Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rocket hits Galilee panhandle

(Ynet).A 107-millimeter Katyusha rocket exploded Tuesday evening in northern Israel. There were no reports of injuries or damage. In response, the Israel Defense Forces fired 15 shells into the area where the rocket was launched from.

A loud explosion was heard in the Galilee panhandle at around 7:20 pm, only several hours after Defense Minister Ehud Barak toured the northern border. No air raid siren was sounded before the blast, as it has been neutralized.

Israeli security sources estimate that the rocket was not fired by Hezbollah, but rather by a small Palestinian organization.

Heads of local authorities in the north praised the IDF's restraint. Avi Krampa, head of the Maale Yosef Regional Council and chairman of the northern confrontation line forum, said that "this firing is troublesome, but we must take into account that we will be forced to face a similar situation from now. Someone may be truing to drag us into a conflict, but I back the way the IDF has chosen to respond, rather than escalate the situation and lead to a harsh response or to a war over every rocket launched at the north.

"This evening's firing incident reminds the Israeli government that the confrontation line in the north exists and that every budget we are fighting for is crucial. The council head forum's members back the IDF, which makes sure to update us on every development on the border from time to time."

Defense Minister Barak said during his visit to the north on Tuesday, "There are not only friends around us, but also enemies. We are constantly developing in terms of defense, and fighting whenever needed. We have been in a series of wars since the War of Independence to the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead.

"Israel is not hesitating and is doing all it can to make peace, and peace cannot be made in the Middle East if you don’t have the strongest army. As the left door opens every door in search of peace, the right hand is on the trigger, ready for any option at any given moment."