On Friday, Israeli warplanes and attack helicopters carried out a flurry
of attacks against the Gaza Strip. The Israeli Air Force estimated 100
military targets in Gaza were hit, saying they all belong to Hamas.
This attack was retaliation for a pair of rockets fired out of Gaza toward Tel Aviv. For Israel to retaliate in an excessive way is not unusual. What is unusual is that Hamas says the rocket fire was accidental, and the Israeli Army has concurred, saying they believe the Hamas version of the events.
Which is quite a story. According to Hamas, some bungling low-level member “messed with” a rocket launcher that was set to fire on Tel Aviv in the event of a war, and fired them without authorization. The attack happened in the middle of Hamas talks with Egypt, which made it doubly embarrassing.
Gaza reports say one or more Hamas operatives were arrested over the matter. Israel’s decision to attack Gaza anyhow seems puzzling given the apparent circumstances, though there was a suggestion that if the attack was deliberate, the Israeli strikes would’ve been “five times heavier.”
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