More than 50 rockets and mortar shells pound southern Israel over on Tuesday and Wednesday; 11 border policemen wounded in one attack; army officials say situation likely to escalate
Wednesday, June 20, 2012 | Ryan Jones – israeltoday.co.il
Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Gaza Strip fired more than 50 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel on Tuesday and into Wednesday morning. Eleven border policemen were wounded in one of the attacks.
The attacks began during the pre-dawn hours Tuesday, and continued with a hail of rocket fire throughout the day. The only casualties reported were from a direct missile strike on a building near the coastal town of Ashkelon, where 11 officers with Israel’s Border Police suffered light-to-moderate shrapnel injuries.
The assault continued on Wednesday morning with more short-range Kassam rocket attacks and at least one medium-range Grad missile attack that targeted the town of Beersheva.
Israeli forces responded with numerous overnight aerial raids on terrorist installations in Gaza. A number of terrorists were reportedly killed in the Israeli reprisals, but army officials cautioned that the situation was likely to get a lot more intense in the coming hours and days.
Gaza’s Hamas rulers have actually claimed responsibility for many of the rocket attacks, a departure from the group’s usual policy of letting smaller allied terror groups take the blame for attacks on southern Israel.
It is likely that Hamas is feeling emboldened by the assumed Muslim Brotherhood victory in Egypt’s presidential election. Hamas is an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, and views the rise to power of the latter in neighboring Egypt as the start of a new era of “resistance” against the Zionist regime.