Archive for January 8th, 2009

“The Images they Show…” A Soldiers Mothers Response to U.N. School Causalities

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

There are images that break your heart. The news is filled with them today and they can easily sway you to think that all of the situation in the Middle East comes down to a picture. How horrible, truly tragic, unacceptable and wrong it is to have a child die.

It is so horrible, sometimes you forget to look behind the picture. It’s so simple, really. A child should be able to go to school and be safe. I last spoke to my son days ago and in the background I could hear the sound of explosions. Through the phone, dozens of kilometers away from me, and quite a distance from Elie, I could hear another unit firing. Can you imagine how loud that would be up close?

Yesterday, mortars were fired FROM the school In Jebalya. This was a direct and intentional attack on Israel, on Israel’s soldiers and population. Mortars are explosions. They are loud. You can’t pretend you didn’t hear them.

Everyone in that building yesterday KNEW that the school was being used as a launching ground…and yet, apparently not one of those thought it would be a smart thing to leave. That seems strange to me, unnatural. I was once in Jerusalem, walking with by two daughters when something “exploded” ahead of me. Everyone around me stopped, as I did. It was a bus hitting something that went flying in the air and crashed loudly into something else. People began to move and yet I stood there, unsure what to do. It should be both human instinct and parental instinct to move away from danger.

And the people who now mourn the “innocents” who died in yesterday’s attack on the United Nations school don’t question why people remained in the building from which these weapons were fired. They don’t question that this defies human instinct and certainly what should have been every parent’s first reaction. The people in the school died for three simple reasons:

1. Palestinians decided to use the United Nations school as a launching base to attack innocent civilians. This wasn’t the first time they had used the school. Months ago, Israel filed a formal complaint to the United Nations. Clearly, nothing was done to stop this abuse and so we come to reason # 2.

2. The United Nations did not stop the Palestinians from using their area. One might argue that they could not stop them – and the answer, the simple answer was that they should then have made it clear, publicly, that they could not offer a place of refuge in a firing range. They should not have allowed families to take refuge in such a place. And that brings me to # 3.

3. The families and parents. I heard a father mourning the death of his son. He blames the Israeli government, and I blame him. “Are you insane?” I want to ask him. “How could you allow your son to be near mortars being fired? What did you think Israel was going to do?” Why didn’t you take your son? Why didn’t you behave responsibly? It was YOUR job to protect him; to love him enough to keep him safe and it doesn’t take a genious to figure out leaving your son in a building from which mortars are being fired in the middle of a war is negligent, stupid, insane, and so so wrong. How could Israel have known that there were people in the building? All they could know is that mortars were being fired from that location. My son is stationed far from the cities. Why? Because if he is a target, we don’t want civilians nearby. We do not hide in hospitals, in schools, in homes. Why, why do the Palestinians? And if they do, why, why does the world blame Israel?

Read the rest here.
30 Reported Killed in Blast at UN School.

“Israelis and Palestinians: Who’s David, Who’s Goliath?” by Larry Elder

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Much of the world buys the line — peddled by the Palestinians and the Arab Muslim world and, indeed, many Western countries — that paints Israel as the bad “Goliath” that “stole” the land from the “Palestinians.”

Israel gave Gaza self-rule in 1994, unilaterally withdrawing the last of its citizens and soldiers from Gaza in 2005. Hamas, voted into power via free elections in 2006, fought and defeated their political and military rival, Fatah, to seize de facto control of Gaza in 2007. In the past eight years, Hamas has fired more than 10,000 rockets and mortars into Israel — 7,000 of them after Israel’s 2005 withdrawal. With improved technology — reportedly assisted by Iran — Hamas’ rockets can now fly 24 miles before impact and explosion, thereby threatening, injuring and killing more and more Israelis living in southern Israel.

