ONTD Political

Israeli Strike in Gaza Kills at Least 11, Including Children

1:03 pm - 11/18/2012
Israeli forces killed at least 11 people, including several children, in a single airstrike that destroyed a home here on Sunday, as Israel pressed its bombardment of the Gaza Strip for a fifth day, deploying warplanes and naval vessels to pummel the coastal enclave.

The airstrike, which the Israeli military said was meant to kill a Palestinian militant involved in the recent rocket attacks, was the deadliest operation to date and would no doubt weigh on negotiations for a possible cease-fire. Among the dead were five women and four small children, The Associated Press reported, citing a Palestinian health official.

Two media offices were also hit on Sunday, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel warned of a “significant” expansion in the onslaught, which has already killed over 50 people, many of them civilians.

Speaking on Sunday from Bangkok, President Obama condemned missile attacks by Palestinian fighters in Gaza and defended Israel’s right to protect itself.

“There’s no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,” Mr. Obama said in his first public comments since the violence broke out. “We are fully supportive of Israel’s right to defend itself.”



The president also said that efforts were under way to address Israel’s security concerns and end the violence. “We’re going to have to see what kind of progress we can make in the next 24, 36, 48 hours,” Mr. Obama said.

Even as the diplomacy intensified on Sunday, the attacks continued in Gaza and Israel.



Mr. Netanyahu made his warning as militants in Gaza aimed at least one rocket at Tel Aviv, a day after Israeli forces broadened the attack beyond military targets, bombing centers of government infrastructure in Gaza, including the four-story headquarters of the Hamas prime minister.

“We are exacting a heavy price from Hamas and the terrorist organizations, and the Israel Defense Forces are prepared for a significant expansion of the operation,” Mr. Netanyahu told his cabinet at its routine Sunday meeting, referring directly to the of thousands of reservists who have been called up and the massing of armor on the Gaza border that many analysts have interpreted as preparations for a possible invasion.

“I appreciate the rapid and impressive mobilization of the reservists who have come from all over the country and turned out for the mission at hand,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “Reservist and conscript soldiers are ready for any order they might receive.”

His remarks were reported shortly after a battery of Israel’s Iron Dome defense shield, hastily deployed near Tel Aviv on Saturday in response to the threat of longer-range rockets, intercepted at least one aimed at the city on Sunday, Israeli officials said. It was the latest of several salvos that have illustrated Hamas’s ability to extend the reach of its rocket attacks.

Since Wednesday, when the escalation of the conflict began, Iron Dome has knocked 245 rockets out of the sky, the military said Saturday, while 500 have struck Israel.

The American-financed system is designed to intercept only rockets streaking toward towns and cities and to ignore those likely to strike open ground. But on Sunday a rocket fired from Gaza plowed through the roof of an apartment building in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. There were no immediate reports of casualties there.

In Gaza City, the crash of explosions pierced the quiet several times throughout the early morning.

Before the latest deadly strike involving civilians on Sunday, Hamas health officials had said the Palestinian death toll had risen to 53. One of the latest victims was a 52-year-old woman whose house in the eastern part of Gaza City was bombed around lunchtime.

A few hours earlier, a Hamas militant was killed and seven people were wounded in an attack on the Beach Refugee Camp, where Ismail Haniya, the Hamas prime minister, has a home. Those killed on Sunday included three children ages 1 through 5, the health officials said.

In Israel, 3 civilians have died and 63 have been injured. Four soldiers were wounded on Saturday.

The onslaught continued despite talks in Cairo that President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt said Saturday night could soon result in a cease-fire. Mr. Netanyahu said he would consider a comprehensive cease-fire if the launchings from Gaza stopped.

The attack on Mr. Haniya’s office, one of several on government installations, came a day after he hosted his Egyptian counterpart in the same building, a sign of Hamas’s new legitimacy in a radically redrawn Arab world.

That stature was underscored Saturday by a visit to Gaza from the Tunisian foreign minister and trips to Cairo by two Hamas allies, the prime minister of Turkey and the crown prince of Qatar, for talks with the Egyptian president and the chairman of Hamas on a possible cease-fire.

A delegation of Arab ministers plans to visit Gaza on Tuesday, Reuters reported, and Ban Ki-moon, the secretary general of the United Nations, is expected in Cairo on Monday.

But Mark Regev, a spokesman for Mr. Netanyahu, denied reports on Saturday that a truce was imminent.

Mr. Obama said Sunday that he had spoken several times with Mr. Netanyahu, Mr. Morsi and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in hopes of finding a way to address Israel’s security concerns without further ramping up military operations.

“We are actively working with all the parties in the region to see if we can end those missiles being fired without further escalation of violence in the region,” he said.

