Gaza Rocket Barrage against Israel Sparks War Talk

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Weekend rocket attacks on southern Israel -- which killed one Israeli -- have sparked concerns that Israel could soon slide into a war.

"Terror does not allow Gaza citizens to live normally…. I am telling our [Arab] neighbors: You nor we want war. But Gaza missiles are a declaration of war," Israeli President Shimon Peres said hours after the deadly attacks.

Palestinian terrorists launched dozens of rockets, missiles and mortar shells at Israel over the weekend, killing one Israeli, leaving many in shock and doing extensive property damage.

Some of the rockets landed in Ashdod -- 22 miles from the Gaza Strip. Residents there say they are terrified.

"It's been really tense and really scary," Ashdod resident Terri Millstone told CBN News "You just don't know where it's going to come from."

The Israeli army released a video showing what it said were Palestinians preparing to launch a rocket at Israel.

Israel fought back, attacking terror targets in the Gaza Strip.

"The Israeli Defense Forces acted against the launching of rockets by terrorists from Gaza into Israel," said Mark Regev, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman. "They are trying to kill our civilians."

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for most of the rocket attacks, but experts say the terror group takes orders from Iran. 

Netanyahu says Hamas is responsible for Gaza.

The violence follows the recent swap of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit for hundreds of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons.  Hamas held Shalit captive in Gaza for more than five years.

Some say now that he's free, Israel should act more aggressively toward terrorists in Gaza.

The weekend escalation also comes as Palestinians continue their unilateral bid for statehood at the United Nations.

Israel says the move will lead to instability and potentially to violence. Israeli leaders are calling on the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.

But many believe peace talks are unlikely now and are concerned Israel is in for troubled times ahead.

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Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl

CBN News Mideast Correspondent

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