To follow up my earlier post, things have gotten a lot worse since Thursday’s attack against Israel by a Gaza-based al-Qaeda affiliate that crossed into Israeli territory from Egypt. My friend Ruth King posts news from the Israeli press:
Southern Israel continued to absorb rocket fire from the Gaza Strip over the weekend, in the heaviest bombardment the country has seen since Operation Cast Lead in early 2009. By Sunday afternoon, over 100 rockets had been fired at Israeli communities since Thursday. More than a million Israelis within rocket range of Gaza have been warned to heed the instructions of the Homefront Command and remain alert.
Israel has retaliated for the rocket bombardment with aerial bombings in Gaza, as violence ignited by Thursday’s Palestinian cross-border terrorist attacks near Eilat continues to escalate. Several Palestinians were reported wounded in an IAF raid early Sunday afternoon in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip while attempting to launch a rocket. Eight Israelis were killed in Thursday’s attacks near Eilat, and some 40 were wounded. Two Israelis were killed in subsequent rocket attacks, and several dozen wounded. At least 15 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza in Israeli raids, including the leadership of the Popular Resistance Committees, the group behind Thursday’s attacks.
There is more here, including the assessment of the Israeli Defense Forces that Hamas is behind the rocket barrage — in addition to striking Hamas and Palestinian Popular Resistance Committee targets in Gaza, the IDF has rounded up over 120 suspected Hamas operatives in the West Bank. Also, some of the rockets fired from Gaza have hit Egyptian territory — though this is thought to have been an error: The rockets appear to have been intended for Israel (no one reportedly hurt as a result of these apparent misfires). There’s also this: Israeli intelligence believes the long-range rockets Hamas is using to attack Israeli targets were smuggled into Gaza from Libya.