With the news today that Israel killed four wanted Palestinian militants in Bethlehem, comes the realization that Israel may not really want a ceasefire in its war against Hamas. Egypt for the past week or so has been negotiating in earnest with the main Palestinian factions on a comprehensive ceasefire with Israel that would include freeing Gilad Shalit. This has been one of the most promising developments in weeks. Senior Israeli officials too have visited Egypt as part of the process. It looked real. For their part, the factions firing on Israel have essentially stopped their actions.
So for the IDF to kill these individuals means one of two things. Either the IDF is prosecuting a rogue military policy that is attempting to end the ceasefire option; or the Israeli government sees no real need in pursuing the ceasefire route. In either case, I think the people of Sdeort and Ashkelon should be asking why they have to be the sacrificial victims of IDF or government machinations. For the only real victims of the Israeli raid in Bethlehem will be the Israeli civilians targeted in Palestinian reprisal rocket attacks. And Gilad Shalit’s parents should be asking the Israeli media whether the government truly wants to free their son or merely use him in a propaganda project against Hamas.
It should also be noted that one of those killed had applied for amnesty from the Palestinian Authority, which meant that he had expressed a willingness to renounce his violent past in return for amnesty. Israel had refused the PA request. Here we have yet another example of Israel refusing to accept an olive branch when it is offered.
Israel gets four terrorists in a targeted killing without even scratching any civilians or innocent bystanders, and rather than congratulate the troops, you scorn them. Israel has always maintained since it has withdrawn from Gaza that a ceasefire in Gaza does not include Judea and Samaria. If the Hamas can’t live with that, it’s not Israel’s fault. Israel can’t afford to have terrorists operating from the more porous West Bank unincumbered.
No, it means he was trying to save his own ass, after undoudebtly sending others to die in homicidal suicide missions. He probably was looking to switch to a desk job. Israel agreed to give amnesty to many Fatah terrorist so if his request was refused, there was probably a reason.
It’s interesting how Arab violations of cease fires are routinely ignored by the media (and you). The NY Times article you link to dated March 13 is referring to a 5 day lull in the violence. Well, it’s true that Israel had not done anything in gaza for five days, but Hamas fired a Grad rocket to Ashkelon on March 11, which was completely unprovoked. The NY Times doesn’t seem to find a rocket attack on a residential city as being violent. I noticed that you didn’t blog about the Hamas “doing its best to destroy Egyptian ceasefire plan” after the unprovoked Hamas attack. One of your readers once wrote that Israel started the latest round of violence after a period of “relative quiet” as though a low level of rocket attacks against civilians should be acceptable.
Richard Silverstein says
Even the IDF admits that they were planning no imminent attack. The terror acts they may’ve been responsible for were years ago. That means it was an extrajudicial assassination. Why should I congratulate the IDF for an act that comes awfully close to being a war crime???
You are the perfect automaton citizen for the national security state. Question nothing; trust your betters; do as you’re told. If they killed him then the IDF must’ve had a good reason for doing so. That’s good enough for me. See no evil; speak no evil; hear no evil.
I did not hear that Hamas was responsible for breaking the ceasefire & would insist that you provide evidence for this claim. Second, as usual the rocket caused no damage. Israel, on the other hand killed five militants in a single day to break the ceasefire. Which is more egregeous??
Absolutely not true. From Haaretz : “the Shin Bet claims the four were at the head of a network planning more terror attacks.” Though the “specific” attack was unknown. You confuse specific with imminent, not the same thing.
No it wasn’t. Again from Haaretz: “Muhamad Shahade, one of the most wanted terrorist suspects of Islamic Jihad, was killed when the Israel Police special anti-terrorist unit attempted to arrest him.”
The grad came from Gaza. Hamas is in control of Gaza. That’s good enough for me. Did Hamas claim they did not fire the grad, that they apologize, that it wasn’t under their control, did they arrest the perpretators? Do you really expect Israel to play into the “good cop, bad cop” routine (with Hamas as the good cop no less). Sorry, we’ve been there, tried that. And anyway, the terrorists killed were not from Gaza and didn’t belong to Hamas anyway.
