Rocket attacks continue after IAF strike (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV KATZ AND JPOST.COM STAFF 03/15/12)
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The Israel Air Force struck a rocket launching site in northern Gaza
and a smuggling tunnel in the southern Strip overnight Wednesday.
Palestinians did not immediately report any injuries in the strikes.
The IAF strikes came after the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that went
into effect on Tuesday appeared to collapse earlier on Wednesday
night when Gazans fired two Grad-model Katyusha rockets into
The assessment within the army is that the rockets were fired by
small, splinter terrorist groups and not by Islamic Jihad, which was
behind the bulk of the rocket fire into Israel since Friday.
One of the rockets hit outside the city and the second one was
intercepted by the Iron Dome counter-rocket defense system.
No one was injured. On Tuesday night, a Grad-model Katyusha struck
Authorities in Beersheba announced on Wednesday night that schools in
the city would once again close on Thursday.
The decision was announced despite the Home Front Command saying that
schools could remain open.
Schools will also be closed in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kiryat Gat, Kiryat
Malachi, Gan Yavne (except for 12-graders studying in protected
building) and the Bnei Shimon Regional Council.
Before the renewed fire, OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Tal Russo
warned on Wednesday that Israel might have to carry out a large
ground operation in Gaza soon to stop the attacks.
“The IDF is doing everything to enable residents of communities near
Gaza to maintain a normal life,” he said. “I do not know how long it
[the cease-fire] will last and we might need to launch a large-scale
operation in the future.” Russo said that one of the problems was
that no single organization was completely in control of the Gaza
“There is no one who can just give an order and stop the rocket
fire,” he said.
Also on Wednesday, the IDF Home Front Command and the Home Front
Defense Ministry held a simulation to prepare for possible missile
attacks against Tel Aviv and the larger Gush Dan region.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad are believed to have Fajr-5 Iranian artillery
rockets that are capable of striking Tel Aviv. Hezbollah in Lebanon
also has missiles such as the M- 600 that could reach Tel Aviv.
Meanwhile, the IDF is also gearing up for a massive convergence on
Israel’s borders later this month in what is being called the “Global
March to Jerusalem.” Under the plan, on March 30, people from the
Gaza Strip, Syria, Lebanon and the West Bank will begin marching
The event was scheduled, according to the movement’s website, to
coincide with the 36th anniversary of Land Day, when six Arab
Israelis were killed in clashes with security forces in the Galilee,
and to raise awareness regarding Israel’s so-called “ethnic
cleansing” of Jerusalem.
The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center released
a report on Wednesday in which it said that Iran was actively
supporting the organizers of the event.
IDF sources said that they were prepared for the marches and possible
demonstrations along the border. In June, about 100 Syrians crossed
“Since then we have purchased riot control equipment and developed
new techniques and tactics to deal with such protests,” a senior IDF
officer said. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 03/15/12)
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