With all eyes on the events unfolding in Japan, with Japanese triple-disaster, and the battle against the regime of Libya’s dictator Moamar Khadhafi, a massive rocket attack on Israel went practically unnoticed this weekend.
Members of the terrorist group Hamas launched attacks against Israel from their base in Gaza during this weekend’s Sabbath. The Israeli intelligence service says they have proof that the Iranian government is instigating these latest attacks by providing the rockets and mortars.
Terrorists launched more than 50 rockets which landed in southern Israel this Saturday morning with the aim of causing maximum—and indiscriminate—death and destruction, according to Israeli government officials.
This was the heaviest barrage in two years, Israeli officials said, while Hamas police beat up and confiscated equipment from reporters covering the attack.
This massive assault comes just days after Israel seized a cargo ship, Victoria , carrying rockets and other lethal weapons from Iran and Syria that were headed for delivery to Hamas in Gaza.
According to information sent by the Israel Defense Force to the Public Safety Examiner and the Terrorism Committee of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, over the past week, more than 60 rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip. These attacks include:
– A projectile fired and landing in Sdot Negev Regional Council, home to approximately 8,000 residents and a mortar shell fired and landing in Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, home to approximately 6,500 residents, both on March 16th
– Two mortar shells fired landing in the Eshkol Regional Council, home to approximately 10,000 residents on Mar 18th
– Over 50 mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip hitting the Eshkol Regional Council and Sdot Negev Regional Council on Saturday March 19th. A married couple running for shelter was lightly injured as a result of the rocket-fire and damage was caused to private homes and a kindergarten
In addition, a pipe bomb was found in possession of Palestinian man in the Judea and Samaria region’s Shaked Crossing on March 15th. The man arrived at the crossing, cast aside the bag with the bomb and turned himself in.
“More than five years ago, Israel withdrew from Gaza, giving local Palestinians their first chance in history to govern themselves,” said David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee.
“Tragically and tellingly, however, Israel’s destruction remains more important than Gaza’s construction,” said Harris.
AJC sent a letter to the members of the UN Security Council urging them to hold Iran accountable for violations of Council resolutions that clearly bar any assistance to terror organizations—Hamas is on the U.S. and EU terrorist lists—and ban Iran from exporting weapons.
“We call on the international community to denounce unequivocally these attacks, hold Hamas, as the governing authority, responsible, and grasp the essential truth that Hamas is not a potential partner for peace, but rather a formidable obstacle,” said Harris.
“Moreover, Palestinian Authority President Abbas, who has been talking once again about seeking unity with Hamas, needs to take fully into account this latest outrage and draw the logical conclusions.”
Throughout 2010, over 235 Grad missiles, Qassam rockets and mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, according to an IDF statement to the Law Enforcement Examiner.