|Israel's northern Negev at this time of year is ablaze with color: red kalaniyot|
which are the centrepiece of the Darom Adom ("Scarlet South")
festival [Image Source]
From the Bethlehem-based Arab-controlled, European-funded Ma'an News Agency today:
The Israeli army said that a rocket fired from the besieged Gaza Strip landed in an open area in southern Israel on Monday morning, reporting no injuries or damages as a result of the incident. Israeli news site Ynet said the projectile exploded in open territory in the Shaar HaNegev Regional Council... The Gaza-based al-Mezan Center for Human Rights expressed concern earlier this month in response to Israeli airstrikes that Israel could be leading up to a wide-scale military offensive. The rights group called on the international community to “act promptly against Israel’s military escalation, to fulfill their obligations to protect civilians, and ensure respect for the rules of international law,” stressing that “acting before a full-scale military bombardment is launched is crucial to ensuring the protection of Palestinian civilians in the Gaza Strip.”Haaretz this morning ["Gaza Rocket Hits Southern Israel; None Hurt"] says
Israeli officials have also accused Hamas, Gaza's de facto leaders, of "preparing" for another war with Israel and have threatened retaliatory measures against the Gaza Strip as a whole, while Israeli authorities hold Hamas responsible for all attacks against Israeli targets coming from the Gaza Strip...
A rocket fired from Gaza exploded overnight Sunday in southern Israel. No people were hurt in the attack and no damage was caused as the rocket fell in an open area. At the beginning of the month, a barrage of rockets were fired at the Red Sea resort town of Eilat, but Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system managed to intercept three of them. No Israelis were hurt in the incident, but a number suffered anxiety... Tensions flared up at the time along Israel's border with Gaza after a rocket was fired at southern Israel. Israel’s responded with a series of strikes on Hamas-linked targets. Two members of the security cabinet who spoke with Haaretz hinted on Tuesday at the possibility of a more serious escalation within a few months.Israel National News says the landing zone was Shaar Hanegev (population about 6,000 civilians), situated midway between Beer Sheva and Ashkelon and bordering on the Gaza Strip. It says that the Tzeva Adom (“Red Alert”) incoming-missile radar-and-siren system was not sounded "due to the fact that the rocket was headed towards an open region".
The Daily Star in Lebanon has a brief report on today's attack, syndicated from the French AFP news agency. Its by-line outrageously starts with the words "Occupied Jerusalem".
Alarabiya's headline writers again score some points today in their constant striving to undermine the credibility of Israeli claims:
"Rocket fired from Gaza hits southern Israel, army claims"But for those IDF "claims", a reasonable person might have been left wondering whether this was in fact a rocket and not a baseball. Or whether southern Israel was struck as opposed to downtown Haifa. Or if the rocket that once again sought sleeping Israeli victims in their beds around sunrise this morning was fired from Baghdad as opposed to Gaza. Thank you, Alarabiya.
If any other non-Israeli news channels reported on the frightening events of this morning, we have not seen them at this stage. Meaning (without resorting to Zen aphorisms) that for most people, today's attack never happened. Thus, if Israel strikes back at the source of the assault, there will have been no context and it will be Israel that is treated as having started some new round of hostilities.
Meanwhile Israelis and our visitors will go on enjoying the gorgeous flowers now blooming right across the south.