As the smoke clears from last night’s action around Gaza, the assessment in Israel is that despite its official denial, the ruling Hamas terrorist faction fired two rockets at central Israel. However, the assessment is also that both launches were accidental rather than intentional. One rocket landed in an open are and the other disintegrated in flight. No Iron Dome interceptions were recorded over central Israel.
Despite the launches having been ruled an accident, Israel retaliated with airstrikes against 100 targets in Gaza. None were of much consequence and no Palestinian casualties are reported. During the strikes, several short range rockets were fired at the Israeli villages around Gaza, but with several Iron Dome intercepts no damage was reported.
The terror factions in Gaza reiterated their commitment to the extended cease fire talks with Israel that are now being brokered by Egypt. The “March of Return”, the weekly series of violent border clashes instigated by Hamas and the other terror factions in order to harass Israel and make it look bad in the evening news broadcasts around the world were cancelled and will not take place today, doubtlessly as part of the understandings between the Hamas and Israel reached last night and this morning via the Egyptian delegation currently present in Gaza.
Last nights events come on the footsteps of the first meaningful civil unrest in Gaza in a number of years, which took place this Thursday. Several hundreds Gazans demonstrated in the streets, demanding a better standard of living from the Hamas dictatorship, which had to resort to the use of force to disperse the demonstrators.
It is possible that the combination of the civil unrest and the internal pressures brought against the Hamas by the even more radical factions such as the Islamic Jihad to “win” this round of ceasefire negotiations caused the firing of the long-range rockets towards central Israel, whether intentional or not.
At the time of writing, the situation remains tense, but life in Israel and in Gaza is proceeding “normally”.