Regardless of the precision attacks touted by the IAF on targets in Gaza, it was
inevitable that an incident would occur during Operation Pillar of Defense that
could alter Israel’s game plan.
That incident took place Sunday afternoon
when 11 members of the Dalu family, including four women and four children –
were killed, according to Palestinian medical sources, when the building they
lived in collapsed following a hit by an Israeli rocket on the fifth day of the
Whether or not the army had a good reason for targeting the
building, the result was exactly what the government has feared – the deaths of
innocent, defenseless Palestinians.
Arguments can – and will – be made
that Hamas embeds itself in residential areas, using the women and children as
human shields; that the army has sent written warnings to residents of Gaza to
vacate premises where Hamas members are hiding; and on and on – all perfectly
valid points. But at the end of the day, there’s still those 11
One possible outcome of the Palestinian deaths is the hastening
of an IDF ground invasion into Gaza and the tapering off of air strikes to avoid
a repeat tragedy.
However, the willingness that the international
community has so far shown in supporting Israel’s attempt to bring peace to its
southern border, is about to stop in its tracks. Nobody, from France and England
to the US and Canada, is willing to see photos and footage of what is already
being termed a “massacre” splashed across the world’s TV screens and
Efforts at brokering a ceasefire between the sides will quickly
turn into stronger diplomatic pressure, and once again, like in Operation Cast
Lead, Israel will be nudged into truncating its campaign without clearly
achieving its goal.
And like four years ago, it will be the residents of
the South who will ultimately pay the price – and the innocent Palestinian
families in Gaza being held hostage by cynical Hamas.