(Banner will apear here)

Beautiful Kabbalah Jewelry Judaicawebstore.com
Font Size:

Israel & Gaza - 'Quiet for Quiet'

Israel's 'new rules' are now in effect in Gaza – IDF troops are now patrolling along the border prepared to prevent any fresh Palestinian violations of the cease-fire.

Benjamin Netanyahu

 After the intense eight-day conflict both sides claim victory with Israel pledging that 'quiet will be met with quiet'. However Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his government have been facing criticism for 'not finishing the job' and ordering a ground operation into Gaza to stop the repeated rocketing of Israeli civilians. Not only the Israeli residents in the south who have been terrorized for years from Gaza but also many of the IDF reserve soldiers mobilized for a ground attack, blamed Netanyahu for not going all the way. However analyst David Essing is of the view that Netanyahu along with Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman succeeded in blending military force with diplomacy in furthering Israel's national interest at this time.   

 'Quiet for Quiet': The latest ceasefire between Israel and Gaza has been put to its first test.   Several hundred young Palestinians marched on Israel's security fence that prevents cross-border attacks from Gaza. After first taunting IDF troops on the other side, some ignored Israeli warning shots in the air and swarmed toward the fence itself. Then the soldiers opened fire killing one Palestinian and wounding several others. Israel's message was clear – IDF troops had been ordered not to brook any further provocations or incursions of the ceasefire. This is a measure to forestall a repetition of past cases when the Palestinians would, little by little, violate the truce until they would be launching sporadic rockets over the security fence into Israel.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak

In a TV interview, Defense Minister Ehud Barak explained these new rules. But what if a couple of Palestinian kids stole a rocket and managed to fire it at Israel? Barak said this would not mean that Israel would retaliate automatically; it would check to verify what had transpired. If Israel ascertained that Hamas, Islamic Jihad or any of the other organizations had decided to break the ceasefire, Israel would hit back hard. In his words: "The situation on the ground will determine future developments and under no condition will Israel abdicate its right of self-defense". He rammed home that Israel had achieved its goals of ending the rocketing, dealing a severe blow to Hamas and its infrastructure, while gaining international support for its defense of Israeli civilians. And two footnotes: The Palestinians have lodged a complaint to the U.N. Security Council over the killing of the Palestinian at the security fence! Second, Hamas has reportedly stationed its security personnel along the border to prevent Palestinians from again marching to the border barrier. 

A second test may be in the offing – it is unclear how the ceasefire relates to arms smuggling into Gaza. Both Hamas and Islamic Jihad claim the truce bars Israel from acting to prevent   arms smuggling that has included the Iranian Fajr missiles which were launched at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

IDF troops near the Gaza Strip

Iron Dome's strategic breakthrough… Consider the figures: Hamas and the other terror groups launched some 1500 rockets at Israel during the eight day confrontation but only fifty-eight landed inside Israeli populated places. The Iron Dome missile defense shield intercepted 422 that were on target. That is a success rate of over 86%! But Iron Dome determined that most of the Gaza missiles would not land in Israeli populated areas and allowed them to explode harmlessly in vacant areas, saving the expensive Israeli interceptors. When this capability is included, Iron Dome scored close to a phenomenal 95%! Just imagine if those 422 rockets had also landed inside populated Israeli places – as it was six Israelis were killed by the 58 rockets that did. At that rate over forty Israelis would have been killed and over 1500 others wounded. The government could not have tolerated such casualties and would have ordered the IDF to immediately launch a ground operation into Gaza.

Ironically, Israel's Iron Dome defense saved many Palestinian lives because many more Palestinians would have been hit, in addition to the 105 civilians and 55 militants who were killed by the precise explosives used by the IDF in attacking some 1500 terrorist targets. By comparison in Afghanistan, where a similar type of warfare is being waged, the U.S. military and NATO force ratio for its 'collateral damage' is far higher than the IDF's 'Operation Pillar of Defense'. 

Iron Dome battery (photo: IDF)

Defense Ministers Amir Peretz and Ehud Barak gave the green light to develop Israel's Iron Dome project instead of purchasing the American designed Nautilus laser defense that had a performance ratio of only 50%. Moreover it was found to be ineffective when there was cloud cover. Dr. Danny Gold, an IDF Brig.Gen.(res), was the driving force behind the project that moved full steam ahead by Defense Minister Ehud Barak in 2007. His predecessor, Amir Peretz, a resident of the much rocketed Israeli town of Sderot, had earlier approved its development but was opposed by IDF Chief of Staff Gaby Ashkenazi and some vested interests. Gold was convinced that his team of young engineers, graduates from the Technion in Haifa, could produce an effective defense system to cope with the mounting rockets being fired from Gaza into Israel.

With the escalation in the rocketing after the previous Cast Lead operation in 2008, the Iron Dome team worked three years non-stop without taking a day off. They were on the job from Sunday through to Friday, would take half of Saturday off but show up for work again on Saturday night! The people of Israel are greatly indebted to their contribution and dedication. The U.S. financed the project to the tune of $275 million and five batteries are deployed in the field with more in the pipeline. It is considered to be the only missile defense system of its kind and apparently Israeli missile technology has now proved it is second to none. Israel already has deployed the Arrow, a  long range missile defense system that is designed to knock out incoming Iranian ballistic missiles that could potentially be  armed with nuclear warheads. Research is also underway on 'David's Sling' that is being designed to intercept intermediate range missiles. The goal is to provide a three-tier missile defense for the entire country. Obviously the top secret Iron Dome technology is being made available to the U.S. and is another example of Israel's strategic contribution to its American ally.

PS: The New York Times carried an article from Washington entitled: 'The Israel Gaza Conflict is Test for Iran Confrontation' which insinuates that Israel had deliberately started a bloody practice run for an attack on Iran – at least that is what some of its readers were led to believe. To the best of my knowledge no serious analysts here in Israel or rival politicians in the current election campaign have even hinted at such a possibility. Although the New York Times may not have paid much attention to the escalation in Hamas rocketing of Israeli civilians or the firing of an antitank missile at an Israeli jeep, before Ahmed Jabari was assassinated, does not mean they did not happen. Obviously, Iran and Hezbollah have to be very worried about Israel's new capability to defend against the terrorist rocketing of its civilian population but it is nonsense to infer that Israel went to war against Gaza for an ulterior motive.

David Essing

Back To The Top