The High Holidays, a time when nothing much gets done in Israel, are over, and as we return to our turbulent day-to-day lives on the front lines, the mentality is one of battle.
Primarily, this means that cross-border terrorist activity has resumed. After two months of relative quiet, last Friday some 20,000 Gazans approached the fence to clash with Israe Defense Forces. It ended with seven casualties and 500 wounded on the Palestinian side, and none among the Israeli forces, but make no mistake, it could have been much worse. Only our forces’ correct operating tactics prevented the incident from ended otherwise.
Today is Friday, and we’ll probably see more of the same. To that end, additional personnel were deployed to the border on Thursday to help prevent a situation in which a small contingent finds itself in trouble, which could lead to a hefty injury count among Palestinians or wounded among the IDF soldiers — not to mention the threat of a soldier being kidnapped. The IDF announcement about additional forces being sent to the border carried a clear message of deterrence. It told Hamas, “Pay attention: The holidays are over, and we will not allow things to slide toward a situation of terrorism from Gaza against Israeli communities on the other side.”
It’s doubtful that Hamas wants that to happen, but its back is against the wall. The socioeconomic situation in the Gaza Strip is consistently deteriorating and the leadership there has no solution. The indirect cease-fire talks in Cairo are stalled because of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, and all efforts to find a way around him have failed. Abbas was the one who vetoed a plan to ship more fuel to Gaza (with Israel’s approval and funding from Qatar), thus increasing the number of hours of electricity for residents. The Fatah leader is trying to bring Hamas to its knees.