Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kassam Rocket Attacks: Ramadan Preview?

Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

Palestinian Authority terrorists launched two rockets at Jewish communities in the western Negev on Monday. No injuries or damage were reported, but the attacks may be a preview of more to come as the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches. One of the rockets was fired late Monday afternoon and the second struck a few hours later. Both projectiles were launched from the northern part of Hamas-controlled Gaza. They landed in open areas adjacent to collective farming communities (kibbutzim) in the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council area. The Color Red alert system sounded an alarm in the targeted region shortly before the PA rockets landed.

In reaction to the rocket attacks on Monday, Israel announced the closure of the crossings into and out of Gaza.

Since the initiation of what the jihadist Hamas refers to as a tahadiyeh or "calm period" between Hamas and Israel in June, more than 45 rockets and mortar shells have been launched at Israel by Gaza-based terrorists.

The tahadiyeh mini-ceasefire, such as it is, may come to an end next week, at the start of the Islamic month of Ramadan, which Muslims see as a holy period. The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a Hamas front group, warned earlier this month that the temporary decrease in attacks on its part will likely end by Ramadan. The month is frequently marked by an increase in terrorism by jihadist elements in Israel and abroad. This year, Ramadan corresponds almost exactly with the month of September.

Ramadan: A Month of Jihad
During Ramadan of 2004, in Sawt Al-Jihad, an internet journal affiliated with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, an ideologue explained: "Men of Jihad, this is your festive season since Jihad, in a state of fasting, has a particularly delectable taste for the believers.... Wonderful it is to delight in the breaking of the fast and to taste the killing of infidels, to delight in the sound of the wailing of tyrants and lowly degenerates.... [Ramadan is a] month of fighting, of self-sacrifice, of military victories, of the victory of religion and the humiliation of the infidels. The most courageous and finest forays took place in Ramadan...."

Among the "forays" associated with Ramadan in Muslim history are: the famous Battle of Badr, led by the founder of Islam, Mohammad, in 624 CE; the conquest of Mecca by Mohammad and his warriors in 630 CE; the conquest of Andalusia (Spain) in 711 CE; the takeover of the Crusader outpost in Tzfat (Safed) in 1189; the Yom Kippur War against Israel in 1973 (and hence called the Ramadan War in Egypt); and more.

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