Larger escalation on Gaza front not expected

Following Katyusha rocket attacks on south Israel the IAF has bombed two targets in northern Gaza and a smuggling tunnel in the South.

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August 4, 2011 18:11
1 minute read.
An IAF fighter jet takes off [illustrative photo]

IDF IAF fighter jet takes off airstrik air strike 311 (R). (photo credit: Ho New / Reuters)

 
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Despite a significant increase in rocket fire from the Gaza Strip, the IDF does not anticipate a larger escalation, defense sources said Thursday after two Gradmodel Katyusha rockets slammed into southern Israel late Wednesday night.

The first rocket exploded near Kiryat Gat and a second one inside Ashkelon city limits, causing damage to a road.

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In response, the IAF bombed two targets in northern Gaza and a smuggling tunnel in the South.

Residents in areas in which sirens were heard rushed into safe areas and shelters to take cover. Five people were lightly wounded while running for shelter and were evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.

On Monday, a woman from a Beduin village was moderately injured by shrapnel from a Palestinian rocket fired at southern Israel from Gaza.

According to IDF estimates, the rockets were fired by terrorist groups affiliated with al-Qaida and global jihad elements, and not by Hamas or Islamic Jihad, even though the larger groups likely turned a blind eye to the rocket fire.



In total, 25 rockets have been fired since the beginning of July, compared to four in June.

Israel understands the increase in rocket fire as Hamas’s way to vent its frustration with the failure of the reconciliation agreement it had reached with Fatah earlier this year and with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s plan to unilaterally declare statehood at the United Nations in September without its participation.

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