Qassam rocket (Archives)
Photo: Amir Cohen
Qassam rocket lands in western Negev
Palestinian gunmen fire rocket from northern Gaza Strip toward Israel on Tuesday morning; no injuries or damage reported. More than 150 rockets landed in Israel since ceasefire came into force in November 2006
Palestinian gunmen on Tuesday morning fired a Qassam rocket from the northern Gaza Strip toward Israel.


The rocket landed in an open area in the western Negev, north of the Strip. There were no reports of injuries or damage.


In spite of the ceasefire declared more than four months ago, Palestinian gunmen continue to fire Qassam rockets at Israel. Defense establishment officials reported that close to 200 rockets had been fired at Israel since the truce, more than 150 of them landing on Israeli territory.


Last week, for the first time since the ceasefire which came into force in November 2006, the Israel Defense Forces thwarted a rocket attack after spotting the launching cell shortly before it planned to launch the Qassams.


Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Monday that Israel would not allow terror organizations in the Gaza Strip to continue strengthening. He added that the IDF was permitted to hit any Qassam launching cell.


The defense establishment, however, is not only dealing with the Qassam rockets, but also with what is hidden from the eye: Terror organizations in Gaza arming themselves with advanced weapons and acquiring knowledge possessed by Hizbullah.


In all security discussions, the question is not whether an operation will be carried out in the Strip, but when and how.


"Everyone says that we must not let the situation in southern Lebanon repeat itself. In the end we will have to stand behind our words," a security source has said.


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