Be'er Sheva next rocket target?A Grad-type Kassam rocket fired by 'Palestinian' terrorists from Gaza landed on the outskirts of Netivot Thursday morning. While this is not the first time that the 'Palestinians' have shot a rocket into the area of Netivot, it serves as a reminder that the terrorists' range is always increasing. Until Wednesday, nearly all the rockets that were shot at Ashkelon had landed on the outskirts of town.
All of which points to taking the warning issued on Thursday morning by Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin quite seriously: Be'er Sheva is in range.
Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin has told Haaretz that in two years time every community within 40 kilometers from the Gaza Strip border could be vulnerable to rocket attacks.And Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert's response to all this? Why of course! Send in the clowns!
He had told Haaretz that "every community within a 40-kilometer range may come within range of the Hamas rockets: Ashdod, Kiryat Gat, even Be'er Sheva." He spoke in an interview to be published in full Friday in Haaretz Magazine.
Yadlin also said that Hamas is not interested in peace because it is unwilling to recognize the State of Israel. The group is willing to accept a long-term cease-fire (hudna) only in exchange for a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, including Jerusalem, and with refugees returning to their homes. "As long as those are Hamas' conditions, a hudna appears to be impossible," he said.
On the likelihood of agreeing on a lull (tahadiyeh) in the fighting with Hamas, with Egyptian mediation, Yadlin said that "the tahadiyeh, as agreed between [Egyptian intelligence chief] Omar Suleiman and Hamas perhaps solves the problem of terror from Gaza for the short term. But in the long term, it does not provide an answer to the ongoing smuggling or the Hamas buildup. Separating the issue from the release of [the abducted soldier] Gilad Shalit is also very problematic."
In discussing Israel's strategic situation vis-a-vis Iran, Hezbollah, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, Yadlin said Hamas is trying to create deterrence against Israel similar to that of Hezbollah in Lebanon. Part of this effort comes by broadening the range of its missile strikes in Israel.
Yadlin says Hamas has already significant capabilities, and several dozen rockets capable of striking targets in a radius of 20 kilometers, and that the group seeks to extend that range.
"If this matter is not dealt with, Hamas will bring more cities within its range of fire," Yadlin said.
He pointed out that Hamas is preparing its defensive positions in case the IDF invades the Gaza Strip. "Hamas' ground deployment is based on subterranean fortifications, explosive devices and snipers. Hamas has also set up a number of brigade-size units," he said.