Violence in the Middle East escalated today as rockets were fired into Israel’s largest city.
This follows the killing of a top Hamas terrorist.
This is the first time rockets have hit Tel Aviv since I was there during the first Gulf War.
Back then it was Saddam Hussein.
Now, the danger is much closer.
“You can see the progression in the ability of the Palestinian rockets to deeper and deeper into Israeli territory,” says Michael Friedsn of the American news agency The Medialine.
The bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which is under Palestinian rule, continues as Israel retaliates for rocket attacks that today hit the outskirts of the center of Israeli commerce, Tel Aviv.
That was in retaliation for the assassination of Ahmed Jabari, the military chief of Hamas, the more militant faction of the Palestinian Authority.
“ The most frustrating part of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that when they talk about retaliation, each side always claims that they are retaliating,” Friedson says. “The Israelis of course way it’s not their hit on Jabari, that caused this, but that the hit on Jabari was caused by Hamas attacks on Israel. And of course, we’ve seen throughout 2012, probably 1000 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip.”
Meanwhile, the death toll has reached 11 in Gaza and 3 in Israel, as Israeli troops move armor and supplies to the border for a possible invasion. Army reservists have been called to active duty.
Another worry is the new President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi who has withdrawn his Israeli ambassador.
“The fact that he was so quick to withdraw the Ambassador when somebody of Jabari’s ilk was taken out, is very troubling to the Israelis,” Friedson says.
And there is reported rioting in Jordan against the monarchy.
“If you had to pick a country that’s going to come under maximum turmoil in the near future,” according to Friedson, “you’d have to pick Jordan. So how this will spill over into Jordan with its very large Palestinian population remains to be seen.”
So everyone is on alert as the tit for tat strikes continue.
With Iran and Syria supplying arms to Hamas, the whole situation could take awhile to play out.