Today, Egypt’s Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood – a party formerly headed by current President Mohammed Morsi – announced that Egypt would get involved if Israel continued to kill terrorists in the Gaza Strip. Such Israeli action, said the party, would prompt “swift Arab and international action to stop the massacres.”
The party also warned that Israel “must take into account the changes in the Arab region and especially Egypt … [Egypt] will not allow the Palestinians to be subjected to Israeli aggression, as in the past.”
The question now is whether the Obama administration will be able to prevent Egypt from attempting overt or covert intervention on behalf of Hamas in the Gaza Strip. If the United States leads from behind – or worse, if they show daylight with Israel – Israel’s security will be in grave danger. Even as dozens of rockets are fired at Israel, the Obama administration has yet to say anything. The Obama administration, by contrast, couldn’t shut up about a YouTube video even as Americans were slaughtered in Benghazi. And Obama continues to tout the Arab Spring as an awakening for freedom and liberty rather than for Islamism.
No wonder Israel’s neighbors in the north (Syria) and south (Gaza and Egypt) are getting aggressive. They have a friend in the White House. source – Breitbart
Psalm 129:5 - “Let them all be confounded and turned back that hate Zion.”
This is the moment a pinpoint Israeli airstrike blew up the one of the top Hamas military commanders in Gaza today. Ahmed Jabari, the most senior Hamas official to be killed since an Israeli invasion of Gaza four years ago, was travelling in a car in Gaza city when it was struck by a rocket and exploded. Video supplied from the official IDF BLOG website. Thank you, guys for all you do!
The event was played out online, with Israel and Hamas both using Twitter to provide updates on the latest round of cross-border violence. Video of the attack was posted online by the Israeli Defense Force as it provided live updates of its Operation Pillar of Defense on Terror Targets in Gaza.
The 46-year-old had long topped Israel’s most-wanted list and was notorious in Israel, which blamed him for in a string of bloody attacks, including the kidnapping of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit in 2006.
Israel immediately admitted responsibility for the attack and said Jabari had been behind ‘all terrorist activities against Israel from Gaza’ in the last decade.
‘The purpose of this operation was to severely impair the command and control chain of the Hamas leadership,’ the Israeli military said in a statement.
Immediate calls for revenge were broadcast over Hamas radio and smaller groups also warned of retaliation.
‘Israel has declared war on Gaza and they will bear the responsibility for the consequences,’ Islamic Jihad said.
The killing was a dramatic resumption of Israel’s policy of assassinating Palestinian militant leaders and military spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovitch said the attack is the ‘start of a broader operation’ – seen as a clear indication attacks on more Hamas leaders are planned. source – Daily Mail UK
Israel calls up reservists for Gaza ground assault
The operation, called “Pillar of Defense”, has been launched by the Israel military. Many of the buildings in downtown Gaza City are on fire after being attacked by Israeli warplanes, RT’s Arabic correspondent Saed Swerky reports on Twitter.
The IDF says all options are on the table in Gaza, including a ground operation
Israel has started emergency call up of reservists, while saying they are preparing for a ground invasion of Gaza, RT`s Tom Barton reports from Israel. The strikes caused extensive damage to the long-range missile capabilities and underground weapons storage facilities, the IDF said on Twitter.
The Gaza Education Ministry has announced a suspension of study at Gaza schools and universities due to heavy fire by Israel.
Big explosion occurred near home of Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, Al Arabiya reported. The death toll from the strikes has risen to nine with some 20 wounded, the Red Cross says.
Jabari was traveling in his vehicle in Gaza City when his car was struck, AP reports, citing witnesses. Reports say Jabari, his son and three other people were killed in the strike.
An Israeli strike also targeted Raad Atar, another senior Hamas military wing commander, but he survived, Israeli Ynet reports.
The assassination has “opened the gates of hell,” the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, were quoted by AFP as saying. The militants vowed to ”continue the path of resistance.”
The IDF stated on its website that it has launched a “widespread campaign on terror sites and operatives in the Gaza Strip” and Jabari was its first target. He’s the highest ranking Hamas official to be killed since 2009, when Israel conducted ground offensive against Gaza.
“The purpose of this operation was to severely impair the command and control chain of the Hamas leadership, as well as its terrorist infrastructure. This was a surgical operation in cooperation with the Israeli Security Agency, that was implemented on the basis of concrete intelligence and using advanced capabilities,” the statement said.
The crackdown follows the recent escalation of violence in the region. The conflict broke out last week when Palestinian militants attacked at an Israeli military jeep.
Israel responded with retaliatory attacks, to which the Gaza Strip replied with heavy rocket fire at southern Israel.
Jabari is the most senior Hamas official to be killed since Operation Cast Lead in Gaza four years ago. He is believed to be behind the notorious abduction and detention of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was held hostage for more than four years until being released last year as part of a hostage swap deal. source – RT
Israel starts Operation Pillar Of Defense
“And the LORD went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.” Exodus 13:21,22
The IAF struck and killed Hamas’s head of military operations Ahmed Jabari in central Gaza on Wednesday. The strike marked the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense to target Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations in Gaza, IDF spokesman Yoav Mordechai announced.
