Israel launches Gaza offensive, kills Hamas commander

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Quigley_Sharps, Nov 14, 2012.

  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    • 2012-11-14T151717Z_1855522763_GM1E8BE1SJO01_RTRMADP_3_PALESTINIANS-ISRAEL-HAMAS.JPG Enlarge Gallery
      Palestinians extinguish a fire after an Israeli air strike on a car in Gaza City November 14, 2012. Hamas's military chief was killed when his car was hit by an Israeli airstrike on Wednesday, the Palestinian …

    GAZA (Reuters) - Israel launched a major offensive againstPalestinian militants in Gaza on Wednesday, killing the military commander of Hamas in an air strike and threatening an invasion of the enclave that the Islamist group vowed would "open the gates of hell".
    The onslaught shattered hopes that a truce mediated on Tuesday by Egypt could pull the two sides back from the brink of war after five days of escalating Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli strikes at militant targets.
    Operation "Pillar of Defense" began with a surgical strike on a car carrying the commander of the military wing of Hamas, the Islamist movement which controls Gaza and dominates a score of smaller armed groups.
    Within minutes of the death of Ahmed Al-Jaabari, big explosions were rocking Gaza, as the Israeli air force struck at selected targets just before sundown, blasting plumes of smoke and debris high above the crowded city.
    Panicking civilians ran for cover and the death toll mounted quickly. Seven people including two girls under the age of five were killed, the health ministry said.
    A second Gaza war has loomed on the horizon for months as waves of Palestinian rocket attacks and Israeli strikes grew increasingly more intense and frequent.
    Israel's Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009 began with a week of air attacks and shelling, followed by a land invasion of the blockaded coastal strip, sealed off at sea by the Israeli navy. Some 1,400 Palestinians were killed and 13 Israelis died.
    Hamas said Jaabari, who ran the organization's armed wing, Izz el-Deen Al-Qassam, died along with an unnamed associate when their car was blown apart by an Israeli missile.
    The charred and mangled wreckage of a car could be seen belching flames, as emergency crews picked up what appeared to be body parts.
    Israel confirmed it had carried out the attack and announced there was more to come. Reuters witnesses saw Hamas security compounds and police stations blasted apart.
    "This is an operation against terror targets of different organizations in Gaza," Israeli army spokeswoman Colonel Avital Leibovitch told reporters.
    Jaabari had "a lot of blood on his hands", she said. Other militant groups including Islamic Jihad were on the target list.
    Immediate calls for revenge were broadcast over Hamas radio.
    "The occupation has opened the gates of hell," Hamas's armed wing said. Smaller groups also vowed to strike back.
    "Israel has declared war on Gaza and they will bear the responsibility for the consequences," Islamic Jihad said.
    Southern Israeli communities within rocket range of Gaza were on full alert, and schools were ordered closed for Thursday. About one million Israelis live in range of Gaza's relatively primitive but lethal rockets, supplemented in recent months by longer-range, more accurate systems.
    "The days we face in the south will, in my estimation, prove protracted," Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai, Israel's chief military spokesman, told Channel 2 TV.
    "The home front must brace itself resiliently."
    Mordechai said Israel was both responding to a surge in Palestinian rocket salvoes earlier this week and trying to prevent Hamas and other Palestinian factions from building up their arsenals further.
    Among the targets of Wednesday's air strikes were underground caches of longer-range Hamas rockets, he said.
    Asked if Israel might send in ground forces, Mordechai said: "There are preparations, and if we are required to, the option of an entry by ground is available."
    Israel's intelligence agency Shin Bet said Jaabari was responsible for Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, when the militant Islamist group ousted fighters of the Fatah movement of its great rival, the Western-backed Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas.
    It said Jaabari instigated the attack that led to the capture of Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit in a kidnap raid from Gaza in 2006. Jaabari was also the man who handed Shalit over to Israel in a prisoner exchange five years after his capture.
    Israel holds a general election on January 22 and conservative Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to retaliate harshly against Hamas.
    Hamas has been emboldened by the rise to power in neighboring Egypt of its spiritual mentors in the Muslim Brotherhood, viewing them as a "safety net" that will not permit a second Israeli thrashing of Gaza, home to 1.7 million Palestinians.
    Egypt condemned Israel's strikes on Gaza and urged it to end the attacks at once.
    Hamas has historically been supported by Iran, which Israel regards as a rising threat to its own existence due to its nuclear program.
    In the flare-up that was prelude to Wednesday's offensive, more than 115 missiles were fired into southern Israel from Gaza and Israeli planes launched numerous strikes.
    Seven Palestinians, three of them gunmen, were killed. Eight Israeli civilians were hurt by rocket fire and four soldiers wounded by an anti-tank missile.
    Helped by Iran and the flourishing contraband trade through tunnels from Egypt, Gaza militias have smuggled in better weapons since the war of 2008-09.
    But Gaza's estimated 35,000 Palestinian fighters are still no match for Israel's F-16 fighter-bombers, Apache helicopter gunships, Merkava tanks and other modern weapons systems in the hands of a conscript force of 175,000, with 450,000 in reserve.
    Israel's shekel fell nearly one percent to a two-month low against the dollar on Wednesday after news of the Israeli air strikes broke.
    (Additional reporting by Dan Williams, Crispian Balmer and Ori Lewis in Jerusalem; Writing by Douglas Hamilton; Editing by Giles Elgood)

