The deadly attack in Sderot comes amid continuing Israeli air strikes in Gaza. Witnesses said the latest raid destroyed a workshop and metal foundry. The Israeli military often targets such places, claiming them to be rocket factories. Five people were killed in an earlier air strike in Gaza. Four were members of Islamic Jihad, reportedly preparing to launch a fresh attack on Israel.
The upsurge in violence has eclipsed recent fighting between the Hamas group of Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction. At the militants’ funerals Haniyeh reflected the rising tension in the region.
He spoke of a “project of resistance” and what he called a “blessed Jihad in the land of Palestine”.
Against this background Abbas is expected to travel to Gaza today. It is suggested he may discuss with local leaders the possible renewal of a truce with Israel.