Amir Cohen/Reuters
Tami Shadadi surveys the damage to her house in the southern town of Sderot Monday, Nov.12, after it was hit by a rocket fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza on Sunday.

How many rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel this year?

The rate has surged since the assassination Tuesday of Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari and an Israeli air offensive on the Gaza Strip.

(This has been updated/corrected since first posting. Thanks to Ben McCombe for pointing out that I conflated "incidents" with raw claims of rocket and mortar fire in the Shabak's reporting).

There's been some confusion over the frequency with which missiles are fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip, the official reason the Israeli government gave for launching its offensive on Gaza yesterday, which started with the assassination of senior Hamas militant Ahmed Jabari in Gaza City

Palestinian officials in the Gaza Strip have reported 13 dead in the violence. On the Israeli-side, the first three Israelis of the year to be killed by rocket fire, which has intensified substantially in the past 30 hours.

We're seeing the old adage that violence begets violence. Israel says there have been 275 rocket and mortars fired (updated total at 12:45 US eastern time on Thursday) from Gaza since Mr. Jabari was killed yesterday. That's a huge proportion of the total so far this year, prompted by the very thing that it was officially designed to stop it. How big? At least 25 percent, and probably more. Israel's Shin Bet internal security agency reported 451 total mortar and rocket "attacks" this year through Oct. 31 (though in some of these cases the "attacks" contained more than one rocket fired). The past week, however, has seen nearly that many.

The escalation cycle, so far, in brief:

On Nov. 5, an unarmed Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli forces as he crawled near the heavily armed Israeli border fence with Gaza. His family said he was mentally ill. On Nov. 8, Palestinian militants from one of the Popular Resistance Committees (not under Hamas control) engaged with an Israeli military unit that had entered Gaza. An Israeli miltary spokesman said the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) responded by firing at "suspicious locations" and in the process killed Palestinian 12-year-old Ahmed Abu Dagah.

On Nov. 10, Palestinian militants fired an antitank missile at an Israeli military jeep near the border, wounding four soldiers. The Israeli reprisals for that attack left five Palestinians dead that day: two teenagers playing soccer, two attendees at a funeral where the mourning tent was hit by an errant Israeli tank shell, and one Palestinian militant who was trying to fire a missile at Israel. Israeli officials claimed at least 100 more rockets were fired at Israel on Nov. 10 and 11.

I distilled the numbers of mortar and rocket attacks published by the Shin Bet in its monthly reports for January-October (sample report here.) I share them below because I haven't found a handy link to these totals, and there are lots of claims and counter-claims about the real numbers. (Update: I've added the individual rockets and mortars fired well as the "attack" totals).

Month             Rocket and mortar "attacks"                   Total rockets and mortars fired

Oct.               92                                                          171

Sept:             18                                                          25

Aug.              16                                                          24

July:              19                                                          27

June:             94                                                         218

May:             6                                                           6

April:             8                                                           8

March:         156                                                         192

(This March surge followed a series of Israeli strikes on Gaza on March 9, one of which assassinated Zuhir al-Qaisi, a top leader of the Popular Resistance Committees. Another 14 Palestinians were killed in the Israeli airstrikes. On March 9, and March 10, Palestinian militants fired at least 95 rockets at Israel in retaliation.)

February:      28                                                         37

January:       14                                                         15

Total:           451                                                        723

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to How many rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel this year?
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today