Israeli government again backs down as Gaza missile war boils over

No military action to stamp out the Palestinian missile blitz against southwestern Israel will be undertaken before “international support” is organized and an attempt to renew the “ceasefire” with Hamas is undertaken. That was the gist of the Israeli cabinet’s decision Sunday morning, Dec. 21, after Palestinian terrorists fired eight missiles and mortar shells at Israeli civilian locations, continuing the blitz launched before and after Hamas ended its six-month “truce” Friday.
Israeli helicopters struck three missile teams preparing to fire near the north Gaza town of Beit Hanoun. But the missiles kept coming – 22 by the end of the day.
The ministers pushing hard for harsh military action gave way to prime minister Ehud Olmert and defense minister Ehud Barak’s decision to continue the foot-dragging. Neither was perturbed by being accused of letting Hamas and its terrorist partners get away almost scot-free with waging a cross-border war against a large Israeli civilian population.
Cold shouldered by Olmert and Barak, foreign minister Tzipi Livni announced that if she were elected prime minister her government would wipe out the Hamas regime in Gaza.
Sunday, two people were hurt when a missile blast wrecked a Sderot home and a second struck the Netiv Haasara greenhouses injuring a foreign worker. The town of Ashkelon took four hits, two exploding in the city’s industrial estate and two outside strategic facilities on the Mediterranean shore.
Schoolchildren were told to stay in their classrooms and forbidden the playground. Magen David Adom’s first aid services are on high alert at all the locations within range of Gaza after the population spent Saturday ducking 15 Palestinian missiles and 26 mortar rounds. There were no injuries but the damage to property was considerable.
Hamas leaders have gone into hiding in the smuggling tunnels honeycombing the southern Gaza Strip in case Israel goes back to targeted assassinations.

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