Hamas lauches rockets into Ashkelon

08.28.03

Hamas is upping the ante by launching rockets into the Israeli city of Ashkelon:

The Qassam rocket slammed into an industrial zone in the coastal city of Ashkelon, 5.5 miles from the Gaza Strip, the army said. It was the furthest a Qassam had been fired into Israel since a Palestinian uprising for statehood began in 2000.

The rocket attack on the city of 116,000 could mark the crossing of a red line for Israel, which fears similar strikes from the West Bank against the nearby densely populated center of the country.

In the meantime, the Palestinian Authority is making a show of their so-called attempt to rein in the terrorists:

A Palestinian security official in Gaza said Palestinian forces had rushed to the area where a Hamas squad had fired the rocket at Ashkelon, preventing it from launching more rockets.

“There was a chase and a shootout,” the official told Reuters. “Our forces are still searching the area in the northern Gaza Strip.”

[ . . . ]

In an apparent clampdown on Hamas affecting thousands of needy Palestinians, the Palestinian Monetary Authority said it had frozen 39 bank accounts held by 12 Islamic charities, most of which are widely believed to be Hamas-sponsored.

By the straight way that Reuters reported this claim, it’s clear that the media is buying the PA’s act – hook, line, and sinker. It should be obvious to anyone who knows anything about the Middle East that this supposed “clampdown” is just for show, and should be taken about as seriously as Yasser Arafat’s “condemnations” of terror attacks that he bankrolled and ordered in the first place.

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 ii 08.28.03 at 7:56 PM

As I was saying…

“After a month and a half in which Palestinians were being killed several times a week and receiving relatively little mention, the Washington Post and New York Times both put the bombings on their August 13 front pages, each declaring the violence a break from weeks of ‘relative calm,’ and each including a front-page photo of the victims’ relatives in mourning. USA Today also put grieving relatives on the front page, along with the headline, “Two Suicide Attacks End a Six-Week Lull in Conflict.” One can empathize with the losses of those survivors while recognizing that the families of the Palestinians who died during the ‘lull’ were virtually invisible.”

http://www.fair.org/press-releases/relative-calm.html

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2 segacs 08.28.03 at 8:03 PM

What about the families of the Israelis who died during the “lull”?

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3 Hanthala 08.28.03 at 10:25 PM

Segacs, there weren’t any, that’s why its called a “lull” or a “period of relative calm.”

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4 segacs 08.28.03 at 10:41 PM

There weren’t any? Excuse me?

I think the families of the victims would agree with you.

For example, the family of Erez Hershkovitz, age 18, killed by a Hamas bomber at a bus stop outside Ariel on August 12th. Three others were seriously wounded.

Or the family of Yehezkel Yekutieli, aged 43, who went grocery shopping at his local supermarket to make breakfast for his children (aged 8 and 11), and was murdered by an Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade bomber. Nine others were wounded in this attack.

How about the family of Oleg Shaichat, aged 20, who was abducted on his way home on July 21st. His body was found a week later in a grove near the Rimon junction.

Amir Simhon’s family would also surely disagree with you. He was murdered by a Palestinian who stabbed him with a long-blade knife, while walking with his girlfriend on Tel Aviv’s beachside promenade. He was 24. Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade “boasted” responsibility for that one.

How about Mazal Afari, murdered in her own home in Kfar Yavetz, when an Islamic Jihad bomber entered her house on July 7th and detonated a suicide bomb. Three of her grandchildren were also wounded in the attack.

I could go on here. All of these muderers happened after the so-called “truce” was called. And I haven’t even begun to mention the hundreds of foiled attacks – the suicide bombers stopped by the IDF on their way to launch attacks.

Lull, my ass. Then, maybe to you, the lives of these victims are unimportant?

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5 Hanthala 08.29.03 at 12:26 AM

Segacs, not the so-called cease-fire period–which the Israelis violated with their extra-judicial assassinations–but the “lull.” That’s what the media call it when only Palestinians are dying.

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6 Me 08.29.03 at 12:34 AM

Yes, Israeli victims matter; a life taken is a life taken. But don’t play like the Israeli government kept up its end of the truce. And check out the pattern of the bombings: [www.counterpunch.org/niva08272003.html]

“In four of the past five suicide bombings, the timing of the bombing, the fact that group whose senior militant was assassinated carried out the attack, and the explicit claim of revenge for the assassination in all of these cases leave little room for doubt about cause and effect.”

“The most recent atrocity in Jerusalem on August 19, in which twenty-one Israelis were immolated on a bus returning from Jewish holy sites, including many children and elderly, came within four days of Israel’s August 15 assassination of Muhammed Sidr, the commander of Islamic Jihad’s Quds Brigades in Hebron….[the bomber] asserted in the video he would carry out a suicide bombing to avenge the killing of Sidr….Hamas spokesmen claimed it was also avenging the June 21 Israeli assassination of Abdullah Qawasmeh, Hamas’ local West Bank chief in Hebron.”

