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The Palestinians acted surprised when Israel responded to the launching of dozens of Katyusha rockets at their cities by bombing Gaza and arresting hundreds of Hamas terrorists, an act that the Palestinian Authority refuses to contemplate. As the Israeli response to the Palestinian provocation became clear, the PA proved its disconnection from reality by warning that the cease-fire might not hold if Israel didn't stop its retaliation:
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has ordered "unrestricted" military strikes against Palestinian militants after rocket attacks from Gaza.
Overnight Israeli aircraft launched a series of air raids, injuring several people, and arrested more than 200 suspected militants in the West Bank.
Israel has also taken the unprecedented step of posting artillery pieces on the border with Gaza, and practice-firing.
Palestinians warned the moves could force a ceasefire to collapse.
As I wrote yesterday, the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza brought an entirely new set of circumstances to the use of military force. The abandonment of the settlements and the removal of Israeli troops took away the excuse of a 'legitimate fight against an unjust occupation' that the UN allowed the murderers and terrorists of Hamas and Islamic Jihad to spew for killing women and children in pizzerias and buses. It makes such rocket attacks open acts of war, for which the government nominally in control of the territory must take responsibility.
That means that the Israelis have every right to respond to an attack on their country when presented with such a casus belli, and they have done so. The Palestinians appealed to the US, which has all too often yanked a diplomatic leash on Israel, but not this time. The BBC reports that the American response, translated from Diplomatese, says, "Don't expect us to pull your bacon from the fire this time." The EU and UN, useless as ever, appealed to "both sides" for "restraint", instead of forcing the Palestinians to take responsibility for security in Gaza. Had the Palestinians not fired 40 rockets at Israeli cities, then this reponse would not have happened.
Israel also captured the leader of Hamas in their West Bank raids yesterday, Hassan Yousef, and announced that they would once again resume targeting the leaders of terrorist groups for military attack. In return, Hamas demonstrated its own self-delusion by warning Israel that it would once again start attacking within "the Zionist entity", a threat which seems empty when the rockets have already fallen within Israel.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad couldn't live in unoccupied Palestinian territory for two weeks without launching such attacks, and the PA couldn't or wouldn't prevent them from doing so. They provoked an appropriately major military response from Israel and now want to hide behind the tired rhetoric and failed excuses of the past. All they have done is prove Ariel Sharon's political brilliance.Sphere It View blog reactions
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Tracked on September 25, 2005 9:49 AM
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Tracked on September 26, 2005 6:36 AM
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Tracked on September 26, 2005 8:09 PM
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