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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Tevet 25, 5768, 1/3/2008

      A Major Escalation in Gaza



      The government's policy of impotence has now emboldened the Palestinians to go a step further as they begin to use longer-range Katyushas in addition to the Qassam rockets that have become their trademark.
      Palestinian terrorists in Gaza did today precisely what everyone knew they would eventually do - take their rocket attacks against the Jewish state to another level.

      This morning, they launched a 122mm Grad-type Katyusha rocket from Gaza which hit the northern outskirts of the Israeli city of Ashkelon. This is the farthest north yet that Palestinian projectiles fired from Gaza have hit, and it clearly shows that all of Ashkelon is now within range.

      Thankfully, no one was killed or injured in the attack, but that does not take away from the seriousness of this development. For over two years, Israel has done virtually nothing to stop Palestinian rocket attacks emanating from Gaza, even though they have made life impossible for thousands of Israelis living in Sderot and the Negev.

      The government's policy of impotence has now emboldened the Palestinians to go a step further as they begin to use longer-range Katyushas in addition to the Qassam rockets that have become their trademark.

      This incident can not and must not be ignored. A government's primary responsibility is to ensure the safety and security of its citizens - everything else is secondary. It is time for Israel to move back into Gaza with full force in order to uproot the terrorist infrastructure once and for all.

      Failure to do so will only give the Palestinians more time to prepare the next act of escalation.