HomeFeaturesDailyBriefingsRapidReconSpecial ReportsAbout Us

InBrief Archives

No Pause as Israel, Fatah & Hamas Triangulate

In pursuit of a Palestinian Islamic Jihad cell, the <a title= Jerusalem Post: IAF strike in Gaza hits Katyusha cell IDF launched an airstrike at around noon Tuesday on a van carrying three PIJ terrorists and a load of Katyusha rockets to be fired into Israel. The resultant explosions killed the two of the three PIJ members in the van - including known Gaza rocket maker, Hamoud Wadiya - and eight civilians nearby.

WadiyaStrike_20060613.jpgIsrael has kept true to their word when they warned that they will show less restraint in pursuit of terrorists attacking their villages from within the Gaza Strip. Late last week, pamphlets were dropped warning civilians to stay clear of terrorists and the areas from which they operate. As evidenced by their choice to launch Kassam rockets just a couple hundred meters from a public beach, the terrorists operate with far less concern for Palestinian civilian non-combatants than their vitriol displays when their actions result in their death or injury.

In major media coverage, virtually no responsibility is placed on the PIJ for operating with deadly explosives amidst civilians. It is simply an Israeli strike and the responsibility of the Palestinian civilians is placed squarely upon Israel as the terrorists crawl amongst them to execute their deeds. Consider the words from Gaza PIJ leader Kader Abib, who said, “What happened today is a brutal massacre committed against innocent civilians and fighters from our group.” That they were on their way to launch a volley of Katyushas - likely obtained from Iran-supported Hizballah - into the Israeli town of Sderot, full of civilians, is inconsequential. When Palestinians residents die, they are civilians. When Israeli residents die, they are occupiers in the Palestinian Territories or simply Israelis or just people in the international media.

While the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was carrying out attacks on Israel, Hamas and Fatah remained locked in their own head-to-head confrontations. Monday, a Hamas militia in Gaza attacked the offices of the Fatah-dominated Preventive Security forces and fired RPG’s in clashes in the southern Gaza Strip border town of Rafah. This prompted a reaction by Fatah forces in their own stronghold of the West Bank, as they rampaged the Ramallah parliamentary building, shooting out windows, destroying inside offices and papers before setting it ablaze. The scene was the same for the offices of Hamas’ PA Prime Minister, Ismail Haniyeh. Members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades abducted, beat and released a Hamas MP nabbed while walking down a street leaving the area.

On Tuesday, the same Ramallah streets were filled with Hamas protesters, vowing revenge on Fatah for attacking the parliament building, while in previously in Gaza, a Hamas funeral procession saw one of their members shot in the chest three times and killed after the crowd began to pelt the Fatah-dominated police forces building with stones. Fatah denied they had shot the man and Hamas declared that they had.

For the Palestinian Territories, the battle lines are drawn. For its part in the Fatah-Hamas power struggle, Israel has clearly chosen sides, having supplied Abbas’ guards with 375 rifles on Monday.

All the while, the incessant unguided rocket attacks into Israeli villages and on Israeli civilians near Gaza — 38 alone in a 24-hour period Tuesday — are eclipsed by media coverage of the Israeli responses that are an almost desperate attempt to stop them.