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RUSSIAN ROULETTE IN GAZA

In the Gaza Strip, IDF Launches Air to Ground Missile To Take Out Palestinian Terrorists Who Were Firing Mortar Bombs At Israeli Settlements

Israeli Official: 'It's A Message To Palestinians, We Will Not Accept Their Playing Russian Roulette With Mortar Attacks'

IDF robot neutralizing Palestinian Rocket

For the first time since the 'Tahdia' cease-fire went into force in February, an IDF pilot-less drone launched a missile at Palestinians who were lobbing mortar rockets at Israeli targets in the Gaza Strip.

'Israel will not agree to the Palestinians playing Russian roulette with their mortar attacks in the Gaza Strip. 'That's the reaction of an Israeli official to the firing of 5 mortar bombs by Palestinian terrorists at Israeli targets. One of the mortars landed near a school in the Neve Dekalim settlement. There were no Israeli casualties. One Palestinian terrorist was reportedly critically wounded by the Israeli rocket.

Recently in the Gaza Strip, terrorists fired an anti-tank rocket which missed an Israeli school bus. Israel is apparently losing patience with the failure of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to make speeches against terrorism but not to order his security forces to take action. Israeli officials say so far the terrorists are allowed to regroup and in effect to attack Israel at will although Hamas is abiding by the cease-fire itself. The indiscriminate firing of mortars and Qassam rockets at Israeli civilian targets is obviously fraught with great danger. It is only by chance that one of the mortars or Qassam rockets has not scored a direct hit. This was what the official meant about the Palestinians playing 'Russian roulette.'

So far, IDF has reacted with restraint in order not to torpedo the cease-fire; however if the Palestinian shelling inflicted Israeli casualties, Israel would be forced to respond more forcefully. The Israeli rocket attack is a signal to Abbas that Israel will no longer tolerate the indiscriminate shelling and will pre-empt more than it has recently. The Palestinian leader has said that he will persuade the terrorists to halt the violence rather than disarm them. At the same time, Abbas is in a double bind because he does not want to seen as trying to act against the terrorists in the midst of the Palestinian election campaign. On this score, a former senior security official recently declared: 'We are not going to bleed for Mahmoud Abbas!'

David Essing

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