October 19, 2008

Israel Goes on Alert for Hamas Rockets

Israeli cities bordering the Gaza Strip have gone on alert amid intelligence that Hamas was preparing to break a three-month-old ceasefire, sources say.

Citing unnamed military sources, the Israeli Web site DEBKAfile.com reported Sunday that Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist group that controls Gaza, has allegedly decided to again start lobbing rockets into southern Israeli after Egyptian-brokered talks to reconcile its differences with rival Palestinian faction Fatah broke down in Cairo.

The militant group is also reportedly upset that Egypt refuses to reopen the Rafah crossing into Gaza.

DEBKAfile.com's sources say Hamas leaders are counting on Israel refraining from a return missile barrage with a U.S. presidential election looming on Nov. 4.

Hamas leaders are also banking on both Fatah and Egypt bending to its demands if attacks against Israel are resumed, the sources said.