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Map: Where Hamas’s Jerusalem-bound rocket actually landed on Friday

Hamas has claimed that it fired a rocket toward Jerusalem, which the BBC says is the first time that the city has been targeted from the Gaza Strip. Hamas rockets have typically targeted much closer areas in southern Israel. The Israeli military confirmed that the rocket missed, but, according to BBC reporter Yolande Knell, it seems to have been pretty far from the mark: 18 miles away, at the "main gate of Ma'ale Amos settlement" in the West Bank. Here's a map of where that is:

View Larger Map

Given that Hamas reportedly says it was targeting the Israeli Knesset building in Jerusalem, that it missed not just the parliament but the entire city by almost 20 miles doesn't suggest the most finely tuned aiming capabilities.

Still, the fact that Hamas is aiming at Jerusalem at all -- which Hamas also claims as the rightful Palestinian capital and which is surrounded by Palestinians, as well as Israelis -- seems significant, and could deepen Israeli concerns about the group's willingness to negotiate peace. It's also difficult to see how this could generate much sympathy among West Bank Palestinians.

Even though Hamas missed, it did manage to fire a rocket relatively far beyond Gaza. This map shows, roughly, the potential reach of Hamas rockets based on this strike. It's not far from Tel Aviv, which a Gaza-based rocket missed on Thursday.



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Olga Khazan · November 16, 2012

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