“The dual suicide bombings a week earlier on August 12 near Tel Aviv and near the Israeli settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank, killing two Israelis, came within four days of Israel’s August 8 assassination of Fayez Al Sadr, head of Hamas’ Qassem Brigades in the Askar refugee camp in Nablus….Both the Qassem Brigades and the Fatah-linked Aqsa Martyrs Brigades immediately vowed revenge and each claimed responsibility for one of the bombings that ensued.”

“The bloody suicide bus bombing in Jerusalem two months earlier on June 11 that killed 16 Israelis came a day after Israel’s June 10 attempted assassination of the senior Hamas political leader in Gaza, Abdel-Aziz Rantisi, which wounded him and killed four Palestinian civilians….Hamas had vowed a swift and dramatic response that came earlier than many predicted.”

“The only exception to this pattern in the past three months is that no assassination precipitated the July 8 suicide bombing in the Israeli town of Kfar Yvetz that killed an elderly Israeli woman. The Jenin branch of Islamic Jihad claimed the attack was in response to Israel’s refusal to release Palestinian prisoners, though Islamic Jihad’s official spokesman disavowed the attack.”

“It should be noted that the majority of the over 100 suicide bombings in the past three years cannot be directly correlated with Israel’s nearly 160 extra-judicial assassinations undertaken during this time. But it undeniable that, according to Palestinian sources, Israeli assassinations have also killed over one hundred civilian bystanders in the past three years fueling demands for revenge, and that militant groups frequently list assassinations as a key justification for such attacks.”

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7 Peter 08.29.03 at 12:56 AM

lull or period of calm = arabs building more bombs, Israeli army thwarting about 100 planned attack.

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8 segacs 08.29.03 at 1:17 AM

“Me”, your claim is that the reasons of the terrorist groups for their attacks actually excuse them? You think it’s justifiable to bomb a bus full of innocent civilians as “revenge” for the assassination of a terrorist leader?

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9 Me 08.29.03 at 1:06 PM

segacs,

Have I said that the killings on either side are justifiable? Hell no.

But do you think it’s justifiable to sign a truce and then start assassinating those with whom you’ve signed that truce?

Is this a plan for conflict de-escalataion or its opposite?

By the same token, do you think the killing of over 100 uninvolved civilian bystanders as part of an (illegal, by the way) assassination policy is justifiable?

So my ‘claim’ is that the Sharon government sold the idea of peace and then went about taking every action it could to achieve the very opposite.

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10 hanthala 08.30.03 at 5:37 AM

“But do you think it’s justifiable to sign a truce and then start assassinating those with whom you’ve signed that truce?”

Hell no.

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11 Realist 08.31.03 at 3:45 PM

Actually, Israel didn’t sign any truce. If you all should recall, the ceasefire was a one sided initiative.

The only agreement that Israel has agreed to is the roadmap (which mapquest probably could have made a better one)

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12 Me 08.31.03 at 5:23 PM

Realist,

You’re right, the truce was unilateral. However, it is linked to the road map in that it was the PA’s way of halting the violence from the Palestinian side, as per the requirements of the roadmap. What was signed was the road map, which also called on the Israeli government to halt the violence (among other things) from its side.

So you can replace ‘truce’ in my question above with ‘cease-fire,’ which was agreed to by both parties within the framework of the road map.

The question still holds. The terms were still violated.

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13 Realist 08.31.03 at 6:41 PM

Actually, the Israelis never signed anything on the roadmap either. Nobody did. The ‘roadmap’ is just a concept that nobody is technically bound to.

Now we could sit here and go back and forth on how Israel hasn’t done X on the roadmap and how the Palestinians haven’t done Y. But would that really make the world a better place?

The reality is that there is a war going on and people are being killed. On one side the death of innocence is the objective and is celebrated. On the other it is minimized.

Now there are innocent palestinians who are being killed. And yes, I would consider blowing up a car on a street with rockets as minimizing risk of wrongfull deaths. Would it be better if Israel used carpet bombing? Again, this is a war and I don’t care how carefull you are, innocent people will die.

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14 Me 09.02.03 at 12:05 AM

Realist,

Some reading for you:

Annan welcomes Israeli acceptance of Middle East peace plan
27 May – Secretary-General Kofi Annan today welcomed the decision taken by the Israeli Government to accept the Road Map, and underscored the commitment of the United Nations, along with the other Quartet partners – the European Union, Russian Federation and United States – to helping both sides achieve the plan’s vision of two states within three years. [www.un.org/apps/news/storyAr.asp?NewsID=7211&Cr=palestin&Cr1=]

Annan welcomes ‘critically important’ Israeli-Palestinian agreement
28 June – The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has welcomed the agreement reached on Friday by the Government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority and underscored the important role played by the United States in bringing about the accord. [www.un.org/apps/news/storyAr.asp?NewsID=7568&Cr=palestin&Cr1=]

UN envoy condemns Israel’s extra-judicial assassinations
25 August(Acting High Commissioner for Human Rights, Bertrand Ramcharan:)”Such acts of violence on both sides are severe and unacceptable breaches of the truce agreed upon by the Palestinian Authority and Israel and work against all efforts carried out so far within the Road Map process to achieve a just and sustainable peace in the region,” he said in a statement.
[www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=8060&Cr=middle&Cr1=east]

So did you catch the parts above about where both sides had AGREED to the the roadmap and the truce?

