The Israeli press recognises the rational strategic-defensive motives behind Hamas' use of Qassam rockets. However, the claim that the rocket fire is somehow 'irrational' is an essential part of Israel's propaganda plank. They must decouple the rocket fire from their own far more aggressive attacks on Gaza, or they must reverse the chain of causality so that their crimes are seen as acts of self-defense. Well, a new low has been reached in the annals of Israeli 'collective punishment', if Israeli Army Radio is to be believed.
Mark Elf at Jews Sans Frontieres received a message indicating that the Army Radio had broadcast the following statement: "Eradicate all towns in Gaza from where rockets are fired." Quite reasonably, he checked it out, assuming it was a grotesque exaggeration or something that some Nazi said. Not so. The sentence itself appeared on Haaretz's news ticker, but Ynet quoted Sheetrit explaining in a cabinet session that: "any other country would have already gone in and level the area, which is exactly what I think the IDF should do – decide on a neighborhood in Gaza and level it ... We should let them know 'you have to leave, this area will be taken down tomorrow' and just take it down – that will show them we mean business."