Sunday, June 08, 2008

Iran's proxies

On Thursday an Israeli man, Amnon Rosenberg, 51, was killed by a rocket fired from Gaza. He was working in a paint factory on Kibbutz Nir Oz, that was hit by two rockets. When he and his companions went to investigate they suffered a direct hit from a third rocket. Four others were injuured and are currently in Soroka Hospital in Beersheva. Three other Israelis have been killed in the past few months. They are: Shuli Katz, 70, killed by a Qassam rocket which struck Moshav Yesha on May 12, 2008; Jimmy Kedoshim from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, aged 48, killed by a mortar shell fired by Hamas from the Gaza Strip on May 9, 2008; Roni Yihye, 47, a mature student, killed on Sapir College campus while sitting in his car on Feb 27, 2008.
In his speech to the Knesset while Pres. Bush was visiting here a few weeks ago, PM Olmert said that the situation in southern Israel is "intolerable"! However, Israel and Israelis have tolerated it since then, and more casualties have resulted. It may be argued that Israel could take no strong action while Pres. Bush was coming and while he was here, or while Olmert is now in the US, or that there were indirect negotiations going on with Hamas thru Egyptian intermediaries. Many on the left say that Israel should negotiate with Hamas, and we have done so. Yet, the rockets keep coming and Israelis keep dying. Furthermore, such a limited ceasefire or hudna has been on the Hamas side they demand Israel to release 1,000 prisoners for him. At present the so-called negotiations are at a standstill and are not expected to produce any result.
For years, Israeli leaders have been threatening serious military reaction. Today Defense Minister Barak visited the site of teh attack at Nir Oz and again threatened military action. Yesterday a terrorist crew was caught on the gound setting up a rocket launcher and one was killed and three wounded in a missile attack. However, this kind of action does not stop the rockets. They are too small and too easily moved.
Yet, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PFLP don't mind losing these men, because they are considered martyrs to the cause and their families receive compensation. It is reported that Iran has given Hamas ca. m$20 every six months or so for its military activity (note this when they are claiming that they are suffering from the effects of the international blockade).
Military experts agree, the only way to stop the rockets launched into Israel; is to take and hold the ground form which they are launched to a depth of ca. 10-20 km, so that Israel proper is out of their range. Of course they also have longer range rockets (Grads and Katyushas) that must be found and destroyed before they can be activated. This was done in southern Lebanon during the 2006 war, but what has happened now is that Iran and Syria have more than replenished Hizbollah's rocket arsenal. Remember that Hizbullah entered the fighting in 2006 against Israel by attacking across the border during the military action in Gaza following the capture of Schalit, and they deliberately captured two IDF soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. It doesn't take a military genius to see that their aims were planned and coordinated in advance. While the IDF waits, Hamas and Hizbullah are preparing themselves for the next round of fighting, that is inevitable given their extremism and degree of preparedness. Iran is of course behind them pulling the strings. Israel must act against Hamas, and then also against Hizbollah if it responds again, in order to stop the continued rocketing of Israeli territory and to deal a blow to Iran's proxies on our borders.


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