A quarter-million Israelis will be in range of Palestinian rockets next year, according to intelligence assessments.
Ma’ariv on Monday quoted Israeli military intelligence as saying that in 2008, Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip will have expanded the range of their rockets to as much as eight miles. Among potential targets is Ashkelon, a coastal city with a major electricity plant.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has resisted calls to fortify homes in Israeli towns and villages around Gaza, a project that would cost some $1.3 billion, saying it would project weakness.
Israel also has held off on invading Gaza to crush Palestinian rocket crews. According to Ma’ariv, contributing to the holdup has been the concern that Hamas could harm an Israeli soldier it is holding captive, Sgt. Gilad Shalit.