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Friday, January 08, 2010

Terrorists trying to stop Gaza exports?

Yesterday, the Popular Resistance Committees took responsibility for some 12 mortars (Israel confirmed about 7 of them.) This is by far the biggest one-day total of projectiles fired from Gaza since the end of Cast Lead.

Why is there a sudden upsurge of mortar and rocket attacks on Israel?

The answer may be found in the choice of targets. For the first time since in many months, as far as I can recall, some of the mortars were shot at the Kerem Shalom crossing near the Egyptian border.

Before Cast Lead, the crossings were a regular target. Israel would always shut down crossings after these incidents for safety reasons.

Sure enough, in response to the attacks, the IDF did shut down Kerem Shalom.

Who did this hurt the most?

Israel has recently, without any fanfare, allowed semi-regular exports of strawberries and flowers from Gaza. Maybe it was because of the relatively small amount of rocket fire; maybe it was part of the Shalit negotiations, or maybe it was a deal that Israel made with Holland which has been supporting the Gaza farmers of those products.

Now that the crossings are closed again, piles of the crops that had been waiting at the crossing are going to waste.

Of course, Israel will be blamed for this, rather than the PRC. But it is hard to not conclude that the flower and strawberry exports were the real target of the terrorists.

It is also notable that the PRC is loosely aligned with Hamas, and has done a number of terror attacks with them. I have yet to see any word that Hamas has gone after the PRC for these attacks, as they have gone after some smaller groups in the past.