Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Israel after New Defeat: Shock, Depression, Anxiety


"04/03/2008 Israeli 'Operation Hot Winter' in the Gaza strip ended its 'first step', four days after it started, without achieving any notable 'accomplishment'. The achievement was however on the Palestinian side. The Palestinian Resistance succeeded in creating a new balance of fear vis-à-vis Israeli forces. Their rocket attacks against Israeli settlements did not stop knowing that the main goal of the Israeli military operation was to put an end to such attacks. Furthermore, a new phase in Israeli-Palestinian conflict has begun; Ashkelon has entered the range of Palestinian resistance rockets and settlements beyond 'Asheklon' stand prepared to face such a threat.

In this context, Israeli analyst Alon Ben David noted that a new balance has been created. "Any escalation in Gaza now means rocket salvos into Ashkelon. It was important for the Palestinians to have the last say in this round. There is no military way to stop these rockets militarily", he said.

The total fiasco of the ground operation as well as the Israeli army's unwillingness to pay a high price of its soldiers pushed the Israeli leadership into using a new means of engagement. In addition to IAF raids, the Israeli political and military leaderships legalized the bombing of civil areas of under the pretext of retaliating to rocket attacks.

Israeli vice Prime Minister Hayim Ramon said that Israeli forces had to launch bombs on Palestinian territories instead of sending in soldiers. "We are able to determine within seconds the exact place from which rockets are being launched. The other party has to know that for each rocket launched, there will be an immediate reaction. This is what we used to do when we used to bomb Lebanese villages," he said.

Meanwhile, the Israeli daily Ma'ariv published a report showing widespread shock conditions among Israeli settlers around Gaza. The report said that settlers have been seeing nightmares, going through nervous breakdowns and suffering from pains of unknown causes. "Some of the settlers even become paralyzed," the report added.

"I have a bad feeling and we are seriously thinking of emigrating from the country. I'm always depressed. Why do I have to continue living in such an atmosphere? It would be better for me to go to the U.S. or any other quieter place", one settler said.

For their part, the settlers of the 'Ashdod' city expressed fear that they might become rocket targets after 'Asheklon'. They warned the Israeli government that if this happened, then 'Tel Aviv" would also become in real danger. "

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