But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet have in some ways locked themselves into a broader conflict, based on the public logic they have provided in the past few days: Rockets from Gaza are intolerable, and force must be used to stop them. Since there have now been 500 or so rockets fired at Israel since the assassination of Hamas military leader Ahmad Jabari on Wednesday, compared with 723 in total fired in the first 10 months of the year, that logic of escalation of force calls for yet more escalation.
Further, Hamas fired long-range Fajr rockets, known to be in their arsenal but never used before, in response to Israeli's bombing raids yesterday. Those longer-range rockets struck within eight miles of Tel Aviv, Israel's business and cultural capital, and both yesterday and today, air raid sirens wailed throughout the coastal Mediterranean city for the first time since 1991, when Iraq's Saddam Hussein lobbed scud missiles at Israel during Gulf War precipitated by his invasion of Kuwait. And in the late afternoon, the first air raid sirens in memory were reported to be going off in Jerusalem.