Dr.. Salim Mohammed Al-Zanoun *
For the first time a rocket from Gaza hits northern Tel Aviv, Israeli police announced on Monday morning that seven Israelis were wounded near Kfar Saba northeast of Tel Aviv by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, at a time when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened an unprecedented response. Al-Jazeera’s director in Ramallah, Waleed al-Amri, said the sirens sounded in large areas of northern Tel Aviv before Israeli police announced that a rocket fired from Gaza had landed in the settlement of Meshmirat inside the Green Line. He said that the missile directly hit one of the houses and caused damage to another house, and caused the injury of six settlers, including two who were kept inside the house that was hit, and were rescued.
The reporter said “This is the first time that a rocket from Gaza has crossed the Tel Aviv area and hit the areas north of it, which is 80 kilometers from Gaza.” The reported added that the Israeli army closed the Beit Hanoun and Karam Abu Salem crossings and imposed a security cordon on the area. The army also deployed two infantry battalions along the Gaza border and summoned some reservists. The Israeli army accused the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) of launching the rocket, and that it was “responsible for what is happening in the Gaza Strip.”
Any Palestinian entity did not adopt launching the missile, but the Israeli occupation accused Hamas movement, which controls the sector , and considered it responsible for it , and Israeli media claimed that the missile produced by the movement and don’t posses this type of rocket, which was launched early Monday, only the two movements “Hamas” And “Islamic Jihad”. For its part, Hamas canceled a speech that was supposed to be delivered to the Palestinian people by the leader of the movement in the Gaza Strip Yahya al-Senwar on Monday noon. The security and government agencies evacuated their headquarters in light of real fears that the Israeli response to the rocket fire would turn into a comprehensive aggression against the Gaza Strip, which is suffering from extremely difficult living and economic conditions. In the same context, the Secretary General of Islamic Jihad Ziad al-Nakhla , in a statement distributed to the media, warned Israeli occupation of committing any aggression against the Gaza Strip. Nakhla , who is resident in Beirut , said “The occupation leaders should know that we will respond strongly to their aggression,” .
Based on the estimate of the Israeli Military Intelligence Division that Islamic Jihad was behind the launch of the rocket, and that Hamas would inform the Egyptians that it had nothing to do with it and would investigate the incident, it is likely that:
– Israel will be more preoccupied with the issue of the development of the rocket and its range (120) km.
-Israel will launch air strikes in Gaza stronger and larger than before, but without causing a major escalation before the elections, taking into account the volatile situation in the West Bank and any significant escalation in Gaza may affect the situation there.
-The mobilization of forces along the borders of the Gaza Strip does not mean war, and is considered a precautionary measure for fear of deterioration.
-The development of the events and the nature of the Israeli response will determine the situation in the coming hours. If the factions respond to Israel’s retaliatory strikes, the war will inevitably fall.
Especially in the light of the Knesset’s approval of the war plan for Gaza and the doctrine of the chief of staff ( kochavi), including the restoration of the army’s capabilities, and a radical solution to the war of attrition with Gaza.
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies