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Gaza Fires on Israel

June 12, 2014

“He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress.  I will not be shaken.”  (Psalm 62:6)

Southern Israel was hit today with the second rocket attack from the Gaza Strip since Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas installed the new Fatah-Hamas unity government on June 2.

The United States denounced the attack as “unprovoked aggression,” although it said it would still work with the new government.

“We condemn all rocket fire from Gaza.  It is unprovoked aggression against civilian targets and is totally unacceptable,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, noting that there were no Hamas members in the new Palestinian government. 

hamas terrorists

Despite the unity government, Hamas is still sovereign in Gaza.  Even after the unity government was announced, it declared that it would continue its struggle against Israel and would not lay down its arms.

The  attack comes just days after it was reported that the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are continuing to arm themselves with medium and long-range missiles.

On Monday, Israel’s Chief of Staff Benny Gantz told those gathered at the Herzliya Conference, an annual national security gathering, that although the Hamas government is not looking for another war, the terrorists there are replenishing their stockpile of rockets.

Gantz said that Israel’s deterrence power has kept terrorism in check in the north, including Hezbollah, the Lebanon-based terrorist organization now fighting in Syria’s civil war on the side of President Assad.

Describing Hezbollah as the most heavily armed force in the region second only to Israel, Gantz told the conference that it receives its arms from Iran and that only “the U.S., China, Russia, Israel, France, [and] the UK,” are more heavily armed.  (JP)

The Hezbollah missile threat

The Hezbollah missile threat.

Speaking at the same conference, Brig. General Itai Brun, the director of the research and analysis branch of IDF Intelligence said that between Hamas, Hezbollah and other Gaza terrorist groups, there are an estimated 170,000 missiles pointed at Israel.

These replace the thousands that Hezbollah fired at Israel in the 2006 Lebanon War and those destroyed in the IDF 2012 Pillar of Defense operation.  He said that although most of these are short-range, they have improved guidance systems thanks to Iran.

He also warned that 80 percent of the rebels fighting in Syria have “a clear Islamist agenda” many of whom want to see Syria become a fundamental Islamist state.  (Arutz 7)

Noting that Assad holds a 3 to 1 advantage over the rebels in fighting power, Brun said that rebel forces have still managed to take control of large portions of the Golan Heights border with Israel.  From this vantage point, they have been increasing terrorist activity toward Israel.  (Times of Israel)

“The situation in Syria is like a house of cards that is about to collapse, and we can see that democracy there is falling apart,” Gantz said.  “The radical axis is growing stronger in the area, as is Jihad.”

Israel’s Chief of Staff Benny Gantz

Israel’s Chief of Staff Benny Gantz addresses the Herzliya Conference.

And while Brun is “cautiously optimistic” about the P5+1 (six world powers organized in 2006 to deal with Iran’s nuclear threat) efforts to keep Iran from going nuclear, Gantz reminded everyone that Iran has not given up its long-term goal of destroying Israel.

Gantz best summed up the unpredictable reality of the region saying, “We must remain vigilant and prepared, but we also cannot tell you what the story will be tomorrow.  If we are sitting and enjoying a cup of espresso at 9:30 a.m., by 10:30 a.m. we could be at war.”  (Times of Israel)

“We have no alternative but to stand here as a strong and united nation,” he added.

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