Reports: Egypt Slams Hamas Over Rocket Attacks on Israel
Egypt has demanded explanations from Hamas as to how it is allowing terror groups to fire rockets into southern Israel, months after the truce that ended Operation Pillar of Defense last November. In recent days, Gaza Arab terrorists have begun firing rockets at Israeli towns, with the latest attack coming Wednesday night. Shortly before 2:00 a.m., the “Red Alert” siren was sounded at the Eshkol Regional Council. A rocket from Gaza exploded in an open space in the region shortly afterwards, causing no physical injuries or damages.
According to Arab media, Egypt sent its rebuke to Hamas after Israel responded to attacks Tuesday with a raid on terrorist positions in Gaza. After that raid, Hamas asked Egypt to intervene with Israel and prevent further attacks, but in response Egyptian officials reportedly told Hamas that the Israeli response was their own fault, due to their permissiveness in allowing terrorists to fire rockets at Israel. Hamas acknowledged their responsibility, the reports said, and asked Cairo to inform Israel that it was taking steps to hold back the rocket fire.
The recent attacks were undertaken by the Al-Aqsa Brigades, which the group said were in response to the death of Misra Abu Hamdia, the Hamas terrorist who died of cancer over the weekend in an Israeli hospital. Abu Hamdia was in an Israeli prison for his participation in a terror attack on a Jerusalem cafe during the second intifada.
Commenting on the attacks Wednesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon said that Israel “sees Hamas as responsible for anything fired from Gaza at Israel. We will not allow in any way a return to the routine of sporadic rocket attacks on our citizens and forces.”
Minister of Economics and Trade, Naftali Bennett, told Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Barth Eide Wednesday that Israel will have to defend itself against terrorism from Gaza. "The thousands of missiles that fell on Israel from Gaza crushed the remainders of the Israeli public's trust in ceding land in return for peace," said Bennett. "Now we will have to defend ourselves through our own actions," he said. "Children in Israel deserve to go back to school after the holiday vacation without fearing that a rocket will fall on their classroom."