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Hamas Continues to Fire Rockets into Israel, Operate Smuggling Tunnels

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Message Israel Project
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 24, 2009

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi: 202-857-6644,
Jennifer Packer: 202-857-6657,

Hamas Continues to Fire Rockets into Israel, Operate Smuggling Tunnels

Despite Rocket Fire, Israel Continues to Facilitate Delivery of Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

President Shimon Peres’ remarks at the opening of the 18 Knesset (Israeli Parliament)

• Iran-backed Hamas terrorists have fired more than 65 rockets and mortars at Israel since ending Operation Cast Lead Jan. 18. [1]

• Hamas terrorists fired 208 Grad-type Katyusha rockets into Israel over a 23-day period during Operation Cast Lead. [2] Grad-type Katyusha rockets are linked to Iran and smuggled into Gaza through underground tunnels. [3]

• Terrorists in Lebanon fired two Katyusha rockets into Israel on Feb. 21, one of which injured three people in northern Israel. The other rocket fell inside Lebanon. [4]

• Since Israel’s unilateral ceasefire that ended Operation Cast Lead on Jan. 18, Israel facilitated the delivery of 112,991 tons of aid and 2.6 million gallons (10 million liters) of fuel into the Gaza Strip. [5]

Continued Rocket Fire from Gaza and Lebanon

From Nov. 5 - Dec. 26, the seven weeks prior to Israel’s defensive operation, terrorists in Gaza dramatically increased their firing of rockets and mortars at Israel, launching them at a rate of 6.5 rockets and mortars daily. Israel responded on Dec. 27 by initiating Operation Cast Lead, its defensive operation in Gaza. [6]

Since Israel’s unilateral ceasefire on Jan. 18 following the operation, Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza have fired rockets and mortars at Israel at the rate of 2.2 a day.

During the operation – designed to curtail the number of rockets launched from Gaza – Hamas terrorists fired 208 Grad-type Katyusha rockets into Israel over a 23-day period. [7] Grad rockets have a range of up to 24 miles (40 km). On Feb. 14, a Grad rocket was fired from Gaza and landed just south of the Israeli city of Yavneh, approximately 24 miles (40 km) from Gaza. Iran is responsible for providing this type of Katyusha rocket to Hamas; they are smuggled into Gaza through underground tunnels. [8]

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Similarly, two Grad-type Katyusha rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel on Feb. 21, injuring three people. During Operation Cast Lead, Iran-back terrorist groups launched Katyusha rockets from Lebanon at Israel on two separate occasions. On Jan. 8, two rockets hit the northern city of Nahariya, one hitting a nursing home. [9] Two days later, several rockets struck northern Israel; two civilians were treated for shock. [10]

The two incidents of Katyusha rocket attacks from Lebanon prompted Israel to issue an official complaint with the UN Secretary General, holding Lebanon in violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which calls for stopping weapons transports into southern Lebanon following the ceasefire declared at the end of Israel’s defensive war again Hezbollah in 2006. [11]

On Nov. 28, an Iranian-manufactured standard 120mm mortar was fired by a terrorist group in Gaza and hit an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) base inside Israel, wounding eight soldiers, one of whom had to have his leg amputated. The use of Iranian-made munitions by Palestinian terrorists is an increasingly common phenomenon. [12]

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