Daily Israel Report

Gaza Terrorists Attack Negev as Cabinet Stands By Shalit

Terrorists in Gaza attacked Israel's western Negev with two Kassam rockets Thursday morning. No injuries or damage were reported.
By Avraham Zuroff
First Publish: 2/19/2009, 8:25 AM

Israel News Photo: (file)

Terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza attacked the Eshkol region in the western Negev Thursday morning, firing two short-range Kassam rockets at the region. Security officers did not immediately locate the points of impact, but no injuries or damage were reported. 

A third rocket misfired and exploded on the Gaza side of the separation barrier.

The government reiterated on Wednesday its recent policy of retaliating to every single attack emanating from the region, making it likely that the Israeli Air Force would strafe terrorist targets at some point during the day.  Arab sources in Gaza reported that the IDF attacked Wednesday night in the vicinity of the security fence in northern Gaza. The sources claimed that an exchange of fire was heard. The IDF later confirmed its Wednesday night incursion into Gaza.

Earlier the same day, the IDF shot and wounded a terrorist who was trying to plant a bomb at the separation barrier where soldiers patrol. The incident occurred near the Kerem Shalom border crossing in the pre-dawn hours. The condition of the terrorist is unknown.

In Judea and Samaria, the IDF arrested 20 wanted Arabs overnight who were wanted for massive stone-throwing and riots and for causing NIS 60,000 ($15,000) worth of damage to the Judea-Samaria security barrier near Kalkilya. Activists from the International Solidarity Movement also participated in anti-Israeli activities.

Will Israel’s Demands be Met?
The continuous rocket attacks from Gaza have occurred against the backdrop of Israel’s Security Cabinet decision Wednesday that no ceasefire agreement with Hamas would be approved without the release of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit.

The cabinet unanimously demanded the release of Shalit, though its members acknowledged that a heavy price would have to be paid for his release. The cabinet members further reiterated that they would not negotiate directly with Hamas, but would instead continue to bring their positions to the Egyptian government, which is attempting to broker a bilateral ceasefire.