Was it in honour of British PM David Cameron’s visit to Israel? Or in revenge for Israel’s capture of the Iranian missile boat? Or in revenge for the IDF’s killing of 3 Palestinian terrorists who launched mortars at IDF positions earlier this week?
Whatever the excuse – and you can be sure there will be one – Gaza terrorists launched at least 40 rockets at southern Israel earlier yesterday (Wednesday). Thank G-d, and thanks to the Israeli government and army’s security precautions for Israeli residents, no serious casualties have been reported in Israel.
In response, the IDF and IAF have launched a counter-attack by tank and by air on terrorists positions in Gaza.
Here is a short round-up of today’s events:
Israeli communities near southern and northern Gaza have come under heavy rocket attack on Wednesday evening. The IDF said at least 40 rockets had been fired in the largest attack since 2012’s Operation Pillar of Defense.
The IDF said eight rockets hit urban, civilian areas. One rocket landed in Sderot, according to police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld, although there were no immediate reports of casualties.
Israeli media reported that up to 55 rockets had been fired into Israel in the deluge of projectiles.
The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for Wednesday’s attack, saying that over 90 rockets had been fired toward Israel, a spokesman for Al-Quds told Palestinian news agency Ma’an.
“You haven’t yet seen the extent of our capabilities,” added the spokesman, who further threatened to fire extended range missiles.
Southern residents have reported several rocket alerts going off consecutively.
The Iron Dome rocket defense system shot down three of the rockets, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Office.
The IDF fired artillery rounds at two terror infrastructure targets in response.
Here is one of the ostensible pretexts of the terrorists:
On Tuesday, the Israel Air Force struck an Islamic Jihad cell in southern Gaza, minutes after identifying it as being behind a mortar attack on an IDF unit on the Gaza-Israel border.
According to military sources, the terrorists fired a mortar shell at soldiers who were conducting routine security measures near the frontier. The IDF released a video on Wednesday of the Islamic Jihad members firing toward army forces the day before.
Islamic Jihad said the Israeli strike killed three of its operatives. The IDF confirmed the aircraft’s hit on the terrorist cell, and said that the aircraft had then returned safely to its base. The army added that it would not tolerate any attack on military forces operating along the border.
Islamic Jihad has been behind a trickle of attacks in recent days that have tested the cease-fire in place between Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza and Israel.
Earlier this month, the IAF struck an Islamic Jihad rocket-launching cell about to fire rockets at southern Israel from northern Gaza, killing a member of the terror organization.
From the IDF Spokesman: the IDF targets terror infrastructure in Gaza in response to the massive rocket fire:
In response to the massive rocket attack that hit Israel earlier this evening, IAF targeted 29 terror sites in the Gaza Strip. Direct hits were confirmed.
In today’s attack 41 rockets struck in Israel, 5 hit populated areas and 3 were intercepted by the iron dome defense system. This is the most substantial rocket attack from the Gaza Strip since Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012.
Since the start of 2014, Gaza terrorists have fired more than 80 rockets at Israel.
Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesman: “This retaliation was precise and prompt. We targeted the infrastructure that serves the terrorists while they train, plan and implement their hideous attacks. They will not be permitted to conspire in the safety of their terrorist temples”.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad is behind the rocket attack. However, Hamas is responsible for all attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip. The IDF will do everything in its power to fight Gaza terrorism and protect the people of Israel.
My question is this: if the IDF knows where the terrorist infrastructure is, why do we wait until there is rocket fire before we hit that infrastructure? Why has it not been taken out before now? Similarly, why are Gaza smuggling tunnels not bombed until an attack from one takes place? The Egyptians have the right idea, bombing or otherwise closing those tunnels.
We haven’t heard much in the way of world response to Israel’s response to the rocket-fire, though it’s probably fair to predict that there will be pro-forma condemnations of the rocket-fire and calls for Israel to practice “restraint” and to respond “proportionately”. Marc Goldberg at Harry’s Place, with whom I am often in disagreement, has it right this time when he says:
Depending on how big the barrage is world leaders, first in line being Obama, will call for a “proportionate response”. But what on earth does that mean? It means that of the dozens of targets the IDF has collected intelligence on, Israel should strike just one or two of them. It means that the IDF should make sure that the response is just that…a response, not any sort of game changer.
The call for a proportionate response is something that we’ve heard a lot of. I’m not convinced the Americans would be able to point to any particularly good examples of a US proportionate response to attacks on their territory. The US tends to tear apart any country it has a problem with.
Strictly speaking a proportionate response in this particular case would consist of firing a bunch of missiles and mortars blindly into Gaza. Or would that be a literal response?
For those people thinking of casualties perhaps we should do nothing if Israel doesn’t suffer any casualties. If Israel suffers one dead, perhaps we should just murder a random Gazan in the same way that the Islamic Jihad are currently raining down random death on Israel.
We won’t do that though. I’m sure instead we’ll just pick a few targets and bomb them and then wait to see what happens next.
I’m looking for end game here. I’m looking for a way out of this constant rockets, strike and counter strike, but it would appear that there isn’t one to be had.
The way out would be to bomb every one of those terror targets and infrastructure as soon as they are discovered and confirmed. Not to wait for the next inevitable attack. Also to actively promote the concept that “proportionate response” does not mean a literal eye for an eye, or a counter-attack that causes no more casualties than were caused to Israel, because after all, the terrorists’ intent was to cause maximum casualties in Israel. No, a proportionate response means to respond in a manner that will prevent similar attacks in the future. No more and no less.
The question remains why Israel doesn’t use the proper “proportionate response” to the terrorists. We can’t expect the world to allow Israel to use standard military concepts and responses, but that does not mean that Israel should heed the world’s demands. Why have we never responded proportionately until now?