Even as the world’s attention is turned to Gaza, Israel’s northern border is once again flaring up.
The Hezbollah terrorist group in Lebanon claimed responsibility for a bomb attack yesterday which blew up an Israeli armored jeep, killing Capt. Sharon Elmakayis and wounding several other Israeli soldiers.
This was a direct assault on Israeli troops patrolling Israeli territory. It was a violation of international law, an affront to Israel’s borders, and a clear message from Iran and Syria, Hezbollah’s key patrons, that they will continue to try and “bleed” Israel as much as possible.
And this was hardly the first time they have done so. In the nearly five years since Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon, some 21 Israelis have been killed along the northern border by Hezbollah terrorists.
In November, Hezbollah sent an unarmed drone into Israeli airspace, which managed to penetrate as far as the town of Nahariya before crashing into the sea. The incident was a dangerous provocation – had the drone been packed with explosives, it could easily have caused a mini-9/11 type of attack on an Israeli civilian target.
A few weeks ago, Hezbollah fired two Katyusha rockets into the northern Galilee, mimicking the daily rocket attacks on Israeli civilians being carried out by their Palestinian colleagues in Gaza.
The government’s unwillingness to act to stop these brazen assaults is simply incomprehensible and inexcusable. On both our northern and our southern borders, Israel is now coming under regular assault, and along both fronts, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has shown that he is unwilling to do what needs to be done to halt the ongoing attacks.
The danger here is two-fold: first, to the Israeli civilians living in the shadows of the rockets and bombs, who are being forced to endure the unendurable.
But it is also a threat to the rest of the country as well, because if our foes see that they can attack Israel with impunity from all directions, it will only embolden them to intensify their campaign of terror.
It is time, therefore, for the government to issue an ultimatum to all those targeting Israel and its civilians – cease and desist now, or face the full (military) consequences of your actions.