Barak: This isn't the time for a truce

11 rockets, 2 mortar shells pound w. Negev; Sderot home sustains direct hit, clinic damaged.

Kassam in mud 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Kassam in mud 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
"This is not the right time for a cease-fire with Hamas," said Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday, on a morning in which 13 Kassam rockets and mortar shells slammed into the western Negev. During a tour of the security barrier in Samaria, Barak said Israel was in "a confrontation with Hamas" and not in a situation in which it could talk about calm. Gaza terrorists resumed their attacks on the western Negev just as children were making their way to school. One of four Kassam rockets that struck Sderot hit a home in the town, causing damage and sending three people into shock. Five Kassams also pounded the Sha'ar Hanegev region, one landing at the entrance to a neighborhood, another damaging a kibbutz building and the others hitting open areas. A tenth rocket landed near the Erez Crossing. A Sha'ar Hanegev kibbutz clinic was also damaged when two mortar shells hit the area and on Tuesday afternoon, a rocket landed south of Ashkelon. No one was wounded in the attacks. Hamas's armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, claimed responsibility for firing nine of the Kassams, while the armed wing of Islamic Jihad claimed it had fired at least two rockets, as well as additional rockets Monday. According to Islamic Jihad, the attacks were a response to "Israel's crimes" against the Palestinians, including the deaths of five family members in Beit Hanun Monday. Meanwhile, Palestinians set off a roadside bomb next to an IDF tank near the perimeter fence in the northern Gaza Strip. There were no wounded in that incident.