At 3:30 on Wednesday morning, red-alert sirens went off in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba, over 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) from Gaza. From that point, one female resident had just one minute to jump out of bed, grab her three children, including an infant, and race to the shelter.
Moments after closing the door, an explosion rattled her house, causing devastating damage.
The cause was a grad rocket fired from the Gaza Strip that packed an unexpectedly huge payload, making the building uninhabitable.
No terror group has taken responsibility for the attack, although the Israeli military said that only Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (both sponsored by Iran) have access to such weaponry.
In response, Israeli jets pounded over 20 sites in Gaza from north to south, including more terror tunnels and weapons depots.
On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with defense officials by the border. After the meeting, he said:
Israel views the attacks along the Gaza border and on Beersheba with the utmost severity. I said at the start of this week’s cabinet meeting that if the attacks don’t stop, we will stop them, and I want to tell you again today that Israel will act with force.
The question that many are wondering in Israel is what exactly do those words mean? It means maintaining the status quo: Jews living under perpetual threat of rocket attacks, and when an attack happens, Israel fights back even stronger.
Many fear, and many others hope, that a large-scale Israeli military assault on Gaza is imminent.
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman implied on Tuesday that heavy-handed assault was the only solution: “We are not willing to accept the level of violence we see one week after another.” He then added, “A serious blow to Hamas could bring us at least five more years of quiet.”
Israelis understandably want retribution, but if that will only get another five years of calm before another war, it’s not really a solution.
To read about both the failure in Israeli policy regarding the Palestinians and also the future solution to the intractable issue, please request and read Watch Jerusalem editor in chief Gerald Flurry’s free booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy.
Iran Increases the Range of Ballistic Missiles
On Tuesday, the semiofficial Iranian Fars News Agency quoted Amirali Hajizedeh, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps airspace division, as saying, “We have managed to make land-to-sea ballistic, not cruise, missiles that can hit any vessel or ship from 700 kilometers.”
In the speech, the official also claimed that these missiles are equipped with precision-strike capability.
While it’s wise to take Iranian boasts of their capabilities with a grain of salt, there is every reason to believe that the report is accurate, especially in light of Iran’s recent ballistic missile strikes.
Most notable being the strike on September 9, when Iran fired seven Fateh-110 ballistic missiles at a town in northern Iraq in an attack on Kurdish opposition leaders.
What happened? The launch was a perfect success. The missiles flew over 180 miles and hit the building, killing the dissidents.
Iran had stated previously that the Fateh-110 has been retrofitted with “active seeker” technology to better detect ships at sea. This week’s announcement from Iran clearly indicates that it has a strategy use its missiles to target ships, and now it likely has the technology necessary to do so with precision.
This is a trend we have been watching for some time.
Last year, Watch Jerusalem correspondent Callum Wood wrote:
Right now Iran is advancing its means of shutting down the maritime routes that Europe relies upon. Upgrades to the Fateh-110 may seem small, but combined with Iran’s renewed interest in the Bab el-Mandeb, Yemen, the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, the world ought to take note.
As the article mentions, Iran has a goal to sabotage world shipping through the critical choke points of the Strait of Hormuz and the Bab el-Mandeb at the southern entrance to the Red Sea. The increases in both range and precision of its missiles enable Iran to do just that to a frightening degree.
Read “Iran Upgrades Ballistic Missiles for Seaborne Targets” in full to get a clear picture of Iran’s strategy. It also discusses the biblical prophecy that actually reveals Iran’s plans for the nations surrounding the Red Sea passageway.