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Wednesday, March 30, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Three Palestinian missiles explode in Gaza
during past week

GAZA CITY — Palestinian missiles and rockets have been exploding around the Gaza Strip.


The Palestinian Center for Human Rights reported that Palestinian missiles and rockets were accidentally striking residential areas of Gaza City. They said the projectiles, assembled by Palestinian militias, were landing in homes and factories.

"Members of the Palestinian resistance continue to store explosives or to treat such explosives in locations close to populated areas," the human rights group said. "This poses a major threat to the lives of the Palestinian civilians and constitutes a violation of both international human rights law and the international humanitarian law."

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In a report on March 29, PCHR cited the landing of several missiles on the house of Islamic Jihad leader Ahmed Al Batsh in Jabalia. Members of Al Batsh's family, including a seven-month-old girl, were injured on March 29.

"The house was heavily damaged and the glass of the windows in three of the neighboring houses shattered," the center said. "It should be noted that a site used by members of one of the Palestinian factions is located to the southwest of Al Batsh's house."

The Iranian-sponsored Islamic Jihad has been regarded as the most active Palestinian militia in the war against Israel. This month, Jihad fired its first extended-range Grad BM-21 rockets into Israel, which traveled at least 45 kilometers and landed in such cities as Ashdod and Beersheba.

On March 26, another Palestinian rocket exploded in a Gaza City soft drinks factory that belonged to the Murtaja Co. PCHR said a huge plastic facility was destroyed in the explosion. No casualties were reported.

So far, the center reported three explosions from Palestinian missiles and rockets meant for launch toward Israel. On March 24, a missile exploded in a Gaza City wood factory owned by Bseiso and Alami Industry and Trade Co. At least three people were injured.

The report did not cite the reason for the explosion. But PCHR has asserted that Hamas and Palestinian militias were believed to have been assembling and testing missiles, mortars and rockets in residential areas of the Gaza Strip.

"These actions must be brought to an end because they become more dangerous in view of the public and continued threats imposed by the Israeli occupation forces," the center said.

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