The media priority now given to the Israeli targeting of Hamas facilities in Gaza contrasts oddly with that not afforded to the eight-year-long rain of over 8,000 rockets and mortar shells launched against Israeli towns by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other armed elements within Gaza.
It has been a campaign of terror which has continued unabated in spite of the complete Israeli troop and civilian withdrawal from Gaza in August/September 2005.
Indeed, over 5,600 projectiles have been launched against Israeli communities since then.
When many training camps, rocket factories, storage sites, supply dumps, recruiting centres, headquarters and communications facilities are targeted by Israel, but average fatalities per site are so low, with sites which are deliberately located within or near residential areas, it is beyond doubt that Israel did not aim to injure any civilians.
In contrast, the slaughter of two young Arab children, Hanin Abu Khoussa, aged 5, and her cousin, Sabah Abu Khoussa, aged 12, by rockets fired from northern Gaza was not a mistake — in Hamas terms it was a mistake, but only in that those Jihadi rockets were aimed to slaughter Jewish children instead. And Christmas Eve alone saw 60 rockets and mortars fired at Israeli communities from Hamas-ruled Gaza, with another 94 on December 27.
The 250,000 civilians within Israel equals the combined population of Donegal, Leitrim, Cavan and Monaghan being under daily rocket and mortar attack launched from Northern Ireland.
No Irish Government ever would, or should, stand idly by in face of such a sustained campaign of atrocities against civilians — so why should the speakers of Hebrew be the only people on earth not allowed to protect themselves from such a campaign of terror?
The civilian casualties are not only those physically maimed or murdered, but the huge number terrorised and reduced to nervous wrecks by such ongoing bombardment — and that is the precise long-term strategy of this cowardly Hamas war on civilians.
It behoves Irish and other EU politicians and commentators to focus on this unending and indefensible rocket and mortar barrage, which is the sole cause of the drastic Israeli emergency surgery, designed precisely to remove the future capability for such terror, instead of just reacting to the emotive images of stretchers.
The range and number of Israeli operations is proportionate to the need to remove the real threat to her own people from the Hamas war-machine.
Ireland-Israel Friendship League