UPDATE 12:00 EST: Within the last ten minutes, the count has been updated to 30 rockets, according to Israeli media. No injuries have been reported. At least of one of the communities near Gaza has been damaged by rocket fire, according to the latest news reports.
Israeli security forces and government officials are deliberating the governments response.
UPDATE 11:00 EST: Initial reports are that over 27 rockets were launched into Israel’s south Wednesday afternoon. Some of the rockets hit open areas and others hit populated areas. Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down three rockets.
Residents of the Eshkol Region, as well as the towns of Sderot, Netivot and Ofakim, have reported multiple alarms in the past minutes. In the last few moments there have been unconfirmed reports of explosions near Netivot. This is the expected reaction to the killing of three Islamic Jihad fighters trying to secure a downed Israeli drone inside Gaza yesterday.
In the last few moments Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility for firing the rockets. Israeli aircraft are now blanketing Gaza and airstrikes with more rockets are expected.
A top US official said at the beginning of this month, that she believed the oil-for-goods swap would not go ahead in the near future after the United States warned both sides it would make reaching a nuclear agreement “more difficult if not impossible”. However the US threats on Russia have driven the two countries into each other’s arms.
As the Russian / Iran relationship grows closer; the dollar gets shakier and a US Israeli attack on Iran gets closer.
Iran and Russia have signed an agreement to build two more nuclear power plants in the southern Iranian city of Bushehr in exchange for oil, Iranian Press TV reported on Wednesday. The agreement also includes the construction of two desalination plants.
Reuters also reported that Iran and Russia were negotiating to swap up to 500,000 barrels of oil per day for goods. The deal would undermine Western efforts to maintain economic pressure on Tehran, and any coming western sanctions on Russia or Iran, and undermine the US dollar as the world reserve currency.
In addition to Russia building more nuclear reactors at Bushehr, Tehran is interested in supplies of heavy trucks for assembly in Iran, and other items. “Iran is interested in buying a huge amount of railroad tracks from Russia, as well as Russian involvement in the electrification of its railways. We are also interested in Russian grain.”
Haredi MKs walked out as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took the podium to welcome Cameron and Palestinian lawmakers walked out at a later stage of Netanyahu’s speech.
Opposition MKs who chose to remain in the plenum heckled Netanyahu during his welcoming speech with a smiling Cameron sitting in the place of honor on the Knesset’s podium.
The MKs later returned to the plenum when Opposition Chairman Issac Herzog took to the stage to give his welcoming speech to Cameron.
British Prime Minister David Cameron arrived Wednesday under the support of the Prime Minister’s Office, due to the foreign affairs strike. He is scheduled to address the Knesset and hold talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu before traveling to Ramallah to meet Palestinian leaders.
Cameron will speak before the Knesset about the benefits of peace with the Palestinians and Israeli officials hope he will call Israel ‘a Jewish state,’ Haaretz+ reported. Meanwhile, Palestinians are already disappointed because Cameron will spend only three hours of his two-day trip in the Palestinian territories.
Opposition, Palestinian and religious parties boycotted the Knesset vote on the controversial governance law yesterday. As a result, the electoral threshold rose from 2 percent to 3.25 percent. Were this the threshold in the last elections, none of the Arab parties would be sitting in the Knesset.
The opposition was so angry about the ‘package vote’ that it has threatened to abandon the Knesset after the speech of British Prime Minister David Cameron today
Wednesday the Knesset passed controversial legislation to draft ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students into the army. The orthodox Haredi: This is a black day, we will not forget or forgive Netanyahu.
One rocket was fired from Gaza on Monday and another on Tuesday.