Posts tagged Palestinians
GAZA (Reuters) – Israel launched more air strikes in the Gaza Strip and Palestinians kept up rocket fire against southern Israel on Monday in a fourth day of hostilities in which 23 Palestinians have been killed.
Egyptian efforts to broker a ceasefire appeared to be stuck over a demand by the Islamic Jihad militant group that Israel first promise not to target militant leaders for future attack.
Israeli air strikes on Monday killed two Palestinian militants and an elderly man and his daughter, medical officials said.
A 15-year-old Palestinian youth died in an explosion that Palestinians blamed on an Israeli missile. The Israeli military denied it had carried out a strike. A Reuters cameraman at the scene, where militants had been launching rockets toward Israel, saw no signs of impact or of shrapnel.
More than 30 rockets, seven of them intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, were fired at Israel, causing no casualties, police said.
Eighteen of the Palestinians killed since fighting flared on Friday were identified by medical officials as militants and five as civilians. At least 74 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and three Israelis have been wounded in the past four days.
The violence has been following a familiar pattern in which militants launch rocket attacks and Israel carries out air raids in the Hamas-controlled enclave. But the bloodshed has usually ended after a few days with an informal truce.
Though serious, few in Israel expect the flare-up to lead to a ground assault reminiscent of the 2008-2009 Gaza war in which some 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed.
Gaza’s Hamas leadership, whose own cadres have kept out of the fighting, said on Sunday neighboring Egypt was working to stop the violence and was consulting with other militants. A Palestinian official close to the mediation told Reuters Israel had agreed to a midnight ceasefire. But Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed faction behind most of the rocket fire, had baulked, insisting that any truce include an undertaking by Israel “to end assassinations”.
Two chiefs of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) faction, accused by Israel of planning to attack it via Egypt’s Sinai desert, were killed in an Israeli strike on Friday. Israel signaled no end to what it calls “preventive targeting” operations.
“If the Qassam (rocket) fire ends, the Israel Defense Forces will not continue (strikes), but the Israel Defense Forces will continue thwarting any attempted terrorist attacks,” military spokesman Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai told Israel Radio.
He confirmed there had been contact with Egyptian mediators.
Palestinian attacks against Israel have disrupted normal life in the south and forced many schools to close on Sunday and Monday. Alerts to residents of southern towns to take shelter from incoming rockets punctuated radio programs.
Islamic Jihad and the PRC, armed groups largely independent of Islamist Hamas, have said they fired most of the scores of rockets launched at Israel since Friday.
Some experts in Gaza believe Hamas had provided some smaller groups with ammunition but avoided direct participation in the fighting out of concern Israel would step up its attacks in the enclave.
Hamas is also eager to avoid any long-term military campaign as it struggles to adapt to political upheaval in Arab countries such as Egypt, which shares a border with Gaza, and in Syria, where the group has abandoned its traditional headquarters.
Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai told Army Radio: “Israel is not keen to see an escalation, Israel is not keen to hurt innocents, Israel is absolutely opposed to this.
“For now, it (fighting) is on this kind of scale. But if it will prove protracted, then without a doubt there will be a powerful, painful blow so that this will not continue.”
The violence has raised international concern.
France called for “an instant return to calm and restraint in order to avoid an escalation which would risk once again harming civilians”. Russia urged an end to the fighting and said “the use of any violence from which the civilian population suffers is totally unacceptable”. Gaza, home to 1.7 million people, was under Israeli occupation from 1967 until 2005 and remains under blockade.
Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007 and is fighting for an independent Palestinian state but has shunned the stalled peace process supervised by international powers and refuses to recognize the Jewish state. Islamic Jihad is less influential than Hamas but shares the same ideology, which advocates Israel’s ultimate destruction. source – Yahoo News
6 Dead in Triple Terror Attack
Magen David Adom (MDA) has declared a mass casualty event and the State of Israel has moved to its highest security alert nationwide as hospitals report that five are dead following terror attacks that struck the country’s southern region midday Thursday.
Authorities are calling for Israeli to donate blood at local MDA stations across the country. The area has been declared a closed military area and the IDF spokesman has asked people to keep away.
