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Related Categories: Palestine | International | Santa Cruz Indymedia | Anti-War
Interview with Former Israeli Pilot, Yonatan Shapira About Gaza Invasion
by George Cadman
Saturday Jan 3rd, 2009 4:45 PM
Yonatan Shapira is a former captain in the Israeli Air Force Reserves. In 2003 he initiated the group of Israeli Air Force pilots who refused to participate in attack missions on Palestinian territories. He is a co-founder of Combatants for Peace, an organization of former Palestinian and Israeli fighters working together to end the occupation through nonviolent action.

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by just humane
Saturday Jan 3rd, 2009 5:11 PM
A fact often missed is that the Israeli Defense Ministry stubbornly refused to employ or even test technological means to intercept the Kassam rockets fired from Gaza.

To make a long story short, Israel refused to protect its attacked citizens with a C-RAM system based on the Phalanx canon or a laser canon. Both said to be tested successfully in Iraq for similar aims.

There were serious public objections to this policy, even a semi-campaign led by the Haaretz newspaper to at least try one of these weapon systems but the MoD stood firm.

Why? Some says the MoD is afraid that using these systems will harm future export of a currently developed anti-missile missile system called Kipat Barzel. This system has already proved unsuitable for intercepting Kassams due to its very long response time.

Another theory is that the Kassams provide an excuse for the Gaza siege and a campaign of "targeted assassinations" against the Hamas. This campaign already took about 1000 lives before the current war started. Hiding political interest behind humanitarian concern seems to be a trait of both Israel and the US.