Yet another rocket attack by the Hamas on Israeli communities
. The IDF's chief of staff, however, made a very appalling statement:
Two Kassam rockets fired from formerly Jewish areas of Gaza struck Ashkelon Saturday night. IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz says Israel must remain "civilized" in its response to the rockets.
One of the rockets hit a building in the southern Ashkelon industrial area, damaging the building, but failing to injure anybody.
"The phenomenon of Kassam rocket fire has significantly expanded since the unilateral withdrawal," said Likud MK Gilad Erdan, in response to the attack. "Anyone who is considering supporting Olmert's unilateral surrender policy this Tuesday - to withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria - needs to take into consideration that what is happening in Ashkelon now will occur at Ben Gurion Airport and in additional cities along the coastal plain."
Friday night, IDF artillery forces shelled launching areas in northern Gaza – usually open fields. That shelling was in response to two rockets fired on Friday, in which no damage or injuries were reported.
Speaking at Bar Ilan University on Friday, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said that continued launching of Kassam rockets on Israel's civilian population would not cause him to recommend that fire be returned toward populated PA-controlled Arab areas. "We will find a full answer to the Kassams," Halutz assured the students present, "without crossing lines."
Asked why the IDF has not put an end of the rocket fire up to now, Halutz answered: "Life is about choosing between alternatives. There are those who will say 'let us conquer the Gaza Strip anew,' because that is one of the ways to combat the threat. I always remind them that we were in the Strip until eight months ago, and even when we were there we did not succeed in fully addressing every Kassam. This is because we behave as a civilized country and don't rush to cross lines in our operational activities."
What Halutz said there was a real cop-out. Let's be clear here: whether or not the rockets killed anyone today doesn't mean it won't happen tomorrow. Gilad Erdan is quite right when he, on the other hand, points out the dangers that the retreat ended up causing.