zaterdag 9 februari 2008

Twee gewonden door Qassams op Sderot

Israëls operaties in de Gazastrook lijken niet te helpen tegen de Qassam regen op Sderot. Een staakt-het-vuren zoals Hamas voorstelt zal ook niet helpen, want in de eerste plaats blijven de andere gewapende milities gewoon raketten afvuren (zoals in het verleden meermaals is gebleken) en in de tweede plaats zal Hamas die tijd gebruiken voor de voorbereiding op toekomstige gevechten, en ervoor zorgen dan betere raketten en andere wapens te hebben.
Yasser Abed Rabbo, adviseur van president Abbas veroordeelde de raket aanvallen alleen om strategische redenen, niet omdat het moreel wellicht verkeerd is om Israëlische kinderen te doden.

8-year-old, youth seriously wounded in Sderot rocket attack Staff , THE JERUSALEM POST

Two people, including an eight-year-old boy, were seriously wounded as a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck Sderot on Saturday night, police and medical officials said.

The boy was wounded in both his legs before being evacuated to Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon with the second victim, aged 19.

Five rockets were fired in the barrage - three of which landed inside of the city. One of the rockets landed in a neighborhood at a time when a group of people were crossing the street. The other two rockets landed in open areas outside close to Sderot.

Meanwhile, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter paid a visit to the beleaguered town.

"I found a battered town where some 20 percent of residents have simply upped and left," Army Radio quoted Dichter as saying.

The public security minister said that Sderot residents described to him how they were living from one miracle to the next and that on Saturday morning, there was a higher attendance in synagogues than usual.

"When I traveled in the direction of Sderot," continued Dichter, "I saw crowds arriving for the 'Red South' festival, but when I got to Sderot, I saw desolate streets, emptied of people - people closed up inside their homes."

On Sunday, the public security minister is due to brief the cabinet on his visit to the town.

After a turbulent Friday on which some 40 Kassams and mortar shells slammed into the western Negev, the attacks continued Saturday morning as two rockets fired from Gaza hit the Sha'ar Hanegev region.

One of the rockets landed next to a kibbutz, while the other fell near a junction. No one was wounded and no damage was reported.

The IAF hit back, striking a Popular Resistance Committees' rocket launching cell in the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanun. The army said that the terrorists were standing next to rocket launchers. Two of the terrorists were wounded in the air strike, including one seriously, Palestinian medics reported.

The air force also destroyed four other rocket launchers in the area.

Late Friday, two Sderot homes suffered direct hits from Kassams, sending six people into shock - four of whom were eating their Shabbat dinner when the rockets struck.

One man was evacuated to a hospital, suffering from chest pains, and two other residents of the town were lightly wounded after falling down while scampering for shelter from the rockets.

Following Friday's rocket barrage, Israel's UN Ambassador Dan Gillerman issued a complaint to the UN secretary-general and the UNSC president. Gillerman cited the severe and worrying terror activities which have been perpetrated against Israel over the last few days.

In his formal letter of complaint, the UN envoy highlighted the two young girls wounded in a Kassam rocket attack on Kibbutz Be'eri on Wednesday.

He wrote that the rocket attacks were part of a campaign by the Hamas leadership, the principal aim of which is to kill Israelis.

Due to the incessant rocket attacks, some 30 people blocked traffic in both directions at the southern entrance to Sderot on Friday night, protesting the government's "neglect" of the town's residents.

Meanwhile, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said that the rocket attacks were a justified response to Israel's attacks on Gaza.

Haniyeh also said that there was no progress in negotiations to secure the release of captured IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.

Nevertheless, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhari proposed a truce saying that rocket attacks would be stopped if the IDF halts all its operations against Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank.

In an interview with a Saudi newspaper, Zuhari said that "the ball is in Israel's court."

Hamas said Friday that it would not be deterred by Israel's cutback of the power supply.

"The Zionist enemy must understand that the policy of assassinations, of attacks, of embargo, of cutting electricity and fuel will not halt the resistance and will not break the back of the Palestinians," said senior Hamas official Ismail Radwan. "We warn them of a large volcano that will erupt if their aggression increases."

Meanwhile, Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the PLO executive committee and a senior adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the rocket attacks, calling them a "worthless" tactic which was being used by Israel as an excuse to "continue its acts of aggression," Army Radio reported.

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