Residents of the Eshkol Regional Council headed again for their bomb shelters this morning.
A single Qassam rocket was fired shortly after 9:15 a.m. from Gaza, which is now part of the newly-unified Palestinian Authority “unity government” bonding the region’s former Hamas terrorist rulers together with the Ramallah-based Fatah faction led by PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The missile landed in an open field near the entrance of a kibbutz near Israel’s southern border, the 0404 website reported.
No one was injured and there was no damage, according to officials at the site.
The Color Red rocket alert siren blared throughout the region at about 9:15 a.m. local time, sending residents in the area racing for their safe spaces.
Because the region is located so close to the border with Gaza, most public buildings, including schools, are protected with anti-rocket armored roofing. Those in private homes, stores and malls, however, still must reach safety within 15 seconds before the rocket or missile or mortar explodes in their area.
The question now is, will the unification of Fatah — whose paramilitary forces were armed, equipped and trained by the U.S. military forces in Jordanian training camps over the past several years — bring even more firepower to Gaza, already generously funded and armed to the teeth by Iran?
How does Israel respond to today’s attack, given the delicate diplomatic dance involved with the current, ah… shall we say, ‘discussions’ … going on between Jerusalem, Washington and Brussels over the new reality in the Palestinian Authority?
A PA delegation from Ramallah was in Washington two days ago, in fact, to shmooze with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
The United States and the European Union are strongly supporting the new PA Unity Government (PUG), because it ostensibly is comprised of ministers with “independent” status, allegedly unaffiliated with any terrorist group. Nevertheless, five Hamas-backed lawmakers were sworn into their new office from Gaza through a video hookup last week, and the new government allegedly now administers Gaza as well as PA-controlled areas of Judea and Samaria.
Although PA leader Abbas insisted the new entity would continue to “work towards peace,” this morning’s attack makes clear that last week’s statement by his coalition partners (Hamas and allied terror group Islamic Jihad) — that they intend to continue the fight to annihilate Israel — has more credibility.Rachel Levy
About the Author: Rachel Levy is a freelance journalist who has written for Jewish publications in New York, New Jersey and Israel.
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