Daily Israel Report

Rockets Fired, IDF Base Struck, Jerusalem on Highest Alert

Six Kassam rockets were fired from Gaza at Israeli towns Thursday afternoon, landing near the city of Ashkelon and striking an IDF army base. Jerusalem is on highest alert due to concrete threats.
By Ezra HaLevi
First Publish: 5/18/2006, 12:58 PM / Last Update: 5/18/2006, 2:32 PM

Out of the six rockets, one landed in the sea, two fell short and landed in Gaza, and three landed south of Ashkelon. No injuries were reported, but a building in an IDF base was damaged in the attack.

IDF soldiers involved in counter-terrorism operations throughout Judea and Samaria arrested ten suspects during the night. Arrests were made in and around Jenin and Bethlehem. Suspects in custody include Hamas, PFLP and Fatah Tanzim terrorists. No injuries were reported.

Interrogation of those arrested has frequently led to information that enabled security agencies to prevent terror attacks inside pre-1967 Green Line Israel.

Due to intelligence information of terrorists’ intentions to carry out an attack in Jerusalem, the highest level of alert was activated Thursday morning in the capital. Checkpoints were erected at the entrances to the city and Magen David Adom ambulance drivers were told to sit inside their vehicles in preparation for the impending attack. At 2 PM, the alert level was lowered, but was raised once again shortly after 3 PM.

Wednesday, the Karni Crossing between Gaza and Israel was opened for two hours on orders from Defense Minister Amir Peretz (Labor), despite assessments by the IDF advising against it. Due to several concrete alerts regarding attacks, it was decided to close the crossing in the direction from Gaza to Israel after just an hour Thursday. However, the passage of goods continued in the opposite direction until a heightened terror threat caused it to be closed altogether at 3:30 PM.

Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman MK Avigdor Lieberman criticized the government’s behavior. “The Olmert government is trying to cover up its failure to battle against terrorism as Kassam rockets and Katyusha missiles fall on southern Israeli towns," Lieberman said. "Instead, it initiates the evacuation of outposts while completely ignoring the more than 1,000 illegal buildings within Israel’s pre-1967 borders."