Hamas Promises Retaliation

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Israeli air campaign was "criminal" and urged world powers to intervene.

Egypt said it would keep trying to restore the truce between Israel and Gaza.

Hamas threatened to unleash "hell" to avenge the dead, including possible suicide bombings inside Israel.

Hamas estimated that at least 100 members of its security forces had been killed, including police chief Tawfiq Jabber and the head of Hamas's security and protection unit, along with at least 15 women and some children.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchViolence* International News & CommentaryMiddle East

40 Comments
Posted December 27, 2008 at 9:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. libraryjim wrote:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - Israeli warplanes retaliating for rocket fire from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the Hamas-ruled territory in unprecedented waves of airstrikes Saturday,

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the Israeli air campaign was “criminal” and urged world powers to intervene.

So the Israeli air campaign is “criminal”, but the initial rocket attacks from Gaza that sparked it was not? Why not ‘world power’ intervention against the Palestinians who broke the truce?

Jim Elliott
Florida

December 27, 2:24 pm | [comment link]
2. Jeffersonian wrote:

It’s like going around shotgunning people’s windows out, then being upset when the police start shooting back.

December 27, 3:19 pm | [comment link]
3. John Wilkins wrote:

If two hundred of my family members had been killed, I’m sure I’d just want peace, and not revenge.  Those Hamas guys are crazy.

December 27, 3:22 pm | [comment link]
4. John Wilkins wrote:

I mean, just because there has been a major seige around Gaza, allowing for the bare minimum of food and fuel (just enough to stave off mass famine and disease), doesn’t mean Palestinians should be angry about it or want it to stop. 

Israel and Hamas had recognized a ceasefire until a first Israeli incursion.  This does not justify Hamas hitting back, of course.  But neither is this justified either. 

Blessed are the peacemakers, my friends.

December 27, 3:32 pm | [comment link]
5. Jeffersonian wrote:

Of course, a “ceasefire” for Hamas means just a few mortars and rockets fired at the Jews every day.

December 27, 3:36 pm | [comment link]
6. ElaineF. wrote:

I do not understand why Hamas keeps on firing rockets into Israel except to provoke this kind of response.  It seems as though Israel has exercised much restraint.

December 27, 3:53 pm | [comment link]
7. John Wilkins wrote:

And “Peace” for Israel is about starving Palestinians for political advantage, especially before Barack gets involved.

The problem is the paradox:  the more Israel hits, the more radicalized the population gets.  During the siege, Hamas got stronger, not weaker.  Terrorism is a hydra.  Cut off one head, and more appear.  When a Palestinian mother cradles her 9 year old son’s body, she doesn’t think, “Those Israelis deserve peace.”  It would be a nice fantasy to think so. 

Jesus understood this.  But there’s no reason for the world to, either Hamas, or the Israelis.  Wars and killing are compelling in their own right.

December 27, 3:57 pm | [comment link]
8. John Wilkins wrote:

#6, for the last six months, to prevent weapons from entering Gaza, Israel prevented food and fuel to enter as well.  This created an enormous amount of misery in Gaza.  This does not justify the rocket fire into Israel by any case, but by and large, the Gazan population had little incentive to challenge Hamas, because there was little reason to believe Israel would change its mind. 

Other issues, such as the “Tony Blair” sewage project have been put on hold because visas for experts have been denied.  This adds to the suspicion among Palestinians that Israel is more interested in Gaza’s failure and extermination than in seeing Gaza thrive.  Of course, most experts don’t believe it can, and it wont in the way it currently is.  Unfortunately, because Hamas was democratically elected, it puts the west in a hard spot.  Hamas is less corrupt than Fateh, but it is also extremist.  Do we support democracy as an ideal?  It’s not an easy spot. 

History indicates, however, the best way to deal with extremists is to bring them into politics, as the Israelis learned with the Irgun and Jabotinsky crowd, or even in Ireland with the IRA (or even South Africa!).  It upsets the utopians, but it is the world of politics.

Of course, anyone can be bought off.  When the Palestinians decide Hamas isn’t worth it, there will be a change.  But Israel provides little incentive for such an alternative movement to arise.  As it is, they are feeding the politics of resentment.

