Insurgents Winning in Israel
At least three Palestinians blew up a bomb and then attacked Israelis late Thursday night at a busy crossing point in the Gaza Strip in an attack coordinated with other militants who fired mortars and automatic weapons at Israeli soldiers, the Israeli army said Friday morning. Six Israeli civilians and the three Palestinians militants were killed during the attack, according to the Israeli army and media and Palestinian medics. Another 10 people were wounded, five of them Israeli and two seriously.
The attack took place just before 11 p.m. at the Karni crossing, where farm produce and other goods enter and leave the Gaza Strip. The militants place a 300 pound bomb by the terminal wall that divides the Israeli and Palestinian sides and blew it minutes before closing time, the Israel military said. Three Palestinians then entered the Israeli side of the terminal firing their weapons at Israeli civilians and soldiers. During the evacuation of the wounded, mortars were fired at Israeli troops. Early Israeli and wire agency reports of suicide bombers were inaccurate, the army said.
Thursday’s large and well-organized attack was a sharp riposte to efforts by the newly elected Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to arrange an end to violence. Mr. Abbas, who was elected on Sunday, has publicly called for a halt in attacks against Israel as counterproductive to the formation of an independent Palestinian state, and he has been engaged in a “national dialogue” with various armed groups to agree on a cease-fire. They include Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, a group that is part of his own Fatah movement, as well as Islamic radical groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The violence is a slap at Mr. Abbas and shows some of the challenge he faces in replacing the late Yasir Arafat, who was a hero to the fighters.
Three Palestinian militant groups claimed joint responsibility for the attack, including Al Aksa Martyrs Brigades, Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees. That claim represents an effort to group local militants in joint operations.
Clearly, the attempt to bring democracy to Israel is doomed to fail. The insurgency is growing stronger, despite almost sixty years of fighting by the U.S.-backed government and the expenditure of billions of dollars. How many more must die before we call this operation off?
Several things are clear:
- The arrogant refusal of the Israelis to get more international support is a key reason they are now losing.
- The Israelis did a poor job of planning for this operation and have failed to react quickly enough to events on the ground.
- The Israeli Army is too small. More troops have been desperately needed for half a century now, yet the administration has failed to provide for them.
- The failure of Israeli leaders to provide adequate armor for its people is outrageous.
- A draft is imminent if this operation is not called off.
- Sharon is a chimp.
- Rumsfeld must go.