But why the “disproportionate” response by Israel? Reportedly, more than 600 Palestinians have been killed, some civilians. Set aside for the moment that Hamas’ charter specifically calls for the “obliteration” of the state of Israel. And set aside the fact that the Palestinian “militants” fight in heavily populated areas, assuring, indeed encouraging (for PR purposes) civilian casualties.

We turn our attention to the “stolen” allegation.

Israel lies in the ancient Fertile Crescent’s southwest corner, with some of the oldest archeological evidence of primitive towns and agriculture. Historians and archeologists believe the Hebrews probably arrived in the area in the second millennium B.C. The nation itself was formed as the Israelites left Egypt during the Exodus, believed to be in the late 13th century B.C.

The 12 tribes of Israel united in about 1050 B.C., forming the Kingdom of Israel. David, the second king of Israel, established Jerusalem as Israel’s national capital 3,000 years ago. Jewish kingdoms and states existed intermittently in the region for a millennium.

After conquests by Babylonians, Persians and Greeks, an independent Jewish kingdom was briefly revived in 168 B.C., but Rome took control in the next century, renaming the land of Judea “Palestine” after the Philistines, historical enemies of the Israelites’.

Invading Arabs conquered the land from the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantines) in A.D. 638 and attracted Arab settlers. Within a few centuries, the Arab language and Islam prevailed, but a Jewish minority remained. After a brief period of prosperity, waves of invasions and changes of control followed, including rule by the non-Arab empires of the Seljuks, Mamelukes and European crusaders, before becoming part of the Ottoman Empire from 1517 until 1918.

The crusaders massacred thousands of Jews, along with Muslims, in the 11th century. But soon thereafter, European Jews established centers of Jewish learning and commerce. By the time the Ottoman Turks occupied Palestine in the 16th century, according to British reports, as many as 15,000 Jews lived in Safed, which was a center of rabbinical learning. Many more Jews lived in Jerusalem, Hebron, Acre and other locations. By the middle of the 19th century, Jews constituted a significant presence — often a majority — in many towns.

Read the rest of the article here.

The Qassam Rocket – Pali Terrorist Weapon of Choice, An Overview

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

You’ve read about it in the news and on this blog quite a bit, but what exactly is this rocket the Pali terrorist use to cause so much havoc?

Qassam Rocket

The Qassam rocket is an unguided, high explosive, rocket propelled munition. Here are specifications from Wikipedia:

Qassam 1 Qassam 2 Qassam 3
Length 79 cm (2 ft 7 in) 180 cm (5 ft 11 in) over 200 cm (6 ft 7 in)
Diameter 6 cm (2.4 in) 15 cm (5.9 in) 17 cm (6.7 in)
Weight 5.5 kg (12 lb) 32 kg (71 lb) 90 kg (198 lb)
Explosives Payload 0.5 kg (1.1 lb) 5–7 kg (11–15 lb) 10 kg (22 lb)
Maximum Range 3 km (1.9 mi) 8–10 km (5.0–6.2 mi) 10 km (6.2 mi)

Being an unguided weapon, the rocket is out of the operator’s control immediately after launch. In normal battlefield situations, rockets are fired in salvos (many at one time) and fall as a “blanket” attack in the general area of the target. Similar to “carpet bombing”, the intent is to damage and destroy the target and any targets close to it.
Because the Pali terrorist cannot fire these rockets in significant salvos, the original effectivness is greatly diminished as far as direct damage to a specific target. Unless, of course the target is an entire population center and the aim is to cause more terror than actual physical harm.

Qassam Rocket Launch

On a brief side note, notice the launch position in the photo above. Pay particular note to the fact that this rocket is being launched from a densely populated area. Any counter attack by Israeli forces would most likely inflict collateral damage, or in other words, civilian causalities, something the terrorist rocket crew is counting on.

