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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">If we're going to be so outspoken in condemning terror, we ought to think a lot longer before engaging in it ourselves.<br><br>
The aerial and cluster bombing of Lebanon was overkill meant to turn the Lebanese people against Hizbullah. The air, land and sea blockade of Gaza was and is meant to turn the Gazan people against Hamas. <b>The latest Israeli idea, popularized by Vice Premier Haim Ramon, is for the IDF to fire long-range artillery shells at the source of every Gazan rocket that's launched.<br><br>
Everyone knows that the Kassams and Grads are often fired from crowded residential neighborhoods - and that's the whole point of the tactic, which Ramon won't admit but which ordinary Israelis will.</b><br><br>
"The Palestinians have families, too, and if their families have to suffer like our families suffer, they'll blame Hamas, and Hamas will have to stop the rockets or face the revenge of their own people. I'm sure this will stop it," a man in Ashkelon told me. <b>He was suggesting that the IDF fire 50 shells for every Gazan rocket. Ramon reportedly recommended a ratio of 40 to 1.</b><br><br><b>ARTILLERY shells are notoriously inaccurate. One of them wiped out a large family picnicking on the Gaza beach a couple of years ago. Imagine how many civilians in Gaza would be killed if the IDF returned 40 long-range artillery shells to the source of every rocket fired. Attorney-General Meni Mazuz reportedly said it would be a "war crime." It would not only be a war crime, it would be stupid and futile.</b><br><br><b>As another, more thoughtful man in Ashkelon told me, such a tactic would "only kill a lot of civilians living in the buildings where the terrorists fire rockets from the rooftops. By the time the [IDF] shell hits the building, the terrorist has run away and the people inside get killed. You think some Hamasnik cares if Palestinian civilians die because of him? It doesn't even enter his mind."</b><br><br>
Israel's unofficial policy of hitting Lebanese civilians so they'll constrain Hizbullah from attacking Israel seems to have paid off. But Israel's siege of Gaza, based on the same strategy, has backfired. It led Gazans to break through the border to Egypt, where the terrorists among them were able to bring back much more weaponry. It also left the Hamas leadership bolder and more popular than ever.</td>
I really really hope and pray that Israel does not implement this tactic. Because as the article pointed out, the only results would be killing mass numbers of Palestinian civillians. It would be a war crime as the Israeli AG pointed out.
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