At Yoseftal Medical Center, 29 casualties were admitted with a range of injuries, including severe trauma. Seven of the most critically wounded were sent by medical helicopter to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva.
Two Egged buses and an IDF vehicle were targeted by unidentified terrorist cells in what appears to be a coordinated operation.
In the first attack, three terrorists ambushed bus # 392 about 30 kilometers from Eilat as it traveled on Route 12 from Be’er Sheva towards the city, opening fire with automatic weapons. Most of the passengers in the first bus were IDF soldiers heading to the Red Sea resort city on leave. The troops engaged the terrorists in a shootout, killing at least two of the three operatives and leaving a third critically injured.
Terrorists targeted a second Egged bus less than an hour later, firing a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at the vehicle and wounding more passengers just a few kilometers from Eilat. An IDF military vehicle was blown up as it raced to the scene, driving over an explosive device planted on the road. A number of soldiers were seriously wounded in the attack. source – Arutz Sheva
The Third Palestinian Intifada
Following the events of ‘Nakba Day’ (the day marking the ‘catastrophe’ of Israel’s establishment), Palestinian Authority Arabs are now preparing for ‘Naksa Day’, the anniversary of the liberation of Jerusalem by the IDF in the 1967 Six Day War. The so-called ‘Naksa Day’ takes place on June 7, according to the Gregorian calendar.
A website calling itself ‘The Third Palestinian Intifada’ calls on Arabs to pledge an oath of allegiance to Jerusalem on Naksa Day by marching into the city.
A statement on the website claimed that “the Nakba events have proven that Palestine can be liberated through a mass unarmed march, so long as the nation would be willing to pay any price, even a million martyrs. Our intifada continues, Israel will be gone soon, and we will pray in the mosques and churches of Jerusalem.”Meanwhile, another Arab website called on Arabs to march towards Israel’s borders this coming Friday “in memory of the martyrs of Nakba Day.” Another website issued a call for a ‘day of rage’ on Friday near the Erez crossing.” source – Arutz Sheva
Netanyahu: Israel Will Protect Its Borders
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday that the Jewish state had the “right and obligation to protect its borders,” signaling that the penetration of Israel’s border by Syrians on May 15 will not be repeated. ”Israel, like every country in the world, has the right and obligation to guard its borders and protect them,” added Netanyahu. “My instructions are clear: to act with restraint but also with the determination required in order to protect our citizens and our borders.”
Netanyahu’s statement comes as Arabs plan to mark June 5 as “Naksa Day” – the date on which Jerusalem was liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
Arabs in Palestinian Authority administered areas expect to commemorate the day with riots. Foreign Arabs, especially in Syria and Lebanon, are expected to march on Israel’s borders. PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who has promised a third intifada if negotiations with Israel fail, said this year’s ‘Nakba Day’ riots were only a ‘rehearsal’ for the June 5 ‘Naksa Day.”
Previously, during May 15′s annual “Naqba Day” unrest, some 100 Syrian agitators illegally entered Israel’s Golan region and clashed with security forces. Israel’s security forces have been equipped with less-than-lethal weapons for Naksa Day.
Lebanon is reportedly closing its border with Israel on June 5 in hopes of avoiding an incident and the IDF has gone on alert.” source – Arutz Sheva
Cairo (CNN) — Egypt permanently reopened its border crossing into Gaza on Saturday, opening the door for Palestinians to the outside world and raising fears among Israelis of an increase in militant attacks.
Hundreds were expected Saturday to pass through the Rafah border, which had been blockaded by Egypt and Israel after Hamas, an Islamic militant group, took control of Gaza in June 2007. The closure of the border was an attempt by both countries to cut off Hamas, though it simultaneously created an economic hardship in Gaza by limiting shipments of goods in and out of the country.
Egypt’s government opted to reopen the border to offer relief to the people of Gaza, said Ambassador Menha Bakhoum of Egypt’s foreign ministry.
But Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has openly criticized the decision, saying in media reports that Hamas was using the open border to bring in rockets.
