Daily Israel Report

Rockets On Ashkelon!

Yet another "milestone" in the Oslo process was passed today: Four Kassam rockets were fired at the city of Ashkelon. No one was hurt in the attack, of which only one rocket has so far been recovered.
First Publish: 8/28/2003, 7:02 PM

Yet another "milestone" in the Oslo process was passed today: Four Kassam rockets were fired at the city of Ashkelon, about nine kilometers north of the Gaza Strip. No one was hurt in the attack, of which only one rocket has so far been recovered.

It should be noted, however, that in 1994, after the original "Gaza and Jericho first" agreement, then-Likud MK Ariel Sharon told the Knesset that it would only be a matter of time before the PA fires katyushas from Gaza onto Ashkelon; later, then-Labor party Minister Chaim Ramon mocked Sharon and said, "Where are the katyushas that you promised us?" MK Ramon's spokesperson said that he is currently abroad and unavailable for comment.

Some Cabinet ministers responded sharply (albeit verbally) to today's attack. Tourism Minister Benny Elon said that the Government of Israel "must liquidate the Palestinian Authority," and that the establishment of a Palestinian state is equivalent to "the implementation of a policy of rockets at Israeli cities." Education Minister Limor Livnat said that Israel must retaliate harshly.

The IDF says that 14 Kassams have been fired at areas near Gaza this week, and 24 have been fired since the end of the short-lived ceasefire (hudna) about nine days ago. Ashkelon Mayor Shabtai Tzur said today that he is "concerned over this new threat," but that he "trusts the IDF to be able to prevent such attacks on Ashkelon." He said that the city's plans to expand its southern industrial zone, where the rockets fell, would continue nonetheless.