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A Delicate Balance

Earlier this month, following a barrage of rocket attacks aimed at southern Israel that lasted several days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told his Cabinet that the Israeli military’s targeted killing of Zuhir Mussah Ahmed Kaisi, the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committee (PRC) terrorist organization two days earlier, disrupted the organizing of an attack on Israel through Sinai. Rocket attacks from Gaza by the PRC and Islamic Jihad continued for several days following the killings.

The prime minister commended the security and intelligence services in the air strike that killed Kaisi and another member of the PRC. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said the two were planning a terror attack in the coming days. “We have exacted a very high price from them,” he said, “and naturally, we will act as necessary.”

More than 130 rockets rained down on southern Israel in the aftermath of the killings, injuring eight Israeli civilians, including one who was severely injured. At least 17 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old, were killed and at least eight Israelis were injured, two seriously, in the attacks by the PRC and Islamic Jihad. Hamas, which rules Gaza, had not launched missiles in the latest round of attacks. However, the IDF issued a statement saying that “The Hamas movement, although not the one performing the launchings, is not doing anything to prevent it either.”

 

Netanyahu told the Knesset that the IDF is “hitting back strongly and decisively,” and its Iron Dome anti-missile defense system reportedly intercepted 90 percent of its targets including Grad rockets targeting major Israeli cities such as Beersheba, Ashdod and Ashkelon.  He pledged, “We will do everything in our power to expand the deployment of this system” in the months and years ahead.

“In the end,” he continued, “the strongest force at our disposal is the fortitude of the residents, of the council heads, of Israelis and of the government. We are taking the necessary defensive and aggressive measures, and I have no doubt that with this combination, along with the necessary fortitude, we will overcome these terrorist threats around us.”

Hearing about the most recent attacks on our Israeli brothers and sisters, and about the innocents who needlessly lost their lives in the recent school shootings in Frances, should serve as a wake-up call for all of us. While every community is vulnerable to attack, we Jews must be even more vigilant to protect what and who is ours. While the lessons of the Holocaust have been absorbed and appreciated by most in our midst, there are others for whom the message of tolerance and acceptance of differences falls on deaf ears. We must continue our efforts to make them understand.

Some of the information for this article came from the JTA article, Netanyahu Pledges Decisive Response as Rockets Slam Southern Israel by Marcy Oster.

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