December 27, 4:07 pm | [comment link]
9. Christopher Johnson wrote:

Nothing is more justified in the world than this retaliation.  Hamas has been firing rocket after rocket without the world giving a damn about Jews injured or killed. 

As for the alleged “radicialization” of that ridiculous people, that might be the single worst excuse for Israel not to retaliate that I have ever heard or read.  We mustn’t defend our population because those people over there who want us all dead might get mad at us?  What sane country would base their foreign policy on such grounds?

Nice of you to expect the Jews to operate according to Christian principles, John, particularly considering the monstrous way we have treated our spiritual ancestors over the centuries.  Israel should take of itself in whatever way it sees fit, particularly since a great many “Christians” around the world don’t really care how many Jewish corpses it takes to achieve a “Palestinian” state.

December 27, 4:13 pm | [comment link]
10. Jeffersonian wrote:

Since when does Israel control Gaza’s border with Egypt, John?

December 27, 4:17 pm | [comment link]
11. Jeffersonian wrote:

Interesting passage from Wiki:

After a 24-hour period in which not a single Qassam rocket or mortar was fired into Israel, on 24 November the IDF facilitated the transfer of over 30 truckloads of food, basic supplies and medicine into the Gaza Strip, and it also transferred fuel to the main power plant of the area. On 25 November Israel closed its cargo crossing with Gaza due to two rockets being shot at Israel.

It would seem that Israel is okay with supplies getting into Gaza when the “Palestinians” can behave themselves for 24 interminable hours.  Odd how food and fuel oil are in short supply, but rocket fuel and warhead explosives seem to be available no matter what.  Perhaps the demand for the latter is more inelastic within the confines of Gaza.

December 27, 4:29 pm | [comment link]
12. John Wilkins wrote:

Christopher:  “That ridiculous people” is what justifies genocide.  And of course, you argue exactly what many Israelis do.  I doesn’t seem to be working or bringing peace.

Well, Christopher, not that most Chrstians operate due to Christian principles either.  As Scott Heim notes, anti-semitism is a lot like a modern heresy.  But either Jesus was right or wrong about this, for everyone. 

It’s easy to be a relativist, isn’t it? 

Of course its hard.  It is the narrow gate.

On the other hand, a proportionate response would be justified.  How many Israelis were killed in the last six months?  An eye for an eye.

This is much more like a Blitzkreig, or Shock and Awe.

As far as Egypt goes, Hamas is related to the Brotherhood, who actively opposes the ruling party of Egypt.  Egypt coordinates the border with Israel.  Jefferson, you cannot deny that there has been a siege, or that the Gazans live in utter misery.

December 27, 4:56 pm | [comment link]
13. Cennydd wrote:

BOTH sides in this insane part of the world are EQUALLY to blame for the mess they’re in!  Fifty years from now, they’ll STILL be fighting each other!

December 27, 4:56 pm | [comment link]
14. Jeffersonian wrote:

The Gazans, John, live in a hell of their own making (though the UN is no slouch in keeping the Gazans in perpetual hell, either).  The most recent blockade wasn’t implemented by Israel out of caprice, boredom or bad faith, but response to Palestinian hostilities.  Every time Israel loosens restrictions, the drooling goons of Hamas ramp up the Jew-killing.  I don’t see any reason Israel should accept that.

BTW, are you saying that Israel ought to launch daily potshots into Gaza instead of narrowly targeting Hamas outposts?  Wouldn’t that be a “proportional response?”

December 27, 5:10 pm | [comment link]
15. RoyIII wrote:

I don’t understand why a cease fire is just Hamas cutting back on their attacks and Israel stopping theirs.  If the only way to stop Hamas’ attacks is just to pave Gaza, and hose it off every week or two, then that’s what the Israelis ought to do.

December 27, 5:23 pm | [comment link]
16. John Wilkins wrote:

“The Gazans live in a hell of their own making.”  You’re telling me that the mothers of the children killed by Israeli bombs deserved what they got?  Nobody deserves to live that way.  It is cruel to think so.

How is your statement different than someone who says the US is responsible for the Twin Towers? 

