The Hamas regime in Gaza fired rockets at Sderot and the Western Negev 55 times between yesterday and Saturday.

Yesterday morning, one of those shells devastated a home in Sderot.

Maya Iber, the homeowner who was also hurt, described the attack.

“I was sitting there in the corner; I heard everything moving and a loud boom, I shut my eyes, and when I opened them, the whole house was full of smoke,” Ms. Iber said. “Afterwards I understood that it hit my home. A person builds a home, and then can’t receive children or grandchildren, how is this possible? Now I want to leave the city.”

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Also yesterday morning, a young worker from Thailand sustained light injuries from shrapnel in Moshav Netiv Haasara near Gaza, from a mortar shell that exploded in one of the farm greenhouses, where damage also caused to the green houses.

During these attacks, the Israel Air Force sought out and two rocket launch crew in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza.

At yesterday’s cabinet meeting, the cabinet discussed the deteriorating situation in southern Israel. Most of the ministers supported a large-scale military operation in Gaza.

However, the Israeli Army chief of staff and the Israel Defense Minister proposed only a limited response.

Speaking on Israel Army Radio, Israel security cabinet member Minister Yitzhak Herzog justified the defense minister’s policy: “We have to be those who will choose the precise timing, location and manner of the operation. It may be difficult, but we have to clench our teeth, and we will eventually reach the moment of the suitable response that will lead to the solution we want.”

Israel Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, former Israel Minister of Defense and former Israel Army Commander in Chief, launched a vociferous attack on Israel Defense Minister Barak: “The person sitting in the 14th floor of the Defense Ministry should rid himself of the illusion that this truce is good for Israel and should take action. Are we waiting for children to be killed? For people to be injured?”

Commenting on the situation, Maj. Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror wrote in the Yisrael HaYom newspaper that “we are now paying the price for the abandonment of Gaza. The abandonment began in 1994 following the Oslo Accords, which led to a significant reduction in the IDF’s ability to prevent fire from the Gaza Strip and smuggling under Philadelphi Road. The abandonment was completed in 2005 by an irresponsible act known as unilateral withdrawal, which led to the takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas and the buildup of Hamas as a real military force, which threatens the entire southern part of the State of Israel.”

A Kadima member of the Knesset, Shai Hermesh, former regional mayor of the Shaar Hanegev regional council near Gaza, added in the same Israeli paper that “the residents of Sderot and the Gaza perimeter are wondering when the government lost its sovereignty over the region where we came to build our home. The government’s top security officials engage in empty talk, while the Hamas militiamen sit opposite us, scornfully firing.”

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert added “it is no secret that last June, we decided on the cease fire agreement; we did so with more than a few doubts and hesitations. The State of Israel has always hoped for and wanted quiet for the residents of the south and that they should enjoy genuine calm and be free of the threat of unceasing Qassam and mortar attacks that have disrupted life in the south for a very long period. Naturally, we also wanted the absolute cessation of all other acts of terrorism and weapons smuggling. It was on this basis, with more than a little hesitation, but out of the assessment that this was the way to act responsibly, we decided then to act toward the selfsame calm. It was clear that this calm could exist only as long as it was upheld.

“The calm could exist only as long as it was administered by both sides and not with one side relentlessly launching Qassams and mortars, thus repeatedly disrupting residents’ daily lives…

“The scenarios are clear. The plans are clear. The determination is clear, as is the significance of each step. A responsible government is neither eager for battle, nor does it shy away from it. The State of Israel will know when to respond correctly and with the necessary responsibility.”

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com.

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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.