Palestinian Group: Qassam Found Last Week Targeted Sharon

Palestinian Resistance Committees spokesman says 'nobody in Israel is secure, including Sharon'.

A Palestinian militant group which fired a rocket found at the ranch of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon last week said on Saturday it had intended to target Sharon and vowed to continue trying to do so.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Resistance Committees, a loose coalition of militants who split from other organisations, mainly from Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction, said the fight against Israel would continue.

The crudely constructed rockets have caused panic among Israelis and have disrupted daily life, but they are very inaccurate and are rarely deadly or cause casualties.

"The rockets carry a clear message that nobody in Israel is secure, including Sharon ... We say to Sharon that he is not immune from Palestinian resistance strikes," PRC spokesman Mohammed Abdel Al, also known as Abu Abir, told Reuters.

The remains of the rocket found last week were reported to have landed weeks earlier near the grave of Sharon's wife, Lili, who is buried on his Sycamore Ranch. It was one of three found there with no damage reported, an Israeli military source said.

The ranch is close to the Israeli town of Sderot which was subject to a barrage of tens of rockets fired by Palestinian militant groups from neighboring Gaza in September.

The salvoes, fired mainly by militant group Hamas which is bent on Israel's destruction, prompted Israeli airstrikes in Gaza and massive arrest raids in the occupied West Bank.

Militant groups have threatened to fire rockets into Israel from the West Bank and Abu Abir said that Gaza militants had relayed know-how on their production to West Bank comrades but that no decision had been taken on whether to launch them.

Palestinian militant groups have largely abided by a ceasefire declared by Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in February. Militants have agreed to ensure a period of calm until the end of the year.