Rockets Return on Tel Aviv: Hamas Messages Anew!

Hamas Rocket

The latest barrage of missiles on Tel Aviv from Rafah, the first since January, sends many messages to Israel from Hamas that the Palestinian resistance will not be beaten.

The launch of  the 12 rockets, Sunday, by the Izz Al Din Al Qassam Brigade and which landed on different towns and cities of greater Tel Aviv comes at a time when the Israeli army is preparing to militarily intervene in Rafah and on a large scale under its slogan of eradicating Hamas and its armed wing.

But the timing of the firing of the rockets  – a firing distance of 140 kilometers from Rafah and with the longest missiles so far used – is a warning to the Israeli military and politicians that the Palestinian resistance movement remains steadfast despite the hard bombs and missiles thrown on Gaza in the past eight months.

In addition on Gaza – 75,000 tons of explosives so far and the equivalent of 37 atom bombs – the rockets are a signal that the Palestinian resistance still have lots of fighters, rockets, guns, machine guns and ammunition in their depositories across Gaza and which are yet to be unleashed and can’t be found by the Israeli army.

They are a message from the resistance such military paraphernalia will continue to be used to attack the Israeli army, its soldiers, tanks and troop carriers for a longtime to come if the need be. The rockets show Hamas will continue to use them sparingly and as the battle requires. Now, the fight is against Israeli soldiers in Gaza but they could be fired into the Israeli depth whenever it suits the resistance.

The rockets – fired after about four months of tense calm – and all the way to the north of Tel Aviv, the major political, financial, economic, industrial and knowledge capital of Israel are devastating to politicians, military personnel, economic leaders and ordinary people who are asking what more can be done after a total and sustained war has been launched on Gaza since 7 October.

Videoclips on the social media are showing the timing when the missiles were launched and heard in Kfar Saba, Herzliya, and Raanana, north of Tel Aviv were sirens blasted off to the panic of ordinary Israelis, quickly trying to find a place of safety who can be heard stating the tense and jittery all days are back. 

This time the surprised rockets are expected to deepen and rattle the psychology of Israelis especially since they were fired 100s of meters away from an Israeli army units infiltrating Rafah which means resistance fighters are effectively mingling among soldiers and/or near them.

This should of deep worry to the Israeli Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi who is not happy about the state of his soldiers in Gaza and the fact that they are being forced to continue to fight in bloody situations that ultimately requires political solutions and mediation and where soldiers are being killed and maimed by the day to ghost Palestinian fighters. 

The real battle for Gaza is in Gaza and it’s being orchestrated carefully while the Israeli army only knows how to bomb civilians and their shelters.

Indeed, although a full scale invasion is yet to materialize in Rafah, the Israeli army is already bombing different parts of the city and has been doing so for the last 18 days. So the war there has already started.

The missiles into Israel, over Tel Aviv, cities in the center and in settlements around  Gaza are an addition and pressure to the real fight inside the enclave which is being helped by Hezbollah missiles into the north of Israel, the Houthis from Yemen and the occasional firing, also into Israel, from islamists groups deep inside Iraq.

Finally, the Hamas message to the Netanyahu government is don’t invade Rafah for the cost of doing so will be greater than you think for the city will be the final graveyard of Israel soldiers and the over 100 hostages who are held in captivity by Hamas. 

But Netanyahu may not be thinking at all about that since he wants the war to continue to lengthen his time out of prison and play into the hands of the extreme right wing while claiming to want to eradicate Hamas. 

Dr Marwan Asmar is an Amman based writer

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