Thursday, December 13th | 5 Tevet 5779

August 23, 2011 12:30 pm

Israel Mourns It’s Dead, Hamas Learns To Outsmart Iron Dome

avatar by Maxine Dovere

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Jon Voight visits terror victim in Israel. Photo: Meir Dahan,

Israel has buried her dead.  There were nine.  They were travelers, civilians riding a public bus, families driving to vacation in Eilat, victims of a missile randomly thrown against the civilian population, and soldiers protecting the State.

The attacks have been vigorously condemned. Washington shared the grief of the Jewish State:  The White House Press Secretary Kay Carney said “We condemn the brutal terrorist attacks in southern Israel today in the strongest terms…The U.S. and Israel stand united against terror and we hope that those behind this attack will be brought to justice swiftly.”

Tuesday, the Washington Post reported that a U.S. government  assessment of the terrorist attack “concludes that either the Palestinian group Popular Resistance Committees or the Gaza-based Army of Islam (or Jaish al Islam), a Palestinian group sympathetic to al Qaeda, carried out the commando assault and bombing raid that emanated from the increasingly lawless Sinai.” “There has been a history of close operational coordination between Hamas, the Popular Resistance Committees and Jaish al Islam, which is the most important of the al Qaeda affiliates in the Gaza Strip,” said Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations who now is the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

Over the weekend, however, as more information was gathered about the attack near Eilat, some Israeli official sources also began to acknowledge that the group known as Jaish al Islam, an extremist Muslim organization, played a role in the attack.  If confirmed, the involvement of a new Sinai-based group would mark yet another extremist group aligned with the goals of the terrorist group behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that spawned more formal affiliates in YemenSomaliaIraq, and Pakistan.

A statement from the Secretary General of the United Nations “strongly condemns (Thursday’s) coordinated terror attacks in southern Israel,” and “expresses his condolences to the families of the victims and wishes a speedy recovery to the injured… hopes that the perpetrators are swiftly identified and brought to justice,” and is concerned at the risk of escalation and calls for all to act with restraint. The Palestinian Authority and the Egyptian government have been challenged to repudiate the violent attacks, but as of this writing, have not done so. According to the Jerusalem Post, Israeli government sources noted that Yasser Arafat would issue pro-forma condemnations of violence during the height of the second intifada. Israel’s UN Ambassador, Ron Prosor, has expressed his” grave concern” to the Secretary-General and the President of Security Council  saying “Gaza – under the reign of Hamas — remains an epicenter of extremism,” and noted the  pressing need to stem the flow of arms into the Gaza Strip by land and sea.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised swift and forceful action in response this brutal violence. The Prime Minister’s spokesman, Mark Regev, told the Jerusalem Post that Palestinian silence regarding the terrorist attacks in the South is “deafening,” raising “serious questions about the Palestinian Authority’s readiness for independence.” Minister Limor Livnat, at the funeral of Yossi Shushan, said Israel will strike back “with all its strength.”

Decades of peace -albeit “cold,” but peace – with Egypt and the expectation of “normal” conditions prevailing in the Sinai have shattered.  Heightened vigilance is demanded. In the America, the Conference of Presidents of major Jewish organizations says “the international community, rather than engaging in the folly of the Palestinian unilateral declarations at the UN, should be pressing for an end to Palestinian terrorism and incitement to terror…people of conscience around the world must publicly proclaim that we all stand with Israel.” The statements of Jewish and pro Zionist organizations have mirrored its statements.

The necessity of preventing infiltration through the extensive border with Egypt, including the construction of a physical barrier is being recognized. History, says David Harris, Director of the American Jewish Committee, “teaches that, all too often, Israel and the Jewish people have stood largely alone in facing the danger. Pledges of help are more often made than kept.”

In Israel, injured victims begin the process of recovery.  Physical, psychological and sociological resources, ranging from state of the art medical care to celebrity visits, are in place. The Chabad Terror Project has enlisted actor Jon Voight. “Americans are not in tune to the suffering of the Israeli people,” he told Ynet. “People from abroad do not understand the reality in Israel until they come here, “The American public thinks Israel is strong, tough and smart, but needs to remember that it is also humane, vulnerable, and surrounded by enemies.”

Still, the rocket fall.  In response to the success of Iron Dome, Hamas’ tactics have already changed, and barrages of missiles rather than one or two are now being launched in unison.  Iron Dome cannot stop the simultaneously. The Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility for the Be’er Sheva rocket attacks while Hamas claimed responsibility for the Ofakim rocket attacks. A total of over 80 “projectiles” have threatened southern Israel from the Gaza Strip. Be’er Sheva,  the Eshkol and Sha’ar Hanegev regions, Be’er Tuvia, the city of Ashkelon and Ashdod have been attacked. Public events throughout the south have been cancelled.

With anguished cries, children, wives and parents buried the eight Israelis murdered by organized acts of terror and rocket fire. The pregnant wife of Yossi Shushan, killed in Be’er Sheva Saturday cried “Who is going to come with me now to give birth to my son?” Yaiv Karlinsky spoke of his “hope that this nightmare will end, and we will wake up to a good reality” as he buried his parents Shula and Dov Karlinsky. They, together with Flora and Moshe Gaz were killed as they traveled to Eilat.”There are no words to describe the hurt and the sorrow.”

In addition to the Karlinsky and Gaz deaths, the IDF confirms that Yosef Levy, 57, of Holon and Yitzhak Sela, 56, of Beersheba, an Egged driver, were killed in the initial attacks. St-Sgt Moshe Naftali, a combat soldier from the Golani Brigade – and a police officer – Chief Warrant Officer Pascal Avrahami, a 49-year old father of three, member of the counter-terrorism unit were killed defending against the terrorists.

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