All day long, we heard fighter jets overhead. This is unusual. Once in a while you hear a pair in the early morning on maneuvers, but not the constant overflights we heard during kiddush.
We knew Something was going on, but couldn't turn on the television.
As soon as Havdalah was over, the phone rang. It was Yossi, wishing us the customary "Shavua tov" but he also urged us to turn on the television, telling us that finally, the Kadima government has recognized reality and responded to Hamas's unceasing barrage of weaponry.
There was a "truce," so called. A period of calm supposedly for six months. There was never calm during that six months and there were attacks on the southern Israel throughout that period. But in deference to Egypt, to Abbas, to the EU and to all the fools who announced that "calm" would bring about dialogue, and from there, peace, Kadima merely uttered empty threats, visited the families of the dead and wounded, tried to talk tough, and merely succeeded in looking ridiculous.
And the missile barrages from Gaza continued.
The so-called "truce" ended December 19th, officially.
Hamas-in-Damascus announced it would not renew the truce. Hamas-in-Gaza said, well, we're thinking about it, we'll let you know.
From November 4th through December 18th, while the "truce" was still in effect, Hamas and its puppets fired 213 rockets and 126 mortar shells into Israel. THAT was during the "truce."
In one of those attacks, a Kassam rocket scored a direct hit on a home in Sderot, wounding the mother of the family and virtually destroying the house. (Remember that Israelis homes aren't wood--they're made of concrete and rebar).
On December 12th, in a jihadist-only kind of protest about the post-Annapolis bilaterial talks, Hamas & Co. launched 20 Kassam rockets at the villages of the western Negev.
On December 20th, while Hamas was still supposedly mulling over renewing the 'truce,' 20 rockets hit Israel, wounding 8 people.
On December 21st, more than 50 rockets and mortars struck southern Israel. Rockets landed in Ashkelon, near an elementary school, near a youth cultural center in the western Negev and a next to home in Sderot. A foreign worker was injured. In response, Israeli forces struck back, hitting at least two rocket launchers in Gaza.
THAT response didn't deter Hamas.
On December 22nd three rockets were fired at Israel in the afternoon and evening,and then Hamas took a 24-hour break, supposedly at the request of Egypt, who is trying to restore the 'truce.'
December 23rd: No truce in sight. Hamas fired at least five rockets into Israel from Gaza.
No more break, it seemed.
On December 24th, more than 60 Qassam rockets and dozens of mortar shells struck homes, factories and a playground in southern Israel. Two long-range Grad-type missiles struck a public area in northern Ashkelon. Homes in Kibbutz Shaar Hanegev and Sdot Negev suffered direct hits. A rocket struck next to a playground in Netivot. One factory in the western Negev was hit twice.
On December 25th, one of the rockets fired from Gaza nearly mowed down Gazan Christian Arab pilgrims on their way out of Hamastan heading to Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas. At noon, another rocket exploded outside an elementary school in Sderot. Ten of the 18 people treated in the aftermath were children.
I am sorry for the civilians in Gaza. Two were killed today by their own people--a little girl and her 12 year old cousin were hit by a Palestinian rocket which fell short and landed in Beit Lehiyah.
It doesn't matter if you live in Sderot or Gaza; or Ashkelon or Rafiah. If you are a civilian, and someone comes to the door to tell you that your child isn't coming home any more, all you know is grief.
I'm sorry it has come to this. But blame Hamas, who has been unceasing in its attacks on Israeli civilians. Blame Hamas, whose political agenda is to end any progress towards peace between Livni and Abbas, and bring Netanyahu, a hardliner, into power in Israel.
"The freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins," a famous American commentator once said. Israel has been taking it on the nose for a couple of years now. The near miss on an elementary school was probably the last straw.
Now, there will either be a new 'truce' or there will be more death in Gaza.