Thursday, August 4, 2011

More Rockets from Gaza - Our response? - by Love of the Land

Smugglers' tunnels beneath the Gaza-Egypt border

Love of the Land
04 August '11

Tonight, Thursday night, rockets continue to arrive from Gaza to the Kiryat Gat region, following yesterday's launching of Grads from Gaza in the early evening. While no serious injuries have been reported B"H, there have been a number of cases of shock requiring treatment. It does not require an explanation to what would have occurred, if these were to land in proximity to any group of people not in a proper shelter, a bus stop, direct hit on a home, or day camp.

To try to understand why this situation continues, let us first take a look at recent IDF Spokespersons statements concerning the IDF response to recent attacks from Gaza:

In Response to Rocket Fire, IAF Targets Two Terror Activity Sites and a Smuggling Tunnel
Posted on August 4, 2011

Overnight, IAF aircraft targeted two terror activity sites in the northern Gaza Strip and smuggling tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip. Direct hits were confirmed. 

These sites were targeted in response to the rockets fired from Gaza at Israel’s southern communities over the past few days. Overnight, two Grad rockets hit Israeli territory, raising the amount of rockets and mortars fired from Gaza at the Israeli home front since the beginning of 2011 to over 340.

The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and will respond with determination to any attempt to use terror against the State of Israel. The IDF holds the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip.


New Road Protects Southern Residents from Missile Attacks
Posted on July 27, 2011

Today, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) opened access to a newly built road along the Israel-Gaza border. The three-kilometer road is intended to safeguard Israeli civilians in southern Israel from anti-tank missiles launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

In the past, Israeli drivers and passengers along the Israel-Gaza border were vulnerable to Hamas-fired missiles. In an effort to reduce the threat of missile attacks, the secure road was integrated into a fold of land outside the visual range of terrorists in the Gaza Strip
Last April, Hamas launched an antitank missile from the Gaza Strip into southern Israel, striking a school bus, killing 16-year-old Daniel Viflic and wounding the bus driver.


So while we have "The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians and IDF soldiers, and will respond with determination to any attempt to use terror against the State of Israel", in practical terms we see a targeting of two terror activity sites and a smuggling tunnel in response to last nights rocket attacks. In response to the launching of antitank missiles at Israeli drivers and passengers, "the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) opened access to a newly built road." to safeguard Israeli civilians in southern Israel from anti-tank missiles launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel.

While not to belittle the efforts that have been made to protect and deter, taking a look at our adversary might more clearly emphasize the inadequacies of our response.


Following are excerpts from an interview with Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar, which aired on Dream 1 TV on July 21, 2011: 

Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: We in Gaza conducted a plan of resistance in order to drive the occupation out. The plan was accomplished, and not a single settler or soldier remains on the Palestinian land in Gaza.Our plan is to continue this approach. Today, we have completed the liberation of Gaza, and your plan does not… At this moment in time, we say to you, first of all: We want Palestine in its entirety – so there will not be any misunderstandings. If our generation is unable to achieve this, the next one will, and we are raising our children on this. Palestine means Palestine in its entirety, and Israel cannot exist in our midst

Interviewer: But that was your past rhetoric. Today, you are talking about the 1967 borders… 

Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: I swear by Allah, this is what is on our minds. 

Interviewer: Today, you are talking about the 1967 borders. 

Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: Fine, but this is a phase. This is just a phase. 

Interviewer: When Abu Ammar [Arafat] used to talk about conducting struggle in phases and about give and take, you accused him of treason… 

Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: No, we never accuse anyone of treason. We talk about security cooperation and leave the interpretation up to you. Let me explain to you the difference between Fatah and us on this issue. We talk about the liberation of the pre-1967 territories, but we do not recognize Israel on a single inch of our land. In other words, this land will remain ours, and when the balance of power changes, we will regain it. We will regain the land, even if we have to do so inch by inch. 

So the difference between Fatah and us is clear. They sold out 78% of the Palestinian lands and consider them to be Israeli lands. They consider only 22% of the land to be Palestinian, and even that is subject to negotiation. Therefore, anyone who says that Hamas has accepted the 1967 borders… I would like to make something clear: We will establish a state on any piece of land, but without giving up on any piece of Palestinian land. 

Interviewer: That was not what you said in the past. 

Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: We have not changed our rhetoric. 

Interviewer: So there has been a development… 

Mahmoud Al-Zahhar: There has been no development and no deterioration. That is an actual interpretation of what we have achieved. We said in the past and we continue to say: Palestine in its entirety is Islamic waqf land, which cannot be relinquished.

Is it possible to entertain, even for a moment, a doubt as to what their objectives are, their intent to use whatever is at their disposal, and the end goal. Does our response to attacks, by targeting sites, tunnels, and road building, create deterrence, give them second thoughts about their approach, or perhaps encourage them to continue? 

There's got to be a better game-plan, and today would be a great time to begin.

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