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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Olmert and Peretz decide to 'maintain' 'cease fire' hudna

Last night, I told you all that I thought that two teenagers who were seriously wounded by a Kassam in Sderot would not be enough to motivate our feckless government to actually do something.

But it's not entirely clear to me what they actually have decided to do. The Jerusalem Post is reporting that "it was decided that Israel would continue to target Palestinians rocket launchers only." Does that mean the people launching the rockets or only the inanimate rocket launchers? If it's really a continuation of the previous policy, it's only the inanimate rocket launchers, since we know that the IDF was ordered not to fire on 'Palestinians' about to launch Kassams. Ynet reports that Olmert and Peretz "ordered the IDF to act only against cells launching Qassam rockets into Israel from Gaza." In terrorist parlance, 'cells' consist of people, and in fact YNet describes this as a "decision to break from the current policy of restraint," although it also says that Israel will "simultaneously [maintain] the ceasefire and [act] with the Palestinian Authority in the [vain. CiJ] hopes that they will take action to prevent the rocket attacks emanating from their territory." Haaretz is also reporting that the IDF has been instructed to "resume pinpoint operations targeting Qassam rocket launching cells on Wednesday, essentially accepting Peretz's proposal to alter the policy of restraint in the wake of ongoing rocket fire." Here's the statement from Olmert's office as carried in Haaretz:
"A directive has been given to the defense establishment to take pinpoint action against the rocket-launching squads," Olmert's office said in a statement, a day [after CiJ] two teenage boys were wounded, one of them critically, by a Qassam rocket that struck the western Negev town of Sderot.

...

According to the Prime Minister's Office statement, the IDF has also been instructed to uphold the cease-fire in general. "In parallel, Israel will continue to maintain the ceasefire and work with the Palestinian Authority so that immediate steps are taken to halt the Qassam firings."
So I'm going to assume that YNet and Haaretz got it right and that the Post will correct it later in the day.

My take on this is that nothing is going to change unless and until (and I regard it as unlikely) someone gets Olmert to stop fiddling and get out of La La Land and get real. The 'pinpoint' operations are completely ineffective and create the appearance that something is being done while doing nothing. The only way to stop the Kassams is for the IDF to go back into Gaza in full force and stop them and keep them stopped. Nothing more (although I would not complain if the former Jewish residents of Gaza were allowed to return to their homes) and nothing less.

But Olmert won't do that, because if he did that, he would be admitting that last summer's unilateral disengagement surrender of Gaza to the 'Palestinians' and expulsion of its Jews was a very bad mistake, and that would put the final nail in the coffin of unilateral gifts of territory to the 'Palestinians' for a long, long time to come. So instead, Olmert will continue to fiddle, with Peretz hesitating to play along and Livni playing along more vigorously, while Israel continues to burn.

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