The man, in his 30s, was evacuated to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital, where doctors were forced to pronounce him dead.It was the third rocket fired in two days, and comes at a time when the Palestinians are agitating for yet another Intifada claiming that Israel is about to start going after the Temple Mount after dedicating the Hurva Synagogue in the Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.
A small Islamist faction calling itself Ansar al-Sunna claimed responsibility for the attack.
In a statement e-mailed to reporters in Gaza, the al-Qaida-inspired faction said the attack was a response to Israel's "Judaization" of Islamic holy places in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank.
A second group, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, also later claimed responsibility.
Vice Premier Silvan Shalom warned that the attack would lead to a strong reaction, and said that Hamas was ultimately responsible.
“It is severe escalation,” said Shalom in remarks broadcast on Army Radio. “Israel will not return to the situation of before Operation Cast Lead. The response will be particularly fierce...I hope Hamas will learn a lesson.”
The Palestinians have been flinging the rumor from the moment that Israel announced the dedication service for the rebuilt synagogue. It was destroyed by the Jordanians in 1948 following the Jordanian capture of the Old City during Israel's War of Independence - along with the sacking of dozens of other synagogues and destruction of Jewish cemeteries outside the Old City's walls. Rebuilding a piece of Jewish heritage that existed for decades before Jordan destroyed it is restoring historical treasures. But the Palestinians see it as yet another sign that Israel will not relinquish the Jewish Quarter or the Old City.
Israel and Jersualem has had a Jewish presence for 3,000 years. The Palestinian groups refuse to recognize Israel's legitimate claims to the territories it held since its formation, let alone any territory captured in 1967. They refuse Israel's existence, and this is yet another outgrowth of that well-indoctrinated belief. It's ideological and pathological in nature - and any attempt at a peace process is doomed to failure without recognizing that Israel simply lacks a partner in peace.
Note too that Fatah's spinoff terror group, the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, claimed responsibility for the attacks from Gaza. Fatah is trying to show that they can be just as violent as Hamas and the other Islamofascist groups that want to dominate the region.
Israel intends to hold Hamas responsible for the rocket fire since that terror group is in control of Gaza. I wouldn't stop with just Hamas. All the terror groups are culpable and an attack by one is an attack by all - it lets the terror groups play the triangle offense against Israel such that one group (typically Fatah) play the diplomat while the others lob rockets and engage in terror plots uninterrupted.