Photo: Zafrir Avyoav
Luckily, the rocket landed in an open area
Photo: Zafrir Avyoav
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov
First attack in months
Photo: Tsafrir Abayov
Photo: Gabi Menashe
Waiting for Sharon to respond - Moyal
Photo: Gabi Menashe

'One Qassam will not shatter the quiet'

Negev town under fire after rocket lands in neighborhood west of the city; yet again violating fragile cease-fire

SDEROT – One Qassam rocket attack will not shatter the recently achieved quiet, IDF officials said Thursday in response to a Qassam rocket landing in the Negev town of Sderot.


The Qassam rocket landed in Sderot after weeks of calm, violating yet again the fragile cease-fire. While no casualties were reported, residents feared the return of a familiar scenario for this southern town ravaged by rocket attacks in the past.


Following the attack, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz spoke to Sderot Mayor Eli Moyal by telephone to assure him that he would follow up on the incident.


However, Moyal said he was disappointed at Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's lack of response to the attack, who moments after the incident spoke to Likud party members at a convention at the party's national headquarters in Tel Aviv.


"I haven't heard anything from that direction and I think this firing should not be allowed to quietly pass," Moyal said. "We need a response, maybe not military, but perhaps diplomatic, as today there are relations between the (Palestinian) Authority and the government."


Just a 'fake calm'


Earlier Moyal told Ynet he is not surprised by the attack, as he has no doubt the recent quiet in the region is only a "fake calm."


"I never believed the whole Qassam firing story

would ever end, especially now," he said. "In my opinion, they are only arming themselves more and managing to obtain more equipment."


The rocket landed in an open space in a neighborhood in the west of the city. IDF officials said the rocket was launched from the Beit Hanun area in the northern Gaza Strip.


The last time terrorists attempted to fire a Qassam rocket at Sderot was in late January, but the rocket landed in an open field south of the city and did not cause any damage.


'Abbas must act against opposers'


Following the attack, IDF officials had said they believe The Popular Resistance Committees was behind the Qassam attack, as it refused to commit to the intra-Palestinian "calm" reached between Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian factions in Cairo recently.


They said this is a signal to Abbas that he must act against those who oppose him.


However, the military wing of the Fatah party, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades later claimed responsibility.


While the IDF said this incident would not alter the present "calm", Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz said earlier the attack indicated the severe gap between Palestinian declarations and the reality on the ground.


"I demand that Abu Mazen (Abbas) do all it takes so that God forbid it would happen again," he said.


פרסום ראשון: 04.07.05, 19:54
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