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GAZA - 'Days Of Penitence' - Day 4

PM Sharon: ‘Current IDF Operation In Gaza Will Put Total Stop To Qassam Rockets On Sderot’

‘No Time Limit For Goal Of Creating A Qassam Free Zone’

‘Gaza Evacuation To Continue On Schedule’

Israel Air Force Film Footage Catches Palestinians Using U.N. Ambulance To Transport Qassam Rockets

Terrorists Launching Rockets

‘Days Of Penitence’, the major IDF operation to prevent Qassam rockets from hitting the Israeli town of Sderot, entered its fourth day by keeping pressure on the Palestinian terrorists. Over fifty Palestinians most of them armed, have been killed. The counter-offensive was launched after Qassam rockets blew up in Sderot on the eve of Succot murdering two small children; another woman was shot dead by terrorists and two IDF soldiers were also killed. Commenting on the situation, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared the Qassams will be stopped.In another development, Palestinians have been filmed transporting Qassam rocket launchers in a United Nations ambulance.

:: IsraCast Audio ::

Israel is going all out to silence the Qassam rockets - the Palestinians have fired dozens of them at civilians in the Israeli town of Sderot recently and have another 200 in the pipeline. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon also declares he will still carry out the evacuation of the Gaza Strip on schedule, while doing what it takes to halt the terrorism.

P.M. Sharon (Photo: Amit Shabi)

It is essential to stop the launching of Qassam rockets at Sderot and other Israeli sites. There must be a total halt to it - the current situation cannot continue. The IDF operation will be expanded to drive Qassam rockets out of range now and during the evacuation; there is no time limit. When asked about a reported Hamas offer to halt the rockets if Israel called off the operation, Sharon replied ‘worthless words.’

Deputy Defense Minister Ze’ev Boim described the Qassam free zone as some 10 kilometers in depth. He spoke in terms of a ‘dynamic’ rather permanent approach.

Palestinian leadership: Chairman Yasser Arafat called an urgent session of Palestinian cabinet in Ramallah. After his terrorists launched dozens of Qassam rockets at Israeli towns and villages without his lifting a finger to stop it, Arafat is now calling for international intervention after Israel is hitting back.

The fact is there is no viable Palestinian leadership at present; what other rational answer is there? Israel decided to evacuate Gaza yet rather welcoming the move, the Palestinians launched more and more Qassams at Sderot. Arafat is letting the masked Hamas terrorists run wild and even appear on TV screens around the world as spokesmen for the Palestinian people. Their message is one of violence and bloodshed, no different than the ‘militants’ in Iraq, al Qaeda or the Chechnyan killers at the Beslan school last month.

Arafat contends the rockets are virtually harmless - ‘they make more noise than anything else’; he is calling for U.N. intervention. The U.N. is another story - an Israeli reconnaissance drone has again caught a U.N. ambulance red- handed, this time transporting Qassam rockets! The aerial film footage from the Jabalyia refugee camp was positively identified by Israel Air Force experts. However, the U.N. spokesman in Gaza denies it. He says in his view, the Palestinians were putting ‘stretchers’ into the ambulance. In addition, the Palestinian drivers had all denied they would ever do such a thing. Israel’s U.N. Ambassador Dan Gillerman plans to show U.N. Secretary General Koffi Anan the film footage and demand an enquiry as well as the firing of Peter Hansen, the U.N. official in charge. This is not the first time Palestinian terrorists have used U.N. vehicles as a cover and not only in Gaza but also on the West Bank. On the Lebanese frontier, Hizballah guerillas also used U.N. disguised vehicles in the abduction of three IDF soldiers over three years ago, after the Israeli withdrawal. One IDF source says: ‘If we caught them red-handed several times, it’s certain there were many more cases when we did not.’

‘Days of Penitence’: Israel no longer agrees to the terrorizing of her children and civilians in Sderot or elsewhere, by the Qassam rockets launched, day and night, from over the border in the Gaza Strip. Foreign Ministry officials in Jerusalem feel that for once, most of the international community agrees.

David Essing

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