Gaza incursion continues, Kassams keep falling

Thursday, November 02, 2006 |  by Staff Writer
IDF ground forces in Gaza are continuing their second day of operation “Autumn Clouds,” as they keep looking for weapons caches, wanted terrorists, and preventing rocket fire into Israel.

But despite the efforts, Kassam rockets keep falling on Sderot and the western Negev, as seven rockets hit the city of Sderot and surrounding areas during the first day of operation and four more landed this morning. One Kassam landed in a backyard of a home in Sderot, two others fell in the industrial area of the city, and another in an open field near a strategic installation south of Ashkelon. In all incidents no serious injuries were reported and only minor damage was done.

IDF sources say, however, that despite the sharp increase in the rocket attacks in the past day, the results of the operation will be felt in the long run as the infrastructure and the apparatus of the Kassam launching capability is destroyed.

During the first day of fighting, Israel lost its first casualty of the operation as Staff Sgt. Kiril Goldenshin, 21, a fighter in the IDF’s K-9 unit, was killed by terrorist gunfire early in the morning.

The price, however on the terrorist side was heavier as IDF troops killed at least 10 terrorists and injured dozens more as they encountered stiff resistance in the form of small arms fire, anti-tank missiles, and explosive charges.

But alongside the military operation, Israel has stressed the humanitarian importance of providing assistance to the residents of Gaza as 290 trucks carrying food and medicine entered the Gaza Strip from the Karni crossing over the last few days. Some 400,000 liters of diesel fuel, 100,000 liters of benzine and 15 tons of gas entered the Gaza Strip over the same period.

Wednesday’s security cabinet decision to continue the operation was received well by the public, but the decision to allow only pinpointed operations in Gaza instead of a large-scale campaign disappointed many, including residents of Sderot who think that the operation is too little, too late.

Head of the Sderot protest campaign Alon Davidi said that the rocket attacks on Sderot are "the answer of the terror groups to the miserable decision of the security cabinet led by Defense Minister Peretz, a resident of the city, to continue the useless pinpointed operations in Gaza which hold the residents of Sderot hostage to his failed policy."

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