Archive for Sunday, January 11, 2009

Israel warns Gazans to brace for escalation of offensive

January 11, 2009

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— Israel dropped bombs and leaflets on Gaza on Saturday, pounding suspected rocket sites and tunnels used by Hamas militants and warning of a wider offensive despite frantic diplomacy to end the bloodshed.

Egypt hosted talks aimed at defusing the crisis, but war had the momentum on a bloody day on which more than 30 Palestinians, many of them noncombatants, were killed, according to Gaza medics. Hamas fighters launched 15 rockets at southern Israel, injuring three Israelis in the city of Ashkelon, the Israeli military said.

At hospitals, distraught relatives — men in jeans and jackets and women in black Islamic robes — sobbed and shrieked at the loss of family. Flames and smoke rose over Gaza City amid heavy fighting.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas predicted a “waterfall of blood” unless all parties adhere to a United Nations call for a cease-fire. But Israel has said the Security Council resolution passed Thursday was unworkable and Hamas, the Islamic group whose government controls Gaza but is not recognized internationally, was angry that it was not consulted.

Damascus-based Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal made a fiery speech on Arab news channel Al-Jazeera, describing the Israeli assault as a “holocaust.” Still, Hamas teams were in Cairo to discuss a cease-fire proposed by Egypt.

At least 814 Palestinians, roughly half of them civilians, have died since war broke out on Dec. 27, according to Palestinian medical officials. Thirteen Israelis, including 10 soldiers, have been killed.

Weary Palestinians watched from apartment windows as thousands of leaflets fluttered from aircraft with a blunt warning: Israeli forces will step up operations against Islamic militants who have unleashed a daily barrage of rocket fire on southern Israeli towns.

“The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) is not working against the people of Gaza but against Hamas and the terrorists only,” the leaflets said in Arabic. “Stay safe by following our orders.”

The leaflets urged Gaza residents not to help Hamas and to stay away from its members. There was no immediate sign of an escalation, though earlier in the day, witnesses said Israeli troops moved to within one mile of Gaza City before pulling back slightly.

Israeli defense officials say they are prepared for a third stage of their offensive, in which ground troops would push further into Gaza, but are waiting for approval from the government. Early today, Israeli tanks were heard moving near the central Gaza border as Israeli artillery pounded the area, indicating the possibility of a larger operation.

Palestinian witnesses said Israeli forces fired phosphorus shells at Khouza, a village near the border, setting a row of houses on fire. Hospital official Dr. Yusuf Abu Rish said a woman was killed and more than 100 injured, most suffering from gas inhalation and burns. Israeli military spokesman Capt. Guy Spigelman categorically denied the claims.

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

"At least 814 Palestinians, roughly half of them civilians, have died since war broke out on Dec. 27, according to Palestinian medical officials. Thirteen Israelis, including 10 soldiers, have been killed."How can anyone read that statistic and conclude anything other than that Israel is engaged in massive war crimes, funded by US tax dollars?

IsraelForever 6 years, 4 months ago

Does anyone really believe that Israel is perpetrating a so-called "holocaust", "genocide, or "massacre" in Gaza?Think about it --- there are over 1.4 million people living in Gaza. During the past 15 days of intense warfare there have ONLY been 850 +/- people killed in Gaza. At least half this number is Hamas terrorists. If Israel is committing a holocaust, genocide, or massacre --- they're doing a very bad job of it. If Hamas is so concerned about the deaths of Palestinian civilians, then they should move themselves, and their equipment, out into the open and away from these civilians.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

"Does anyone really believe that Israel is perpetrating a so-called “holocaust”, “genocide, or “massacre” in Gaza?"Those are all very loaded words. "Holocaust" is by far the most loaded term, and probably not appropriate. "Genocide" is almost as loaded, and is really only potentially applicable if you also include the permanent state of siege Israel has been maintaining on Gaza for many, many years. I think it's quite accurate to describe what's going on right now as a massacre. "If Hamas is so concerned about the deaths of Palestinian civilians,"Well, they aren't concerned about civilian deaths. They know quite well that they have no chance at anything but suicide by trying to fight Israel out in the open, given the $3 billion in military aid they get from US taxpayers every year. Aside from launching missiles at the only targets within range (sadly, mostly civilian) and martyrdom, both for the militants who choose it and the civilians who get no choice about it, are the only means of fighting available to them.

