Kassam attacks draw more IDF fire

IDF artillery shells no-go zone; Kassams fired at Israel from Gaza.

kassam unit 298 (photo credit: Channel 1 [file])
kassam unit 298
(photo credit: Channel 1 [file])
IDF artillery units shelled the "no-go" zone in northern Gaza after Palestinians fired five Kassam rockets at Israel over the weekend. According to army estimates, the majority of the Kassams fell in Palestinian-controlled areas. On Saturday evening, a rocket fired from the outskirts of Gaza City landed in the Palestinian-controlled area of northern Gaza. On Saturday afternoon, two Kassam rockets were fired from Beit Hanun in northern Gaza, an area located outside the army's designated "no-go" zone. Both rockets fell on the Palestinian side of the Erez terminal crossing. On Friday, a rocket was fired from the former settlement of Dugit, located inside the restricted zone, and another was fired from central Gaza. In both instances, the IDF failed to identify where the rockets fell. Over the weekend, soldiers found the remains of three Kassam rockets fired at Israel, but officials were unable to determine whether they were connected to the weekend rocket attacks or had been fired some time last week. The remains of two rockets were found in fields near Kibbutz Zikim and a third was found in the area of Kibbutz Netiv Ha'asara. On Saturday night, IDF units captured an unarmed Palestinian trying to cross into Israel near the Kissufim crossing. He was handed over to security officials for questioning. In the West Bank, soldiers manning the Nablus-area Hawara checkpoint on Saturday afternoon arrested a Palestinian carrying a large knife. He was handed over to security officials for questioning. On Friday, shots were fired several times at an IDF post south of Nablus; no one was wounded and no damage reported. Security forces arrested 13 Palestinian fugitives in West Bank operations on Friday. Six Islamic Jihad fugitives were arrested in Ilar, north of Tulkarm; four Fatah Tanzim fugitives were arrested in Silwad, northeast of Ramallah; and a Hamas fugitive, an Islamic Jihad fugitive and a Palestinian weapons dealer were arrested near Bethlehem. Judea and Samaria police on Friday launched an investigation to determine who was responsible for uprooting 102 olive trees in the village of Atwana in the southern Hebron Hills. Police received a complaint on Friday from a Palestinian resident of Yata who said he had found the uprooted trees that morning. Palestinians blamed the settlers of the nearby Maon Farm. On Friday afternoon, however, Maon Farm residents issued a statement denying the Palestinian claims. The Council for Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip called on the IDF and Israel Police to launch an in-depth investigation and bring those responsible to justice. In preparation for the olive harvest, the army and police beefed up their presence in Palestinian areas where the harvesting was to take place to prevent confrontations between Palestinian farmers and settlers, and to allow the Palestinians to complete harvesting the crop unhindered. Despite this, there have been a number of instances in which Palestinians have found their olive trees cut down or uprooted. All attempts by police to nab the perpetrators have so far proved fruitless. Also on Friday, an IDF officer was lightly injured by stones thrown by protesters demonstrating over the security fence being built near Bil'in, west of Ramallah. According to the army, some 200 Palestinians, along with Israeli and foreign protesters, were forced away from the construction work but violated a closed military zone and clashed with troops. Some of the protesters threw stones at soldiers, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets.