Jerusalem, Oct. 27 – Terrorists fired three grad rockets from Hamas-controlled Gaza on Wednesday evening. Alarms were sounded in several towns in the greater Tel Aviv area. For some places it is the first time that sirens rang out showing the ever-increasing range of rockets smuggled into Gaza.
On this occasion there were no physical injuries but medics treated several people for shock.
Israel holds Iran-backed Hamas responsible for all attacks from Gaza.
Israel is readying to deploy Magic Wand, a defensive missile system that would attempt to protect the heavily-populated center of the country from medium-range rocket attacks from Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The rockets landed as Middle East Quartet representative Tony Blair concluded a series of meetings with Israeli and Palestinian negotiators.
While expectations were not high from the talks, a Quartet statement suggested there is some room for hope.
“Both Parties expressed their readiness to engage with the Quartet, on the basis of its statement of 23 September, to overcome the current obstacles and resume direct bilateral negotiations without delay or preconditions.
“The Parties agreed with the Quartet to come forward with comprehensive proposals on territory and security within three months in the context of our shared commitment to the objective of direct negotiations leading toward an agreement by the end of 2012,” the statement read.
The Quartet comprises the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia.
The Quartet’s push for direct talks is in line with repeated requests from Jerusalem for the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table immediately and without preconditions.
The Palestinians say that in addition to meeting the Quartet they will continue their push for international recognition at the United Nations, despite the Quartet’s opposition to that approach.
Jerusalem is concerned that the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, is continuing to look for rapprochement with Hamas – an Iranian proxy. Hamas is recognized as a terror organization by the EU, Japan and Canada among others.