130 rockets hit Israel
New York – Senior Israeli political and military figures are expressing deep concern about the massive deterioration of Israeli security on the Gaza borders. The Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Yuval Steinitz yesterday accused Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz of leaving Israel open to attacks from Gaza and not living up to their promise to maintain security following the withdrawal from Gaza. He also criticized the policy of firing at empty fields after terrorist attacks, saying I am sure the Gazans are laughing at us more than they are scared by our shooting at them (Arutz 7, December 1).
On Wednesday, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Gaza Brigade Commander Brigadier-General Aviv Kochavi said that the volume of attacks and security incidents along the Gaza border is alarming. Since the withdrawal from Gaza, Kochavi said that 19 bombs had been detected, six of them in the past week, that over 130 Qassem rockets and mortar shells had been launched at Israel from the area and that there had been eight armed clashes between the IDF and armed terrorists in the border area. Kochavi said the current situation cannot be allowed to continue. ZOA also noted yesterday that Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz himself has warned that, If the [security] situation does not improve and the Palestinians dont cooperate, we will close the … crossings.
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, It is becoming increasingly clear that the increased terrorism and deterioration in security along the Gaza border is becoming intolerable, as admitted by Defense Minister Mofaz himself. Now the head of the IDF Gaza brigade and the head of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of the Knesset have added their voices and reached similar conclusions. We renew our call upon the Israeli government to act on the Defense Ministers warning and seal the Gaza-Egypt border unless there is an immediate, verifiable improvement in the security situation.