|This weekend is Scarlet South time|
Every spring, the Negev desert starts to bloom and the ordinarily green landscape is covered with a magnificent carpet of scarlet red anemones. To celebrate this amazing natural wonder, the annual Darom Adom Festival dedicated to the very best of the region takes place during the month of February. Every weekend there will be guided tours, a farmers market, workshops and activities for children, bicycle tours and musical performances in select locations throughout the region. [Source]Unfortunately February, along with all the other months of the year, is when the terrorism-addicted jihadists of the Gaza Strip celebrate the joys of flinging explosive rockets over the fence into whatever part of nearby Israel they can reach. Sometimes their prayers for victims or damage are answered. Tonight, thank Heavens, they were not, but they keep trying.
At about 4:45 pm today, as the light was failing towards the end of the Sabbath, the dreaded sounds of a different red phenomenon, the Tzeva Adom (Colour Red) incoming missile warning system, were heard throughout the northern south, followed by the sounds of explosion.
So far - as is sadly customary - this has gone almost entirely unreported outside of the usual Israeli channels. The coverage given on the Haaretz web site is stunningly laconic:
A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip exploded in an open area in the Eshkol Regional Council in southern Israel Saturday afternoon. No casualties or damage were reported. Before the rocket hit, residents in two regional councils near Gaza heard rocket alert sirens. [Haaretz]Over at Times of Israel, they add that the sirens were heard in several towns and kibbutzim of the Sdot Negev region as well as in Eshkol. Incorporating some 16 communities (two kibbutzim, 12 moshavim and two communal settlements), Sdot Negev's population has grown by 55 percent since 2006: the local education system, atmosphere and rural lifestyle are quoted as attractions in the region's Wikipedia entry. The Eshkol region, which suffers greatly from incoming Gazan rockets, encompasses 15 kibbutzim, 13 moshavim and three other communities.
It's likely there will be a response from Israeli forces, probably tonight, at which point the horror of living in the Israeli communities that are routinely at the receiving end of randomly-flung explosive rockets fired from Gaza into non-military targets will be ignored in the news reports. What makes headlines, as every editor knows, is Israeli military determination and Palestinian Arab victimhood. Stand by.