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Kassams Continue Apace Despite Withdrawal from Gaza

IDF figures show that the Disengagement from Gaza did not bring about a drop in rocket attacks against Sderot and the western Negev.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/21/2005, 8:53 AM / Last Update: 12/21/2005, 11:21 AM

After a month of post-withdrawal quiet, there were 62 Kassam attacks in September (all in the second half of the month), 16 in October, 29 in November, and 49 so far this month. In total, then, there were 156 rockets since Israel's unilateral withdrawal from Gaza this past August. Over 80 more Gaza-fired Kassams landed during this period inside Gaza, short of their targets.

Twenty-five Israelis, including 22 civilians, were wounded in the attacks, though none seriously.

Close to 6,000 rockets and shells were launched from PA-controlled Gaza at Israeli targets between January 2001 and August 2005 - an average of over 100 a month. The vast majority of them fell on Jewish communities in Gaza, and a relatively small portion were fired at the Negev.

Nir Hasson, writing in Haaretz today, states, "The continued Kassam firing has destroyed the hopes of the local residents, and of the architects of the Disengagement, regarding 'quiet that would reign in the area around Gaza after the withdrawal.' In addition, the evacuation of the northern Gaza Jewish communities enabled the Palestinians to bring their shooting positions closer, and the Kassams are now able to reach the southern industrial zone of Ashkelon [and the] Rothenberg power station."

The Al-Aksa Brigades of Fatah and the Jerusalem Company of Islamic Jihad have both claimed responsibility for yesterday's Kassam rocket attacks towards Sderot and Ashkelon. Some of the rockets were fired from the ruins of the former Jewish community of Dugit in northern Gaza, which was destroyed in the Disengagement Plan.