Rocket Fire Brings Border Closures

Ad Feedback - ESHKOL REGIONAL COUNCIL, Israel - Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered border crossings to the Gaza Strip closed after Palestinians fired four rockets and a mortar shell on southern Israel Tuesday morning.

The closure prevented shipment of humanitarian supplies scheduled for the afternoon.

Tuesday morning's attacks comes just days before the end of the six-month tadhiyeh (temporary calm) with Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip.

But for Israelis living in Gaza-vicinity communities, the truce never existed.

"Perhaps in Jerusalem everyone is calm, but here there is no lull. We are ready for all the scenarios that may take place when the alleged truce expires. We have been living under the rocket horror for eight years now," Eshkol Regional Council head Haim Yalin said.

Despite the much-touted calm, there was an increase in attacks in 2008, with more than 2,900 rockets and mortar shells fired on Israel since the beginning of the year.

In 2007, 1,200 rockets and 600 mortar shells were fired at Israel.

Islamic Jihad's al-Quds Brigades claimed responsibility for the attacks, which they said were to revenge the death of a senior commander in Jenin Monday evening.

"Our rockets will not stop and it will be like the rain over all the Zionist towns around the Gaza Strip," the group's spokesman, Abu Hamza, said.

Sources: YNet news, The Jerusalem Post

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