IDF: Response to Gaza rocket fire too restrained (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Ron Ben-Yishai Published: 06.23.12, 00:00 )
YNet News - Yediot Achronot
YNet News - Yediot Achronot Articles-Index-Top
Round of escalation still underway, but army officials warn that
feeble retaliation enables Hamas to improve rocket launching methods
and reinforces its status
IDF officials expressed discontent over the last round of fighting in
the Gaza Strip, saying that despite calls for a ceasefire by Hamas,
the rocket barrages have yet to stop. On Friday, more rockets were
fired into Israel, probably by other Gaza organizations. The IAF in
turn struck a terrorist cell launching rockets, killing one terrorist.
Since Monday, more than 130 rockets and dozens of mortar shells
exploded in the south. One Border Guard officer was moderately
wounded and ten others sustained light injuries. Hundreds of
thousands of Israeli citizens spent the week in fortified areas, and
a number of fires erupted at rocket landing sites.
According to Palestinian sources, at least 11 people were killed in
Gaza, including nine armed terrorists, a civilian and a girl.
IDF officials estimate that Hamas initiated the latest rocket barrage
believing it had the upper hand. This was reinforced by Israel´s
feeble response, which was limited compared to previous rounds of
The officials, however, were content with the performance of the
fourth Iron Dome battery, which was able to intercept a Grad rocket
launched toward Netivot, as well as other rockets.
As a general rule of thumb, Hamas´ rocket fire was aimed at what the
group calls "military targets", such as Kisufim Border Guard base,
and IDF bases in Reim, Erez and Zikim. The current round saw very few
Grad rockets, and mostly included Qassam rockets and 107mm diameter
long-range Katyusha missiles.
The IDF noted that most of the rockets were fired from launching pits
that were dug in the ground and activated from afar. This prevented
the IDF from locating the launching sites ahead of time and taking
out the terrorists, as it has done in previous rounds. The officials
noted that Hamas learned its lessons from previous rounds and has
opted for new operating methods, which were built upon the lessons
from Operation Cast Lead, and the escalation rounds that followed.
Unlike the Islamic Jihad, Hamas has proven to have planning
capabilities, and the ability to adjust. And still, the IDF´s
retaliation policy was more restrained than in the past, so much so
that it may have encouraged Hamas to escalate the offensive, the
The officials estimated that Hamas initiated the current round of
violence based on the presumption that Israel will not retaliate
forcefully as long as the political turmoil continues in Egypt, and
in order to prove that it has not relinquished armed resistance, as
has been claimed by the Islamic Jihad. (Copyright 2012 © Yedioth
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY