Israel Seems To Have No Idea Who Did It
As Rockets and Bombs Rain Down
The Israeli authorities seem to have no idea who was responsible for Thursday's terrorist attacks near Eilat that killed 7 Israelis. Within hours of the attack, the IDF had bombed a headquarters of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) in southern Gaza, killing two senior PRC leaders as well as 3 others. Immediately, Netantahu claimed that those who gave the order for the Eilat operation had been killed. But later Thursday evening, the Israeli air-force bombed several workshops (claiming them to be weapons factories) in central and northern Gaza, as well as the Gaza power plant. IDF spokesperson Avital Leibowitz, pointedly refused to say that the PRC was responsible for the attacks, only saying that they originated in Gaza. Her evidence? The attackers used Kalashnikov rifles, widely available in Gaza. [They are also available all over the Middle East, including Sinai, Lebanon, and Syria.] After this second attack Prime Minister Netanyahu said Israel held Hamas responsible for the Eilat atacks. Today, foreign minister Leiberman is quoted in the Jerusalem Post as saying the the PA is responsible.
It should be noted that both Hamas and the PRC have denied responsibility, and that Hamas at least, has neverlaunched an attack from outside Israel.
It should also be noted that it was only after Israel bombed civilian targets (e.g the power plant) late Thursday, that rockets attacks from Gaza into Israel began. Of course this was followed by increased Israeli bombing of Gaza, which was followed by increased rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel, which ... At least one Israeli and 9 Gazans have been killed in these mutual attacks and counter attacks - after the Israeli retaliatory bombing of the PRC headquarters.
Finally, let's not forget that the IDF managed to kill five Egyptian policemen in the immediate aftermath of the initial terror attacks. So it has now alienated Egypt, and put its peace treaty with Egypt on shaky ground. Meanwhile, Egyptian authorities say they have found a workshop in Sinai capable of making suicide belts like those used by the Eilat terrorists, thus further putting in doubt that the terrorists originated in Gaza.
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Innocent people on both sides of the border are killed and wounded, and their friends and relatives can only hope that those who control the guns will one day act in the real long term interests of the people. For a view of all this from the common person in Gaza, read this report from Al Jazeera.