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Israel Exerts Pressure On Hamas Politicians To Halt Rocketing Of Sderot

Palestinians Rush To U.N. Security Council Demanding Immediate Cease-Fire

'Should Israel Be Required To Abide By Queensbury Rules While Palestinians Continually Hit Below The Belt'

Palestinian democracy - rule by gunmen (Photo: Amit Shabi)

The Palestinian rockets continued crashing into Sderot this week killing and wounding Israeli civilians. One of Israel's responses is to arrest Hamas politicians and IsraCast points to the possibility that they may also face targeted killing if they do not halt the Qassams from Gaza.

:: IsraCast Audio ::

Israel has stepped up its counter terror operations in Gaza in order to stem the Palestinian rocketing of Sderot. This time, Hamas politicians are being held responsible for the actions of Hamas terrorists.

Palestinian terrorists have turned the strip into a base for attacks on Israel
(Map from 'Near East report' - Aipac)

It is the ultimate Palestinian Chutzpah: Palestinians in Gaza first launch over 200 rockets at Sderot and Israeli villages within a week and a half. One Israeli woman is killed, dozens of civilians suffer injuries and shock while the whole town has been utterly terrorized. It's estimated that some ten-thousand citizens, half of Sderot's population have fled. When Israel responds by stepping up counter-terror operations, the Palestinians rush to the U.N. Security Council charging Israeli aggression and demanding an immediate cease-fire to be monitored by international inspectors. This is a snapshot of the situation after Hamas and the other terror groups launched their latest bombardment of Sderot in an effort to stem their internal bloodletting inside the Gaza Strip. What if any prospect is there of a peace process for Israel when the Palestinians cannot even coexist with each other? Palestinian human rights activist Bassam Eide has candidly declared that far more Palestinians are killed by fellow Palestinians than in the conflict with Israel.

In addition to pin- point air strikes, Israel also arrested 33 Hamas members with political connections including the Education Minister.This upping of the ante was a message to Hamas politicians - Israel will no longer agree to their enjoying immunity after calling for Israel's destruction and giving the green light for the Hamas military wing to wage terrorism against the Jewish state. In other words, the Hamas political leadership will now be held responsible for Hamas terrorists who launch Qassam rockets at Israeli population centers. At present, they have only been detained as opposed to Israel's targeted killing of known terrorist chiefs. However, it is conceivable that if Hamas does not get the message, the next upping of the ante could be the targeted killing of Hamas members who hold political positions. Earlier this week, Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh warned that even Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh 'was not immune'. This approach is the alternative to launching a major ground operation into the Gaza Strip if the outrageous rocketing of Sderot is not halted. It should be kept in mind by critics who will no doubt vent their fury on Israel for interfering with the 'democratically elected Palestinian government'. As if by some convoluted logic the democratic election of a terrorist organization automatically grants its political leaders immunity for what its agents perpetrate. And as if Palestinian society, ruled by gunmen in the streets, can be viewed as a democracy in any sense of the word.

Palestinians launching Qassam rockets on Israel

Political scientist Francis Fukuyama recently wrote in the International Herald Tribune: 'Long before you have a liberal democracy you have to have a functioning state' (Something that never disappeared in Germany and Japan after World War II). And speaking of Germany, wasn't the National Socialist government of Adolf Hitler democratically elected? One wonders why the Israeli government agreed to accept the cock-eyed distinction between Hamas politicians and terrorists. But apparently this has to do with the exigencies of international politics. It was certainly not the case with the British government's policy when it came to coping with Sinn Fein and the I.R.A.in northern Ireland. The Brits categorically demanded a total halt to I.R.A.terrorism and even the proscribing of I.R.A weapons before a political accord could be negotiated and finalized. For the record, the Brits conducted a clandestine policy of targeted killing of I.R.A. terrorists, that was suppressed in the British media. The British Home Office issued strict gag orders that 'it was not in the public interest'. It was only in 1988, when theS.A.S. shot dead three unarmed I.R.A. members on a street in Gibraltar that the issue of British targeted killing made the headlines.

What does it all boil down to? Simply this: ' Should Israel be asked to comply with Queens-bury rules when the Palestinians continually hit below the belt?'

David Essing

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