Hamas has announced a general call-up and threatened to respond not just with rockets but suicide attacks. Israeli sources say the air operation called Pillar of Cloud is underway against more Hamas leaders and its military infrastructure and rocket stocks across the Gaza Strip until peace is restored to southern Israel. – DEBKA
“The first aim of this operation is to bring back quiet to southern Israel, and the second target is to strike at terror organizations,” Mordechai said. “The homefront must brace itself resiliently,” he added, describing Jabari as a man with “a lot of blood on his hands.”
The IDF says Jabari carried out and ordered numerous terror attacks against Israel, including the abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit and the firing of hundreds of rockets in recent years.
Mordechai added that Gaza is a “forward Iranian base,” adding that the latest campaign of air strikes targeted most of the long-range offensive capabilities in the hands of Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
He added that columns of smoke were visible around Gaza.
Shortly after Mordechai’s annoucement, the IAF struck over 20 underground rocket launchers belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The airstrikes targeted long-range rockets in the possession of terror organizations, such as the Fajr-5 and other rockets that are capable of striking Tel Aviv from Gaza. Palestinian sources said that six Gazans were killed in the IDF strikes.
The IDF believes it has eliminated the majority of the long-range threat.
The majority of the Gaza weapons storage sites were located in civilian residential buildings, the IDF confirmed. “This is further evidence of the pattern of Hamas to use the population in Gaza as human shields,” the IDF stressed.
The IDF has urged civilians to pay attention to instructions from the Home Front Command in light of the developments.
In response to the attacks, Hamas said that “the occupation has opened the gates of hell.”
Senior Hamas official Izzat al-Rishq said the assassination will not “break the will of our people, nor weaken our resistance,”Al Ahram reported. Al-Rishq made the comments on his Facebook site, adding that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is using the “war crime” to boost his chances of reelection, but that it could “cost him his political future.”
Wednesday’s violence came after a four-day rocket barragewhich began Saturday appeared to have come to an end on Tuesday evening. The hostilities saw over 100 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel and Israeli retaliatory strikes which killed six Palestinians.
Both Israel and Hamas sent signals to each other via Egypt that they would hold their fire unless attacked, after five days of mounting violence. source – JPost
Israel gives payback to Gaza militants for unending rocket strikes
Hamas has said an Israeli air strike in Gaza killed Ahmed Jabari, the head of its military wing, in an attack on a vehicle on Wednesday.
Israel’s military said the strike was the “start of targeting Gaza militants”, according to AFP. Witnesses say Jabari was travelling in his vehicle in Gaza City when his car exploded.
Jabari is the most senior Hamas official to be killed since an Israeli invasion of Gaza four years ago. He has long topped Israel’s most-wanted list, the Associated Press reported.
Israeli officials had said in recent days that they were considering assassinating top Hamas officials following a wave of heavy rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence service confirmed it had carried out the attack, saying it had killed Jaabri because of his “decade-long terrorist activity”.
“One citizen was killed and another moderately injured in a Zionist strike on a car in Gaza City,” spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra told AFP.
Another Israeli military spokesman, Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai, said the aerial assault on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday could draw cross-border Palestinian rocket attacks and stretch into days of fighting.
“The days we face in the south will, in my estimation, prove protracted,” he told Channel 2 TV. “The homefront must brace itself resiliently.”
Meanwhile, an Israeli official said they may try to topple President Mahmoud Abbas if he carries out a plan to ask the United Nations this month to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority.
The upgrade would give the Palestinians a place in the world body akin to that of the Vatican – short of full membership as a sovereign state but as close as they can get without the full recognition that Israel says can only come from a peace treaty.
A draft document from the office of Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, seen by Reuters, said Israel must confront this challenge by means that could include “toppling (Abbas) and dismantling the Palestinian Authority”.
Lieberman said in a speech at the settlement of Ariel in the occupied West Bank that if the Palestinian upgrade request was accepted by the UN General Assembly – as is widely predicted – it could force Israel to punish the Palestinians.
“If the … proposal is adopted at the United Nations General Assembly, as far as we are concerned this would be a complete breaking of the rules and it will elicit an extreme response from us,” Lieberman said on Wednesday.
Newspaper reports say Israel instructed its ambassadors to warn it may revoke all or part of the 1993 Oslo Accords between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, which set up the Palestinian Authority under an interim peace agreement. source – Telegraph UK
Judging from statements by government officials Monday, indications were that Israel would begin a military campaign against Gaza Arab terrorists sooner rather than later, analysts said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met with foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel, said that Israel could no longer tolerate the incessant rocket attacks on Israel by Gaza Arab terrorists.
If Hamas did not stop the attacks, Israel would have to act, he said. Netanyahu, along with Homefront Security Minister Avi Dichter, met with some 100 foreign diplomats in Ashkelon, one of the cities that have in the past been targeted by Gaza Arab terrorists, and which has been hit dozens of times by Grad and Katyusha rockets and mortar shells.
