Israel Targets Terror Infrastructure in Gaza

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israel Air Force (IAF) jets struck parts of the terror infrastructure in the Gaza Strip overnight Thursday in response to increasing Palestinian rocket fire on southern Israeli communities.

Earlier Thursday, Palestinians fired six Kassam rockets that landed in open areas with no injuries or property damage reported.

The Israel Defense Forces confirmed hits on two smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza and four "terror activity sites" in northern and central Gaza, the IDF Spokesperson's Office said in a press release.

"Since the beginning of July, over 15 rockets have hit the Israeli home front, causing some structural damage," the statement read.

"The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers and will respond with determination to any attempt to use terror against the State of Israel.

"The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip," the IDF said.

'Homemade' Rockets

Contrary to some sources, the "homemade" rockets are not harmless, nor are they homemade. At times they have killed and maimed Israelis of all ages. In March 2008, a Kassam left then-eight-year-old Osher Twito an amputee when it severed his leg.

A recent study by Natal -- a center treating people traumatized by terrorism or war -- revealed that 70 percent of the children in the southern Israeli town of Sderot, which has sustained more rocket attacks than anywhere else, suffer from some kind of post-traumatic stress.

"They stop playing, stop being interested in their surroundings, detach themselves from their friends and school," said Professor Marc Gelkopf, director Natal's research team, YNet news reported.

Kassams have heavily damaged buildings and infrastructure in cities and towns within their range.  Hamas continues to acquire increasingly sophisticated missiles and mortars.

Hamas rocket, missile and mortar fire began in earnest after the government's August 2005 unilateral pullout from the Gaza Strip under then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
 
Sharon ordered the evacuation of 21 thriving Israeli communities in the Gush Katif Settlement Bloc in Gaza and four in northern Samaria. The government uprooted nearly 10,000 Israelis from their homes and communities.

Hamas moved in, building terror training camps and intensifying rocket and mortar shells attacks -- made easier by the closer proximity to the border -- that continues to this day.

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