Civilian locations around Gaza on high missile alert Saturday night
Israeli towns and villages encircling the Gaza Strip went on on high missile alert from Saturday night, Oct. 18 after incoming intelligence revealed that the Palestinian Hamas’ military arm and Jihad Islami were preparing to shatter the three-month old ceasefire.
debkafile‘s military sources report that Hamas went on the warpath after a major difference flared with Egypt which caused the collapse of Palestinian reconciliation talks begun last week in Cairo to solve the breach between the Gaza Strip and the Fatah-ruled West Bank. Hamas is also demanding that Egypt reopen Gaza’s Rafah crossing and has rejected the list of Palestinian prisoners Israel has offered for the kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilead Shalit.
The Palestinian fundamentalist terror group calculates that Israel will take a fresh missile barrage lying down because its government will not venture on a military offensive with a US presidential election round the corner on Nov. 4. They also believe the breakdown of the Gaza ceasefire will quickly bring Cairo and Fatah to heel.
On Oct. 12, Israel military scouts uncovered a high-powered anti-tank IED trap near Kissufim on the Israeli side of the Gaza border, planted by the Iran-backed Palestinian Jihad Islami for the express purpose of terminating the ceasefire.
Four large interlinked devices were rigged to blow up in sequence, while a fifth bomb just inside Gaza was to detonate when Israeli reinforcements and emergency teams came up.
Then, Israel’s security authorities took no notice of the deteriorating situation around the Gaza Strip. But when they picked up signs of preparations to revive the Gaza missile offensive Saturday night, they put the population within range on the ready.
The reports disseminated in the past week of resumed negotiations for Shalit’s release are unfounded, our sources report. Hamas has upped the ante and incorporated in its terms bilateral demands from Egypt.