Sunday, December 28, 2008

Casting a few lead darts

While reading a Toronto Star report on Israel’s Operation Cast Lead I found two things noteworthy. The first –

Nearly 700 Palestinians were wounded in yesterday's air strikes, many seriously, medics said. Palestinian sources reported last night there were at least 230 fatalities. Most of the casualties were security forces, but Palestinian officials said at least 15 civilians were killed.

Imagine 700 wounded, 230 killed, but of 930 individuals involved - only 15 were civilians. This is an absolutely astounding figure given the size and breadth of this operation and suggests the IDF offensive has utilized some amazing military intelligence to full advantage. Although, I will caution the ‘700’ wounded figure does sound a little hyper-inflated and in a first search could not find another news source which confirmed that tally.

The other noteworthy point concerns the white washing of the Israeli Disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians in Gaza began shooting rockets at Israel in 2001, but the attacks grew more frequent after Hamas won Palestinian legislative elections in early 2006 and worsened again following a bout of Palestinian infighting in 2007 that left Hamas in sole charge of Gaza, while Fatah, its more moderate rival, withdrew to the West Bank. Israel left Gaza in 2005 after a 38-year occupation, but the withdrawal did not lead to better relations with Palestinians in the territory as Israeli officials had hoped.
While it is true that the shelling of Israeli communities within the 1949 Armistice borders commenced in 2001, it was strictly a willy-nilly affair with the first kassam landing inside the so called Green line community in April 2001. The attacks grew frequent immediately after the Israeli Disengagement from the Gaza Strip in 2005 when Hamas was not in electoral control of the Gaza Strip.

One of the upsides of blogging as long as I have is that my archives documenting the history of shelling of Israeli communities from the Gaza Strip paint an entirely different picture than the Toronto Star report suggests.

On September 12, 2005, the first official day of the Disengagement from the Gaza Strip handover, the first kassam and second of the year, lands within the so-called Green line communities of Israel. On September 24, 2005, just a scant two weeks after the Disengagement from the Gaza Strip officially ended, Palestinians from the Gaza Strip fired 30 kassams upon the Israeli city of Sderot. Previously to this, the vast majority of kassam attacks were launched against Israeli communities within the Gaza Strip.

By December 2005, the attacks on Israeli communities like Sderot (within the 1949 Armistice borders of Israel), has grown so frequent that the Israelis were forced to launch Operation Blue Skies to deal with the ongoing kassam attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip. It has been steadily downhill ever since the utterly disastrous Disengagement from the Gaza Strip and not just since Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in June 2007.


shlemazl said...

Well we don't know how many civilians were injured, so it's 15 out of 230, but anything under 10% is nothing short of truely amazing considering it's Gaza.

Kateland, aka TZH said...

It is truly an amazing accomphlishment. Obviously, Ashkenazi has done a remarkable job of turning around the IDF.