A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
April 7, 2011 Hamas Fire Missile at Israeli School Bus, Iron Dome Downs Incoming Missile
Today, Hamas crossed a very clear red line today. It has escalated the situation to a degree, from which it may be difficult to step back. Today they deliberetaly aimed an anti-tank missile at a yellow school bus. Most of the children had already left the bus, so only one child was seriously hurt. However, Hamas officially took responsibility for the attack. Hamas claimed the attack was in response for the elimination of one of its military commanders, whom Israel claimed was preparing a terrorist attack. The deliberate targeting of an Israeli school bus, initiated from the Gaza Strip is going to be an act that will be difficult for Israel not to retaliate, going beyond the reflexive military response already implemented.
I suggest, however, Israel think outside the box this time. Hamas has officially claimed responsibily for the attack. Why not officially recognize Hamas as the government of Gaza. Then, go to the UN and proclaim: Nations and states that deliberately attack a school bus declare an act of war; and furthermore, a war crime. Therefore, until those responsible are punished, Israel will respond with an act that is legal in war-- and place a total blockade on Gaza. Proceed with that option, unless the UN has a better solution. This is not likely to work, but at least it is something different, and not the pavlovian response, which has not worked in the past.
The good news today was the fact that "Iron Dome" was used for the first time tonight against a real target, and it successfully downed a Grad missile aimed at Ashkelon (a relatively close target). It's expected that now that the system has been proven to work in real warfare sitiations, Israel will now rush finally to acquire more Iron Dome batteries. This was the first time in the history of warfare that a missile has shot down another missile.
The news from Israel today received almost no coverage in the world press.