Sherwin Pomerantz

Rockets Fall in Tel Aviv Yet Again

A massive barrage of rockets targeted Tel Aviv and central Israel for the first time in months. The rockets were fired from Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

The IDF confirmed on Sunday that eight projectiles were identified crossing the Rafah area into Israeli territory. A number of the projectiles were intercepted by the IDF Aerial Defense Array, the IDF announced. Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack, with the al-Qassm Brigade, Hamas’s military wing, claiming that they fired the barrage in response to ongoing IDF operations in the Gaza Strip.

As a result of the rocket fire, loud booms were heard across Tel Aviv, Petah Tikva, Herzliya, and Ramat Hasharon. The rockets were fired from launchers located hundreds of meters from IDF soldiers in the Gaza Strip, Army Radio noted. Rescue forces are looking into reports of a rocket landing in the Tel Aviv area. Both MDA and the Israel Police said there have not been any reported injuries yet. Shrapnel hit a parked car in Herzliya. MDA also announced that one person was slightly injured by shrapnel in Herzliya, Israeli media reported.

The barrage towards central Israel follows earlier anti-tank missiles launched towards Margaliot and Menara in northern Israel from Lebanese territory, with one missile falling in an open area, Israeli media reported.

Hostage negotiations are expected to restart this week, days after the IDF retrieved the corpses of three men, killed on Oct. 7 and abducted by Hamas from the area of Kibbutz Mefalsim, from the Gaza Strip. An Egyptian source told CNN on Sunday that negotiations are expected to resume in Cairo on Tuesday. Israel’s War Cabinet has approved sending a delegation back to Cairo for this purpose.

“We must resume negotiations to secure the return of all the hostages—the living for rehabilitation and the murdered for burial,” a spokesperson for the Hostage and Missing Families Forum told JNS on Sunday. “To the government of Israel and the War Cabinet, we implore you: Do not rest until you have left no stone unturned and exhausted every possible avenue to bring them all home without delay,” the spokesperson added.

On May 6, Hamas announced that it had agreed to a ceasefire proposal altered by Egypt without Jerusalem’s consent. According to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the proposal “was very far from Israel’s core demands.” Talks had been in a stalemate since.

A group of highly respected academics and public health officials who authored a working paper on the amount of food entering the Gaza Strip during the war have concluded that the supply from January through April was sufficient for the population’s daily energy and protein needs. Analyzing data from Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) agency of the Defense Ministry, which includes the weight of consignments of specific food commodities and standardized food parcels delivered to Gaza, the authors found that the mean energy availability across four months was 3,163 kcal per person, per day. This significantly exceeds the widely accepted standard of 2,100 kcals per person, per day established by the Sphere humanitarian organization, for the minimum amount of food aid required in response to a crisis.

The new study comes following a bombshell announcement by International Criminal Court Prosecutor Karim Khan on Monday that he is seeking to charge Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant with crimes against humanity and war crimes for allegedly using deliberate starvation as a method of war against Palestinians in Gaza.

“This in-depth analysis highlights the fact that the amount of food delivered per capita should be sufficient for the entire Gazan population, and meets Sphere humanitarian recommendations for food aid delivery to conflict-affected populations, during the period examined,” the new study found. The authors also found that the amount of food entering Gaza was “significantly greater” in the January-April period under review than in the pre-October 7 period. The paper is currently in the peer-review process in the Israel Journal of Health Policy Research so the findings are provisional and the conclusions may change, the authors noted.

Today is Lag B’omer, which literally means the 33rd day of the Omer. The Omer is counted for 49 days between the end of Passover and the holiday of Shavuot-Feast of Weeks or Pentecost in the Christian tradition. The counting is derived from the practice related in the Torah of counting the days from the barley offering at the Temple to the day of the wheat offering on Shavuot. The holiday celebrates a break in a plague that is said to have occurred during the days of Rabbi Akiva. The Talmud states that the great teacher of Jewish mysticism Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai died on Lag B’Omer, and in modern times the holiday has come to symbolize the resilience of the Jewish spirit.

Let’s hope that for us this year, Lag B’omer will make the end of the current plague, the war with Hamas, and that tomorrow will bring new hope to us and everyone in the region.

About the Author
Sherwin Pomerantz is a native New Yorker, who lived and worked in Chicago for 20 years before coming to Israel in 1984. An industrial engineer with advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and business, he is President of Atid EDI Ltd., a 32 year old Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm which, among other things, represents the regional trade and investment interests of a number of US states, regional entities and Invest Hong Kong. A past national president of the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel, he is also Former Chairperson of the Board of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and a Board Member of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. His articles have appeared in various publications in Israel and the US.
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