The attack on a Hamas terrorist position in Khan Yunis Wednesday afternoon which killed two was the first sign of a new IDF policy regarding Gaza terrorists. Military sources told Maariv/NRG that from now on, the IAF will attack a random Hamas target in Gaza every time a mortar shell or rocket hits an Israeli community, and will no longer limit itself to striking the terrorists who launched the rockets.
They said that the IDF has now established that Hamas is behind all of the terror emanating from Gaza and will thus retaliate against Hamas targets regardless of which organization takes credit for terror attacks.
After a salvo of mortar shells landed near the security fence near Nahal Oz at around 3 P.M. Wednesday, IAF aircraft retaliated by attacking a Hamas position in southern Gaza. Gaza Arabs said one of those killed in the IAF strike was Rami Abu-Rus, an active member of Hamas. At least 10 people were wounded in the mission.
For months, the IDF has been forced to comply with the government policy of limiting its retaliation to strikes against terrorists in the act of firing rockets, and immediately before or after launching them. Attacks on terrorists in the act of firing at Israeli civilians were called off if they appeared to entail a danger of hurting non-combatants. This policy caused great frustration among the victims of the Gaza terrorists, many of whom felt that the government prefers enemy civilian lives over their own.
6,288 Rockets in Six Years
Gaza terror squads fired one rocket and five mortar shells at Israeli civilians Wednesday morning. The rocket exploded in a kibbutz in the western Negev, causing no casualties. One mortar shell hit a chicken coop in an agricultural community in the area, causing some damage but no casualties. Two additional mortars were fired in the evening, exploding near the security fence and hurting no one.
The Kassam counter at the Committee for Secure Sderot website currently shows 6,288 rocket attacks from Gaza in the past six years.
Ten terrorists have been killed since Monday afternoon, most of them in Gaza. One of the terrorists died Monday of injuries sustained in an attack on IDF soldiers two weeks earlier.
Security forces are preparing for "the day after Annapolis." Some IDF experts believe that failure at the summit could lead to a long-awaited "green light" from the Israeli political leadership to launch a massive assault on Gaza.