#IsraelUnderFire – Here we go again

I had been planning to write a post summarizing the war, its outcome (or lack of one), and who won/who lost. But once again the news has overtaken me (for the same personal reasons that I mentioned on Tisha B’Av).

At 4:00 This morning, before the ceasefire had run its course, Hamas fired a rocket at the south. And then, at 8:00 a.m. precisely, they fired a barrage of rockets and missiles at Ashkelon and other southern communities, a barrage which is still continuing.  As of 2 p.m. 40 rockets had hit southern Israel.  A house in the Eshkol region took a direct hit and two people were injured. It transpires that the injured man is the Director of Sapir College in the Eshkol district, which has been the target of incessant rocket attacks for years:

The Shaar Henegev resident badly wounded in a rocket fall earlier today has been identified as Dr. Nachmi Paz, the director-general of Sderot’s Sapir College.

Paz was wounded when a rocket fell near his home. The explosion left shrapnel shards in his leg. His condition was initially described as serious, but has been downgraded to moderate over the past hour. He was evacuated by MDA to Beersheba’s Soroka Hospital.

The government ordered the Israeli delegation to the ceasefire talks in Cairo to return home and, after a 2½ hour wait, instructed the IDF to resume its operations in Gaza.

Despite many soldiers being released over the last couple of days the IDF says it still has 40,000 soldiers deployed around Gaza.

What will happen next is anyone’s guess. Was this Hamas aggression a sign of weakness and frustration because neither Israel nor Egypt will accept their ridiculous list of demands in exchange for a truce? Or are they simply not interested in a ceasefire and are prepared to fight to the death?

Destruction in Beit Lahia

Certainly the people of Gaza are not happy with the situation. In fact they’re furious with Hamas for landing them in their terrible predicament

Gazan families who have lost loved ones in the recent conflict reportedly confronted a Hamas official at Shifa hospital in Gaza and blamed Hamas for the deaths.

“Hamas is responsible for the suffering and the destruction caused to residents of the Gaza Strip,” a bereaved family member told Hamas spokesman Mushir Al-Masri, who was at the hospital visiting Gazans injured during Operation Protective Edge.

A poll shows that a huge majority of Gazans want a lasting ceasefire:

An overwhelming 92 percent of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip are in favor a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, and 72% hope their leaders will work to achieve a lasting peace agreement with the Jewish state, a new poll has found.

Twenty-five percent of Palestinian respondents to an Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya survey on Gazan attitudes toward Operation Protective Edge said they believe Hamas had won the conflict. Eight percent said Israel was the victor, 14% said it was a draw, and 46% said both sides had lost. Sixty-seven percent said Hamas was not to blame for the destruction in the Gaza Strip, and some 68% said they would prefer the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip over the option of rearming the militant factions there.

Such poll results give me hope for the future. Maybe Gazans will stage an uprising against their Hamas dictators and bring in a more moderate government.

Following are some links summarizing Operation Protective Edge from the beginning until the ceasefire was declared on Monday.

The IDF blog has Operation Protective Edge by the numbers – all the statistics and numbers you might be interested in.

Israel being a Jewish country where each person holds at least 3 opinions before breakfast, there has been much discussion whether Israel won or lost or the status quo ante remained.

Yisrael Hayom aver that Israel’s leaders got it right:

It is all well and good that IDF officers and soldiers in the field wanted to push on. But the top IDF brass had to take a broader view. IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz (who, in my opinion, was backed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon) presented a gloomy picture for a potential takeover of the entire Gaza Strip — hundreds of Israeli deaths, billions of dollars spent, and a five-year occupation of Gaza.

What do people want from the IDF chief? To be dishonest? To ignore the bitter truth waiting at the end of the dark tunnel and instead just sing battle hymns as the troops march forward? What more could Israel have achieved in Operation Protective Edge than it already did?

The only thing Israel gave up was the chance to plant a blue and white flag on the Hamas headquarters in Gaza and expel Hamas abroad, from where Hamas would have continued its battle against Israel, as Yasser Arafat did. This would not have been worth the price.

