03 December 2006

How Israel demolishes ceasefires

Gideon Levy, whose reporting from the 'territories', Noam Chomsky describes as "difficult to match in quality anywhere" (Failed States p.192), has laid open the Israel Occupation Forces (IOF) strategy against the Palestinians in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Levy describes the process:

"In a few days, there will be a targeted killing operation. The military correspondents will recite: "He was one of the senior operatives of Hamas (or Islamic Jihad), and was responsible for producing and smuggling large amounts of armaments." In response, a barrage of Qassams will fall on Sderot. One of the residents might be injured. In the process of the targeted killing operation, some passersby might also be killed; the correspondents will then recite: "They were armed." Several days later, there might be a terror attack. The leaders of the right-wing parties and the Labor Party will be interviewed on television and will recite: "Abu Mazen has once again demonstrated that he is incapable and unwilling to fight terror. There is no one to talk to." Public Security Minister Avi Dichter will propose turning Beit Hanun into a ghost town. Eli Yishai will suggest bombing from the air. The next day, Qassams will fall again, and the IDF will enter the northern Gaza Strip. The cease-fire will go up in flames. This is not a bold wager. This is almost the exact series of events that occurred in previous cease-fires. What was is what will be. There are plenty of examples. "

Levy proceeds to provide us with at least 9 examples of the same Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) strategy since January 2002.

Another important point is that:

"The current cease-fire was achieved thanks to the U.S. president's visit in Jordan. Israel responded to the Palestinian initiative *- again it is a Palestinian initiative, there has never been an Israeli initiative - after the military operations were bitter failures. After "Summer Rains" and "Autumn Clouds," after 80 were killed in one week in Beit Hanun, the firing of Qassams did not stop.

The IDF hurried to respond with a typical sour countenance: Senior officers in the Southern Command expressed strong opposition in off-the-record conversations, the chief of staff was quick to declare that "the IDF was only a partially a partner in the decision" and the defense minister expressed reservations about expanding the cease-fire to the West Bank. The IDF is not interested in the cease-fire. One can assume that neither is the Shin Bet. Reports on how the cease-fire is already being exploited for redeployment on the other side are flooding the media. And the end is known in advance.

Instead of Israel promoting the cease-fire, it is acting to undermine it. A cease-fire is bad for the IDF, especially when it stems from its failures as in Lebanon and Gaza. How intolerably easy it is for the IDF to undermine the relative quiet that has been achieved. One assassination is enough."

* The NYT on 26 November 2006 reported "The deal started with a phone call from the Palestinian Authority president, Mahmoud Abbas, to Israel’s prime minister, Ehud Olmert, according to both sides. "

However, the real importance of the article, and something you will never see exposed in European or N. American MSM is that "It is now not only a matter of the danger of renewed hostile activity, but a much more fateful question: Who rules in Israel and who is really dictating its path?"

The politicians or the IOF?


Anonymous said...

Fine, but what about the dozen or so 'harmless' qassams that have been fired into Israel since that telephone -cease-fire?

David Sketchley said...

What about them?

David Sketchley said...

According to Haaretz today, Monday 04 December 2006 "Yesterday, one rocket landed in the western Negev, though no one was hurt."

Although, as usual, the intended target was not mentioned. However, if we go to Palestinian news agency Maan News we find that the "Al-Aqsa Brigades, the armed wing affiliated with the Fatah movement, ... on Saturday launched a home-made projectile towards an Israeli air force runway in the western Negev desert."

One. And at a military target. Meanwhile what was happening to the other side? From Haaretz again:

"In the West Bank yesterday, IDF troops killed a 15-year-old Palestinian in the Askar refugee camp in Nablus. The soldiers said that they opened fire because a group of boys that was throwing rocks at them from a rooftop had endangered their lives. But Mahmoud Al-Jabji's family claims that he was inside the house when the bullet hit him."

And there's more "Peretz has decided to exclude the West Bank from the ceasefire agreement, and announced that the Israeli army will resume full operations there"

But there is some 'good' news. After Gideon Levy's excellent piece the other day it has now been announced that "Israel Defense Forces will no longer arrest Palestinians in the West Bank without explicit approval from either the GOC Central Command or the commander of IDF forces in the territories, the diplomatic-security cabinet decided yesterday.
In addition, army sources said, the cabinet decided that targeted killings of terrorists will now require approval from both Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz. Formerly, the approval of IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz was sufficient."