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PUNISHING QASSAM CRIME

Should Israel Consider Temporary Water & Power Cuts To Gaza In Effort To Halt Rocketing Of Sderot?

Israeli Electricity Supplied To Gaza Is Used By Terrorists To Produce Qassam Rockets

Israel's new defense minister Ehud Barak is now faced with his first challenge - how to respond to the latest Qassam rocketing of Sderot from the Gaza Strip. IsraCast is of the view that the total Hamas takeover of Gaza has altered its 'hybrid' status and that Israel should now consider new responses. These could include temporary interruptions to the water and electricity that Israel still supplies to Gaza.

power station of Ashkelon

Defense Minister Ehud Barak is now faced with his first challenge of his tenure- how to react, if at all, to the latest Qassam rocketing of Sderot. This time it comes from Hamastan, after the Hamas coup ousted all semblance of President Mahmoud Abbas in the Gaza Strip. IsraCast proposes a new Israeli response - a temporary cut in the electricity and water that Israel is continuing to supply to Gaza. The formula could be a one hour suspension for every rocket launched from Gaza; this instead of trying to strike the Qassam teams by pinpointing them by helicopters or artillery which is very difficult. The terrorists fire the rockets with delayed- action timers and flee long before the launch. They often choose launch sites inside populated areas using the local residents for cover and as a human shield. Cutting power and water cuts could impress impress upon the Palestinian residents, as they cheer the Qassams, that they will have to pay a price, not in dead and wounded but by inconvenience. Moreover, electricity supplied by Israel is utilized by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the others to actually produce their home-made rockets in Gaza. It may not be making a punishment to fit the Qassam crime, but who knows?

The total takeover by Hamas has altered the political structure of Gaza. Until now, Israel accepted the Palestinian ' good guy , bad guy routine' - Abbas was the good guy and Hamas the bad when it came to retaliation. It was similar to the differentiation that Israel accepts in Lebanon where the Lebanese government are dealt with as good guys and Hezbollah as bad. Therefore, the Lebanese government was not held responsible for Hezbollah aggression. This is a type of political hybrid. In contrast, Israel would hold the Syrian government responsible for any rocketing of Israel from its territory because Damascus is in complete control. But now that Hamas has also taken absolute control of Gaza, all of Gaza can be held accountable by Israel for all attacks emanating from its territory. In short, Gaza has forfeited its ' hybrid ' status but will Ehud Barak see it this way?

David Essing

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