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Friday, June 27, 2008

What 'truce?' Israel helps Hamas consolidate control over Gaza

'Palestinian' terrorists fired two more mortar shells at Israel's Western Negev region today. The shells landed without harming anyone or causing damage, which means that once again Israel will likely not respond. One of the shells hit near Kibbutz Kfar Aza in the Sha'ar HaNegev region, while the other landed in an 'open area.' While the IDF kept the crossings closed again, they did allow the transfer of 'industrial fuel' into Gaza this morning, ensuring that the terrorists can run their power plants shoot more rockets.

Yesterday, foreign minister Tzipi Feigele Livni called for a military response to the 'Palestinian' rocket fire. While I agree that such a response is both necessary and appropriate, Livni's 'uncharacteristic' (JPost's word) call for it is nothing but politics - she is trying to distinguish herself from Olmert and play for Kadima's 'right flank' (if there is such a thing as a right flank in a party with no positions and no values).
The rocket hit the Sderot industrial area on Thursday afternoon, exploding near a gas station and shattering the truce for a fourth time this week. No casualties or damage to property were reported in the attack.

At the beginning of a meeting with visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere in Tel Aviv, Livni told her counterpart about the attack and said there was a similar hit two days ago.

"It doesn't interest me who fired it, we need to respond militarily and immediately to every infraction [of the cease-fire] like this," she said.

Livni said she made her position clear to both Olmert and Barak after the rocket fire on Tuesday, and that she intended to make her position known to her counterparts around the world.

Olmert's spokesman only said he held consultations regarding Israel's response. Tuesday's rocket attacks led to the closing of the Gaza crossings, and it was not immediately clear when Israel would re-open them.

One government source said it seemed that Livni's response, more typical of the Likud's Silvan Shalom or Gideon Sa'ar than the foreign minister, was made with an eye on the September Kadima primary and was an attempt to capture the party's right flank.

"This is not characteristic of Livni," the source said. "She is generally the one who wants to think twice, and is worried about [PA President Mahmoud] Abbas's standing."

The source added that Olmert and Barak, who pushed for the cease-fire earlier this month over the objections of a number of key cabinet ministers, were not interested at this time in bringing about its complete collapse with a heavy military response.
Livni is not the only one calling for a military response. So is sexual predator Chaim Ramon. This is curious because Ramon generally floats trial balloons for Olmert, the same way Olmert used to do for Ariel Sharon.
In his meeting with the Norwegian foreign minister, Ramon said he was not surprised by Palestinian violations of the cease-fire.

"If Israel does not react strongly and close the crossings [to Gaza] we will be subjected to a daily trickle of rockets in the South in an effort to force us into a pattern where any Israeli action in the West Bank is countered by Kassam fire," he warned.
On second thought, closing the crossings is not exactly a military response....

But it turns out that Hamas doesn't just want the 'truce' so it can smuggle in more weapons. It needs the 'truce' to consolidate its control over Gaza.
The additional rocket fire means the Gaza border crossings are likely to remain closed, following a decision by Barak on Tuesday. On Wednesday, a Hamas spokesman said their continued closure would be seen as a violation of the truce.

But Israel is unlikely to go beyond that and declare the truce a failure, security analyst Maj.-Gen. (res.) Yaakov Amidror said.

"There is no Fatah in Gaza. The people who fired the rocket are fragments of what was once Fatah. They operate independently, and it would not be fair to blame their actions on Abbas," Amidror said.

"What these rockets show is that Hamas does not fully control Gaza, despite what some of us thought," he continued. "That is why Hamas wants this truce so badly - it wants to be Gaza's sole ruler, and it needs quiet from us in order to act internally to consolidate its rule. So Hamas will do all it can to continue the cease-fire."
So the bottom line is that Israel is ignoring violations of the 'truce' because it is helping Hamas consolidate control over Gaza. I'm still waiting to hear whether anyone believes that's in Israel's best interest, and if so, why.


At 3:52 PM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

You don't need me to tell you this, of course, but you can see for yourself what is happening. Hamas is becoming the new Fatah. Just as Israel and the U.S. have played the game of "let's pretend" that "strengthening Fatah" helps Israeli interests by enabling Fatah to resist or control the "extremists," so now they are simply slipping not-so-gradually into doing the same with Hamas. Slowly Islamic Jihad will come to be called an "extremist element" and the lie will start that the reason for the rocket fire is that Hamas is unable to "control" them, so therefore strengthening Hamas is in Israel's best interests. What is so crazy about this is that it was so recently that we were all supposed to say that Hamas was the "extremist" element and that the whole goal was supposed to be _weakening_ Hamas by strengthening Fatah. Now they've just decided to say a new insane thing. Why they do this is beyond me, but I can conjecture that it is because Israel's government absolutely refuses to admit the necessity for re-taking Gaza and controlling it militarily and for taking stronger measures in the West Bank as well. For some reason the self-deception that the "Palestinians" can govern themselves and be a "partner in peace" is so essential to someone's psyche that they will call any terrorist group "moderate" to keep the self-deception going.

It won't be long before Hamas is the "moderate" group and need to be given weapons to fight the "extremists" in Islamic Jihad or somebody else. It's a fairly sickening thing to watch, but of course it must be far worse if one is an Israeli and perhaps worst of all for the people of Sderot.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I think the reason is Machiavellian... there's not going to be two Palestinian states west of the Jordan River. Its really does point out the absurdity of splitting up the Land Of Israel, doesn't it? And the Palestinians have no interest in living together alongside with the infidel Jews.


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