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Since midnight, more than 65 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Southern Israel (oddities of modernity — the IDF has a twitter where you can get these morbid updates) . Targeting civilians.

There are several injuries and schools are closed as the children and residents are told to stay in shelters to avoid being hit.

Both Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committee have claimed responsibility. The big questions linger though: Are they trying to goad Israel into a large-scale military operation in response? Or are they banking on Israel not retaliating because we are in election seasons? Is this the beginning of something (euphemism for war) or just another – major – development in the strained situation in the south?

We don’t know yet.

"יושבים צמוד לקיר ומחכים". פגיעה ישירה בבית באשכול, הבוקר (צילום: רועי עידן)

(one of the houses hit by rockets this morning. Photo: Roee Idan)

UPDATE: 13:30 (Vera)

We’re up to 72 rockets in the last 24 hours. The IDF blog is keeping a running tally and reports two Israeli Air Force (IAF) strikes – one last night, and one today.

UPDATE: 22:00 (Vera)

The IDF blog stopped updating at 16:05 and had the rocket count at 73. but most news agencies are reporting 80 rockets. Defense Minister Ehud Barak isn’t ruling out a ground incursion into Gaza, but says he won’t rush into anything hastily. Meanwhile, President Shimon Peres called for a more responsible government in the Gaza Strip, demanding, in so many words, that Hamas choose to govern the enclave or stop taking aid dollars. Peres was referring to the visit of Qatari emir Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani yesterday. The Qatari have pledged some $400 million in aid.

We’ll see how this continues to develop politically, but I’m not sure the people around Eshkol are so interested in politics…

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