Hamas rocket fire reached Jerusalem and Tel Aviv Friday, in the latest escalation of the conflict between Gazan terror organizations and Israel. Although Western nations strongly back Israel, Egypt and other new Arab Islamist regimes are ratcheting up their rhetoric at the Jewish state.
Two Hamas M-75 rockets, a new and improved version of the homemade Qassam missiles, fell in open areas outside Jerusalem for the first time Friday. "We are sending a short and simple message: There is no security for any Zionist on any single inch of Palestine and we plan more surprises," Hamas military spokesman Abu Obeida said about the unprecedented attack.
Rockets also fell on the greater Tel Aviv area Thursday and Friday, setting off air raid sirens in Israel's largest city for the first time since the Gulf War in the early 1990s.
Despite appeals by President Obama for Egypt to help negotiate a new ceasefire, Egypt took a sharpened tone against Israel following a solidarity visit to Gaza Friday by the nation's prime minister. Israel agreed to a brief ceasefire during Hesham Kandil's visit, but that was shattered almost immediately by Hamas rocket fire.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi warned Israel that it has "the power to uproot the aggressiveness," and even threatened that Egypt would take "unusual steps" if he felt the Israeli retaliatory strikes were a danger to the Egyptian homeland. A minister in his government also called for Egyptian attacks inside "the Zionist Entity."
Turkey's Islamist leadership called the Israeli anti-terror strikes "a pre-election stunt," and stated that he and his nation are "with our brothers in Gaza and their just cause." Tunisia's government, led by the religious Ennahda party, announced it would be dispatching its foreign minister and a delegation "to provide all political support for Gaza."