Five Hamas terrorists attempt to infiltrate Israel from the sea, are intercepted by the IDF
Right now, as I write this, Hamas missiles are being fired at Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and, of course, the usual targets in southern Israel. Some are being intercepted by Iron Dome systems, and others are exploding in fields, roads, and homes. In one incident, five Hamas fighters attempted to infiltrate Israel by sea, and were stopped before they could carry out their horrific mission. So far no Israelis have been killed, although there are reports of injuries. Millions of people are spending the night in shelters.
Prime Minister Netanyahu offered Hamas “quiet for quiet,” but Hamas chose to escalate. Now there are unconfirmed reports that — as Israel begins to bomb Hamas infrastructure in Gaza — that they are interested in a cease fire. Sure.
My daughter just described explaining to her pre-school children the need to run to shelter when there is an alarm. She is telling them simply that they have to follow instructions from the PM, who is the ‘commander’ of all of them. She is not saying anything about rockets or that someone is trying to kill them. My wife thinks it would be better to tell them a bit more, because they can surely see that people around them are afraid. I didn’t offer an opinion. I don’t have a clue how to explain this to children.
I was in Israel during the last rocket blitz, in November 2012. Both my son and son-in-law were called up for reserve duty. Private citizens, fathers, they are expecting orders again at any moment. This could be the last night for a while that they will sleep at home.
The IDF bombed Hamas targets in Gaza then, but stopped short of a ground invasion after a large buildup. Since the call-up of reserves was estimated to cost about $6 million, I assume that it was aborted because of international (that is, US) pressure. The air and artillery bombardments in 2012 bought Israel less than 2 years of relative quiet.
The question today is how far to go. Options range all the way from accepting another cease-fire to invading and re-conquering all of Gaza.
It’s doubtful that Israel will retake Gaza. Nobody wants to do reserve duty patrolling its streets. On the other hand, the present situation in which Hamas is left alone to build up its forces until it believes that it can advance its declared mission — to kill Jews — is intolerable.
This is just not acceptable. It can’t be business as usual to kill Jews. It can’t be that Israel is allowed to have Iron Dome systems, etc., but not be permitted to take the war to its enemy. Israel needs at least to castrate Hamas, to destroy its ability to fight and to prevent it from rearming, so that the present situation cannot reoccur every few years.
Is that enough? I don’t know. This is the Middle East. Maybe the only way to win a war here and have it stay won is to treat your enemy like the biblical Amalek, and blot out his name from under heaven (Deut. 25:19). How would the Obama Administration react to that?
There is one dimension not mentioned in this interesting and informative report. It is the damage we are doing through airstrikes on Gaza. We are destroying supposedly the infrastructure of the Gaza terror operation although we apparently have not been able to hit the stores of long- range rockets.
The fact that Hamas has already made its great demonstration of power and won cheers in Ramallah Jenin and also Jerusalem’s Silvan through firing on Jerusalem and Tel Aviv indicates apparently their great position of weakness, and desire for a cease- fire. While they aim all over the place and cheer at rockets coming down somewhere in greater metropolitan areas we are targeting precisely and taking out whatever assets they have, including the homes of the major Hamas people.
With all this said I do not know whether Hamas really wants to provoke us to entering their enclave. They do not have the backing they had before and we might this time decide to put an end to their rule.
The question “what is Hamas’ objective?” is a hard one. The best answer was given by Caroline Glick recently, when she said that Hamas is trying to regain lost support from Arabs and Muslims by fighting with Israel. It may not work this time. Sisi isn’t going to suddenly decide that it’s in his interest to help them, nor is Assad.