Arab Kassam-Rocket Ceasefire Violations Go Unnoticed

Two Kassam rockets were fired at Israel Tuesday evening, despite the ceasefire agreed upon by Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Olmert: "We are a little disappointed."

Contact Editor
Hillel Fendel, | updated: 10:58

Two Kassams were fired within the space of an hour towards Sderot and Kibbutz Yad Mordechai last night, causing no damage. A Fatah organization - the Al Aksa Brigades - boasted that it had fired the projectiles. Fatah is run by PA Chairman Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas).

Meeting last night with European Union ambassadors at the home of the Finnish Ambassador, Olmert said, "We are slightly disappointed by the continued Kassam firings by the Palestinians. I very much hope that the Palestinians will fulfill their obligations and cease their fire."

"I am sure that the European Union will greatly appreciate Israel's approach in keeping the ceasefire," Olmert said.

No other reactions to the ceasefire violation were reported.

Kassam-firing terrorists have fired the cease-fire three times since it went into effect Sunday morning: several rockets within hours after it went into effect, two rockets on Monday, and two more on Tuesday evening.

One of yesterday's rockets landed while millionaire philanthropist Arkady Gaidamek was visiting Sderot. He was meeting with some of the hundreds of residents who wished to thank him for sponsoring their recent trips to Eilat for a few days of escape from the Kassams. Gaidamek also participated in the dedication of a new synagogue in Sderot. He attacked those in the government who, he said, "instead of appreciating what I did, and instead of doing it themselves, criticized me."

New orders issued to IDF units operating along the Gaza Strip perimeter stipulate that PA terrorists positively identified as belonging to rocket-firing cells may be targeted for elimination by ground or air forces. Authorization from Southern Command officers is required, however, before opening fire. In consultation with other senior officers, IDF Southern District Commander Yoav Galant issued the revised open-fire orders after PA terrorists fired two Kassam rockets at Sderot on Monday.

In other security news on Wednesday, a female terrorist tried to stab an Israeli soldier near Bir Zeit, north of Ramallah. She was apprehended. In Gush Etzion, a policeman was lightly-to-moderately wounded when an Arab ran him down at a checkpoint near Efrat. His car - a stolen vehicle - was later found, but the driver escaped. A woman was lightly injured by Arab-hurled rocks Tuesday afternoon near Shechem, and several Israeli vehicles were damaged in other similar attacks.

Among the recent IDF activity in Judea and Samaria is an ongoing intense operation to capture wanted Arab terrorists from all PA factions and to disrupt the terrorist infrastructure in those areas. The increased military activity was initiated in light of the high number of intelligence warnings indicating planned terrorist attacks on Israeli targets. As part of the operations, IDF forces captured 13 wanted PA terrorists or suspects overnight Monday. Enemy gunmen opened fire on the soldiers in several locations during the operations.





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