Israeli military and political leaders are coming under mounting pressure to retaliate, after dozens of young soldiers were hurt in a rocket attack near Gaza. At least 69 solders were injured when a Qassam rocket fired from northern Gaza exploded in a base for new recruits. It is the highest number of Israelis wounded in a single rocket attack since they began seven years ago.
The recruits were sleeping in tents, and the explosion sent shrapnel flying in all directions. Two Palestinian groups claimed to have fired the rocket: Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees. The attack near Ashkelon seems certain to lead to calls for Israeli military strikes in Gaza. Industry Minister Eli Yishai said he thought Israel should have hit back long ago with overwhelming force. But questions will also be asked as to why the young soldiers were sleeping under canvas in an area prone to rocket attacks.