Israel planting trees along Gaza border to defend against rockets 14Mar13 March 14, 2013

Haaretz    -    13 March 2013

3569882594Trees are often used as a screen to block out undesirable views, but in Israel they’re about to be planted as a screen against rocket attacks on Israelis living close to the border with the Gaza Strip.

The Israel Defense Forces first used trees as a line of defense as the state was being established, but say they can be just as effective today, and are planting eucalyptus now to that effect.

A lone rocket was fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip last month, in the first such incident in the three months since Operation Pillar of Defense.

The rocket landed in an open area south of Ashkelon and caused no casualties or damage.

In response, Israel scaled back operations at its border crossings with Gaza.

But it still views the launch as an isolated incident, meaning no more substantial response is required at this point.

A few days after the rocket fire, Palestinians in Gaza fired at IDF forces stationed on the other side of the fence during a protest at the border.

Israel believes that Hamas’ leadership in Gaza still wants to maintain the cease-fire that ended the November 2012 conflict, which entailed a barrage of 1,500 rockets fired at Israel, including Tel Aviv and the Jerusalem area. The Israeli army responded with air strikes targeting Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials and terror sites in Gaza.

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