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Monday, March 3, 2008

Hitting Ashkelon Has No Bad Effect on Peace Process, Says Abbas

Wednesday's violence started when Israel finally had an airstrike in Southern Gaza after being bombarded by rockets into Sderot and now hitting Ashkelon. They killed 5 of the Qassam Brigade terrorists. The terrorists were seen carrying out a special operation against Israel. Militants responded by "firing barrages of rockets at Sderot" and killed an Israeli civilian. By Thursday they shot Katyusha-style rockets into Ashkelon which lies 10 miles north of the Gaza Strip. with 120,000 people.

The Ashkelon Marina was hit by a rocket on Saturday afternoon, wounding two residents. Outdoor cafes and bars were empty at lunchtime on Sunday, even though the weather was fine.

A long-range rocket hit outside the apartment house of Meram Levy, mother of two small children. This caused all the windows to shatter. Her husband and she sleep in shifts to listen to their new public address system alert.

Sunday afternoon, terrorists fired two more rockets into Ashkelon. One damaged a house. 16 people were in shock after this happened. One rocket landed near a kindergarten. 12 katusha rockets hit Western Negev.

Two shorter-range Qassam rockets, made in Gaza, fell inside Israel. Also hit was Netivot, a desert town in Israel.

Monday Condoleezza Rice visits Egypt. Abbas, head of Fatah which is located in the "West Bank" , complained that our IDF forces were destroying the peace process. We pulled out of Northern Gaza early Monday after a two-day operation against the squads firing rockets into Israel. Of course, the terrorists firing rockets were perfectly all right, he thinks. That is not destroying the peace.

Now that Israel knows that they can hit Ashkelon, they must strike back to protect their citizens. The IDF was trying to hit places where rockets were stored, and unfortunately, the terrorists store them in or near civilian homes. They also aimed at manufacturing facilities, a command center, and armed men. Israel must defend itself in a situation like this.

When Israel pulled out, Gazans had a victory rally of 20,000 people and fired more rockets into Israel. Among the Hamas terrorists are a wing called the Qassam Brigades, and Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committees. They cheered, but all suffered casualties. Abbas of Fatah said that contacts with Israel had been temporarily suspended. He feels we are the aggressors. Evidently to him, firing rockets into Israel is not being aggressive. Abu Obeida, Qassam Brigade spokesman said they would continue firing rockets. In fact, if the terrorists and Israel have a truce, Zahar, spokesman for Hamas, said they would continue to train and make weapons. This is what Olmert fears. A truce would only give the terrorists time to prepare their fight against Israel.

Hamas may ask for a multinational force to protect the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from Israel. I wonder if it would work the other way, also, and be able to stop the terrorists from shooting rockets into Israel.

Reference: The New York Times
Jerusalem Post Newspaper
Yahoo News reported by Ibrahim Barzak, Ass. Press writer

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