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Dec 14, 2008 – A Qassam rocket fired from the northern Gaza Strip landed in an open field in the Eshkol Regional Council Sunday morning. No one was injured and no damage was caused.

Eshkol Council head Haim Yalin said, “We are preparing our residents for every possible situation, including a military operation and a continued truce. But I think that during a transit government, the only thing we can do is pass the time.”

The Shurat HaDin human rights institute on Sunday filed a petition to the High Court of Justice against Defense Minister Ehud Barakand Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer demanding the transfer of NIS 100 million ($25.7 million) to the Strip be halted immediately.

Shurat HaDin and the Sderot Security Headquarters have been struggling against the government’s policies of transferring money to Gaza for the past few months.

In the urgent petition, Shurat HaDin demanded Barak stop the transfer from going through. At the same time Fischer was called on to immediately stop forcing Israeli banks to provide services to Gaza banks.

The petition, filed by Shurat HaDin attorneys Nitsana Darshan-Leitner and Roee Cohavi read: “Tens of thousands of Hamasterrorists and Hamas government officials get their wages in cash, in shekels that the Bank of Israel forces Israeli banks to transfer to the Gaza Strip, and with the permission of the defense minister.

“The transfer of money to the Gaza Strip is a clear act of funding terror, and a violation of a number of laws including the 2005 law against funding terror and the law against money laundering.”

The petition continued: “Transferring money to the Gaza Strip and the ongoing banking ties between Bank Hapoalim and Discount Bank and the banks in the Gaza Strip expose the Israeli banks and their employees to major civil lawsuits by relatives of the terror victims in Israel and abroad, and to criminal proceedings.

According to Advocate Darshan-Leitner, “Israel’s government cannot fight Hamas with one hand and finance its activity with the other hand. The government calls on all the countries of the world to boycott the Hamas government, to isolate it and not transfer money to it, but it itself allows the transfer of the Israeli currency to the enemy’s hands, and by doing so strengthens Hamas’ power in Gaza.

“Residents of the western Negev should not be paying for the frivolous policies of the defense minister and the governor of the Bank of Israel.”

“Above all, this petition argues, that the conduct of the defense minister and the governor of the Bank of Israel seriously jeopardizes the security of Israel’s residents and in particular the security of the residents of Sderot, Ashkelon and Gaza vicinity communities.”