As I write this on Sunday night at 8 p.m. here in Jerusalem, for 48 hours almost 1,000 rockets and missiles have been fired on Beersheba, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Rehovot and many other settlements along the border separating Israel and Gaza. As of this minute, the fourth death of an Israeli has been announced, and more than 200 people have been wounded. One young man was driving his car and a rocket hit directly, killing him instantly.
From Beersheba north, most of the schools are closed. All the stores are closed. Some people drive their cars but as soon as they hear the sirens, they pull over to the curb, jump out and lay on the ground. In homes and buildings where there are shelters especially built to withstand a hit by a rocket or missile, those individuals rush into the shelters. At times, the TV will capture the people running and laying on the ground. Right now, we in Jerusalem are not targets yet. Who knows?
Let me explain some of the reasons for this attack now. Israel has been allowing millions of dollars from Qatar for Hamas in Gaza through the guarded crossings. This is one way Netanyahu has been holding off an attack. Right now Israel has slowed down the flow of cash, so the residents of Gaza are starving because Hamas uses whatever monies it receives for armaments. Islamic Jihad and Hamas, the two groups which run Gaza, are attacking to try to get Israel to bow to the demands for more Qatar money. These attacks are the week of Memorial Day and Israel Independence Day, Wednesday and Thursday. Those doing the firing assume that Israel will bow to them and accept their conditions.
However, what is more dramatic for the attackers of Israel is that May 16 the Eurovision Song Contest begins its preliminary rounds in Tel Aviv before the finals on Saturday night, May 18. The leaders from Gaza are using their attacks to try and force all the participants, who are already here practicing, to become so frightened that they will leave. Moreover, if the firing of the rockets becomes so intense, the Eurovision in Tel Aviv may have to be cancelled.
By the time you read this, the scary atmosphere may have cleared. Right now, we do not know what will happen. Our prime minister is trying to avoid an actual war, so other than Israeli planes bombing Gaza, nothing is happening which would help to calm Israelis.