Hamas: we´ll stop rockets if Israel ends aggression (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV KATZ, YAAKOV LAPPIN, REUTERS 06/21/12)
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After firing over 100 rockets in 3-day period, Hamas responds to
Egyptian efforts to enact ceasefire,
As rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip continued to rain down
on southern Israel on Wednesday, Hamas announced it was ready to
stop the latest round of cross-border violence as long as Israel
"Responding to the Egyptian efforts, we and the armed resistance
announce our commitment to stop this round of confrontation as long
as the occupation stops this aggression," said a written statement
from Hamas´s armed wing.
More than 55 rockets hit southern Israel on Wednesday as the IDF
struck back at Hamas and Global Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip
despite Egyptian calls for an immediate ceasefire.
In the third day of violence, the Israel Air Force struck a motorbike
in southern Gaza, seriously injuring Mohammed Rashdan who the IDF
said was a member of a Gaza-based Global Jihad group and one of the
planners of the deadly attack along the Egyptian border on Monday.
Aleb Armilat, who assisted Rashdan in planning the attack, was killed
in the strike. In the evening, the IAF struck two more targets in
Gaza, which it said were Hamas training camps. The Palestinians said
that two teenagers were injured in the strikes.
In another strike, a 14-year-old was reportedly killed as the IAF
bombed what it said was a rocket launching cell in the northern Gaza
The dead teenager was identified as Momen al-Adam. Two other people
were reported injured in the attack. The airstrikes on Wednesday
followed eight bombings late Tuesday night throughout the Gaza Strip.
IDF sources said that Rashuan was in the midst of planning another
attack against Israel from the Sinai and that he was one of the key
architects of Mondayís attack. One officer said that the involvement
of Global Jihad operatives in attacks against Israel was not
surprising but was concerning since the groups did not heed Hamasís
authority and would be difficult to rein in to abide by a new
Some of the groups are made up of former Islamic Jihad and Hamas
members. Others, the officer said, come from Arab countries such as
Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
In a sign that the violence was expected to continue on Thursday, the
Home Front Command issued instructions to the public banning studies
in schools that are not reinforced and are located within seven
kilometers of the Gaza border. It also banned public gatherings Ė
indoors or outdoors - of over 500 people. The instructions are in
effect until Thursday evening.
Meanwhile Wednesday, Palestinian terrorists fired more than 55
rockets into southern Israel throughout the day, damaging homes and
sending eight civilians into shock. One rocket was intercepted by
Iron Dome counter-rocket defense systems on its way to Netivot. The
IDF said that its three operational Iron Dome batteries were deployed
in the South.
Police bomb squad officials said 30 rockets slammed into the Negev
region, while a further nine struck the Lachish region. More than 100
rockets have been fired into Israel since Monday.
A wave of rockets was fired at the Sdot Negev Regional Council, with
projectile exploding in the front yard of a home. Shrapnel damaged
the home, though its residents fortunately took cover in a safe room
before the impact. There were no injuries in that attack.
Earlier, six Palestinian rockets expoded in the Eshkol Regional
council, with four of them falling inside a village. The projectiles
sparked a blaze, and sent three women into shock.
On Wednesday morning, terrorists fired a long-range Grad in the
direction of Beersheba. It fell in the Bnei Shimon regional council,
setting off air raid sirens, but failing to cause injuries.
Eight rockets slammed into farming regions overnight, damaging
buildings in Lachish. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 06/21/12)
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