|November 15, 2012
With Israel having launched the biggest Gaza escalation in years, the waiting game now turns to the Gaza retaliation, which if the rhetoric is any indication, will be substantial. So what can Gaza do, and how far can its rockets penetrate, assuming they can bypass the Israeli “Iron Dome” defense shield? The following infographic from Stratfor explains it. The ranging is particularly relevant in the context of the Dimona nuclear power plant, which at least at first blush appears unreachable – after all, if Gaza really wanted to unleash the gates of hell on Israel, it would focus all of its firepower precisely on this one spot.
Israel Defense Forces confirmed Nov. 14 that it had killed Ahmed Jabari, the leader of Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz al-Deen al-Qassam Brigades. The airstrike that killed Jabari came a day after Israel warned that it was considering targeted assassinations in response to increasing rocket fire from Gaza. In addition to the strike on Jabari, the Israeli air force reportedly attacked a cache of 20 long-range missiles and a Gaza police station, and loud explosions are being reported in Gaza City. An IDF spokesman announced that the Israeli military was embarking on Operation Pillar of Defense, which could include a ground incursion into Gaza. The assassination of Jabari seems to have been a first salvo, one that will provoke retaliation from Hamas and that could affect Jordan and Syria. Renewed and expanded bouts of rocket fire are certain, including rockets targeting urban areas. But the question is what other operations Hamas can and will conduct.
So even assuming a missile can enter deep into Israel territory, the clip below shows the defensive chain of Israeli events that is unleashed next.