Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Followup on rocket that hit Ashkelon: Fatah claims it, Hamas denies it, Israel closes crossings

There have been contradictory claims out of Gaza about the rocket or rockets that hit Ashkelon this morning.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, affiliated with Fatah, claimed responsibility for firing the rocket, a statement from the group said.

"We must resist our enemy by all available means," the group said in a statement emailed to reporters. "We stress our commitment to armed struggle against the Zionist enemy."

But then:
A Hamas spokesman on Tuesday denied reports that a rocket fired at southern Israel was launched from the Gaza Strip.

"This is only a lie. None of the Gaza Strip factions claimed responsibility for firing that missile, and the government is checking all the details," Ehab al-Ghussein said in a statement.
In all probability, both are lying. The Fatah group has been left all but impotent under Hamas rule, with their members being arrested and often tortured. Hamas knows very well where the rocket came from, if it didn't shoot it directly.

Luckily, Israel responded appropriately:
Israeli authorities closed the Erez and Kerem Shalom border crossings with Gaza on Tuesday, after a rocket was fired from the coastal territory, a Palestinian border official said.

Nazmi Muhanna, head of the crossings committee in Gaza, told Ma'an that Israel closed the borders as a security measure after a rocket landed near Ashkelon.

Humanitarian cases will still be processed, he added.