On December 27, after tensions increased after the ending of a six-month cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, Israeli defense forces began airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. Reactions from the Israeli blogosphere have been supportive of the current military action and preliminary blog posts show that Israelis are gearing up for a long and difficult conflict ahead.
Israelity comments on the timing and the build up to the conflict:
Most folks, in the week between Christmas and New Years, chill out in Puerto Rico, visit family on the coast, or go skiing in Aspen. We Israelis go to war.
Operation Cast Lead (reminder to the IDF Spokesman: work on those titles) is no laughing matter. Borne out of no alternative to constant rocket attacks on its southern communities, the military campaign against Hamas in Gaza has resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries – and so far, more rockets landing in Ashkelon, Sderot, Netivot and even Ashdod, some 25 miles away from Gaza.
I got an inkling that the operation was impending when my daughter came home from her police shift on Thursday and said she had been briefed about mobilizing in the South when the army attack began in order to keep calm in the communities where retaliation from Hamas was likely.
On Saturday night, however, she was still patrolling her usual areas around Jerusalem. Evidently, the response to Operation Cast Lead among the Palestinian population in the West Bank and around east Jerusalem was serious enough to keep police troops very busy.
“There’s all kinds of riots going on here,” she said on the phone around midnight, “so they can’t send us to the South.”
West Bank Mama notes the call up of Israeli soldiers:
IDF radio has announced that reserve soldiers are being called up now, what is known in Israel as Tzav Shmoneh. Already the yishuv email is starting with requests for those traveling to various places to bring “care packages” to soldiers. Not only do we have yishuv members being called up, but many have sons in the “regular” army.
The mothering instinct is kicking in everywhere.
I have just heard on the radio that families in the north, who unfortunately had to be evacuated from their homes during the second Lebanon war, are now giving out invitations to those in the south to come up to them to get away from the rockets.
And Aliyah! talks about the build up to the conflict:
So far, it has been handled just right. They waited and let those rockets fall while not doing a thing in retaliation. We sat by as more than 300 rockets and mortars landed among civilians in just 3 days, adding to those that fell in the days before and the more than 3,000 that had been launched at those civilian communities this year alone. The rockets fell on us as we treated in our hospitals Palestinians who were hit by Hamas rockets that mis-fired and fell among their own people. The rockets fell on us as convoys of aid, fuel, medical supplies and food made their way across our border and into Gaza.
Because we waited, two important things were won. First, justification for a much larger blow against the terrorists than simply going after a rocket-launcher here and one there. The latter strategy is not only ineffective but gives the international community a chance to spin the situation as a tit for tat equal responsibility for the situation. Clearly, when the attacks are coming consistently only from one direction, it cannot be spun as tit for tat. Even Abbas has said that Hamas is responsible and brought this on themselves. The second thing we won was the element of surprise.
More reactions from the Israeli blogosphere will be forthcoming, including further coverage from the various points-of-view involved in the current conflict. Keep checking the Global Voices special coverage page for more updates.