ONTD Political

Israel PM 'prepared to expand' Gaza operation

9:18 pm - 11/14/2012
Air strikes continue as Netanyahu says Israel sent a "clear message" to Hamas through the killing of its military chief.

Israel sent a "clear message" to Hamas through the killing of its top military commander and is ready to widen its operation in Gaza if necessary, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has warned.

Speaking hours after a major wave of air strikes pounded targets in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, killing Ahmad Jabari and at least eight other people, Netanyahu vowed that Israel would not tolerate any further rocket fire on its territory.

Arab countries condemned the killing, with the Arab League announcing it was to hold an emergency meeting on Saturday and Egypt recalling its ambassador to Israel.

In a televised address on Wednesday evening, 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. 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.

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 10 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 killing.

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 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 goal of strengthening Israel's deterrence, damage armed groups' rocket-firing capabilities and stamp out attacks on southern Israel.

Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada: "This is an example of the lust for violence we have seen repeatedly from Israel."

"Israel doesn't want a war but the Hamas provocation of recent weeks, with recurring, frequent rounds of mortar and rockets fired at southern Israel, an explosive tunnel that was activated...and anti-tank fire at a jeep in Israel, forced us to act sharply and decisively," Barak said.

"We are at the beginning, not end of this action," he said, stressing the need to be "on high alert in Israel and West Bank... It won't be a quick fix.. but we'll reach goals we set for this operation."

He urged regional leaders to act "judiciously and with a cool head to promote stability and return of quiet, and not to be dragged to their deterioration".

The operation prompted widespread condemnation, with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi recalling Cairo's envoy to Israel and summoning the Israeli ambassador for consultations, his spokesman said.

Following a request from Morsi, Arab League chief Nabil el-Arabi said the organisation was preparing to hold an emergency meeting over the violence.

Britain also urged restraint and Russia said it was "very concerned" about the escalation, while Washington said it was watching developments in Gaza "closely."

Israeli army spokeswoman Avital Leibovich said the operation, code named "Pillar of Defence," had only just begun with the air force hitting "close to 20 targets" used for launching rockets, especially those with a range of 40km, and causing "significant damage."


Well this will end badly for all involved.
ms_maree 15th-Nov-2012 04:12 am (UTC)
Too many hawkes, not enough common sense.
blueboatdreams 15th-Nov-2012 05:04 am (UTC)
ennifer_jay 15th-Nov-2012 04:17 am (UTC)
I am ashamed to say that I am very ignorant on the conflicts between Israel and Palestine. Does anyone have any links to information?
rex_dart 15th-Nov-2012 05:41 am (UTC)
This issue is the number one thing I wish I knew more about, but it's difficult because I don't know where to begin. Finding good, unbiased information from a trustworthy source feels hopeless at times, especially since it feels like everything I already know was probably from biased sources in the first place.
4o5pastmidnight Well done, Fox News15th-Nov-2012 04:49 am (UTC)

"Israel announces that they will be cutting off all communication (phone, internet, etc) in Gaza and continues to hammer the area with missiles.
Fox News’ Todd Starnes responds like this."

ms_maree Re: Well done, Fox News15th-Nov-2012 04:56 am (UTC)
Ummm....so much for objective reporting.

Well, at least they aren't even trying to pretend.
little_rachael 15th-Nov-2012 04:55 am (UTC)
Is the U.S. going to have to get involved now, too?
blueboatdreams 15th-Nov-2012 05:08 am (UTC)
NO. I don't want to be involved in ANOTHER WAR in the middle east.
hammersxstrings 15th-Nov-2012 05:34 am (UTC)
i've been following this a bit on twitter :( it's making me so sad. i hate that we automatically always side with Israel on all of this...the poor citizens of the Gaza strip :(
jwaneeta 17th-Nov-2012 03:57 am (UTC)
A lot of Americans are turning away from the old, blind support of the Israeli govt. I wish our policies would, too.
carminaburana 15th-Nov-2012 05:38 am (UTC)
Been seeing very upsetting photos of burned and bloody children all evening in my facebook feed. I've unfortunately been on the receiving end of Israeli air strikes a few times, but in not such a densely populated area as Gaza and not every ten fucking minutes (in spite of what is being reported here, which is a very tame version of what is going on). "Military targets" are in civilian neighborhoods - civilian deaths are not just unavoidable, but inevitable. Just can't imagine the total lack of fucking empathy to actively cheer this on.
hammersxstrings 15th-Nov-2012 05:40 am (UTC)
i just will never understand it :( the photos i've been seeing on twitter have been making me weep

