6300 rockets from Gaza on Israel since 2005.
3000 rockets launched in 2008.
4000 fired since Israel’s full withdrawal from Gaza in August of 2005.
3,000 rockets shot 2008.
150 missiles sent to Israel in November 2008 alone, during the so-called calm.
Dozens of rockets fired in the last ten days.
ALL deliberately aimed at Israeli civilians and fired within civilian populations in Gaza; resulting in thirteen innocent people killed in Israel, over 780 wounded, and thousands traumatized.
It’s no wonder Israel finally launched a defensive operation to defend its civilian population in the south from the terror that Hamas has inflicted in spite of Israel’s and other Palestinian’s desire for peace. Why? Because Hamas’ objectives are the same as Iran, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad: the destruction of Israel and installation of Islamic rule throughout the Middle East. How? Hamas receives significant funding and arms from Iran. In fact, Hamas smuggles Iranian-made rockets into Gaza through complex underground tunnel systems that eventually terrorize Israeli cities such as Sderot and Ashkelon.
In spite of these rocket attacks, Israel has worked to allow for trucks carrying fuel, food, medicine, and humanitarian equipment to cross into Gaza. In 2008, more than 12,000 Palestinians entered Israel to receive medical attention. However, Hamas utilizes strategizes that deprive its own people of necessary services. For example, Hamas once used a cancer patient returning to Israel for treatment as a suicide bomber causing Israel to be much more rigorous in its border activities. Hamas then blamed Israel for creating a humanitarian crisis. The current situation is much the same. Hamas provokes Israel to defend its citizens, and then screams to the international media that Israel is killing innocents.
And yes, in spite of its best efforts, civilians will be hurt and killed in Gaza and the death of Palestinian child is no less of a tragedy than that of the Israeli child. I must note however, that when Hamas fires its rockets, it intends to kill civilians. Israel, on the other hand, does its utmost to avoid the same. (A vast majority the killed today were Hamas terrorists). And, while international law specifically forbids the use of human shields, Hamas intentional stations its installations within civilian buildings and areas for the purpose of causing civilian causalities.
I know that the vast majority of Palestinians and Israeli want to end this conflict; all want a better more peaceful future for their children. Today’s air strikes do not discount that hope. But as long as Iranian-backed Hamas continues its terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians, Israel will undertake the same defensive operations as any other any government would do to protect its citizens.