The Fallout From Premeditated Barbarianism – Part 6
Part Six: Death from the skies
Following the murder of 16-year-old Abu Khdeir the Israeli Arab riots within Israel spiked and the periodic firings of missiles—rockets and mortar shells—moved into becoming barrages. Israeli police said the killing of Abu Khdeir was the worst case of murder in Israel’s modern history. On July 17 the three suspects in custody were indicted for Abu Khdeir’s murder; two are 17-years of age and the other is aged 29. Their names have not been released due to laws regarding minors and for fear of revenge attacks.
Rocket salvos increased and at night the IAF would retaliate firmly by targeting Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror cells preparing to launch rockets into Israel, together with striking underground rocket launchers and Hamas’s weapons manufacturing plants.
Hamas had fallen upon hard times following the ousting of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohammad Morsi from the presidency by the Egyptian military. Hamas is an offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, and Hamas operatives were found to have broken Morsi, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, out of prison during the riots that led to President Hosni Mubarak’s overthrow. Hamas was also operating in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula against both Israel and the Egyptian military. It was involved in launching rockets into Israel and also helping Bedouin terrorists conduct ambushes against Egyptian security forces, which killed scores of Egyptian police and soldiers.
Egypt’s military chief, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, who was actually promoted to the position by Mohammad Morsi, led the Egyptian armed forces in a crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood. Al-Sisi ousted Morsi from the presidency, placed him in detention and charged him, among a number of other things, with being a traitor. Al-Sisi was perceived by the Egyptian street as a hero. Riding a wave of popularity al-Sissi ran in the May 2014 presidential elections and was elected to the presidency in a landslide vote that garnered him 91.6 percent of the 26 million votes cast.
Al-Sisi virtually declared war upon Hamas and the Egyptian military have closed or destroyed in excess of 1,300 smuggling tunnels dug by Hamas under the Egyptian-Gaza border. The closure of the tunnels effectively severed Hamas’s economic umbilical cord. It could no longer extract taxes from smugglers of fuel, gas, explosives, weapons, vehicles or people.
Facing total collapse and and unable to pay its government workers, Hamas decided to join with Abu Mazen’s Fatah faction and form a unity government in a desperate act for survival. Almost the entire world hailed the PA-Hamas unity deal and within hours signaled that it was ready to work with the new unity government. Israel, however, had made it abundantly clear for months that under no circumstances would it ever negotiate or work with a government that included Hamas. After the signing of the unity agreement the Israeli leadership requested it be scrapped. Israel, they said, was prepared to continue negotiations with Abu Mazen’s Palestinian Authority, but it would not work with a government that included Hamas, a terror organization committed to the destruction of Israel.
Abu Mazen guaranteed the new unity government had renounced terror, recognizes Israel, and would honor all past agreements signed with Israel. Hamas, on the other hand, said that Abu Mazen could not speak for Hamas, that Hamas would never recognize Israel and that armed struggle was the only way to liquidate the “Zionist entity” that was occupying Palestinian land.
Rocket fire was ramped up against Israeli civilians and IAF responses grew heavier with each barrage. All Israeli cities were targeted by Hamas missiles and each day Israelis were scrambling to find refuge in bomb shelters from the rockets. The more missiles launched against Israel’s civilian population centers brought heavier and heavier responses from Israel. At this time of writing Hamas and its cadres have fired over 1,120 missiles into Israeli cities and towns and the IAF have dropped more than a thousand tons of bombs, striking over 2,150 Hamas targets. Unfortunately, many Gazan civilians have been killed due to Hamas using them as human shields; Hamas is therefore responsible for their deaths.
To be continued