If the current rate of fire continues, by the end of 2008, over 4,500 rockets and mortar shells will have been fired by Palestinian terrorist organisations based in Gaza.
Since 2001 rocket and mortar shell fire has been directly responsible for the deaths of 24 Israelis and the wounding of 620. This statistic does not take into account the massive psychological cost borne by the 190,000 Israelis who live within striking range. With a population almost ten times that of Israel, the corresponding UK figures would be 240 killed and 6,200 wounded in a city the size of Newcastle.
The problem with rockets predates the Hamas coup in Gaza, the winning by Hamas of the PA elections and the 2005 disengagement from Gaza. Indeed Israel’s western Negev communities have endured 7 years of relentless rocket and mortar shell fire.
For comparative purposes, note that the July 7 2005 suicide bombers each detonated 5-7kg suicide bombs killing 52 civilians and wounding 700. The average rocket fired from Gaza contains 7-8kg of explosives.