Wednesday, December 24, 2008

24-Dec-08: In southern Israel, it's raining rockets

For its own good reasons, the Hamas regime is fully engaged in a strategy of steady terrorist escalation against Israeli civilians. The result is that today, the first really cold and rainy winter day of the season, has been violent and deeply worrying.

The New York Times version of today's turbulence along the southern border of Israel with Gaza says that the terrorists of Gaza "...increased the range and intensity of their rocket fire against Israel Wednesday as the Israeli security cabinet weighed options that include broader military action or efforts to renew a truce that recently expired. More than 60 rockets and mortars were fired at southern Israel by the afternoon... [They] slammed into the Israeli border town of Sderot, the yard of a house and a water park in the coastal city of Ashkelon, an Israeli factory at Nir Oz near the Gaza border, and hit a house outside the Western Negev town of Netivot. The strikes caused extensive damage and widespread panic among the residents... Scores of adults and children were treated for shock, the emergency medical service said."

Tonight's television news programs are reporting that, while Israel's military is primed and ready to intervene and silence the rocket launchers, and now has a green light to go ahead from the Israeli cabinet, efforts are still underway to try to avoid the bloodshed that will inevitably follow once the IDF is unleashed.

UPDATE Thursday 25-Dec-08 8:00am: The Jerusalem Post summary of yesterdays Hamas mayhem says: "The IDF received the green light Wednesday for a series of operations against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, after more than 60 mortar shells and Katyusha and Kassam rockets pounded the Negev. The barrage hit communities throughout the south, reaching as far north as Ashkelon and as far south as Kerem Shalom. At least two Grad-model Katyusha rockets were fired into Ashkelon on Wednesday, and a Kassam with extended range hit Netivot.... The terrorists hit close to educational facilities and homes. Nearly 60 people, almost half of them children or teenagers, were treated for emotional trauma and anxiety. And Haaretz now says Wednesday's toll was "more than 80 rockets and mortar shells into Israel".