According to Associated Press reports, Gaza’s Hamas rulers recently deployed forces near the Israeli border to “try to prevent smaller militant groups from firing rockets.”
The story says this is a sign that Hamas “fears Israeli retaliation for the escalating barrages from the Palestinian territory.”
This would seem to prove that “showing restraint,” as much of the world has been infuriatingly insisting Israel do when attacked, doesn’t work nearly as well as does striking back hard, quickly and with purpose.
That’s assuming, of course, that one’s goal is to stop the attacks against Israel and achieve peace in the region. If, on the other hand, one’s goal is Israel’s destruction and the elimination of the Jews, then the appeasement strategy of the past couple of decades has been working swell.
The Israeli military says at least 25 rockets and mortar shells have exploded in Israel this month, wounding several, one seriously, according to the story. It says that Israel has “been hitting back for each salvo with airstrikes aimed at weapons storage facilities and factories,” and “smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border.”
In response, Hamas leaders called together representatives of militant groups and told them to hold their fire, according to the story.
The Islamist group appears to be afraid of sparking another big Israeli military campaign like the one two years ago which the world condemned with cries of “excessive force,” but which seems, much like the widely maligned security barrier, to have worked.
It’s been relatively quiet since then, but the frequency of rocket attacks has been slowly increasing in recent weeks, the story notes.
The story says Israel holds Hamas responsible for all violence emanating from Gaza, though Hamas blames smaller groups for the recent rocket fire.
And, of course, it doesn’t matter who’s doing it. It’s Hamas’ area, it’s Hamas’ responsibility. Otherwise they could blame splinter groups for ongoing attacks against Israel into eternity.
So, Hamas assembled the militant groups after Egypt warned them that Israel “was serious about bringing the rocket fire to an end,” A.P. reports.
Hamas strongman Mahmoud Zahar was said to have warned them that they were “playing with fire,” which is exactly what the Palestinians and the “Arab street” in general need to know and believe.
It is the Arabs themselves that are going to have to stop the violence — be it from Gaza or Yemen or in Darfur, France, the Netherlands or the United States. And the only way that’s going to happen is if they are convinced that it is in their best interest to do so. Or, put the other way, that it is extremely expensive and painful to continue.
This seems to show that when they know for sure that a terrible, deadly response will come as a result of violence directed outward, they are more inclined to stop the violence.
What this does is put the onus on Hamas to protect its people by not provoking an Israeli counter-attack, which is as it should be and this seems to be precisely what’s happening.
According to the A.P., soon after the meeting, “Hamas police were seen at checkpoints and police posts that had been abandoned earlier…, as they moved to enforce the cease-fire and stop the rocket fire.”
No Israeli soldier has to risk his life trying to stop the rockets. Hamas is doing it.
I rest my case.
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