Friday, June 12, 2009
12-Jun-09: Horsemen of the apocalypse?
Yuval Diskin, the head of the Israel Security Agency, the Shin Bet, warned recently that the reduction in jihadist rocket fire from Hamas-ruled Gaza into Israel is a tactical maneuver, accompanied by an increase in attacks on the security barrier that keeps them in and away from Israeli towns and communities.
At the time, Diskin was quoted saying that Hamas is "continuing to build up its forces and increase the range and quality of its rockets as well as its capability to attack planes and tanks." It has been widely reported in Israel that the Hamas regime continues to improve and widen the many tunnels it has dug under the security barrier, facilitating attacks on Israel and Israelis.
Demonstrating the accuracy of the assessment, a large-scale infiltration attack and kidnapping attempt by Palestinian Arab Gazan terrorists, some in vehicles, some on horses, was foiled by Israeli forces this past Monday.
A dozen or more Palestinian jihadists were spotted just after dawn, under cover of the early morning fog, attempting to get past the separation barrier near the Karni Crossing. On closer inspection, they were founded to be equipped with several booby-trapped vehicles, suicide belts and about five booby-trapped horses laden with bombs. [Certainly not the first time booby-trapped horses -- or booby-trapped women or booby-trapped children -- have been deployed by the "heros" of the jihad.]
The terror attack was accompanied by the firing of mortar shells. A gun battle ensued. Several cars, several hourses and at least one truck loaded with explosives were blown up. Palestinian Arab sources in Gaza said four of their terrorists were killed. Al-Jazeera says at least 12 Palestinian Arabs were wounded. IDF helicopters played a role, attacking the jihadists and their emplacements. In the aftermath, the IDF closed the Karni Crossing and the Nahal Oz fuel depot.
Following Monday's jihadist attack on the Karni Crossing, terrorists opened fire again yesterday morning (Thursday) in the same vicinity; fortunately no reports of casualties this time. A day earlier, Wednesday, the Security Cabinet gave the IDF authority to respond to any attack against Israel from Gaza.
For their part, the Hamas thugocracy left little doubt about what they support and what they condemn. "Those martyrs and this blood will not break the will of the Palestinian people," said chief Hamas jihadist Ismail Haniyeh, quoted in Haaretz.
With some weariness we point out that the closing of the Karni Crossing was reported in several places with no mention of the large-scale terrorist attack that preceded and triggered it. For many "news" sources, the power of a narrative that has Israelis oppressing the defenceless Gaza population is just too compelling to allow truth and facts to intrude.
For the record, it is the Kerem Shalom crossing where most food and humanitarian aid items pass through from Israel to Gaza. (Karni's activity is more or less limited these days to a conveyor belt for wheat.) Yigal Palmor of the Israeli foreign ministry stated Israeli policy succinctly: "As long as the border crossings are not secure there is no point in even raising the question of their opening."
Updated at 12:15 PM