Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hamas Dips Into Its Arsenal

Yesterday, the BBC noted Israel's fear that Hamas had increased its terroristic capabilities with more powerful rockets than it was currently using in its assault against southern Israel. Yesterday those fears were confirmed (note the sympathetic AP lede):

Unbowed by 250 Israeli airstrikes, militants fired dozens of rockets and mortars at border communities Sunday. Two rockets struck close to the largest city in southern Israel, Ashdod, some 38 kilometers (23 miles) from Gaza, reaching deeper into Israel than ever before. The targeting of Ashdod confirmed Israel's concern that militants are capable of putting major cities within rocket range.

The rockets that struck close to Ashdod, extending the militants' reach closer to Israel's heartland, landed some 23 miles (38 kilometers) from Gaza. Gaza's Hamas rulers have been stockpiling weapons in recent months, including medium-range missiles. Until Sunday, the deepest targets inside Israel had been the city of Ashkelon and the town of Netivot, which are about 12 miles (20 kilometers) from Gaza.

And when the usual chorus of anti-Semites begins to clamor for Israel's collective head for this alleged assortment of War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity, and Atrocities, it would be useful to keep this in mind:

The offensive began eight days after a six-month truce between Israel and the militants expired. The Israeli army says Palestinian militants have fired more than 300 rockets and mortars at Israeli targets over the past week, and 10 times that number over the past year.

Incidentally, the truce did not quite expire; Hamas unilaterally "called it off" - despite Israel's willingness to keep it in place - and began the rocket barrage that has brought them - and thier people - to the edge of ruin.

So when the French complain about Israel's "disproportionate use of force," perhaps Israel will agree to stop the bombardment after they launch their 3,000th missile strike against Gaza.

Fair, no?

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