Friday, April 08, 2011

Hamas Claims Responsibility For Bus Attack as Israel Remains Under Fire

Israel is holding Hamas responsible for the attack on a bus in Israel using an anti-tank missile that critically injured a 16-year old and wounded the driver. Of course, one of Hamas' military groups claimed responsibility after issuing denials earlier in the day - probably because the group couldn't make up its mind on how to play the propaganda angle. Ultimately, it decided that the terror group carried out the attack in response for Israel carrying out strikes that killed several of its terror minions.
After the attack Thursday, and the firing of numerous mortars into Israel, the Israel Defense Forces "targeted nine terror-activity sites in the Gaza Strip," the IDF said in a news release. A military spokeswoman said later that IDF aircraft targeted three smuggling tunnels in southern Gaza in addition to the nine targets mentioned earlier.

The additional strikes hit shortly after a cease-fire, negotiated among Hamas and other Palestinian factions, was scheduled to take effect, according to Hamas' Interior Ministry.

Hamas said five people were killed and 45 were wounded in the earlier IDF strikes. One of the dead was Saleh Tarbin, a field commander for Hamas, the group said.

The school bus was traveling in southern Israel near the Gaza border when it was hit by a type of anti-tank missile known as a Kornet, said Israeli military spokesman Capt. Barak Raz. The Kornet is a Russian-made anti-tank guided missile system that is thought to have a maximum range of 5 1/2 kilometers (3 1/2 miles).
Of course, this once again highlights Israel's inalienable right to protect itself from terror attacks carried out by the group whose ultimate intention is to destroy Israel and supplant Israel with an Palestinian state on its ashes. Hamas is using every opportunity at its disposal to regroup and rearm following Operation Cast Lead, and its terror minions are itching at the opportunity to carry out murder and mayhem among Israelis.

And that bus attack could have been even worse - dozens of other students were dropped off by the driver just a few minutes earlier. Had those children been on board when the missile struck, I have no doubt that Prime Minister Netenyahu would have not only authorized massive airstrikes against Hamas, but launched a new operation to rival that of Cast Lead in scope - but with the intention of driving Hamas from power once and for all. Hamas got lucky that the attack was not more serious, and Israelis can breath a sigh of relief as well that the casualties weren't worse.

It's also why no one should buy the latest claim that Hamas has brokered a ceasefire with other terror groups in Gaza. It is purely propaganda with which it can claim Israel somehow violated the ceasefire when it defends itself against further terror actions carried out by Hamas, Islamic Jihad or any number of splinter groups operating in Gaza under Hamas' watchful eye.

Moreover, any such ceasefire (and there have been plenty of them since Cast Lead ended) isn't worth the paper its written on and still more kassam and mortar barrages have slammed into Israel, damaging farms in the area.

The terrorists are once again using human shields by firing the mortars and kassams from within heavily populated areas - to the point that Israel can't respond without causing civilian casualties. It's been an ongoing problem for Israel because Hamas and the other terror groups have no interest in preserving Palestinian lives - any death is in furtherance of their ultimate goal of destroying Israel. Civilian casualties are propaganda for Hamas, and all those deaths should rightfully be laid at the feet of the terror groups because but for the terrorists carrying out the incessant attacks Israel would not be forced to defend itself militarily to protect its own citizens.

These terror groups operate with essentially a triangle offense strategy against Israel. One can claim to be honoring a ceasefire and that they wont carry out attacks if Israel stops firing, but splinter cells or groups not included in the ceasefire carry out attacks forcing Israel to respond. Once Israel responds, those other terror groups get to resume their war against Israel's existence - claiming that Israel violated a ceasefire that didn't mean anything to begin with.

Meanwhile, Israel is warily watching Hizbullah in the north, as leaked Wikileaks documents show that Hizbullah may be capable of firing 100 rockets a day deep into Israeli territory.

Hamas' Ismail Haniyeh is unrepentant and unmoved. He's towing the usual line about Israel and how Palestinians cannot turn away from Israel's aggression - even though it was Hamas' own terrorism and aggression that resulted in Israel taking steps to defend itself.
Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Friday that "Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip will not be able to break the will of the Palestinian people."

He also called for the cessation of IDF attacks in Gaza.
38 mortars and kassams have been fired at Israel today. Israel has continued airstrikes and other actions to eliminate those firing on Israel, and there have been Palestinian casualties reported. Many are terrorists but those civilians injured or killed lie at the feet of Hamas because but for the terrorist group's ongoing actions - Israel would not have carried out these defensive measures to eliminate the terrorists firing on Israel.

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