Gaza’s “Rockets” Flying Fireworks Without Explosives

Gaza’s ‘Long-Range Rockets’ Just Regular Rockets Without Explosives

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Take Off the Warhead and the Empty Barrel Flies Further, Officials Note

by Jason Ditz, November 18, 2012

Much has been made of the “threat” posed by the seemingly longer-range rockets fired out of the Gaza Strip. Since the Israeli invasion the regular, barely explosive rockets that hit southern towns that even most Israelis aren’t that familiar with have been replaced by the menace of rockets hitting noteworthy places like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

Is this the smoking gun proving some nation is helping Gaza factions with rocket technology? Not at all, it turns out, as the rockets flying so much farther are the exact same metal tubes that tend to come out of the strip whenever Israel attacks, and the reason they are going further is that they took all the explosives and the warhead casing off.

“They’re pipes, basically,” one Israeli official noted. And while the flying chunks of cylindrical metal could conceivably clonk someone on the head, the menace posed by such devices is even more theoretical than the already marginal risk posed by Gaza’s usual retaliatory strikes.

Some Palestinian factions are denying this, insisting that it is all an Israeli plot to try to make their attacks seem less dangerous. Yet with the “long-range” fire seemingly not doing anything, the reports seem credible.

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Why Gaza? War and Conquest – Politics as Usual for the Empire

Over at Antiwar.com Justin Raimondo has put up a piece, Why Gaza? which explains the situation in the world and in Israel that gives rise to the latest assault on Gaza.

Mr. Jabari received a draft proposal for an extended cease-fire with Israel, including mechanisms that would verify intentions and ensure compliance. This draft was agreed upon by me and Hamas’s deputy foreign minister, Mr. Hamad, when we met last week in Egypt.”

This nails it: it shows why Israel escalated a series of routine border incidents into a major conflict: Hamas was ready to negotiate. Jabari was going to drop a gigantic “peace bomb” on Tel Aviv, and Netanyahu and his cabinet launched a preemptive strike to make sure it never hit its target. The last thing they wanted was peace breaking out in spite of their systematic provocations.

Hamas is useful to Netanyahu and his coalition partner, wannabe ethnic cleanser Avigdor Lieberman…

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Faced with the IDF’s overwhelming military superiority, Jabari and the moderate faction of Hamas entered into back channel negotiations, brokered by the Egyptians, and were about to go public with a peace proposal. That’s when the Israelis took him out.

Netanyahu merged his Likud party with the far-right Yisrael Beiteinu, a nationalist grouping catering to Russian immigrants which advocates the forced deportation of Arabs and a foreign policy aimed at achieving a “Greater Israel.”

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At the most basic level, Israel’s actions in Gaza are inextricably bound up with its efforts to create a Greater Israel that stretches from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. Despite the endless palaver about a two-state solution, the Palestinians are not going to get their own state, not least because the Netanyahu government is firmly opposed to it. The prime minister and his political allies are deeply committed to making the Occupied Territories a permanent part of Israel. To pull this off, the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza will be forced to live in impoverished enclaves similar to the Bantustans in white-ruled South Africa. Israeli Jews understand this quite well: a recent survey found that 58 per cent of them believe Israel already practices apartheid against the Palestinians.”

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What enables this perpetual warfare is unconditional US support for Israel, both materially and diplomatically. The Jewish state could not exist beyond the next decade without the billions of US taxpayer dollars we ship to Tel Aviv every year. Israel is the single largest recipient of US “foreign aid”: we pay $3.5 billion in tribute to the warlords of Tel Aviv on an annual basis — not counting all the interest-free and forgiven “loans.” In return, they brazenly interfere in our politics — and that may be the least offensive form of Israeli intervention on American soil.