Ali Waked
August 12, 2008 - 4:43pm,7340,L-3581141,00.html

Hamas officials vowed on Monday it would track down the parties responsible for the firing of a Qassam rocket from northern Gaza towards Israel on Monday. The rocket landed in an open area near a kindergarten in the town of Sderot, causing no injuries or damage.

Though the region has been relatively quiet since Israel signed the ceasefire agreement with Hamas and other Palestinian groups in June, intermittent rocket and mortar fire has been recorded every several days. The last rocket landed in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council on Saturday.

Hamas is convinced the perpetrators of Monday's attack, and other recent attacks, are gunmen employed by Palestinian merchants whose businesses suffered due to the influx of goods now entering Gaza through the Israeli border crossings.

But if Hamas' suspicions are true – then it would seem the merchants were successful in achieving their goals, as Israel has announced it will close the goods crossings on Tuesday in response to the rocket fire.

Several days after the ceasefire went into effect a volley of mortar shells was fired towards Nahal Oz. Palestinian security forces in Gaza determined the man who ordered the attacks was a sunflower seed merchant who feared the opening of Gaza's border crossings would have a negative effect on his sales. The man was arrested.

But Hamas is also investigating whether residents loyal to the rival faction Fatah are behind the shooting.

Hamas officials stressed to Ynet that while the group was committed to maintaining the calm, it still plans to review the agreement by the end of August. Israeli estimates indicate Hamas will not violate the truce even then.


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