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      Kassams Fly, Army Prepares; Volunteers Plan Joyous Chanukah

      With no end in sight to Kassam attacks, the 20 Gazan terrorists the IDF killed this week could be harbinger of a major IDF anti-terror offensive.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 11/30/2007, 1:33 PM

      As Kassams continue to fly towards Sderot and north of Gaza, the 20 Gazan terrorists killed by the IDF this week are apparently the harbinger of a major IDF anti-terror offensive. Volunteers are preparing a joyous Chanukah for the besieged Sderot residents.

      Four Hamas terrorists were killed on Thursday by the IDF, for a total of about 20 this week.  The dead terrorists were engaged in firing Kassam rockets and mortar shells at Israel, or placing explosives designed to explode upon Israeli forces.

      IDF Offensive Nears, Fatah Prepares
      With Hamas preparing feverishly for a Hizbullah-style onslaught of Israel, including non-stop smuggling of explosives and weapons into Gaza, it is a matter of near-consensus that a large-scale IDF operation inside Gaza is inevitable.  Now that the Annapolis summit has ended, the time appears to be getting much nearer.

      Though Hamas currently runs Gaza, after having taken it over from Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah organization in a military coup this past summer, Fatah terrorists in Gaza plan to fight alongside Hamas in the event of an IDF invasion.  The Jerusalem Post quotes a "senior Fatah official" in Gaza City saying that "Fatah won't remain idle... We will definitely fight together with Hamas against the Israeli army. It's our duty to defend our people against the occupiers."

      Fatah terrorists already fight against Israel in Gaza.  The Washington Times reports that Fatah members took a day off from firing Kassams against Israel in honor of the Annapolis summit, upon orders from above.  "But we are permitted to renew our regular activities once the summit is over," a Fatah terrorist is quoted as saying.

      Fuel Embargo May Begin
      Meanwhile, Israel is trying to fight the Kassam-firing terrorists with a fuel and electricity embargo - with little success.  Over a month after the Cabinet announced that it would cut off fuel and electricity to Gaza in response to the ongoing rocket attacks, the Supreme Court has finally ruled that these measures may be taken - partially. 

      The Court ruled on Thursday that fuel supplies to Gaza might be cut back, but that regarding electricity, further clarifications must still be provided.  Electricity cutbacks are thus expected to begin only 12 days from now.  The Court wishes to ensure that cutting back electricity and fuel will not lead to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

      Kassams Fly
      Kassam rockets continued to fly this week: One this morning (Friday), two yesterday, two Wednesday, and four on Tuesday. Mortar shells have also been fired, even more frequently than Kassam rockets. No physical damage was reported over the past few days.

      Joyous Chanukah in Sderot
      In Sderot, several organizations have banded together to hold a joyous and large-scale Chanukah celebration next week for the residents whose lives have been upended by the ongoing onslaught of rockets.  Next Wednesday, the 2nd day of the eight-day holiday, hundreds of volunteers will descend upon the town, and will distribute family gift baskets, Chanukah donuts and chocolate coins while singing together with professional musicians.  Three bands will perform in the streets on large open trucks.

      Youths are to arrive at 3 PM, with families arriving around 5 PM.  Many volunteers will visit Sderot families as they light Chanukah candles in their homes. The activities will end with a public candle-lighting ceremony, using a large Menorah made from Kassam rocket shells, accompanied by a huge musical event with Hassidic music star Aaron Razel and his band.

      Sponsoring organizations include Connections Israel, the Bat Ami National Service program, Yeshivat Hesder Sderot, Afikim BaNegev, Table to Table, Orot Hessed, and Merimim Degel.