Although the Hamas war crime yesterday was initially reported as a mortar attack, it turns out it was actually perpetrated with a Kornet laser-guided anti-tank missile. This is a highly advanced, very expensive third-generation missile, accurate out to 5500 meters in daylight. It is not the kind of weapon a couple of drunken Palestinians might have pulled out of their closet and accidentally fired at a school bus. It was the instrument of an attack sanctioned by what passes for a “government” in Gaza, and required significant training to deploy and fire.
The bus was clearly the intended target of this precision weapon, as the location of the attack was a rural stretch of road with few other vehicles in transit. According to Army-Technology.com, the Kornet is exported to several countries in the Middle East, including Syria, Jordan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. I can’t imagine where Hamas got theirs from.
The schoolboy critically injured in the attack was hit in the head and neck by shrapnel. He remains unconscious in Soroka University Hospital after extensive surgery, according to the Jerusalem Post. Apparently the reason more children weren’t injured or killed in the attack was that the bus had stopped, and was unloading the kids. The driver, who was less seriously injured, was the only other person on the bus when the missile hit. It looks like the heroes of Hamas didn’t want to test their skills by shooting at a moving school bus.
Another charming detail you’re not seeing in much of the mainstream media is that Hamas waited for paramedics to arrive on the scene of the missile attack before they opened up with further heavy weapons. That’s another war crime – not that anyone at the United Nations is keeping score. The Associated Press reports that U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has “condemned the bus attack and expressed concern over civilian casualties” from Israel’s retaliatory strikes in Gaza. He also called for “de-escalation and calm to prevent any further bloodshed.” He advised the Israelis to exercise “maximum restraint.”
When savages use weapons provided by vicious dictatorships to blow away a school bus, you’re supposed to take a few deep breaths, listen to some Ravi Shankar, and maybe apply some Head-On directly to the forehead. At least, you are if you’re Jewish.
The Israelis apparently couldn’t find any mellow music to listen to, so they launched an intense retaliation against Hamas instead. They picked their targets carefully, killing two Hamas gunmen and wounding seven other Palestinians. Israeli cabinet minister Matan Vilnai said of the response, “we are acting as we see fit so that this type of fire will not continue, and so that the people behind the fire will regret it.”
CNN relayed a statement from the Israeli Defense Force that they “will not allow any attempt to harm Israeli civilians” and “hold the Hamas terrorist organization solely responsible for any terrorist activity emanating from the Gaza Strip.”
According to the AP, Hamas started feeling those regrets rather quickly: “At around midnight Thursday, with Gaza rocked by explosions, Hamas announced a cease-fire. The Israeli strikes continued, hitting Hamas facilities and smuggling tunnels.” Under the Broken Windows Fallacy so beloved of the Western left, this should stimulate the Palestinian economy tremendously. Now is a good time to buy stock in a Hamas tunnel-building company.
For their part, Hamas said through a spokesman, “The resistance movement’s response to the enemy’s massacre comes as self-defense, and to protect the citizens.” I know what he means. School buses used to terrify me when I was a little kid. Hamas also said it aimed to “pressure the occupier” to “stop committing crimes,” such as existing.
One interesting development in yesterday’s fighting was the successful engagement of the “Iron Dome” missile defense system for the first time. According to the AP, “The Iron Dome system scored a direct hit on an incoming Palestinian rocket aimed at an Israeli city, shooting it down.” It’s not a perfect defense, even if it functions with total accuracy, because Hamas can afford to throw a lot of their cheap and inaccurate long-range rockets at the Iron Dome system, and the interceptor weapons are expensive. If the United Nations is serious about “de-escalation and calm to prevent further bloodshed,” they should take a closer look at where Hamas is getting both its long and short range missiles from.