Thank God for that. On a humane level that’s very important. Otherwise (politically), it makes no difference. Killing people or not, firing missiles at Israeli cities is not a reality we, or anyone else is willing to accept and consider a legitimate part of a cease fire.
Obviously firing a missile with deadly intent on civilians is more egregious than killing for known terrorists in a battle that ensues after an attempt at arresting them is made.
Richard Silverstein says
The Shin Bet can claim the moon is made of green cheese, but you’ll notice they never provide any proof. Only the credulous like you believe everything they tell you.
Here is what another Haaretz story said:
The only incident which they describe specifically happened in 2000. The rest is vague unsubstantiated claims.
They “attempted to arrest him?” How do you know what happened? The police unit tells a reporter they attempt ed to arrest him, the reporter dutifully records it like the cipher he is & you dutifully imbibe it like it’s your mother’s milk. If they were arresting him then why did they kill not only him but everyone in the car?
Again, the credulous soul. That’s like saying Baruch Goldstein was Israeli, therefore all Israelis are responsible for his act of terror. It’s preposterous. When you can point to any proof that Hamas was actually & directly responsible for the firing let me know.
You are a moral cretin I’m sorry to say. How many Israeli civilians have been killed by Palestinian rockets? Maybe 15. How many Palestinian civililans have been killed by the IDF in the same period? Thousands. Don’t get me started. And if you keep arguing in such a morally bankrupt fashion I’ll get tire of you really fast & ban your ass yet again.
And yr scenario for this alleged “gun battle” instigated by the Palestinians is pure fiction unsupported by a shred of evidence. If you have any provide it. They could just as easily have been liquidated w/o a fight.
Richard Silverstein says
Amir: This is what the NY Times says:
A tad inconvenient for you, isn’t it? Or do you automatically discount Palestinian sources while automatically crediting Israeli intelligence & military sources?
If it’s easier for you to ban me than to argue with me or ignore me, then go ahead and ban me.
This is from ynet.news: “Muhammad Shahade, an Islamic Jihad operative who Palestinian sources say was behind the terror attack in Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem last week, has been killed by IDF forces in Bethlehem”
So it appears that Palestinian sources have been providing different accounts of this person Shehade. The fact that Shehade had recently converted to a Shiite and was burried draped in a Hizballah flag, and Hizballah is believed to be behind the Mercaz Harav massacre, gives more credence to the theory that he was still an active terrorist.
Baruch Goldstein was a lone gunman. A grad missile is not something you put together in your backyard. I’ll also add that according to Haaretz for the entire duration of the so called “lull” Palestinians fired mortars at Israeli posts outside of the Gaza strip. Not exactly my definition of a cease fire or a lull.
It’s interesting how difficult it is for you do discuss an issue without continuously hurling personal insults at me, in spite of the fact that I have been leaving very civil comments on your blog, that you just happen to disagree with. How about some derech eretz as you would say.
Richard Silverstein says
Oh please. You’ve published scores if not hundreds of comments here. Stop with the maudlin dramatics. And I’ve spent thousands of words arguing with you.
Saying Baruch Goldstein was a “lone gunman” is like saying that the Merkaz Harav shooter was a lone gunman. Neither could exist isolated fr. their particular extremist social, political & religious context. Terrorists don’t spring from nowhere. They come from somewhere. They are nurtured in a particular milieu. Their hatreds are nursed in a specific community. Both are still celebrated & revered in those particular contexts.
If you don’t like being called a “moral cretin” then be halfway honest & acknowledge what is evident to everyone but you–that extrajudicial killing & especially the killing of thousands of Palestinian civilians by the IDF is a far more heinous & damaging act than the firing of a rocket. Again, I’m not defending the firing of rockets which I deplore. But people like you seem to stick their head in the sand by painting a moral equivalence between Israeli & Palestinian terror.