Palestinians fire rocket at Israel from Gaza, wounding Thai worker

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
July 26, 2006 03:44

2 minute read.



In continuing violence, Palestinian terrorists fired a Kassam rocket at Israel from southern Gaza on Tuesday, moderately wounding a Thai worker in a western Negev community. The attack took place one month to the day of a daring Hamas cross-border attack on an Israeli military outpost near the border, in which two Israeli soldiers were killed and a third, 19-year-old Cpl. Gilad Shalit was abducted, an incident which set off the latest round of violence in the region. The morning rocket attack was unusual since most of the hundreds of Kassams lobbed at Israel over the last year following Israel's pullout from the densely populated coastal strip have been launched from southern Gaza. The rocket struck the residence of foreign workers in a border area moshav, which had not been previously hit by Palestinian rocket fire, but which had been in the news recently due to the outbreak of bird flu there. The name of the community was not released for security reasons. The Thai worker, who was apparently sleeping at the time of the attack, sustained shrapnel wounds to his upper body, police said. Firefighters extinguished a blaze that broke out at the site after the rocket struck the area. Early Tuesday, the Israeli Air Force targeted three empty buildings in Gaza which the military said were used by Hamas and Islamic Jihad as a weapons storehouse. One of the buildings was attacked for a second time Tuesday evening as well. Several Palestinians were lightly injured in the aerial attacks. The bombings were part of a new military policy to attack weapon storage facilities, including those located in private houses, similar to some of the offensives that the air force has taken in its attacks against Hizbullah weapons storehouses in Lebanon. The ongoing violence in Gaza comes 11 months after Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza and exactly one month after Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip tunneled across the border into Israel and attacked the army post. The pre-dawn June 25th attack set off a new wave of violence on the Israeli-Gaza border, which was followed less than three weeks later by Hizbullah's cross border attack into northern Israel, in which eight Israeli soldiers were killed and two reserve soldiers were abducted. Despite repeated Israeli military incursions into the densely populated coastal strip to halt cross-border rocket attacks, Palestinian terrorists have launched about 200 rockets from Gaza at Israel in the last month alone. More than 100 Palestinians - the vast majority of them gunmen - have been killed in Gaza since the Israeli military operation began last month. Meanwhile, Egyptian mediation efforts to bring about Shalit's release as part of a 'package deal' whereby the Palestinians would hand over the soldier to Egypt, and Israel would commit to releasing a group of Palestinian prisoners at a later date, while agreeing to halt all military incursions in the Gaza Strip was still awaiting the approval of senior Hamas leadership based in Damascus.


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