Edited at 2012-11-15 05:41 am (UTC)
gruimed 15th-Nov-2012 02:46 pm (UTC)
This was posted on facebook last week.

Now, that Israel starts to retaliate, suddenly the world is not silent anymore.
rex_dart 15th-Nov-2012 04:17 pm (UTC)
Israel Defense Forces

o u
reginageorge 15th-Nov-2012 03:05 pm (UTC)
This is disgusting on both sides. I have seen so many people picking one side which I don't really seem to think is right. I obviously understand why people who are Jewish are going to side with Israel and those who are Palestinian are going to side with Palestine but there are so many people who have no real ties to either and think that one side is completely reprehensible and the other reserves the right to bomb the shit out of the opposing side and that is just so wrong to me. They are both at fault, in my humble opinion, and while both sides have done their fair share of hurt to the other, this constant struggle that is leading to innumerable deaths can't continue. This conflict has been going on for far too long and they need to seriously think about how many innocent lives they are going to take before coming to some sort of peaceful agreement. Other wise I honestly think they are going to literally destroy each other.
mellawe 15th-Nov-2012 04:31 pm (UTC)
opusnone 15th-Nov-2012 05:16 pm (UTC)
Twitter sources: Rockets being fired in or near Tel Aviv
belkisa 15th-Nov-2012 05:21 pm (UTC)
stellaglam 15th-Nov-2012 06:19 pm (UTC)
I feel like this should just be posted every time, before anyone has the chance to claim that this conflict is in any way a fight between equals....
thecityofdis 15th-Nov-2012 07:33 pm (UTC)
the only thing that pisses me off more than the fact that hamas and the israeli government enable each other to (1) stay in power and (2) repeatedly pull this shit, that results in casualties on both sides that further serves to construct narratives convenient for each

is the fact that the internet is so full of gross and grossly misinformed-opinions about it
ballooon 15th-Nov-2012 07:53 pm (UTC)
yeah... i'm a little more sympathetic to palestine's narrative, but i honestly don't know nearly enough about the situation to make an informed opinion
ikilledkenny86 15th-Nov-2012 09:15 pm (UTC)
I live in Israel and while I DON'T want my country to retaliate and BOMB THE SHIT OUT OF GAZA, I really do want them to do something to stop this for the longer term. And this is kind of the point of this whole operation, destroying most of rocket stock piles. And yes, it does make me feel safer.

Obviously it's terrible in Gaza right now but I'm pretty sure most of ONTD_P never experiencedsomething like what millions of Israelies are experiencing today. Rockets have reached Tel Aviv today! And while we do have shelters here (most of us) it's still a nightmare.

But I'm not going to ask you to put yourself in my (our) shoes because honestly, I don't think most of you will ever get it. And I'm really hoping you'll Never will.
stellaglam 15th-Nov-2012 09:29 pm (UTC)
Too be fair I don't think any of the posters in this thread have denied the fact that rockets being sent into Israeli territory is horrific, but we are allowed to question the disproportionate response from the Israeli government...
luminescnece 15th-Nov-2012 09:37 pm (UTC)
Eventually, the Israeli government is going to go too far and the world will have to admit Israel as a country has been a genocide in the making since its inception.

It would be funny if it weren't so tragic or if I were more of an asshole than I am.

redstar826 15th-Nov-2012 09:43 pm (UTC)
so, is there some sort of beacon that goes out across the internets to call all the trolls whenever we have a post in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?
jettakd 15th-Nov-2012 10:03 pm (UTC)
Yeah, it's right next to the bat signal for circumcision posts and the texting tree for "what about the men?"
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