A leading Palestinian military and strategic analyst has described the range of the rockets coming out of Gaza as a "remarkable development". Major General Wasif Erekat said that the rockets' capability of reaching Jerusalem and illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank is also a setback for Israel's military deterrence factor.
"Following the aggression against Gaza, the occupation government, its leaders and its military establishment have shown their inability to protect Jerusalem and the settlements in the West Bank," said General Erekat. "They planned the attack on Gaza from safe, fortified rooms and are now languishing in shelters unable to even protect themselves from the reaction of the Palestinian resistance; clearly, they are now floundering."
When asked about the possibility of a truce, Erekat insisted that Israel is now "compelled" to seek a truce. He warned, though, that the Zionist state has a habit of using periods of calm to "cheat and deceive". The Palestinians, he suggested, cannot decide about a truce now. This was a reference to the Israelis apparently discussing a truce just days before they assassinated the Al-Qassam Brigades leader, Ahmed Al-Jabari.
"The occupation authorities were surprised and traumatised when the resistance showed its capability," he added. "Israel is now unable to protect itself in spite of its prime minister's talk about having destroyed the missile launching capabilities of the factions and their ability to respond to the [Israeli] aggression."
He denied that the assassination of Al-Jabari had a significant impact on the resistance, particularly Hamas's military wing. "The Palestinian people know that whenever a martyr falls, they are replaced by thousands of fighters able to carry the responsibility after them."
Major General Erekat, who was responsible previously for the artillery brigade in Southern Lebanon, pointed out that "Palestine lost Al-Jabari, not just Hamas".