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      Eight Mortar Shells Towards Israel

      Arab terrorism: 8 shells at Israel, one exploded in a moshav. Israel reported to be targeting Hamas leaders.
      By Hillel Fendel
      First Publish: 1/13/2008, 6:18 PM

      Arab terrorists in Gaza fired eight mortar shells towards Israel early and late Sunday afternoon, while a European country has informed Hamas that Israel plans to kill its leaders. 

      The Al-Hayat newspaper in London reports that an unnamed country in Europe recently informed Hamas leaders that in Israel's sights are Damascus-based Khaled Mashaal, Hamas senior Mahmoud A-Zahar, and the prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh. The report states that Israel postponed the liquidations until after the Bush visit to Israel and Ramallah.  Hamas has increased security protection around its three leaders.

      Meanwhile, Hamas terrorism and rocket attacks against Israel continues.  Eight mortar shells were fired at Israeli, including one that exploded in Netiv HaAsarah, just north of Gaza, causing damage to a building. 

      In Hevron, Border Guard policemen arrested an Arab woman near the Machpelah Cave in Hevron when she was found to be carrying a 12-inch knife.  She was taken into custody on Sunday afternoon.

      1,000 Terrorists Down, 19,000 to Go
      Shabak (General Security Service) head Yuval Diskin announced that Israeli forces had killed 1,000 terrorists in Gaza - leaving another 19,000.  MK Yuval Shteinitz (Likud), a former Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, responded, "Killing 1,000 terrorists makes it difficult for the terrorists, but it has not prevented Hamas from strengthening its military capabilities in all areas... This is not a strategic achievement, but rather a tactical impediment to the terrorist activities."

      Hamas Army Being Built
      Shteinitz took the opportunity to warn of the development of a "large, Iranian-backed Hamas army, just like Hizbullah, while Egypt turns a blind eye and even gives aid to some extent."

      This army, Shteinitz said, "is being built just 30 kilometers from Ashdod and 60 kilometers from Tel Aviv, and stands in opposition to Israel's classic security doctrine, which never allowed the establishment of a foreign military force in the western Land of Israel. Israel pokes at it here and there, but is not stopping it from coming into being."

      For this reason, Shteinitz calls for a major Israeli offensive against the developing Hamas army, "just like Operation Defensive Shield in the spring of 2002  True, it will be harder in Gaza [than it was in Shomron], but that's because we waited two years too many - and now they have rockets and tanks."

      Public Security Minister Avi Dichter, a former Shabak director, similarly called, during this Sunday's Cabinet meeting, for an "end to the war of attrition going on in and near Gaza."