Rockets and Airstrikes – Again

Reporting from Israel: Ran Bar-Yoshafat

I open my computer to catch up on the news in Israel, as I am currently in the US for a couple of months. Sadly, what I found was that once again, the southern part of Israel is under rocket fire. In the recent escalation that began on Friday, March 9, Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip fired more than 200 rockets into Israel. Many of these rockets struck major Israeli population centers. More than one million Israelis live under the threat of rocket attacks from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Those who live closest to the Gaza Strip have only 15 seconds to find shelter after hearing an alarm.

I was hoping to find some information about it in the NY times, but it seems that the only mentioning was that Israel killed a civilian. A civilian. It amazes me how the status of a terrorist upgrades when he is killed. We are talking about a terrorist who planned, funded, and directed the combined terror attack that took place on Route 12 in August 2011, in which 40 Israeli civilians were injured, and who was involved in rocket fire at Israel, as well as in the attack on the Nahal Oz fuel terminal in April 2008 (in which two Israeli citizens were killed). Not to mention the transferring funds from Hezbollah to terror organizations in the Gaza Strip.

Don’t get me wrong – there are, unfortunately, civilians who are killed in Gaza. 26 Palestinians were killed in Israeli air strikes: 22 terrorists and four civilians. Innocent people who die on both side is a tragedy and should be condemned – by both sides, just like Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz expressed regret over the civilian deaths on the Palestinian side.

The number of casualties is actually larger on the Palestinian side. However, I don’t believe Israel needs to apologize for making sure its citizens are safe. Most of the damage to residential zones was prevented by the Iron Dome system, which intercepts missiles headed for population centers. The Iron Dome, however, is not the main reason for the difference in numbers of casualties on the two sides. The main difference is that when Israel is attacked, the government sends its people to the shelters and the combatants to the battlefield. Hamas does not. Hamas deliberately operates in civilian areas, putting the life of the Palestinians at risk.

I believe that most people, in Israel and in the Gaza strip, just want to be able to go to sleep without having to fear a missile will fall on them. Not mentioning the suffering of over one million Israelis, and that marking Israel as the aggressor is the right formula for the extremist to continue to work on their next attack. Why wouldn’t they? All they hear in their own media is that Israel is killing innocent civilians. You see, in the Israeli media, I was able to hear about the suffering of the people in Gaza. But the people of Gaza do not hear about the suffering of my people. They won’t get it from their media. They can’t, because they are controlled by Hamas.

In Israel, people will criticize to government. Some will say they didn’t do enough, some will say they did too much. That is one of the problems and benefits of living in a Democracy. In Gaza, unfortunately, the people will have to try to rebuild after the chaos done mainly by their government. I hope the fighting will end soon and that people on both sides can go on to live their normal lives, and that the next time I open the computer I’ll hear about peace talks. Hope – but don’t believe it will be, at least not as long as Hamas are in control.

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