Sunday, June 11, 2006

Having to Defend Yourself Against Kassam Rockets Means Never Having To Say You`re Sorry

While that is a little bit extreme, the fact is that Olmert just cannot seem to apologize enough. After apologizing to Mubarak after the IDF killed 2 of 3 Egyptians who had infiltrated into Israel and started shooting at the IDF, Olmert is at it again.

Now, following the beach incident in Gaza:
  • Olmert apologized for the incident

  • Hamas has declared "We have decided to turn Sderot into a ghost town. We won't stop firing the rockets until they all leave."

  • Defense Minister Amir Peretz said that all Israeli artillery fire at Kassam launching cells would be suspended until the army's investigation into the deadly incident was completed.
The same Arutz Sheva article reports that despite Peretz's statement, today Israel Air Force aircraft attacked two rocket launching cells as they were about to fire at Israel. During the attack, 3 terrorists - two of Hamas and one of Islamic Jihad - were killed, and 7 were injured.

Meanwhile, another Arutz Sheva article casts strong doubts that Israel is responsible.

This after the incident has brought all kinds of accusers out of the woodwork:
  • Arab Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi and extreme left-wing MK Zahava Gal'on (Meretz): Defense Minister Amir Peretz is responsible for the murder of the seven Arab members of the one family

  • Arab MK Muhammed Barakeh said that Peretz could wear the medallion of "war criminal."

  • Meretz leader MK Yossi Beilin said that Peretz should resign if the only way he knows how to deal with Kassams involves killing innocent people.

  • Several dozen left-wing protestors - including Olmert's daughter Dana - stood outside the home of IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Dan Halutz last night and called for him and others to be tried for "war crimes."
Now it appears the deaths were due to a Palestinian rocket--and the Palestinian Arabs are not cooperating in the investigation.

Arutz Sheva reports:
  • There are indications that the incident on the beach occurred 15 minutes after Israel stopped firing shells.

  • None of the shells fired at the northern Gaza Strip were directed at the area in which the members of the Arab family were killed.

  • There is a possibility that a misfired Kassam rocket was responsible, since a significant percentage of the Kassam rockets fired by the Palestinian terrorists land in Gaza or just miss their mark. Yesterday afternoon, one Kassam landed in a Gaza refugee camp, wounding several Arabs.
Government press spokesman Raanan Gissin drew an interesting parallel:
"Unfortunately, we are repeating the same mistakes we made in the past, in the way in which we deal with incidents like this, such as that of Muhammed Al-Dura."
He also noted that a basic question that should be asked is why the Palestinians who control the area were so quick to remove all evidence from the scene.

But without conclusive proof, just having enough evidence to cast significant doubt on Israel's responsibility in the incident is unlikely to be enough to cause the media to retract what they have written about Israel so far.

The fact remains, as Gissin points out:
I think that there should have been lessons learned from previous incidents...The highest levels should immediately have made it publicly clear that it wasn't at all sure that we did it, and that other scenarios were likely.
See also The Gaza Beach Attack: 2 Points Not Mentioned...Ever

Technorati Tag: and and and and .


Ittay said...

What happened on the Beit Lahiya beachfront in Gaza where 7 Palestinians were killed was an abomination. According to the IDF front commander for Gaza, Major General Yoav Galant, "the picture is unclear. The artillery fire has been well-analyzed, and the question marks are multiplying as to whether the artillery fire was the cause of the incident." But even so, that does not absolve Israel. Bradley burston from haaretz comments...

"Say he's right. Say it wasn't our fault. Say we dismiss as irrelevant the fact that five IDF shells landed nearby at the same time, and that the trajectory of the sixth is unaccounted-for.

For every Mohammed Dura, there have been hundreds and hundreds of Palestinians killed by the IDF in error, in conjunction with the killing of terrorists, or because overwhelming force and remote technology was applied in order to minimize the risk to Israeli troops.

There was no news crew to film them, so the world cares nothing for them. And neither do we. Their tragedies are no less unbearable, surely no less unbearable than the hundreds of our own the world cares nothing for.

We can live with it, as we live with the idea of sending thousands and thousands of artillery shells into one of the most crowded districts on the planet, in order to try to hit three-man mobile crews firing a rocket not much bigger than a broom - the equivalent of going after a fly with a pile-driver.

We live with it because we Can't Just Do Nothing, as if thousands of shells, many of them directed at open spaces calculated precisely to hit nothing, are the only possible alternative.

We can live with it, fundamentally, because we don't know what else to do, and because the only thing left for us to believe, is that it's wrong to negotiate.”

Daled Amos said...

Everyone agrees it was a tragedy, but in his article, The Blood On Our Hands, Burston does not seem to really understand that this is a real war, and wars are not neat and clean. Yes, it is a tragedy, but Burston seems to demand an awful lot from Israel, regardless of where the deadly missile came from. He seems intent to create, as his regular column is entitled, A Special Place In Hell.

Tears for innocent victims is one thing, and where she is to blame Israel should make restitution, but the degree of self-flagellation that Burston demands of Israel during a time of war is a luxury that Israel cannot afford.