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Palestinian Rocket Misfire

SDEROT, Israel (AP) - Palestinians fired rockets Tuesday at Israeli settlers gathered for a massive protest against the upcoming Gaza withdrawal, but missed, killing a 3-year-old Palestinian boy and wounding nine other Palestinians in Gaza.

Witnesses said militants fired three rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot, where thousands of Israelis had gathered for a peaceful demonstration. Two of the rockets fell in Palestinian areas and the third fell in an open field near Sderot.

Among the wounded were five children, aged 4 to 11, including four children of Hisham Abdel Razek, a senior official in the ruling Fatah party and a former Palestinian Cabinet minister. Abdel Razek's wife was also wounded. [source]

I'm tempted to say "good", but young children cannot deserve this sort of fate. It's a shame the misfiring rockets didn't hit adult Palestinian militants instead.

I wish the article was a little more detailed about the physical area. Were these children hanging around with militants or were they in a "safe place" far from the "action"? I seriously wonder whether their parents intentionally brought them into a dangerous environment in order to witness the firing of the rockets intended to kill Israelis.

Apropos the subject of Gaza withdrawal, I want to caution people against viewing it as an Israeli setback and something that will merely embolden the terrorists. I want to counter the idea that strengthening the Palestinian Authority (giving them money and arms) is a completely wrongheaded idea.

I think we're trying to provoke a Palestinian civil war between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. Strengthen the PA, pull out of Gaza, and then let the PA and Hamas fight over the power vacuum Israel leaves behind. Meanwhile, our (Condi Rice's) words and actions provide diplomatic cover: we were sincerely trying to help the PA, the "legitimate" political body. But we're really after a civil war.

Israel will be safer with the militants blowing each other up instead of targeting Israelis. That's a lot less clean-up for the Israelis to do.

This plan seems very obvious to me. Especially if a civil war was believed inevitable — I think we'd rather deal with the PA as victor rather than Hamas, so we're supporting the side we'd like to "win".

I could be wrong about this. Diplomacy is a slippery thing. But I've learned over the past few years not to underestimate Bush's foreign policy.

Tiny Island