The Israeli Defence Force prepares to enter Gaza, the most densely populated region in the world, as reservists are called up to “destroy nests of terrorism”.
On Wednesday night, the Israeli security Cabinet decided to conduct a military operation in Gaza in response to the suicide bombing in Rishon Le Zion, which caused 16 Israeli deaths.
Labour Party spokesperson Ephraim Sneh declared that “There was no difference of opinion (in the Cabinet) regarding the need for our troops to intervene in the terrorists’ infrastructures in the Gaza Strip, after the lessons of Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank”.
More of the same is feared, because the suicide bomber who perpetrated the attack at Rishon Le Zion was from Jenin, the refugee camp where the IDF committed atrocities against civilians.
Shimon Peres, Israeli Foreign Minister, stated that the objective was not to conquer new territory but to “destroy the terrorists’ centres”. In the West bank, this involved the destruction of all documents, including computer hard disks, in civil administration centres, offices and buildings belonging to the Palestinian State.
The USA is not convinced this operation is a good idea, especially since Egypt has warned Israel not to perpetrate any more atrocities against civilians. White House spokesperson Ari Fleischer said on Thursday that “Israel should take its responsibilities to protect peace in the region seriously and work with a vision of peace”, while George Bush praised Palestinian president Yasser Arafat for his condemnation in public and in Arabic of the Rishon Le Zion atrocity, declaring himself “very satisfied” with the initiative and calling it “an extraordinarily positive sign”.
IDF forces yesterday mobilised Apache helicopters and tanks as they kidnapped the wife and mother of a Hamas activist to force him to give himself up in Tulkarem. It remains to be seen the overkill the IDF uses in the Gaza Strip.
It is hoped that this time, they will not bulldoze houses with civilians trapped inside, will not shoot 56-year-old women between the eyes as they leave a hospital after treatment, will not shoot dead the crews of ambulances and will not prevent the wounded from receiving medical attention, although it is recognised that the fight against terrorism is a legitimate one.
There is a difference, however, between the civilised and the savages. Acting like a savage says little for the state of Israel, or its supporter.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru