Let’s Play Mortars and MissilesMay 23, 2005
High level sources, close to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon are leaking. Drip, drip, drop. The rabbit is out of the hat. Sharon is in big trouble. Behind the scenes political analysts say that, quite literally, “the oil is boiling and an overflow is immanent.”
Recent secret polls show that a majority of Israelis now oppose the government’s intended retreat from Gush Katif and the northern Shomron. The reversal of public opinion began following media revelations of missile factories in the Shomron and terrorist plans to start shelling coastal cities this summer. The downward trend continued with reports that the terrorists have obtained shoulder-launched surface-to-air Stinger missiles and plan on using them to knock down planes flying in and out of Ben Gurion airport. Last week’s massive bombardment of Gush Katif is the icing on the cake. Presently Sharon has given orders to hush up media accounts which reported that senior officers in Gush Katif are being denied the ability to prevent terror attacks upon civilians and soldiers. It was reported that senior IDF commanders are being denied permission to ‘selectively eliminate’ terror groups on their way to perpetrate attacks, such as the massive attack on Kfar Darom early Friday morning. Israeli combat helicopters, having spotted the terrorists, were denied permission ‘to take them out,’ and ground forces were not allowed to ambush the terrorists before they began their attack. The forces were ordered to ‘guard at the fence.’ As a result, these terrorist took over an abandoned UN school and started shooting missiles into Kfar Darom. It took an hour to get permission to use tanks against the terrorists, by which time two of the three Arabs had fled.
One reaction was the following letter addressed to Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi, commander of the Gaza division of the IDF from Dan Amiel of Kfar Darom:
…You are certainly aware that we in Gush Katif, and especially in Kfar Darom,
have been suffering now for years. We have sustained losses, mothers and
fathers who were murdered, children with amputated legs and other serious
injuries, and now we are under enormous pressure because of the threat of
expulsion. Friends of ours are in prison. So you will understand that we are
not prepared in addition to all of the above also to have our security
I am twenty years old, a father to a child, who under other circumstances
could have been under your command. Seven months ago as I came out of the
synagogue in Kfar Darom still in my prayer shawl and phylacteries I was
wounded by a mortar bomb. My injuries were considered fatal. I hovered
between life and death for three weeks in the emergency ward. One of my legs
was amputated and the other is paralyzed. I also have arm and belly wounds.
At the moment I am undergoing rehabilitation, together with soldiers such as
Ophir Livius and others.
The daily suffering we and our families have had to undergo is
indescribable. It is both physical, and also the knowledge that I and my
family will have to live on with me as a cripple, both physically and
mentally, with my daily pains and my best years spent in hospitals.
In view of their bitter experience the people of Kfar Darom will not stand
on the side while murderous terrorists attack us, our children and our
soldiers. We will not condone abandoning anyone to danger, certainly not for
political motives. Please pass on this message to your superiors. It is
unthinkable that terrorists on their way to commit murder are identified and
nothing is done to stop them, even though they use children as human
shields. We refuse to accept the price of more cripples, widows and orphans,
and permanently injured soldiers.
The IDF has shown in the past that it is perfectly capable of controlling
the situation. You are situated where you must take responsibility. Instead
of thinking about base political consideration and how things will look in
the media should adopt the saving of lives as your prime concern. We
appreciate all you have done so far and want to encourage you to continue
working on behalf of our national security.
Several other items seem to have Sharon on the run. A new Israeli web site, initiated by MK Aryeh Eldad, [www.meri.org.il] calls for massive civil disobedience and includes suggested methods of operation, including: stopping paying taxes; returning Israeli ID cards (teudat zehut); returning IDF ID cards and/or reserve call-up orders; refusing to obey orders connected to the expulsion, blocking roads; closing the airports and docks with massive sit-ins; massive coordinated vacations from organizations backing and preparing the expulsion, in order to disrupt their ability to function; tying up the police and other security forces in various places in Israel, to prevent their participation in the actual expulsion; violating orders placing the areas endangered by expulsion off-limits to civilians.
On top of this, Israeli media reported this morning that very senior IDF officers are suggesting/demanding that the expulsion be ‘postponed’ for at least six months, saying that “Disengagement on August 15 will be very bad for Israel.” The current Hamas attacks, fully coordinated with Abu Mazen and the PA, together with intelligence information pointing at substantial terror planned for this summer, lead military sources to view the Gush Katif/Northern Shomron expulsions as a dire threat to Israeli security.
Yet, the Prime Minister persists. In New York, he declared that the expulsion will take place as planned, that no changes are foreseen. Really?
I must relate a story I recently heard, from reliable sources: The IDF is having trouble finding people willing to participate in the expulsion. Not too long ago a meeting was held with two hundred pilots of the Israeli air force and high-ranking members of the General Staff. “We haven’t found anyone else, so you’re going to have to do the job, to go into Gush Katif and implement the disengagement. You will have support from the outside, but the main job will be yours.”
When the speaker finished, one of the pilots stood up and said, “We will not be your garbage pails, we will not do your dirty work for you. None of us are going into Gush Katif to expel people from their homes.” The other pilots applauded, all stood, and left the room.
In Jerusalem, dozens of students are staging a hunger strike, protesting the planned expulsion. According to one Gush Katif leader, Aryeh Yitzhaki, some three hundred new housing units are presently being built in the Gush. Three new Gaza Jewish communities are in the works. And on the other side, very few Gush Katif families have agreed to leave their homes. The cooperation between the expulsion forces and Gush Katif residents is virtually nonexistent.
There is one other side to this that I’ve neglected to mention. Again, a short story from a book called ‘The Miracles of Gush Katif,’ which details dozens of life-saving miracles that have occurred in the past five years in Gush Katif.
A group of children, arriving home from school in Gush Katif, decided to play a little game they call ‘Mortars.’ (Just like we used to play cops and robbers or cowboys and Indians, in Gush Katif, they play ‘mortars and missiles.’ The game consists of one of the children yelling out ‘mortar.’ All the others have to immediately take cover. So, one of the kids cried out ‘Mortar’ and they all scattered, finding a place to hide. Just as they all found a place of protection, a mortar fell, exactly where they’d been standing, literally seconds before. Miraculously, none of the kids were hurt.
What I’m trying to say is, G-d is on our side.
With blessings from Hebron.