Today was the first day of school in Sderot. Seven Qassam rockets fell in the town in the morning. No one was hurt, but one landed close to a day care center, damaging a building. Qassams have been fired at Israelis since 2001; sometimes only one or two a day, sometimes hundreds within a few days.
Last week three Palestinian children were killed when they played tag around some Qassam launchers. IDF gunners did not see that they were children until a missile had already been fired at them.
So Hamas is trying hard to kill Israeli children, but only succeeded in killing Palestinian ones this time.
On their website, Hamas’ Ezzedeen al-Qassam brigades (the rocket and organization are named after the same “martyr”) claim that they are responding to “Zionist crimes” in attacking “settlers” in Sderot, which has been part of Israel since 1948.
Why is Hamas firing rockets at Sderot? Their reasoning is like this: If Israel continues to do nothing, Israelis will be shown to be weaklings that can’t defend their land. Ultimately the citizens of Sderot will give up and leave. This will be good for Hamas.
On the other hand, if Israel is provoked into a massive attack of Gaza (where Hamas has built serious defensive positions) there will be a large number of Israeli military casualties (good for Hamas) as well as opportunities to display Palestinian civilian casualties to the world (also good for Hamas). This also might trigger bombardment of Israeli towns in the north by Hezbollah.
But, as everyone says, “this can’t be allowed to continue”. And ultimately Israel will be fighting Hamas. It won’t go away and won’t become ‘moderate’.
So maybe get it over with, the sooner the better.