Rocket explodes near Eshkol Regional Council despite Gaza group's proclaimed ceasefire. Radical Islamist terror group Tawhid al-Jihad claims act.This is the third rocket fired from Gaza in the last two days.
'Gaza militants have Libyan missiles' - Gaza militants have reportedly purchased anti-aircraft, anti-tank rockets from Libya, Israeli security officials say
Report: Israel allows 1,500 Egyptian troops into Sinai - Former Egyptian ambassador to Israel says amendment to peace treaty with Israel allowed army to reinforce presence in Peninsula ahead of wide-scale military operation, al Hayat newspaper reports
A Qassam rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip and exploded in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council on Monday evening. No injuries or damages were reported. This marks the first rocket fired Monday from the Gaza Strip. It was fired in spite of a ceasefire called by the terror groups – led by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad over the weekend.
The last rocket to be fired from the Gaza Strip was fired at Israel's south on Sunday night. It landed in an open area in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council, no one was hurt and no damages were reported. No Color Red alert was sounded before the rocket attack.
Also Sunday, a Grad missile landed in the Bnei Shimon Regional Council not far from Beersheba. Once again, no injuries or damages were reported. The radical Islamist Tawhid al-Jihad terror group took responsibility for the attacks.
'Gaza militants have Libyan arms' - Palestinians in Gaza have acquired anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets from Libya during its six-month civil war, enlarging but not significantly improving their arsenal, Israeli officials said on Monday. While the rebellion against Muammar Gaddafi has stirred concern abroad about the fate of Libya's ageing chemical weapons stockpiles, Israel has no indication Hamas or other Palestinian factions have sought these, the officials said.
Instead, Israeli officials have detected an inflow of SA-7 anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), said one official, describing an overland supply route that opened up between eastern Libya -- after it fell to the rebels -- and the Gaza Strip via Egypt. "We've been seeing more SA-7s and RPGs coming across," said the official. "It's not a major qualitative enhancement for them." The Soviet-designed SA-7 is a shoulder-fired, heat-seeking missile which Israel said Palestinians had previously smuggled into Gaza. Rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), designed to penetrate armour, are plentiful in the territory. Another Israeli official said "thousands" of the weapons had reached Gaza in recent months, but did not provide figures on how many had originated in Libya.
Report: Israel allows 1,500 Egyptian troops into Sinai -
1,500 Egyptian soldiers deployed across the Sinai Peninsula on Monday following an agreement between Israel and Egypt to increase the number of Egyptian troops in the peninsula's areas B and C, the London-based al Hayat newspaper reported on Monday. According to the report, the sides are currently negotiating an agreement to deploy additional troops in the area.
Former Egyptian Ambassador to Israel Muhammed Basioni told the newspaper that "the Egypt-Israel peace treaty provides in clause 4 that each one of the sides can amend the security arrangements if the other side agrees to it. "Egypt relied on this article – which prohibits the entrance of Egyptian military forces into area C and allows only police force presence – in order to amend its deployment arrangements in the area," he said. According to Basioni, "In 2008, Palestinians infiltrated Egypt from the Gaza Strip. Egypt then asked for the deployment of 750 border guard officers and the request was granted.
"Following recent security developments in Sinai, the authorities decided to launch a wide-scale security operation with large military and police forces, and to that end we requested to scour the area between Rafah, al-Arish and Sheikh Zawid," the former ambassador said. "We've reinforced our deployment to 1,500 soldiers and armored vehicles in areas B and C," stated Basioni without saying when the forces entered the area.
Peace treaty amendment
Meanwhile, a senior Egyptian military official said that Cairo was "considering amending clauses in its peace treaty with Israel relating to deployment of forces, their scope and equipment stationed in the Sinai Peninsula in order to maintain security in the area," the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported. According to the report, the military council is reevaluating the clauses to adapt them to Egypt's new foreign policy following the January 25 revolution. At the beginning of the year, the Israeli government unexpectedly decided to allow the Egyptian army to deploy 800 soldiers in the peninsula, for the first time since signing the peace agreement more than three decades ago. In the 1979 peace treaty, the Sinai Peninsula was declared as a demilitarized zone and was divided into areas A, B and C, with the latter only open to international peacekeepers and Egyptian civilian police forces.
Meanwhile, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz has ordered a reinforcement of army presence near the southern Gaza Strip and the Israel-Egypt border following a terrorist alert indicating that the Islamic Jihad was planning to perpetrate an attack in the area. It is estimated that the terrorist cell has already left the Gaza Strip to Sinai, which has become a hotbed of terrorist activity in recent months. The defense establishment has also passed on details of the alert to Egypt.
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