Monday, January 08, 2007

The weapon of choice

Why there's a wall

From a peak of 44 suicide bombings in 2002 they have fallen to just three in 2006 as Israel becomes increasingly stringent in its border control with the construction of the security wall.
Why concessions are retrograde
Rubin estimates Hamas has launched more than 2000 Qassams over the past five years, but almost half that total havebeen launched since the Israeli withdrawal from Gaza.
Suicide bombings are out so...
"This rocket, which was previously looked upon with disdain by many, will serve as the weapon of choice in the coming period of time, as the acts of suicide martyrdom served as the weapon of choice during all the previous years."
Hamas website
... a new tactic is required
Islamic Jihad, which has claimed responsibility for the most recent Qassam attacks, says they are being fired in retaliation for raids being conducted by the IDF in the West Bank on Islamic Jihad to prevent more Qassams being manufactured. Without the raids, Qassam rockets could then be fired into the most heavily populated cities in Israel....About 70 per cent of the Israeli population lives along the densely populated coastal strip of central Israel, within firing range of the West Bank.
(via This Ongoing War)


wodge said...

The ultimate reason for the killings is that Israel decided to set up their country without the consent of the then indigenous population. Since then the Palestines have been treated like second class citizens, prisoners or targets and Israel has opted out of any meaningful political solution. [The Problem with Israel

683 people killed in the conflict in 2006
B'Tselem publishes its 2006 annual statistics. This past year, we witnessed a deterioration in the human rights situation in the Occupied Territories , particularly in the increase in civilians killed and the destruction of houses and infrastructure in the Gaza Strip. At the same time, there was an improvement regarding violations of the right to life of Israeli civilians.

Casualties (figures in parenthesis indicate the total figure since the beginning of the intifada)

According to B'Tselem's research, from January to December 27, 2006, Israeli security forces killed 660 (4005) Palestinians in the Occupied Territories and in Israel . This includes 141 (811) minors. At least 322 (1920) of those killed did not take part in the hostilities at the time they were killed. Another 22 (210) were targets of assassinations. In the Gaza Strip alone, since the capture of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, Israeli forces killed 405 Palestinians, including 88 minors. Of these, 205 did not participate in the fighting when killed.

Palestinians killed 17 (701) Israeli civilians in 2006, both in the West Bank and inside Israel . This includes 1 (119) minor. In addition, Palestinians killed 6 (316) members of the Israeli security forces.

House Demolitions

Israel demolished 292 houses military operations in the Occupied Territories , 279 of them in the Gaza Strip. These were home to 1,769 people. Some 80 of these demolitions were conducted after the home-owners received advance warning to the demolition. In addition, Israel demolished 42 homes in East Jerusalem that were built without a permit. These were home to about 80 people.

Checkpoints and restrictions on movement

Deep within the West Bank, Israel currently maintains 54 permanent checkpoints, staffed most of the time. 12 other checkpoints are within the city of Hebron . In addition, according to UN OCHA, there are on average some 160 flying checkpoints throughout the West Bank every week. In addition to the checkpoints, the Israeli military has erected hundreds of physical obstacles such as concrete blocks, dirt piles and trenches to restrict access to Palestinian communities. Palestinians have restricted access to some 41 roadways in the West Bank . Israelis have unlimited access to these roadways.

Prisoners and Detainees

As of November, Israel held 9,075 Palestinians in custody, including 345 minors. Of these, 738 (22 minors) were held in administrative detention, without trial and without knowing the charges against them.

NoolaBeulah said...

Firstly, about the figures you quote. I'm not sure what they are meant to prove. That the Israelis have killed more people, therefore they're the baddies? That is the nature of the conflict. It is an 'assymetrical' war in which civilians are used both as shields and, after their deaths, as propoganda by the militarily weak side with the other side reacting with far superior, but mostly withheld force. It's a vile situation, above all for the Palestinians. Personally, I have no idea of the way out of it. The two-state solution, to which I suppose I would have to subscibe, would leave one or the other state as untenable. Jeff Halper, in the article you link to, suggests the 1949 borders, but they are indefensible and a recipe for further conflict. The pre-1967 borders are little better.

Jeff Halper's knowledge of the events and personalities is far superior to mine and I haven't got the time to investigate all of them. However, I feel no qualms in disagreeing about certain aspects. That the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is at the source of extreme Islam is nonsense (Osama bin Laden never mentioned it until late on when he saw the propoganda value). That it is a focal point of Islam's conflict with modernity is certainly the case. But the source of the larger problem is to be sought in a dramatic crisis in Arab culture, of which the Palestinian situation is but one of many examples. Resolving it would make little difference.

His view of the Palestinian willingness to negotiate and compromise and what they would be willing to accept seems a self-induced delusion to me. As I said, the article is rich is detail, but there's no mention of 5 Arab states ganging up to destroy (not defeat, destroy) Israel twice, and there's no Palestinian or Arab fault at all. It's all the Israelis' fault, Everything. Now, is that even remotely possible?