Daily Israel Report

More Calls for Strong Military Action in Gaza

MK Shteinitz: Gov't is to blame for the wounding of a child today; offensive in Gaza needed immediately.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 2/25/2008, 6:00 PM

MK Shteinitz says the government is to blame for a child nearly losing his hand in a rocket attack in Sderot on Monday.  He said a military offensive in Gaza needed immediately.

"The government of Israel is responsible for abandoning the residents of Sderot," says Likud MK Yuva Shteinitz, former Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.  "Every further delay in a military operation in Gaza comes at the expense of the children of Sderot, and brings the threat closer to the children of Be'er Sheva and Ashdod as well."

US Congressman David Weldon (R., Florida), who visited Israel last week, said Israel should strike back at Gaza in one fell swoop.  "During World War II," Weldon told the Makor Rishon newspaper, "the U.S. attacked Japan mercilessly. Despite the ethical problems, everyone now agrees that this caused Japan to surrender, thus saving many lives, including Japanese lives. This is the reason I think Israel should hit the Palestinians with one fell swoop, thus defeating them. Otherwise, this cruel situation of today will continue year after year, decade after decade."

"Just like parents have to protect their children," Weldon said, "a state must protect its citizens, especially those who are threatened such as those in Sderot. If a country would attack the U.S., I would support turning that country into dust. If it’s right for the U.S., it's right for Israel."

Yossi Won't Lose Hand
Yossi Chaimov, the 10-year-old boy in Sderot who was wounded in his shoulder and hand in a Monday afternoon Kassam rocket attack, was operated on in Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon.  The doctors announced afterwards that they had succeeded in saving his hand.  Though he ran for cover when he heard the Color Red rocket warning alarm, he was hit by a piece of shrapnel when the rocket landed and exploded.

A mother and her one-year-old baby were also treated in the hospital for lighter injuries.

Tira: No Wrong Calculations
Oded Tira, former President of the Manufacturers Association, says that "unfortunately, people in the government are choosing not to protect the citizens of Israel because of the fear of losses to soldiers." Tira is a retired IDF Brigadier-General who oversaw the expulsion and destruction of the city of Yamit in Sinai following the 1982 peace agreement with Egypt.  He spoke on Thursday at a memorial ceremony for three officers who were killed in a battle with Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon nine years ago.

Stones and Shots
Though Monday's threatened mass-march by Hamas did not materialize, a mob of some 50 Arab youths outside the Gaza perimeter fence near Kisufim stoned an army force Monday afternoon.  One soldier was injured.

In Shechem, an Arab-populated city in the Shomron, two wanted terrorists were shot and wounded during an IDF attempt to arrest them.