IAF bombs Kassam access routes

Kassam falls at Ashkelon industrial zone; Islamic Jihad claims responsibility.

homemade kassam 298 (photo credit: AP)
homemade kassam 298
(photo credit: AP)
In separate air force raids to target northern Gaza sites used to launch Kassam rockets at Israel, the air force bombed eight access routes in an attempt to hamper the movement of rocket cells to the area. The air strikes occurred before midnight Friday and early Saturday morning, and were in response to three Kassam rockets fired at Israel on Friday, including one that landed inside the compound of a strategic facility located in the industrial zone south of Ashkelon. The air sorties supplemented IDF artillery fire aimed at unpopulated northern Gaza areas on Friday. A plant worker was treated for shock and damage was caused to the strategic facility after a rocket exploded inside the compound. The industrial zone houses a number of key strategic facilities, including a major power plant, a desalination plant and oil pipelines. Two other rockets landed in and near Kibbutz Carmiya north of Gaza. One of the rockets landed in the kibbutz cemetery damaging a headstone of one of the graves. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks - Abu Hamza, an Islamic Jihad spokesman declared that plans were underway to fire a new improved rocket manufactured, that had a far greater distance capability and is able to cause greater damage on impact. Amer Basuny, 15, was killed by IDF gunfire before dawn on Friday in the Al Ain refugee camp in Nablus, where security forces operated to arrest fugitives. According to the army, soldiers shot a Palestinian standing on a rooftop that threw an explosive device at them, and earlier shot and wounded a gunman who opened fire at soldiers. Palestinian media reports claimed that Basuny was unarmed and had climbed onto the rooftop of his home when he heard gunfire in the streets. The reports said another Palestinian was wounded by IDF gunfire. During the operation two fugitives were arrested, the Palestinians identified one of them as Osama Dwekat. Meanwhile, in weekend incidents elsewhere in the West Bank, an IDF officer was moderately wounded, and three soldiers, a border policeman and an Israeli civilian were lightly wounded from stones thrown at them by Palestinians. Late Friday night, the officer and one soldier were wounded by stones during clashes that erupted between Palestinians and security forces in Hirbat al Matsaba southwest of Ramallah. The officer was taken to hospital after his condition deteriorated. Early Saturday night, a border policeman and soldier were wounded by stones in clashes that erupted in the same village. Earlier in the day, an Israeli civilian was wounded from stones thrown at her as she walked towards the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Another soldier was wounded from stones thrown near Bani Naim east of Hebron. The soldier was taken to a nearby base for treatment. At the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus, soldiers thwarted a number of attempts by Palestinians to smuggle firebombs, knives and a loaded weapon. On Saturday, a Palestinian youth was caught carrying a loaded homemade weapon. On Friday, two Palestinian youths caught carrying 12 firebombs, a knife and a bottle containing an unidentified powder substance were arrested by soldiers manning the checkpoint and handed over to security officials for questioning. At Beit Furik southeast of Nablus, a Palestinian was arrested after he was caught carrying a weapon during an inspection at the checkpoint. Two Palestinians were arrested at a position near the district coordinating office near Jenin after they were caught carrying two 25-cm knives. They later told officials they had intended to stab soldiers.