UN miffed by Israeli response to Gaza rockets

Sunday, November 16, 2008 |  Israel Today Staff

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon blasted Israel at the weekend for keeping Gaza Strip border crossings closed in response to ongoing Palestinian rocket fire on southern Israel.

Two more terrorist rockets slammed into southern Israel early Sunday morning, causing no injuries or damage. Shortly after, Israeli aircraft killed four terrorists who were preparing to launch mortar shells into southern Israel.

In light on the early morning attacks, Israel's defense establishment decided to extend the Gaza closure for another day.

Ban complained in remarks carried by the Associated Press that the closure was denying "food and other life saving assistance...to hundreds of thousands of people," and demanded that Israel immediately halt "measures which increase the hardship and suffering of the civilian population of Gaza."

The UN chief did not have similarly critical words for Hamas and the other Gazans who are imposing hardship and suffering on the hundreds of thousands of Israelis threatened by the terrorists' rockets.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that the only alternative Israel has to blockading Gaza is to launch a crushing military offensive that would cause widespread death and destruction due to the fact that Palestinian terrorists regularly use the civilian population as cover.

Barak said that if the rocket fire continues, Israel will have no choice but to launch such an operation.

Meanwhile, the head of the security forum in the southern coastal city of Ashkelon threatened on Friday to launch a dramatic nationwide public relations campaign if the government does not deal decisively with the rocket fire on his town.

Itamar Shimoni told Israel National News that unlike the nearby battered Negev town of Sderot, the residents of Ashkelon "will not wait quietly for seven bad years."

"If missiles continue to fall, we will seal the gates to the city and set the country on fire until the terror from Gaza is crushed."

Over the past seven years, Sderot has been pummeled by thousands of locally-produced Kassam rockets. Ashkelon has only more recently come into range of the terrorists, who are now wielding medium-range Russian-made Katyusha missiles.

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