Tuesday, September 07, 2010

7-Sep-10: A rocket this morning, and a response

Another "natural response" this morning from the terrorists who control the Gaza Strip. Barely reported anywhere, they launched one of their numerous Qassam rockets early this morning into an Israeli military installation, a nearby Israeli armored vehicle, the fence that separates the Gaza Strip from the hated Israelis any reachable civilian space at all, no real matter where, just so long as it is in Israel, and preferably where Jewish civilians are asleep or working.

Today's Qassam was fired in the dark of night. There were reports shortly after 2 am of a rocket crashing into an area just outside Sderot's city limits. Fortunately no injuries or damage were reported. But as we have noted many times, this - explicitly - was not the intention of the jihadists.

The timing of today's rocket seems to be connected to the same factors that underlie last week's shooting attacks (see 1-Sep-10: Real people, real terror) on Israelis traveling the roads - namely, the need to express a violent Hamas statement to those taking part in, or watching from a distance, the Washington peace talks between delegations representing Israel and the Palestinian Arabs.

As expected, the Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad sees such matters through a PLO lens. His forces have arrested hundreds of Hamas members since last week's fatal terrorist attack - a cold-blooded murder of four Israelis for which Hamas proudly and publicly claimed credit. Fayyad says that attack "was politically motivated and intended to embarrass the Palestinian Authority".

That, and not the loss of innocent lives, is why the PA acted. Nice to know.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

5-Sep-10: Incoming Qassam again

Iranian Fajar-5
The Jerusalem Post reports belatedly this morning that yet another Gazan-Palestinian Qassam rocket was launched from the Gaza Strip into Israel 24 hours ago, on Saturday morning. It exploded in an undisclosed part of the Negev and thankfully there are no reported injuries or damage. This of course, as we have said here time and again, was not the intention of the jihadists who fired it; nor was it the outcome that the political echelon who gave the instruction to shoot desired.

The back story is that Hamas rockets are getting more deadly all the time. Four days ago, Ynet reported that the Hamas regime in Gaza has completed a series of experiments on its version of the Iranian Fajar rocket. The enhanced model now has a range of almost 80 kilometers (roughly 50 miles) meaning, for those who understand the extremely compact nature of central Israel, it can reach as far Kfar Saba, northeast of Tel Aviv. Thus most of Israel's population is now within range of the terrorists' weaponry. The Fajar-5 is the length of a telephone pole and carries a 90-kg payload. [Our terrorist enemy in the north, Hezbullah, call this rocket the Khaibar-1, and holds vast stocks of this civilian-oriented weapon.]

The progress made by Hamas is serious, considering that the original Hamas Qassams had a range of around 1.5 km (roughly 1 mile). The rockets are believed to have been developed by scientists working for Hamas and for research institutes located in Arab countries in the region that have been working intensively to further arm the Hamas terror regime. Ynet says Hamas will be able to begin manufacturing these rockets within the next few months.

4-Sep-10: Memo to Baroness Ashton - be careful what you wish for

The London-based newspaper Al-Hayat does a major service to anyone wanting to understand the goals of the jihadist terror organization Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip with an iron fist.

The paper quotes Hamas politbureau member and occasional spokesman Azat al-Ghashek as praising the Hamas terror attack this week in which four civilian Israelis, one of them a woman in the ninth month of pregnancy, were shot and then individually executed at close range.

"Hurting Zionist settlers is a natural thing… they now constitute an actual army, in the full sense of the word. They have more than a half a million automatic weapons, in addition to the basic protection granted them by the occupation army," the Hamas apparatchik said. The deadly attack proves the Palestinian people still desire to battle "the Zionist enemy", he is quoted saying.

Whatever the jihadists may have intended, the interview proves something quite different, and it's this. Supporting Hamas by defending its demands is to align yourself with the most vicious of Islamicist thugs. If you accept that Hamas argument that ordinary civilians are legitimate targets for ambushes by Hamas gunmen, then you are the enemy of an entire society: Israeli society.

We Israelis recognize the mortal threat that having a jihadist regime on our southern doorstep means, even if people from outside the region don't or pretend not to. Statements like today's help to clarify matters for anyone in doubt, or for those who have forgotten what Hamas stands for.

When Baroness Ashton who heads the EU's foreign ministry announced her plan to go visit the Gaza Strip as a guest of the same thuggish Hamas regime, she was quoted in July reiterating a call for a complete opening of the Gaza Strip's borders with Egypt and Israel in order to ensure what she called "the flow of people and goods in both directions. The people of Gaza should be able to lead a normal life."

