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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

It may have been a rocket - will the IDF respond?

It is now being reported that what was fired from Gaza on Israel around 6:30 this evening was a rocket and not a mortar.
There have been mixed reports on the precise nature of the projectile fired, with Channel 10 saying the attack was a mortar shell as opposed to a rocket; likewise, IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner labeled it a mortar shell on the IDF's official Twitter feed. However, nearly all other major Israeli media sources have identified it as a rocket attack.
As is usually the case outside of an official operation, Hamas is claiming that it did not do it.
The Hamas terrorist organization claimed Tuesday night that it had nothing to do with the rocket attack, saying it remains committed to the ceasefire. Hamas breached numerous ceasefires during Operation Protective Edge, as well as over the course of recent years.
"The Palestinian factions are committed to the truce," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. "We want it to continue."
He questioned whether the attack as reported by Israel had in fact taken place. "There is no evidence that there was mortar fire from the Gaza Strip," he said.
Yeah, right....

Politicians on the right say Israel must respond in order to avoid a deterioration in the situation.
MK Danny Danon (Likud) spoke out after the attack, saying "we must not compromise with terror, we should have subdued Hamas during Operation Protective Edge because terror doesn't change its face."
"Now we must respond with strength in response to the fire for the sake of deterrence and for the sake of the faith residents of the south gave to the leadership which said there will be quiet for a long time," stated Danon.
The former deputy defense minister, who has been critical of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over his management of the operation, added "only 21 days have past and we're returning to the trickle of terror from the Gaza Belt. Self-restraint now signals acceptance of the situation."
The attack came hours after Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon predicted that Hamas would not renew its terror attacks on Israel on September 25 if an agreement - which appears unlikely - is not in place. Hmmm.

In the meantime, Yaalon is being slammed by MK's from the Jewish Home party for dismissing an IDF officer - alleged to be former IDF chief rabbi Avichai Ronsky -  for leaking information to Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett.
"Hamas fired a multi-rocket salvo in honor of the agreement to reconstruct Gaza. But the defense minister is busy hazing (former IDF Chief) Rabbi (Avichai) Ronski and slandering Minister Bennett," wrote [Jewish Home party MK Orit] Struk, noting a dispute over information Bennett reportedly used to attack top IDF brass in Security Cabinet meetings.
While Ronski was identified in reports as being the suspected source of the leaks who was later dismissed, he told Arutz Sheva on Tuesday that he did not pass any materials to Bennett, has not heard anything of the dismissal - and indeed still is scheduled to perform reserve duty next month.
Not responding to this rocket fire from Gaza would be a terrible mistake and would invite a creeping escalation of the rocket fire from Gaza - as has happened after the end of every other operation. Will the government authorize the IDF to respond? I would guess that we will know the answer to that question before the sun is up in Israel on Wednesday morning - about seven hours from now.

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