BREAKING: Major Injuries In Sderot Rocket Barrage. Children Wounded As Rockets Score Direct Hits On School and Home.
UPDATE 03 (12:55 PST):
For the next day or so you're going to see the IDF in a holding pattern. Helicopters will hover over Sderot and northern Gaza to try to limit rocket fire until a meeting this evening between Peretz and army brass. Last Sunday the regularly scheduled security cabinet meeting apparently worked out a number of contingency plans in case of a major rocket attack. They'll choose one of those plans, the orders will go out, and some kind of operation will be implemented.
The only thing that might possibly hold off a ground invasion is if the government decides that Hamas and Fatah are killing more of each other than the IDF thinks it can reasonably do in short order. Which would be a frustrating decision, but not necessarily a numerically unjustified one. There's nothing in the English-language Hebrew media that indicates pressure for a ground operation from anyone starting with the center-right on leftward, so the decision will probably be to escalate air strikes. Invading Gaza while the Palestinians are tearing themselves apart might be more trouble then it's worth.
Then again - rockets are falling on schools and homes, on mothers and children. That can't go on.
UPDATE 02 (12:50 PST):
Hey, you know how you're going to be hearing that the Palestinians dropped a dozen rockets on schools and houses today because of their "legitimate grievances" about the "occupation"? Yeah, that's a bald faced lie:
According to Hamas' armed wing, it fired the rockets to mark Nakba Day, on which Palestinians commemorate what they call the catastrophe of Israel's creation.
Their grievance is the existence of the Jewish state. Don't let the LA Times tell you otherwise.
UPDATE 01 (12:45 PST):
Ha'aretz has the lede as a moderate injury to the mother who was hit when the rocket scored a direct hit on her home, but then clarifies that it's "moderate to serious". Which almost certainly means shrapnel - so at a minimum, the woman is maimed for life, has lost her house, and has a four year old son who was also hit. People need to start understanding what's going on in Sderot: it's like being in the middle of a war, with rockets falling out of the air on your house and schools. Think of an actual war - WWII - and think of bombs dropping from the sky. That's daily life there, and this tragedy was inevitable.
JPost is reporting dozens of rockets, with injuries in excess of 20 people. Hamas is threatening to fire dozens more rockets at Israeli schools and hospitals unless Israel does whatever it is Hamas wants Israel to do.
David Groder of One Jerusalem had just finished posting video of a rocket flying by right in front of him. The rocket attacks are coming from Hamas soldiers and are scoring direct hits on Israeli schools and houses - that would be a war crime if committed by the troops of any other government anywhere else on the planet, but we're kind of skeptical about the global condemnation that's about to ensue. Or rather - we're quite confident that world leaders will be expressing "concern" and urging both sides to "think about the day after", but we kind of think that they're going to wait until the impending Israeli response to this outrage.
GIYUS just posted an action alert asking people to email world leaders and express their outrage. Do with it what you will - we're generally skeptical of these things, but they certainly can't but help blunt world criticism. You're probably going to be most effective aiming your emails toward the US Congress and State Department, since those are the only places where condemnation of Israel's impending counterattack are not a forgone conclusion.