    enloopious likes this.
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Couldn't happen to a nicer guy. I have to wonder how many times you have to poke a lion until it bites ---
    tulianr likes this.
  3. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Apparently, not more than the number, proceeding today....
    tulianr, Gunny Highway and oldawg like this.
  4. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    Looks like the car is salvagable by inner city standards.
    VisuTrac and enloopious like this.
  5. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    The US has no business either for or against all of these countries. Unfortunately this was all done with military equipment given for free to both countries. We do, however, give Israel ten times the amount of freebies as we do to Palestine at the cost of our own national welfare.
  6. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Beware of Israel.

    I can't wait to see what James Traficant can stir up. He's got my vote every damn day.

    A lot of you folks might not know who Jim Traficant is. I have long followed his career and used to love watching him speak on the floor of Congress.

    enloopious and ditch witch like this.
  7. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Well, really we do in some cases have business. Those with whom we have alliances, right or wrong, should be supported in some fashion. What has annoyed me over time is that our back is not getting scratched in quite the same way we scratch theirs.

    As a practical matter, if we undertake an expedition into someone else's business without an alliance because there's no government to ally with, we are giving it away. I do NOT see a strategic reason to be in the 'stans (or Iran if it comes to that.) If there is, it needs to be out there where it can be seen and understood by us proles, and I don't mean some ephemeral statement about defending freedom or enabling stable friendly governments in an unstable part of the world that has been tribal for eons and will still be tribal when the US is hacked into unstable tribal areas itself.
  8. enloopious

    enloopious Rocket Surgeon

    Israel uses the US like a whore and shows no respect. It is a one way relationship where they give us nothing in return. We give them tens of billions of dollars for free every year and they use that money to control our media and gain influence all over the world. We also give them tanks, planes, guns, ammo, missiles, nukes, and other armaments for free in addition to the money. They pay us back nothing. Our debts to all of the various entities out there are never forgiven for free so why are we giving away money that we will never get back? Please tell me because I would really like to know why they are our ally.

    I know some people would say that we need them to protect us from the hostile Arabs of the surrounding countries but seriously, those same Arabs were our friends a few years back before we stabbed them in the back at the request of British Petroleum and the queen or before we started playing both sides of the war. Is it any wonder they don't trust us? Or do we have enough friends and anyone who is not already one we should just blow up? And even if the big bad Arabs were coming to get us don't you think that we have just a bit more fire power than Israel? We could wipe out Palestine in a week if we really wanted to but they pose NO threat to the US for at least another 50 years if they were to set their minds to it and if Israel hadn't already destroyed the whole country. Seriously, all they have is sand... why are we killing them again?

    Hell yeah I'd vote for Trafficant. This would be a better country with more people like him around!
    ditch witch and Brokor like this.
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