Eight More Rockets Hit Israel's South
At least eight rockets were fired on Israel's south Thursday night by terrorists from Gaza, a continuation of the escalated rocket barrage, in which roughly 100 rockets have been fired since Wednesday. Fortunately none of the eight caused injuries or damage.
Most of the rockets exploded in open areas, several of them being shot down by the Iron Dome system which was stationed in Be'er Sheva and Sderot.
The ongoing fire comes despite Islamic Jihad claims of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire taking effect at 2 p.m. on Thursday, a claim the Gaza terrorists belied by firing more rockets and Israel denied.
The IDF Homefront Command held an appraisal of the situation with heads of the local authorities, in which it was decided to hold classes as normal Friday in all southern schools despite the barrage.
Arab sources reported Thursday afternoon that three terrorists were injured in an explosion in Beit Hanoun, located in Gaza, during a failed rocket firing.
The rocket barrage has led Intelligence and Strategy Minister Yuval Steinitz and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman to call for Israel to retake Gaza.
"Sooner or later we will have to take control of Gaza, in order to get rid of the Hamas regime,” Steinitz said. “We do not need to reoccupy it permanently, but we do need to remove from Gaza the option of firing rockets on us."
Liberman meanwhile noted "we cannot allow the areas that Israel evacuated (in 2005) to be used for terror attacks on us. The only solution is a reversal of the process, a retaking of Gaza."
For their part, Arab professors in Gaza have argued the rocket attacks, which they say could only have happened with the support of Hamas, are meant to bring attention to Gaza, not to start a war. Part of their reasoning notes a desire in Hamas to break isolation from Egypt.