IsraelForever 6 years, 4 months ago

If Israel had no weapons, and Hamas had all of the weapons --- what do you think would happen to Israel?If Hamas had no weapons, and Israel had all of the weapons --- what do you think would happen to Gaza?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

"If Israel had no weapons, and Hamas had all of the weapons – what do you think would happen to Israel?"Well, that's a hypothetical that would require undoing at least a century of very complicated history. But just for the sake of hypothesis, I'll take a stab at it.Assuming that Hamas didn't have the resources to arm themselves to the teeth, as is the case with Israel, they'd need some benefactor to supply them in the way the US does for Israel. What would they do if so armed? By far the single biggest constraint on Israel is public opinion in the US. For the most part, that gives them the leeway to conduct extremely violent campaigns against its adversaries, and maintain a full economic blockade of Gaza, but they must stop well short of total annihilation. What would Israel do without those constraints? Well, that's a whole other hypothetical.Would there be similar constraints from Hamas's hypothetical benefactor? Again, that's a whole other hypothetical."If Hamas had no weapons, and Israel had all of the weapons – what do you think would happen to Gaza?"Why do you put it in the form of a hypothetical? The disparity in weaponry between the two sides is enormous. There is no justification for the rocket attacks, and they are certainly terrifying, but I would almost guarantee you that many more Israelis die every year in auto accidents than from rocket attacks. They certainly don't create anything like the humanitarian disaster that has existed in Gaza for many years, and has only intensified with the latest Israeli attack.

IsraelForever 6 years, 4 months ago

Uhhhhh --- Hamas, and Hizzbulah, have a huge weapons "benefactor" --- the country of IRAN. Iran is the source of much of the danger to Israel, the Middle East, an the entire World.Any investment offinancial resources in Israel has been well worth it, given the scientific, medical, and computer ROI that Israel has provided the World.What have the so-called Palestinians provided the world --- other than terrorism, suicide bombers, and misery for themselves and everyone else?The reality my friend, is that these so-called Palestininians have had 3 chances to have their own country during the past 60 years.Their 1st chance was in 1948 when the UN partitioned Israel and the remaining territory into another Arab country --- to be called Palestine.The 2nd chance was from 1948 till 1967 when Egypt controlled the Gaza Strip, and Jordan controlled the West Bank.The 3rd chance was in 2000 when President Clinton had negotiated a deal at Camp David between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, and the PLO terrorist leader Yasser Arafat.Abba Eban once said "the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity" --- and he was right on target.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

You give a very simplified (simplistic?) version of history, IsraelForever, but given your name, I would guess that's all you're capable of comprehending.There are really two main forces driving the latest events. First, it's no coincidence that Israel broke the ceasefire by attacking Hamas immediately after the US presidential election, knowing full well it would trigger Hamas to resume rocket attacks. They couldn't do it before the election, because they didn't want it to become a US campaign issue. But that merely affected the timing. The real reason they incited this latest round of violence was because of the Israeli elections coming up next month-- nothing ensures a good election result for the right-wing warmongers in Israel more than scaring the bejesus (maybe bemoses would be a better term) out of the electorate. It's a good thing for them that Hamas was more than willing to go along, since to stay in power they depend on a similar reaction from their own people.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

I expect that we'll see some sort of ceasefire shortly before, or shortly after, Obama's inauguration. They will have accomplished their main goal, scaring Israeli voters before the election, by that time, and they don't want put Obama in a spot that would force him to restrict them in any way.

