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Palestinians Fire More Rockets at Israel


Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have fired several rockets at Israel in what appears to have become a daily routine. Israel has failed to come up with an effective response, and shell-shocked residents are running out of patience.

Rockets fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza have been crashing into Israel for weeks, terrorizing the border town of Sderot. The home-made Kassam rockets are inaccurate and rarely cause casualties, but they have scored direct hits on houses, factories and schools.

"I want to tell you that Kassams don't land, Kassams explode. Kassams cause panic. Kassams kill," said Sderot resident David Spanglet. "And our children don't sleep at night."

When Israel pulled out of Gaza last August and ended its 38-year occupation, it warned that any further Palestinian attacks from the territory would not be tolerated, and would be met with harsh retaliation. But Sderot residents say the government has failed to protect them.

"We have a very strong army, and our army can take care of this situation, but this government does not let them," he said.

Government spokesman Ra'anan Gissin denies it. "The political echelon has not put any restrictions on the freedom of action of the Israel Defense Forces," he said. "In other words, the IDF can operate from the air, from the land, from the sea in order to prevent Kassam rocket firing."

Nevertheless, the government has backed away from calls for a massive military response. In fact, Israel has stopped artillery shelling of Gaza, and limited air strikes targeting militants, after a number of botched attacks, in which Palestinian civilians were killed.

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