The Times of Israel is liveblogging Tuesday’s events as they unfold.
Late night barrage sends residents across Gaza border region running for cover; IDF says some 70 projectiles fired into Israel in most serious flare-up since 2014
Rocket from Gaza lands in Israeli town, no injuries
Rocket fragments hit town of Netivot, causing damage
UN Security Council to meet on rocket, mortar fire at Israel
Sirens blare in central Negev, army says
Iron Dome intercepts projectile fired from Gaza
IDF confirms it is conducting renewed airstrikes in Gaza
The Islamic Jihad barrages were ostensibly aimed at avenging Israel’s reported killing of three of its operatives, who were attempting an attack, earlier this week in the Rafah area. That was the immediate pretext. But the nature and scale of the Islamic Jihad response — heavy fire at civilian targets in Israel — indicates that revenge was not the only motivation. It is possible that this is at root an Iranian move, seeking to have Israel pay a price in the south for targeting Iran in the north — across the border in Syria.
Hamas has put the brakes on a potential deterioration into all-out conflict more than once of late, even after its forces were hit. The most obvious recent example of this was on May 14, the day the US inaugurated its embassy in Jerusalem, Nakba Day, when more than 60 Gazans were killed in violent clashes with Israel at the Gaza border. Hamas later acknowledged that almost all of the fatalities were its members. Yet it ordered the dispersal of the protests at the border that evening, to avoid a potential descent into war.