fbpx
Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Israel weighs novel ideas to counter Hamas rockets

Enjoying this article?

You'll love our roundtable.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Hamas leaders are warning that their attacks will push beyond Ashkelon, leaving many Israelis to worry that Tel Aviv, too, will soon become a target.

Israel is weighing several military options to counter this threat. They include limited pinpoint ground operations like the one concluded Monday, targeted assassinations of Hamas leaders and operatives, firing back at the sources of rocket fire irrespective of their location in civilian areas and a full-scale land offensive to smash Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure, perhaps even reoccupying Gaza for months on end.

Some Israeli Cabinet ministers favor talking to Hamas and negotiating a long-term cease-fire. The Egyptians also are working behind the scenes on a cease-fire deal that would include a prisoner exchange involving Cpl. Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held captive in Gaza since a cross-border attack in June 2006.

The Israeli operation in Gaza that concluded Monday was the result of several factors.

In targeting Ashkelon, Hamas had crossed a red line, compelling Israel to respond in kind. But Israel also wanted to break what had become an unacceptable routine equation: Hamas fires intermittently at Israeli targets and, after Israel retaliates, the Islamist organization showers down dozens of rockets to deter the army from harsher measures or retaliating anew.

- Advertisement -

This allowed Hamas to call the shots and make it appear as though Israel was the aggressor and Hamas was only retaliating.

Last Friday, however, Israel sent ground troops into a sensitive area between Beit Hanoun and the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza often used as a launching pad for Qassam rockets.

Although limited in scope, it was a much larger Israeli operation than past raids. As the soldiers fought in tough urban conditions, the Israeli Air Force hit rocket workshops and squads, a truck carrying 160 shells, and symbols of Hamas authority, including the offices of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, the deposed Palestinian Authority prime minister.

By the time the troops pulled out Monday morning, an estimated 100 Palestinians had been killed, most of them combatants but civilians as well. Israel lost two soldiers in the fighting.

Despite the civilian death toll, Israel insisted it had targeted only terrorists. The aim of the limited operation, Israeli officials said, was to show Hamas that Israel is capable of exacting a heavy price in terms of personnel and resources for Hamas’ continued rocket fire.

After the Israeli pullback, however, Hamas claimed victory, arguing that its fighters had forced the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to withdraw. To show it was not cowed, Hamas continued firing rockets, including Grad missiles, at Ashkelon.

Now Israel is considering ratcheting up the military pressure on Hamas even further.

Over the weekend, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert authorized the targeting of all Hamas leaders, including Haniyeh.

Another option under discussion would see Israeli artillery batteries fire back at the sites of rocket fire within seconds of every rocket launching. This could cause considerable civilian casualties, since rocket launchers often fire from heavily populated urban areas.

Israel’s deputy prime minister, Haim Ramon, is pushing for this kind of response. He says it would be highly effective and that it is within the bounds of international law.

“The rocket launchers are war criminals, deliberately firing at civilians,” he said. “International law allows the party attacked to fire back at the precise area from which they are shooting.”

On Monday, top Israeli decision makers met with leading jurists for a legal ruling.

Whether or not this controversial tactic is adopted, more sharp ground operations, like the one just concluded, are likely.

If all this fails to deter Hamas, Defense Minister Ehud Barak suggested the next step will be a major ground invasion of Gaza. The question is over exit strategy.

Israeli hard-liners are calling for an operation along the lines of 2002’s Operation Defensive Shield in the West Bank. That would put the IDF in control of Gaza and in a position to prevent Hamas rocket fire.

Staying in Gaza, however, would leave Israeli soldiers vulnerable to attack, just as they were during the years of they were in control of the strip and of southern Lebanon. Therefore, the IDF says, the troops should withdraw immediately after dealing Hamas a crippling blow.

Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni have been sending out feelers over whether such an invasion could be followed by a cease-fire monitored by an international force, as happened in Lebanon after the 2006 war.

Would any countries agree to send troops into as dangerous a terrorist hotbed as Gaza?

The chances are remote.

So some in the government, like Labor minister Ami Ayalon, say the focus should be on a long-term cease-fire, even if it means talking to Hamas.

The idea isn’t far-fetched. Hamas long has been signaling that it is ready for a hudna, or temporary cease-fire, with Israel.

Egyptian military intelligence chief Omar Suleiman has been trying to put together a prisoner exchange that would include a long-term cease-fire and the return of Shalit. Hamas leaders see their holding of the Israeli soldier as an insurance policy against Israeli assassination. Should they free him, these leaders would want a guarantee that they would not be targeted.

What does all this mean for the peace process?

- Advertisement -

Enjoyed this article?

You'll love our email updates.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
- Advertisement -

Popular Articles

Jews Are Celebrating Passover – Hospitalized with COVID-19, Or Not

Even with abnormal hospital restrictions, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is ensuring Jews can still have a seder.

Pandemic Times Episode 12: Jay Sanderson on how the crisis is changing the Jewish world

New David Suissa Podcast Every Morning at 11am. Jay Sanderson, the head of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, talks about change, "three buckets" and crisis...

BDS Founder Says It’s OK to Use Israeli Coronavirus Vaccine

Omar Barghouti, the founder of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, said in an April 5 Facebook livestream that it’s perfectly fine for...

This Virus Represents The Global Death of Human Ego

As a deadly, invisible force sweeps the planet, something profound is happening. We are in Hollywood late-show host Jimmy Fallon’s home as his daughter climbs...

Since you can’t attend a poetry reading, a group of authors have come together to present “And The People Stayed Home” by Kitty O’Meara.

