Crossfire War – Gaza – Tehran – Damascus Watch – West Asia Theatre: Gaza – Tehran – Damascus – Riyadh – Amman – Beirut – Ramallah/Jerusalem – Cairo; Third Intifada (uprising) Now on – Several Palestinian Militant Units Unleash Qassam Rocket – Mortar Barrage Round The Clock – 16 Palestinians Killed So Far This Week By Israel’s Responses
Night Watch: NETIVOT – On April 1 crossfirewar.com reported the warning from Hamas of a Third Intifada (uprising) within three months. Debka is now reporting Israeli settlements and towns are receiving round-the-clock Qassam rocket and mortar fire from several Palestinian militant units: Hamas, Jihad Islami, Fatah Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, Popular Committees and al-Qaeda Salafi groups which are directly controlled by Tehran. All of them are of course controlled by Damascus-Tehran but some Iran have recently positioned for the sole purpose of increasing the war to its full scale as part of the “Countdown” Tehran referred to earlier this year for starting a major war with Israel.
It is an expanded version of last year’s war in south Lebanon primarily between Israel and Hezbollah but that one also began in Gaza late June with the Palestinian raid which captured an Israeli soldier. But this time Tehran-Damascus will enter in order to generate more Islamic radicalism targeting the last Islamic head of state still working with the West, Egypt President Hosni Mubarak. [DEBKA]
None of these units were ever about peace, though Hamas was encouraged to exercise political control over at least Gaza in order to secure it as a military base, a launching pad for rockets and mortars. The war this year actually began in May forcing Jerusalem into almost contant responsive attacks against Palestinian units firing rockets but this week the rocket fire from Gaza has reached an unprecedented scale.
Israel military commanders have even admitted there are probably tunnels from Gaza into Israel they have not yet destroyed. With the new long range Qassam of 12 miles (19 km) Israel’s oil terminal at Ashkelon is now within range as is the town of Netivot. Sderot was virtually abandoned more than a year ago due to the intensity of Qassam fire. The missile is not accurate or as powerful as the Katyusha nor does it have the Katyusha’s range but it can cause light damage and harass a population.
Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak have stated Israel will not restrain its response as it did last year.