Advanced Rocket Attack on Sderot

For the second time in a week, Gaza terrorists attacked Jewish communities in southern Israel, this time using advanced Russian-made rockets.

Hana Levi Julian , | updated: 10:30

Kassam explodes in "open area"
Kassam explodes in "open area"
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Two rockets exploded in the Gaza Belt city of Sderot Wednesday night but both landed in open areas. No one was injured and no damage was reported in the attack. One of the rockets fired Sunday was identified by IDF personnel as a type never before launched from Gaza, a Russian S5K that was used in the war between Iran and Afghanistan.

Palestinian Authority terrorists also fired a rocket attack from northern Gaza earlier in the week, launching two short-range rockets aimed at the southwestern Negev. Only one cleared the security barrier and reached its target, and the second fell short and exploded within Gaza.

Old Pattern, New Trend?
The attacks contradict the announcement November 21 by the Hamas terrorist organization controlling Gaza, saying it had reached a deal with other terror groups in the region to halt all rocket and mortar attacks on Israel. The announcement was seen at the time as a sign that an agreement on a prisoner swap for the release of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was nearing completion.

The day after the announcement, however, the Islamic Jihad terror group released a statement denying it had agreed to a ceasefire. In addition, a previously unknown PA jihadist group called the Revenge Battalion issued a new threat following the announcement, saying it would not be bound by the Hamas decision.

Despite its own vow to refrain from attacks, three days after the announcement Hamas terrorists fired rockets at the western Negev, striking the Sha’ar HaNegev region where Sderot is located. Sporadic attacks on IDF personnel and skirmishes between terrorists and Israeli soldiers, most of them carried out with light arms and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), have continued along the Gaza security barrier since that time.

Nevertheless, according to the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, Hamas has also carried out a limited policy of restraint, at least with regard to rogue terrorist bands. Hamas security forces reportedly detained a PFLP terrorist cell after Sunday’s rocket attack on Sderot. Hamas also evacuated its headquarters in anticipation of IDF retaliatory raids.

In addition, Qudsnews reported that on December 12, Hamas operatives arrested and detained a rocket-launching squad in the central Gaza Al-Bureij region as they were preparing to launch an attack on southern Israel.