|Tel Aviv [Image Source: Wikipedia]|
It's been a violent and dangerous day, and there's no reason to think the acts of terror from Hamas and the other jihad-minded grouplets in its domain are about to taper off. Quite the contrary.
This evening, there's an indication of how dangerous this can be, with the report an hour ago of a failed infiltration by Palestinian Arab terrorists in the vicinity of Kibbutz Zikim (main outputs: mangos, avocados. dairy products, polyurethane) on the Mediterranean sea shore a few kilometers north of the northwestern end of the Gaza Strip. Israel Radio's news report says they came by sea and were met with fire from an IDF force: an IDF soldier was lightly injured in the exchange. Police, according to Times of Israel
have been deployed in great numbers to the area to prevent additional infiltration attempts from the Gaza Strip into Israel. [Times of Israel tonight]At Israel National News, they say four infiltrators were killed but the authorities are taking no chances that there might be others as yet undetected. So the roads to and around Zikim are now closed.
There's quite dramatic surveillance camera video footage here, showing the terrorists emerging from the sea and being eliminated by IDF action.
Tzeva Adom incoming rocket warning sirens were heard throughout Israel's central metropolis earlier this evening: Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Kfar Shmaryahu, Rishon Letzion, Nes Tziona, Beit Shemesh, Rehovot, Gadera, the Gezer region, Yavne and other communities. Israel National News says there was a barrage of "several rockets", and that the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system made one or more mid-flight hits. No damage has yet been reported. That report says these were M75 rockets, "a domestic creation produced by Hamas in Gaza which features a long range", launched from Beit Hanoun in Gaza. At Times of Israel, they say Palestinian Islamic Jihad
has taken responsibility for the rocket fire on Tel Aviv. The rocket was most likely an M-75, which is made in Gaza and based on the Iranian Fajr rocket.Over at the Jerusalem Post, they write that
It was the first Gaza rocket that reached Tel Aviv since Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012. Following the attack over central Israel, the Home Front Command instructed the Tel Aviv Municipality to open public bomb shelters in the city. The Home Front Command had earlier instructed Tel Aviv residents to prepare for utilizing protected rooms and shelters in their private homes. Under the same instruction, the division responsible for civil security ordered for bomb shelters in Tel Aviv schools to be opened.As the world's news media focus attention on the rockets emanating from the Gaza Strip and Israel's counter to them, we wonder how often news consumers are going to be reminded that Gaza is no longer just a Hamas-controlled terrorism haven but one that has been under the jurisdiction, since June 2, 2014 of the newly-created Palestinian unity government.
[During Tuesday] the IDF begun actively calling up 40,000 reserves approved to it by the cabinet. Since midnight Tuesday, some 120 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have exploded in Israel.
That government resulted from the widely-hailed "reconciliation" agreement between Hamas and Fatah, which makes the head of Fatah and of the PA also the head of whatever legal structure there is in Gaza today. That person is Mahmoud Abbas. As pointed by BBC Watch today, "that aspect of the current Gaza Strip story is being consistently erased from public view by the BBC." And not only by the BBC.
As for why Israel now finds itself again at war, David Horovitz writing in his fine and direct style at Times of Israel ["Why are we fighting with Gaza, again?"] puts it far better than we could:
If there was no rocket fire from this non-disputed enclave, there would be no Israeli response, and nobody would be dying. The sorry fact is that both before and after Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, terrorists in the coastal enclave have been firing rockets indiscriminately into Israel, gloating when they maim Israelis and crying foul to the international community when Israel hits back and, inadvertently, hurts the Gaza civilians whom the terror groups have placed in harm’s way.We plan to track the other events of the day and of this evening in a separate post.
That Israelis do not die in greater numbers has nothing to do with Hamas and the other terror groups. They’re doing their absolute best to kill us. They’ve been assiduously smuggling in and manufacturing weaponry so that they now have hundreds of missiles that can reach Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and beyond, while imploring the international community to end Israel’s security blockade so that they can import even more potent means to murder us.
We’ve not been dying in greater numbers only because Israel has maintained that blockade, at terrible cost to its international standing, and because rather than putting its citizens in the line of fire, Hamas-style, to win international sympathy, Israel has built alarm systems, and bomb shelters, and protected areas, and the world’s most sophisticated missile defense systems, to try to keep its people safe.
...Recent days have seen the Israeli leadership clearly seeking not to get embroiled in another major offensive with Hamas — but its offer, its plea, of “quiet for quiet,” was ignored. We brace now for missile fire on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and agonize about the implications of a ground offensive.
Analysts posit that Hamas is firing some of its 100,000-rocket arsenal because it has nothing much to lose anymore — that it has lost the support of Egypt; that it can’t get the money to pay salaries; that it is retaliating for the deaths of several of its terror operatives in a tunnel that collapsed upon them after Israel had the temerity to attack it; that it is seeking to reassert itself as the only credible “resistance” to Israel…
But really, again, why the need to “resist” an Israel that has no presence in Gaza, and that has long since internalized the imperative to seek an accommodation with the Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank if this can only be achieved without imperiling Israel’s own existence? Why? Because, for Hamas, hostility to the very fact of Israel’s existence still far outweighs any and all other interests. [Times of Israel]