UPDATE: Seven Hamas terrorist rockets strike southern Israel overnight. Horrific traffic accident in which Arab truck driver hits Palestinian school bus–at least 8 dead.
It was just another night of rocket attacks in southern Israel with the Israeli government and the IDF having, as usual, no idea about what was going on.
To begin with, there were no red sirens warning of impending terrorist rockets. As a security officer at an Israeli community in the Negev angrily pointed out: “We were not informed of any alert. Even now after the firing we have not received any special instructions.”
How many missiles were fired at our Israeli communities in the south? The original IDF report was four, later revised to five, even later revised to possibly six. The actual number, as determined by news contributors on the ground as the attacks occurred, is seven. As you can see from the column on the right, this brings to 44 the number of rockets fired against southern Israel since January 20th.
This 44 number puts the IDF spokesman’s comments about the rocket fire last night into stark relief:
“The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli citizens or IDF soldiers, and will continue to act against any terrorist activity against the State of Israel. Hamas is a terrorist organization, and bears all responsibility.”
The IDF will not tolerate any attempt to harm Israeli civilians? All the IDF does is tolerate attempts to harm Israeli civilians.
After the rocket fire last night, Yair Farjun, the head of the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council (often referred to in this blog as ‘Ashkelon Chof’) showed his complete exasperation with the ongoing situation:
“We can’t accept this drizzle of rockets. We live in a bizarre reality. We switch from emergency and then back to routine. We’ve lived like this for many years. [Israel] can’t tolerate such a continuing situation, where our calm is shattered. It must be made clear to them [Hamas] that there is a price to this.”
But as Hamas, Farjun, and every citizen of southern Israel knows, there is no ‘price’ to the unending rocket fire. The IDF is nothing more than a paper tiger bombing empty buildings in Gaza.
Last night’s reaction was the same as always. The IDF spokesman said that the Israel Air Force ” attacked centers of terror activity in the northern and southern Gaza Strip.” According to Hamas, nothing but empty buildings were hit and no casualties were incurred.
Speaking of the IDF being a paper tiger, there is a hilarious addendum to the rocket fire last night. This morning the IDF announced that it has “tackled the anti-tank missile threat in the Gaza vicinity”.
And how has the threat been tackled? The IDF has finished the ten month arduous task of posting 200 warning signs near the border in the areas of the Eshkol, Chof Ashkelon and Shaar Hanegev regional councils.
The signs read: “This area is restricted at the sector commander’s orders in light of sniper and rocket fire.”
So what is the IDF answer to Hamas? Posting signs that Israeli citizens can’t enter areas of Israel where tank fire, rocket fire, and sniper fire might occur.
What in the world has happened to the IDF?
THIS DATE IN ISRAELI HISTORY
The following memorandum is an interesting insight into the origination of the bizarre American and Western idea that the arming of Israel’s enemies is actually in Israel’s best interest. Of course, the Israeli concern as expressed below that King Hussein would place substantial troops ultimately occurred–and helped lead to the 1967 war.
Memorandum From Robert W. Komer of the National Security Council Staff to President Johnson
Washington, February 16, 1965
Mission to Israel. As your emissary, I explained why we would probably have to sell certain arms to Jordan and asked for Israeli understanding–it being as much in Israel’s interest as our own . . .
In three very cordial meetings with Eshkol [Israeli Prime Minister Levi Eshkol] and his key people I believe I got across why arms sales to Jordan were the least bad of the highly unpalatable choices with which we were both confronted. By probing for their ideas as to any other way out, I satisfied myself that they too see no better solution, much as they dislike ours. They trust Hussein’s motives less than we, and regard us as probably not having exerted enough pressure.
Moreover, two specific aspects of our Jordan arms position greatly bother Israel. First is the geographic fact that the bulge of Arab Palestine on the West Bank of the Jordan almost cuts Israel in two. While Hussein up to this point has garrisoned it only thinly, Israelis fear that the United Arab Command (UAC) (and his own added confidence) might lead him to put substantial forces on the West Bank. This would require Israel to redeploy a substantial part of the forces it now has in the north and south against the main Arab threats. Second, Eshkol asks how he (especially as a politician running for re-election in November) can explain that he agrees the US should arm an Arab member of a new unified command aimed at Israel–and at a time when Germany has just reneged on arms.