To the surprise of no one with brains and a sense of what goes on here, there has been a steady stream of civilian-seeking rocket attacks on Israel since that time.
Even the voices of Israel's left have expressed a fairly consistent degree of doubt whether ceasing fire while your house, farms, towns and cities remain under active attack makes any sense. Yoel Marcus puts it this way in his Haaretz column: this ceasefire may lead to further problems for everyone in the region by letting Hamas regroup, which they're doing right now. And a large-scale police-style incursion into Gaza might yet be needed, given the history and proclivity of the thugs running things across Israel's southern border.
It makes Marcus and those for whom he speaks feel better knowing Israel has done whatever it can to avoid the lengthy stay and multiple Israeli and Palestinian Arab casualties that will follow. He sees (they see) a ceasefire with all its risks as bringing on the chance of calm and a respite from death and destruction. As he writes: "Hamas will take advantage of it to stockpile arms, but it is doing that anyway. It already has tens of thousands of missiles. "
This is plainly true. Marcus writes that "an imperfect calm is better than an imperfect military campaign". Michael Oren ("Israel's Truce With Hamas Is a Victory for Iran" in the Wall Street Journal) thinks not.
The ceasefire, concludes Oren, is a victory for Hamas and for its Iranian sponsors. Hamas won simply by not losing in the face of Israeli efforts to stop the rockets and mortars, and the ceasefire represents a confirmation of its victory. The danger, a view we share, is that this "ceasefire" will allow Iran, through its proxies, to completely encircle Israel with enemies. It's a process they have pursued for some years. Blind Freddie can see they're pressing forward and achieving it.
"As the primary sponsor of Hamas, Iran is the cease-fire's ultimate beneficiary. Having already surrounded Israel on three of its borders -- Gaza, Lebanon, Syria -- Iran is poised to penetrate the West Bank. By activating these fronts, Tehran can divert attention from its nuclear program and block any diplomatic effort. The advocates of peace between Israelis and Palestinians should recognize that fact when applauding quiet at any price. The cost of this truce may well be war."This morning, a week into this ceasefire, the terrorists fired two more mortar shells into southern Israel. One landed near Kibbutz Kfar Aza in Israel's Sha'ar Hanegev region. The other hit an open area. Yesterday, Thursday afternoon, a Qassam rocket fired from Gaza struck the Sderot industrial zone and exploded next to a gas station. The Al-Aksa Martyrs Brigades immediately claimed responsibility. (They're the thuggish gang connected with the Abbas/Fatah regime, purportedly the losers in last year's power struggle in Gaza.)
This past Tuesday, three more jihadist rockets were fired into Sderot, sending two Israeli women into shock and severely damaging a house. Though the Gaza cargo crossings were then shut down by the Israeli authorities, industrial fuel was transferred into Gaza today, according to the Jerusalem Post, ensuring that the Hamas regime can continue to run its power stations. Food shipments into the Gaza Strip were already reinstated as of Tuesday.
This is how it is to live next door to a terrorist regime, and to have a government that responds first to the criticism and advice of foreign governments; second, to the needs of its own beleagured and endangered citizens. Israel's civilian victims of terror are double victims.
YNet points out that the Israeli government refusal to include Gilad Shalit's release in the ceasefire agreement is a violation of a promise made to his family just a few days ago by senior figures in the Olmert administration. The Israeli service-man's parents were quoted speaking this week, exactly two years after the day he was snatched by the Pal-Arab terrorists:
His mother, Aviva, says:
"We have to forge on. We can't allow ourselves the luxury of looking for something to make it easier. It's all about Gilad and he's having a worst time of it than I am. I'm not the problem here. I just keep thinking of ways we can bring him home... It's been 700 days too many and nothing is happening. Of course we're disappointed. I feel helpless because there's nothing I can do to push the process forward... Hope is the only thing we have left, so we have to hang on to it."Says the father, Noam Shalit:
"We try to remain optimistic, even though we don't have anything concrete to hold on to... We're trying to stay realistic. Not to be too euphoric or too pessimistic. That's not an easy thing to do."They speak for the entire country.