Palestinian rockets close to Sharon

Rockets fired by Palestinian resistance fighters from the Gaza Strip have landed around 200m from Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon as he was visiting the southern town of Sderot.  

Israeli security forces inspect an area hit by a Qassam rocket

“The rockets fell about 150 to 200 metres away from where they were holding the meeting,” a senior official said on Tuesday, saying the missiles fell in an open area and did not cause any casualties. 


During a meeting with Sderot mayor Eli Moyal, Sharon vowed Israel would take action against the firing of rockets. 


“We don’t plan to ignore what happened here. The security services have begun taking action whose aim is to prevent the firing of these missiles,” a statement from his office quoted him as saying. 


“This will not be a simple task but we are determined to take wide-ranging action to ensure that what happened here yesterday will not happen again – not now, not during the evacuation of the Gaza Strip and not afterwards,” he said. 


Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz also attended the meeting which came a day after a Hamas-manufactured Qassam rocket killed two of the town’s residents, one of them a three-year-old boy.


Palestinian killed


Sharon’s visit came after Israeli occupation troops killed a Palestinian fighter believed to be a member of the resistance group Hamas during an attack in the north of the Gaza Strip.


The media complex attacked byIsraeli helicopters
The media complex attacked byIsraeli helicopters

The media complex attacked by
Israeli helicopters

The fighter was attempting to stop Israeli occupation troops from entering Bait Hanun in the early morning hours with an explosive device.


The Israeli army claimed it was positioning itself to prevent Qassam rockets being fired from the town.


By mid-morning, the Israeli army had sealed all entrances to the town. A bulldozer moved piles of sand near one of the exits, and an Apache helicopter hovered overhead.


In previous attacks, the occupation army demolished scores of homes and uprooted thousands of trees, saying it was trying to deprive cover for those firing rockets.


Residents said at the time the destruction, which turned large areas into wasteland, was wanton.


No violence


“I oppose those who are firing rockets, and I don’t like violence at all,” said Jabir Saida, a 42-year-old farmer who said his greenhouses had been destroyed by Israel last year.


“But how can I convince my children and myself that the Israelis are serious about peace when I see them uprooting trees and destroying houses and killing our children? They have left no space for trust between us and them,” he said.


Despite the attack, Palestinian fighters managed to fire two more Qassam rockets on Sderot in southern Israel early on Tuesday. One person was injured. Hamas claimed responsibility.


In the West Bank, meanwhile, an Israeli man was found shot dead in his truck on Tuesday. Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades took responsibility for the killing, saying it was to avenge Israel‘s killing of its leader last weekend.


Helicopter strike


“They have left no
space for trust between us and them”

Jabir Saida,
Palestinian farmer

Earlier, on Monday night, Palestinian eye-witnesses reported Israeli Apache helicopters again firing missiles in Gaza.


One attack targeted a media office in Gaza City, the other targeting a blacksmith shop in Nusairat refugee camp in central Gaza.


At least three people were injured in the attack on the media office, medics and witnesses reported.


The building also housed offices of Aljazeera, the British Broadcast Corporation (BBC) and other local media.


Lebanon clashes


There were also renewed attacks on Israel’s Lebanese border.


Lebanese Hizb Allah fighters fired anti-aircraft shells which landed across the frontier.


Israel‘s air force had earlier attacked Hizb Allah gunners in southern Lebanon.


It was not immediately clear whether Israeli warplanes were flying over the border at the time of the incident.

Source: News Agencies