These are individual people, not jut a mass of people. 

Do the math Jefferson:  200 Palestinians killed.  400 wounded.  That’s state terrorism.  How many Israelis were killed in the last six months? 

Nobody deserves to live that way, either Israeli or Hamas.  If you were a soldier for Hamas, what would your response be?

They may be wrong, but they are human beings, made of blood and dust and feelings and dreams.

December 27, 5:26 pm | [comment link]
17. ElaineF. wrote:

RE: “You’re telling me that the mothers of the children killed by Israeli bombs deserved what they got?..”
I don’t see anybody saying that.  I wonder, though, why those same mothers aren’t marching, chanting and waving their fists at those who are lobbing the provocative bombs into Israel.

December 27, 5:43 pm | [comment link]
18. William P. Sulik wrote:

So, as I understand it, John Wilkins believes that shooting a minimum of three rockets a day at Sderot for the past two years is justifiable, but the dropping of bombs on these mortar and rocket positions is not justifiable?

And as a result, John further believes that sending in suicide bombers into Israel is justifiable?  What seminary did you go to where you learned such ethics?

December 27, 5:53 pm | [comment link]
19. Old Soldier wrote:

RE: Hamas.  Nuke ‘em

December 27, 5:58 pm | [comment link]
20. Jeffersonian wrote:

No, John, it’s not “terrorism” when a state openly uses its military to repress attacks on its sovereign territory.  It’s defensive, it might be an act of war, but it’s not terrorism.  Israel is not deliberately targeting civilians in Gaza, whereas those launching Qassams into Israel are.  I hope even a relativist such as you can see that.

A more apt metaphor would be when an American law enforcement officer wounds or kills an innocent bystander in the course of subduing a criminal suspect: The criminal is rightly charged with the death insofar as the LEO’s actions were necessitated by the criminal’s actions.  Israel’s actions were made necessary by Hamas’ warlike actions and by their refusal to suppress those daily rocketing and mortaring Israel.  QED.

I assume that you are talking about those who justified their destruction of the WTC and not those who say Bush/Cheney were operationally in charge of the demolition.  Of course, the difference is that while the US actions in Iraq (which, if one is to take Osama’s 1998 declaration at face value, was the casus belli) were a response to Iraqi military aggression, were authorized by several UNSC Resolutions, were not unilateral and were undertaken under recognized rules of war.  The WTC attack was none of those things.

I feel bad for innocent Gazans caught in the mess made by their leaders.  But since Hamas and their pals don’t seem amenable to actually stopping attacks on Israel, your assertions of what everyone should do aren’t realistic.

December 27, 6:01 pm | [comment link]
21. Christopher Johnson wrote:

John, the “Palestinians,” an ancient people whose roots go all the way back to 1967, have had forty years to express a desire to live in peace with Israel.  And your leftist cartoon version of them notwithstanding, they have not done it; electing a genocidal group like Hamas to lead you is not conducive to peaceful relations regardless of your breezy opinions about Northern Ireland. 

And to put it bluntly, John, anyone who is as blase about Israel deaths as you seem to be(insofar as you can’t seem to work up any concern over dead Middle Easterners until Israel defends itself), you really shouldn’t be tossing around terms like “genocide” and “state terrorism.”  Just sayin’.

December 27, 6:19 pm | [comment link]
22. John Wilkins wrote:

21:  Palestinians elected Hamas not to destroy Israel, but to get rid of Fateh, which was clearly corrupt.  Since Israel wouldn’t negotiate with anybody, they kicked the bums out.  It was political calculation. 

WE can return to the history books if we want, but the people who’ve lived there for generations, Arab, Palestinian, or not, should be able to live there.

Of course, I would prefer that the Palestininans do the following:  forgo a two state solution, and work for human rights within Israel. 

Blase?  Christopher?  Tu quoque, my friend.  If you had read my posts you would have noted I don’t justify Hamas’ attacks.  I also agree that Hamas is a terrorist organization.  Alas, both Hamas and Israel think that the opposition only understands “force” and that both can’t comprehend peace. 

But I also don’t see how this could be considered a proportional response.  Nor do I think this provides any incentive for Palestinians to trust Israelis or elect a more moderate group.

