woensdag 25 juni 2008

3 Qassam raketten op Sderot afgevuurd, schending staakt-het-vuren

De eerste schending van het staakt-het-vuren, als je tenminste de toegenomen wapensmokkel van Hamas niet meetelt. Overigens was er 's ochtends vroeg al een mortiergranaat afgevuurd die in de Negev landde, voordat Israël de twee terroristen op de Westoever doodde. Zoals Ami Isseroff helder uiteenzet, is het gevaarlijk om kleinere schendingen van het staakt-het-vuren te accepteren. De schendingen zullen daardoor alleen maar toenemen, van een paar Qassams tot een paar meer totdat er doden vallen. Zo zijn de Qassams ook begonnen, zo is het na Israëls terugtrekking begonnen en na het vorige staakt-het-vuren en dat daarvoor. Als Israël uiteindelijk handelt vallen internationale gremia over elkaar heen om Israël van oorlogsmisdaden te beschuldigen.
Qassam lands in Sderot backyard

Ceasefire seems shakier than ever as Palestinians launch three Qassam rockets from Gaza. House damaged in Sderot, two women suffer from shock.
Olmert: This is a blatant violation of ceasefire. Islamic Jihad vowed reprisal earlier for IDF operation in West Bank
Shmulik Hadad - YNET

Ceasefire shattered? Residents of Israel's south were rattled to hear the 'Color Red' rocket alert sirens blare throughout their towns twice on Tuesday afternoon as Palestinian terror groups launched three Qassam rockets from Gaza. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

One of the rockets landed in the backyard of a house in Sderot, damaging the structure. No injuries were reported, though two women were treated for shock. The second rocket landed in an open area in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council.

Half an hour later, the rocket alert system was activated two more times. The third rocket landed in the Sderot industrial zone. One man was evacuated to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon after feeling pain in his ears.

"This is a blatant and unequivocal violation of the understandings reached as part of the truce (which went into effect last Thursday)," Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in response.

The Prime Minister's Office said in a statement that "the prime minister has warned that the ceasefire could be short and fragile. Israel warned against a violation of the understandings, and will weigh its options following the rocket fire."

Olmert received the news upon his return from Cairo, where he met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and thanked him for his efforts in securing the truce.

In Israel some feared that the death of a senior member of Islamic Jihad in the West Bank would prompt a retaliation from Gaza.

The rocket alert system was activated in Sderot and the western Negev at around 3:45 pm. IDF officials reported that the rockets were fired from the Beit Hanoun area and that the army failed to locate the rocket launching cell.

'It was clear truce wouldn't last'

The rocket which hit Sderot landed in the yard of a private house, whose tenants had left the town recently due to the security situation. A house on the other side of the street was also hit by shrapnel.

David Turgeman, whose parents live in the second house, told Ynet, "In the past few days we felt better about the situation, people started going out, but today everything changed.

"My parents' house sustained a direct hit once before, and my house was also hit by a Qassam in the past. All the windows in my parents' house flew out of place. We're lucky they weren't home. It's a shame we reached this situation once again."

Roy Vazana from Sderot told Ynet, "It was clear that the truce would last more than one week, and this is a fact. It's either us or them. There are no choices here. It's time to launch an operation."

A mortar shell was also fired from Gaza in the early hours of the morning on Tuesday. It landed near an Israeli community but caused no damage or injury. The army did not respond to the shell.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak toured the region on Tuesday morning to survey the situation following the ceasefire with Hamas. "Calm will be met with calm, and quiet with quiet," he said of the future of the shaky truce.

Ali Waked, Hanan Greenberg and Roi Mandel contributed to this report

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