Thursday, January 03, 2008

Today's rocket news

From Ha'aretz:
Israel Defense Forces troops operating in the West Bank city of Nablus discovered Thursday evening two rockets that were in the process of being assembled.

The rockets, which resemble the Qassam rocket that has plagued communities along the Gaza Strip for years, already had fins and rods that were apparently intended to function as a launcher.

There have been several attempts in recent years to fire rockets at Israel from the West Bank, although in the past the rockets have only traveled a few dozen meters.

A military source said the secret cache was discovered thanks to IDF's freedom of operation in the West Bank, which has allowed it to thwart Palestinian attempts to develop rockets in the area.
And last night:
The al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement, announced on Wednesday evening that it had launched a rocket at the Shaked settlement in the northern West Bank. There has not been any report of a rocket falling in the area.
It sounds like the second story is probably greatly exaggerated by the terrorists, but the first one sounds like it is only a matter of time before rockets hit Israel's center.

But meanwhile, in the south, ten rockets were fired on Thursday, including a Katyusha. Estimates vary on how many Katyusha rockets have been smuggled into Gaza under the watchful eyes of our friends the Egyptians, so far the number appears "small," perhaps a dozen or so. Of course, a Katyusha is more than just a deadly weapon - it is a terror weapon and can place all of Ashkelon under the same intolerable situation that Sderot is now in.

The escalation is clear. Israel's long-term reaction is far muddier.