ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Rockets

Unrealistic Goldstone

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Getting away is lovely but it means you have to do a lot of reading on your return and one piece that I saw was Engage’s Richard Goldstone now says Israel was not guilty of targetting civilians in Gaza.

I thought Operation Cast Lead was a BIG mistake, and the Netanyahu government culpable by neglect and mismanagement, but the article shows a certain degree of naivete, if not stupidity, that Richard Goldstone still holds onto:

“Some have charged that the process we followed did not live up to judicial standards. To be clear: Our mission was in no way a judicial or even quasi-judicial proceeding. We did not investigate criminal conduct on the part of any individual in Israel, Gaza or the West Bank. We made our recommendations based on the record before us, which unfortunately did not include any evidence provided by the Israeli government. Indeed, our main recommendation was for each party to investigate, transparently and in good faith, the incidents referred to in our report. McGowan Davis has found that Israel has done this to a significant degree; Hamas has done nothing.

Some have suggested that it was absurd to expect Hamas, an organization that has a policy to destroy the state of Israel, to investigate what we said were serious war crimes. It was my hope, even if unrealistic, that Hamas would do so, especially if Israel conducted its own investigations. At minimum I hoped that in the face of a clear finding that its members were committing serious war crimes, Hamas would curtail its attacks. Sadly, that has not been the case. Hundreds more rockets and mortar rounds have been directed at civilian targets in southern Israel. That comparatively few Israelis have been killed by the unlawful rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza in no way minimizes the criminality. The U.N. Human Rights Council should condemn these heinous acts in the strongest terms.

In the end, asking Hamas to investigate may have been a mistaken enterprise. So, too, the Human Rights Council should condemn the inexcusable and cold-blooded recent slaughter of a young Israeli couple and three of their small children in their beds.”

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05/04/2011 at 18:25

A Kassam Rocket.

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Kassam (or Qassam if you prefer) rockets are still being fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza, one has just killed an immigrant worker in Israel, the Jpost has more:

“Israel warned of a harsh response on Thursday afternoon after a Thai greenhouse worker was killed when a Kassam rocket fired by Gaza terrorists hit the Netiv Ha’asara area.

The man, in his 30s, was evacuated to Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital, where doctors were forces to pronounce him dead.

A small Islamist faction calling itself Ansar al-Sunna claimed responsibility for the attack.

In a statement e-mailed to reporters in Gaza, the al-Qaida-inspired faction said the attack was a response to Israel’s “Judaization” of Islamic holy places in Jerusalem and elsewhere in the West Bank.

Vice Premier Silvan Shalom warned that the attack would lead to a strong reaction, and said that Hamas was ultimately responsible.

“It is severe escalation,” said Shalom. “Israel will not return to the situation of before Operation Cast Lead. The response will be particulate fierce…I hope Hamas will learn a lesson.”

The attack came on the same day as a visit to Gaza by Europe’s top diplomat, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, who had just crossed into the territory when the rocket was fired.

On Wednesday, two Kassam rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip, landing not far from Sderot.

Two people suffered from shock as a result of the blast, one of them a girl. They were treated by an MDA team and evacuated to a shock treatment center.”

Written by modernityblog

18/03/2010 at 14:40

Hamas And Friends Up the Ante.

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Jim over at the Daily (Maybe) points us to the recent Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, presumably with the implication that the bloodthirsty Israelis like nothing more than blindly firing missiles into Gaza.

From the news coverage, that would clearly not be the case.

Apparently numerous rockets and mortars have been fired into Israel, hoping to cause civilian casualties, as the JP reported last week:

”Since Thursday, 10 mortar shells and at least five rockets, including a Katyusha, have been fired into Israel, the most in such a short span since Operation Cast Lead ended last year.

On Saturday, three rockets hit open fields in the Sha’ar Hanegev region. No injuries or damage were reported. On Thursday night, for the first time since Cast Lead, a Katyusha rocket landed in an open field south of Ashkelon.

In response to the attack on Ashkelon, the IAF bombed a number of targets throughout the Gaza Strip, Palestinians said that three men were killed in a smuggling tunnel that was bombed along the Gaza-Egypt border.

The Kassam attacks on Saturday followed a Hamas announcement on Friday that it had managed to smuggle new types of weapons into Gaza despite the blockade.”

There you have it.

Rather than boast of how Hamas have helped Palestinians they would sooner boast about weapons. “Guns before people” should be the Hamas motto.

It is fairly clear that Hamas and its allies (along with others) would prefer the status quo, a sort of quasi conflict with Israel rather than any settlement, which would mean they would have to rule Gaza with a degree of legitimacy, competency and without military coercion.

Anyway, like Jim, I hope it doesn’t escalate for the sake of the Palestinians and Israelis, nothing is achieved by lobbing rockets into Israel, but I think the men with guns in Gaza know that.

Written by modernityblog

11/01/2010 at 03:56

Galloway, Hamas And Political Theatre.

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I take an interest in the Middle East and have been following the activities of George Galloway and the convoy for Gaza. In fact, it might be several convoys as a lot of different countries have contributed.

I think the convoy idea is excellent.

I think the fact that Palestinians might get their hands on some well needed goods is an admirable goal.

After all the Palestinians in Gaza deserve our sympathies for living under Hamas rule.

Imagine that you are a Palestinian, you might even have voted for Hamas in 2006 and now you are stuck with them, permanently, with no possibility of voting them out.

You would know, as a Palestinian, that any opposition to Hamas in Gaza is largely futile as Hamas has the monopoly on the weapons of the State and is not afraid to use them. You would naturally remember that Hamas dealt violently with Fatah supporters, murdering many and throwing a few off of buildings, handcuffed. So if you were in Gaza you’d be stuck with Hamas, and if you were a teacher then you’ve probably have been attacked and scabbed on by Hamas.

Palestinians have to put up with a lot as Hamas and others senselessly provoke the Israelis, or as they place rockets in civilian areas, to incite a violent response and deliberately increase civilian casualties.

Hamas do that and much more, and our sympathies should go out to the ordinary Palestinians caught up between wanting to live an ordinary decent life and the violence which emanates from Hamas’s activities.

But what do Hamas long for? The publicity supplied by Galloway and the convoy? Or something else?

Hamas’s priority is not the welfare of the Palestinians, and in all probability the goods from the convoy will go firstly to their own supporters and be used to bolster Hamas’s position within Gaza.

Hamas is more of a “guns before butter” entity as their recent smuggling exercises show, the JP reports:

”Hamas on Friday boasted that it had managed to smuggle new types of weapons into the Gaza Strip despite the blockade, and published photographs of some of the arms it allegedly obtained.

Izz al-Din al- Kassam Brigades published photographs of newly acquired weapons including missiles with a double warhead, 107-mm caliber missiles designed to penetrate fortified structures, and a new type of armor-piercing RPG missile.

Hamas spokesman Abu Ubeida warned that the group has “thousands of fighters and good weapons capable of harming Israel.” “

Written by modernityblog

09/01/2010 at 01:49