(Updated- March 15, 09:31) Last night (14/03/19) at 21:05 Israel time (UTC +2) the Israeli rocket alert system identified 2 rocket launches from Gaza strip towards Tel Aviv and the region (see video). The sirens went off at the Gush Dan District in central Israel, alerting of an imminent rocket attack, at the time when most Israelis go out to start the weekend (Israeli weekend is Friday Saturday).
This morning at around 07:00, more rockets were fired at the town of Sderot and the area. No reports of casualties or damage at this time.
The 2 major terror organizations Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have denied any connection to the rocket shooting. Israel has declared that Hamas – as the ruling authority in Gaza is responsible for the attacks.
Since the rocket attacks, Israel has engaged multiple militant and strategic targets within Gaza, both of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad. Further retaliation is expected.
This attack comes amid growing tensions in Gaza, focusing on extorting more pressure on Israel for concessions. The Tensions in Gaza are high due to inner conflicts between the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza over authority, rule, and funding. Since Hamas can’t attack the PA directly it is targeting Israel as a way to apply pressure by proxy on the PA by Israel so the Israeli government will pressure the PA to concede to an agreement with Gaza and Hamas. Elevating the tensions with Israel is also related to the approaching elections in Israel, slated for April 9th, as a way to apply more pressure on Israelis, and thereby more pressure on the PA to concede to Hamas demands for financial support of Gaza.
It is clear that we will see an escalation of those attacks in the days coming to the elections, but the chances of a full-scale military conflict are slim, as all sides do not want to escalate the conflict.
This is said with extreme caution as the situation is still developing, and we live in a crazy neighborhood, and even a small mistake by any side can lead to a full-scale military conflict.