Sunday, October 30, 2005

Palestinian Terrorist Puts Cart Before Horse

Khaled al-Batsh, a leader of the terrorist organization Islamic Jihad, claimed they would stop launching rocket attacks against Israel after Israel stops attacking them in Gaza and the West Bank. (BBC: Palestinians issue rockets pledge). He did not pledge to halt suicide attacks, however, which were the primary reasons behind Israel's retaliation against the terrorist group.

What al-Batsh and his ilk don't seem to want to accept is that the ball is currently in their court. If they want Israel to stop targeting them, then they must first halt the suicide bombings and rocket attacks being conducted against Israel from Gaza and the West Bank. They must also end their calls for the utter destruction of Israel - something that is still first and foremost in the mission statements of both Islamic Jihad and Hamas.

Israel has halted retaliatory strikes many times in the past. Each time they were immediately confronted with more rocket attacks and suicide bombings from one or both of the terror groups operating in that region. For Israel to pledge non-retaliation is absurd. As long as those terrorist organizations exist, Israel will face attacks. It appears, however, that Israel is going to repeat the same mistakes it has been making over the past decade. It appears that they have been in negotiations with these groups and have agreed to a cease-fire. A spokesman for Abbas stated, "The effort and contacts between Israel, the United States and the Palestinian Authority during the last 24 hours succeeded to stop the escalation."

While Israel has yet to comment, they do appear to be in agreement with this statement. That is a tremendous tactical mistake that will ultimately cost Israeli lives. All a cease-fire will accomplish is to give Islamic Jihad and Hamas time to regroup and resupply. Once they are fully armed they will again strike Israel and the cycle will start all over again. The only viable option for Israel is to aggressively attack the areas where these terrorists are based, destroy those bases and drive the terrorists from Israeli and Palestinian territories. Fortunately, it is in the best interests of the Palestinian Authority to do the same, and there does appear to be cooperation between the two.

The pattern of diplomacy being pursued by Israel has not been successful in the past decade, nor is it likely to succeed in the future. Whether they are willing to admit it or not, Israel is at war. It's time they started to fight that war in earnest. Only after Islamic Jihad and Hamas are made homeless will there be any chance for peace in that region.


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