SIGNS OF AN APPROACHING FULL-SCALE WAR INCREASED FRIDAY AFTERNOON, NOV. 16. THE IDF OBTAINED GOVERNMENT APPROVAL TO CALL UP RESERVES IN ADDITION TO THE 30,000 ALREADY APPROVED. HOSPITALS ACROSS THE COUNTRY WERE PLACED ON EMERGENCY FOOTING AND PATIENTS NOT NEEDING URGENT TREATMENT WERE SENT HOME. THE SECURITY CABINET MEETS URGENTLY AFTER 550 PALESTINIAN ROCKETS FIRED IN THREE DAYS. JERUSALEM AND TEL AVIV WERE TARGETED FRIDAY BY HAMAS WHICH REPORTED FIRING TWO “HOMEMADE M-75” MISSILES EACH AT ISRAEL’S CAPITAL AND COMMERCIAL HUB. THERE WERE NO CASUALTIES IN EITHER TOWN.THE JERUSALEM SIREN WAS HEARD IN OUTLYING TOWNS MEVASERET ZION, MOTZA ILIT, BEITAR ILIT, KIBBUTZ MAALEH HAHAMISHA, ORA AND HAR ADAR.ISRAELI GROUND FORCES CONTINUE TO STAND BY ON THE GAZA BORDER AWAITING GOVERNMENT ORDERS TO GO IN.
Jerusalem hasn’t been hit with rocket fire since 1970, when two Katyushas were fired from the Palestinian village of Batir.
The M-75s (or Fajr-5 missiles, depending on the report) that landed in an open space south of Jerusalem on Friday, in Kfar Etzion, were labeled by Hamas as “surprises.”
This is Hezbollah terminology. In Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah’s hands, the psychological potency of his threats have often been enormous.
That said, Friday’s fire is also a show of defiance and an escalation.
Terror organizations, when facing the IDF, have a comparatively infinitesimal weapons supply. Their strategic goal, therefore, in terms of their ability to deter the IDF, is to use those weapons wisely, ratcheting up the pressure with each increase in range.
This is why Nasrallah promised to hit targets “ba’ad, ba’ad Haifa”(beyond, beyond Haifa) toward the end of the Second Lebanon War. This enabled him to respond to each massive Israeli increase in pressure by snaking his fire ever-further south, toward Tel Aviv.
Hamas seeks a similar achievement — to be able to continue firing rockets throughout the conflict — and in that way to deny Israel a tangible success, and to remain armed with at least one more escalation at all times.
Its fire on Jerusalem Friday, as Jews around the country prepared to light Shabbat candles, was an unsuccessful expression of that desire.