December 27, 6:40 pm | [comment link]
23. John Wilkins wrote:

William, where did I say sending suicide bombers was justifiable?  That is slander.  Be careful and accurate. 

This is what I did NOT say:
Hamas is justified in bombing Israel.  I said that Israel has put Gaza under siege.  There may be better ways to resist. 

I did say that this was not a proportional response.  This was shock and awe.  This was to destroy Hamas, which once had been supported by Israel. 

I did not say that Hamas was an admirable organization.  Like the Israelies, they think their enemy only understands force.

I don’t think the Israelis have given incentives for the Palestinians to seek peace, aside from military threats.  This has effect of militarizing the enemy, by and large.  If we had been invaded, chances are most Americans would become more militarized.  It is about protecting one’s nation or tribe, and that is pretty universal.  I don’t begrudge the Israelis that they should protect their borders.  But it could have been done differently.

December 27, 6:49 pm | [comment link]
24. RoyIII wrote:

All Hamas has to do is stop lobbing rockets.  They will not stop.  They use grieving moms as pr and motivators.  If Hamas keeps lobbing rockets, they should expect airstrikes.  The only thing they understand is force.

December 27, 7:12 pm | [comment link]
25. Jeffersonian wrote:

I’m puzzled as to why the response must be “proportional.”  Why is that so?  And proportional to what?  The last day’s Qassam salvo?  The last week’s?  The last year’s?  Shouldn’t the response be sufficient to eliminate the threat?

December 27, 7:29 pm | [comment link]
26. John Wilkins wrote:

RoyIII, the term “the only thing they understand is force” is exactly what Hamas says about Israel.  it is that sort of thinking that gets us here in the same place.

25 - proportional is about justice.  If one country nukes another because of a hand grenade, it is morally wrong.

When Palestinian life is cheap, or considered cheaper than an Israeli life, or vice versa, then proportionality, of course, doesn’t make any sense.  Jefferson might be right that some lives are less important than others.  Lots of tyrants have thought that before.  Someone gets killed and the police have the right to kill ten other people.  Get 5 criminals, but if you get 5 innocent people, who cares?

Granted, it might be what Jesus does in Jefferson’s world.  It might be a new sort of ethic, but it surely doesn’t bring a lasting peace.

Of course, if we could eliminate the threat, everything would be quite easy, wouldn’t it?  Even after the civil war, there was still terrorism in the South against blacks for many years. 

In the end, markets and trade are more reliable harbringers of peace than war or revenge.  Hamas could learn that.  So could, of course, Israel.

December 27, 8:01 pm | [comment link]
27. Cennydd wrote:

Sometimes people need a reminder that Palestinian militants are determined to rid what they see as THEIR land…..Palestine…..of every single Jew; men, women, and children…...of all ages and conditions, no matter how long it takes.  The Zionists among the people of Israel are as equally determined to remain in what they regard as THEIR land…..Israel…...no matter what it takes. 

They have been at each other’s throats since 1948, but their history of animosity towards each other goes back to the Diaspora.  This is a family squabble of immense proportions; a feud, and old quarrels going back over 1,000 years or more, and for most of them, they don’t know why they’re quarreling except that some are Palestinians, while the rest are Jews…..all of whom seem to have a huge chip on their shoulder and daring someone to knock that chip OFF that shoulder!  Killing each other isn’t the answer, but the religious hotheads on both sides won’t allow peace…...except on THEIR terms.

BOTH sides are equally at fault…...and they need to be reminded of that!

December 27, 8:16 pm | [comment link]
28. Old Soldier wrote:

Cenntdd
Why do you say both sides are at fault?  Do you not believe that God gave that land to the Jews?

December 27, 8:30 pm | [comment link]
29. Cennydd wrote:

Both peoples are Semites, and they’ve been at each other’s throats for centuries.  They could have peace…...if they both truly wanted peace.  Living in blind hatred and mistrust of each other will never get them anywhere…...and both sides know it.  Someone, somewhere, has GOT to take the initiative and DEMAND an immediate and PERMANENT end to the bloodshed.  The question is, who should that “someone” be?

