The situation in and around Israel is getting worse by the minute as Hamas continues to fire rockets into the Jewish State with some hitting the city of Tel Aviv. As of yesterday, 274 rockets were launched into Israel, putting Israeli forces into a mode of all out war.
Two projectiles, which Stratfor believes to be Fajr-5 rockets due to their range, landed near Tel Aviv -- one just south of the municipal line and one in the water just outside of the southern suburb of Bat Yam. No injuries have been reported. A spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces denied that a rocket had landed in Tel Aviv, although this statement conflicts with eyewitness reports and may reflect the fact that projectiles have landed in areas just south of the actual Tel Aviv municipal boundary.
Both Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad have claimed responsibility for the attack. This strike is the furthest Hamas has ever struck into Israeli territory and signals a major escalation. Hamas has moved beyond retaliation for yesterday's airstrikes or provocative bombings and instead is engaged in war. An Israeli ground offensive is now almost assured.
The fighting is the result of Israel simply defending itself against rocket attacks that have been ongoing for months. Keep in mind, Hamas isn't targeting the Israeli military, they're firing rockets at civilians. On Monday, Israel took out a Hamas leader and posted the video online as a warning.
But what else is Israel defending itself against? A rampant culture of death facilitated by Hamas, a culture engrained in Palestinean children from the moment they are born.
As a reminder, President Obama suggested just two years ago Israel should give up even more land to these people. At this point, every border of Israel has been consumed with war and violence. Syria is on fire, with Iran helping fuel the government there. Egypt is now being run by the Muslim Brotherhood and refused to protect the U.S. Embassy from attack on 9/11, when the U.S. flag was torn down and replaced with the flag of radical Islam. Egypt is also reconsidering their peace treaty with Israel. The Sinai Peninsula is infested with al Qaeda terrorists. Jordan is rioting.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released the following statement yesterday:
Citizens of Israel, I would like first of all to praise the soldiers and commanders of the IDF and first of all the Chief of Staff, Lieutenant General Benny Ganz, who even at this hour is still commanding the operation.
I would like to cite the members of the Israel Security Agency and first and foremost the head of the ISA Yoram Cohen, for their important role in the operational achievements that have already been attained.
I would like to thank the citizens of Israel for firmly backing this measure. I want to thank the residents of Israel's South who are in the front line and display determination and sangfroid.
Hamas and the terror organizations have elected in recent days to escalate their attacks on Israel's citizens. We are not prepared to make peace with a situation in which Israel's citizens are menaced by the terror of rocket fire. No country would agree to such a situation; Israel is not prepared to reconcile itself to such a situation.
Today we have damaged the strategic targets of Hamas in a precise fashion; we have substantially damaged the launch capabilities of rockets from Gaza to central Israel and we are damaging the launch capability to Southern Israel.
The terror organizations hurt our citizens with premeditation, while they deliberately conceal themselves behind their own citizens. We in contradistinction refrain to the extent possible from harming civilians; this is a fundamental difference between us and them. They would simply like to wipe us off the face of the earth and they have no reservations about harming innocent civilians.
Today we transmitted a clear message to the Hamas organization and to other terrorist organizations and should the need arise, the IDF is prepared to expand the action. We will continue doing everything to protect our citizens.
Israel is targeting terrorists in Gaza, not civilians as Hamas does to Israelis.