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Iran, Sudan, Gaza and Israel

Sudan Accuses Israel Of Bombing Palestinian Munitions Plant In Khartoum - Could This Have Been An Israeli Signal To Iran?

Tense Quiet Returns To Israeli-Gaza Border After Latest Flare-Up, But For How long?

 The Israeli-Gaza border: Hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians have come out of their bomb shelters this morning after being bombarded by some eighty rockets and mortars. Kids went back to school and their parents left for work. But for how long? During the flare-up, Israeli aircraft and tanks targeted the Palestinian rocket teams. Amid the cross border fireworks, a mysterious explosion demolished a munitions plant in Sudan that was supplying weapons to the Palestinians. Khartoum pointed the finger at Israel - four Israeli jets had bombed the site. Jerusalem did not confirm or deny. Analyst David Essing concludes there are more questions than answers after the latest conflagration.

Iron Dome battery (photo: IDF)

 The vicious cycle of violence between Gaza and Israel is far from over and may have entered a new phase. How how did this latest clash differ from previous encounters? In the past, the rocketing tended to be more sporadic and not coordinated. However, this time the Palestinians stepped up their firepower by launching some eighty rockets and mortars in salvoes during less than twenty four hours. Apparently, they were trying to neutralize Israel's Iron Dome defense system by firing large quantities of rockets simultaneously. Fortunately, Israeli intelligence concluded the main barrage would come early in the morning of Oct. 24, when Israeli children would be leaving for school. They were right. Just before seven o'clock, the rockets came crashing into into Israeli communities along the Gaza border. This indicates that Hamas had actually coordinated the barrage. Nearly all the civilians were in the 'safe room' of their homes, otherwise the casualties would have much higher than five injured. (On this score, some residents wanted to know that if the IDF had advance information, why were Israeli choppers not in the air to target immediately the terrorists launching the rockets?)

The vicious circle: The aim of Hamas, like its benefactor Iran, is to wipe Israel off the map. Its modus operandi is to conduct cross border terror attacks by relentless rocketing of Israeli civilians and attacks on IDF soldiers. In response, the IDF is constantly on the alert to preempt these attacks by taking out rocket squads before they can launch. However Channel One's Gaza commentator Oded Granot says Hamas is trying to set new rules. Previously it acquiesced in the IDF's retaliating after a rocket attack but now it is responding in strength to any preemptive Israeli strike. For example, over the past two weeks IDF choppers have killed ten terrorists who were preparing to launch rockets. Then an Israeli officer was seriously wounded by an explosive charge planted on the border fence. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu immediately declared: " Israel will response in force!' And note this statement from Defense Minister Ehud Barak while visiting the border area: "Israel will not hesitate to conduct any operation that is required to protect Israeli civilians"!

Sudan: On the same day came dramatic news came from Sudan's capital of Khartoum, some 1,900 kilometers (over 1,100 miles ) distance from Israel. A huge nightime explosion had demolished a munitions factory or depot that was suspected of supplying Hamas in Gaza. Sudanese officials charged that four Israeli jets had swept in from over the Red Sea and bombed the site. In Jerusalem, Israeli officials refused to comment. In the past, foreign sources have disclosed that Israeli aircraft bombed truck convoys in Sudan while transporting weapons to Gaza. What is known is that Iran ships rockets and weapons to Sudan where they are then smuggled through neighboring Egypt into Gaza.

Bear this in mind: if Israeli jets did carry out such a mission to Khartoum the distance is greater than to the nuclear sites in Iran. For example the flight to the underground facility are Fordo is calculated to be 1,600 kilometers ( 960 miles). Granted there is a big difference between one flight of four jets and the far greater number of aircraft that would be required to neutralize Iran's nuclear weapons sites, but.....

David Essing

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