Palestinian Islamic Jihad Website and a spokesman claimed the volleys of Qassam rocket fire at Sderot were launched to mark the beginning of the school year.

Rocket launchers aimed at Israel
(PIJ’s Qudsway Website, September 3, 2007).

1. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian terrorist organization which today launches the greatest number of rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip, fired two rockets on the morning of September 2. The organization was also fired most of the exceptionally large number of rockets launched at Sderot on September 3. 1

2. An organization Website and a spokesman for its terrorist operative wing claimed that the volleys of rocket fire were intended to disrupt the beginning of the school year in Sderot , and bragged that they had achieved their goal . Examples follow:

3. A posting which appeared on PalToday (one of the PIJ’s Websites) on September 2 in the afternoon (the first day of school):
Headline "Rockets of the [ Jerusalem ] Battalions met the Sderot children when their new school year began”

Rockets of the [ Jerusalem ] Battalions met the Sderot children when their new school year began


September 2, 2007, [time] 19:34:15

The IDF radio station announced that the first day of school in Sderot had begun with a siren [called in Hebrew "red alert”].

The station said that the students of the settlement [sic] [Sderot] fled to bomb shelters after they heard the sirens [which went off before the rockets fell].

In addition, the Website [apparently a reference to the Israeli army radio’s Website] stated that the soldiers stationed in Sderot also ran for the shelters when they heard the sirens.

It should be noted that the Jerusalem Battalions, the [Palestinian] Islamic Jihad’s military [sic] wing, launched two rockets this forming which fell near a kibbutz close to Sderot.

4. After the volleys of rockets fired on September 3 a spokesmen (calling himself "Abu Ahmad”) for the Jerusalem Battalions, the organization’s terrorist operative wing, said that the attack was deliberately intended to disrupt the beginning of the Israeli school year .

A. Abu Ahmad noted that the "resistance” should prevent the children of Sderot from going to school, just as the children of the Gaza Strip were prevented, adding: "If the children of the Gaza Strip can’t live in tranquility, can’t go [to school] and none of their scholastic needs can be fulfilled, the same will be true for the children of Sderot and Ashqelon , and they won’t be able to live tranquil lives either” (PalToday, September 4).

B. In a different interview, Abu Ahmad said that " the strike [of parents who won’t allow their children to go to school] in Sderot greatly fortifies us [the Palestinian Islamic Jihad], proves the rocket fire has [the desired] results and disrupts Israeli life exactly as Israeli actions harm the Palestinians. We definitely intended to step up rocket fire for the beginning of the school year to make the world pay attention to the suffering of Palestinian children and their parents (interview with Ali Waked, Ynet, September 3).

1 For further information see our Bulletin entitled "On the morning of September 3 the Palestinian Islamic Jihad launched an exceptional rocket attack on Sderot” .