Crossfire War – No Let Up in Palestinian Rocket-Motar Fire During Bush Visit

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Crossfire War – RAPID FIRE NEWS=TEHRAN – GAZA – BEIRUT WATCH – West Asia – North – Northeast Africa Theatre: Tehran – Riyadh – Tripoli – Khartoum – Cairo – Amman – Baghdad – Damascus – Nablus – Beirut – Gaza/Jerusalem – Washington – Paris – Rome – London; No Let Up in Rocket- Mortar Fire Despite Bush Visit – New Group Emerges in South Lebanon Claims Responsibility for Katyusha – Bomb Attacks

Night Watch: JERUSALEM – As expected there has been no let up in the Palestinian rocket-mortar attacks against Israel from Gaza despite today’s visit by U. S. President George W. Bush. The Jerusalem Post has reported that so far the Israel Air Force (IAF) has already been forced to respond by hitting targets inside the Gaza Strip where the firing was concentrated. Members of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) have already taken responsibility for today’s attacks of at least 19 Qassams fired so far mostly at Sderot. It was hinted before President Bush’s visit Israel would attempt to limit the scale of their responses to keep the violence down to a minimum, which is why I suspect both Bush and Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have an understanding after the visit there would be no limitations to Israel’s military attacks after the visit to the region ends next week. And that could be the message Bush will be taking to the Islamic heads of state Washington is still on speaking terms with: Riyadh-Cairo-Bahrain-Kuwait-Dubai. Earlier in the day, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) launched a missile at Palestinians near the north Gaza town of Beit Hanun who were firing mortars. [JPOST]

Rumailah – As a sign fighting in the region is about to expand INN reports an unknown Islamic group has taken credit for the Katyusha rockets that hit the Israeli town of Shlomi near Lebanon’s border. Israel Police have confirmed the group is called the Bader Battalion of Jihad and released this statement, “We promised our people Jihad. Now we have yet again struck the Zionists in occupied Palestine.” The group then stated further attacks are coming. What Tehran is doing is creating new groups more extreme than even Hezbollah to increase attacks against not only Israel but also the European units in south Lebanon with UNIFIL who were hit by a roadside bomb the same day as the Katyusha attacks. [INN]

Rumailah – Last year it was Iran’s creation the suicide unit Fatah al-Islam that emerged from the Palestinian refugee camp Nahr al-Bared near Tripoli, Lebanon that led the fighting against Lebanon’s military for nearly four months. Though they lost more than 200 fighters, nearly half their unit, they have been reinforced and have now relocated to Gaza and northern Iraq. According to Debka their leader Shaker al-Abessi is taking credit for the bomb attack against UNIFIL. Though these smaller units are not nearly as powerful as Hezbollah they are however armed with the same weapons and can therefore cause serious fighting for quite a while, especially since Tehran-Damascus-Riyadh can send them reinforcements from a seemingly endless supply of willing martyrs. [DEBKA]

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Willard Payne is an international affairs analyst who specializes in International Relations. A graduate of Western Illinois University with a concentration in East-West Trade and East-West Industrial Cooperation, he has been providing incisive analysis to NewsBlaze. He is the author of Imagery: The Day Before.