Terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza attacked with a rocket south of Ashkelon Wednesday morning as missiles strikes increase. Twenty rocket and missile explosions were aimed at Israeli civilians in July, four times the number in the previous month.
August started out with a continuing escalation in violence from Gaza, and a Bedouin woman was lightly wounded by shrapnel on Monday after a missile exploded near a Negev cemetery.
Israel generally has retaliated after every terrorist attack, usually striking tunnels used by terrorists as well as rocket manufacturing facilities and weapons storehouses. The IDF has not carried out pre-emptive strikes unless it identifies a “ticking bomb," such as a terrorist cell preparing to launch rockets.
Hamas several times has announced a “ceasefire” or “calm” both before and after the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign, which lasted for three weeks until mid-January 2009.
The last fatality from the attacks was a 16-year-old who was killed in April when terrorists fired a laser-guided rocket at a school bus, which a few minutes earlier had unloaded most of the children rising home.
The Kornet rocket was made in Russia and smuggled into Gaza from Iran. Israel maintains a maritime embargo on Gaza to prevent arms smuggling, but smuggling tunnels operate freely from Egypt. The new provisional military government has largely lost control of the Sinai area, south of Gaza, to Bedouin tribes and terrorist-linked cells.