On Friday evening/Shabbat, a holy day of the week for Jews, the lives of nearly half a million Israelis were disrupted as they were given 15 seconds to find shelter from unholy terrorism. Two rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza, and one hit the Hof Ashkelon regional council, while the other hit the Eshkol regional council.
The Hamas terrorist organization which controls the Gaza Strip, and which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the world’s major bodies, is fully responsible for these rocket attacks. Even if we are to assume that they did not fire these rockets, and another group such as Islamic Jihad did, it is absurd to claim that Hamas can not exercise any control over them. This is an area in which Sharia law is enforced strictly, and those who don’t comply receive the death sentence. It is of little doubt that Hamas could not find the perpetrators, even as they fired the rockets.
But Hamas has no interest in doing that, because they welcome rocket attacks on Israel. Their charter calls for the complete and utter destruction of the state of Israel. There is no room for coexistence. There is no room for peace. Time and time again, Hamas officials praise “resistance” and urge others to shed their blood.
And now, P.A. leader Mahmoud Abbas has decided to sign a “unity” deal with Hamas. While this unity deal is a sham, and will fail just like previous “unity” deals in the past, it reveals something quite disturbing. Abbas is willing to unite with terrorist organizations while simultaneously blaming Israel for the lack of peace.
The rockets weren’t enough for the terrorists. They also decided to fire an RPG at IDF vehicles and planted two improvised explosive devices (IEDs) near the border fence, in an attempt to attack the IDF. This is a rather serious incident, which could’ve led to heavy fighting on both sides.
Since 2002, approximately 12,000 rockets have been launched from the Gaza Strip and into Israel. Israel unilaterally disengaged from the Gaza Strip in 2005, uprooting all Jewish settlements, homes, schools, and synagogues, and leaving behind no remnant of Jewish life. But Israel didn’t get the peace that it was promised. Instead, Israel received a model of what would happen if Israel disengages from Judea and Samaria without addressing security concerns. Israel also received this model after withdrawing from south Lebanon, upon which Hezbollah took control and terrorized Israeli citizens.
The model was even more rockets. There was no “land for peace” or “disengagement for peace,” but instead “rockets for disengagement.” The Hamas terrorist organization was chiefly responsible, although a number of organizations are responsible too, such as Islamic Jihad and the PFLP.
Since 2007, Hamas has taken control of Gaza, after winning Palestinian elections and a bloody fight between Fatah and Hamas. The idea of elections that included Hamas, which the international community pushed for, was a terrible and silly idea. The international community did not realize that Hamas would win elections in both the Gaza Strip and Judea and Samaria. But at the end, they did. And this certainly has not deterred Hamas from launching rockets and carrying out terrorist attacks.
These terrorists were also responsible for the capture and imprisonment of young Gilad Schalit for nearly 5 years. His imprisonment evoked a sharp response from Israeli society, and events were scheduled in solidarity with Gilad Schalit and in order to bring him back home. He was released in late 2011 for around 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, a large portion of whom were terrorists responsible for gruesome murders.
It is inconceivable that Israeli citizens can continue to be terrorized by Hamas and other terrorist organizations emanating from the Gaza Strip. Although Operation Cast Lead partially fulfilled a goal of deterrence, it failed in uprooting the Hamas terrorist organization completely. And now, Israeli civilians have to pay the price.
Indeed, just earlier this year, a young boy was killed when a laser-guided missile was launched from Gaza and directed at a school bus. Would any country tolerate such attacks? Would any country sit and do nothing? Of course, the IAF launched airstrikes on terror sites following each attack. But an airstrike does not bring back the dead. And an airstrike does not destroy the terrorist infrastructure.
Enough is enough. The Hamas terrorist organization will have to be dealt with soon. The international community rarely condemns the frequent rocket attacks, and can not possibly fathom what Israel faces. It is up to the IDF to deal with Hamas.
The IDF will have to learn from Operation Cast Lead when facing Hamas, which has better weaponry than a few years ago. But while Iranian-sponsored terrorism is on the rise throughout the world, it is imperative that Israel takes out terrorism emanating just next door, and does its job to its citizens by protecting them from terrorism. How Israel chooses to deal with Hamas, well that is up to Israel. But one thing is quite clear – the current policy of airstrike-for-rocket is not working, and won’t succeed.
The clock is ticking.