It was unclear whether the deal under discussion in Cairo would solely suspend the fighting or include other issues. Hamas — which won elections in Gaza in 2006 and took full control in 2007 but is considered a terrorist organization by Israel and the United States — wants to turn its Rafah crossing with Egypt into a free-trade zone and seeks Israel’s withdrawal from the 1,000-foot buffer it patrols on Gaza’s northern and eastern borders.

Mr. Netanyahu has also spoken with the leaders of Britain, Germany, Italy, Greece, Poland, Portugal, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, according to a statement from his office. On Sunday, he said he appreciated the “understanding they are displaying for Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Some European leaders seemed to be counseling restraint as much as offering support.

The French news media reported that the foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, was heading to Israel to seek a cease-fire, and William Hague, his British counterpart, cautioned that an Israeli invasion of Gaza “would lose Israel a lot of the international support and sympathy they have” and make it “much more difficult to restrict and avoid civilian casualties.”

The conflict, meanwhile, showed no sign of abating.

Palestinian news agencies reported that two children were killed in a predawn strike on Sunday in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza. The Israeli military said it had “targeted dozens of underground launchers” overnight and also hit what it called a Hamas training base and command center. The Israeli Navy “targeted terror sites on the northern Gaza shore line,” the statement said, in repeated rounds of missiles.

Among the buildings that Israel hit overnight were two containing the offices of local news media outlets.

Salama Marouf of the Hamas media office condemned what he called an “immoral massacre against the media” and called the attack a confession by Israel “that it has lost the media battle.”

Seven journalists were injured in the first attack, around 1:40 a.m., in the Shawa and Hossari Building in downtown Gaza City. It houses two local radio stations — one run by the militant Islamic Jihad — and the offices of the Ma’an Palestinian news agency as well as the German broadcaster ARD.

One of the journalists injured on Sunday, Khader Zahar of the Beirut-based Al Quds satellite channel, was said to have lost a leg in the explosion, which hit its 11th-floor studio.

The Israeli military referred to the two sites as “Hamas operational communication sites that were identified by precise intelligence.”

“In order to minimize the damage to noninvolved persons, the I.D.F. only targeted the communication devices which were located on the roof of the building, and not the operations room of Hamas that is located on one of the floors,” the military said.

“The second site was targeted at approximately 06:50 a.m. and was also part of Hamas’s operational communications that was deliberately located on the roof of the building, in which several international media bureaus reside,” the military said in a statement.

It urged “international journalists and correspondents who operate in the Gaza Strip carrying out their duties, to stay clear of Hamas’s bases and facilities — which serve them in their activity against the citizens of Israel.”

Ayman Amar, a spokesman for the Al Quds television, said seven camera operators and editors were resting on couches in their offices around 1:30 a.m. when a missile fired from an Israeli helicopter ripped through the roof. They fled, and three more bombs dropped around 10 minutes later, Mr. Amar said.

Al Quds, an independent channel with 50 employees in the Gaza Strip, has had offices in the building since 2007, and on its top floor since 2011. Since the conflict escalated, journalists have been working around the clock and catching naps in the office. Some of its employees were back out on the streets on Sunday, Mr. Amar said, and others were trying to clear the wreckage from the five-room editing studio.

“We never expected that it would hit us,” he added. “So far we don’t know why; there are no reasons. We will not stop. It is our duty toward our cause to support the Palestinian people.”

Later, a missile that was dropped from an Apache helicopter hit the top of the 15-story Al Shoruq Building, which is also downtown, witnesses said.

The target was the Hamas channel that broadcasts locally, Al Aqsa, but the building also contains offices of the Al Arabiya television network and the Middle East Broadcast Center, which runs it, as well as the live studio of an Iranian television station and two production companies — the Gaza Media Center and Mayadeen — that provide services for Fox News, Sky News, CBS and Al Jazeera.

No one was injured in that attack. Witnesses said that everyone in the building fled after a warning missile was fired in the stairwell, two minutes before the attack on the roof.

The Foreign Press Association in Jerusalem said it was “concerned” by the attacks, recalling a United Nations ruling that “journalists, media professionals and associated personnel engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict shall be considered civilians, to be respected and protected as such.”

The ability to gain access to and influence news media coverage is critical to both sides seeking to promote their rival claims and versions of the events and arguments underpinning the conflict, recalling the 2008-9 winter invasion of Gaza that brought international condemnation of Israel.

The news media war took a new turn on Sunday when the Israeli military intercepted and took over signals from two local radio stations — Al Aqsa and Al Quds — to broadcast a warning to Gaza residents: “We recommend that you stay away from the places of terrorists and the infrastructure of Hamas.”

