On Israel

21 Jul 2014

I always remark to those who are so quick to lambast Israel that ‘I have neither the time nor the crayons to explain why you are wrong’. After finding some time, I decided to forgo the Crayola and write up as concisely as possible just why Israel is not in the wrong, despite what your tube-set wires into your mind.

Proportionality: “Asymmetric response” is a term I see bandied about regularly to describe Israel’s actions; “Hamas send useless fireworks" to Israeli cities from the Gaza Strip. Said refusal to acknowledge that these rockets are dangerous is incredibly frustrating and I'd like to shed some light on the topic.

 

These are some of the rockets in Hamas' arsenal:

●     BM-21 Grad

●     Qassam rocket

●     Weishi Rockets

●     Khaibar-1 (otherwise known as a Syrian M-302 rocket)

●     Fajr-5


 


This is a building in Rishon LeZion, a city in the Gush Dan metropolitan area, that was hit by a Fajr-5 during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012. This is significant damage.

 


 


This is what the building looked like on the inside after being directly hit. Hamas has hundreds of potentially deadly long-range rockets that can reach all the way to northern Israel, which they've fired during this round

 

 


This is what they look like.



Here are examples of the damage Hamas' short-range rockets are capable of:

 


Please keep in mind that these pictures are not from the current round of escalation, simply because I couldn't find a non-Israeli source that actually published the most recent images (foreign media doesn't seem to be interested. Shocker.) Since posting an image from an Israeli source like Ynet would bring hate upon this article, I have no alternative to using older images to demonstrate what the rockets can do. The rockets that were then used by Hamas are still in use, so there's no difference in their capabilities.

With acceptance of this you may be asking yourself: "If these rockets are actually dangerous, how come there are so few Israeli casualties?" The answer lies in understanding the length to which the Israeli government has gone to provide protection for its civilians, civilians whose health they deeply care for.

●     Iron Dome is perhaps the most important factor in preventing Israeli civilian casualties. In 2011, Iron Dome successfully intercepted a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip for the first time. Its success rate stands on approximately 90%. More information: [1][2][3]

●     In Israel, apartment buildings and residential houses have a protected space (Merkhav Mugan). It's a reinforced security room designed to withstand a direct hit from a rocket or missile. Since 1992 (after the Gulf War), all new apartment buildings and residential houses in Israel have been required by law to have one of these reinforced rooms, and/or a bomb shelter in areas where the warning time is long enough to reach one. Those who live in older apartment buildings use the building's stairwell as a protected space. In the vast majority of densely populated areas, there is always a shelter within reach, even when you're outside - there are public shelters scattered everywhere. In Sderot, they've become a part of the city's architecture.

●     The Home Front Command works to educate civilians on how to protect themselves and others when faced with an emergency. They speak at schools, universities, workplaces and on television, ensuring that everyone understands what they need to do when a siren or a Red Color alarm is heard. This is crucial. From childhood, Israelis are practiced and drilled in evacuating themselves to a bomb shelter. It's drilled in schools twice a year, and parents are encouraged to practice with their children at home. This type of education continues in other environments such as the ones I mentioned previously. Additionally, the Home Front Command does yearly drills in major cities to prepare both emergency responders and civilians for various scenarios.

On the other hand, Hamas opt to set up rocket firing positions in densely populated areas: schools, hospitals, etc. Why? Because more martyrs equals more news coverage, more news coverage equals more condemnation of Israel, more chance to find allies, more chance of removing Israel from your atlas. Not despicable enough? Hamas encourages the people of Gaza to serve as human shields. [1] [2]

This is a flyer distributed by Hamas, depicting people gathering to the rooftops of buildings as they are about to be hit by missiles. Translation from Arabic: "A strong people". The IAF is aware of this "tactic" and calls off airstrikes when civilians are seen near target. It warns people by phone and leaflet, as well as employs a tactic that's referred to as roof knocking. Regrettably, these attempts at preventing civilian casualties sometimes fail, but the IDF is willing to own up to it.

The above explains why Israel has suffered no casualties so far, while the people of Gaza have. It's not because Hamas' rockets aren't dangerous. I'd like to add that as a human being, I'm saddened every time that I hear about civilian casualties among the people of Gaza. They are just as unrelated to this conflict as the people of Sderot, and I truly wish that none had to suffer due to the actions of Hamas. I am glad, however, that the IDF seems to be doing everything in their power to prevent unnecessary death. I just hope that Gaza may one day be governed by a party who wish for a genuine peace and the wellbeing of their citizenry. 

By Adam Isaacs


Excerpts taken from Reddit
 

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