Ms Ashton needs to be called to account for her politically correct but factually wrong wish. It's pollyannish to the point of imbecility (given the amount of political and strategic data to which a woman in her privileged position has access) to pretend that "the people of Gaza should be able to lead a normal life". The normal life the people of Gaza want to live, as articulated by the voices like that of Azat al-Ghashek who speak for their ruling regime, involves murder on a scale limited only by their access to weaponry and military technology.

As the intended targets of that desire to murder, we Israelis believe the non-violent steps (like a blockade and a security barrier that were put in place with the full agreement of the EU) taken by our government to frustrate the wishes of the al-Ghasheks and their useful-idiot supporters (among them the appalling British politican Galloway) are justified, logical and essential for now and until the jihadists are permanently removed.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

2-Sep-10: Pal-Arab shooters once more

Hamas claimed responsibility last night for another terror attack on Israeli civilians. This one, thankfully, resulted in no deaths, but served as another reminder that for the heroic terrorist gunmen, their message is intended not so much for us Israelis as for their Palestinian Arab brethren, the real enemy. Their statement, as quoted by Ynet, said Wednesday's shooting attack on an Israeli couple from the community of Ma'ale Efraim in the Jordan Valley was "a message to those in the (Palestinian) Authority who promised the Zionists that the attack in Hebron would not recur."

The "attack in Hebron" is a reference to the execution-killing by Hamas gunmen near Kiryat Arba a day earlier.

Ynet reports:
"One of (the terrorists) stepped out of the car and opened fire at me from a meter away. I unlocked the door and pulled my wife out, and we rolled into the ditch," recounted Moshe Moreno, who was attacked by Palestinian terrorists Wednesday night near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Morano is listed in moderate condition. His wife Shira sustained light injuries in the attack... "We were followed by another vehicle for about four or five minutes. The car's headlights blinded us. I signaled the driver to stop, but he continued, so I stopped, but he passed me." According to Morano, the terrorists opened fire from inside the vehicle, and one of them approached his car while firing his automatic weapon. "At some point, I guess his weapon got stuck. That's our miracle. I have shrapnel in my leg; the whole incident lasted a minute and-a-half," he said.
It's highly likely that more attacks like these cowardly shootings by armed Hamas jihadist thugs will be scheduled to coincide with the Washington conference of Israeli and Palestinian Authority representatives this week. As the Hamas statement says, they have a message to deliver.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

1-Sep-10: Real people, real terror

The four victims of yesterday's Hamas ambush and execution. May their memory serve as a blessing.
Reuters reports today that the Hamas terrorist organization has claimed full reponsibility for yesterday's ambush and execution of four Israeli civilians.

It quotes a Hamas statement saying it "announces its full responsibility for the heroic operation in Hebron".

This, in Hamas terms, was indeed a heroic operation, a classic of its kind. It was directed at a carload of two men, two women. No Israeli soldiers in the vicinity. No strategic goal other than terrorism for its own sake.  The shooters, dressed in civilian clothing, fled into the night. Heroism, pure and simple. Heroism of the kind  that the world has come to know and expect from exponents of Islamicism in its various jihadist flavours.

A little reported aspect of the Hamas heroism: one of the rescue service volunteers who arrived on the scene (according to the Jerusalem Post) broke down in tears on viewing the bodies. His colleagues were surprised - this is not a new experience in their line of work. Then they heard him crying out: "That's my wife!' That's my wife!' and indeed his wife is one of the four victims.

Their names again (because these are human beings): Yitzhak and Tali Ames (who leave six orphans), Cochava Even Haim, and Avishai Schindler.

For those of us with some grounding in reality and a sense that what happened here was a human tragedy in a tragically long line of terrorist killings, above are portraits of the men and women murdered by the jihadist Hamas activists, militants, operatives, terrorists. A scene from today's funeral is below.

For those of us who can still summon up a sense of outrage after so much terror, so much hatred, so much hypocrisy, there's the matter of the so-called moderate Palestinian Arabs and their response. 

In today's New York Times, the Palestinian Authority's prime minister, Salam Fayyad, expresses his condemnation of the murders. These were offenses against the noble Islamic religion. No, sorry, that's not what he said. The perpetrators betrayed the noble and moral aspirations of the Palestinian people. No, sorry, that's not what he said either. Acts of terrorism and jihadist murder like these undermine the Arab right to a two-state solution. No, sorry again, that's not what he said.

What Salam Fayyad, a man who knows his people very well, said is:  “We condemn this operation, which contradicts Palestinian interests and the efforts of the Palestinian leadership to garner international support for the national rights of our people.”  As so often in the past, the "condemnation" (which is really not condemnation but tactical criticism) is entirely focused on the effect it might have on other people's support.

Where you stand on terror, terrorism and terrorists says everything about your morality, decency and values. The Palestinian Arab position, in its moderate and other forms, is out there for all to see.