If you shoot literally thousands of missiles at populated areas, no matter how inaccurate they are, you are bound to hit something.
This time it was a tent at the IDF training base in Zikkim, about a mile from the border with the Gaza strip. All 69 of the injured were 18- and 19- year old draftees undergoing basic training; one had a leg amputated and another was hospitalized in critical condition with head injuries.
The Israeli government’s response, as reported in the Jerusalem Post, was simply unbelievable:
Olmert did not convene a special session of the security cabinet or any extraordinary security consultations in response to the attack…
Olmert’s position on cutting the supply of [electricity and water to Gaza] is that this would not be effective in stopping the rockets, and would bring in its wake a huge international outcry and harsh condemnations…
Government officials said a major IDF incursion into the Strip was unlikely. “By going into Gaza,” one official said, “we would be playing into their hands. That is exactly what they want. It resolves a number of issues for Hamas.”
Among those issues are uniting the Palestinians against Israel, involving Israel in a battle that would inevitably lead to “collateral damage” for which Israel would be widely condemned, and possibly scuttling fledgling Israeli-PA negotiations…
“We are in a very complicated diplomatic climate,” said one official. “If we go into Gaza in a large-scale operation, the November summit will definitely be canceled.” [my emphasis]
The damage that is done by Israel’s continued acquiescence to these murderous attacks to Israel’s deterrent power, civilian and military morale, and self-respect is incalculable. There is no doubt that Israel will at some point in the near future find itself at war with Hamas in Gaza anyway, so it’s hard for me to see why the government allows this to continue.
I have to hope that these statements are meant to mislead Hamas and friends, and that “a large-scale operation” is being prepared.