Monday, October 28, 2013

28-Oct-13: From Gaza, fresh reminders of what to expect from the release of convicted killers of Israelis

Representatives of the people in Gaza to whom Israel is
presenting a confoundingly undeserved gift: Hamas [Image Source: AFP]
The news here, Monday morning, is dominated by analysis of Israel's decision to release another 26 Palestinian Arab convicts into the hands of the PA in Ramallah and (in the case of at least five of them) the Hamas regime in Gaza. The names on the latest walk-free list were published in the early hours of this morning. We plan to write later about some of the men and what they did to the lives of their victims.

Meanwhile there is more recent news, and in Israeli minds it's hardly unconnected. (Forget about international reaction; as of this hour, there is a barely a mention of the following in any non-Israeli news channel.)

During the early hours of Monday morning, an as-yet-unspecified number of terrorist rockets were fired into the Hof Ashkelon region of southern Israel as well as in the precincts of the city of Ashkelon. Terrorist rockets are the sort that are fired by men with no particular objective or discernment other than to have them crash as close to where ordinary civilians on the other side of the fence live and - given the hour - sleep, and to do the greatest possible amount of damage. There is rarely a strategic objective to such attacks beyond trying to kill and maim as many of the hated enemy's people as possible.

Fortunately there are so far no reports this morning of any damage on the Israeli side. But the fact that the IDF's Iron Dome anti-missile defense system successfully brought down one of the rockets is a clear indication that the incoming terrorist attack was on track for hitting a population center in the city of Ashkelon (population about 120,000). Given the huge cost of each Iron Dome counter-measure, it is activated only after the people manning it determine that the threat is on-target and must be stopped. The terrorists were evidently on target with at least one of their shots. Large explosions were heard as the Iron Dome did its work. Israel National News is reporting an incoming volley of four terrorist rockets. The three that were not intercepted by the Iron Dome system landed harmless in open Israeli fields. This, it goes without saying, was not the intention of the men shooting them across the border from Gaza.

There were other attacks on southern Israel from the Gazan Palestinian Arab side some hours earlier.

The attacks and their timing are causing more than the usual consternation among residents of the south. Israel Hayom reported this past Friday that the IDF is about to pull out part of its defensive forces from towns bordering the Gaza Strip, in a move that was termed "unbelievable... an irresponsible and rash decision". Council heads from the Shaar Hanegev, Eshkol and Hof Ashkelon regions issued a joint statement calling the Defense Ministry decision "erroneous, and pointing to the [Defense Ministry's] obtuseness and a lack of understanding of reality". Israel Hayom quotes one of the regional security officials reflecting on the "short period of apparent quiet" and asking somewhat presciently
"But what will happen if terrorism returns tomorrow?"
Tomorrow has arrived, and with it a reminder of what Frimet Roth wrote in the Jerusalem Post of Friday, October 17, 2013 ["Releasing terrorists only encourages terrorism"]:
Potential killers are flush with the confidence that if caught they will be freed shortly afterward.
Naturally, there is another way of looking at the evolving events. One can watch as Israel's prime minister lectures his nation on the inviolable sanctity of "keeping promises" to free dozens convicted killers of his fellow citizens, and see fresh ranks of the same killers stepping up to the mortars and the rocket launchers and say to oneself "Ah, peace is surely just around the corner. I can feel it coming."

Alternatively, one can look on with deepening sorrow and observe that our side is providing incomprehensible encouragement to the killers of women and children in the name of a disgraceful kind of political expediency.


NormanF said...

Peace without justice is impossible.

This has always been my conviction. As long as Jews do not make the connection, they will not secure peace in our day.

Meanwhile the indescribable shame, agony and humiliation to which the Jewish nation is being brutally subjected by its morally obtuse leaders is too much of a sight to bear. Nor is their any solace afforded by the fact as result of Israel's unremitting sin again G-d, that more Jews will surely die in the future.

Dafna Yee said...

You don't plead for peace from your enemies! Ever! You make sure you achieve victory and they plead for peace from you!! The Arabs have NEVER kept a single promise that they have made, and Netanyahu is freeing more murderers because he doesn't want to break a promise???? That's the stupidest excuse I've ever heard of, especially since Abbas has given more than enough reasons in the last month alone to call things off. And then to add the insult of linking building in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem as a trade for freeing terrorists is simply unforgivable.