Thursday, October 27, 2005
The IDF Is On The Move... Again
...because Israel's enemies have shown no willingness to let up, even for a moment:
International Herald-Tribune: 5 Israelis Killed By Suicide Bomber
A Palestinian suicide bomber detonated his explosives at an outdoor market in the Israeli coastal town of Hadera on Wednesday, killing five people and wounding more than two dozen, the Israeli police said.
The powerful blast left the street littered with body parts and overturned fruit crates as ambulances and rescue workers descended on the market in Hadera, a town rocked by numerous terror attacks during the past five years of fighting.
ABC News: Blast Kills 5 Israelis, Erodes Peace Hopes
A 20-year-old Palestinian blacksmith blew himself up at a falafel stand in an open-air market Wednesday, killing five Israelis and wounding more than 30 in the deadliest attack in the country in more than three months.Please spare me the crocodile tears. I don't care a whit about the embarrassment of Mahmoud Abbas; my sympathy is reserved for these people:
The bombing stifled faint peace hopes following Israel's pullout from the Gaza Strip. The blast also embarrassed Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, who only hours earlier had scolded militant groups for repeatedly violating a truce.
Hadera fatalities: top left - Michael Koifman,
top right - Jamil Ka'adan, bottom left - Yaakov Rahmani,
bottom right - Sabiha Nissim. Photo: Israel Channel 2
I regret that I could not find a photograph of Pirhia Mahlouf, the fifth victim. Obituaries for the five can be found here. (Jamil Ka'adan, in the upper-right photo, was an Israeli Arab. It is by no means unusual for Arabs to fall victim to these attacks; the terror organizations claim that they are fighting for "Palestinian independence", but in fact their utter disregard for human life extends to their own people as well.)
Responsibility for the blast was claimed by the Islamic Jihad terror organization. The bomber, it turns out, had been released from an Israeli prison a month ago, as a "good-will gesture", because "he had no blood on his hands" (i.e. no Israeli deaths could be directly attributed to him).
Israel has responded in force. The first step was the arrest a leader of Islamic Jihad. In a situation indicative of just whom Israel is facing, here's what was involved in that arrest:
Some 35 armored jeeps, backed by Apache helicopters and armored personnel carriers filled with infantry troops, had moved into Jenin just before 3 p.m. Thursday. The troops surrounded the home of Izzadin, and shots were heard as soldiers took up positions.
The army confirmed that it had completed an operation in Jenin, and said the troops were withdrawing from the northern West Bank city. According to the IDF, the action was a successful arrest operation aimed at apprehending Izzadin and five others wanted for questioning by security forces.
Contrary to Palestinian claims, the incursion was standard in size and scope for an IDF arrest operation.
This is what is required, ladies and gentlemen... to serve an arrest warrant in Jenin. The IDF has learned this from bitter experience. Had any lesser force been sent, we would now be reading about Israeli military casualties sustained during the arrest.
Israel has been to Jenin before, of course... and sadly, will almost certainly have to go there again. Israel will not level the city, but she will be accused of doing so.
Israeli Prime Minister Sharon's orders were for a "broad, non-stop" operation against Palestinian terror groups, according to The Jerusalem Post:
Overnight Wednesday, Sharon and Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz decided to clamp down on Islamic Jihad, which claimed responsibility for the attack, in a series of on-going military operations.No doubt the headlines are already screaming about Palestinians deprived of their Divine Right to find jobs in Israel.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said there was no time limit to the offensive, which will continue until the group's infrastructure is eliminated or the Palestinian Authority begins to act against terrorist groups.
In addition to the ground offensive, a full closure was imposed Thursday morning on Judea and Samaria, while the Karni and Erez crossings in the Gaza Strip, which were re-opened on Wednesday morning, shut their gates.
The IAF will also continue to launch strikes against Kassam launch sites in Gaza.
USA Today has more:
Sharon said the military operation was necessary because of Abbas' refusal to take action and said it would be impossible to resume peace talks until the Palestinians rein in the militants.The message should be clear: disarm the terrorists, Mr. Abbas, or we will do it for you.
"Unfortunately the Palestinian Authority has not taken any serious action to battle terrorism," Sharon said before meeting the visiting Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov. "We will not accept under any circumstances a continuation of terrorism. Therefore our activities will be broad and non-stop until they halt terrorism."
I'm sure some people are asking: why would the Palestinians launch such an attack, precisely when it makes the Palestinians look bad?
Part of the answer is embedded in the question. Islamic Jihad has no qualms about making Mahmoud Abbas look bad; he is by no means radical enough for them. On a more cynical level, though, this is a rather Machiavellian move on the part of the Palestinians. They were already fighting a low-level civil war, with no end in sight. One of the only ways to get the warring Palestinian factions to unite against a common enemy is to hit Israel, and provoke a strong Israeli response.
I hope Mr. Sharon sees this, and will find a way to punish the terrorists, without uniting the Palestinians in the process. We shall see.
In the meantime, my heart goes out to the familes of the dead and wounded.
The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away; blessed be the Name of the Lord.