It continued: “Hamas is playing with fire and putting you at risk.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that 22 foreign journalists were prevented by Hamas from leaving the Gaza Strip.



SOURCE
lemonsalt 18th-Nov-2012 11:11 pm (UTC)
Well, in this case it's more like you moved in your neighbour's house witout asking in the first place.
nadejda 18th-Nov-2012 11:21 pm (UTC)
And when do this place became his house? May be it was him who moved in this house without asking long time ago?

I suppose all here know the story about Jesus- so there it had been take place? Who's land he was walking?

So if we will start the discussion who is the owner of the house it will not do any good because all had history with this house.

Because of it I am asking about here and now- do you let your neighbor destroy it and your family or you will answer by the similar weapon?

lemonsalt 18th-Nov-2012 11:38 pm (UTC)
suppose all here know the story about Jesus

You're assuming a lot here. And, actually, I amd talking about here and now, and not something that maybe took place 2000 or so years ago.
nadejda 18th-Nov-2012 11:41 pm (UTC)
what the difference between 2000years and 2 minutes &

Let's talk about here and now the real here and now not what had been 2000 y or 2 min ago and here and now someone throwing the rocks ( or missiles) to your house- what would you do?
windy_lea 19th-Nov-2012 12:42 am (UTC)
There's a huge difference between 2000 years ago and 2 minutes ago, and people have already thoroughly addressed your analogy. The general response seems to be that (1) responding by throwing bigger rocks more often isn't proportionate, and (2) even if it were proportionate, it won't stop anyone's rock-throwing.
lemonsalt 19th-Nov-2012 12:49 am (UTC)
THANK YOU! I couldn't even aswer after s/he actually said there's no difference between 2000 years ago and 2 minutes ¬¬
windy_lea 19th-Nov-2012 01:37 am (UTC)
Yeah, I thought about elaborating on the differences, but it's like... where the hell would you even begin?!
nesmith 19th-Nov-2012 02:14 am (UTC)
I suppose in your mind the solution is to keep throwing bigger and bigger rocks in an ever-escalating game of "BUT HE STARTED IT!"

That solves precisely nothing.
romp 19th-Nov-2012 12:56 am (UTC)
My sense is that your house was more of a co-op with different people living there at different times...like most places in the world. Then Britain got involved and divided up land there and in many other places, placing borders were there had once been tribal alliances.

What does it matter where Jesus walked? Rome suppressed the Jews but they survived without a homeland which is admirable...but doesn't mean anyone can walk in 2000 years later and hand over land--homes and orchards--that has belonged to people for generations. No one *should* have the right to do that and, as history has shown us, it's unwise.
darth_eldritch 19th-Nov-2012 01:22 am (UTC)
Well said.

This attitude that a poor people who have been driven from other lands should just roll over without complaint and give up what home they have known for generations is terrible.
aviv 19th-Nov-2012 02:57 am (UTC)
But you can't deny that Israel is a really important place/land to a lot of jewish people and that it has a religious history that you can't ignore.
wingstar102 19th-Nov-2012 03:32 am (UTC)
True, but it's also really important to Muslims and Christians too, all because of the thrice-cursed hill. Would somebody please blow that damn hill up so that the Abramic faiths stop fighting over it? Such a stupid thing to argue about.
ms_maree 19th-Nov-2012 03:34 am (UTC)
No, that won't work. Was discussing that to a friend whose muslim and she said 'they will just fight over the crater, instead'.
wingstar102 19th-Nov-2012 03:49 am (UTC)
Damn it! There has got to be a way!
romp 19th-Nov-2012 04:13 am (UTC)
Yes, it's a sacred place to followers of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Which makes me think it shouldn't belong to anyone. Maybe an international park belonging to no one.
*wins Nobel Peace Prize*
wingstar102 19th-Nov-2012 04:18 am (UTC)
Would have to be set up by Pagans like me, or Atheists, or Buddhists, or the like. Someone with no dog in that fight, otherwise people would agrue that it was set up to favor one faction more than the others. But your idea? A++++++.
hinoema 19th-Nov-2012 11:54 am (UTC)
I can. Bloody fairy stories, anyway.
mingemonster 19th-Nov-2012 07:06 pm (UTC)
Even so, that doesn't give them any more right to live there than anyone else. You can't just impose your religious beliefs on other people
tallycola 19th-Nov-2012 02:15 am (UTC)
Umm Jesus was an Arab Jew. They do exist. :-/
doverz 19th-Nov-2012 05:35 am (UTC)
What????? You mean he wasn't a White guy in like all the pictures him?!?!?! My mind is blown!!!!!!!!!!!!
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