Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Straining a "Ceasefire"?

At what point do Palestinian terror and missile attacks constitute a breach of a "ceasefire"?

Over the past few years the media has consistently downplayed or ignored Palestinian violence, while apportioning blame on Israeli retaliatory or preventative actions as the cause of "escalating violence" or "breaking of ceasefires". It appears, yet again, necessary to protest this inaccurate and misleading representation of the conflict.

Unless you read the Israeli press on a daily basis, it is almost impossible to get a full and accurate picture of events in Israel and the Palestinian territories from the international media. One could get a false impression of relative quiet in the absence of media reports of mass casualty events.

A 22 April Associated Press report says that: "Hamas militants called Sunday for a fresh wave of attacks against Israel after troops killed nine Palestinians in weekend fighting, straining a five-month-old cease-fire."

Thus, Israel is blamed for "straining a ceasefire". According to the AP: "The Gaza truce has largely held, though militants have frequently fired rockets into Israel and have attacked Israeli patrols along the border fence." How serious must Palestinian actions be in the eyes of the AP before a "ceasefire" is broken? Why are Israeli counter-measures designed to protect this truce regarded as violations while constant Palestinian terror is not?

Recent Israeli operations against targets in Gaza are a direct response to the latest Qassam missile attacks. Yet, the AP saves this for the third paragraph of its report: "The fighting also included a Palestinian rocket attack on the southern Israeli town of Sderot that damaged a home."

The Elder of Ziyon blog has been keeping a calendar of Qassam attacks and Israeli responses, demonstrating that while Israel has exercised an enormous amount of restraint over the past months, the Palestinians have not actually enforced the Gaza "ceasefire" that they claim to be adhering to.

Some Palestinians claim that their Gaza attacks have been in response to Israeli operations in the West Bank, where a "ceasefire" is not in effect. Much of the media, while focused on Israeli counter-terror measures, have, however, forgotten the constant Palestinian terror efforts that led to the IDF operations in the first place. This April alone, the following incidents illustrate that the media's impression that Israel shattered the calm is anything but accurate:

Islamic Jihad terrorist captured near Tel Aviv after his bomb belt fails to detonate

Palestinian bride arrested on suspicion of planning to carry out suicide bombing

3 Israelis injured in shooting attack near Modi'in

Hamas calls for further kidnappings of Israeli soldiers

Israeli cars shot at in West Bank

Israeli civilian wounded in West Bank drive-by shooting

Arrests prevent huge Hamas-planned car bomb in Tel Aviv

Egypt arrests would-be Hamas suicide bomber near Israeli border

Palestinian rockets hit Sderot home; several Israelis treated for shock

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