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Escalation in Gaza challenges Israeli leadership

Heavy rockets fired from Gaza on Wednesday have sent Israel's military and political leaders into disarray while Egypt mediates a Hamas-Israel arrangement.
Israeli sappers stand on a crane as they work on a house that the Israeli military said was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, in Beersheba, southern Israel October 17, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen - RC165705AE00
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The rocket that hit a home in Beersheba on the night of Oct. 17 fell only seconds after the mother of the family had fled with her three children to a protected room in the basement. The rocket also landed on Israel’s security officials as a complete surprise. An additional rocket was fired northward that night; it fell into the ocean, opposite a large city in the Gush Dan metropolitan area. The authorities did not disclose the exact place.

The incident evokes memories of the summer of 2014, when Israeli intel kept telling the political echelon that Hamas isn’t interested in an escalation or another round of fighting. Now, too, the intelligence assessment is that Hamas “is not interested” — but the reality on the ground indicates otherwise.

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