Mortar attack victim laid to rest

Sapir College students vow to stand firm as more rockets hit campus; PM: Gov't will impose calm.

kassam victim 224.88 (photo credit: )
kassam victim 224.88
(photo credit: )
Mortar fire victim Jimmy Kedushim, 48, who was killed Friday in a mortar attack on Kibbutz Kfar Aza, was laid to rest Sunday afternoon in the kibbutz cemetery as rockets continued to rain down on the western Negev. A number of mortar shells were also fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel late Sunday afternoon. The shells fell in open areas and did not cause any casualties or damage. Earlier Sunday afternoon, four people were treated for shock in separate incidents when two Kassam rockets fired from northern Gaza hit Sderot. One of the Kassams landed on the Sapir College campus in Sderot, causing damage to a building. One woman suffered from shock, and some cars were damaged. The second rocket landed near a school bus, and a Magen David Adom team treated three children for shock. A number of the bus's windows were smashed, and a small fire broke out in the area. Islamic Jihad's armed wing, the Quds Brigade, claimed responsibility for the attack. No casualties were reported. The Sapir College student union responded to the continuing barrage of Kassams on the school Sunday by vowing to stand firm. "We are going through a difficult period," it said in a statement. "We want to say to the government of Israel, to the nation of Israel and to our students that we are strong and we are staying here. Since we are staying here, we demand serious treatment for this insufferable situation, since right now no one is addressing the situation enough. "We came to be on the frontlines of academia and not the frontlines of a war." The attacks came after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's remarks earlier in the day that Hamas was responsible for all Kassam rocket and mortar shell fire that emanates from the Gaza Strip. "Let it be clear - we view Hamas as completely responsible for everything that happens in the Gaza Strip," he said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting. "We are not planning to accept the [current situation]." "It won't end in one day or one week, we haven't promised this and don't intend to promise this," Olmert said. "But I will promise one thing: Either there will be quiet or we will act with such force that will impose quiet." Public Security Minister Avi Dichter also commented on the situation in the Gaza Strip, saying that it was in danger of spreading to the West Bank, and warning that Egyptian efforts to moderate a cease-fire were not producing results. "There are problems with the Egyptian moderation in Gaza, in that arms are being smuggled all the time from Egyptian territory to Gaza," he said during the meeting. "Hamas is interested in getting to the same point in the West Bank that Hizbullah has gotten to in Lebanon - to be in control without bearing the responsibility of the population," Dichter said, adding, "Under no circumstances can [Israel] allow that. We must maintain the separation between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, where Hamas is in charge and bears responsibility." Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz criticized the government's response to the rocket attacks. "The time has come to make a decision," he told reporters before the meeting. "If they don't stop terror activities of their own accord, and I am referring to Hamas, we need to return to the policy of 2004, when Hamas and terror - meaning all the terror infrastructure, all the fuel and money used for terror and everything linked to Gaza gunmen - were targeted. "We need to act against these components continually with all our might in order to bring quiet to southerners." Ehud Zion Waldoks contributed to this report.