The military leader of Hamas Sheik Salah Shehadeh was responsible for murdering more than 150 innocent men, women and children only over the last 22 months - plus thousands wounded, many maimed for life with lost limbs, bodies full of nails and shrapnel. He, himself was killed for these evil acts. On Tuesday morning, July 23, 2002 an Israeli aircraft fired a heavy missile into the apartment where Shehadeh lived, killing him instantly. Shehadeh, like many Terrorist ‘leaders’ used civilians as Human Shields. They know that Israelis show great restraint in avoiding civilian casualties - often suffering a high casualty rate of their own soldiers and civilians as a result of this policy.
Regrettably, it was known that Shehadeh was sending out increasing numbers of homicide bombers with more powerful explosives and, therefore, despite the presence of civilians, he had to be stopped. Several previously scheduled IDF operations to eliminate him had been postponed due to the visible presence of civilians in his apartment building but, to wait longer only invited greater Israeli casualties. Clearly, the only choice was to kill him then or to allow more Israelis to be murdered. Shehadeh was well known as the planner and supplier of weapons, mortars, explosive bomb belts. He was deeply connected with the Hamas in Syria. Earlier, he had been in an Israeli prison but was released by Shimon Peres under the infamous Oslo agreement. Many such Terrorists were also released under Oslo - returning to teach Terror to the Arab Palestinian young people.
The news reports indicated that the Palestinians vowed revenge or - said another way - "you can’t kill our killers with impunity". It must be noted that the Palestinian population knew very well that a Chief Terrorist lived among them and they were at risk as his Human Shield.
The Terrorist’s well-developed propaganda machine understood that any attack on their leaders had the added benefit of the Media featuring weeping civilians.
Mike Hanna, true to CNN anti-Israel policy, July 24th broadcast from Gaza his view of the Shehadeh death. His words, his inflections, sounded like a politician eulogizing the passing of a great world statesman. His voice dripped sympathy for Shehadeh’s family. Strangely, Mike Hanna never went into a sing-song eulogy when Shehadeh was successful in killing Israeli children at the Dolphinariam, the Sbarro Pizzeria, or the elderly couples at the Netanya Seder Massacre, etc. [Please note a short list of Shehadeh murders that follows.] (1)
Not all the Media joined Hanna’s macabre sympathetic report. FOX NEWS reported it straight, commenting on Shehadeh’s deliberate use of shielding himself with children and other civilians.
THE SHEER JOY OF RAGEWhen Sheik Shehadeh was successful in his many homicide bombings and other atrocities, the Palestinian "civilians" wallowed in the Joy of their Rage. They danced in the streets, firing guns into the air, handing out candy to the children, decorating the walls with photos of the Terrorist "martyrs".
Some may recall that when the World Trade Center was destroyed by soldiers of Islam, the Arabs danced in the streets of Bagdad, Damascus, Cairo and, most significant of all, in the cities controlled by Yassir Arafat. They expressed their true feeling about Israel and America - they burned American and Israeli flags. Even Arab mothers urged their children into martyrdom with a pathological joy that defies logic or human feeling. Of course, the families did expect to receive up to $30,000 each from Saudi Arabia and Iraq for the human sacrifice of their children.
Israel has been roundly condemned by the U.N., the Europeans and, sadly, by the Bush Administration. I don’t recall equal culpability by America for the "collateral damage" they have caused, for example, bombing the wedding party in Afghanistan. And I certainly don’t recall equal fury when bombs went off in Israeli markets and flesh was being scrapped off the streets and walls for burial.
Jews are expected to show extraordinary restraint and are only allowed to target Terrorists IF they can find them alone, on an open road with no one around. I wonder how that compares to dropping bombs from 30,000 feet on targets in Afghanistan? According to the NEW YORK TIMES: "The American air campaign in Afghanistan, based on a high-tech, out-of-harm’s-way strategy, has produced a pattern of mistakes that have killed hundreds of Afghan civilians. On-site reviews of 11 locations where air strikes killed as many as 400 civilians... (2)
Chris Burns of CNN thought the attack on Shehadeh was "heavy-handed" and that Hamas was "considering the suspension of homicide bombing". Strange, isn’t it, that CNN carries water for Arab Terrorists. What is it in the bowels of CNN that creates policy mandating respect and sympathy for Arab rage?
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld summed it up rather well when questioned about "collateral damage" (civilians being killed) in Afghanistan. He called it the "inevitable consequence of War".
Israel has been under attack for 53 years since her birth and for more years before, by Arab nations, Arab Terrorists - all of whom were supplied with weapons, money and political backing by the oil-hungry West. The Europeans were by far the worst, funneling money, equipment and expertise directly and knowingly into Terrorist organizations. They knew that Arafat and all the other Terrorist groups were operationally connected to each other and such rogue states as Iraq, Iran, Syria, Libya, etc.
Once again, the world community has taken umbrage with Israel for executing a wanted killer of Jews. Unfortunately, Israel’s spokesmen offer explanations and apologies when none were needed! They have yet to understand that, unless (as was forced on Germany and Japan) there is a full and complete surrender by the Terrorists, their organizations and the Terror supporting Arab nations, there will never be a cessation of violence. If permitted to continue with impunity against Israel, their next steps will be to up the ante in America, trumping the 9/11 with an even more catastrophic attack.
Restraint has prolonged this war and with that has increased casualties on both sides. There will be no end until one or the other is defeated. For Israel that means the end of her civilization if she agrees to be the loser. I doubt she will unless forced by the West. I pray that will not happen.
Sadly, the Ultra Left Media in Israel, joined the Europeans in condemnation of the Sharon government’s decision to kill a Master Terrorist. Similarly, the radical Left Peace Now, among other Leftist organizations who are dedicated to the defeat of the Jewish State, howl that Sharon approved the attack "Just when they were close to a peace gesture from Yassir Arafat". Need we say more about them?
1. A short list of the most deadly attacks [which Shehadeh is known to have initiated]: From: The Associated Press on July 23, 2002 - Salah Shehadeh, the leader of Hamas' military wing, was killed in an Israeli air raid Tuesday in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has carried out more suicide attacks than any other Palestinian faction in the 22 months of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.
2. "Flaws in U.S. Air War Left Hundreds of Civilians Dead" by Dexter Filkins NEW YORK TIMES July 21, 2002
- June 1, 2001: At a seaside disco [the Dolphinariam] in Tel Aviv, 21 killed.
- Aug. 9, 2001: At the Sbarro pizzeria in Jerusalem, 15 killed.
- Dec. 1, 2001: In a pedestrian mall [Ben Yehuda Mall] in Jerusalem, 11 killed.
- Dec. 2, 2001: On a bus in the coastal city of Haifa, 15 killed.
- March 9, 2002: At the Moment café in Jerusalem, 11 killed.
- March 27, 2002: At the Park Hotel Seder in Netanya, 29 killed.
- March 31, 2002: At a restaurant in Haifa, 15 killed.
- May 7, 2002: At a pool hall in Rishon Letzion, south of Tel Aviv, 15 killed.
- June 18, 2002: On a bus in Jerusalem, 19 killed.
Brackets = Editor’s insertion
Soiurce: Freeman Centre