Israel hits terror infrastructure in Gaza after Grad strike on Bersheeba

Palestinians inch toward unity government

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24 Feb 2011
Israel hits terror infrastructure in Gaza after Grad strike on Bersheeba

The Israeli Air Force hit several terrorist training centers, weapons depots, smuggling tunnels and other targets in the Gaza Strip overnight Wednesday in retaliation for Grad rocket attacks on the Negev communities of Beersheba and Netivot earlier in the evening.

"We've been through worse, and we'll get through this, too," said Beersheba Mayor Ruvik Danilovich.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman instructed Israel's delegation at the UN in New York to submit a formal complaint about the rocket attacks to the Security Council, declaring that "Israel will not remain indifferent to these acts."

Israeli officials hold the Hamas terror militia responsible for all terrorist attacks coming out of the Gaza Strip, and the Islamic Jihad organization and Hamas claimed responsibility for mortar and IED attacks earlier in the day.

"The quiet along the border with Gaza is important for the residents of the nearby communities," IDF Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz said on Tuesday. "At the same time, the units need to be prepared for any possible scenario."

Meanwhile, Palestinian organizations in Jerusalem have declared their intentions to boycott the US Consulate in eastern Jerusalem to protest the US veto last Friday of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

"We will cut our relationship with all American institutions, including with USAID and we will not take any help or money from them," said Hatem Abdel Kader, the senior Fatah official who holds the Jerusalem portfolio.

The boycott is being called by Palestinian NGO's and has not been officially endorsed by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

In related news, the Sheikh Jarrah Solidarity Movement, which organizes weekly protests in the eastern Jerusalam neighborhood, told the Jerusalem Post on Tuesday that it is looking to become a national movement under the new name of "Solidarity."

The group, which includes many leftist Israeli Jews, received a symbolic boost when it was announced recently that the Washington D.C. based organization JStreet will bestow the "Honoring Our Heroes" award on SJSM volunteer Sarah Beninga this weekend.

A new manifesto for the group, released on Tuesday, calls for the "liquidation or fundamental change of organizations that contribute to the dispossession of Arabs, including the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Fund, and the Israel Lands Authority."

"The movement is an example of how Jews and Arabs can work together in successful ways, and this can be translated to other areas of the country," said the group's spokesman, Avner Inbar.

Elsewhere, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Wednesday that 300 Palestinians who have been living in Libya will soon be allowed to return to the PA controlled areas, after a request on their behalf was made by PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

Finally,Al-Hayat reported Thursday that a planned national unity government for the Palestinians, which are currently being discussed by representatives of the PA and Hamas, have agreed that any future government would be headed by PA Prime Minister Salal Fayyad, and will include members from both factions and independents. The deal has been met with cautious favor by several Hamas officials.


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