Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Escalation in Israel

The headlines say it all:

Grad fired from Gaza lands near Ashdod

Escalation in security situation around Strip goes up another notch as rocket falls south of the major southern city of Ashdod for first time since Operation Cast Lead; after midnight, army attacks terror cells, casualties reported; earlier IDF accidentally kills Palestinian civilians, takes out Islamic Jihad rocket-launching cell

Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired a Grad rocket towards Ashdod Tuesday night, marking the first time the Israeli city has been targeted since Operation Cast Lead.

Sirens were also heard in Gan Yavne and Kiryat Malachi, with some residents reporting that they heard explosions.

"People here are panicking," Ashdod resident Yair Shalom told Ynet. "I saw my neighbors running downstairs frantically, and people on the street leaving their cars behind and running to secure areas."

Then we see Israel already beginning their response:

Shortly after the Grad attack Palestinians reported that Israeli Navy ships were shelling an open area near Beit Lahiya in north Gaza. Later they reported of an Israeli attack on a terror cell east of Gaza City's Zeitun neighborhood.

The Palestinians reported of casualties at the scene, adding that the Israeli army attacked another terror cells near the Sajaiya neighborhood.

Tuesday was one of the more turbulent days Israel has seen since the war against Hamas during the winter of 2008–2009 ended. In response to a mortar attack on the Negev, the IDF shelled a neighborhood in Gaza and accidentally killed a number of civilians, including two youths, aged 11 and 16, and two men, aged 20 and 50.

A few hours later the Israeli Air Force launched an attack on an Islamic Jihad terror cell Israel claims was responsible for a recent Grad attack on Beersheba. Four terrorists were killed in the strike. Shortly thereafter Palestinians launched another Qassam rocket, which landed south of Ashkelon. No one was hurt.

We need to keep an eye on this situation. One never knows when the powder keg will blow.

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