Three papers discuss the resumption of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip:
Yediot Aharonot believes that the security establishment has returned to carrying out targeted eliminations of senior terrorists and avers that "targeted eliminations have been – and remain – the most effective weapon in dealing with terrorism and instilling fear into its ranks." However, the author cautions that targeted eliminations – as opposed to strikes on tunnels, buildings, etc. – will inevitably draw responses and adds that, "We may find ourselves, very quickly, in a military operation."
Ma’ariv believes that "The possibility arises that Islamic Jihad, which possesses rockets with a longer range than Grads, will try to further expand their attack radius." The author contends that "One thing is clear: The Israeli deterrence that was achieved following Operation Cast Lead, has been almost completely eroded," and adds that, "Restraint over [last week’s] rocket fire – which was the worst in the last two years – was seen as Israeli weakness stemming from a variety of internal and external constraints." The paper warns that "The longer Israel’s restraint continues, the greater will be the perception in Gaza that Israel is deterred and hesitant," and adds that, "In such a situation, it is restraint and holding back which will necessarily lead to a wide-ranging operation."
Yisrael Hayom justifies the elimination of Islamic Jihad terrorist Ismail Asmar which preceded the resumption of rocket fire and says that he was in the advanced stages of planning a major terrorist attack. The author asserts that, "Less than a week before the start of the school year and less than a month before the Palestinian request to recognize a state, Israel’s room for action has shrunk. During September it will shrink further. It is reasonable to assume that it would be better to strike at a senior terrorist like Asmar now than next month."
Haaretz writes: "In recent years, the extreme Israeli right has developed an alliance with heads of the evangelical movement, who define themselves as Christian Zionists, some of whom believe that another Holocaust of the Jews will ensure the resurrection of Jesus. Just a few weeks ago the government denied dozens of peace activists entry into Israel; they wanted to demonstrate nonviolently their support for the Palestinians’ struggle for independence. At the time, it was claimed that this was a "provocation." The "support event" in Jerusalem – held at the archaeological park near the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Silwan neighborhood – was no less provocative."
The Jerusalem Post discusses arrest last week of entertainer Margalit (Margol) Tzanani, and says, "Tzanani, her innocence or guilt notwithstanding, is only the latest victim of crass police publicity maneuvers and the derivative media circus. She deserves to be considered innocent until proven guilty."
[Alex Fishman, Amit Cohen and Dan Margalit wrote today’s articles in Yediot Aharonot, Ma’ariv and Yisrael Hayom, respectively.]