May 24, 2007

Finding The Right Motivation

Hamas has decided to enter a unilateral cease-fire with Israel and to stop the launching of rockets at Israeli cities. This sudden reversal after more than a week of constant barrage comes courtesy of an announced change in Israeli strategy -- in which they would target the political leaders of Hamas:

Israel's threat to target senior Hamas leaders in response to the Kassam rocket attacks from Gaza has prompted the group to agree to a unilateral cease-fire with Israel, Palestinian Authority officials said Wednesday.

"Hamas wants to stop the Kassam rockets. They are especially worried about reports that Israel may assassinate [PA Prime Minister] Ismail Haniyeh and [Hamas chief] Khaled Mashaal," the officials told The Jerusalem Post.

The officials were speaking shortly after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Haniyeh met in Gaza City to discuss the possibility of declaring a unilateral truce with Israel. Journalists were not allowed to cover the meeting, which was held under tight security.

"At first, Haniyeh did not want to attend the meeting because of Israeli threats to kill him," said one PA official. "The venue and time of the meeting were only agreed upon at the last minute for security reasons. Hamas is taking the Israeli threats very seriously."

Hamas officials in Syria engaged in stand-up comedy when complaining about the new Israeli strategy. They called it "state terror" and an assassination threat against "an elected prime minister". They conveniently forgot to mention his status as the head of the organization that has chucked bombs at Israeli citizens for weeks, and really off and on for years. This announcement shows that Haniyeh could have stopped these rocket attacks at any time, which makes him a terrorist first and foremost.

Normally, a nation will avoid killing the political leadership of an enemy during wartime in order to allow for a clear line of command in case of surrender. Chaos can create even greater problems than the head of state can cause while remaining in power. In this case, though, Hamas created chaos deliberately. This gave the Israelis no incentive to keep the Palestinian leadership intact, especially those belonging to the terrorist organization.

Hamas apparently didn't see the change coming. Perhaps they felt that Haniyeh and his deputies had built some international standing, and that Israel wouldn't take the risk of attacking their political leadership. Instead, Israel proved that the political leadership has no daylight between themselves and the terrorist leadership, and that they have had enough of Hamas in any form.

The next time the rockets fly, Israel should just dispense with the warning and start taking out Haniyeh and his deputies from the top down. That will make it even more clear to the next set of terrorists that replace them.

UPDATE: Apparently, Hamas didn't learn its lesson:

More than 30 senior officials from the Palestinian militant group Hamas have been detained by Israeli forces in overnight raids in the West Bank.

Those taken, mainly in Nablus, include the Palestinian education minister, three lawmakers and three mayors.

The Israeli military said the detentions were made because the officials "supported the firing of rockets" into Israel, AFP reported.

AFP and the BBC report that the captures, which included the Education Minister, took place after intensive rocket fire resumed -- which shows that Hamas has no intention of conducting any cease-fire with anyone. This mission presumably intends to serve as a final warning to Hamas leadership. We'll see if that has any effect.


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Comments (12)

Posted by Bill Faith | May 24, 2007 2:52 AM

Actually I'm a little disappointed they warned them this time. I hope they didn't make any promises like "If you stop the rockets we won't kill you." War is war. I added an excerpt and link to my 2007.05.24 Israel/Lebanon/"Palestine" roundup.

Posted by Rose | May 24, 2007 3:06 AM

Captain, I completely agree wi th you 100% on this issue.

I wonder if you have read the Book of Obadiah in the Old Testament, lately, it is only one chapter and a few verses, 21 verses.

It would infuriate the Palestinians if they knew of it - talking about them, about 3,000 years ago - date certain established AT LEAST by the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Posted by Eg | May 24, 2007 4:34 AM

Oh good, another Hamas truce that includes blanket non-stop terrorism for every Muslim while Israel agree's to give-up all rights to self-defense and sends money to finance a government dedicated to their destruction. The Islamic 'Two-Two Truce' - no truce will last longer than 2 nanoseconds or 2 feet from stepping away from the place of agreement - which ever comes first.

Posted by Carol Herman | May 24, 2007 4:34 AM

Well, the best news is that Condi isn't riding in to give Israel a list of "checkpoints she must dismantle."

And, gazoo isn't the only problem on the table. Over in Lebanon, they've got a "palestinian rebellion" on their hands. And, they're not only killing them; when the army finishes, the people in the streets, applaud.

By the way, everything, here, is "proxy." Iran's behind the crap that's going on in lebanon. And, gazoo.

