**NOTE: No military activity against Israel occurs within the Beqaa Valley or southern Lebanon for which Hezbollah is not directly in the know. Therefore, whether these rockets were fired by Hezbollah soldiers or their proxy soldiers is irrelevant, especially in light of the Iranian government's call to assist HAMAS and the other Gaza terrorists against Israel, and calls heard from Lebanon yesterday by Hezbollah's leadership that war with Israel is "the only way of getting back the occupied lands and holy places."
First Update OPE-4: According to IDF CoS Benny Gantz who was speaking to Israeli media a short time ago, the only thing that stands between massed Israeli armor, engineering and mechanized troops and the territory of Gaza at this point is a political decision from PM Bibi Netanyahu and his cabinet. Otherwise Israel is fully prepared to execute an order to invade and accomplish unambiguous objectives in the war against Islamic terrorists in Gaza.
Speaking through official government media (Fars News Agency, among others), Iranian President Rouhani has essentially called on all Muslim countries to assist the Gaza terrorists by declaring war against Israel. With this as a backdrop, and not that Iran does not now have its hands full in both Syria and Iraq, but the Ayatollah in Iran could order Hezbollah in Lebanon to open up cross-border hostilities in the north. He might even call on Bashar al-Assad to add his missiles into the fray. The potential is present for this war to very quickly spin out of any semblance of control. The JPost has the only link to this information that I trust.
Second Update OPE-4: The government of Egypt today prevented the smuggling of at least 20 improved GRAD artillery rockets (possibly the Iranian-made Burak-70 type) into Gaza from the Sinai Peninsula. Improved GRAD rockets have a range of approximately 50 miles which is three times the standard for this type of unguided rocket. The improved GRAD (9M22U) rocket is believed to be manufactured under IRGC control by the Defense Industries Organization of Iran. This connection would support the assessment that Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which takes its orders from Iran, was the smuggler. Most of the missiles and rockets coming out of Gaza originated in Iran, or were modified by Iranian IRGC technicians working in Gaza.
Final Update OPE-4: A Merkava tank lays a smoke screen to hide other maneuvering forces behind him from direct enemy observation. The intel evidence at this point suggests that over then next 48 hours additional ramping up stages will be executed by all service branches of the IDF. The IDF and Home Front Command will also be prepared to engage with extreme prejudice any hostile forces in Judea and Samaria, or from any location over the borders along the entire Northern Front.
As the image above clearly evidences, massed IDF troops like these up against the Gaza border simply cannot remain in this type of a static situation for too long. Their combat overall effectiveness is usually the first casualty. For this primary reason I believe Israeli PM Bibi Netanyahu may well give the "Let's Roll" order just after the Sabbath this weekend.
So, before the boots go in, a brief look at Gaza.
The Gaza enclave is approximately 139 square miles in area (360km2), and is basically a rectangular shape measuring 24 miles in length and from 4 to 8 miles wide. With a population of more than 1.6 million in several urban zones, the population density of Gaza works out to roughly 11,500 individuals per square mile. We will soon see how the human shield tactic works out for the terrorists hiding behind their mothers skirts once the smooth bore 120mm gun of the 65 ton Merkava Mk IV main battle tank begins taking dead aim at terrorist targets in the urban centers of Gaza. With Egypt having closed its Sinai border with Gaza, and security fences all around the enclave, there really is no where else for the terrorist rats to scatter once Israel's hammer falls. Tunnels will be their graves, basements their mausoleums. It will be bloody, house to house combat in an urban environment. It will take weeks to complete. It will be ugly, but it is absolutely necessary.