Daily Israel Report

Hamas Fires Rockets, But IAF Smashes Back

Over the weekend: 15 Hamas-fired shells, four Hamas-fired Kassam rockets - and five dead Hamas terrorists.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/2/2007, 2:16 PM

Over the weekend: 15 Hamas-fired shells, four Hamas-fired Kassam rockets - and five dead Hamas terrorists.

Israel Air Force craft detected a Hamas terrorist cell readying for a terror attack early Sabbath morning, and killed all five members. The operation took place over Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, near the former site of Gush Katif capital N'vei Dekalim.

A mass funeral for the five terrorists was held in Gaza on Saturday.  "The joy of the enemy at seeing our funerals will not last long," said the Hamas spokesman, threatening dire action against the Israelis.  Though warning of retaliation, he appeared to "express helplessness" at Israel's policy of targeted killings from the air, Arab affairs expert Dalit HaLevi reports. 

The spokesman, Abu Obeida, said, "After the enemy failed in implementing the first stage of the Road Map [which demands an end to Palestinian terrorism - ed.], it is now trying to carry out its plans from the air."

More Attacks on Sunday
On Sunday afternoon, ten mortar shells were fired at Israel - three landed in one town - and a Kassam rocket was launched towards Sderot. No injuries or damage was reported.

Abu Obeida all but admitted that many Hamas members are vulnerable to Israeli air attacks, as they are deployed all along the Gaza border with Israel.  They are stationed there for the purpose of attacking Israeli forces and preventing an Israeli invasion.  Israeli politicians and generals have hinted that an attack against the growing Hamas terrorist infrastructure is inevitable.

Last week, Gazan terrorists - mostly Hamas, but some from Fatah as well - fired some 70 mortar shells and 25 Kassam rockets at Israel.  Over the course of the weekend, they fired 15 shells and 4 Kassams - two to the western Negev and two towards Ashkelon.

Israel has informed the Palestinian Authority that 445 Arab terrorists will be freed from Israeli prisons on Monday.  The release is Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's latest idea of a goodwill gesture to PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas.  However, Abbas must already do damage control, explaining to his public that the reason no Hamas terrorists are among those to be freed is because Israel compiled the list without consulting him.

Hamas threatened last week on its website to respond to the Annapolis understandings with "revenge and rage."