February 29, 2008

Ashkelon, Israeli City of 120,000, Under Palestinian Rocket Fire

The Muslim War Machine is upping the ante. From Ashkelon, Israeli City of 120,000, Under Palestinian Rocket Fire:

The Israeli city of Ashkelon, located 17 kilometers (11 miles) from Gaza, was hit by several Iranian-made Grad (Katyusha) rockets on Thursday fired by Hamas militants in Gaza. One hit an apartment building, slicing through the roof and three floors below, and another landed near a school, wounding a 17-year-old girl.

After Thursday's rocket attacks on Ashkelon, Israel activated its "Code Red" rocket warning system there. Israel hesitated to activate the system because officials didn't want to send 120,000 people running for shelter every time a rocket was launched in the direction of the city. The army is now considering installing more radars near Ashkelon so that the system will be able to better analyze the course of an incoming rocket and warn only the residents of the target neighborhood, rather than the whole city, defense officials said Thursday.

Matan Vilnai, Israel's deputy defense mister, said Friday, "We're getting close to using our full strength. Until now, we've used a small percentage of the army's power because of the nature of the territory." Israel does not intend to launch a major ground offensive in the next week or two, partly because the military prefers to wait for better weather, defense officials said. But the army has now completed its preparations and informed the government it's ready to move immediately when the order is given.