Friday, June 13, 2008

Like Shooting Fish in a Barrel......

Gaza: 14 Killed, 40 Wounded in Israeli Attacks


"13/06/2008 Palestinians reported that at least seven people have been killed and 40 more wounded in a large explosion in northern Gaza on Thursday afternoon.

Hamas sources told Israeli daily Ynet that two of the seven people martyred were senior operatives from the organization: Hassan Abu-Shakfa, one of the organization's commanders in northern Gaza, and Ashraf Mushtaha, another of Hamas' senior operatives.

The incident occurred in the home of Ahmed Hamouda, who is a member of the Izz al-Din al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. A source from the resistance organization said that the fact that the blast occurred during a meeting held by the senior operatives is evidence that the explosion was part of an Israeli attack, and witnesses also reported the explosion was caused by an Israeli airstrike.

Palestinians said there were women and children among those wounded, five of them are said to be in serious condition. The explosion resounded throughout the far corners of the city and the house has been completely destroyed. A number of neighboring residential buildings and business establishments were seriously damaged.

Sources in Gaza reported Thursday evening that a Palestinian was martyred and three others were injured during an Israeli occupation attack east of Khan Younis.

At around 11 pm Palestinian sources reported that three Hamas resistance fighters were killed in an Israeli strike targeting the organization's observation posts in the northern Gaza Strip.

Earlier in the day occupation forces operating in Gaza killed three Palestinian fighters. Two of them, members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the military wing of Fatah, were killed in the Beit Lahiya region."
Tony: Same old pattern, not much Palestinian learning and adaptation. Hamas' learning curve is quite flat, nothing compared with Hizbullah. It is obvious that Hamas is not operating as an effective guerrilla force; Hamas likes to pretend that it is a state. I read most of its pronouncements and communiques in Arabic; many are reminiscent of Arab regimes: long on empty rhetoric and meaningless bravado. An example is to declare that, "The Qassam anti-aircraft ground units are defending Gaza and are repelling the attacking Israeli air force!" This is not credible at all since Hamas does not have the required missiles. Even during the peak of the Israeli attacks on Lebanon, Hizbullah (with by far more capabilities) never made comparable claims. By shooting at the Israeli aircraft they expose their positions and provide their coordinates to the Israelis who fire their missiles within seconds and that explains why Palestinian fighters often die as a group (a cell).

Hamas has not adjusted its tactics to take into account that the IOF uses very sophisticated technology to track their movements and determine their locations. Even when mortars are fired, the trajectory is traced back to the firing cell which is hit almost immediately. Another doctrine which Hamas must abandon is to keep fighters as sentry in fixed positions (murabitoon!); this is not too smart and no guerrilla in his right mind would do. I expect more of the same to continue, including fiery speeches by Mr. Haniyeh.

Hamas blew away the brilliant breaking down of the ghetto wall at Rafah five months ago. Since then it fell in the trap of trusting the Pharaoh who has bought time and built even more permanent ghetto wall to tighten the siege even more. Now the Egyptians are being trained in Texas, by the US Army, on how to detect the Palestinian tunnels (under the wall) and to destroy them.

Hamas is also indulging in wishful thinking about the Israeli-Egyptian charade of a possible ceasefire, and that Israel would not dare invade Gaza. There will be no ceasefire, and just as the Iraqi experience has taught us, after the siege comes the invasion; this is what is coming in Gaza.

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