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So much for deterrence....

By Michael Freund
1/29/2009, 12:00 AM


Time and again, you will recall, our leadership told us that the recent counter-terror operation against Hamas would restore Israel's deterrence... this has proven to be sheer fantasy
Barely a week has passed since the last Israeli solider left Gaza, and Hamas has already resumed its efforts to terrify the residents of Israel's south.

This morning, Palestinians in Gaza fired a Qassam rocket which landed near Sderot. It was the second such attack in two days, after they launched a projectile yesterday at the western Negev. And on Tuesday, terrorists set off a bomb which killed an Israeli soldier and left three others injured.

Time and again, you will recall, our leadership told us that the recent counter-terror operation against Hamas would restore Israel's deterrence by sending a message to the jihadists that the Jewish state would not tolerate attacks on its citizens.

But now it should be clear that this has proven to be sheer fantasy.

For if the terrorists had truly been deterred, would they dare to be launching increasingly brazen attacks? If Hamas had "learned a lesson", would they not have turned their efforts to rebuilding the Strip rather than their arsenal?

Out of weakness, Israel's leaders left the job in Gaza undone when they pulled out a week ago. It is a mistake that will almost certainly come back to haunt us.

So let's just hope and pray that the residents of the Negev will not have to pay a heavy price as a result.