Sunday, January 4, 2009

Day 9: Raw Emotions

Day 9: Emotions are raw here today, as our boys enter Gaza for the first time since the Gush Katif expulsion. Elite units - Givati, Golani, the Armored Corps, Engineering Corps and Paratroopers - all inside Gaza now, in tanks and on foot, going house to house in some areas to secure the territory from where the rockets are being launched. Some 20 soldiers have been wounded, 2 seriously, with unconfirmed, but reports that dozens of terrorists were killed in the first several hours.

The territories from which the rockets are being launched are in many cases, the former homes or neighborhoods of the Gush Katif families. Our soldiers this morning entered and secured Netzarim to block weaponry from reaching Gaza City. Before the expulsion, the families who lived in Netzarim, just by their presence, kept the weapons from reaching Gaza City.

Our boys and men are skilled and strong, but the question is always, "will our government allow them to do what needs to be done?" While I am so proud of our guys, it makes my heart sick at the same time, as this maneuver should have been totally unnecessary.

"To deal a major blow to the Hamas networks, take control of the areas from which rockets are launched, and to strengthen our deterrence, in order to create a better long-term security situation.”

This is the government's position and every time I hear Olmert or Barak say we are there to take control of the areas from which we are being attacked, I want to scream "but we once HAD control of those areas, there were few if any Hamas networks there before the expulsion, and a better long-term security situation was already achieved."

This is the reality that everyone knows.

The truth is, however, as my mother always told me, "there's no use in crying over spilt milk." And so for the morale of our soldiers, and for the voracious appetite of the international Israel watchers, I will do everything in my power to put my best face forward and do whatever I can in the media war we battle.

Please continue to pray for our men and boys..for the freedom for the IDF to engage for victory, for their courage and of course for their protection. And pray for a miracle for Gilad Shalit in the midst of this balygan.

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