Monday, December 29, 2008

Operation "Cast Lead"

Well that’s it, we are in another war. This time, unlike Lebanon in 2006, government ministers are calling it a war. With an incessant barrage of missiles on Israel’s civilian population in the south after the end of the “cease fire”, no government in the world could allow this to continue.

A friend living in a Kibbutz on the border writes

So far we are OK. We are told to stay in a protected room and not to go outside if not necessary.

At about 10 this morning, Dec 27th, it was very quiet, when all of a sudden we hear a rolling sound outside then a thunderous boom and the whole house shook, like in a earthquake, then a second time and then a third time. After that, we heard airplanes and some more explosions.

On our beeper, which all of the homes surrounding Gaza have, we were told what has happened and we were told to stay inside.

A Moshav which is not to far from here but out of rocket range has opened up rooms for all of us who want to leave. We have been invited to family to stay with them and some friends of mine who live up North also invited us. We are staying as most of the families are also staying, those with children might want to send their children, if we still have children at home, we might be doing that also.

The whole area is under military rule and no one who does not live in this area are not allowed through.

The air strikes helps but we still need to go in. Israel surprised Hamas and us also, because they and us, did not think that Israel would strike on Sabbath. So the leaders of Hamas came out of hiding until Sunday and it cost them.

Our TV stations are all broadcasting nothing but what happened today in Gaza. Alon's (my son for those of you who do not know) reserve unit but not Alon so far, have been called up.

What night will bring and at 5:30 PM it is already dark, I do not know, but we for the first time are thinking of putting a mattress in our security room to sleep tonight.

If the army tells us to leave, I will volunteer to stay on the kibbutz and work in the dairy farm, life goes on with the livestock. They have to be fed and milked and calves are born.

Will let you know what happens when it happens. “

Another conversation 24 hours later with a resident of Sderot raises a surprising comment. “In Sderot, there is quiet, the missiles are targeting communities further afield” And so it is today that very very missiles actually landed in and around Sderot.

Nevertheless, revenge attacks abroad are feared. It is certainly reasonable to assume that Hamas and the organizations operating under its auspices will now attempt to turn the lives of southern Israel residents into hell, both due to a desire for revenge as well as an attempt to create a strategic equation, as the Hizbullah did at the end of the Second Lebanon War. Technically, Palestinian organizations in Gaza are capable of launching more than 100 rockets a day. This is of course a theoretical pace, which also depends on the actions undertaken by the IDF.

On a wider front, we can assume that Hamas will attempt to dispatch members of the group and of Islamic Jihad to carry out suicide attacks in Israel at any price, with bombers originating in the West Bank and attempting to enter Israel or target settlements.

There have been interesting reactions from world leaders, one of which from the Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit surprisingly blames Hamas for war. He said "For quite some time, Egypt has been warning. Whoever tried to confuse the understanding of [ignore] this warning, must bear the responsibility.

In a statement by the Israeli Foreign Minister to the foreign press, she says "Whoever wants peace in the region, with a two-state solution, must understand that we must fight terror and extremism. Confronting Hamas is the only way for the Palestinians to enjoy a good life in a country of their own. Israel wants peace, and must operate against the Hamas in order to achieve this.

By showing one-sided footage from Gaza, you are not helping to promote peace. I understand that provocative images arouse people's rage and hostility, but we want to achieve a better future for this region. Hamas does not want peace; Hamas uses the residents of Gaza as hostages.

Israel proposes a vision of peace, while Hamas proposes a vision of war. Peace with Israel and calm in the region can only be achieved by dialogue. This situation cannot continue. Hamas, Iran and Hizbullah are enemies of the free world."

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