jaywalker 6 years, 4 months ago

" How can anyone read that statistic and conclude anything other than that Israel is engaged in massive war crimes, funded by US tax dollars?"Israel operates military ops with the same objectives in mind as the U.S. and every other western nation. We measure success on whether the mission accomplished its objective and how few civilians were killed. Hamas, Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, et al. measure success on how MANY civilians were killed. Hamas has been lobbing thousands of rockets across the border for years with NO intent whatsoever other than to hit civilians. They don't target military....any Israeli will do. And yet somehow you believe it's a massacre and that Israel is committing 'war crimes' (cheese and rice!) because their body count is not as high?!! You know, if you were just a little smarter you might, just might, reach Forrest Gump's intellectual level.Hamas is little more than a terrorist organization, with their brave leader hiding out in Damascus. They hide out in hospitals, fire rockets from residential neighborhoods, strap bombs to pregnant teenage girls and send them to pizza parlors to murder as many civilians as possible. These, idiotic burro's behind, are war crimes!! These are crimes against all humanity. They follow no laws, in fact the evident laws of nature don't apply to these people. They inflate civilian body counts, stage photo-ops of dead children and women to elicit international outcry, and constantly shout at the top of their lungs for the annihilation of 'Zionists' and 'God-less infidels'. But the U.S. is the bad guy for helping a nation defend itself, and the nation is the bad guy for actually defending itself? Excellent. Now go eat your peas and care-otts, Forrest.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

Oh, I get it-- as long as you follow all the rules, that you set for yourself, it's perfectly acceptable to murder women and children by the hundreds. I fully agree that Hamas regularly commits war crimes, both against its own citizens and against Israel. But even Forrest Gump could tell you that that in no way excuses Israel's war crimes, which they commit on a much grander scale.Unless you just think Palestinians are subhuman cockroaches who need to be exterminated from the earth, which is apparently your fervently held belief.

9070811 6 years, 4 months ago

Thou shalt not kill is one of the Ten Commandments. Practice what you preach....especially if you're God's chosen people.But no one does that, so why even start?

IsraelForever 6 years, 4 months ago

Bozo --- sorry for the delay in my response! My wife took me to see a movie this afternoon about the ONLY kind of war that should be waged --- "The Brides War".Anyway -- in your earlier post you stated that: "First, it's no coincidence that Israel broke the ceasefire by attacking Hamas immediately after the US presidential election".Come on --- at least stick to the facts.It was HAMAS you chose NOT to renew the cease fire in mid-December --- despite all the best efforts of Egyptian diplomacy. This was followed with daily barrages of dozens of rockets and mortars into Israeli territory.Also, the current round of fighting did not start IMMEDIATELY after the US presidential elections. If I recall (correctly) the US presidential elections were on November 4th. The curruent fighting did not start until the very end of December.Both of these points can be easily verified in any press reports --- even CNN!As always --- those who support the terrorists twist and turn the truth to suit their own political purposes.

jaywalker 6 years, 4 months ago

"Oh, I get it--as long as you follow all the rules, that you set for yourself, it's perfectly acceptable to murder women and children by the hundreds."No, Forrest, obviously you don't get it. The Rules of Engagement are recognized by all western nations and are devised with innocents in mind. Unfortunately, the phrase 'casualties of war' arose due to the unintended victims of armed conflicts. The U.S. has spent billions to make weapons as surgical as possible in order to limit collateral damage, but there will always be some no matter how careful you are. Israel has the firepower to level city blocks, carpet bomb the entire area, but they've been as precise as possible targeting Hamas and their networks. It sucks that these cowards use their neighbors as human shields, but only a moron would say that Israel can't fight back because of civilians in the area. So basically by your brilliant reasoning, Hamas is gonna do what they're gonna do, but Israel shouldn't respond or else it's a war crime. Stupid is as stupid does, Forrest. Have another chocolate and shut the funkadelic up.And quit being such a donkeywhole, bozo. I've never said nor expressed in any form that Palestinians are "subhuman cockroaches".