In addition to the Qassam rocket, which the Pali terrorist can build themselves, they also have smuggled Grad rockets from Russia and Fajr rockets from Iran. The approximate ranges of these rockets are 20 km (12 mi) and 40 km (24 mi) respectively. These rockets also carry a larger and more deadly payload, having more explosives and also being packed with 1/4″ ball bearings. On detonation, the warhead acts similar to a “shotgun” blast, firing the ball bearings at a high velocity in every direction. The use of balls in weaponry throughout history has been for one purpose; anti-personnel. They are largely ineffective against “hard” targets unless they actually hit it. In this case, the “personnel” being targeted are innocent Israeli women and children. The ball bearings slice through the body in much the same way as a bullet would when fired at close range, and the “shotgun” effect means that each victim will most likely be hit multiple times.

Rocket Ball Bearings

Rocket Ball Bearing and Damage

Since these long range rockets are in short supply though, the main weapon continues to be the Qassam. It is possible for the Pali terrorist to manufacture 100 of the Qassam rockets per day. Follow this link to Spiegel Online to see a Pali terrorist rocket “factory”.

Rocket Range

I hope this gives you some insight to the plight faced by the innocent Israeli civilians on a daily basis.

Pali Civilian Casualties Are High, And It’s No Wonder Why…

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

I’ve had a number of people point out that the Israelis have killed a significant number of Pali civilians, especially the children.
I think it’s necessary to revisit the main reason these numbers are so high. Here are a couple of photos that really speak volumes about the character of the enemy Israel is facing.

Hamas Human Shields

Hamas Youth Protecting Missile Launcher

From Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs.

Two photos just posted of today’s battle in the Gaza Strip again reveal the cynical use of children and young unarmed human shields by murderous Hamas cowards:

A masked Hamas militant sets up a makeshift mortar launcher against Israeli forces, unseen, as Palestinian youths try to cover him from the sight of the forces during an incursion in a Gaza city’s neighborhood, Wednesday Feb. 11, 2004. Israeli troops moved into a neighborhood at the eastern edge of Gaza City early Wednesday, killing atleast 14 Palestinians and wounding at least 27 others in exchanges of fire, residents said, sparking the bloodiest fighting in Gaza in four months. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Palestinian militants exchange fire with Israeli troops in the Gaza Strip February 11, 2004. In their deadliest strike for months, Israeli troops killed at least 14 Palestinians in gun battles in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, in raids Israel said were to root out militants behind attacks on Jewish settlements. REUTERS/Str

Original Link.

Israel Hit by Rockets From Lebanon, Conflict Widens

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

It seems like almost a repeat of 2006.

Lebanese militants fired at least three rockets into Israel early Thursday, threatening to open a new front for the Jewish state as it pushed forward with a bloody offensive in the Gaza Strip that has killed nearly 700 people.

Duck and Cover

Two people were lightly injured, and the rockets that exploded in Israel’s north raised the specter of renewed hostilities with Hezbollah, just 2 1/2 years after Israel battled the guerrilla group to a 34-day stalemate. Hezbollah started the 2006 war as Israel was battling Palestinian militants in Gaza.

No group claimed responsibility and Lebanon’s government, wary of conflict, quickly condemned the rocket fire. Israel fired mortar shells into southern Lebanon in response.

One of the Lebanese rockets went through the roof of a retirement home in Nahariya, about five miles from the border, and exploded in the kitchen as some 25 residents were eating breakfast in the adjacent dining hall. One resident suffered a broken leg, another bruises, apparently from slipping on the floor after emergency sprinklers came on.

“The rocket entered through the roof, hurling the water heaters into the air. It went through bedrooms upstairs and then into the kitchen. There was a serious blast,” said Henry Carmelli, the home’s manager.

About three hours later, air-raid sirens went off again. But authorities said it was a false alarm.

Israel has repeatedly said it was prepared for a possible attack on the north since it launched its bruising campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza on Dec. 27. Israel has mobilized thousands of reserve troops for such a scenario, and leaders have warned Hezbollah of dire consequences if it enters the fighting.

“We are following what is happening in the north. We are prepared and will respond as necessary,” Defense Minister Ehud Barak told reporters.

Original Link.