Friday, July 11, 2014


Following is a a factsheet  distributed to bloggers and journalists this morning by Omri Ceren from The Israel Project.

At least three rockets from Lebanon slammed into northern Israelovernight (around 6am the Israeli's time). To give you an idea of the complexity of Israel's northern border, here's a partial list of the usual suspects behind any such attack:

 * _Sunni groups_: Palestinians trying to enter on the side of Hamas; Sunni jihadists trying to drag Israel into attacking Hezbollah on their behalf; some combination of both * _Shiite groups_: Hezbollah trying to rattle Israel's cage; a Hezbollah Shiite proxy; a "rogue" Lebanese Sunni who just happens to be stationed in an area of southern Lebanon where nobody gets stationed without Hezbollah's permission (there was a sniper attack on an Israeli soldier last December that fit this profile)

 * _Lebanese Armed Forces_: the LAF sometimes decides to unilaterally dispute where the internationally-recognized Israeli-Lebanese border lies - contrary to maps used by, among others, the United Nations - and launch attacks against Israeli soldiers operating on the Israeli side of the so-called Blue Line (this actually, literally happened in 2010) * _Some genuinely new group_: always a possibility

 In this case Lebanese media reported that one of the fighters was severely injured - either as part of the launch or when the Israelis responded with suppression fire - which suggests a lesser-trained Sunni group. Separately, red alert sirens went off for the first time this week in Haifa, Israel's main northern city. Hamas has been boasting of attacks on the city since June 8. A little further south - in between Haifa and Gaza - fire resumed toward Tel Aviv at about 10:45am Israel time, with Iron Dome again knocking the projectiles out of the sky. Sirens sounded throughout the Gush Dan region where most Israelis live.

 *The upshot is that nearly 100% of Israel - the resort city of Eilat and the area around it are the only exceptions - is now under rocket fire. The Israelis are unlikely to allow the situation to continue much longer. * Israeli PM signalled that the conflict will widen unless rocket fire stops, and Gazans living near prats of the border were ordered to evacuate. The move is usually a precursor to a ground operation.

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