Op-Ed: Sirens Sound in Tel Aviv
Atty. Nitzana Darshan-LeitnerThe writer is an Israeli attorney and the executive director of Shurat HaDin, Israel Law Center, an NGO combating the terrorist organizations and the regimes that support them through lawsuits in courtrooms around the world. Shurat HaDin seeks to bankrupt terror groups and grind their criminal activities to a halt - one lawsuit at a time.
I was walking in Tel Aviv a few hours ago when the civil defense (code red) sirens started to sound. It meant rockets that had been launched from Gaza were estimated to be targeting the "White City."
Although I have been in other areas of the country during different wars and sirens, I have never heard them in Israel's central Gush Dan region.
Everyone always complains that Tel Aviv is comfortable and oblivious to the rest of the country's suffering. Some even call Tel Aviv residents "Tzfonim" (northerners) living in a bubble, derogatorily, who ignore the plight of those under enemy rocket attack in southern and northern Israel.
Indeed, Tel Aviv has always been spared the rocket barrages other regions of the country have endured for years.
Those who found themselves running frantically for the shelters tonight can attest that the Tel Aviv bubble has now burst. The city’s population finally understands what Sderot has been dealing with since Israel withdrew from Gaza.
Those in the Negev, who have always complained that the government will never do what needs to be done until Tel Aviv is also hit, now have a chance to put their theory to the test.
It seems certain that the IDF will launch a ground offensive and enter Gaza to try and stop the terrorist rocket fire. This time Israel needs to deliver Hamas and the other terror groups, infesting the enclave, a devastating blow.
As reserve units are being called up for duty, schools are being closed and shelters are being prepared. Everyone is anxiously awaiting the IDF's retaliatory operation. We are a democracy under attack by Palestinian terror.
The IDF targeted Ahmed Jaabri, the head of Hamas’ military wing, in the Gaza Strip. The terrorist leader was directly responsible for executing terror attacks against the State of Israel in the past number of years, among them the kidnapping of the soldier Gilad Shalit and the launching of countless missiles at the southern tip of the country.
Over 800 rockets were fired in 2012 alone and Jaabari, a moving force behind these Gaza attacks, should have been killed long ago.
Arch-terrorist Ahmed Jaabri
As I write you this message, the IDF continues to target the Islamic terrorists and their missiles in terrorist controlled Gaza, under the code name Operation "Pillar of Defense." Unlike the terrorist murderers, our soldiers operate in the hopes of minimizing civilian casualties.
The security branches and the army have an obligation and right to retaliate with targeted killings for each and every rocket launched into Israeli civilian areas.
In 2005, after a number of "human rights" groups criticized this tactic, I represented 25 residents of Jerusalem in a petition to the High Court of Israel. The plaintiffs were simple commuters who utilized public buses, students who attended Hebrew University, parents of young children and regular residents who visited pizza shops and cafes. They were all united by a desire not to be killed by suicide bombers and to not have to necessarily rely upon the IDF to undertake preventive action to safeguard their lives.
We argued that targeted strikes were justified and that there was a clear duty to carry them out to safeguard Israel's civilian population. Arguing on the other side was a massive coalition of left-wing and Palestinian groups, European NGOs and professors. They claimed targeted killings were violations of international law.
In December 2006, the High Court handed down its historic decision. It held that the targeted killings policy did not contradict international law, nor was it a disproportionate use of force against Palestinian terrorists.
Israel is a civilized and lawful democracy. It has a legal and moral right to utilize targeted killings against the criminal terrorist organizations which are hiding behind Gaza's civilian population like cowards.
Terrorists that deprive sleep from the eyes of children in southern Israel should be permanently deprived of sleep. They must know that they are a moving target at every coming moment.
With prayers for Israel and her soldiers,
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of Shurat HaDin - Israel Law Center
10 Hata'as St. Ramat Gan, 52512 Israel
Phone: 972-3-7514175 | Fax: 972-3-7514174