At least 15 people have now been killed in Gaza, including the baby of a BBC cameraman, and 3 people have been killed in Israel. Also, within the past few hours, a rocket targeting Tel Aviv crashed into the sea near the city – the first time it has been under fire since the 1991 Gulf War. Michael Koplow analyzes the situation:
Over 200 rockets were fired out of Gaza yesterday, and the Israeli cabinet has authorized the army to call up any reserve units that it needs, on top of the earlier authorization to call up reservists serving in the Home Front Command, so I am relatively confident that it is only a matter of time before ground forces are ordered into Gaza.
Looking at the Israeli political angles, Lahov Harkov points out that 5 out of the last 7 elections have occurred after IDF operations, but that "recent history shows that such actions hurt a sitting government as often as it helps it get reelected." Brent Sasley doesn't buy the idea that politics led to the response:
Regardless of where blame lies for the violence, no government could afford to do nothing while dozens of rockets struck its civilian population. There is an instinctive element to such decision-making that shouldn’t be downplayed. This doesn’t mean it was a good decision, but that it was the most likely decision in the short-term.
Analyzing the other side of the conflict, Hussein Ibish thinks shifting politics within Hamas, mostly due to external events like the civil war in Syria, contributed to the violence:
The desire to be the tip of the spear against Israel explains why Hamas involved itself in rocket attacks against Israel earlier this year, and has done much less to prevent other groups from launching attacks in recent weeks. The attacks are part of the case for the transfer of paramount leadership away from the exiles and to the Hamas political and military leadership in Gaza, which portrays itself as doing the ruling and the fighting.
(Photo: Israeli Zaka emergency services volunteers clean human remains from a house hit by a rocket fired by Palestinian militants killing 3 people in southern city of Kiryat Malahi on November 15, 2012. The attack on Kiryat Malachi was claimed by Hamas's armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, in a statement on its website as tensions escalated between Israel and Gaza after the Israeli military carried out more than 20 air strikes and sea artillery attacks on the Palestinian territory. By Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images)