Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Ceasefire That Never Was

Sderot After an Attack
Nadene Goldfoot
On June 25, 2006, Gilad Shalit was kidnapped, and Israel has been hoping to get him back ever since. He was a soldier near the Gaza border that was stationed there, and was probably kidnapped from the terrorists who had been building tunnels nearby.

Six months ago the Palestinians and Israelis signed a ceasefire agreement that has not been upheld by the Palestinians at all. Sderot and the surrounding areas have been constantly shelled, including Ashkelon, Portland, Oregon's sister city which lies north of Sderot and contains the only hospital that serves both Israelis and Palestinians in the area.

This constant shelling has caused Israel to at least close the Gaza crossings in order to punish the Palestinians for their constant shelling bombardment. They in turn blame the closings for their reason to constantly shell Israel. The ceasefire has only tied Israel's hands in trying to get to the actual terrorists who are shelling them because they are trying to uphold the agreement. Israel said they would open the crossings if the attackers could go for 24 hours without shelling Israel with rockets. On Thursday of this week 11 rockets and 5 mortar shells were fired at Israel. Three Israelis were wounded. The IDF were able to destroy their rocket factory, though.

The ceasefire was finished on Friday, though shellings were going on against Israel all this week. The new attack included sniper fire which came an hour after the usual Kassam rockets. Farmers in Israel were attacked at Kibbutz Ner Oz for the first time and had to be rescued by the IDF. Their vehicle was hit but the people were unharmed.

Hamas is in control in the Gaza territory and make little sense to me other than their main goal is to attack and destroy Israel, and they do not care what happens to the citizens there under their control. Hamas knows that Israel closes the coastal strip because of the shelling, but they cry that Israel is creating a life-threatening siege on its people.

Hamas also declared in the Oregonian that Israel is striking Palestinian militants in the West Bank (Judea/Samaria), and they also use that as an excuse for shelling Israel. How can they wonder about striking militants who are trying to kill civilians in Israel?   People who attack Israel must be stopped. This situation puts Israel in the middle between two Palestinian terrorist groups; one on the east and one on the west. Israel must be alert all the time.

Oregonian Newspaper page A17: Israelis fear renewal of rockets while blockade shackles Gazans
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