Air Force Eliminates Three-Man Rocket Squad

March 12, 2012  

The Air Force Monday morning continued pre-emptive and pinpoint strikes, wiping out a three-man terrorist cell preparing to launch missiles.

Different Gaza sources reported two or three men were killed in the aerial strike that prevented their attacking southern Israel with another missile, one of thousands that Gaza terrorist groups have stockpiled since the end of Operation Cast Lead in January 2009.

Hamas has demanded what Israel views as an impossible condition for a ceasefire – a halt to Israel’s pre-emptive strikes on terrorists planning immediate attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Friday’s pre-emptive attack on Popular Resistance Committee leader Zuhair Qaisi touched off the latest eruption of violence. Qaisi’s cell was planning a massive attack on southern Israel, possibly similar to the multi-pronged attacks last summer that killed six Israelis on Highway 12 north of Eilat.

A sign of Hamas’ lack of international sympathy is its leaning on routine claims that children have been wounded in the Israel counterterrorist strikes. The listed casualties in the first three days of the pinpoint aerial strikes on terror targets were members of various terrorist groups, except for one 12 year old who the IDF says was killed when he approached a rocket launching site that was being targeted.

After the IDF hit six terror targets Sunday night, Hamas claimed that children were injured.

The Iron Dome has continued to prevent most missiles from hitting urban centers and intercepted one rocket headed for Ashkelon.

The system has shot down approximately 90 percent of the rockets and missiles headed for Be’er Sheva, Ashkelon and Ashdod, foiling Hamas’s efforts to inflict mass casualties on civilians and draw Israel into a ground invasion of Gaza.

The Iron Dome is not available to be used in rural areas, where almost all of the dozens of rockets fired in the latest escalation have fallen in open areas. A fourth Iron Dome battery is expected to be ready for operation in the near future.

Schools are closed for the second day in a row in southern cities, as far north as Kiryat Malachi, half way between Be’er Sheva and Tel Aviv.

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