David Horovitz thinks that Israel might have won but Hamas definitely lost:

Hamas lost. Whether or not Israel “won” — by which I mean attaining the “sustained calm” for its people that was the limited goal of the war — will be determined by the negotiations now taking place in Cairo, or the failure of those negotiations. But Hamas certainly lost. Three weeks ago, with its rocket capacity largely intact, its fighting forces completely intact, the tunnel network it had spent seven years building intact, and most of the Gaza it claims to represent intact, it rejected an unconditional ceasefire which Israel accepted and instead issued a long list of arrogant preconditions.

On Tuesday, with most of its rockets used to relatively little effect, hundreds of its gunmen dead, 32 of its major tunnels smashed, and Gaza devastated, its “military wing” in Gaza overruled its fat-cat political chief Khaled Mashaal in his Qatar hotel, waved a metaphorical white flag, and pleaded for the very same unconditional ceasefire. That does not constitute evisceration. Hamas aims to live to fight another day. But it does constitute defeat.

Read it all. It gives a fascinating insight into the Israeli mood both amongst the public and amongst the politicians.

Will this change if the war renews? Who knows. Stay tuned.

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8 Responses to #IsraelUnderFire – Here we go again

  1. DavidinPT says:

    I think we have to accept that this war is similar to the one the US fought against the Japanese in WW2. The enemy has no hope of a military victory, is not interested in its people or in a ceasefire but in a fight to the death, in which it will take down with it as many Israelis as possible. In which case we have to consider how the USA finished the war in Japan and follow its lead. Its time to consider nuking Gaza.

  2. JudyPT says:

    How I agree with the above writer, I have said since this last round started the only way to bring quiet to this area is to absolutely wipe out these barbarians once and for all, if there is collateral victims so be it.,what do you think they are trying to do to us?People forget that Hamas has been targeting the south for years and only now has extended its range all over the country.We cant use nuclear bombs as it could blow back on us, but there must be some kind of neutron weapon that could inflict serious damage to them only.I feel a bit sorry (only a bit) for the general population but they voted hamas in and still support them ,they made their bed so must lie. On it.

    • Earl says:

      Fuel Air Explosives (FAEs) would do it. Horrific incendiary devices that can deliver near-nuclear blast damage with no post-fission fallout. Now, whether the Israeli leadership has the will to deploy such ordnance is another matter…

      • anneinpt says:

        Your idea is probably the best. However I can’t see any Israeli leadership agreeing to use it. We’re too “humane”, at least to the other side. And the world’s reaction would be more incendiary than the bombs.

  3. Reality says:

    Just a quick update: as of 5.20 p.m. 50 rockets have been fired over Israel with talks of another ceasefire on the way!I just watched a talk show on Tv with rather leftists anchors. Someone called in to say that Gaza should be made an “open space good for all nations& anyone & everyone could go there & we’d all benefit from it.The anchors all said in one voice(I admit to being pleasantly surprised by this) “Thats what the disengagement was all about!” .Last week, one of the members of a kibbutz now on the border of Gaza yelled “What, are we Katif now?” These kibbutzim (especially this one) were disgusting to the residents of Katif. They told them that only because of them there was no peace, and everything would be paradise as soon as they get out. Well if a rocket falls on them (G-d forbid) they’ll end up in paradise a bit faster than they dreamed about! Last night a doctor (who I know extremely well) who used to treat all the wounded in Katif said , that all through the years no one backed them for staying there & even blamed them for all the ills that the Arabs were threatening us with and for all the shootings & rockets fired over. Soldiers even refused to serve in Katif.. .All the years they said this would happen to residents on the new border ,Ashdod ,Ashkelon even Jerusalem & Tel Aviv & they got laughed out of court.
    I ask are they happy now? We (the right who fought tooth & nail against the expulsion of Katif) have sadly been proven right. Now the country has woken up. A bit too late.

  4. Brian Goldfarb says:

    Noticing your photo of IDF troops up there, I saw a photo of IDF soldiers returning from Gaza (either in Algemeiner or Times of Israel). I do hope it wasn’t staged, because the soldier front and left of the picture was either Somali or Ethiopian, the one on the right one of Mizrachi/Israeli Arab or Druze, and the one just behind them of clearly European/North American origin.

    What was that about the rainbow nation, folks?

    • anneinpt says:

      I’m sure it was not staged. But Somali? No way. If he was black then he was Ethiopian. They are now well integrated into the army.

      And note, a Druze is the commander of the Golani Brigade.

      Yes. Rainbow nation indeed. So much for that apartheid.

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