Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Two stories side by side in an on-line Israeli newspaper

Story number 1:

The IDF said Sunday it is changing riot control methods, replacing its sometimes lethal rubber-coated steel pellets with compressed sand bullets. Rubber bullets have killed dozens of Palestinians in the past two decades. The new sand bullets were originally developed for close-quarter hostage rescue situations. An Israeli human rights groups praised the decision, but said it was surprising that the army had taken so long to find non-lethal means of dispersing Palestinian demonstrators. The new round, in which the head of the bullet is made from compressed sand and can be fired from a regular rifle, has already been used in the West Bank against Palestinians protesting against the separation barrier Israel is building, the army said. The sand bullet, said to be extremely painful but less dangerous because it does not penetrate the skin, was developed and first used by Israel's Prisons Authority, the army said. The rubber bullets will be phased out. Human rights groups praised the move.
Story number two:
Palestinians terrorists have already installed the necessary infrastructure to transfer the Qassam rockets to the West Bank from Gaza, according to Abu Abir, spokesman for the Gaza-based Popular Resistance Committees terror group. In an interview with Ynet, Abu Abir said that Gaza’s new border would turn into an additional “blue line,” modeled on the border separating Israel and Lebanon. “It will be like the Hizbullah: Every Israeli transgression of this line or movement of forces towards it will give us the right to respond against the act of aggression,” threatened Abu Abir. *** [Interviewer] Hold on, rockets in the West Bank is a very dangerous thing. Would an (IDF) operation in Qalqilia cause rockets to fall on the Sharon area (central Israel) or on Tel Aviv? “In principle, yes. But I am not saying that we will fire these rockets left, right and center. These rockets will be activated in proportion to Israeli activity. A small Israeli operation here and there will not tempt us to use the rockets, but a major assassination, or big infiltration into a city like Jenin, would force us to act. But as always, we won’t initiate, we will only respond to Israeli activities.”
It's as if two different wars are being fought in the same battlefield.