Friday, May 02, 2014

2-May-14: Overnight rocket attack on southern Israel: no injuries, no damage, no reporting

An incoming Qassam rocket attack was reported in Israel's Eshkol region at about 21:30 last night (Thursday). First online reports were sketchy, and there was no Tzeva Adom siren to alert the people living in the targeted area; the siren typically gives between 30 and 60 seconds of warning. The IDF later confirmed the assault that originated in Gaza, saying there were no injuries or damage. The explosion happened in open fields. This, it goes without saying, is never the intention of the terrorists who fling these lethal devices over the fence in the hope of achieving something, anything, painful on the Israeli side.

As for most of the news reporting media (AFP is a small exception this time), the gravity of last night's attack failed to rise to the level of news-worthiness, and is therefore largely unknown to the world, other than to the relative handful who focus on ongoing terrorism of this kind. The cumulative effect of non-reporting is devastating: reading the comments section of many news channels and weidely-read blogs makes clear that for many people with a hostile outlook on Israel, the military responses by the IDF that sometimes come after indiscriminate rocket attacks appear to be unprovoked, unjustified and overkill. This is largely because of the poor job our side does in explaining what it means to be living within the reach of a well-armed army with zero scruples.

The diligent editors at Independent Media Reports and Analysis, an Israeli source (H/T Love of the Land), point out that the existence of rockets in Gaza is itself a violation of formal commitments to which the PA signed up. Yes, everyone paying attention knows there are already tens of thousands of rockets embedded in Gaza by its Hamas overlords. And yes, not even Israeli government voices raise the issue of how flagrantly the Palestinian Arab side ignore, let alone openly breach, what they have agreed to do and not do.

But as IMRA's timely comment, coming in the week that the PA and the jihadists of Hamas fell into each other's arms, puts it:
The commitment not to have rockets in the Gaza Strip is not some obscure, arcane and insignificant commitment. It's a core commitment. And it is high time that Israeli officials make this crystal clear. "Quiet for quiet" is not enough for the PA. If the PA controls the Gaza Strip then the rockets must go. 
Because if not, then who needs agreements and understandings between hostile parties?

For the record, the IDF says there have been more than a hundred rocket attacks on southern Israel since the start of 2014. Most by far go unnoticed outside the attack zone.

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