Jerusalem – A Qassam rocket was fired on Tuesday night from Gaza to Kibbutz Gvaram in the Ashkelon area. The rocket landed in an open area, and no one was reported injured and no damage was caused.

After a situation assessment, Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak decided to close the border crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip yesterday, following the Qassam rocket attack.

Hamas’ representatives have made contradictory statements this week about the future of the “tahdia” (cease fire/calm) arrangement, which is scheduled to expire on Dec. 19.

Hamas Spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said his movement had not decided so far whether to continue the tahdia or end it. However, Hamas leader Mushir al-Masri, speaking on the “Sawt al-Quds” radio station in Gaza, said ending or extending the tahdia required the consent of all the Palestinian organizations.

He said that the “Zionist enemy’s” attempt to evade the terms of the tahdia could encourage the organizations not to extend it.
Mr. Masri said further that the remaining months would determine whether the tahdia had achieved its goals, mainly with regard to opening the crossings and bringing goods into the Gaza Strip.

He also stated in the same interview that in the Hamas lexicon, tahdia means “rest for the jihad fighter,” and it is used for the purpose of training and preparing the military system for the “battles to come.”

He added that in principle, the normal policy of the Palestinian people and the “resistance” (i.e. the terror organizations) was the “option of jihad and resistance,” while the tahdia was a temporary and irregular phenomenon.

David Bedein can be reached at [email protected]. His Web site is


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