To the Editor:
Thank you for the honest picture of life in Sderot (Schwartz, “In Sderot, terrorism the rule, not the exception,” 4/2). You may ask your readers what they would do if the theoretical desperados across the Mexican border upped the ante, but Israel will not have the luxury of discussing theoretical scenarios. As of April 1, Iranian 120mm mortars were fired at Israel from Gaza, according to Israel Television Channel 2.
They can do considerably more damage than Kassam rockets, which have been the Palestinian weapon of choice until now. Many of the protective reinforcements that have been placed to shield Israelis from Kassams do not provide protection from these Iranian 120mm mortars. In addition, the Iranian mortars travel at a speed that makes the warning system meaningless. If the readers were Americans living in the theoretical border town, this action could only be viewed as an act of war that placed them — innocent civilians — in grave danger, thereby warranting a military response for protection.
Targeting innocent civilians is a war crime, as is the use of human shields, which Palestinian terrorists have perfected by firing their weapons from heavily populated civilian areas. While the Palestinians celebrate the death of every Israeli civilian as a victory, Israel mourns every innocent Palestinian hurt by its forced self-defense. Sadly, Israel is truly fighting for its very existence once again.
The writer is a 1972 graduate of Yale College.