Gaza Palestinians shell senior Israeli officers touring battered border communities

debkafile‘s military sources report OC Southern Command, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, his aides and local security officers took cover when they came under heavy cross-border mortar fire from Gaza Sunday, April 13. None was hurt although the Palestinian aim was precise, starting as soon as the Israeli group inspecting security measures came with in sight. Four shells landed 40 yards away.
This is the third time in a month that increasingly aggressive Palestinian cross-border fire has targeted a high-ranking Israeli. Last month, a Katyusha rocket exploded in Ashkelon shortly after a visit by prime minister Ehud Olmert; on April 4, internal security minister Avi Dichter was targeted and his aide injured while leading a group of Canadians around Sderot and other Israeli communities harassed by Palestinian missiles.
Israel’s grip on the border fence and surrounding populations is under constant assault as Palestinian audacity increases and Israeli forces are restricted by policy-makers to showpiece operations on the fringes of the Gaza Strip, instead of tactically effective engagements.
These operations not only fail to halt Palestinian fire but have encouraged their gunmen to draw ever closer to the border barrier and improve their aim at Israeli targets with impunity.
Furious southern command officers told debkafile that no army in the world would put up with its senior commanders’ exposure to attack insde their sovereign territory by a belligerent neighbor. They are forced to watch day by day as armed Palestinians take up forward firing positions and command a strip of Israeli territory up to one kilometer deep, condemning tens of thousands of Israeli civilians to life under constant fire.

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