December 27, 8:50 pm | [comment link]
30. Vintner wrote:

In that case, Old Soldier, time to give your land back to the Native Americans.  How soon can you be gone?

December 27, 8:50 pm | [comment link]
31. Jeffersonian wrote:

25 - proportional is about justice.  If one country nukes another because of a hand grenade, it is morally wrong.

True, but is destroying 40 facilities dedicated to training those who are then sworn to the destruction of your nation and people disproportionate, particularly when that training is being applied against your nation and people on a daily basis?  Clearly, no.  A nation would be remiss in its primary mission of protecting its citizens if it failed to do so.

When Palestinian life is cheap, or considered cheaper than an Israeli life, or vice versa, then proportionality, of course, doesn’t make any sense.  Jefferson might be right that some lives are less important than others.  Lots of tyrants have thought that before.  Someone gets killed and the police have the right to kill ten other people.  Get 5 criminals, but if you get 5 innocent people, who cares?

For one who squeals so about slander, you’re certainly eager to engage in it, John.  I’m quite certain Hamas holds Jewish life worthless insofar as they actively seek to destroy the lives of combatant and non-combatant alike.  Indeed, the objectives of Hamas’ troops are almost uniformly non-combatants.  At least Israel targets legitimate assets, albeit imperfectly.  Somehow, that is never mentioned in your posts.  Why is that?

You do realize what Hamas is all about, don’t you?  What their goals are?

December 27, 9:39 pm | [comment link]
32. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: ““That ridiculous people” is what justifies genocide.”

Not it isn’t.

RE: ” 200 Palestinians killed.  400 wounded.  That’s state terrorism.”

No it isn’t.

I see JW is indulging in random assertions again.

December 27, 10:29 pm | [comment link]
33. Katherine wrote:

John Wilkins says: “Of course, I would prefer that the Palestininans do the following:  forgo a two state solution, and work for human rights within Israel.”

This implies that he believes the “Palestinians” do at present aim for a two-state solution.  This is false.  They aim for one state, a Muslim state which will control all of the territory now called Israel as well as all of the disputed areas.

JW also implies, in #12, that Egypt is being led by Israel on the blockade.  Look at the map.  Egypt has a border with Gaza about as long as the closed northern border with Israel.  If Egypt, or the other Arab states of the region, wanted to supply Gaza, this could easily be done through the southern border.  The fact is that Egypt doesn’t want these people in its borders nor does it support them other than rhetorically.  Egypt considers them radicals and troublemakers, which they are as a group.

If the Hamas and Fatah governments would turn their attention to “human rights” within their own territories—that is, to establishing normal peaceful societies with functioning businesses—they would soon find that negotiating “human rights” with the Israelis would be workable.  The Palestinian authorities would have to renounce terrorism in fact as well as in public statement and take action to suppress rocket fire and bombings, which they are well able to do if they want to.

December 28, 2:16 am | [comment link]
34. Old Soldier wrote:

Vitner,
Perhaps you will show us where God promised America to the native american forever.

December 28, 7:42 am | [comment link]
35. Vintner wrote:

I don’t seem to recall reading anywhere that the Great Spirit whom the Native Americans (a misnomer as is Indian since neither is correct) ever telling them that they were going to have give their land over to savages (including Custer, another Old Soldier like yourself) who would come over and take over their land and ravage their people by force.  My sympathies always were with the Indians, never with those who cheated, manipulated, and went back on their word.  Likewise, your whole notion that since the Bible says that the Promised Land belongs to the Jews then it’s okay for them to abuse Palestinians would be enough to convince a person that atheism is the way to go.  And by the by, who wrote those part of the Scriptures?  Those being slaughtered?  Or those doing the slaughtering?

Cennyd and I hardly agree on anything but on this we do.  Both sides are at fault.  And your opinion does nothing to help.

December 28, 9:58 am | [comment link]
36. libraryjim wrote:

Actually, Vitner, God Himself authored the Scriptures, having them penned by people He specifically chose for the task, to show His story through history. Many of these same people also called Israel to task time and time again for disobeying God or by going their own way rather than His. 

