IDF assessment: Hamas uninterested in starting a war

1 hurt as Kassam strikes near Ashkelon school; Army of Islam claims responsibility for attacks; IAF strikes seven targets in Gaza.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 21, 2010 11:56
1 minute read.
Hamas operatives

Hamas terrorists 311. (photo credit: AP)

Hamas is not interested in escalating to an extensive conflict, IDF Southern Command said on Tuesday, after a large-scale rocket and mortar attack.

Earlier Tuesday, a Kassam rocket hit near a kindergarten in a kibbutz near Ashkelon moderately injuring a 14-year-old girl. Four more Israelis were treated for shock. The IAF struck seven terror targets early Tuesday morning following the firing of 10 mortar shells into Israeli territory on Monday.

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The 'Army of Islam' organization in Gaza claimed responsibility for the Kassam rocket.

In their statement the Army of Islam said the Kassam was in response to the three members of the organization that were killed during an Israeli attack last month.

IDF estimates that Hamas will refrain from rocket attacks deep into the Israeli home-front, but due to internal pressure from the military and political wings, organizations such as Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committee were allowed to increase their attacks on Israel.

The IDF Southern Command's assessment is that organizations will increase attacks against IDF troops along the Gaza border, particularly focusing on mortar fire.

The IDF spokesperson's office said that the Air Force hit three terror tunnels in the northern Strip and a smuggling tunnel in southern Gaza, and confirmed killing three Hamas operatives in what was the largest strike since Operation Cast Lead.

Palestinians claimed that three raids targeted the towns of Khan Younis and Beit Lahiya, AFP reported. Two terrorists from the Izzadin Kassam Brigades were reportedly injured in the Khan Younis strike.


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