|Gaza rocket being fired into Israel. |
Note that they are being fired from civilian areas in the city center
|Injured Israeli being evacuated to Beersheba.|
In 12 hours during the night and early morning of October 23-24, Hamas and its allies launched 68 rockets and also mortar shells [B's note: that number has increased to 80 rockets in 24 hours].
Iron Dome anti-missile missiles brought down 7 of them. Two foreign workers on Israeli farms were critically wounded; three or four others were lightly wounded; and several houses were damaged. Israeli civilians were told to stay near shelters and schools were closed. Earlier, a roadside bomb seriously injured an Israeli officer.
Israeli military forces hit two rocket-firing teams, an area from which launchers were firing, and tunnels used to smuggle in rocket motors. Similar short-term heavy barrages took place in March and June. Hamas sources reported three dead, two of them Hamas soldiers.
There are two important factors in this latest offensive. First, the attacks from Hamas and the smaller groups it allows to operate from the Gaza Strip are increasing. Second, an emboldened Hamas is now more directly involved in these operations.
This trend is a direct result of the fact that Hamas now feels secure in that its Muslim Brotherhood allies are governing Egypt and allowing more, and apparently more advanced, military equipment to enter the Gaza Strip.
The danger is that as the Brotherhood consolidates power in Cairo and Hamas becomes even more confident it will at some point open a war against Israel. Such a conflict would bring even more Brotherhood-Hamas cooperation and such things as escalated attacks across the Egypt-Israel border and the entry of Egyptian volunteers into the fighting.
Five houses suffered direct hits. School has been suspended in the area and [Israeli] residents within 10 km. of Gaza were instructed to remain inside fortified spaces.
Israel to UN: Silence on Gaza Rockets Gives Terror a Green Light
Israel's ambassador to the UN called on the Security Council to issue a statement condemning fire from Gaza after more than 80 rockets slammed into southern Israel over a single day. Ron Prosor warned Security Council members that if they don't condemn the rocket attacks, Hamas and other terrorists will interpret the silence "as a green light for terror."
(Times of Israel)
Why Hamas Feels Confident Enough to Fire Rockets at Israel
-Khaled Abu Toameh
Hamas' involvement in the current rocket and mortar attacks on Israel is a sign of its growing sense of confidence, especially in the wake of the visit to Gaza of the emir of Qatar. Hamas knows that it also enjoys the support of many Arabs and Muslims thanks to the Arab Spring, including the full backing of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi.
Hamas feels confident that Morsi would not remain idle if Israel retaliated against the rocket fire with a massive military operation in Gaza. The least that Hamas expects from Morsi in response to such an operation would be to sever Egypt's diplomatic ties with Israel.
Hamas has to prove to its critics and political rivals that it has not abandoned the "armed resistance against the Zionist enemy."