And from time to time, God chose to drive the people of Israel from their land until they could re-learn obedience. On many of those occasions they had to fight for the privilege of re-entering that land. They have now been given back that land, which may or may not lead to the final battles mentioned in the Biblical prophecies.

December 28, 1:45 pm | [comment link]
37. John Wilkins wrote:

Jefferson and Katherine, I’m fully aware of what Hamas stands for.  You’ve got the wrong person if you think i’m sympathetic to them.  I have close Christian missionary friends who worked in Palestine who told me many stories about how dangerous they were.  Of course, they also said that Hamas had early support from Ariel Sharon because they would divide the Palestinians. 

Katherine is right that Hamas is considered troublemakers.  Nobody is denying that.  But the objection is that collective punishment is morally wrong; and it does not improve security among Israelis.

A corollary to this is that the people who can truly rein in Hamas are the Palestinians.  And this has happened:  last year, when Hamas ended a cease fire, the Palestinians themselves stormed their offices - why?  Because things were getting better.  Hamas was ruining things.  But when things get worse, Hamas solidifies its power. 

Katherine is only partially right about the desire of most Palestinians.  yes - chances are most Palestinians feel like victims.  They’d like their land back.  But the facts on the ground are different.  The real question is:  are Palestinians realists or utopians?  Most of them are realists.  Individual Palestinians want to be able to make a living. 

In war, any tribe is going to move to the extreme.  When there is peace, people move toward the center. 

It’s time to try peace.

December 28, 1:45 pm | [comment link]
38. Vintner wrote:

Acutally, libraryjim, that argument only holds if the person doing the ultimate deciding believes that Scriptures are the ultimate authority of the matter.  Since the Palestinians would not see Scripture as having no authority in this matter, and since a secular court would not see Scripture as having authority in this matter, it is as ridiculous to decide that the Jewish people can have that land to themselves anymore than the Palestinians could claim its there based on whatever writings they would deem to be divinely inspired.  The Jews were given that land by the UN and they had no right to do so.  Your argument that God takes the side of Israel in this matter gives atheism more and more of a boost.

December 28, 4:17 pm | [comment link]
39. libraryjim wrote:

Vitner,
Acutally, libraryjim, that argument only holds if the person doing the ultimate deciding believes that Scriptures are the ultimate authority of the matter.

Belief or disbelief in the truth does not change the Truth. The statement applies to followers of God, whether Christians or Jews. It is a dogma not just a doctrine of Christianity.  If you are not a Christian, then you probably do not feel that it is applicable to you, obviously. However that does not change the Truth of the statement.

Those who believe (rightly) that the Scriptures are a True authority authored by God (II Timothy 3:16) must act by those Scriptures and try to follow God the best they can, ignoring those who say “it is ... ridiculous to decide” based on those Scriptures.

As to giving atheism a boost, those who hear and err, then that is what they will do. I can only speak the Truth, that is what I am responsible to do, I am responsible and answerable to God, not the atheists.

As to the power of Man to decide what God has given: fallen Man will not always follow God’s precepts, and when they do (as in the case of granting the Land to Israel) it is at the prompting of the Spirit, unseen and unaware by those acting (as was the case with many of the people who invaded Israel at the time of the prophets—“So and so is my servant, and I have commanded them to invade you that you may turn back to Me, but I will call you back to the Land I gave you in the fullness of time”—paraphrase, obviously). 

The UN had that right, just as they had the right to ‘invent’ Kuwait and Jordan and send ‘peacekeeping forces’ into combative areas.  The nations of the world GAVE them that right and voted to affirm the action (through the leading of the Holy Spirit, even though they did not know it).

Jim Elliott <><
Florida

December 28, 5:57 pm | [comment link]
40. libraryjim wrote:

John,
The Palestinians who are ‘realists’ need to protest and march against their leaders who are keeping them in a state of war, and demand their resignation and imprisonment. It worked in Lebanon, didn’t it?

If they really feel that strongly, then their voice will be heard.

If they stay silent, they are giving assent to the actions of the ‘rocket launching’ sector of their government, and they are just as guilty as those ordering the attacks on Israel.

December 28, 6:01 pm | [comment link]
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