Israel’s deputy defense minister Ephraim Sneh stated recently thatIran’s fingerprints were all over the recent escalation in Gaza. . . . “Everything is being organized by Iran.... All of the terrorist groups are supported directly by Iran, which pays for all of the military training and the weapons.”
Qassam rockets were first fired at Israel from Gaza in 2001—a total of 20 that year. According to data compiled by the Israel Police, the totals for subsequent years were: 2002—42 2003—159 2004—258 2005—236 2006—698 2007—as of Monday last week, 156 (dozens more since then) Israel has reacted variously with limited military actions, periods of passive nonreaction, and in 2005 with a total withdrawal from Gaza that was widely praised as a wise and magnanimous gift to the Palestinians or a shrewd move that would box them in militarily. The huge increase, since that withdrawal, in Qassam fire on pre-1967 Israeli communities is even more dramatic considering that before then a large percentage of the rockets were fired at settlements within Gaza. On Sunday morning Oshri Oz, a 35-year-old computer technician who worked in Sderot, was killed there when a Qassam landed near his car. The previous Monday it was Shir’el Friedman, a 32-year-old woman who lived in the town and whose car took a direct hit. Noting that she was (then) “Israel’s ninth fatal casualty of a Qassam rocket,” IsraelNationalNews.com detailed the rest. The number of those wounded, traumatized, and living in daily terror includes, of course, all 20,000 residents of Sderot—a large proportion, possibly half, of whom have recently fled—and thousands of residents of other Gaza-belt communities. At no time has this six-year assault been regarded by any official body—not even the Israeli government—as an emergency requiring whatever military measures are necessary to stop it. Indeed, Deputy Defense Minister Sneh went on to say that “Israel will need to consider escalating military operations in the Gaza Strip if rockets begin to fall in [towns further from Gaza such as] Netivot, Ashkelon or Kiryat Gat.” He did not explain why the fall of rockets on Sderot and the other places near Gaza was not already a reason for “escalating military operations in the Gaza Strip” beyond their current restricted scope.
Ashkelon, a city of 120,000 with strategic installations, has already been hit many times and was hit again last week. Its mayor has asked the government for “financial benefit packages including funding emergency medical equipment, an alternative generator for the municipality, budgets for increasing personnel, emergency vehicles and budgets for upgrading public bomb shelters.” As a Hamas official put it,
We call on our fighters to launch rockets attacks on the settlement of Ashkelon. . . . We will force the settlers to run away from Ashkelon as they have already done in the settlement of Sderot. We will continue to fight until the Jews leave all of Palestine.
Israel’s resumption of limited aerial strikes against terrorist targets in Gaza was said to be reducing the Qassams--but didn’t appear to be on Monday as ten more were fired. Yet top security officials like Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi and Shin Bet directorYuval Diskin are concerned that Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Fatah, Al Qaeda and other terror groups are by now so entrenched in the Strip that invading it may turn out to be an Iraq-style trap for Israel. Indeed,
the groups vowed to turn the Gaza Strip into a “graveyard” for Israelis if IDF invaded. “We will make the Jews drip tears of blood,” said [a terrorist commander]. “We will never find comfort until we shed the blood of the sons of monkeys and pigs.”
But most of all, Israel fears that stronger military action in Gaza will result in Palestinian civilian casualties—and it knows that this, and not the six-year siege of Sderot, is the one thing the world will not tolerate.
It appears, then, that the Islamic reconquest of Palestine is under way and, as of this moment, succeeding. The driving force behind the reconquest is Iran, with Egypt helping by enabling a steady stream of terrorists and weaponry into Gaza, Syria by giving various forms of support, and Saudi Arabia by providing ideological and financial backing.
Israel, for its part, is on the verge of becoming a failed state part of whose territory is no longer under its control, unable to provide security to citizens there who are helplessly under attack and fleeing.
Iran and its friends are undoubtedly enjoying the spectacle. They are, after all, confronting the West—in the form of Israel and the other Western countries that supposedly sympathize with the fact that even its non-“occupying” civilians are under attack. This dhimmified West has internalized the principle that Palestinian life is the one thing that is sacred—that is, the lives of Palestinians in conflict with Israel; Palestinians in other places like Lebanon don’t count.
But rather than see Palestinians in the former category even endangered, the West’s learned reaction is to prefer to see Israel decline into mayhem.
Original piece is http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=28469