The Fallout From Premeditated Barbarianism – Part 3
Part Three: Rockets Keep Falling on My Head
Due to the IDF turning over virtually every stone in the West Bank and arresting Hamas operatives and ministers, rockets began to periodically fall on Israel’s southern cities and towns, forcing residents to continually run for shelters. Southern Israeli residents were ordered by the Home Front Command to remain within 15 seconds of a bomb shelter. The international community makes much of the fact that Israeli fatalities from terrorist missiles are low when compared to Palestinian casualties from Israeli reprisal raids; however, it always fails to note that Israel has spent billions on building bomb shelters to protect its citizens while Hamas has not built any shelters in Gaza, apart from the fortified bunkers that Hamas leaders hide in and from where they are able to remotely operate missile fire. Hamas stores its munitions under and inside residential apartment buildings; thus they use Palestinian civilians as human shields, which raises the casualty rate from Israeli airstrikes.
As it also did during Operation Cast Lead from 27 December 2008 to 18 January 2009 Hamas has embedded itself in schools and hospitals, thereby using even the most vulnerable members of the population as human shields. On July 10 Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri told the terrorist group’s television station that “the tactic of using Gaza residents as human shields is praiseworthy and effective against Israel.” He added, “This policy reflects the character of our brave, courageous people.”
When the recent rocket salvos began to rain down upon Israel’s southernmost cites and towns, the Israel Air Force (IAF) began making the inevitable retaliatory strikes at Hamas’s munition factories and missile caches. Things have gone from bad to worse and at this time of writing Hamas is firing hundred of Qassam, Grad, Syrian, and Iranian-made rockets every day into Israel, up to sustained barrages of one missile every minute.
Hamas is upping the ante and targeting larger, inland Israeli cities with longer range missiles with more powerful warheads, which brings an even heavier response from the IAF. However, Hamas is betting on Israel not wanting a repeat of the 2008 Operation Cast Lead in which the IDF made a ground invasion of Gaza after the IAF had wreaked havoc on it from the air. If Hamas is correct in reading Israeli reticence to launch another all-out-war in Gaza, Hamas will likely continue to fire rockets ad infinitum and garner valuable Arab recognition as being the defender of the Palestinians; this even at the risk of the IAF leveling the rest of Gaza’s buildings that escaped earlier skirmishes with the IDF.
Unemployment in the Strip today is running at more than 44 percent and virtually the only thing Gaza now produces is rockets. Factories for manufacturing them have sprung up throughout the Strip and these production centers are churning out thousands of missiles. It is these production centers and the storage areas that the IAF targets.
Israel monitors Gaza’s new and improved rocket versions as they are tested by being fired into the Mediterranean Sea. IDF intelligence says 70 percent of all Israeli civilians are now within range of Gaza’s missiles. Israel has mobilized 40,000 reserve soldiers and sent them to the Gaza border to await further orders. If Israel does launch a ground invasion of Gaza to root out Hamas in order to bring quiet to Israel’s Home Front, then the entire Israeli population will be running for shelters.
For several years an Israeli law has been in force that requires every new house, apartment building, and factory being built to have an hermetically sealable bomb shelter for its residents. Plus every city and town has public bomb shelters which officials will open up when a war breaks out. And in the most southern towns, which bear the brunt of Hamas’s missiles, there are even portable rocket-proof shelters and bus stops have been built that also serve as bomb shelters. This has been the reason why there are so few Israeli casualties resulting from missile attacks from Hamas in Gaza or Hizb’allah in Lebanon.
Over 8,400 rockets have fallen on Israel’s southern towns since Israel forcibly uprooted its Gaza communities in 2005, which were then turned into a terrorist haven. However, the international community still takes every opportunity to berate Israel for not responding proportionately to the rockets. This writer has said before, and will say it again, Israel should indeed respond proportionately: one for one. One rocket to be fired into a Gaza civilian population center for every rocket that is fired into an Israeli population center; there would be no need for Israeli airstrikes. A little taste of their own medicine will do the Palestinians a world of good and would most likely bring an end to the years-long rocket bombardment of Israel. As things stand today, in order to avoid as many civilian casualties as possible, the IAF usually waits until very late at night before hitting Hamas military targets. The IDF will actually telephone civilians beforehand, warning them of imminent death if they do not vacate the buildings which are about to be bombed. Often the IAF drops a non-explosive bomb on top of the building, signaling that in around one minute’s time a real bomb will hit the building and destroy it. Israel bends over backwards in its endeavor to keep Palestinian casualties to the minimum, but Hamas and other terror groups’ aim to cause as many Israeli civilian casualties as possible.
To be continued