Palestinian terrorists launched hundreds of rockets from Gaza into Israel over the weekend, showing yet again why any lasting peace deal is now far, far out of sight.
Israel’s Iron Dome defense system intercepted many rockets, but hits still killed at least four innocents. Meanwhile, the inevitable retaliatory airstrikes took 12 or more Palestinian lives.
The rockets — shot off by the Hamas rulers of Gaza and their Islamic Jihad rivals — are pure terror weapons, far more likely to cause civilian, not military, casualties. Israel’s response, by contrast, aims at military targets, though Hamas & Co. intentionally base military assets near homes and other civilian buildings precisely to increase the death toll among Palestinian innocents.
That is, the terrorists work to maximize civilian deaths on both sides of the conflict, even as Israel strives to limit them. They’re happy with any death that serves to increase hatred.
Apologists for Hamas claim the rocket barrage is an effort to make Israel speed up actions to ease Gaza’s economic crisis. That’s transparently ridiculous: The violence has already forced Jerusalem to completely close the border; the airstrikes will inevitably damage productive assets, and Israel certainly won’t do any loosening while it’s under attack.
In fact, the rocket barrage is plainly timed to darken Israel’s coming Independence Day celebrations, as well as its hosting of the Eurovision Song Contest next week. It may also be an effort to undermine Egypt’s ongoing efforts to reduce Israeli-Palestinian tensions.
Peace advocates will note that it’s the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas, that’s supposedly going to come to a “two-state solution” deal with Israel. Yet the PA is supposed to control Gaza as well as the West Bank — but Hamas took over there more than a decade ago, and now seems more likely to win power in the West Bank than to lose it in Gaza.
The Trump administration will soon release its own vision of the best way forward for peace. The plan had better be very hardheaded about what’s achievable when the monsters of Hamas can’t be kept out of the equation.
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