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Israel repels terrorist rocket hits

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Welcome as it is, the ceasefire agreement to end recent fighting in Gaza is overshadowed by the fact Iran’s malevolent thumbprints are all over the worst violence in the Palestinian enclave since May last year.

Islamic Jihad, the militant terrorist group targeted by Israeli forces last Friday in pre-emptive strikes aimed at thwarting a major attack on Israeli civilian population centres, is a creation, cat’s paw and proxy of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps.

Founded in 1981, Islamic Jihad is the second largest terrorist group in Gaza after Hamas.

Like Hamas, Islamic Jihad seeks Israel’s annihilation. But unlike Hamas it is not part of the Palestinian political process.

So deep are the links between Iran’s terrorist-sponsoring ayatollahs and Islamic Jihad (despite it being a Sunni rather than a Shia organisation) that as Israel launched its Operation Breaking Dawn pre-emptive attack last Friday, Islamic Jihad’s top terrorist, Ziyad Nakhaleh, was not in Gaza but in Iran. There he met General Hossein Salami, commander of the Revolutionary Guards, and President Ebrahim Raisi.

Israel launched its military operation against 140 Islamic Jihad targets inside Gaza after verifiable intelligence warned of an imminent major attack by the terrorist group. It showed a “ticking time bomb” was about to go off, with the terrorists preparing to rain down hundreds of Iranian-supplied rockets and other missiles on Israeli population centres such as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion airport, where aircraft movements were suspended as Israelis took cover in bomb shelters. During 48 hours of fighting that followed, at least 44 Palestinians, including 15 children, were killed and 360 wounded.

Despite its plan for a major attack being thwarted, Islamic Jihad rained down more than 900 rockets on Israel since Friday but 160 scored own goals, misfiring and landing within Gaza, and 300 were neutered by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system. Despite the onslaught and Islamic Jihad’s links to Iran’s terrorist-supporting regime, it is Israel, as usual, that is drawing international outrage over the fighting. The UN’s Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Norwegian diplomat Tor Wennesland, expressed “deep concern” about “targeted killing” of Islamic Jihad leaders in Gaza.

Such one-eyed concern is delusional. No self-respecting sovereign nation can be expected to sit by idly when terrorists with Islamic Jihad’s record of killing civilians are preparing to attack major population centres. Israel has every right to defend itself.

It has a duty to its people to do so. The “deep concern” of Mr Wennesland and others plays into the terrorists’ hands. Even Hamas, which rules Gaza, has kept out of the crisis in a display of disunity among Palestinian terrorist groups. Despite negotiations with Washington on a new nuclear deal, Iran remains committed to the annihilation of Israel. Islamic Jihad is its proxy. The ceasefire, hopefully, will hold. But the Jewish state cannot ignore threats such as those emerging from Gaza.

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Article source: The Australian | Editorial | 9 August 2022

2024-02-22 05:36:48.000000