Seems that there have been rocket firings every couple of days from Gaza. The latest was yesterday (in Israel – 8/11/11). But this has been going on for a while. They are being shot mostly into the “Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council” which is the administrative area that includes Sderot. They have been sporadic, and since the area is quite sparsely populated, usually have done little harm. However, last week, after rockets landed near Ashkelon and Sderot, the IAF retaliated with several strikes in Northern Gaza. I learned about the attacks live while I was monitoring #J14 on Twitter. #J14 is the Twitter hashtag for the so-called July 14th demonstrations in Israel. (If folks out there are not on Twitter, but would be interested in finding out why I think it is by far the best medium for getting news and commentary, please leave me a comment below. I would be happy to post a blog on why I feel that way and how I use Twitter). It isn’t clear who is firing the rockets (that is, even though Hamas controls Gaza, there are still multiple rouge factions within Hamas – several of whom are far more violent than the main governing organization), or why. With the serious domestic turmoil that is going on throughout Israel, if these provocations lead to a major military action against Gaza, it will probably actually strengthen the current government. Nothing pulls together a country like a good ol’ war.
Anyhow – here are some recent Jerusalem Post posts which provide a flavor of what is going on in the south:
08/11/2011 21:01 Kassam from Gaza lands in Sha’ar Hanegev council; none hurt
08/07/2011 20:35 Kassam lands in Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council; no injured
08/03/2011 11:25 Kassam explodes in Ashkelon, no injuries reported
8/1/2011 11:11 PM IAF strikes several Gaza targets following Kassam attack
Air Force action comes in response to Kassam rocket fired at southern Israel, moderately injuring a woman in her fifties.
8/1/2011 10:59 PM Kassam explodes near Ashkelon, 1 moderately injured
7/31/2011 3:17 PM Two Kassams from Gaza land in Israel; no injuries reported
7/28/2011 7:46 AM Kassam explodes south of Ashkelon; no injuries or damage
This is clearly terrorism – drip by drip. But let’s be clear. It is not: “thousands of rockets raining down on Israel”. It is not meant to damage property or kill people per se. Rather, it is meant to instill fear and fray nerves because the possiblity of death is very real. Nevertheless, at it’s heart, it is really psychological warfare.
But let’s also be clear: there are indeed 40,000 rockets on the other side of the security fence that would cause widespread death and destruction if used. Let’s hope, for the sake of both sides, that they never are.
- Israel: Another day, another rocket fired from Gaza (waronterrornews.typepad.com)
- Fire from Gaza intensifies as three mortars hit southern Israel (via Newsessentials Blog) (thechristiangazette.wordpress.com)