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May 11

Written by: Diana West
Sunday, May 11, 2008 12:06 PM 

Jimmy Kedoshim was standing in his garden on Friday evening in Kfar Aza, a kibbutz in Israel not far from the Gaza border. His wife had just gone into the house when an Iranian-made Hamas-fired120-millimeter mortar shell came out of the clear night sky and landed in the garden, killing the 48-year-old father of three. He was buried Sunday.

Israel National News has more information on the rocket fire:

New mortar shells being used by Hamas in Gaza are deadlier than even the most improved versions of the Kassam rockets though their range is limited. The 120-millimeter Iranian-produced shells carry a larger payload of explosives and their lack of rocket propulsion makes them impervious to the Color Red early-warning system that gives the region’s residents about ten to fifteen seconds to seek cover in the event of an incoming rocket.

Iran again. Iran in Iraq; Iran in Beirut; Iran in Gaza...Anyone notice a pattern?

Due to the lack of alarm, there is also no sense of “all-clear” after an explosion occurs. The first explosion is what signals residents to run for cover, but only guesswork decides when they can then leave. The next shell could come in seconds or hours.

Defense Minister Visits, Promises Nothing
Defense Minister Ehud Barak visited Kfar Aza on Saturday, and met with Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council Mayor Alon Schuster, Eshkol Regional Council Mayor Chaim Yellin, local resident MK Shai Hermesh (Kadima) and other members of the kibbutz.

The local officials demanded that Barak unleash the power of the IDF in response to the ongoing bombardment of area communities. In addition to the mortar shell that killed Kedoshim, forty other rockets and shells landed throughout the western Negev region over the weekend. A home and synagogue were struck in Sderot and three injured residents were treated at Ashkelon’s Barzilai Hospital.

Barak said that although his gut reaction to seeing the widow and orphans caused by the ongoing attacks is to respond with the full force of the IDF, “we must act with wisdom and consideration.”

And what, if not the full force of the IDF, constitutes "wisdom and consideration" here? Negotiating with Hamas?

Barak was said to have “hinted” to reporters, according to Army Radio, that a larger-scale operation in Gaza is on the horizon. “The situation will not continue for long,” Barak said, but he did not elaborate. Following previous security incidents in the Gaza region over the past few months, Barak also hinted that a large scale operation is on the horizon.

Sounds like the Defense Minister Who Hinted "Wolf."

Some of the Kibbutz members, most of whom were avid supporters of the Gaza Disengagement of 2005, demanded that the government fortify their homes and communal centers to protect them from the mortar shells. Local Mayor Schuster said that the government must choose a path – either all out war, or negotiating with Hamas, and implement it fully to bring normalcy of life back for the residents of the region.

All-out war, or negotiatiations with Hamas: Which one do you think is coming down the garden path? I am afraid "wisdom and consideration" will prevail.


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