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July 1, 2006
Israel Follows Through On Threat

According to an MS-NBC report, the Israelis have made good on their threat to target Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in the war that the Palestinians touched off by kidnapping an Israeli soldier on Israeli land. The IDF bombed the Hamas Prime Minister's offices earlier, according to witnesses who saw the attack (h/t Michael van der Galien, also of TMV):

An Israeli helicopter gunship fired at least one missile at the Gaza City office of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh early on Sunday, witnesses said.

They said Haniyeh, a top Hamas official, was not believed to be in the office at the time.

On Saturday, Palestinian militants holding an Israeli soldier issued a new set of demands, calling for the release of 1,000 prisoners and a halt to Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. But Israel rejected them.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian deputy minister of prisoner affairs, Ziad Abu Aen, said mediators had told him the Israeli soldier, Cpl. Gilad Shalit, was injured in the June 25 raid in which he was captured but was alive. “He has three wounds. I guess shrapnel wounds,” Abu Aen said, adding that Shalit was in stable condition.

The attack sent a message to Haniyeh. The Israelis knew his offices would not be occupied early on a Sunday morning, especially after the capture of dozens of his parliamentary contingent and Cabinet officials. They wanted to make sure that Haniyeh understands that this situation has no relation to the normal rhetorical banter. The IDF will kill Haniyeh if given the chance as an answer to the ridiculous demands of Gilad Shalit's kidnappers.

MS-NBC's report shows that the Israelis have correctly deduced the nature of the abduction. The Palestinian Authority knows how to find Shalit and knows who committed an act of war on their behalf. Instead of arresting them and returning Shalit to the Israelis, the Palestinian Authority has decided to allow these terrorists to conduct negotiations with a sovereign state to resolve the crisis. Even if the terrorists did not have the imprimatur of the PA when they raided Israel from unoccupied Gaza, which is highly unlikely, the PA's actions in the aftermath means that they have taken responsibility for those acts.

The Palestinian endorsement, tacit or explicit, makes them complicit in this act of war. Israel has finally taken them at their word, after months of rocket attacks from Gaza that the PA refused to address. The Palestinians got the war they demanded when they put Hamas in charge and failed to strip the terrorist groups of their arms, and the West should take no action to shield them from the consequences of their own actions.

UPDATE: Had the time wrong; correction courtesy of Arb in the comments.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 1, 2006 6:46 PM

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» Israel Really Isn't Playing from My Side of the Couch
I look at this two ways. It's either good or bad, and there is no in between. First the good, which is probably less likely: The Palestinian guy is rattled. He pulls strings, and gets the Israeli soldier freed. More likely, however, is the bad: [Read More]

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» Israel lives up to its threat to target Hamas PM from Morning Coffee
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