Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Violence Escalating in Israel: Grad Rockets Fired at Be'er Sheva

More turmoil, more violence and an escalation in tensions in the Middle East: This time in Israel.

Grad rockets fired at Be'er Sheva for first time since Gaza war

Grad rockets were fired at the southern Israeli city of Be'er Sheva on Wednesday, several hours after the Israel Defense Forces fired at a group of militants on the Gaza border, wounding 11.

Three Grad rockets were reportedly fired at the city, but so far only one missile is known to have landed in the city, which hit a building in a residential area of the city, causing damage, marking the first time Be'er Sheva was hit since the Gaza war in 2009.

The IDF responded by saying that an explosive device was detonated toward soldiers who were performing routine activity in the area, on the northern part of the border.

"Shortly afterwards, a mortar shell was fired at the force and five additional mortar shells were fired into Israeli territory, landing in the Sdot Negev Regional Council," the IDF statement read. "Subsequently, the force identified a number of militants in the same area and returned fire in their direction. A direct hit was confirmed."

"The terrorist organizations are constantly operating against Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers," the IDF stated, adding that they held "the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for maintaining the calm in the Gaza Strip and for any terrorist activity emanating from it."

One has to wonder if the fears are now true - of a porous border between Gaza and Egypt, resulting from the recent problems in Egypt - could now be leading to more and more weapons entering into Gaza. This has been one of the many concerns with regard to the situation in Egypt, and we may be seeing the first signs of problems along the border. Only time will tell, but there appears to be a marked increase in mortars being fired from Gaza into Israel.

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