Gaza terrorists fired two rockets towards Ashkelon Thursday afternoon, six more on Sderot and other Gaza Belt communities in the evening and at least another two at night in what was a typical signature of a Gaza ceasefire.
All of the missiles exploded in open areas and caused little or no damage.
Israel has denied knowledge of the agreement that Islamic Jihad terrorists said earlier in the day was put into effect with help of mediators from Egypt. Islamic Jihad denied that its terrorists launched the rockets after it said it was holding hits fire.
Sporadic rocket fire by Gaze terrorists is part of a typical Gaze ceasefire.
There have been dozens of announcements over the past years of a truce or “calm” – the Arabs have all kinds of names to get out of using the word “ceasefire” – and virtually every one of them goes into effect with a couple of rocket attacks, a farewell salute to another attempt to kill a few more Zionists.
The Arabs love gunfire and rockets. No Arab wedding is complete without fireworks. No Hamas or Fatah rally is decent without machine guns hoisted in the air. And no ceasefire, as temporary as it is, can be consummated without its being broken, just to show everyone how useless it is.
Israel always has played along with the game, unless one of those aimless rockets happens to hit someone, and then the ceasefire is postponed until after the next round of retaliation, attacks and retaliation.
Gaza terrorists always like to get in the last word, or shot, and it is easy for Islamic Jihad or Hamas to say that some small group, perhaps a couple of kids who decided to form their own clubhouse terrorist gang, launched the rockets to show Hamas who really is in charge.
Hamas is certainly not in charge, and Egypt has further isolated it, bypassing it and talking directly to Islamic Jihad leaders, a move that could further weaken Hamas’ control of Gaza.
Hamas either stood by jealously while Islamic Jihad fired dozens of missiles on Israel this week or simply was not able to wield any influence over its rival terrorists, who were aided by three other smaller gangs.
Gaza has been a hell-hole by all accounts. That is the way it was when Egypt neglected it before the Six-Day War in 1967, and that is the way it has been since Yasser Arafat started making peace with Israel in the 1980s by killing as many Jews as possible. Things got even worse when Hamas ousted rival Fatah faction in a bloody militia war in 2005.
Israel has said it knows nothing of a ceasefire and that it does not negotiate with terrorists, a blatant bluff, if not lie, since that is what it did to conclude the hostilities a year and a half ago when it launched the Pillar of Defense campaign to stop missile fire that reached as far as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said Thursday “quiet will be met with quiet” and that if missile attacks resume, “we know how to hit whoever has to be hit,” de facto confirmations that the shooting is over – for now, unless Hamas continues to lose control over the terrorist gangs and the rocket attacks continue,