Before I read this article, I was pretty sure that the Israeli leadership was shying away, for the moment, from anything like a reprise of the Cast Lead massacre, even though on the night of the 21 there were eight coordinated F-16 attacks on sites in Gaza. I’m a bit less sure now. Ashkenazi’s job is to terrify Gaza’s civilian population and instill in them constant and grinding terror. But it’s also to prepare the ground for the next assault in the eyes of Israeli and especially world public opinion.
He told a parliamentary panelthat “The situation in the south is tense and fragile, and it could deteriorate if a rocket attack causes a large number of casualties.” As if on cue, a typically psychotic op-ed appeared: “The IDF does not intend to show restraint in the face of the latest Hamas activism, and this fact would likely be made clear to Hamas’ Gaza leadership in a convincing and blatant matter, and soon.” And in the view of this writer, what is it that the “Hamas activism” (Which isn’t Hamas activism) meant to accomplish? “Hamas is now trying to impose new rules of play and prevent activity beyond the fence”–in other words, on its own land.In other words, don’t resist. But that will never happen.

KIBBUTZ ZIKKIM, Israel (AFP) — The Israel-Gaza border is tense and the situation could easily deteriorate, Israel’s army chief warned on Tuesday.
Lieutenant General Gabi Ashkenazi told a parliamentary committee that the relative calm that has prevailed since Israel’s devastating Gaza offensive at the end of 2008 could quickly end.
“The situation is tense and fragile and could easily deteriorate, particularly if a rocket lands in a populated area,” Ashkenazi said.
Ashkenazi was speaking after a rocket fired from the coastal enclave hit a nearby kibbutz, exploding near a kindergarten as the children were arriving, police and witnesses said.

As if on a timer, Vik Arrigoni reported literally minutes after I posted this: “A loud explosion was just heard in the center of Gaza City.”
Technorati Tags: AshkenaziGazaIsraelPalestineZionism
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