The lawless border region between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai desert was apparently the location of several rocket launches that struck southern Israel early Saturday morning.
Two major Israeli newspapers are reporting that rockets fired from Egypt have hit Israel.
“Terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula launched rockets into Israel Friday night,” reports the Jerusalem Post. “The rockets fell near an Israeli village on the southern border, causing some damage, but no injuries.”
The Israeli daily Haaretz reports, “Rockets fired from direction of Egypt toward Eshkol Regional Council.”
It appears no damage was reported in connection with the rocket fire from Egypt. Earlier today, the Egyptian prime minister visited Gaza to express solidarity with the Palestinians there.
Terrorists in the Sinai operate relatively freely due to their friendship with the tribes in the area. President Morsi has made a half-hearted attempt to rein them in, but the Egyptian army is hamstrung — and reluctant — in going after the extremists.
The real danger now comes from the use by Hamas of longer range rockets that have hit Jerusalem and Tel Aviv:
This new front comes a day after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv and on the same day Israel’s capital Jerusalem was the target of rocket fire. Those attacks were courtesy of Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
“After Tel Aviv metropolitan area, capital under fire too: An air raid siren was sounded in Jerusalem and surrounding communities early Friday evening. After residents reported hearing blast sounds, security forces confirmed that one rocket had landed in the Gush Etzion area near a Palestinian village,” Ynet reports.
“There were no reports of injuries or damage. This was the first air raid siren sounded in the area since the IDF launched Operation Pillar of Defense in the Gaza Strip. Air raid sirens were sounded in southern communities throughout the day and a barrage of missiles hit the area.”
With the Israeli government upping their call up of reservists from 30,000 to 75,000, the prospect of a ground attack to destroy the terrorist’s ability to threaten civilians have gone up considerably. The difference between today and the last time the Israelis launched a ground attack into Gaza in 2008 is that Egypt now has an Islamist government.
President Morsi sent his prime minister to Gaza on Friday to demonstrate “solidarity” with Hamas. No doubt the unpredictability of Egypt’s response to a ground attack in Gaza is causing much concern in the Israeli cabinet. But in the end, they will do what is necessary to protect their population from the constant rocket bombardment — more than 850 in 2012 before the latest barrages.