30+ Palestinian Rockets Fired at Israel this Spring

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Palestinians in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip have fired more than 30 rockets on southern Israel in the past two months, the Israeli daily Ma'ariv reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised Israel will take the necessary steps following last week's rocket attack on Eilat.

"Last week, missiles were fired at Eilat from Sinai," Netanyahu said at Sunday's cabinet meeting. "Those responsible, apparently, were members of a terrorist cell that left Gaza and used Sinai in order to attack an Israeli city. This is unacceptable. We will exact a price for this."

Meanwhile, Hamas leaders met in Doha, the capital of Qatar, last week to formulate its plans, the Palestinian Authority's official Ma'an news agency reported over the weekend.

The meetings focused on reconciliation with the Fatah faction, which the Qatari emir proposed taking up at another Arab League summit.

Senior member Ahmed Yousif said Hamas plans to petition European countries to remove it from their terror lists. European countries, he said, are primarily concerned with "martyrdom attacks" (suicide bombings) inside Israel.

"Hamas is certain the U.S. will not agree to take its name off the list," Yousif said. "However, European countries set only one condition to do that -- avoiding martyrdom attacks inside Israel, and Hamas hasn't carried out any attack since 2004."

In related news, Hamas political chief Khaled Meshaal told the al-Quds network "efforts to liberate the Palestinian prisoners will double in coming days."

"P.A.-Israel negotiations shall hold nothing, especially under the current Israeli government," Meshaal said. "The only path to the prisoners' release is swap deals and Palestinian unity," he said, praising Palestinian reaction to the deaths of Maissara Abu Hamdiya and Arafat Jaradat earlier this year.

Jaradat, detained for questioning after a rock-throwing incident that injured an Israeli, died suddenly of a heart attack. An autopsy (in the presence of the P.A. medical examiner) confirmed a heart attack as the cause of death, not torture, as P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas claimed.
 
Hamdiyeh, who was serving a life sentence for attempting to blow up a Jerusalem restaurant, died of terminal esophageal cancer. He was being treated at one of Israel's top medical centers at the time of his death.

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