Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Gaza: Qassam attacks had to be answered

By Seth Freedman FIRST POST DECEMBER 31, 2008

The weakest weapon in the arsenal of those condemning Israel for attacking Gaza is the 'Qassams are harmless' canard. Granted, thousands of incoming rockets have only caused a handful of deaths since they began falling, but the psychological impact of the barrage has left an entire region paralysed with fear.

Israel's citizens demand - rightly - that their elected officials take care of their security, as in any other country. Whilst Israel's behaviour towards the Palestinians is reprehensible at best, and criminal at worst, in the context of the here-and-now the collapsing ceasefire and resumption of Qassam attacks left Israel's government with little choice than to act, and act swiftly.

No sane or rational Israeli wishes to see Gazans suffer any more than they wish harm on the residents of Sderot. But, given Hamas's predilection for using Gaza's civilians as human shields, launching rockets from heavily populated towns and cities, taking action to stem the flow of Qassam fire was inevitably going to lead to civilians being caught in the crossfire.