On Wednesday night a Grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit the southern Israeli town of Beersheva (a resident, I heard the sirens and the boom). It damaged several homes and vehicles, and ten people including four children had to be taken to hospital for anxiety (I heard the ambulances too).
Amid a general escalation in rocket and mortar fire (and other terror) from
For another, Beersheva is a larger and more distant target than any other that Hamas has struck since Operation Cast Lead (
The timing of Wednesday night’s attack is no mystery. Two Iranian warships—the first to have crossed
In other words, the Grad firing represents growing Axis of Evil assertiveness and further erosion in the deterrence that
An Israeli institute with close ties to Military Intelligence also reports that Hamas is trying to exploit the Mubarak government’s fall to get
It would risk, for one thing, pushing the new military regime in Cairo—still an unknown quantity—into backing Hamas, and possibly even taking up arms against Israel to prove its nationalist credentials. It would also risk playing into Iran’s hands: one thing Tehran, which has its own domestic problems, may well relish is a diversionary spectacle of Israeli bombs hitting Gaza while the West—in the spirit of the Goldstone Report—joins the Arab and Muslim worlds in a fury of condemnation.
On the other hand, words like Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s on Thursday—that
To an extent it’s a game of chance. A single Grad or Kassam that causes more serious, even catastrophic harm could force