While, when Israel hits buildings, they're direct. It's an amazing way of collecting information on the idiots, don't cha think? No. It's not just a question of being on defense; and waiting for the right time. It's having, in advance, a list of targets. And, then? Being in charge of choosing the moments. Good for Olmert!

By the way, things won't go "back to the way they were, here." I make this prediction, because within the armed camps of gazoo, the Fatah will seek revenge on the Ham-ass. Bound to happen, ahead. The show's not over just yet. Also, have you noticed? The talk of virgins has dropped off, some, hasn't it?

Posted by PapaBear | May 24, 2007 6:32 AM

It's a good tactic, one that's likely to work against the Pali leadership. The only message they understand is "We WILL impose unacceptable consequences on you if you make us angry"

Posted by Cybrludite [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 24, 2007 6:34 AM

Strange form of "cease-fire" where one side gets to keep shooting, and then gets to whinge when the other side shoots back.

Posted by Lightwave | May 24, 2007 6:42 AM

At this point the PA can't even control its own military arm. It's effectively gone rogue, and it's now up to Israel to stop them. The detainment raids were a good first step, but frankly until Israel makes it painfully clear that for every rocket fired, Israel will return the favor a hundredfold, Israelis will keep dying. There will never be peace. There will never be co-existence. There will only be Katushya rockets and kidnappings.

The Palestinian democracy experiment is over. The Palestinians chose a permanent state of war against Israel. We knew this more than a year ago after the votes were counted. Since then we've seen one short war and Israel is on the way to another.

It's time to take up the Palestinians on their offer. Everything short of full war has been tried and failed including years of diplomacy, aid, and political posturing. All that did was allow the people of Palestine to choose terrorists as their leaders with the mandate to destroy Israel.

It's not the Palestinian leadership that is the problem. It's the Palestinians themselves. Gloves off. Send the planes and tanks and troops in and pave the place over.

Posted by Chuck | May 24, 2007 7:08 AM

and then gets to whinge when the other side shoots back.

They seem to whine a bit too.


Posted by Fight4TheRight | May 24, 2007 7:46 AM

Bill F.,

I agree totally that the "warning" is unfortunate - I wish they would just move against the leaders and eradicate them, but at the same time, I think a driving force behind the warnings and some of the hesitation is those 3 Israeli soldiers STILL being held captive. If those soldiers had been returned, or if they actually knew where they were - i think the leadership strikes would have already happened.

I think the other issue is the media propaganda nightmare of the Lebanon action last year - Israel is very paranoid about repurcussions. I think that is insane as they will NEVER be seen in the true light when the Middle East media is controlled by the terrorists and the western media is controlled by the Lefties.

Even with the rocket attacks from Hamas, I still think the most troubling issue for Israel right now is the fact that Hezbollah's leader, I believe the name is Nasrallah, has been eeriely quiet lately.

Posted by NahnCee [TypeKey Profile Page] | May 24, 2007 8:36 AM

Chuck, "whinge" is the Aussie/Brit form of "whine". It's not a typo.

I love reading the reports in Arab on-line newspapers about the on-going Pal/Israel interactions. Arabs simply refuse to mention the on-going rocket attacks, all Pal's who are killed are civilians, and the Israeli's *always* are attacking simply for the hell of it and because they have nothing better to do.

If Arabs want to be taken seriously and treated like adults, you'd think they'd notice that the rest of us are watching as they feed each other this poisonous, ignorant tripe ... which makes it absolutely impossible to even consider them to be human, let alone partners.

Posted by patrick neid | May 24, 2007 9:41 AM

this is, as most of you have read in boring repeats over the last few years, the view i believe we should be taking with the leadership of iran, syria, hezzbolloh, al sadr, sudan etc.

why we allow these acknowledged terror leaders to sip their lattes every morning planning new methods of killing us is beyond me. if we are truly in a war on terror and the STATES THAT SPONSOR IT why are these terror leaders/generals allowed to go on shopping sprees and be feted by the UN in new york.

by cruise missiling these monsters on the same night without warning we would be well on our way to solving this war. there is no need to bomb entire countries. just start at the top and work down if need be.

Posted by KauaiBoy | May 24, 2007 2:28 PM

"by cruise missiling these monsters on the same night without warning we would be well on our way to solving this war. there is no need to bomb entire countries. just start at the top and work down if need be."

Remember , the fish stinks from the head. As Vic Romano and Kenny Blankenship would say---"Let's get it on!"