23 August 2007

23 August 2007 - Kids and rockets

Ha’aretz has a new English-language TV feature that provides a short roundup of the day’s news. The lead story in the latest edition is about the disagreement over how two Palestinian kids happened to be killed by an IDF shell. The IDF says it fired at two figures who had emerged to retrieve rocket launchers after a Qassam launch. Hamas says the IDF targeted a group of kids out collecting carobs.

Children are suffering on both sides of the border, but whether in Israel or Gaza the culprit is Hamas. Several times, Palestinian children have been killed by errant Qassam shells. Palestinian terror groups have made use of children as would-be suicide bombers and human shields before, and this time seems no different. Send the kids out: if they don’t come back, turn their deaths into a propaganda coup.

On the Israeli side, I have seen what a Qassam rocket looks like after it lands. The heavy, twisted metal and the shrapnel leave no doubt as to the murderous intent of those who have launched literally thousands of these things over the past several months. The big debate in Israel is how, and whether, to protect nearby schools with reinforced conrete shields. The cost is high, but the cost of inaction is higher.

There is much more to write about—however, I am in the midst of preparing my paper for the MECA conference and simply haven’t had time to write much on the blog lately. However, I thought I’d recommend a series of articles by Gershon Baskin in the Jerusalem Post in which he analyzes the reasons for the failure of the Oslo peace process. Part III is due next week; read Part I and Part II for now.

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