Since you can't attend a poetry reading, a group of authors have come together to present "And The People Stayed Home" by Kitty O'Meara.

Pandemic Times Episode 13: Selwyn Gerber on “The Coronavirus Crisis and our Money”

New David Suissa Podcast Every Morning at 11am. Wealth manager Selwyn Gerber discusses some practical financial things we need to know during this crisis. How do we manage our...

Obituaries: April 3, 2020

Randi Alfasso died March 15 at 63. Survived by husband Albert; sons Adam, Mathew; sister Debbie Fell; brother Ron Ganzfried. Mount Sinai Leonard Beezy died...

Israeli Defense Companies are Turning Radars into Coronavirus Symptom Detectors

“Thanks to the creative thinking of using technology that is normally used against enemies, I hope we will be able to win in the fight against COVID-19,” Said Dr. Yossi Shaya, of the Beilinson Hospital.

We Must Maintaining Our Humanity – Not Wealth – During COVID-19

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl wrote, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose...

#SafeAtHome We Said Go Travel News March 2020

March News 2020 with We Said Go Travel: I hope you and your family are #safeathome together and staying...

Reimagining Passover’s Four Questions to Talk to Children About Coronavirus

Nearly two weeks ago, Boston writer and strategic communications professional Jordan Namerow was driving her 4-year-old son, Lior, to school when he started asking...

The Guardian: Trump Is a Nazi and Jews Are His Enablers

To compare Trump — the father of a Jewish daughter and grandfather to three Jewish grandchildren — to Lindbergh/Hitler is an affront to the memory of 1.5 million Jewish children murdered by the Nazis.

Funkadelic, Passover, Shabbat, COVID-19 and Me

What does it mean to be a slave? There is a redundancy of time and tasks; each day looks like the previous one and...

We Must Unite In Israel’s New Coalition! (So We Can Separate)

The Hebrew word for coalition is “Ya’chdah” — from the word “Ya’chad.” Together. A coalition of parties is supposed to find a sense of...

Los Angeles Sisters Start Pandemic Grocery Assistance Program

With the coronavirus pandemic leaving elderly people stranded at home without an easy way to access groceries, stepsisters Kayla Newman, 19, and Leeat Hatzav,...

Culture

Rabbi Donin’s Trilogy Speaks Volumes About Jewish Life

Donin himself conceived of his work as “a practical handbook on how to live a Jewish life,” but he also acknowledges that the overarching goal of the three books in the series is “to answer the constant query, ‘Why?’

Gloves, Masks, Curbsides: Passover Shopping During a Pandemic

Passover shopping is hectic enough in normal times.

Jews Are Celebrating Passover – Hospitalized with COVID-19, Or Not

Even with abnormal hospital restrictions, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is ensuring Jews can still have a seder.

This Family Makes Distance Social with Their Video Parodies

“I wanna play and hang out with my friends, but we gotta practice social distance,” the 12-year-old girl sings to Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance.”...

Larry David Says Bernie Sanders Should Drop Out of Presidential Race

Larry David, the Bernie Sanders doppelganger who often portrays the presidential candidate in skits on “Saturday Night Live,” says the senator from Vermont should...

Trending Right Now
Trending

Where is God During This Pandemic?

The Coronavirus has once more confronted us with the absence of God in modern times. This absence is often seen as the cause for...

Israeli Research Institute Begins Testing Coronavirus Vaccine on Rodents, Report Says

The Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) reportedly has started testing a prototype of a coronavirus vaccine on rodents. Reuters reported on March 31 that...

Fountains of Wayne and ‘Crazy Ex-Girlfriend’ Songwriter, Hospitalized With Coronavirus

(JTA) — Adam Schlesinger, known as one of the lead songwriters of the pop rock band Fountains of Wayne and the musical series “Crazy...

Pandemic Times Episode 14: Courtney Mizel on Testing Positive for COVID-19

New David Suissa Podcast Every Morning at 11am. What's it like to catch the virus? How do you deal with friends and family? Courtney Mizel takes...

Obituaries: April 3, 2020

Randi Alfasso died March 15 at 63. Survived by husband Albert; sons Adam, Mathew; sister Debbie Fell; brother Ron Ganzfried. Mount Sinai Leonard Beezy died...

Hollywood

Larry David Says Bernie Sanders Should Drop Out of Presidential Race

Larry David, the Bernie Sanders doppelganger who often portrays the presidential candidate in skits on “Saturday Night Live,” says the senator from Vermont should...

‘On the Map’ Free Online Screening and Q&A This Sunday

The documentary “On the Map” tells the story of the underdog Israeli basketball team’s triumphant victory at the European championship in 1977. Set against...

‘Frozen’ at the Pantages: It Doesn’t Have to Be Jewish

Let’s face it, there’s nothing particularly Jewish about the Disney musical “Frozen.” Unless you count Idina Menzel and Josh Gad, both of whom appeared...
- Advertisement -

Podcasts

Pandemic Times Episode 16: Food author Paula Shoyer on cooking during a pandemic

New David Suissa Podcast Every Morning at 11am. Celebrated food author Paula Shoyer discusses how the pandemic is influencing how we view food, and shares her...

Prof. Yair Zakovitch and Prof. Avigdor Shinan: The Song of Songs Scroll

Shmuel Rosner, Professor Yair Zakovitch and Professor Avigdor Shinan discuss their new book - The Song of Songs Scroll, a New Israeli Commentary. Prof. Yair...

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Jewish Journal, 3250 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA, 90010, http://www.jewishjournal.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

x