The last time a Gazan Qassam rocket was fired at an Israeli civilians - and missed - was 24 hours earlier. Missing is, of course, not the intention of the terrorists. They risk their lives in such attempts on the basis that the potential reward, measured in terms of Israeli lives and property, justifies the dangers.
On the ground, the population of southern Israel may find it difficult to buy into the image of relative calm propagated in news stories. Associated Press, for instance, in reporting on yesterday's attack, reports that
Rocket fire from Gaza has declined since a military campaign in November, before which militants were firing rockets on an almost daily basis and launching other attacks on Israeli towns across the border. Sporadic fire still persists however. [USA Today/AP]A contributor to a Hebrew-language online forum this morning summarizes how that 'sporadic fire' feels from the vantage point of the Israelis who find themselves the targets. These are all from April alone:
April 2 - Mortar fire on Eshkol region
April 3 - Rocket explodes near Sderot
April 4 - Rocket explodes in Eshkol region
April 7 - Three incoming rockets; one explodes in Shaar Hanegev region
April 9 - Roadside bomb explodes adjacent to the security fence separating Gaza from Israel, damaging a tractor
April 16 - The Tzeva Adom anti-missile alert is heard twice; outcome not known
April 17 - Two rockets explode in or very close to Eilat
April 19 - Two rockets explode in Eshkol region
April 21 - A rocket explodes in Eshkol region, prompting the Chinese Xinhua news agency to write that this has "broken the quiet that had reigned the region since November"
April 28 - Two incoming rockets (we had reported one) on southern communities; one explodes in Sdot Negev region just as thousands of Israelis were "outside in parks and forests celebrating the Jewish holiday of Lag Baomer with traditional bonfires" [AP].
And overnight in the Eshkol region again, as we reported just now.