Tel Aviv Under Fire
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Operation Pillar of Cloud
Operation Pillar of Cloud began with the assassination of Ahmed al-Jabari, commander of Hamas' militant wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, on November 14. In the two days since then, the IDF have already killed 18 Palestinians, including 7 civilians while a rocket fired by the Palestinians killed three civilians in Kiryat Malachi. Gaza's Health Ministry announced that among the killed Palestinians are a pregnant woman, an 11- month-old child, and a 3-year-old girl. Probably only Israel considers these as enemies. One of the Grad rockets fired by the Palestinians almost reached the Negev Nuclear Research Center near Dimona. For the first time, the Palestinians fired long-range unguided surface-to-surface artillery rockets Fajr-5, developed by Iran. With a range of 75km, these were the rockets that reached Tel Aviv. Shortly afterwards, Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the government had authorized the call up of 30,000 reservists for a possible incursion of the IDF into Gaza, as part of the already announced Operation Cast Lead II. This time the main target will be the killing of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader acting as Prime Minister in Gaza.
About two weeks ago, I published The Rebirth of the Stern Gang, where the new Netanyahu-Lieberman alliance was analyzed. One of the oddest answers I got supported Labor as an answer to the expansionist policies of Likud. "Zionist parties all support similar policies," was my answer, expanded in Israel’s Big Bang. Operation Pillar of Cloud supported this claim. Labor leader Shelly Yachimovich, Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz, and former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni are among these appaluding Netanyahu's violence; they have no choice, otherwise they would lose votes. In past election campaigns, one of the Haredi parties coined a catchy slogan "Right and Left are only sand and sand," meaning secular-Zionist parties are all the same; in Hebrew, "sand" is a synonym for "valueless" and "common." I dislike nagging, but reality is simple. Israel goes to elections in January. Netanyhau cannot solve the social protests plagueing his violent fiefdom; instead he needs a war that will unify the voters behind a militaristic leader. The American election results shocked Israel, ruining Netanyahu's dream of a war with Iran; moreover, President Obama didn't answer the Israeli provocations analyzed in Obama’s Victory Shocks Israel. The next best thing is a reproduction of Operation Cast Lead; a few missiles on Tel Aviv would only increase the support for Netanyahu. In sin, Operation Pillar of Cloud was born.
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