Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Israel says no Gaza offensive, for now

AP via Yahoo! News:

JERUSALEM - Israeli leaders ruled out a large-scale military response to rocket fire from the Gaza Strip but threatened on Wednesday to cut off electricity or other vital supplies to the impoverished area if militants keep up attacks.

Pictures of panicked Israeli children and parents running for cover as the school year began in the battered town of Sderot have dominated news in Israel this week. The government has been forced to address growing anger and frustration over the inability of the high-tech military to counter the crude Palestinian weapons.

Israeli media quoted Defense Minister Ehud Barak as saying the need for a large operation in Gaza is approaching. But the Security Cabinet, made up of senior ministers, rejected an all-out offensive to move Israeli communities out of range by taking control of the areas where militants fire rockets.

Emphasis mine, so that I can call "Bravo Sierra."

First of all, these are not crude weapons at all. They are Katyusha rockets or Iranian made mortars. They have very good targeting hardware on them and the mortar/rocket crews are well-trained.

Israel has the same counterbattery technology that the United States and other western militaries do. Those counterbattery systems have high resolution RADAR capability and computerized tracking systems. As soon as the round leaves the launcher, the RADAR acquires it and the system begins developing a firing solution for the launch location. The firing crew would have about enough time to get one more round off before a 155mm counter artillery round is on its way to send the terrorists to Allah.

The Israelis don't return fire for the same reason Coalition troops hold fire--the terrorists are firing from civilian areas. If the IDF returned fire, civilians would likely be killed or wounded and the international press would be all over that story.

Like the U.S. in Iraq, Israel can not expect informed, much less unbiased, coverage from the media.