Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Abyss


AFP/Azulai Meir; caption

It's not that the Palestinian territories lack for signs of how things are getting worse every day but the above was particularly bad: a jeep painted to look like a press vehicle and used to gain an element of stealth in an attack by Palestinian militants on an Israeli border post. Along with the extended kidnapping of Alan Johnston, indicative of the fact that extreme elements in Gaza see no value in good will from outside sources and instead want to pursue the fight on their own terms.

While some commentators on the attack managed to sigh that it would now open the way for more Israeli attacks on press vehicles, it's hard to see how it make much difference. For example, the rules of engagement for American troops in Iraq, probably similar to those used by Israel, allow all guns blazing at any approaching vehicle that looks threatening (e.g. refusal to stop when signalled) -- sometimes leading to the deaths of Iraqi civilians.

Indeed, being in a press vehicle and then an ambulance didn't do Terry Lloyd any good, nor was it insurance for journalists in Lebanon last year. So the Palestinian incident says more about their state of mind than likely changes in Israeli behaviour.