The Gaza "Lull"

(Ynet News) Ron Ben-Yishai - Almost every week, rockets or mortar shells land in Israeli communities near Gaza. IDF forces deployed along the border sustain sniper fire, anti-tank rockets, RPG missiles, and roadside bombs. Since the beginning of 2010, more than 70 mortar shells and a similar number of rockets were fired into Israel, including two long-range Grad rockets fired at Ashkelon. During the same period, more than 100 "fence incidents" of all types took place. IDF preventative defensive operations are mostly managed in a kilometer-wide buffer zone extending from the border fence to the outskirts of nearby Palestinian neighborhoods. Within this area, the IDF defined a 300-meter strip as a "special security zone" (SSZ) where the IDF prevents the movement of Palestinians even if they are not armed. Currently there are some 5,000 rockets in Gaza. Most are Kassams and Grads, and a few dozen are heavy Fajr 5 rockets (possessing a range of more than 40 miles). Most of this arsenal is held by Hamas, but significant quantities are also possessed by Islamic Jihad, which receives its orders, funding and arms from Iran. Gaza may ignite at any moment. Under such circumstances, we should expect to see rocket barrages landing not only in Ashkelon and Beersheba but also at the outskirts of central Israel communities. In such a case, Israel would have no choice but to embark on a major ground incursion into Gaza in order to paralyze the rocket fire.

2010-11-19 08:27:57

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