Israeli aircraft attacked targets throughout the Gaza Strip on Thursday night, unleashing more than 25 strikes in swift succession according to Reuters witnesses.
Schools in southern Israeli communities were closed after rockets from Gaza pounded the area, leaving a father of four dead and dozens wounded.
President George W. Bush kicked off the week by reaffirming his vision of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but it was widely seen as an attempt to divert attention from his debacle in Iraq rather than a commitment to sustained diplomacy.
More than a week of unabated Qassam rocket attacks on Sderot has created a huge policy dilemma for the Israeli government: What should it do to stop radical Gaza-based terrorists from firing missiles on Israeli civilians and causing pandemonium in the border town of 22,000.
An Islamic Jihad terrorist blew himself up Monday outside the Sharon Mall in Netanya, which has seen several such attacks due to its proximity to the West Bank. At least five people were killed and more than 50 wounded. The bomber was identified as a 21-year-old man from the West Bank.
Suicide Bomber Kills 3, Injures 24 at Netanya Mall
At least three people were killed and 24 wounded in a suicide bombing in the Israeli city of Netanya on Tuesday. Islamic Jihad released a statement claiming responsibility for the blast at a shopping mall.
This week's Israeli airstrike on an Islamic Jihad training camp near Damascus, which followed the group's deadly suicide bombing in Haifa on Saturday, was a sign to the Arab world that Israel will not be constrained by borders when it comes to the war on terrorism.
The attack came hours before the 30th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, when Israel was blindsided by Syria and Egypt.
Palestinian support for Iraq took on a new dimension this week with a suicide bombing in Israel that Islamic Jihad said was aimed at showing solidarity with Baghdad.
Dozens of people were wounded, six seriously, when a suicide bomber blew himself up March 30 next to a crowded restaurant in the coastal city of Netanya. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility and identified the bomber as a resident of Tulkarm.
The group's secretary, Ramadan Shalakh, said the attack commemorated Land Day, which itself marks the deaths of six Israeli Arabs during protests in 1976 against state confiscation of Arab lands in the Galilee. Shalakh also said the bombing was a show of solidarity with the Iraqi people.
Palestinian suicide bombers killed a total of 28 bus passengers and young people in a four-day orgy of blood and vengeance that stretched from Haifa and Hadera in the North to Jerusalem in the South.