The Jewish homeland continues to come under attack from Palestinian terrorists, who have fired 40 missiles into Israel since Monday, June 18, 2012. The recent round of terror attacks on Israel is particularly serious as Hamas has acknowledged responsibility for 10 of the missiles, violating their tenuous cease fire with Israel yet again.
The Israeli government has taken a swift but limited response to the attacks. The IAF engaged in targeted strikes on suspected Palestinian launch sites, killing 4 terrorists and critically injuring another. The Israeli government and the IDF have made it clear that they will continue Israel’s policy of responding to unprovoked missile attacks by striking directly at the terrorists’ launch sites and weapon storage facilities.
The acceptance of responsibility for some of the attacks by Hamas is a radical departure from their recent policy of allowing other militant groups to launch missiles and denying involvement. According to the Jerusalem Post, “In a statement released by Hamas’s armed wing, the Izzaddin al-Kassam Brigades, the group said that it fired three mortars aimed at an IDF base in Zikim. It later claimed responsibility for 10 missile launches.”
The missile attacks were preceded on Monday with a ground based incursion into Israel by Palestinian terrorists operating out of the Sinai Desert in Egypt. The terrorists killed an Israeli who was working on the border fence between Egypt and Israel that is being built in order to prevent future attacks from the Sinai. A unit from Israel’s renowned Golani Brigade responded quickly, killing two of the terrorists in the ensuing firefight.
Making the situation even more worrisome is the breaking news from Israel’s Jerusalem Post reporting al-Qaida involvement in attack from the Sinai. As stated in the article from the Post, “An al-Qaida-linked group calling itself “The Shura Council of Mujahideen in the Holy Land” claimed responsibility Tuesday for a cross-border attack along Israel’s southern border that killed one construction worker on Monday.”
The recent increase in terror attacks on Israel is especially troubling. While Abu Mazin (Mahmoud Abbas) continues to demand that Israel agree to indefensible 1967 borders and cease all settlement construction, as a pre-condition to continuing peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the citizens of Israel are being subjected to regular missile attacks and constant attempts to cross Israel’s borders in order to kill Jewish citizens. Much of southern Israel’s population is being forced to spend a portion of their daily lives seeking safety in bomb shelters.
Israeli’s are concerned that Abbas’s term as President of Palestine expired on January 15, 2009 and yet he remains in office. They wonder how he can speak for the Palestinians when he is no longer the legal President of the West Bank and he has no power at all in Gaza. The fact that Abbas wrote his doctoral thesis denying the Holocaust and claiming that Jewish leaders in Europe conspired with Hitler to allow the Holocaust, has made it even harder for Israeli Jews to ever accept Abbas as a “partner for peace.”
At the moment, the missile attacks and terrorist border incursions are continuing. Just how long Israel is willing to maintain a relatively calm and muted response to the situation is a matter for debate. One can only hope that this is not the beginning of another escalation of hostilities between Arab world and Israel.