The cease fire which was supposedly declared last Tuesday morning remains more wishful thinking than an actual cessation of violence. Or perhaps, as some experts have said, this is the Islamic Jihad’s new style of hurting Israel, delivering the cuts of a thousand knives in groups of only three a day, to make any serious IDF reaction appear “disproportionate.”
Thursday night saw another successful response of the Iron Dome system, which intercepted a Grad rocket fired at Ashdod, after the town the alarm had sounded. Some time later, two rockets exploded in open areas, one in the Eshkol Regional Council and the other in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council. There were no injuries or damage.
On Thursday morning another Grad was intercepted over Beer Sheva and another rocket exploded in an open area near Netivot, just 200 meters from a school.
Some public schools were suspended in southern towns, but most were told to open, only to be closed down mid-morning, following the sirens. Parents were called at home and at work in many municipalities, and asked to come pick up their children.
The Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported that Israeli helicopters opened fire on a farmland in the Sheikh Ajlen area west of Gaza City late Thursday. No injuries were reported.
The IDF Spokesperson’s office posted an entry on its blog Thursday, dealing with “one of the most popular yet misleading arguments made during the escalation is that Israel was not actually under attack, as proven by the low number of Israeli casualties.”
According to the entry, which proceeds to describe various methods Israel has been using to prevent the horrendous results which could have happened, God forbid, the question on the average person in the West is, “If Gaza was truly a threat, there would be more Israeli casualties. Just like there were in Gaza.”
Well, the truth of the matter is that “during the recent escalation, more than 200 rockets were fired from Gaza, with clear intentions of hurting the Israeli population. Each of these rockets, though indeed primitive, has the capability of killing bystanders and causing severe damage.”
But unlike the Gazan authorities, Israel has been investing many millions and a great deal of coordinated efforts in keeping the damage to a minimum.
Still, as was seen in the Second Lebanon War, as soon as the rate of rocket fire becomes truly massive, even Israel’s ability to intercept all of them begins to decline. Which is why the IDF and Israel’s government are weighing a massive attack on the sources of terrorist violence with the knowledge that such an attack could unleash a torrent of rockets flying simultaneously which would prove difficult to block perfectly.
Even during the last weekend’s attacks, the Iron Dome’s success rate was “only” around 85% according to news sources, and several civilian areas suffered hits.