Israeli Air Force bombed targets in Gaza Wednesday, killing at least one terrorist after a massive missile and mortar barrage on southern Israel Wednesday morning.
At least 10 explosions rocked the south from the western Negev to an area between the port cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod. A major electricity generating station and oil and gas pipelines are located in Ashkelon. Ashdod is home to dozens of oil refineries.
Arab sources said one terrorist was killed in the reprisal attack at Rafiah, a city the straddles the border between Gaza and Egypt and which is a prime source of smuggling tunnels. The IDF aerial attack came hours before Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at his official residence in Jerusalem.
Neither Abbas nor American officials have commented on the terrorist attacks from Gaza, a region that is in name part of the Palestinian Authority but which has set up a separate government in Gaza since Hamas ousted Abbas’ Fatah party government in a militia war more than three years ago.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell have been holding private discussions with both sides since the morning hours, preparing for the talks between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Abbas.
The same officials talked in Sharm el Sheikh Tuesday as the United States carries out its strategy of creating “momentum” that it hopes will convince Israel and the PA to compromise on procedural issues and discuss the "core" issues which are the status of Jerusalem and future borders of a proposed PA state.
However, the same momentum could fall apart in the face of the PA demand that Israel extend the 10-month building freeze on Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. The PA reportedly has so far rejected American proposals for a compromise and has rejected Prime MInister Netanyahu's demand to recognize that Israel is a Jewish state..