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A Grad rocket hit the southern tip of the big Israeli city of Rishon Lezion, a suburb of Israel’s main financial center, Tel Aviv, and part of Israel’s biggest metropolitan area. The missile, fired from the Gaza strip, has reached the northernmost point so far, further north of any rocket fired during the Gaza was in January 2009, called “Cast Lead” by Israel.

This shooting follows rockets on Israel’s southern cities of Ashdod and Beer-Sheva, as well as smaller southern towns. Update: rockets also landed on the beach in Bat Yam, even closer to Tel Aviv.

It all began with mortar shells shot by the small Palestinian militant section, the Islamic Jihad, and continued with intense activity by Hammas, that controls Gaza.

It also follows a terrorist attack in Jerusalem that killed on British tourist and injured dozens.

Syrian protests

In Israel’s northern neighbor, Syria, violent protest and oppression continue. A fresh report says that at least 100 people were killed in recent days at Syria’s southern city of Daraa. Protests are going there for quite some time.

While both countries aren’t exporters of oil, this ongoing unrest means a fragile situation in other countries as well, such as Saudi Arabia. While the protests in Egypt, Tunisia, Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and Saudi Arabia all put the Israeli-Palestinian conflict aside, this quick escalation keeps up the pressure on oil prices.

Higher oil prices mean a weaker dollar, especially against the Swiss franc, but also against the Japanese yen.

Further reading: Fears of protest in Qatar, UAE and again in Saudi Arabia.

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