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January 02, 2011

Two Years Later, Ha'aretz Too Distorted on Cast Lead

Two years after Israel's launch of Operation Cast Lead, Ha'aretz Magazine purports to take a fresh and comprehensive look at what it describes as the "opening act" of the operation, Israel's Dec. 27, 2008 attack on a Gaza City police station ("Shock and Awe," by Shay Fogelman). Yet, the article brings little in the way of new information, and instead rehashes misinformation seen earlier in media outlets like CNN.

Namely, under the heading "Who broke the tahadiyeh?" the article states:

To understand the escalation that led Israel to launch its attack on the Gaza Strip and indirectly, the character of its opening strikes, we must go back to November 4, 2008, a month and a half before the start of Cast Lead. That day, IDF troops entered Gaza to destroy a tunnel in the central district; they were acting on seemingly solid intelligence about plans to kidnap an IDF soldier. The destruction of the tunnel left one Hamas man dead and several others wounded. This was the first violation of the tahadiyeh (a temporary lull ) after four and a half months of relative quiet in the south. (Emphasis added.)

In the period of "relative quiet," from the time the ceasefire was declared on June 19 until the Nov. 4 tunnel incident:

• 18 mortars were fired at Israel in this period, beginning on the night of June 23.
• 20 rockets were fired, beginning on June 24, when 3 rockets hit the Israeli town of Sderot.
• On July 6 farmers working in the fields of Nahal Oz were attacked by light arms fire from Gaza.
• On the night of August 15 Palestinians fired across the border at Israeli soldiers near the Karni crossing.
• On Oct. 31 an IDF patrol spotted Palestinians planting an explosive device near the security fence in the area of the Sufa crossing. As the patrol approached the fence the Palestinians fired two anti-tank missiles.
There were two Palestinian attempts to infiltrate from Gaza into Israel apparently to abduct Israelis. Both were major violations of the ceasefire.
• On Sept. 28, when Israeli personnel arrested Jamal Atallah Sabah Abu Duabe. The 21-year-old Rafah resident had used a tunnel to enter Egypt and from there planned to slip across the border into Israel. Investigation revealed that Abu Duabe was a member of Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and that he planned to lure Israeli soldiers near the border by pretending to be a drug smuggler, capture them, and then sedate them with sleeping pills in order to abduct them directly into Gaza through a preexisting tunnel.

And, in two years of research, Ha'aretz was not able to recall any details about any of these incidents, every single one of them a violation of the tahadiyeh?

Posted by TS at January 2, 2011 05:05 AM


"first violation" "tunnel left one Hamas man dead and several others wounded"

So building a tunnel to enter Israel and murder is not a violation for Fogelman? But the destruction of the tunnel is a violation?

Posted by: Jed at January 2, 2011 09:23 AM

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