Israel to Respond to Terrorist Rocket Attack

Spent Qassam Rockets in Sderot. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock.

Don’t expect Israel to stay quiet about last week’s rocket attack. At least that was the message from Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, noting that Israel would “exact a price” for the rockets fired at the Israeli coastal city of Eilat. While the rockets were launched from the Egyptian Sinai, Netanyahu revealed the attack was actually by a terror cell from Gaza that used the Sinai as a launchpad. He then issued an stern warning.

“This is unacceptable. We will exact a price for this; this has been our consistent policy for the past four years and it will serve us here as well,” Netanyahu was quoted by a press release as telling his cabinet. The Mideast Update had highlighted Netanyahu’s comment after the attack about an Israeli response, which implied the attackers may have been terrorists from Gaza.

It was also noted that the threat of renewed conflict is a routine concern for oil investors in the Middle East. In addition, considering Israel is the top American ally in region, the US is also likely to take notice of renewed fighting. The IDF website said the rockets were launched at beach city of Eilat, but landed in “open areas” and resulted in no casualties.

The significance of the attackers originating in Gaza is that while Israel would not likely attack terrorists in Egypt—which would risk a conflict with Egypt after decades of cold peace—Gaza is in something of a constant state of war with Israel. Under control of the Hamas terrorist group, Gaza is refuge for a number of terrorists that routinely attack Israel.

The sides are in an uneasy ceasefire following last November’s Israel-Gaza war, in which Gazan terrorists fired 1500 rockets at Israel, which in turn bombed 1500 Gaza terror targets.

Despite the ongoing threat posed by Gaza, the Hamas group that runs the territory has sought legitimacy and recognition from governments around the world, including Europe and the Middle East. While inroads to accepting Hamas have been made in Turkey and some other places, the US has branded the group a terrorist organization.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, April 21, 2013)

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