Why do Palestinians fire rockets into Israel? The vast majority of them, and I mean the VAST majority either miss their target or make a small hole in the ground far from their intended target. The rocket attacks appear to serve only as justification for the Israeli military to attack Gaza and murder Palestinians. So what's the point?
The point is that the rocket attacks are the Palestinians ONLY way of protesting against the 60 year long occupation of their land responding to unprovoked Israeli attacks against and murder of Palestinian civilians. Think about that. The Palestinians have no option to appeal to the international community because no one listens. They have zero chance of the Western media applying pressure to halt Israeli aggression and redress Palestinian grievances because the Western media is unashamedly biased towards Israel.
The Palestinians have two choices: they can sit quietly by and allow the IDF to arbitrarily and summarily murder them, or they can fire primitive rockets at the closest targets inside Israel and hope that they make the Israeli government think twice. But even here the Palestinians have a problem: the Israeli government welcomes the firing of Palestinian rockets into Israel, and they periodically provoke it.
'Nonsense!' I hear you say. 'Why would the Israeli government want to provoke Palestinians to attack Israelis?' The state of Israel was born out of and has prospered ever since on the basis of there being a threat to its existence. Israel wields massively disproportionate power around the world, especially in Western nations and the USA, largely because it is surrounded by Arab nations that are the target of the "war on terror" being waged by the American Empire and its pusillanimous partners.
The war on terror is, of course, a cover for a war of acquisition of the natural resources of many of those Arab nations, and Israel has always acted as the Western nations' garrison in the Middle East, tasked with the job of ensuring that the Middle East remains unstable and therefore controllable. In fact, the establishment of the state of Israel on land belonging to Middle Eastern Arabs and the long-standing conflict that has resulted, has been the method via which Western governments have ensured the instability of the Middle East. It is much easier to sell Western military intervention and political meddling in a region of the world that is "in conflict" than if it were peaceful and stable. The fact that Western nations themselves are the cause of the 'conflict' is apparently of little importance or relevance.
The fact of the matter is that, if the state of Israel had been established in Kenya or Madagascar for example, it would undoubtedly have evolved to play a role in world politics commensurate with its population i.e. a largely insignificant one. But today, Israeli governments via their infamous Israel lobby in Washington, are able to manipulate large sections of all three of the United States Executive branches. Read Mearsheimer and Walt's 'The Israel Lobby and US Foreign Policy' for the hard facts on this.
Over the past few days, the massively pro-Israel Western media and politicians have been subtly and not-so-subtly blaming the Palestinians for provoking the latest violence during which 17 Palestinians (and counting) have been killed and over 100 injured. Among the Palestinian dead were an 11-month-old baby and a woman pregnant with twins. This is compared to 3 Israelis killed and 7 injured. For example, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague stated:
"Hamas bears principal responsibility for the current crisis. I utterly condemn rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel by Hamas and other armed groups. This creates an intolerable situation for Israeli civilians in southern Israel, who have the right to live without fear of attack from Gaza,"Apparently the intolerable situation for the 1.5 million Palestinians in Gaza who are regularly murdered by the Israeli military and confined to a open air prison pales in comparison to the plight of the 24,000 Israeli inhabitants of towns like Sderot who are subject to the homemade, sugar-fueled rockets that wobble their way from Gaza and which generally land harmlessly far and wide of their targets.
But my point is not to make judgements on the relative value of the lives of Palestinian or Israeli civilians (even if the difference in levels of suffering and death is clear). My point is that the Israeli government is to blame for ALL such deaths and suffering.
The truth is that the latest round of violence (like so many previous round of violence) was clearly and deliberately provoked by the Israeli government and military.
The Western media would have us believe that Israeli attacks on Gaza are always in retaliation to Palestinian rocket fire into Israel. This is not true, and it is not true of the latest violence. The firing of rockets from Palestine into Israel usually only occur in response to Israeli aggression.
On October 29th the BBC reported that:
"Militants in Gaza have fired 26 rockets into Israel, officials say, amid a flare-up in fighting which shattered a brief ceasefire between the two sides. No injuries were reported from the barrage, in the south of the country." The BBC said that, "It came hours after Israeli aircraft hit targets in Gaza, after militants fired rockets following the killing by Israel of a Gazan who Israel said fired mortars at its troops."On November 4th, Israeli forces shot dead "an unarmed, mentally disabled man" who made the mistake of walking too close to an Israeli-imposed "buffer" area inside the occupied Gaza Strip. So the Israelis shot dead a mentally retarded man because he was walking inside the open air prison that the Israelis have allowed the Palestinians to call home.
On November 8th, the Israeli military invaded the Gaza Strip near al-Qarara villlage northeast of Khan Yunis and fatally injured a child. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR):