The sixth day of our "mini-war" with Hamas has ended. Once again, the day began quietly. For the second day in a row there were no missile launches aimed at Tel Aviv this morning. However, in the late morning Hamas achieved one victory. In Ashdod, a 16 year old boy was walking home from getting his haircut. When the sirens sounded there was no secure space for him to go. He crouched near a wall. Sadly, that turned out not to be enough. A missile landed near him and he was gravely wounded. As of tonight his condition remains critical, but stable.
At 4 pm today the quiet of our afternoon was broken by sirens, when two rockets were fired at Tel Aviv. Additional missiles were fired at Rishon Lezion, as well as two longer range missiles fired at Haifa. One missile landed – harmlessly – near Hadera and one overshot Haifa. At 8pm we heard a muffled explosion in the distance. After listening to the TV news we discovered that Hamas had in fact fired missiles at Tel Aviv. These missiles missed by such a wide margin, the sirens were not activated, nor were any intercept missiles fired. At that same hour Hamas fired 40 or so missiles at Ashdod and Ashkelon. All were intercepted.
As the days go on we fall into a routine. Regular work continues. We go out of the house to do chores – though we leave our houses with a certain vigilance. We walk down the street always checking where we will go if the sirens go off. Even late at night when I take make nightly bicycle ride, despite the fact I am usually pretty certain that it's too late for them to fire, I still keep my eyes on where I can go if the sirens sound.
As I write this piece (a little after midnight) Hamas has promised a barrage of missiles at the end of the World Cup Finals. They fired about 10 missiles at Ashkelon and Ashdod, when the game went into overtime. I decided to wait a little longer before going out on my ride. Well, I waited a half an hour after the end of the game. There were no rockets from Gaza. However, there was the troubling firing of two more rockets from Lebanon into Israel – both landed near, but not in, the town of Shlomi, in the Western Galilee.
Today there was more talk of a ceasefire. There may indeed be one nearing. Clearly neither side is gaining anything at this point. As I wrote before we started retaliating ... We should either be willing to go all the way and recapture Gaza with ground troops, or ignore them, as a lion does a gnat. Instead, once again, we took the middle road that achieves nothing.