"The Islamic militant group claimed responsibility for at least 15 of the rockets fired after midnight, as well as a barrage of mortar bombs. The attacks caused no casualties, and the Israeli army said nearly all of them appeared to land inside Gaza."
"In the Jabalya refugee camp, five Palestinians were injured on Saturday when a Qassam meant for Israel landed in the camp instead."
Since the Qassam rocket attacks on Israel started, 6 Israelis were killed. This information is readily available on the net. You also get the names of the victims, their ages, their cities, and pictures of some of them.
Yesterday, seven members of the same Palestinian family were killed, including Haitham Ghalia, the family's one-year-old baby and another 6 month-old-baby. Two weeks earlier, a man lost all of his family in another attack. The week before that another family was annihilated. In 2005, the same Ghalia family that was hit yesterday lost four members when an Israeli shell landed on their farm.
I guess these are your odds if you live in Gaza.
I don't know how many Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli response to Qassam firings alone. And I don't have names, ages or pictures of the victims. I do know that the kids of the Ghalia family loved corn-on-the cub. I suspect that the parents, now dead, must have loved the letter "H": the kids names are/were: "Huda," "Hadeel," and "Haitham."
I've said this before, but I guess it's worth repeating: the Palestinians are the ones endangered by the Qassam rockets, despite the inflated rhetoric of Hamas and the others firing them. The beneficiaries are Israeli politicians, who use these pathetic attacks to foresake any restraint when it comes to bombing a civilian population. The Qassam rockets and the war rhetoric that sells them obscure what is really going on: an Israeli war on Palestinian civilians.
Hamas uses the Qassam rockets to score political points. This is the rockets major function for the group. They do not offer any protection to the Palestinians, do not force any restraint on the Israeli army, and do not advance the Palestinians towards a just political solution. And of course, they do not change the imbalance in militrary might between the Palestinians and the Israelis one bit. Let's keep in mind that Israel does not only have a mighty army, but it's also a nuclear power. The Palestinians have the Qassam rockets that land, mostly, in Gaza.
Speaking of scoring political points: I don't believe the Israelis will let the referendum on the two state solutions take place. They will subotage it anyway they can. What happened the past two days, in my opinion, serves that purpose. They would prefer Hamas in the government, so they can annihilate the Palestinian cause from the international political map.
What happened also helps Hamas out of a tight corner: their back was to the wall because the business of governing was not going well and they were losing support. The polls show that the majority of the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza support the referendum document. Now, they are back to doing what they believe will restore their legitimacy.