Netanyahu described the tension residents of southern Israel are forced to live under by the terrorists. “If an alarm is sounded, all of us have exactly 30 seconds to find shelter. This is the situation in which one million Israelis find themselves in. That’s families, old people, children, babies – Including like the children who stand here,” Netanyahu told the ambassadors at the meeting in Ashkelon.
“A million Israelis, including many little children,are targeted on a daily basis, by people who took areas that we vacated, that the Government of Israel vacated, came in there, and are now hiding behind civilians, while firing on civilians, firing on our children.
“I think the whole world understands that this is not acceptable,” Netanyahu said. “I don’t know of any of your governments who could accept such a thing. I don’t know of any of the citizens of your cities, who could find that acceptable and something that could proceed on a normal basis. It’s something that the people of Israel can’t accept and it’s something that I, as the Prime Minister of Israel, I cannot accept it.
“So we’re going to fight for the rights of our people to defend themselves. We’ll take whatever action is necessary to put a stop to this,” Netanyahu continued. “This is not merely our right, it’s also our duty, and it’s something that I think is understood not only by you, who are here in Ashkelon today, but by any fair-minded person in any fair-minded government in the world they would understand that it’s our right to defend our people, and this is what we shall do.”
On a visit to a school in Netivot Monday, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar mirrored the Prime Minister’s comments, saying that “residents of southern Israel are going through a difficult period, but I am telling you in the clearest manner possible that this situation will not continue to the extent that it becomes the normal situation. We will not allow that to happen,” he said.
With that, no final decision has apparently been made. Speaking to reporters in Netivot, Sa’ar said that “the timing of a military campaign or other action will not be dictated by the terrorists. There is a great deal of activity going on, including ensuring that foreign governments understand Israel’s situation. We are explaining to them that we will not continue to tolerate the situation, and we are preparing scenarios to respond to the current situation, and similar ones in the future,” Sa’ar said.
As Sa’ar visited the city Monday afternoon, a Grad rocket fired by Gaza Arab terrorists exploded next to a factory in the industrial zone of Netivot. Six people suffered from shock as a result of the attack. Witnesses said that there was a great deal of damage to the structure.
It was the second attack on the city Monday; earlier, a rocket fired at the city exploded in a residential neighborhood. That rocket caused a great deal of damage, gutting a shop near where the rocket exploded. Twenty six people were treated by medical personnel after going into shock, with some needing extensive treatment at a trauma center. source – Israel National News
ANOTHER SHELL LANDED NEAR THE ISRAELI DEFENSE POSITION AT EL HAZAKA ON THE GOLAN MONDAY, NOV. 12, LESS THAN 24 HOURS AFTER DAMASCUS PROMISED THROUGH UNDOF PEACEKEEPERS TO SILENCE THE MORTAR BATTERY RESPONSIBLE FOR “STRAY SHELLS” LANDING IN ISRAEL. THE PROMISE WAS DELIVERED AFTER ISRAEL FIRED A TAMUZ GUIDED MISSILE 4 KILOMETERS INTO SYRIA AS A WARNING SHOT. SO MONDAY, ISRAELI TANK GUNS OPENED FIRE ON SYRIAN ARMY POSITIONS AND KNOCKED OUT THE BATTERY RESPONSIBLE FOR SENDING SHELLS ACROSS THE BORDER INTO ISRAEL.
While Israel accepted the first three incidents as accidental intrusions from the Syrian civil war, the shell fired Monday was seen as a deliberate act of provocation. Our sources report that having observed Israel’s restrained response to the first mortar and lack of resolve to Palestinian violence from Gaza, the Syrian ruler decided to test Israel further to see what he can get away with by pinning the IDF down on two fronts.
And that may be just for starters.
While Israeli officials and IDF spokesmen insist that the two fronts are not connected,DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that the restraint exhibited by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak thus far risks landing Israel in really hot water on two if not three violent fronts. Hizballah is lurking around the corner in Lebanon to jump in when the situation heats up and provide additional back-up for their joint Palestinian ally in the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian missile offensive from Gaza was still going strong Sunday night, Nov. 11, after two days and more than 110 rockets – for a number of reasons, DEBKAfile reports. For one, Hamas can’t bring all the Palestinian militias ranged against Israel under a single operational command center contrary to its claim. The most important groups, the Iranian-backed Jihad Islami, the various Salafi extremist factions – some associated with al Qaeda – and the Popular Front all cling to their independence of action. Any Hamas order to hold their fire, if it were given, would be disobeyed. This defiance is eroding Hamas’authority as rulers of Gaza.
Furthermore, Hamas and fellow terrorist group leaders believe Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is undecided about how to proceed in Gaza. They are counting on his being unable to bring himself to order a major military operation to cut them down to size and put a stop to the deadly cycle of a rocket barrage recurring every few days, year after year. And so the shooting goes on. source – DEBKA