raise the state of alert in Sderot to C – the highest state of alert – and to B in the Gaza periphery communities.
Later yesterday, the Israel High Court of Justice was to deliver its decision regarding Sderot’s residents’ petition requesting that the government fortify 800 old homes in Sderot, to provide armored safe rooms in each apartment.
[A personal note: This reporter has two adult children who live in Sderot, in relatively new apartments that are equipped with protected armored rooms where they can run for cover during a missile attack.]
The first barrage occurred at approximately 7:30 in the morning, while children were going to school, and consisted of five Kassam rockets. Four of the Kassam rockets landed in open areas within the jurisdiction of Shaar Hanegev Regional Counsel anda fifth landed in a Palestinian area, within the Gaza strip..
A short time later, at 8:05, a “Red Color” siren was activated on the loudspeakers for a second time, following eight additional rockets that were launched on the region. Minutes later the alert was activated for a third time and an additional seven rockets were fired toward the city.
Magen David Adom [Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross ] in Sderot began combing the area, and in one of the city streets they found two women who had gone into shock as well as a car that had been damaged. One of the rockets was located adjacent to a kibbutz in Shaar Hanegev Regional Counsel.
Meanwhile, Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal resigned in protest in the middle of a live interview broadcast on Israel Radio’s noon news magazine today.
Moyal expressed his frustration over the refusal of the Olmert administration to take serious measures to stop the ongoing attacks of Kassams against his city.
As of now , IDF operations have been limited to a depth of around a mile within the Gaza Strip.
Moyal resigned immediately after an Israel Radio correspondent reported that the Olmert Administration’s defense cabinet decided that it was not the time to carry out a massive operation in the Gaza Strip to stop the Kassam attacks.
Army Chief: Gaza Operation Unavoidable
Following the Israeli government decision to again delay a Gaza incursion, Israeli Defense Forces.
Chief of Staff Lit.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said yesterday that the current situation in Gaza cannot continue, and that ongoing Kassam attacks on Israel may force the IDF to launch a large-scale operation in the Strip,
“You cannot defeat a terror organization without eventually taking control of the territory,” he said, “the only reason we have been successful in Judea and Samaria is because we control the area.”
Speaking at a conference hosted by the Institute for National Security Studies at the Tel Aviv University, Gen. Ashkenazi said that while the current limited army operations in Gaza impair the capabilities of terror organizations, they would never completely curb all attacks against Israel.
“We may very well come to a point where we will be forced to carry out a large-scale operation,” he said.
Gen. Ashkenazi said that Israel must prepare for the possibility of facing numerous enemies on several fronts – including foreign armies and terror groups – simultaneously.
“The threat to the Israeli home front is growing and this requires us to prepare ourselves both on the defensive and offensive levels,” he stated.
“This threat began to evolve as our enemies began to understand that they were incapable of defeating us militarily and also when they realized our sensitivity to the loss of human life. That is how these weapons came into use – from the Qassam to the Shiab.
Over the past four months, The Bulletin has repeatedly asked why the IDF does not kill or capture the Gaza terror leaders who give orders to shell Israel. The Prime Minister, Foreign Minister and Defense Minister refuse to answer the question.
Hamas Kassam Production?Intensified
Meanwhile, the Middle East Newsline has confirmed that Israel’s military has determined that the Hamas regime intensified production of its missiles and mortars.
The Israeli military has assessed that Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip were capable of producing up to 50 missiles and mortars per day. The military concluded that the intensified production reflected massive smuggling of explosives, detonators and other components from Egypt.
©The Bulletin 2007