Sunday, October 07, 2007

7-Oct-07: After the holidays begins today

In the Israeli idiom, "after the holidays" is a sort of alibi. I'll get to it "aharei hahagim" is another way of saying: Don't bother me right now because it won't do you any good. I'll do it [prepare the report, find you an appointment time, fix your washing machine, find that missing receipt etc] after the holidays.

Today is the start of "after the holidays". The feast of Tabernacles ended on Thursday night, then came Friday and the Sabbath, and this bright sunny Sunday morning Israel's roads are filled with traffic, school starts again after a break of nearly two weeks, and the country is on the move.

Reason enough for the terrorists to re-energize their deadly campaign of flinging bombs anywhere they can make them land, so long as it's on Israeli land and preferably on Israelis heads, no matter who or where. The media will largely ignore these attacks, which is why we try to record as many of them as we can find time to report.

So... so far today (and it's now 8:40 in the morning) there are already reports of eight mortars having been fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel (one struck a home but no reports of injuries), and what are described as "several" Qassam explosive-rocket landings.

Keep in mind that Israel provides most of the electricity to the area from which the explosives are being despatched. Also, that there are multiple police forces at work on behalf of the local authority (the PA) in a compact area frequently, though inaccurately, described as one of the most densely populated places on earth, making the Hamas regime perfectly capable of stopping the attacks if they want.

Question: would you tolerate this sort of ongoing, daily Russian roulette with the lives of your family if you had the power to stop the perpetrators and/or to make their lives quite uncomfortable? We Israelis, anxious to see both our neighbors on the other side and ourselves living better, safer lives, ask ourselves this every day. So far, the reward seems to be pictures of terrorists released by the score in "confidence-building" "goodwill" gestures like those we saw a week ago.

Hard not to view today's under-reported attacks as post-holiday reciprocation for those expressions of goodwill.

UPDATE Sunday 5:30pm: This morning's missile turns out to have been a Grad-type Katyusha, that struck near the Israeli town of Netivot. The Palestinian terror group called Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility during the day. Haaretz says: "The Russian-invented Katyusha has a longer range than the more makeshift Qassam rocket that has been fired by the thousands at Negev towns and villages. Most Katyushas fired in the region are fired by the pro-Iranian Lebanese Hezbollah organization. But Palestinians fired a Katyusha at the southern Israel city of Ashkelon a year ago. Israeli security officials have expressed concerned that Gaza militants could fire large quantities of Katyushas into Israel. Army Radio cited Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin as telling the cabinet that Israel viewed with gravity and concern the militants' ability to strike deeper inside Israel. While Sunday's attack was not the first Katyusha to be fired out of Gaza, such attacks are extremely rare. The Islamic Jihad militant group claims to have fired about a dozen Russian-made rockets at Israel since March 2006, and to have many in their possession."

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