On the eve of the Sukkot holiday (Wednesday, September 29), two Israeli children, Dorit Aniso, two, and Yuval Abebeh, four, were murdered by a Kassam rocket fired at their Sderot home in southern Israel by Hamas terrorists.

 Behind the Headlines: Fighting the Kassam rocket attacks

 

Dorit Aniso, 2, and Yuval Abebeh, 4

On the eve of the Sukkot holiday (Wednesday, September 29), two Israeli children, Dorit Aniso, two, and Yuval Abebeh, four, were murdered by a Kassam rocket fired at their Sderot home in southern Israel by Hamas terrorists.

This rocket strike was part of an ongoing and indiscriminate onslaught of attacks: More than 460 rockets have been fired at Israel’s civilian population. This is an insufferable situation, one that no country could tolerate.

Israel is acting out of its right of self-defense, from its responsibility for the security of its citizens, in an effort to halt the firing of these rockets. The Israel Defense Forces is taking action against those who launch the missiles, who operate from within the Gaza civilian population. To do so, the IDF must reach the launching areas themselves.

Hamas fires these missiles intentionally from densely populated Palestinian areas. It thereby cynically exploits their own civilians as human shields, causing them much pain and suffering.

In light of this reality in the field, the IDF is fighting a complex battle, trying to hit only the terrorists, and making every effort to avoid harming non-combatants or their property. Nevertheless, in a reality where all terrorist fire against us is directed from crowds or residential buildings, and when hundreds of explosive charges and mines are planted within the civilian infrastructure, it is impossible in such combat to completely avoid harming civilians or their property.

While the present operation is broader than its predecessors, it is relatively limited, with the aim of refraining from deeply penetrating densely populated areas.

Israel ultimately intends to disengage from the Gaza Strip by the end of 2005, a departure that aims to ease the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians. Against this background, the firing of Kassam rockets and the continuation of terrorism by Palestinian terrorists constitute attempts not only to thwart the withdrawal plan, but to perpetuate terrorism and violence as a means of attaining their goals. In doing so, they oppose any initiative that could bring about an improvement in the existing situation, as well as improving the living conditions of the Palestinian people.

The terrorist organizations prefer to continue and to perpetuate the suffering of the Palestinians, instead of exhausting the possibilities that would provide them and their children a better future of peace.

The Palestinian Authority has thousands of policemen and security personnel in the northern Gaza Strip. They are doing nothing to halt the firing of Kassam rockets, and it is evident that the Palestinian Authority is also interested in prolonging the violence.