As the world waits for Vladimir Putin to stop lining up his tanks and roll across Ukraine, there’s another, largely ignored crisis going on in Israel, where “militants” (to use the media term of art for them) in the Gaza area are once again firing rocket barrages at Israeli civilians. According to the Israeli Defense Force, this is “the most substantial attack” in two years.
The IDF responded with air strikes on three suspected Islamic Jihad bases. For some reason, CNN put the phrase “terror sites” in scare quotes in its headline. I have an idea: let’s set up some rocket artillery in south Georgia, shower CNN headquarters in Atlanta with explosives, and see if they feel like describing the launchers as terror sites without using scare quotes. At least in the excerpt below, they’re using quotation marks to indicate direct quotes from the Israeli military:
In all, the Israeli military targeted “29 terror sites” in Gaza, the military said on its Twitter page.
“Direct hits were confirmed,” the military tweeted.
“In today’s attack, 41 rockets struck in Israel, five hit populated areas and three were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system,” the military said in another statement. “This is the most substantial rocket attack from the Gaza Strip since Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012.”
Islamic Jihad and Hamas, which is the Palestinian movement running Gaza, evacuated their military and civilian institutions on expectation of Israeli reprisals, the security sources in Gaza said.
What, you mean Islamic Jihad and Hamas don’t like it when bombs rain down on their civilian institutions? Fancy that.
It sounds like the Israelis have had just about enough of random attempted murder strikes from Gaza:
In the wake of the attack, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told Israeli army radio that “the position of my party Israel Beitanyu is that we support the full occupation of the whole of Gaza in any possible future action.”
Liberman opposed a response short of full occupation. “I am against a limited operation,” he said.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was later asked for his reaction to Liberman’s comments at a joint news conference with Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron Wednesday evening in Jerusalem.
“If it is not quiet in southern Israel, it will be very noisy in Gaza,” Netanyahu said in Hebrew.
Naturally, the Palestinians blame the Israelis for responding poorly to their warhead outreach program, and in fact think the Jews are really responsible for the entire situation, by provocatively standing where those highly inaccurate rockets decided to land:
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called upon Israel to stop the “military escalation on the besieged Gaza Strip, considering that this escalation will put the isolated residents in the danger of the war and destruction,” presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said through the official Wafa news agency.
“The Gaza Strip is constantly being targeted by Israeli airstrikes that targeted many areas,” Rudeineh said.
Hamas-run Al-Aqsa TV flashed a banner stating: “The occupation bares the full responsibility regarding this wave of aggression and the ongoing escalation.”
Abu Ahmad, spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigades, said the rocket fire came “after a long series of violations to the truce with the Palestinian resistance since November 2012.”
“This operation, dubbed ‘Breaking the Silence,’ comes as a response to the ongoing and continued Zionist Israeli aggression against the Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza,” Ahmad said.
CNN mentions that Israel is halting the shipment of goods into Gaza due to security concerns, with an exception for humanitarian relief… but for some reason, there is no mention of a very good reason for Israeli suspicion of Gaza shipments. For that, we turn to the Washington Post:
Israel???s prime minister on Monday triumphantly toured a display of dozens of rockets that navy commandos intercepted in the Red Sea last week, alleged to be on their way from Iran to the Gaza Strip, and accused the international community of ignoring Iranian support for militant groups and falling victim to a charm offensive by the new leadership in Tehran.
[…] Dozens of the green rockets were displayed on metal stands behind a podium where Netanyahu spoke. Stacks of bullets and plastic-wrapped mortar rounds lay nearby.
A military officer who greeted Netanyahu showed him what he said was a fraudulent bill of lading and other evidence he said linked the ship to Iran. Sacks of cement on the ship said ???Made in I.R. Iran,??? and metal seals on the cargo appear to have been inspected by Iranian custom officials before they were loaded on the Panama-flagged KLOS C vessel.
???The weapons on this ship were destined for terrorists in Gaza who are committed to Israel???s destruction. The goal was to have these weapons rain down on the heads of Israel???s citizens,??? Netanyahu said. ???The ship was organized by Iran, dispatched by Iran, financed by Iran. The missiles were loaded by Iran in Iran.???
The Israelis display a few items from their big catch in the image at the top of this article. Here’s another look at the confiscated weapons:
The peace-loving Iranians are pumping munitions into the hands of Palestinian terrorists? Gosh, that is so unlike them. Why, it’s almost as if they want the Israelis to have their hands full with an internal crisis, while Iran does something Israel would normally have a problem with. Whatever could that be?
Well, if Iran gets up to mischief, I’m sure we can count on the Obama Administration to be on them like a cheap suit, the same way they perfectly anticipated the Ukraine crisis, or the Benghazi terrorist attack.
The Iranians claim Israel staged that big weapons seizure, but Prime Minister Netanyahu minced no words when describing Iran’s culpability:
Benjamin Netanyahu???s visit to this Red Sea port capped a six-day PR blitz aimed at persuading world powers to toughen their position in nuclear talks. So far, the international reaction has been subdued, illustrating the uphill battle the Israeli leader faces in his efforts to change the minds of world leaders about Iran???s outreach to the West.
???There are those who would prefer that we not hold this news conference here today, they feel uncomfortable that we show what is really happening inside Iran,??? Netanyahu said. He spoke to a backdrop of the captured ship and the Israeli vessels involved in the operation along with the Israeli defense minister.
???Iran, a brutal regime, has not abandoned its deep involvement in terrorism, its systematic efforts to undermine peace and security throughout the Middle East and its ambition to destroy the state of Israel,??? Netanyahu said. ???What is new is not Iran???s deeds or its lies, but the desire of many in the international community to bury their heads in the sand.???
The international reaction to these weapons shipments and rocket attacks has been plenty “subdued,” all right. Funny how all the jet-setting “humanitarians” have absolutely nothing to say about Palestinian terror groups frittering away billions on murder weapons while their people suffer in poverty. Could we at least ask the Palestinian “leadership” to restrain their graft to personal enrichment – you know, buy some fancy cars, skim off aid money and salt it away in Swiss bank accounts – just stop blowing the cash on munitions that kill civilians, and might start another war in Gaza?
Look at it this way, international community: the Israelis have suffered round after round of these shotgun rocket attacks over the past few years, and only now are they reluctantly discussing a land occupation. Under what conceivable circumstances would Israel invade that territory, if the Palestinians weren’t shooting at them? Therefore, what need does any Palestinian group have for heavy weapons? There is no “defensive” issue to be considered here. The Israelis would defend the Palestinians if any outside force tried to invade them.
The global media hears the latest explosions in Israel, yawns, and says “oh look, Palestinian rocket attacks, it must be a day ending in ‘y’.” The civilized world must never grow accustomed to these actions, never allow them to pass without comment. No government on Earth would tolerate constant artillery strikes on civilians in its border regions. It says something bleak and horrible about our “international order” that so many allegedly modern nations seem to think Israel should.