Saturday, August 04, 2007

Events in Israel July 15-31

Rocket fire at western Negev settlements continues

During the last two weeks of July rockets continued to be fired at the western Negev settlements from the Gaza Strip. Some of the attacks were premeditated and some were responses to the IDF's counterterrorist activities. There were 32 identified rocket hits in Israeli territory. A total of 55 rocket hits were identified in July, as opposed to 120 in June. At the same time, mortar shells were fired at IDF forces operating in the Gaza Strip, at the crossings and at Israeli settlements close to the border fence.

On July 22 one of the rockets hit the Sapir College near Sderot, slightly wounding an Israeli woman. On July 23 there was a direct rocket hit on a house in Kibbutz Carmia. An eight month-old baby girl was slightly wounded and her mother and grandmother had to be treated for shock; considerable damage was done to the building. On July 26 a rocket hit a house in Sderot, slightly wounding a woman and causing considerable property damage.

Responsibility for most of the attacks was claimed by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad , which has been the organization behind most of them since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip. Hamas has generally refrained from firing rockets into Israeli territory, although it does fire mortar shells at targets close to the border fence.

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