The Fallout From Premeditated Barbarianism – Part 8
Part Eight: Facing Israel’s offensive firepower and its defensive rocket shield
When Hamas treated the Egyptian ceasefire proposal with contempt and amped up its barrages of missiles into Israeli population centers, Prime Minister Netanyahu said Hamas’s rejection of the ceasefire gave Israel justification to expand the military campaign against Gaza. Israel’s security cabinet had accepted the ceasefire proposal and the IDF had held its fire in order for the truce to hold. Hamas was having none of it. Hamas ramped up its aggression against Israeli cities and towns, saying that it was not held by the Israeli decision to accept the Egyptian proposal. A problem for Hamas is that in rejecting the Egyptian proposal it has found itself unprecedentedly isolated in the Arab world. Egypt also accuses Hamas of torpedoing the opportunity for calm and for giving Israel the legitimacy to mount a ground offensive into Gaza.
Israel’s security cabinet echoed Netanyahu’s earlier words and said, in response to Hamas’s continuing rocket and mortar fire during the period of the “ceasefire,” that Israel had broad international legitimacy to respond forcefully against Hamas. Conditions for Israeli residents of the southern towns had been untenable for years. They had never gotten used to having to remain within 15 seconds of a public bomb shelter or a private “safe” room. Children living under sporadic rocket fire since the day they were born are all but traumatized and many, many children have bed-wetting issues years after they should have grown out of it.
No people should be expected to endure such a hellish life as the residents of southern Israel have done. The southern Israeli towns and cities have had to endure over 11,500 rockets and mortars launched at them from Gaza with the express purpose of killing as many of them as possible.
In August 2005 Israel uprooted some 9,000 of its people that were living in northern Gaza and completely withdrew from the area. The international community had urged Israel for years to vacate Gaza, assuring Israel that in so doing there would finally be peaceful coexistence with the Palestinians in Gaza. Israel left intact greenhouses and flourishing agricultural businesses worth millions of dollars, believing it would help the Palestinian economy; however, the Palestinians looted and destroyed everything Israel left behind, including several synagogues which Israel foolishly believed the Arabs would revere. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other terror groups fought over the vacated land and built Hamastan, from where rocket fire has greatly intensified against Israel’s southern towns and cities.
Due to the unending sporadic firing of rockets from Gaza into Israel the Israeli government pursued the development of the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. It is an all-weather mobile air defense system designed to intercept rockets, mortars, and artillery shells from distances of four kilometers (2.5 miles) to 70 kilometres (43 miles) away. The Iron Dome’s sophisticated radar determines the projectile’s trajectory and if it will take it to a populated area it launches an interceptor missile, which has electro-optic sensors and steering fins that give it high maneuverability. The first Iron Dome saw active service in April 2011 when it successfully intercepted a Grad rocket aimed at Beersheba.
Since April 2011 the Iron Dome has been continually upgraded in accuracy and distance; currently there are eight batteries in service, which are individually racking up 90 percent success rates. Each interceptor missile costs $100,000 and sometimes two interceptors are launched to ensure a positive hit on the incoming missile. The Iron Dome does not attempt to intercept every incoming projectile; if the system determines the projectile is heading for an open space it allows it to continue, fall, and explode.
Code-Red sirens are automatically activated by incoming missiles and Israelis dash for cover whenever a siren is heard. During Hamas’s current launching of hundreds of rockets into Israel every day, both short-range and long-range, the Iron Dome has intercepted hundreds over cities and towns, which not only minimizes damage to Israeli homes and buildings, but also frustrates Hamas et al whose sole intention is to destroy Israeli homes together with their occupants. There have been a number of injuries due to falling shrapnel following an Iron Dome intercept; Hamas’s rockets are also packed with metal pieces that resemble ball-bearings and are designed to maximize casualties.
With no respite from rocket barrages the IDF intensified its aerial bombardments, but has been limited by Hamas ordering civilians not to flee their homes, many of which house Hamas munitions; however, the IAF has wreaked havoc in Gaza by striking hundreds of terror targets, including several large weapons caches from the air. The Israel Navy has also done the same from the sea. The IDF has foiled two Hamas terror attacks from the sea, killing all the terrorists, and also prevented several land attacks where terrorists have attempted to infiltrate an Israeli town, Moshav, or Kibbutz to murder or kidnap residents.
Around 80 percent of Gaza is currently without electricity. This, however, is not due to Israel cutting off the supply for non-payment of its multi-million dollar bill—which it would have the right to do—but it is due to Hamas rockets repeatedly hitting the Ashkelon power plant, blowing up the cables that carry Israel’s electricity into Gaza. The Israel Electric Company received orders from National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom to avoid endangering its employees by fixing the downed lines while Hamas continues to launch rockets from Gaza.
To be continued