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Mofaz Orders Army to Kill Kassam Rocket Terrorists

Following several days of rocket attacks from Gaza, Defense Minister Sha'ul Mofaz has instructed the army to resume targeted killings against those involved in the rocket attacks.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/5/2005, 7:42 AM / Last Update: 12/5/2005, 9:57 AM

Three or four Kassam rockets were fired yesterday at the community of Shuva, to the west of Gaza. Two women were treated for shock, and damage was caused to a home.

Shuva is over six kilometers (four miles) from Gaza. By contrast, long-time popular Kassam rocket target Sderot is only 3.5 kilometers from Gaza.

Shuva is also located just five kilometers to the west of Netivot, one of the largest cities in the Negev.

Mofaz informed the IDF that the policy of liquidating terrorist leaders in Gaza must be resumed, in order to put a stop to the rocket firings towards southern Israel. Among the targets, he said, would be those who manufacture the rockets and those who fire them.

Shortly after the rockets hit Shuva, IDF artillery fired at areas from where it was assumed the Kassams were fired. A defense official said this would not be the only Israeli retaliation.

Eran Sternberg, former spokesman of what was the Gaza Coast (Gush Katif) Regional Council, said, "The IDF has used planes and artillery in the past, and now Mofaz says that they must respond with 'sharp' measures. Does he mean to add paprika? ... Of course all he plans to do is to fire at open areas; Heaven forbid he should harm the upcoming elections in the Palestinian Authority. It appears that the 'fruits of the disengagement' are still ahead of us."

MK Zahava Gal'on (Meretz) said that Mofaz’s decision to renew targeted killings in Gaza was based on electoral considerations. “There are those who think that a small war will help them in their election campaign,” she said. “The targeted killings only bring about an intensification of violence in the region.”

Mofaz is running for head of the Likud Party.