sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Upset Palestinians

I share with whoever reads this blog a certain war weariness when it comes to the Middle East. In fact, I'm reluctant to blog about the place because it's like a broken record -- has been before I was born and will be after I die. The Israel vs Arab conflict was well underway long before David slew Goliath with a rock launched from a sling (the earliest example of Iron Dome...

Israel acts based on its own interests alone. I don't consider them an ally by choice, but they are an ally by need. Which is better? You can decide.

The Palestinians are upset because they're Palestinians. Nobody can fix that accident of birth.

On 13 November, the Israeli military raised the alert level across the country. The move was a response to threats by the Gaza-based militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). PIJ vowed to avenge the deaths of 12 members who were killed when the Israeli army last month blew up a tunnel under the Gaza-Israel border. Demo-ing a tunnel makes perfect sense. The US needs to demo more drug tunnels under the US/Mexico border because that's how the bulk of hard narcotics and high value people (Middle Easterners and Asians) are smuggled into the USA...but back to Israel.

Commercial Channel 2 TV reported that the Israel Air Force has finished deploying Iron Dome batteries throughout Israel, including in the north and center of the country.

Additional troops have been deployed to the south to reinforce the Gaza Division, which is on alert both to defend the southern communities and for the possibility of an attack.

Israeli official sources declined to state whether Israel had specific information about a PIJ attack. They never do comment, but their behavior in raising vigilance involved high cost physical precautions. Those usually imply a serious and reasonably credible, specific threat.

PIJ is more extreme than Hamas and usually makes good on its threats of revenge, using rocket and/or mortar attacks. PIJ has not been a party to the reconciliation talks between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority over control of the Gaza Strip. PIJ represents a wildcard that neither Hamas or Fatah control. PIJ’s top leaders are based in Damascus, Syria. The Sunni Arab terrorist group receives support from Iran and has close ties to Lebanese Hizballah.

Israel warned PIJ against attacking. On 11 November, the Israeli army warned PIJ that Israel would retaliate for any attacks and that the targets would include Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
On 12 November, Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “There are those who still amuse themselves these days by trying to renew attacks against Israel. We will take a very firm stance against anyone who tries to attack us or attacks us from any area.”
PIJ replied that the Israeli threats amounted to a declaration of war.

Arab and Israeli experts state that PIJ is under pressure from Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to take no action that disrupts the reconciliation between the main Palestinian factions. 

They also judge that PIJ leaders will feel that they must avenge the deaths. If so, there will be attacks. The Israelis will not limit their targets to the Gaza Strip.