Wednesday, June 18, 2014

18-Jun-14: For fifth night running, Gazan Pal Arab rockets crash into southern Israel

Times of Israel says a Gazan terror group rocket:
...struck a building in an agricultural community in southern Israel Wednesday night, causing damage but no injuries. The rocket hit a home in a kibbutz in the Sha’ar HaNegev region outside of Gaza. A second projectile also launched out of the Palestinian enclave landed in an open area in the same region. The attack is the most recent of a spate of fire directed at Israeli citizens, many of which drew Israeli retaliatory strikes from the air. It also comes as tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have ramped up in the wake of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens and the ensuing crackdown on the terror group Hamas...
Rockets from Gaza, at least this week's round, have a fairly specific context. Avi Issacharoff, writing earlier today in Times of Israel ["As IDF sweeps West Bank, Gaza residents prepare for war"] has some insight into how the Palestinian Arabs of Gaza - with whom he has been dialoguing - view the rising tensions:
Gaza residents are preparing for war after Israel accused Hamas of kidnapping three Israeli teens... The [Gazan] population widely believes that the Hamas leadership was indeed involved in the abduction and that after Israel has finished dealing with the kidnapping saga, it will turn its attention to the Gaza Strip. The independent Palestinian news agency Palswa reported Wednesday (today) that Israeli special forces had raided the West Bank home of a prisoner who was freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal and deported to Gaza. According to the report, a Shin Bet security service agent forced the prisoner’s brother to call his sibling in Gaza. When the man picked up the phone, the agent reportedly took the receiver and said, “We know you are involved in the kidnapping, and we will hit you with a missile from a drone.” 
More context: the month-long Moslem holiday of Ramadan gets underway 10 days from now. The run-up to Ramadan is a time of heavy-duty shopping, but Gazans are experiencing shortages of fuel and other commodities, signs of an economic crisis in Gaza that is growing deeper with time. The perfect time for a terror-minded leadership to divert their subjects' attention to thoughts of war and battle.

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