Hamas questions witnesses after Qassam rocket kills Thai worker; Deputy foreign minister: Rocket consequence of Goldstone Report
Ali Waked Published: 03.18.10, 20:03 / Israel News
Hamas has boosted its security operations in Gaza in the wake of a lethal rocket attack, increasing its patrols and questioning witnesses, sources in the Strip say.
Tensions on the Gaza border and within the Strip reached a peak Thursday when a Qassam rocket killed a Thai worker in Moshav Netiv Ha'asara. Palestinian sources in the Strip told Ynet that Hamas was questioning two witnesses to the rocket launch.
Following the rocket attack, Hamas security forces increased their patrols in the area where the rocket was launched from.
Tension is currently high between Hamas and factions associated with Al-Qaeda. Hamas is certain that the Salafi movement is testing its leadership, and that Fatah factions' claim of responsiblity for the launch is intended to serve as a cover for other rocket launches.
In recent weeks, Hamas has warned the various organizations in the Strip to avoid renewing hostilities. Hamas security forces are now expected to make arrests to signal that the group does not intend to permit such activities.
Ayalon slams Goldstone
Some hours after the fatal Qassam landed, the Gaza Strip is still tense. Towards the evening, IDF forces identified a Palestinian approaching the border fence near Kfar Gaza, apparently in an attempt to plant an explosive device. Soldiers fired artillery and mortar shells, and apparently wounded the suspect.
Also on Thursday, there were reports from the Strip that the IDF is carrying out sorties above Gaza, and that supersonic booms had been heard
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, touring the site of Thursday's Qassam attack, used the occasion to slam the so-called Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead.
"The report is void from a moral and professional point of view," he said. "It gives immunity and support to terror and denies democratic states the right to defend themselves."
"I call on anyone who supports the report to come here, to the spot where the Qassam fell and killed a human being, and see the consequences (of the report)," Ayalon added. "This is one rocket among 12,000 that the citizens of this state have had to suffer. Since it was established, Israel has sought peace, but the Palestinians have continued with unbridled incitement and violence."
Shmulik Hadad and Roni Sofer contributed to this report
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