A Chanukah “Present” For Hamas

(Jameel is keeping a running post with updates on the situation, for those of you who want up-to-the-minute  info from our side).

I must admit I was surprised to hear the news last night that the IDF finally started the operation that everyone knew needed to be done, to target Hamas and destroy its infrastructure in Gaza.

Even after the diplomatic activity by Livni and our representative in the UN, I thought that the government would just keep holding back.

On second thought, though, the timing is really good. Not only is it symbolically a good time for the Jews to beat their enemies (the miracle of the oil comes after the war), but it is a good time to catch the outside world asleep. President Bush is certainly not going to give us a hard time, and Obama isn’t in office. He is on vacation with his family, along with most government officials (a long holiday weekend between Xmas and New Years is probably the quietest time in America).

Hamas got caught off-guard too. Barak kept opening the crossings into Israel, despite the kassam rockets raining down on Sderot, so who was to think that this time the IDF would really retaliate? (It turns out that the government misled the Israeli media too)

The Jerusalem Post has an article with a list of some of the targets hit in the air attacks during the past twenty-four hours.  My personal favorite is the graduation ceremony for the Hamas police force. Talk about a target rich environment!

I also relish the thought of the underground Kassam launching sites which were hit. After the drones gave the IDF real-time pictures of Kassam launchings, and a number of  Hamas operatives got killed while “in the act”, they decided to put them on timers, and launch them from underground.

(There are broadcasts in Arabic to those living in Gaza that if they have stored ammunition or are harboring Hamas terrorists in their homes that they are in grave danger. I guess the bombings will continue for a while yet).

It is going to be tough for those in the south now. The schools in rocket range have had their Chanukah vacations extended indefinitely, so they probably won’t be opening on Tuesday. And a grad rocket (what we know as a Katyusha) has fallen in Ashdod, meaning that the rocket range is creeping up. Hopefully it will be just a matter of time, and afterwards the people in Sderot and Ashkelon can go back to a normal life.

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