The firing of two Katyushas at Shlomi is a "severe incident but we do not plan to allow a change in the status quo," Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Tuesday, the day after two 107-millimeter rockets landed in the northern neighborhood.President Bush should be keen to understand that the terrorists sense weakness in Israel by continuing negotiations while under fire. They have accelerated their attacks on Israel, and don't fear repercussions knowing that Israel is far too restrained to take the necessary action to break the terrorist groups in Gaza, West Bank, and Hizbullah in Southern Lebanon. Therefore, those terrorist groups continue to plot further attacks.
During a tour of the northern border, Barak added that he spoke with Shlomi Municipality head Gabi Ne'eman and that together with IDF officers he intended to examine the incident, carefully assess the situation and then decide how to respond. "We will do what needs to be done," added Barak.
In the overnight attack, one of the rockets landed on the balcony of a house while the other hit a lamp post. No one was wounded but the house sustained slight damage.
It was not yet clear which group fired the rockets, but the defense establishment was examining the possibility that they were fired as an attempt by Hizbullah or other terror groups in Lebanon to disrupt Wednesday's visit of US President George W. Bush.
Once again, UNIFIL has failed to do its job in clearing Southern Lebanon of terrorist groups and militias, which is nothing new since that's how the August War began in 2006. UNIFIL failed to fulfill its duties under UN SCR 1559, which called for the disarming of all militias operating in Southern Lebanon and to ensure the territorial integrity of Lebanon. UNIFIL failed on all counts, and Israel suffered greatly for it - as did Southern Lebanon as Israel engaged Hizbullah dug into civilian dominated areas and used them as human shields to exploit should casualties occur.
That's not to say that UNIFIL isn't safe from the terrorists either - a roadside bomb injured two Spanish peacekeepers just days after the Spanish Prime Minister visited Lebanon. I suspect Hizbullah was following the al Qaeda plan in trying to get Spain to withdraw its contingent from UNIFIL just as the pro-US government was voted out after the Madrid bombings. [ed: see updates below.]
Sec. State Rice continues to equate Jerusalem construction with that of the West Bank, which is extremely troublesome given that US law notes that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of the State of Israel.
The diplomats are also considering an international force to police the West Bank. That's quite an interesting idea given that the Palestinians have shown absolutely no interest in a two-state solution and international forces in Southern Lebanon have failed to disarm the terrorist group Hizbullah that operates in full view of everyone in the region.
Hamas continues to engage Israel in firefights, the latest incident occurring offshore Gaza. Terrorists firing mortars fell short of the Gaza/Israel border.
Meanwhile, al Hayat is reporting that a deal is in place to swap Gilad Shalit for the murderous terrorist Marwan Barghouti. No confirmation from Israeli sources, but if true, it's a bad precedent and foreshadows still more kidnappings to pressure Israel to make still more prisoner swaps.
Israel has filed a complaint with the UN over the katuysha rocket firing from Lebanon into Israel. I'm sure the UN diplomats will get right on the case and demand action by UNIFIL and the Lebanese government to crack down on Hizbullah directly. Meanwhile, Sec. State Rice continues to ignore federal law on the status of Jerusalem.
The fact that Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is responsible for more than 30% of the kassam attacks and 40% of the mortar attacks does nothing to dissuade Olmert from going forward with negotiations with Fatah's Abbas.
Meanwhile, the AP doesn't have any problem with telling the world how the US plans on protecting President Bush during his ill-advised visit to Ramallah. Why provide that level of detail? That's not a good idea as you have terrorists running all over the place that seek to disrupt the visit and maybe take a shot at President Bush.
Earlier reports that indicated that it was Spanish UNIFIL peacekeepers who were injured appear to be incorrect. The nationality of the peacekeepers isn't clear, but it isn't Spanish according to both UN and Spanish officials.