Chief of Staff General Benny Ganz was recently questioned as to what was the policy and rules of engagement for IDF soldiers when confronting rock throwing attacks. His reply was they were under orders to use passive riot control measures only unless there threat to life was imminent. When queried to explain the logic behind minimizing any confrontation when these attacks had already proven life threatening as proven by the Palmer and son murderers who were just convicted and three year old Adelle Biton still barely clinging to life unconscious in an Intensive Care unit, General Ganz replied that the reasoning behind their strategy was not to cause the situation to escalate by turning up the IDF response. Perhaps the time has come to look at the recent history since the end of the last major strikes on Gaza that resulted in a measurable decrease in the numbers of rockets launched into southern Israel.
Since the IDF took determined and forceful measures in responding to the rocket assaults having increased to an intolerable level the rockets have almost stopped while the rock attacks in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and even a few attacks in the Galilee and Negev areas have ramped up beyond simply noticeable to near intolerable. While a couple of years back the major impetus for the Palestinian attacks was rocket fire out of Gaza well before that was ramped up, the rock attacks were at a lesser level of scattered attacks measured on a weekly basis of two or three a week. Over time the frequency, though not covered by most news outlets including print, internet, radio and television, the frequency has ramped up such that the attacks were almost daily when the Defensive Smoke (Shield) was finally launched as an answer to the rocket attacks. Currently the attacks have ramped to the point where calling them daily almost does not give an accurate description and perhaps these rock assaults would be best characterized as hourly. They have also escalated to the point where arson fires are lighted in order to have fire departments respond so that the Palestinians can assault the first responders with rocks often using slings which make the rocks life threatening. If you ask the Israelis living in these areas under a level of assault with rocks where it could be best described as a war footing, they would tell General Ganz that the rock assaults have already escalated even without any measurable IDF response. These victims of what resembles a greater and organized assault on their lives and any movements they need to make such as driving to work or to shop or any travel that takes them on most major arteries connecting them with the rest of the country deserve adequate protections from the rock assault threats which is the responsibility of General Ganz and the IDF. These assaults have escalated to the point where the rock attacks have entered into their communities where youths using slings and slingshots or simply throwing of rocks into the communities or at the community members who tend their fields and crops. What exactly is General Ganz waiting for and what will it take for him to estimate that the Palestinian assaults have reached the point where he would consider the situation critical?
The assault on Gaza which ended, at least temporarily, the rocket fire into Israel was a proper use and show of force and it had the desired results. Why is it that General Ganz now believes that taking these rock attacks for the serious threat and escalated risk that they have become would not be deterred should the IDF troops respond with greater than passive force. Where there have been instances where an argument could be made for the use of deadly force, but there are lesser responses which could be utilized to deter these potentially lethal rock attacks. The rock attacks made where the attackers utilize vehicles moving at great speed in order to make the rocks a greater threat as they launch them at coming vehicles adding greatly to the impact speed and momentum making these attacks obviously intended to threaten lives and definitely have reached a level deserving of lethal response. Those rock attacks against people in an open attack where slings or other speed enhancing methods are utilized to again increase the threat raising it to potential fatal levels also are deserving of whatever response is necessary to end such attacks plain and simple. These types of attacks have become the norm and are occurring numerous times each day in numerous locations and are of a sufficient threat that the Israelis under such threats do not have the comfort of fearing escalation which has inflicted General Ganz and likely his political higher-ups. General Ganz and those politicians responsible for such decisions, it is time to end these murderous attacks before any more Israelis pay with life and limb. It is time to perform the duties for which you hold command, the protection of the innocent from the terrorists who are threatening and plaguing their lives with rock assaults on an hourly basis. And if you need even more of a reason, your own troops are also under threat and will continue to be so until you allow them to act. Soldiers especially should not have to feel like their lives are less important than those who attack them mercilessly and the same goes double for the citizens they are tasked to protect. Please take off the velvet gloves and wear the steel gauntlets of determined defense of the innocent and bring an end to the rock throwing terror threats.
Beyond the Cusp