Now you can, if you want, continue to argue that these are just ‘concepts’ that neither side is ‘technically’ bound to, but if agreements such as these are considered throwaway pieces that mean nothing, (to return the question) how does that make the world a better place?

And, Realist, the reality is not that there is a war going on (between the largest military power in the region and a people without an army). If you want to be real, what’s happening is that there is a military occupation going on, there is a transferring out of the local population, there is a transferring in of a foreign occupation, there is collective punishment, there is the destruction of vital infrastructure, there is a public policy of assassination (the only country in the world to publicly implement such a policy), there is an ongoing land-grab — all of which are rendered illegal by international and humanitarian law — by documents, that is, that Israel has signed. By these laws that Israel is ‘technically bound to,’ such acts are considered war crimes.

Are these laws also, for you, throwaway peices that none of the signatories should be ‘bound to’? If not, then playing the ‘who didn’t fulfill their requirements’ game is not only useful, but necessary to maintain the validity of such laws. Or does raw power trump legality and human rights, for you?

As for your defense of the IDF by comparing their ‘minimal’ actions — which are war crimes by international laws t

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15 Me 09.02.03 at 12:05 AM

As for your defense of the IDF by comparing their ‘minimal’ actions — which are war crimes by international laws to which Israel is a signatory — to potential carpet bombing, we could apply your logic also to the Sept. 11 terrorists, who, by restricting their destruction to the WTC and not wiping out the entirety of Manhattan, also ‘minimized’ the risk of wrongful deaths.

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16 Realist 09.02.03 at 11:20 PM

Me, (or would it be you?)

I never argued that both sides didn’t AGREE to the roadmap. I just stated that they’re not legally bound to it by international law.

And yes, the land is occupied. As it was for many years prior to Israel’s even existance. The only thing Israel is guilty of is not solving the problem (though they have tried).

I like to see your evidence of your accusation of ‘transfering’ of the local population. I’ve read that a hundred times and still no evidence (and don’t give me a story of a few people who claim it happened to them in 1948. If you want to make serious accusations then I want evidence of serious violations, not issolated incedences).

As for the collective punishment part, i.e curfews, I’m not a big fan of, but the issue could be debated on its necessity.

Israel is not the only country in the world to use targetted killings. The US started the Iraq war that way! (though they failed).

By law, it can be argued that any land taken by Israel is legit because the land was conquered in war. The only caviat is that if the land is taken it must be expropriated (like Jerusalem was) and all inhabitants given the right to citzenship.

Now, if Israel was commiting these war crimes, why hasn’t the UN done anything? hmmm…. maybe because THEY DON’T COMMIT WAR CRIMES. Or maybe its just a Jewish conspiracy….

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17 Me 09.04.03 at 3:51 PM

unRealist,

Transfer’s going on every day — houses demolished, markets razed, land appropriated, settlements constructed & inhabitted (all illegally) — read the news.

Israel is the only country in the world to have ‘targetted killings’ on paper as part of its public policy — despite the fact that it is illegal (as the term ‘extra-judicial’ underlines). Look it up.

Whether or not you consider the land occupied in 1967 legitimate, its inhabitants cannot be transferred, illegally detained, collectively punished, assassinated, private property and vital infrastructure cannot be destroyed, land appropriated, settlements built — this is still against international law. Doing so constitutes war crimes — look it up if you want evidence.

The UN has delivered warnings and resolutions aplenty to try and stop the war crimes committed by the Israeli state, but to no avail — the country refuses to listen and the UN has no mandate or influence (particularly with the US-Israel nexus) to use force. Look it up.

But then again, this could all just be a conspiracy mounted by human rights organisations (including Jewish ones), the UN, and the rest of the world (including diaspora Jews) — irrationally, with no cause whatsoever — against Israel.

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18 Realist 09.06.03 at 5:21 PM

Me,

You seem not to understand the art of debate. I will not look anything up. That is your job. I will provide evidence to support my claims and I will not search for evidence to support yours.

I asked for proof of your claims, you told me to look it up. That just shows me the you’re just talking out of your ass, parroting what you’ve heard before.

And don’t bother showing me UN resolutions from the General Assembly, they’re meaningless and often anti-semetic.

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