Qassam victims rushed to hospital
Photo: Tsafrir Aviuv
Qassam inspection
Photo: Amir Cohen

IDF policy in Gaza may change

Military sources estimate increase in offensive operations in Gaza Strip in response to Qassam rocket fire towards Negev. Senior security official says ‘No more sitting around’

Following an increase in Qassam rocket fire towards Negev communities over the weekend, military forces are soon to change their operational policies in the Gaza Strip, according to IDF sources.


Seven rockets launched from the Strip landed in the western Negev over the weekend – six in open fields, and one nearby an industrial area, meters away from a gas station. One man was moderately injured from shrapnel, and four others were treated for shock.

House damaged by Qassam attack Saturday (Photo: AP)


“We are preparing, and willing to up the ante with regards to offensive and foiling operations in the Gaza Strip. The way things look now, we may have to increase activity very soon … no more sitting around,” a senior security official told Ynet.


Despite these estimates, senior officials avoided expressing a clear opinion with regards to the type of action the IDF should take in Gaza. “That is a decision for the political echelon to make, and we will carry out whatever is necessary,” the officials said.


One official added that the IDF had a variety of operations that could be used at different stages. “Even if some are carried out, it isn’t definite that we will see a complete stop to the Qassams, but the people of Sderot and the area will feel that there is a price to pay for those trying to harm them.”


Since the beginning of the ceasefire in November 2006, slight changes have been made to the IDF’s policy in Gaza. Forces are still authorized to target Qassam cells if they are identified while launching rockets or directly after, but there have only been two such cases in the past six months.


Furthermore, the IDF is authorized to operate several meters past the security fence within Gaza, and IDF vehicles are authorized to enter the Strip in search of explosive devices.


Shmulik Hadad contributed to this article


פרסום ראשון: 05.07.07, 03:12
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