$7.48 Billion Pledged to Palestinians, Rocket Attacks Against Israel Increase

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Donor nations including the United States, Arab Gulf states, states of the European Union, and others, raised $7.4 billion in support of a future Palestinian state. The total pledged surpassed the target of $5.6 billion. The figures below are from The Guardian.

EU $650m *

US $555m †

UK $500m

Saudi Arabia $500-750m

Kuwait $300m

UAE $300m

Norway $420m

France $300m

Germany $200m

Sweden $210m…

Japan $150m

South Korea $ 13m

As negotiations continued in Paris, the Israeli Air Force replied to repeated rocket attacks from Gaza, killing Majed Harazin, an Islamic Jihad leader and other at least six other terrorists. In addition to Harazin, the group’s rocket-launching expert was also killed. Benni Avni writes in The New York Sun, “Israel’s air force — cooperating with its internal intelligence service, Shabak — conducted at least two separate air attacks in Gaza, which were reported to be narrowly targeted, directed strictly at leaders of the rocket-shooting campaign.

Later in the article Mr. Avni notes:

In a pattern that seems to follow the high-profile internationally guided diplomatic process, yesterday’s Paris conference was greeted Sunday by a barrage of rockets from Gaza, injuring a toddler in Kibbutz Zikim in southern Israel. A recent study of the use of rockets as weapons shows a significant rise in Palestinian Arab attacks in the aftermath of Israeli peace gestures, such as the 2005 withdrawal from Gaza.

The in-depth study published over the weekend on the Web site of the Israel Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center — http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/rocket_threat_e.htm — documents and analyzes the use of rockets, “an asymmetric weapon” that provides “the Palestinian terrorist organizations with a response to Israel’s military superiority.” Launches rose steadily since such rockets first appeared as weapons in 2000, as Israel and the Palestinian Arab started the Oslo peace negotiations. In 2004, a record number of 281 rockets were launched from Gaza, while the number diminished the following year, when Israel announced its intention to evacuate Gaza of all troops and settlers.

Once the so-called 2005 separation plan was completed and Hamas took over Gaza, however, the most significant increase in the scope of use of this terror weapon occurred, according to the study. There were 946 launches in 2006 and 783 launches so far in 2007 — not including the latest round over the weekend.

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