Israeli jets unleashed their second missile strike on Gaza in 48 hours yesterday in retaliation after Palestinian armed groups fired a new type of home-made rocket over the strip's fence into Israel.
Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, the Israeli Defence Minister, accused the militant Hamas movement of creating a "new level of threat" in the conflict with Sunday's first firing of the Kassam-II, which landed harmlessly in farmland used by a kibbutz.
Its primitive and old technology is similar to Katyushas, which Hizbollah guerrillas have used against Israel for years. This did not stop Israel's official spokesman from presenting it as a major new development, "a new rocket that could open a deadlier stage in a 16-month conflict", as the army put it.
The warhead of the Kassam-II is a fraction of the 500lb missiles of the Israeli F-16s that injured more than 30 people, most lightly.
¿ Israeli police announced an inquiry into the death of Samer Abu Mayyaleh, 14, a Palestinian murder suspect killed by a single bullet after officers started to chase him.Reuse content