Originally published on Sun November 18, 2012 7:26 am
Credit Oliver Weiken / EPA /LANDOV
Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip have fired thousands of rockets into southern Israel over the past decade. Yet the one that landed harmlessly in an empty field south of Jerusalem on Friday could be as significant as all of the rockets that came before.
With that lone launch, the Palestinians demonstrated for the first time that they now have the capability to send a weapon the roughly 50 miles from the Gaza border north to Jerusalem.
Even though there were talks of a ceasefire to coincide with the visit of the Egyptian prime minister to Gaza, today, the fighting has instead escalated.
Avital Leibovich, a spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces confirmed that for the first time, rockets fired from Gaza hit an area outside Jerusalem. The Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, who leads the West Bank, said that the "escalation is at its peak," both in Gaza and out of Gaza.