Ashkelon Attacked by Rockets and Mortar Shells
Israel Fights Back in Gaza
Wednesday morning Israel had decided to have a period of calm with the terrorists and also ask for the release of Cpt. Gilad Shalit. Cease fire talks have been headed by Egypt between Israel and Hamas but failed. Hamas wanted Israel to include Rafiah on a list of Gaza crossings which is the only outlet to the international arena. Israel doesn't want to do this for obvious reasons. Israel is allowing humanitarian air into Gaza every week in the form of tons of goods and thousands of liters of fuel already. In turn, Hamas refuses to discuss Shalit. Israel was said to want to give Hamas about two weeks to agree to terms, and if nothing happens, they will invade Gaza in a very large military operation to stop the attacks on Israeli citizens.
Thursday citizens in Ashkelon and the western Negev were attacked by Hamas with barages of rocket attacks and shelling.
That afternoon a tractor driven by a terrorist went toward the security barrier trying to bomb it.
Israel finally had enough of massive shelling in Ashkelon and the western Negev, so retaliated on Friday morning by attacking a Palestinian terrorist cell near Jabalya in Gaza. Three terrorists were killed. This is the cell that launched dozens of rocket and mortars against Israel late Thursday.
At that same time, IDF soldiers stopped terrorists from infiltrating the security barrier in northern Gaza that was using an armored bulldozer loaded with explosives. It was aiming be a suicide bomber when others were rocketing and firing mortars.
25 Kassam rockets and 50 mortar shells hit the Ashkelon coast and neighboring areas after a huge explosion in a Gazan town (Muslim) of Beit Lahiyeh. A four-story building suffered an internal explosion from unknown cause. It was not Israel's doing, but Hamas blamed Israel and they reacted to it by hitting Israel. They later withdrew their accusation when they found out the cause. During this attack an Israeli woman was injured by flying shrapnel and many were treated for emotional shock.
Since the terrorists reacted to the peace initiative or tahadiyeh (time out) with a huge attack hitting Ashkelon, I wonder if the next day attack by Israel was considered "the big one". Perhaps they will have to go in again in a few weeks to put a stop to it.
Reference: Reference: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/126480