Ceasefire Violations

Amazing how such a simple thing as NOT firing…seems to be so far beyond Hamas and their supports. On January 19 the IDF forces began withdrawing from the Gaza Strip, and on January 21 the withdrawal was completed. On January 19, Hamas, speaking for itself and the other terrorist organizations, said that it would maintain a ceasefire for a week (which was later extended), and would use the time to reach an arrangement based on the Egyptian initiative.

In the short amount of time that has passed since the end of Operation Cast Lead there have been no less than 12 violations committed by the terrorist organizations. Despite Hamas’s agreement in principle, and despite the fact that the IDF forces withdrew from the Gaza Strip, the terrorist organizations do not implement the ceasefire. Almost every day, they carry out sporadic rocket and mortar shell fire, or terrorist attacks directed against IDF forces near the border security fence (shooting with light arms, detonating IEDs). The most serious violation occurred on January 27, when an IED blew up north of Kissufim in the central Gaza Strip, killing one IDF soldier and wounding three others. No casualties were incurred in the other attacks. The IDF responded by shooting at the sources of fire and with pinpoint Israeli Air Force attacks on terrorist targets.

Al-Alam TV, January 28, 2009

Operatives belonging to a global jihad-affiliated network called the Army of the Nation

launching a rocket (Al-Alam TV, January 28, 2009).

Here’s a brief listing of some of these attacks:

i) On the afternoon of January 20 terrorists opened fire on IDF soldiers operating near the border security fence south of the Kissufim crossing. Approximately 40 minutes later, armed Palestinians opened fire at a different IDF force near the border security fence in the central Gaza Strip; the force returned fire. In addition, 11 mortar shells were fired at IDF forces and into Israeli territory. There were no casualties.

ii) On January 25 a PFLP squad tried to launch rockets into Israeli territory. One rocket was fired and fell inside the Gaza Strip near Beit Hanoun (PalPress website, January 25, 2009). Hamas operatives shot at the squad and prevented it from continuing the attack. The PFLP issued an announcement denying its squad was attacked and stressing the organization’s objection to the ceasefire or any lull arrangement with Israel (Qudsnet website, January 26, 2009).

iii) On the morning of January 27 , an IED, one of a wreath of explosive charges, was detonated in an attack on an IDF patrol moving along the border security fence north of the village of Kissufim . An anti-tank missile was also fired at the force at the same time. The IED explosion resulted in the death of an IDF soldier and the serious wounding of an officer; two other soldiers sustained minor injuries. The attack was carried out by a terrorist network linked to the global jihad . In response, the Israeli Air Force struck a motorcyclist in the Khan Yunis area who was suspected of being involved in the attack. The terrorist was Husaym Shamiya , a Hamas operative from Khan Yunis (Palestine-info website, January 27, 2009). The Israeli Air Force also attacked a number of tunnels under the Egypt-Gaza border used to smuggle weapons.

iv) On January 28 , a rocket landed in Israeli territory across from the central Gaza Strip. There were no casualties and no property damage was reported. It was the first rocket fired since the ceasefire was declared. Fatah and the PIJ claimed responsibility for the attack (Bawwabat Al-Aqsa forum, January 28, 2009). In response, the Israeli Air Force struck a facility for manufacturing weapons in the Rafah area. Various organizations, including Hamas’s military-terrorist wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades , claimed responsibility for mortar shell fire. In fact no mortar shell hits or attacks were reported. (Al-Qassam website, January 28, 2009).

v) On January 29 , a rocket fell in an open area near Sderot. There were no casualties and no property damage was reported.

vi) On January 31 , a rocket fell south of the city of Ashqelon . The organization behind the attack is not yet known. There were no casualties and no property damage was reported.

vii) On February 1 there were a number of attacks: During the early morning hours three rockets were fired at western Negev villages. One fell between the buildings of a kindergarten and one in an open field. Two hours later, Palestinian terrorists shot at an IDF force patrolling the border security fence in the Kissufim area. The soldiers returned fire; there were no Israeli casualties. Two hours after that (at approximately 1100 hours) four mortar shells were fired into Israeli territory. At 1730 hours five mortar shells were fired at Israel and two soldiers sustained minor shrapnel injuries.

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