The View From My Veranda
Sheila's Letter From Jerusalem
3rd January, 2009
Operation Cast Lead
Today has not been a good day for the residents of Ashdod and Ashkelon, since we have not yet succeeded in wiping out the terror cells that fire rockets at those towns, as well as Sderot, Nahal Oz and many small towns and villages within their rocket fire. They are just one of the many good reasons we have to fight against Hamas.
It is important to remember that any pictures and videos you are receiving on your television screens are those syndicated by Al Jazeera. The Mosque which every news station has reported as proof that Israel is targeting innocent civilians at prayer was not a hit by the Israeli Air Force at all. The type of explosive used is not used by the Israeli Air Force. The IAF targeted a vehicle which was passing near the Mosque, it appears that the vehicle was loaded to the brim with explosive devices and the subsequent explosion demolished the Mosque and killed and injured those within.
It must also be made clear that such is the care which Israel and the IDF is taking to ensure minimum civilian losses that our specialists drop leaflets and send recorded messages in Arabic, to all the cell phones in the Gaza Strip, giving people 10 minute warnings to leave any area which they know to be either an arsenal or centre of operations for Hamas. Hamas, whose arsenals and local HQ’s are all in highly populated areas, stop people leaving at gun-point, because incredibly the more civilian casualties the more ammunition for their war of words, after all it worked so well for Hezb-Allah in Beirut. It is absurd that callous and cynical journalists are taken in by every word they say.
Just a few hours ago the decision was made for a limited entry of ground troops into the Northern Gaza Strip; their prime targets are the rocket launching sites of Grad Missiles, unlike the older, smaller Kassam missiles which were on portable, easily identified launchers, the Grad missiles are launched from hidden silos. In addition a 20 kilometre blockade has been enforced on the coastal waters of Gaza to prevent the importation of armaments now that many of the gun-running tunnels have been wiped out. Minister of Defence Ehud Barak made an announcement on Israeli Television that although he had the support of all but two of the Cabinet; he thought and re-thought the decision to send in troops. Israel does not consider any loss of life acceptable, and every avenue is travelled in the search for an alternative. Our objective is to clear the rocket launchers and those behind the attacks from Gaza but our other danger is that the Hezb-Allah in Lebanon will choose to attack Israel from the North with the sole intent of diluting both areas of defence and catching Israel at a weakened moment. As long as the Minister of Defence is aware of that I am less concerned.
This is not a war which Israel wants; this is a war we must fight having given Hamas nearly eight years to stop firing missiles at Israeli towns. We have tried Hudnahs and every other type of break in missile firing, only to find that Hamas used the time to re-arm. Every time you hear anyone talk of Israel’s aggressiveness remember – this is the Israel DEFENCE Force, formed to defend a tiny nation with many enemies in a truly aggressive neighbourhood.
Zvi is on his way, right this minute, to the BBC’s Jerusalem studios to be interviewed about the situation. I know he will explain the why and wherefores with his usual brilliance, but I asked him to add that Israel demands moral equivalence in their judgments – but, just in case anyone is concerned – we will do what we must to defend our citizens and the sensibilities of journalists anywhere in the world is our last consideration!
I just got a phone call from Zvi. The BBC in their usual brilliant style, have moved their studios and forgot to tell him!! Maybe that is why they never get pro-Israel interviewees – they send them all on wild goose chases!!
This is a tough start to 2009, but if the IDF is able to perform a surgical, speedy entry and achieve their goals accurately and precisely and leave the people of Gaza to go back to living their lives without fear, they will ensure safety to the people of the South of Israel who have held out with stalwart heroism against a constant onslaught of rockets and missiles.
For your perusal, some articles of great interest which clarify the situation further.
From our dear friend Leonard Cole http://www.northjersey.com/opinion/36965554.html
Charles Krauthammer http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/01/AR2009010101780.html
Prof. Alan Dershowitz http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123085925621747981.html
Wishing you a good week and a peaceful 2009 for the people of Southern Israel – and indeed for the ordinary people of Gaza.