Iran Blamed for Rocket Attack on Israel

On Monday, terrorists in Gaza struck deep into the heart of Israel with a rocket that virtually destroyed a house in the central town of Mishmeret, injuring the seven occupants.

British-Israeli Robert Wolf, whose home was hit, said after the attack:

“If we hadn’t got to the bomb shelter in time I would be burying all my family.”

Benjamin Netanyahu described it as a criminal attack on Israel and said they would respond forcefully. He stayed in Washington long enough to meet Donald Trump on Monday morning for the US declaration of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and then returned to Israel to oversee their response first-hand.

It is worth noting that this attack came after another series of decisions against Israel by the United Nations Human Rights Council last week – suggesting that international bias against Israel is encouraging its terrorist enemies.

Later on Monday Hamas claimed that the rocket was fired by mistake! Just as they said with another rocket fired earlier in the month. That ridiculous claim prompted some observers to think that Hamas were actually trying to divert attention from the ongoing protests by ordinary civilians within Gaza.

In response to that rocket attack, Israel carried out some strikes against key terrorist targets in Gaza on Monday evening – prompting many more rockets to be fired into southern Israel by the terrorists, and also prompting efforts by Egyptian officials to negotiate a ceasefire.

Those efforts produced some calm on Tuesday until terrorists fired another two rockets from Gaza into Israel on Tuesday evening, one landing near Ashkelon. Those rockets drew further retaliatory air strikes from Israel.

This latest exchange of fire ended in the early hours of Wednesday morning and Al Jazeera News said there were no reports of casualties. Given the extent of the Israeli retaliation, that is a remarkable testimony to the Israeli’s efforts to avoid casualties and simply punish Hamas by destroying its facilities.

The Palestinian Information Centre acknowledged that the Israeli airstrikes targeted several ‘resistance’ sites, including one in the ash-Shawka area, east of Rafah, and one to the east of Khan Younis.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terror groups in Gaza all claimed that: “the rocket that hit near Ashkelon was the work of an individual and the factions are committed to calm.” Thus they continue to try to persuade the international community that they are not responsible for starting this latest round of conflict.

Further explanation emerged from Hamas on Tuesday when a senior official spoke on condition of anonymity and claimed that the rocket which struck the Wolf family home on Monday was fired at the prompting of Tehran.

He claimed that Iran had “gone over the heads” of the Hamas leadership, directly ordering a cell operating out of the Gaza Strip to carry out the attack – that cell belonging to Islamic Jihad. The suggestion is that Iran want to damage Benjamin Netanyahu’s chances in the forthcoming Israeli general election.

A tense calm has descended upon southern Israel and the Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, with education and train services being resumed in Israeli communities and towns. But around one quarter of students in the Eshkol region — one of the areas most at risk — stayed at home, according to the local government.

Reporting from protests being held in southern Israel yesterday, where the people want greater protection, Eylon Levy said:

“This is a reality with multiple layers:
there are the rocket attacks;
there are the explosive balloons;
there have been the infiltrations from the Gaza Strip.”