ROCKETS BARAGE ON ISRAEL’S REAR
On Wednesday 12/24/2008 morning, Palestinian militants fired over 50! Qassam and Grad rockets (17:00) from the Gaza Strip toward the Western Negev, prompting Israel to hold up a shipment of aid scheduled to pass through to Gaza Stripp on Wednesday (see also – Gaza 11.04.08 ).
Two rockets landed in an open area in the Shaar Hanegev region and another Grad type rocket hit the coastal area south of Ashkelon, about 15 Northern to Gaza Strip. The fourth rocket fell within Palestinian territory.
Shortly afterwards, terrorists fired two additional volleys at Netivot and Ashkelon. Several rockets landed in the agricultural areas outlying Netivot and did not cause damage nor were there reports of anyone wounded. Two rockets landed in Ashkelon. There were no reports of casualties.
Eight mortar shells and two rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel overnight Tuesday. One of the shells hit a house in a western Negev kibbutz Nahal Oz. There were no casualties but the house sustained damage.
Although the number of rockets is almost regular it is the first time that a concentrate effort is done by the Palestinians in Gaza Strip to target the second circle of Israeli villages around Gaza in a distance of over 10 km.
Hamas excused the intensified shelling as retaliation to a Thursday 12/23/2008 evening clash, in which IDF troops killed three Palestinian terrorists, who were apprehended during an attempt to plant an explosive device near the Gaza perimeter fence,
just 300 meters from the Israeli village of Netiv Haasara, north of Gaza Stripp.
Responding to the incessant Qassam fire, Defense Minister Ehud Barak announced Wednesday that Israel would hold up a shipment of food and humanitarian supplies that was to be delivered to residents of the Gaza Strip during the day.
Barak had made an initial decision to allow the shipment following calls from the international community regarding the humanitarian situation in the Strip. Basic food, medicine, gasoline and cooking gas were to be transferred to Gaza through the Karni and Kerem Shalom crossings.
Five Egyptian trucks containing humanitarian supplies were also to be allowed passage into the Strip, an initiative of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s wife, Suzanne Mubarak.
Meanwhile Wednesday, Hamas announced that two of its operatives were killed in a blast in the southern Gaza Strip. The terror group said that the men were killed on a “holy mission.” That’s the euphemism Hamas uses when gunmen are killed by explosives that go off inadvertently. A so called “work accident”.
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