Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The IDF Launches Air and Ground assaults on Hamas militants

Following a barrage of rockets and mortar rounds on southern Israeli towns and settlements, Israeli air and ground forces began Operation Cast Lead on December 27 2008 against Hamas militants who have been firing scores of rockets on targets as far as Beer Sheva and Ashdod. The combined air and ground actions have so far resulted in substantial damage to the infrastructure of the Hamas organization including the destruction of numerous government buildings and other structures and the deaths of more than 400 Hamas militants. Israeli casualties include 4 deaths and scores for people wounded or treated for shock and trauma. The constant rocket launchings against Israel have caused a certain amount of property damage as well, leaving the IDF no choice other than to launch the military operations to severely limit Hamas' ability to strike Israeli targets.

While these measures against Gaza may seem harsh, in the end they may actually save the people living there as it appears that the Hamas organization has less regard for their welfare than its leaders try to portray. Even though Hamas has provided some help to local Gazans, that assistance has come at a price. And that price is the hold that Hamas has over the very lives of the people. If that is not tyranny, then what is?

Something has to be done to break the cycle of hatred that inspires Palestinian parents to praise their children when they choose to become suicide bombers and throw their lives away for what they consider to be "holy martyrdom". Young children are taught to hate literally from birth, and those who are leading them, i.e. the Hamas controlled government, even encourages this kind of activity.

As for Israel's current military assault against Gaza, which has unfortunately killed and injured scores of ordinary Gaza citizens, the Israeli government was left with no choice after residents of southern Israeli cities and towns were once again subjected to bombardment by rockets launched from Graze following the end of the six months old cease fire. Even U.S. President George Bush and President Elect Barack Obama were quoted as saying that they would advocate the same retaliation if their families were subjected to such actions.

It wasn't so long ago that more than 150,000 Gazans worked in Israel, and supporting their families with their wages. A substantial amount of trade was also affected between the two sides; and once a European automobile manufacturer even considered building a vehicle assembly plant in Gaza City. All this is history now, and with unemployment in Gaza reaching official figures of more than 50%, opportunities in "The Strip" are virtually nil.

When the fighting finally does stop, a good portion of Gaza's infrastructure will have to be rebuilt, resulting in construction jobs for many Gaza workmen currently unemployed. But for the long term, the people of Gaza will be much better off with a different leadership which is more receptive to developing peaceful coexistence with its Israeli neighbors, rather than continuing the cycle of violence that has been in effect for so long. As for who will eventually save Gaza, in the end, only the people of Gaza can save themselves from the hardships and misery they are now facing.

JPost.com - Headlines