|Update: Attacks on Southern Israel |
Since the deadly attacks near Eilat last Thursday, Gaza militants have fired over 100 rockets and mortar shells at Israel. A tentative cease-fire was reached with various factions in Gaza—including the Popular Resistance Committee, which took credit for the attacks last Thursday—however, the rockets and shells have not stopped.
Israel has maintained a restrained but persistent response, including air strikes of a smuggling tunnel, weapons manufacturing site and militant outposts. The IDF announced that the Iron Dome, an anti-rocket missile defense system unveiled in May, successfully incepted four rockets on Saturday, but was unable to stop a fifth which killed one and wounded several others in Be’er Sheva.
Tension also arose last week between Israel and Egypt following the deaths of five Egyptian security personnel killed in the crossfire between the IDF and Gaza militants on Thursday. Israeli officials have apologized but the Egyptian government said the apology was insufficient. However, an initial statement that Egypt would recall its ambassador from Israel was removed from the Egyptian government website. Analysts are closely watching the Israeli-Egyptian relationship, which many believe will play a critical role in ensuring the stability of the region.
Today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met an American congressional delegation, lead by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, during a visit to Israel. Netanyahu thanked the delegation for their support of Israel and reminded them of the Iranian threat.
"Those who fire missiles at Israel are supported by Iran with weapons, money and training.” Netanyahu said. “They constitute a forwardIranian post on our borders. Just as Iran threatens us, so too it threatens the US."
Thank Congress for its support of Israel and urge your legislators not to ignore the dangerous situation developing in Gaza. Suggested talking points from our coalition partner The Israel Project follow below. These talking points can be used to contact your local legislators and media, or for bulletins, Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
· Iran-back Hamas and its terrorist allies have launched a new and entirely unprovoked series of deadly attacks on Israeli citizens.
· The Israeli response has been restrained and carefully targeted at terrorists.
· In April, the terrorist organization signed a unity agreement with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who plans to seek recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations without negotiation with Israel.
· Ignoring the current developments in the Middle East is dangerous.
· Israel has the right to defend itself and the world should pressure Iran to restrain its Hamas allies before the situation gets even more out of hand.
· Countries with ties to Hamas should cut them off.
· The United Nations should reject Palestinian unilateral moves that threaten to destroy the peace process. Date: 8/22/2011