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Sunday, August 03, 2008

An 'idiotic' rescue, a predictable result

IDF reserve officer Yoel Tzur accused the government of ordering an 'idiotic' rescue when it ordered IDF soldiers to risk their lives to rescue the Fatah-affiliated Hilles clan, which was fleeing Gaza on Saturday. According to Tzur, the rescue was not a 'humanitarian' act, but was an attempt once again to prop up the flimsy government of 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen. In the end, Fatah refused to allow their ostensive allies into Judea and Samaria, and the IDF is sending back at least some of those who are not hospitalized in Israeli hospitals receiving free medical care at the expense of the Israeli taxpayers. And those who are sent back - 34 of them on Sunday morning - are being immediately arrested by Hamas.
Israel said it had been Abbas who originally asked to let them through. However, it was believed that the Palestinian leader might fear that allowing the men to stay in the West Bank would be handing Hamas a victory while weakening his own supporters in Gaza.

The Palestinians were returned Sunday via the Erez border crossing and the IDF boosted troop deployment in the area out of concerns Hamas would repeat Saturday's mortar and sniper attacks on the group.
In other words, Abu Mazen is afraid that whatever remains of his supporters in the Gaza Strip will abandon ship completely as happened last summer when Hamas took control of the Strip in the first place. According to JPost's Khaled Abu Toameh, Abu Mazen doesn't have a whole lot of loyalists left in Gaza.
Hamas has hailed the operation as a significant step toward asserting its exclusive control over the Gaza Strip.

The venture's success also demonstrates that Fatah is as far as ever from achieving its goal of regaining control over the Gaza Strip. Ever since its humiliating defeat by Hamas in June 2007, Fatah has been unable to regroup and reestablish strong bases of power throughout Gaza.

The crackdown on the Hilles clan and Fatah militias is designed to send a message that Hamas will no longer tolerate a situation where an armed Palestinian faction or clan operates as a state-within-a-state in the Strip.

Now that the Hilles stronghold has collapsed, Hamas has one more challenge to face: the notorious Dughmush clan, also based in Gaza City.

The Dughmushes, who are behind the tiny terrorist group the Army of Islam, have long posed a major challenge to Hamas.

Hamas is convinced that the explosion that killed five of its men was part of a larger scheme by Fatah to trigger chaos in the Strip. According to some Hamas officials, Israel and the US are continuing to work with a number of Fatah operatives to overthrow the Hamas regime in Gaza.

Given this, Hamas considers its latest achievement not only as a victory over another rebellious clan in Gaza City, but as a major blow to all those who were hoping that the movement was on its way to crumbling due to the ongoing blockade and economic sanctions.
If Israel - God forbid - pulls the IDF out of Judea and Samaria, it won't take long for Hamas to take over there too. Abu Mazen is a weak and ineffectual 'leader' - the perfect alter-ego for Israel's Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert. But Judea and Samaria are well within firing range of nearly all of Israel's major cities. That's not to say that Fatah isn't a terrorist organization - you all know that it is. But if the world is so convinced that only Hamas is the enemy, they also need to be convinced that the IDF needs to stay in Judea and Samaria.


Tzur and one of the other officers involved have some more comments on Saturday's incident.
IDF soldiers risked their lives Saturday in order to save the Fatah-aligned Hilles terrorist clan from the Hamas army in Gaza. The rescue effort was performed under Hamas fire said Colonel Ron Asherov, head of the northern brigade in the Gaza Belt region.

"Our soldiers could hear the bullets flying past their ears as they evacuated the Palestinians to our side," said Col. Asherov.

Lieutenant-Colonel (res.) Yoel Tzur termed the rescue effort "idiotic" and charged that the government ordered it as another measure to help Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas.


"We show humanitarian sensitivity, but how would we react if five of our soldiers had been killed," Tzur asked rhetorically." He added, "We are talking about terrorists who attack us with Kassam rockets and hold kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit."

Concerning Abbas, Tzur maintained, "Everyone knows that Hamas will control Judea and Samaria as well as Gaza in two or three years."

Tzur charged that the Israeli government is trying to save the previous agreements it signed with the PA even though they no longer have any bearing in reality.

Tzur said that if a reserve officer had been in charge of the rescue operation, he might have questioned the orders from senior commanders instead of following orders to risk the soldiers' lives to save Fatah terrorists.
I guess Lt. Col. Tzur has given up on becoming the Chief of Staff or Deputy Chief of Staff. But I'd love to see him go to the Knesset. Sounds like he's grounded in reality.


It just got even more ridiculous. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel, the local equivalent of the ACLU, has filed a petition with the High Court of Justice to try to prevent Israel from returning the 'good terrorists' to the Gaza Strip because it would endanger their lives.
The petitioners stated that forcing the Fatah loyalists to return to the Strip could endanger their lives and called it a serious violation of human rights and of Israeli law.

The court ordered the state to respond to the petition by Monday.

Earlier on Sunday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused to grant West Bank asylum to dozens of supporters who fled Hamas-ruled Gaza to Israel under fire, during fierce factional fighting.

Abbas stood his ground, with aides explaining that he felt his embattled Fatah group must maintain a presence in Gaza. The escape posed a dilemma for Abbas. After the Hamas takeover of Gaza last summer, he had agreed to resettle some 250 of his Gaza loyalists in the West Bank.

It's been a costly arrangement - the refugees each get $350 a month, in addition to government salaries, and Abbas's cash-strapped government covers rent for dozens of the most senior among them. The 2007 exodus also sent a message that Fatah is abandoning Gaza to Hamas.

Abbas wanted to send a different message this time, aides said.

"Fatah officials in Gaza should stay in their posts and should not leave Gaza to Hamas," Fahmi Zaghrir, a West Bank spokesman for Fatah, said Sunday. An exception would be made for those wanted by Hamas, added Nimr Hamad, an Abbas adviser.

However, there were concerns that the returnees could face mistreatment by Hamas.
Israel's moonbat Supreme Court may well grant this petition. In the meantime, I assume (although the article doesn't say so) that the State cannot return anyone else to Gaza until the Court hears the response on Monday. And you wonder why we can't fight terrorism effectively here?


At 4:05 PM, Blogger Winston said...

We ought to stay in the West Bank, but with our soldiers, not civilian settlers. The civilian settlements actually distract from our military and security objectives - and of course have completely destroyed our international support. It has always been fascinating to me how the Likudniks blur the distinction between our security requirements, which indeed require a continued military presence, and their desire for a land grab. The two are not the same.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel is the only force that keeps Abbas afloat. If the IDF pulled out, its safe to assume his regime would fall within a week. The Israeli Left sold the public a bill of goods when it argued a Gaza pullout would strengthen the "good" terrorists of Fatah. It did exactly opposite! The people who want to apply that same wonderful policy to Judea and Samaria are like the Bourbons: they learned nothing and forgot everything.

At 5:02 PM, Blogger {a}don Xaxam said...


The only thing that prevents yielding to the world's pressure and military withdrawal from Judea and Samaria is the Jewish communities there. If not for them, the South Lebanon scenario will be long behind us (I mean, those who survived it tenfold).


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