Friday, November 20, 2009

A Myth In The Making: Israel Broke The Cease-Fire On November 4, 2008

In conjunction with the Goldstone Report accusing Israel of war crimes, there has been a move to blame Israel for breaking the truce which led to the commencement of the war itself.
Typical is this opinion piece from The Irish Times by David Morrison of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign:
IN JUNE, Israel agreed a six-month ceasefire with Hamas. Until December 27th, no Israeli, civilian or military, was killed as a result of rocket or mortar fire from Gaza.
None. Not one. And there was very little rocket or mortar fire out of Gaza until Israel broke the ceasefire in early November.
Those key facts have been missing from most of the reporting of Israel's slaughter of nearly 300 Palestinians in Gaza, which began on December 27th.
Israel's claim that it had to act in order to protect Israeli civilians from being killed by rocket or mortar fire from Gaza is bogus.
Let's put aside Morrison's odd notion that firing rockets at a Jewish town is OK as long as no one gets hurt. Continuing along this fanciful line of thought Morrisson claims:
From the point of view of protecting Israeli citizens, the ceasefire was a success. If the Israeli government had the protection of Israeli civilians as its first priority, it would have done its best to have the ceasefire continued indefinitely.
But it didn't. On the contrary, it broke the ceasefire by killing six Palestinians in Gaza on the night of November 4th, while the world was watching the election of Barack Obama.
Only in the Middle East can one not only claim a ceasefire allowing the continued one-sided firing of rockets at a civilian (not military) target is acceptable--but also that it is something that should continue indefinitely.
Here is an idea of the kind of status quo Morrisson condemns Israel for refusing to accept:
From the start of the ceasefire at 6 AM on June 19 till the incident on November 4th cited by CNN, the following attacks were launched against Israel from Gaza in direct violation of the agreement:
  • 18 mortars were fired at Israel in this period, beginning on the night of June 23.
  • 20 rockets were fired, beginning on June 24, when 3 rockets hit the Israeli town of Sderot.
  • On July 6 farmers working in the fields of Nahal Oz were attacked by light arms fire from Gaza.
  • On the night of August 15 Palestinians fired across the border at Israeli soldiers near the Karni crossing.
  • On October 31 an IDF patrol spotted Palestinians planting an explosive device near the security fence in the area of the Sufa crossing. As the patrol approached the fence the Palestinians fired two anti-tank missiles.
However, Morrisson's account--typical of the pro-Palestinian apologists--not only lacks common sense. It is also lacking in truth. Morrisson forgets to mention what other activities Hamas was engaged in: for all the talk about how Israel took advantage of the November 4th election night to hide what it was doing, just what was Hamas doing then? Hamas was making another attempt to kidnap Israeli soldiers. From CAMERA:

The first came to light on Sept. 28, when Israeli personnel arrested Jamal Atallah Sabah Abu Duabe. The 21-year-old Rafah resident had used a tunnel to enter Egypt and from there planned to slip across the border into Israel. Investigation revealed that Abu Duabe was a member of Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and that he planned to lure Israeli soldiers near the border by pretending to be a drug smuggler, capture them, and then sedate them with sleeping pills in order to abduct them directly into Gaza through a preexisting tunnel. For more details click here and here.
• The second abduction plan was aborted on the night of Nov 4, thanks to a warning from Israeli Intelligence. Hamas had dug another tunnel into Israel and was apparently about to execute an abduction plan when IDF soldiers penetrated about 250 meters into Gaza to the entrance of the tunnel, hidden under a house. Inside the house were a number of armed Hamas members, who opened fire. The Israelis fired back and the house exploded – in total 6 or 7 Hamas operatives were killed and several were wounded. Among those killed were Mazen Sa’adeh, a Hamas brigade commander, and Mazen Nazimi Abbas, a commander in the Hamas special forces unit. For more details click here.
It was when Israel aborted this imminent Hamas attack that the group and other Palestinian groups in Gaza escalated their violations of the ceasefire by beginning to once again barrage Israel with rockets and mortars.
Now it is of course possible that Morrisson considers the Hamas policy of kidnapping Israeli soldiers to be acceptable--along with the threat of rockets at civilian targets. Then again, the fact that Morrisson does not make mention of those attacks indicates he knows full well that his argument can go only so far.
The real question is how far the media is willing to go to present an accurate picture of what the terrorist group Hamas is really up to.
In the meantime, the myths continue.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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Cory said...

My memory may not be accurate on this point, but more often than not, isn't the "violation of the ceasefire" blamed on Israel for a raid the IDF conducted in the West Bank? Also, if I rememebr correctly, Israel justified the raid by saying that the cease fire applied only to Gaza.

Daled Amos said...

While preparing this post, I did see that attacks were launched from Gaza in 'retaliation' for actions Israel took in the West Bank.

As to Israel's saying that the ceasefire applied only to Gaza, that would stand to reason since it was negotiated only with Hamas.

Of course, logic has little to do with what happens in that part of the world.