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Monday, August 8, 2011

Fire from Gaza intensifies as three mortars hit southern Israel

Kassam rocket fired from Gaza struck southern Israel and injured a 50 year old woman from Hof Ashkelon
In retaliation, Israel's Air Force bombed two targets in Gaza.

The Israel Defense Forces reported that the Israeli aircraft attacked a terror activity site in northern Gaza and a smuggling tunnel in southern Gaza.

In addition to the injury to the Hof Ashkelon resident, many other Israelis were treated for shock.

.A U.S. State Department audit has determined that the U.S. Embassy in Israel has been ignored due to long-running indicision over its relocation to Jerusalem.

The Office of Inspector General report states there are "a number of internal problems that affect its ability to operate efficiently." Included among the issues are the "inadequate, dilapidated, unsafe facilities" in which many staff have to work.

"In 1995, Congress passed legislation requiring the movement of the embassy toJerusalemand prohibiting the construction of any diplomatic facilities except in Jerusalem. "Consecutive administrations have determined that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would carry significant negative foreign policy implications, which has led to regular executive branch waivers and severely constrains spending on the existing buildings." The report continues....."Given the intersection of U.S. foreign policy objectives, high-profile domestic attention to Israel, and historically intransigent issues, Embassy Tel Aviv’s leadership faces challenges matched in intensity in only three or four other world capitals,"

The audit was arranged in October 2010, as the relationship between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government sunk to its lowest point.

Hours before the air strike a rocket fell in an open field near the town of Kiryat Gat. The rocket was the third of its kind in 24 hours, but it caused no injuries or damage.

IDF spokesman said last week that, "The IDF will operate with determination and respond with force against any terror organization attempting to disturb the way of life or harm the citizens of Israel. The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip."

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a cabinet meeting Sunday that the recent rocket fire from Gaza was carried out by Palestinian breakaway groups and an Islamic Jihad organization, adding that he views the recent escalation with great severity and believes the attacks will continue.

Since the beginning of 2011 more than 340 rockets have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip, according to the Israel Defense Forces.

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