Between Sunday evening and Wednesday morning, over 1,000 rockets were fired by Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza at Israeli towns and cities, killing 5 civilians. It includes the largest barrage on the Gush Dan / Tel Aviv metropolitan area in the country’s history, as well as dozens of rockets fired at Beersheva, Ashkelon, Ashdod and other communities in the south.
The rocket barrage began after weeks of ongoing tension in Jerusalem, including clashes between police and rioters on the Temple Mount. The explosive religious/national cocktail centred on Jerusalem – always a potential flashpoint for generating anger and uniting Palestinians and the Arab world – as well as Hamas seeking to tap into and co-opt popular frustration regarding the postponement of Palestinian elections are the main factors behind the current violence.
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