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Friday, November 16, 2012

War in Middle East-Now

The United States condemned Hamas, long shunned by the West as an obstacle to peace.

'Clear message'
Speaking on Wedneday night, hours after a major wave of air strikes pounded targets in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, Netanyahu vowed that Israel would not tolerate any further rocket fire on its territory.
In a televised address, Netanyahu said: "Today we sent a clear message to Hamas and other terrorist organisations, and if it becomes necessary we are prepared to expand the operation.
"Hamas and the terror organisations have chosen to escalate their attacks on the citizens of Israel in recent days," he said after consultations with his security cabinet.
"We will not tolerate a situation in which Israeli citizens are threatened by rocket fire."
Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba, reporting from Gaza, said: "In the last 30 seconds there was another big blast. [The strikes] have been going on all evening.
"It is not just air strikes, but also strikes from Israeli naval ships just off the coast of Gaza."
Baba said the streets of Gaza City on Wednesday evening were "eerily quiet, except for the sound of ambulances".
"The latest from medical sources is that at least seven people have been killed, including two children, and at least 60 people have been wounded, including ten children."
'Gates of hell'
The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas headed by Jabari, issued a communique saying Israel had "opened the gates of hell on itself", and Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum said the strike was tantamount to a "declaration of war".
"The occupation committed a dangerous crime and crossed all the red lines, which is considered a declaration of war", he said in a statement.
"The occupation will pay dearly for this and we will make it regret the moment they thought about it."
Hamas said it had fired at least 20 rockets into Israel in retaliation for Jabari's assassination, shortly after the air strike tore his car to pieces.
Mark Regev, spokesperson for the Israeli prime minister's office, told Al Jazeera: "We are continuing to hit Hamas targets, and their missile sites, because we knew they would [be] responding immediately...Ultimately we did not want this round of fighting, it was forced upon us.
"We will not allow Hamas to terrorise our civilian population. All the options are open.
"Our most important goal is to protect our people. Hamas has deliberately targeted civilians. They deliberately use Gaza civilians as human shields, too."
Rising tensions
The strikes came after five days of rising tensions along the Gaza border which began on Saturday when Palestinian fighters fired an anti-tank rocket at an army jeep, sparking Israeli fire which killed seven.
Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister, said the strike was only the beginning of an operation with the goals of strengthening Israel's deterrence, damaging armed groups' rocket-firing capabilities and stamping out attacks on southern Israel.

New post on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog:

U.S. Senate passes unanimous resolution supporting Israel in operation against Hamas

by joelcrosenberg
"The United States Senate sent a message of solidarity to Israel on Thursday by unanimously passing a resolution that expressed firm support for Israel’s right to protect its people from terrorism on the second day of Pillar of Defense," reports the Times of Israel. "Introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), Senate Resolution 599 expressed 'vigorous support and unwavering commitment to the welfare, security, and survival of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state with secure borders, and recognizing and strongly supporting its right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism.'"
joelcrosenberg | November 16, 2012 at 4:25 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

New post on Joel C. Rosenberg's Blog

Netanyahu tells foreign press: “There is no moral symmetry….the terrorists are committing a double war crime”

by joelcrosenberg
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made following statement to the foreign press: "In recent days and weeks, Hamas and the other terrorist organizations in Gaza have made normal life impossible for over one million Israelis. No government would tolerate a situation where nearly a fifth of its people live under a constant barrage of rockets and missile fire, and Israel will not tolerate this situation. This is why my government has instructed the Israeli Defense Forces to conduct surgical strikes against the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza. And this is why Israel will continue to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people. I want to remind you that, seven years ago, Israel withdrew from every square inch of Gaza. Now, Hamas took over the areas we vacated. What did it do? Rather than build a better future for the residents of Gaza, the Hamas leadership, backed by Iran, turned Gaza into a terrorist stronghold. They fired thousand of rockets at our cities, at our towns, at our civilians, at our children. They’ve smuggled thousands of rockets and missiles into Gaza, and they deliberately place these rockets and missiles in civilian areas: in homes, in schools, near hospitals. This year alone, they fired over one thousand rockets and missiles at Israel, including close to 200 rockets in the last 24 hours....I’m stressing this because it’s important to understand one simple point. There is no moral symmetry; there is no moral equivalence, between Israel and the terrorist organizations in Gaza. The terrorists are committing a double war crime. They fire at Israeli civilians, and they hide behind Palestinian civilians. And, by contrast, Israel takes every measure to avoid civilian casualties. I saw today a picture of a bleeding Israeli baby. This picture says it all: Hamas deliberately targets our children, and they deliberately place their rockets next to their children. Despite this reality – and it’s a very difficult reality – Israel will continue to do everything in its power to avoid civilian casualties....."
joelcrosenberg | November 16, 2012 at 4:36 am | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

PHOTO: Hamas missile launch pad next to mosque, playground. Civilian factories, gas station also half a block from Fajr-5 firing site.


By Aaron Klein
TEL AVIV – A missile launch site in the Gaza Strip was set up by Hamas just half a block from a mosque and children’s playground, according to aerial photographs provided to KleinOnline by the Israel Defense Forces today.
Israel yesterday carried out a surgical strike of the site in question – a Fajr-5 missile launch pad established in the heavily populated Zeitoun district of Gaza to fire long range rockets into the Jewish state.
The photograph of the launch site, posted above, shows a children’s playground and a mosque located about a half a block away as well as two civilian factories and a gas station also within a half a block radius.
Earlier today, the Iranian-backed Islamic Jihad group claimed responsibility firing Fajr-5 missiles aimed at Tel Aviv.
Also today, one rocket launched from the Gaza Strip landed in Rishon Letzion, some 7 miles south of Tel Aviv.  About three hours later another explosion was heard in the Tel Aviv area. Defense sources said a rocket landed in an open area between the cities of Jaffa and Bat Yam. Jaffa borders Tel Aviv.

Live Stream - Rockets into Gaza:

Aljazeera Live Stream:

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