Hamas Fire at Aid Shipment

Monday night was quieter in Israel, with a period of calm lasting several hours, but still around 90 rockets were fired at it from the Gaza Strip – most being intercepted by the Iron Dome system. One rocket that did get through scored a direct hit on a house in the Sha`ar Negev Regional Council. But there were no casualties, as it was not occupied at the time.

Magen David Adom say they have treated ten people injured in this latest rocket fire, three of whom were injured by shattered glass, while the other seven were injured when running to bomb shelters.

Israeli politician Tamar Zandberg, from the left-wing Meretz party, has called for an immediate ceasefire, tweeting:

“If we don’t change the approach, [this conflict]
won’t be any different from those that follow it.”

But Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement and Hamas have called for a “day of rage” alongside the general strike organised by the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel. Abbas has urged Palestinians to clash with Israeli forces in the West Bank.

Reopened crossings come under fire

Lorries at the Kerem Shalom crossingLorries at the Kerem Shalom Crossing (photo: Said Khatib/AFP)

In contrast, Israel’s leaders met today and decided to reopen the Kerem Shalom and Eretz crossings into the Gaza Strip, to allow in food and fuel, partly because Gaza’s sole electrical plant is said to be almost out of fuel, causing widespread power cuts.

However, while the crossings were open, terrorists in the Gaza Strip launched mortar shells across the border, targeting the two crossings as well as other locations. An Israeli soldier helping with the humanitarian aid was injured.

Most people will consider that action to be insane, but perhaps it is simply a reminder that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are terrorist groups.

Later on Tuesday, the terrorists launched a larger barrage that killed two people and injured eight others, two of them seriously.

Attack from Lebanon

Meanwhile, some terrorists in Lebanon fired six rockets at Israel, causing sirens to go off in several northern areas. However, the rockets exploded inside Lebanese territory and caused no injuries in Israel.

IDF artillery shelled the launch area in response, prompting UN forces to increase their patrols to maintain calm.

This was the second time terrorists in Lebanon have launched rockets toward Israel recently. The IDF thinks a Palestinian faction is responsible, and not Hezbollah.

Druze call for tolerance

Druze community leader Sheikh Mofek Tarif issued a public statement condemning all acts of violence and asking the public to act wisely and with tolerance to avoid further escalation. He added that the Druze have a ”moral obligation” to calm the conflict between Jewish Israelis and their Arab neighbours, as they are not directly aligned with either group.

He also called for other religious leaders to speak out in condemnation of community violence, in the hope that collectively they can calm the situation.