Tuesday, February 26, 2013

26-Feb-13: A Gazan rocket attack on southern Israel this morning

A Grad rocket was fired from the Gaza Strip at Ashkelon during this morning's (Tuesday) rush hour. Times of Israel reports that it hit a road in an industrial area in the south of the city around 7 am. No injuries but the road is damaged.

Two blasts were heard in the city though a Reuters report says signs of only one rocket have been found so far. There was no warning sirens to alert residents. A BBC report says there has been no immediate claim of responsibility (the terrorists often compete for the 'credit') from Gaza.

Reuters, the BBC and others relate this morning's attack to various injured or dead Palestinian Arabs as if that were an explanation for a terrorist attack on a hands-down civilian target, without making the more appropriate observation that Palestinian Arab leaders have been raising the volume and heat of their rhetoric in the past week with an evident plan to inflame whatever can be inflamed for their own aims.

It's fairly plain to anyone paying attention that the upcoming visit of the US president [see "25-Feb-13: Whipping up the flames to create a crisis atmosphere for when Obama arrives"] is a significant factor in this. We quoted a US commentator there, Jonathan Tobin, whose comment is appropriate to what has started unfolding (again) this morning:
Any escalation of violence, no matter how much it is the product of a political decision rather than a popular protest, will generate a lot of negative press for Israel. Even the most restrained measures of Israeli self-defense will be denounced as disproportionate.
More information when we have it.

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