This Ongoing War..
05 July '14..
It was reported Thursday night that Israel had issued an ultimatum to Hamas in Gaza to halt the rocket fire or face a massive Israeli strike. The rockets have continued. Here's a Saturday night overview.
The rocket-men of Gaza have been pressing their attacks further and further into Israel today, aiming at Be'er Sheva for the first time since November 2012's Operation Pillar of Defense. At that time, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem all absorbed Hamas rockets. In the course of eight days of fighting, the IDF carried out some 1,500 airstrikes against terrorist targets. Six Israelis and 167 Palestinians were killed.
There were three rocket attacks on the southern desert city tonight (Saturday evening). One incoming rocket was intercepted in mid-flight by the IDF's Iron Dome defense system. Two others crashed and exploded in open fields with no reports of casualties. Beersheba has a population of 200,000.
Times of Israel says shortly after Be'er Sheva was attacked, five additional rockets were fired towards the Hof Ashkelon and Eshkol regions. Three were intercepted by Iron Dome; two crashed and exploded in open areas.
Ofakim (population 25,000) also came under rocket fire in another barrage today.
By nightfall, the tally of rockets and mortar shells was at least 20 and possibly higher. That's also how many were fired at Israel during Friday.
Times of Israel says: "With the attack on Beersheba, Israeli patience could now be wearing thin."
Meanwhile a Hamas statement late tonight ["Hamas boasts that all Israeli cities are within its reach"] makes their public posture quite plain.
What's behind the Gaza rockets? According to Avi Issacharoff, who writes for Times of Israel today and has commented for several other media channels, it's about power and cash ["For Hamas, it’s all about the money", posted Saturday night July 5]. He quotes sources in Gaza who say the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza keeps happening because Hamas is seeking to achieve a public relations victory in the eyes of its Gazan public. They prefer to sidestep a larger conflict but they need to be seen as being unafraid of an escalation.
So where's the power? And what's happened to the cash?