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Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Qassam lands in Sderot backyard - Olmert "weighing options"

[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:

The Prime Minister's Office said in a statement that "the prime minister has
warned that the ceasefire could be short and fragile. Israel warned against
a violation of the understandings, and will weigh its options following the
rocket fire."

Not even sure Israel will act...]

Ceasefire seems shakier than ever as Palestinians launch three Qassam
rockets from Gaza. House damaged in Sderot, two women suffer from shock.
Olmert: This is a blatant violation of ceasefire. Islamic Jihad vowed
reprisal earlier for IDF operation in West Bank
Shmulik Hadad YNET Published: 06.24.08, 15:53 / Israel News
www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3559761,00.html

Ceasefire shattered? Residents of Israel's south were rattled to hear the
'Color Red' rocket alert sirens blare throughout their towns twice on
Tuesday afternoon as Palestinian terror groups launched three Qassam rockets
from Gaza. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack.

One of the rockers landed in the backyard of a house in Sderot, damaging the
structure. No injuries were reported, though two women were treated for
shock. The second rocket landed in an open area in the Sha'ar Hanegev
Regional Council.

Half an hour later, the rocket alert system was activated two more times.
The third rocket landed in the Sderot industrial zone. One man was evacuated
to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon after feeling pain in his ears.

"This is a blatant and unequivocal violation of the understandings reached
as part of the truce (which went into effect last Thursday)," Prime Minister
Ehud Olmert said in response.

The Prime Minister's Office said in a statement that "the prime minister has
warned that the ceasefire could be short and fragile. Israel warned against
a violation of the understandings, and will weigh its options following the
rocket fire."

Olmert received the news upon his return from Cairo, where he met with
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and thanked him for his efforts in securing
the truce.

In Israel some feared that the death of a senior member of Islamic Jihad in
the West Bank would prompt a retaliation from Gaza.

The rocket alert system was activated in Sderot and the western Negev at
around 3:45 pm. IDF officials reported that the rockets were fired from the
Beit Hanoun area and that the army failed to locate the rocket launching
cell.

'It was clear truce wouldn't last'

The rocket which hit Sderot landed in the yard of a private house, whose
tenants had left the town recently due to the security situation. A house on
the other side of the street was also hit by shrapnel.

David Turgeman, whose parents live in the second house, told Ynet, "In the
past few days we felt better about the situation, people started going out,
but today everything changed.

"My parents' house sustained a direct hit once before, and my house was also
hit by a Qassam in the past. All the windows in my parents' house flew out
of place. We're lucky they weren't home. It's a shame we reached this
situation once again."

Roy Vazana from Sderot told Ynet, "It was clear that the truce would last
more than one week, and this is a fact. It's either us or them. There are no
choices here. It's time to launch an operation."

A mortar shell was also fired from Gaza in the early hours of the morning on
Tuesday. It landed near an Israeli community but caused no damage or injury.
The army did not respond to the shell.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak toured the region on Tuesday morning to survey
the situation following the ceasefire with Hamas. "Calm will be met with
calm, and quiet with quiet," he said of the future of the shaky truce.

Ali Waked, Hanan Greenberg and Roi Mandel contributed to this report

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