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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Why Hamas attacked the Kerem Shalom crossing

Hamas attacked the Kerem Shalom crossing on Saturday morning. The attack was one "the likes of which we have not seen since the disengagement," according to OC Southern Command Yoav Galant.
Hamas's attack on the Kerem Shalom crossing Saturday morning, in which 13 soldiers were wounded, is one "the likes of which we have not seen since the disengagement," OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen Yoav Galant said Saturday - referring to Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

In saying so, Galant cited the well-coordinated nature of the attack, and Hamas's attempt "to execute mass-killings and abductions" through it.

The Gaza commander said that a potential disaster had been prevented thanks to the quick response of the soldiers at the scene.

Galant added that Hamas was "harming the interest of the Palestinians themselves, by attack crossings which are the humanitarian lifelines of Gaza."
That's exactly what Hamas wants to do, isn't it? But don't expect the IDF to enter the Gaza Strip to resolve the problem anytime soon. You see, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has a warped sense of history:
A self-described history buff, Barak sees that throughout the country's six decades, the government never went to war because one of its enemies was amassing weapons and an army. This was true with Egypt and Syria in the 1960s and '70s, and most recently with Hizbullah, during the six years between the unilateral withdrawal from Lebanon and the war in 2006.
In the 1960's, I assume he's referring to 1967, when the Egyptians were dumb enough to oblige Israel by closing the Suez Canal, a clear act of war. In the 1970's, Israel's failure to go to war preemptively in 1973 is widely regarded as a mistake that cost hundreds of soldiers' lives, and nearly brought into question the country's very existence. And as to his own flight from Lebanon and the failure to address the Hezbullah buildup that took place from 2000-2006, everyone from the Winograd Commission on down has now agreed that was a serious mistake along with the flight itself.

Will Barak repeat his 'historical' mistake in Gaza? Or will the IDF brass pull him out of the fire? I'd bet on the former, unfortunately. Stay tuned.


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