JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israeli forces have again bombarded the Gaza Strip, but this time the "forces" were civilians and their "ammunition" a mixed salad salvo of summer vegetables, fruit and eggs, the press reported on Friday.
The real army put a quick stop to Thursday's barrage, but those behind the ad hoc artillery bombardment still got their message across.
For six years southern Israel has been the target of deadly, though usually inaccurate, homemade rockets fired by Palestinian militants. Nine people have been killed and dozens wounded, mostly in and around the town of Sderot.
"Since the government has done nothing (to stop the attacks), we decided to take things into our own hands," Yigal Tzur, who heads the self-styled Sderot Support Committee, told the Maariv daily newspaper.
So they built a launcher from piping and filled it with inflammable liquid for propulsion purposes.
Then, taking aim at the northern Gaza town of Beit Hanun close to the frontier with Israel, they opened fire -- with tomatoes, eggs, cucumbers, mangoes and even corn on the cob.
Tzur was wrong when he said the government had done nothing to stop the rocket fire, although it is true that all efforts have so far failed.
Scores of Palestinians have been killed in retaliatory air and artillery strikes since the rocket fire first began. The army has also made occasional ground incursions in a bid to knock out mobile teams of rocket launchers.
Since late on Thursday, another six rockets were fired. Three never made it to Israel, but the others struck in or near Sderot, and one person was slightly wounded.
Local residents had been warned of the attack by an electronic alarm system, which meant they were able to take shelter.
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