TacoBob 6 years, 4 months ago

IsraelForever (Anonymous) says… If Israel had no weapons, and Hamas had all of the weapons – what do you think would happen to Israel?If Hamas had no weapons, and Israel had all of the weapons – what do you think would happen to Gaza?-----------------------------------------------------------------------Simple questions. Bozo, we'd like to hear a straight answers to these, without all the obfuscation, since you chose to take a stab at it. How about a clear answer - one sentence for each question. Can you do it?

Katara 6 years, 4 months ago

“Stay safe by following our orders.”~~~~~What an interesting thing for the Israeli government to say. Sounds a bit familiar...

ASBESTOS 6 years, 4 months ago

"The only way to get the Jews out of Palestine is to first get them out of the United States."Are you guys this anti-semite, I mean really. How can you possibly be "liberals and Progressives" and have such a bigoted attitude? And you call somce of the people on these boards "racists" and you have that kind of perspective.IT shows a very warped sense of what is going on.

jaywalker 6 years, 4 months ago

"The only way to get the Jews out of Palestine is to first get them out of the United States"What the...? How in the world do you figure that?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

Way to channel that inner baaaaaaaaa! jaywalker. Is it shearing time yet?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

IsraelForever--"Come on – at least stick to the facts."I'm sticking to them-- the problem is you appear to be ignorant of them. Israel attacked Gaza territory twice in November-- first on Nov. 4, and Hamas responded with rocket attacks. Israel attacked a second time on Nov. 17. A total of 10 Palestinians were killed in these two attacks. There were some attempts to extend the ceasefire after that, but I think both Hamas and Israel wanted a shooting war, for internal political reasons I've already alluded to, which brought us to where we are today."As always – those who support the terrorists twist and turn the truth to suit their own political purposes."I don't support any terrorists, either Palestinian or Israeli. But I do agree with your statement, and those who support Israeli terrorism are well represented on this forum, and they have twisted and turned a good deal over the last couple of weeks. I've seen no posters directly supporting Palestinian terrorism, although there have been a few posts, such as barrypenders' above, which indicate a strong anti-Jewish bias. Nevertheless, opposing Israeli terrorism is not the same as supporting Palestinian terrorism. It really is possible to condemn both. Try it-- you might find that being both sane and rational are a better way to lead your life than carrying around a bloodlust all the time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

"bus does not support terrorism but in the same breath supports it."Really? Care to be more specific? Can you find a single statement I've made here that supports terrorism of any sort?Not holding my breath, cause you won't find one.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

I guess you don't care to be more specific about your claim that I support terrorists? Hmmm?

jaywalker 6 years, 4 months ago

"Way to channel that inner baaaaaaaaa! jaywalker. Is it shearing time yet?"Run, Forrest, run (away).

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years, 4 months ago

Great link, Katara-- at least they are blatantly honest about their desire for genocide.http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1180527966693&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull"All civilians living in Gaza are collectively guilty for Kassam attacks on Sderot, former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has written in a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.Eliyahu ruled that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings.The letter, published in Olam Katan [Small World], a weekly pamphlet to be distributed in synagogues nationwide this Friday, cited the biblical story of the Shechem massacre (Genesis 34) and Maimonides' commentary (Laws of Kings 9, 14) on the story as proof texts for his legal decision.According to Jewish war ethics, wrote Eliyahu, an entire city holds collective responsibility for the immoral behavior of individuals. In Gaza, the entire populace is responsible because they do nothing to stop the firing of Kassam rockets.""If they don't stop after we kill 100, then we must kill a thousand," said Shmuel Eliyahu. "And if they do not stop after 1,000 then we must kill 10,000. If they still don't stop we must kill 100,000, even a million. Whatever it takes to make them stop."

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