From “Black Arrow” in Gaza to Grey Grads on Beer Sheva

A few days before the death of Aharon Davidi, his friends the paratroopers held a ceremony near the “Black Arrow” memorial site to mark 57 years to the operation in the Gaza Strip. “Black Arrow” was planned to hit the Egyptian army in retaliation for the death of a tractor driver from Kibbutz Ein haShlosha and the wounding of his friend by terrorists that came from the strip. A lot has been written on this operation, on the immediate loss of surprise, on the wrong intelligence, on the mistakes in identifying the targets, on the heroic acts and on the dead and wounded. The argument still continues to this day on the question of the retaliatory operations achieving at all their goal – deterring the enemy from carrying out future terror attacks. What these operations certainly engrained in the enemy’s consciousness was that every vile act of terror will have a price – immediate and painful. If terror would continue, the charging of the price would also continue.

All this was then, many years ago. The IDF might have been shorter on budget and on arms, but not on fighting spirit. The maintenance of deterrence was of the utmost importance. Without deterrence, in the Middle East, your enemies rise upon you to strike you down. With the years, and despite the inflating budgets and the massive arming, the deterrence eroded.

This morning, Gazan terrorists fired three Grad rockets at Beer Sheva. They took advantage of the weather that according to their understanding prevents the IDF from identifying them and respond immediately. They have already heard it all from Israeli prime ministers and defence ministers to their generations – that Gaza will burn, that Gaza will rattle, that they should not try us, that they should not test our resolve, that firing rockets on (fill here the name of an Israeli town of your choise) would be the crossing of a red line, that hair will grow on our palms before that happens, and above all – that we will demolish the terror regime of the Hamas in Gaza. In a previous article I have already called on the prime minister to keep this determined promise or clear his desk.

The defence minister was already quoted in the past as talking about the bearable dripping of rockets as opposed to the unbearable salvos of rockets. According to the understanding of the grandchildren of my friend, who attend classes 1 and 3 – even a single rocket is unbearable. Not on Beer Sheva, not on Ashkelon and even not on Shderot. There are no lines that are more red than others. Orange or yellow, Every rocket that crosses the Gaza Strip border crosses a red line, And to every such rocket, with no exception, in any weather, there has to be a totally disproportionate response – the huge defence budget receives priority over any other budget to ensure exactly the ability to carry out such a response.

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