September 25, 2005
Israel Drops the Other Shoe
Earlier today (from Saturday to Sunday Israeli time), Israel launched a large series of air raids against Hamas and several other terrorist organizations, including the Popular Front For the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Resistance Committees; the PFLP is connected to Syria (and Russia and China) and has its headquarters in Damascus. I don't know whether the AP story means the PFLP or the PFLP-General Command; they split in 1968.
The Popular Resistance Committees is a very new terrorist group (born in 2000), full of "young Turks" (sorry, I couldn't resist!) trying to muscle their way up the brutality ladder.
From the Associated Press story by Ibrahim Barzak:
Israel launched a "crushing" retaliation Saturday against Hamas in Gaza with deadly airstrikes, troops massed at the border and a planned ground incursion after militants fired 35 rockets at Israeli towns - their first major attack since the Gaza pullout.
Israeli aircraft pounded suspected weapons facilities and other militant targets throughout the Gaza Strip late Saturday and early Sunday, wounding at least 19 people, Palestinian officials said. Earlier, Israeli aircraft fired missiles at cars carrying militants in Gaza City, killing two Hamas militants.
In the West Bank, the military arrested 207 wanted Palestinian men overnight, most of them members of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements.
More is coming: Israel plans a ground invasion of Gaza soon -- in other words, reacting just as they would if Egypt or Syria or Jordan were to attack: with a full-blown military response:
Security officials said that "Operation First Rain" would include artillery fire, air strikes and other targeted attacks. The operation will grow in intensity, leading up to a ground operation in several days unless the Palestinian security takes action to halt the rocket attacks or Hamas ends the attacks itself.
This is precisely the sort of action I anticipated and that justifies Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's policy of unilateral withdawl. The Palestinians demanded to be treated as any other nation. Well, there is an old expression: be careful what you wish for... you may get it.
This will be fascinating to watch as it evolves; how far along the road to folly and self-destruction will Hamas and other militant groups journey before the Palestinian people decide they've had enough of fighting Israel -- and losing?
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, September 25, 2005, at the time of 12:51 AM
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The following hissed in response by: steve sturm
Hamas and the other terrorist groups know Israel's threat to launch a 'crushing' attack is pretty much an empty threat. So Israel invades Gaza... haven't they already done that? And Hamas knows - because Israel has told them - that Israel doesn't want to be in Gaza, so the clock on Israeli withdrawal after this 'devastating' retaliation is clicking even before the Israelis move in.
And as for Israel's other options for dealing with these cross-border attacks, such as targeting terrorist leaders, closing the border with Israel, shutting down the airport.... they have all been done before, to no avail, as doing so has never convinced the terrorists to stop, or the Palestinian 'government' to take action. Nor will the Palestinian 'people' rise up to demand an end to the terrorism. They never did while Israel held Gaza, as they support the terrorism and its goals of destroying Israel. The Palestinians view anything Israel does as merely a small setback on the road to eventual victory.
Likewise, Israel is dreaming if they think their withdrawal from Gaza is going to gain them any leverage in the world, for the UN's unwillingness to take action against the Palestinians had nothing to do with Israel being an 'occupier' and had everything to do with Israel being Israel... and the last I checked, Jews are still running Israel..... wimpy and stupid Jews, but Jews nonetheless.
And, finally, as far as Bush and Rice putting pressure on the Palestinians now that Israel has acceeded to Bush's demands to make accomodations, they're still stuck with the Scowcroft/Powell thinking that getting Israel to make concession after concession is the key to getting other Arab countries to help end terrorism against the US. It isn't, but Bush isn't smart enough to realize that.
So, tell me again, just what was Israel supposed to have gained from their unilateral withdrawal from Gaza?
(cross posted at thoughtsonline...
The above hissed in response by: steve sturm at September 25, 2005 4:31 AM
The following hissed in response by: Clint
What they gained was relatively ineffective terrorists. The latest "massive attack" had the consequence of injuring six people. And this took them 35 rockets to accomplish. (Compare with what one suicide bomber used to do with a much cheaper set of explosives...)
What they gained was the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leadership coming out of the shadows to take power in Gaza, so that in response to this "massive attack" they were able to respond with a missile that: "hit a Mercedes carrying Mohammed Khalil, Islamic Jihad’s top militant leader in southern Gaza"
Withdrawing from Gaza has decreased the ability of terrorists to hurt Israelis, and has increased the ability of Israel to hurt the terrorists. That alone makes it good tactics, but it's also good strategy. In the long term, one of two things will now happen in Gaza: either (1) responsible Palestinian leadership will arise, devoting more time to keeping the lights on and the water flowing and less time thinking about how to kill jews; or (2) living conditions in Gaza will quickly grow to be intolerable, leading the Palestinians in Gaza to demand (1). Eventually, Gaza will get someone who has both the power and the interest to negotiate peace.
The above hissed in response by: Clint at September 26, 2005 8:54 AM
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