The Rafah crossing opened sporadically between June and January, when Egypt ordered it opened to those in need of medical care. Among those people allowed to cross were those injured during an Israeli assault aboard a flotilla of ships headed to Gaza. After Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak was forced from office, the interim government promised to reopen the border. source – CNN
Israel takes on more rocket attacks
GAZA — Palestinian militants in Gaza fired a new wave of rockets that landed deep inside Israel Thursday, defying Israeli retaliatory attacks and threats. As the violence threatened to escalate the day after a deadly Jerusalem bombing, Israel got a boost from the visiting U.S. defense chief, who said no country could tolerate the “repugnant” attacks on its soil.
Police said Gaza militants fired 10 rockets and mortars toward Israel Thursday, including two rockets that exploded north of the city of Ashdod, a main Mediterranean port city about 20 miles (30 kilometers) north of Gaza — a first since Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers reached an unofficial truce following a three-week war that ended in January 2009. Israeli airstrikes hit a number of Gaza targets in retaliation throughout the day.
Neither side reported injuries or said they wanted a new fight. But the new hostilities could easily spin out of control, especially if civilian deaths mount. Wednesday’s bombing killed a British tourist, and five members of a Jewish family were slain while they slept in a West Bank settlement earlier this month. Israel has blamed Palestinians for both attacks.” source – MSNBC
Israel may soon be forced to respond to new Palestinian uprisings
If Muammar Gaddafi has his way, Palestinians will rise up against Israel in the next Middle Eastern revolt. Gaddafi, a long time enemy of Israel, has criticized Arab states that deal with Israel, calling them cowards.
If Palestinians choose to respond to his call and the situation escalates, the result will not be pretty. Israel will be forced to respond with force, and will surely be demonized and blamed for whatever results. Pray for Israel, that they would respond swiftly and with wisdom, if a revolt in fact moves ahead.
TRIPOLI, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Palestinian refugees should capitalise on the wave of popular revolts in the Middle East by massing peacefully on the borders of Israel until it gives in to their demands, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi said on Sunday.
Gaddafi is respected in many parts of the Arab world for his uncompromising criticism of Israel and Arab leaders who have dealings with the Jewish state, though some people in the region dismiss his initiatives as unrealistic.
He was giving his first major speech since a popular uprising in neighbouring Egypt forced President Hosni Mubarak to resign, an event which electrified the Arab world and prompted speculation that other Arab governments could also be toppled.
“Fleets of boats should take Palestinians … and wait by the Palestinian shores until the problem is resolved,” Gaddafi was shown saying on state television. “This is a time of popular revolutions.”
NTEB’s firsthand account with Son of Hamas, Mosab Hassan Yousef
Son of Hamas, Mosab Hassan Yousef spoke at a local church to tell his incredible life story that brought him from a life of hatred and terror, to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and a love for all types of people. His upbringing in Ramallah, inside the West Bank, was centered around a hatred for Israel and the Jews. He was a follower of Islam, and like so many Palestinians, he was brought up to believe that everything wrong in his life and with the Palestinian people was the fault of Israel.
Mosab’s father, Sheikh Hassan Yousef, is a leader in the Muslim Brotherhood, and one of seven members that established Hamas (Mosab describes Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood as one and the same). Because of his father’s choices, the Yousef family suffered greatly. Mosab is the oldest son and worked along side his father; he was being groomed to take over his legacy as a notorious and popular Hamas leader. He was arrested multiple times and spent more than 27 months in Israeli prisons and in the process, took an offer to become an agent for the Israeli FBI, or Shin Bet. His story is one full of many horrors and he has witnessed much death and misery, but a chance invitation to a Jerusalem Bible study by a man who didn’t even speak his language, sent him on a long journey of seeking after the truth. After several years of studying and digging, Yousef found salvation in Jesus Christ and has never looked back. Today he lives in the United States thanks to being granted asylum, as he was forced to flee from his home and still has his life under constant threat.
The Son of Hamas has lived an almost unbelievable life. He betrayed his family, his people, his religion, his friends and fellow members of Hamas, but it doesn’t end there. His story reads like a thrilling spy novel, but with an amazingly beautiful outcome and an inspirational message. Yousef has such a deep love for the Palestinian people and Muslims around the world, and he wants to see them set free from their bondage. He hopes that the light of the truth will expose the lies that they have been taught, and emphasized that we all must take part in this battle to stand for the truth.
He fully believes that if Muslims would open their eyes to see the true Mohammed, that they would be disgusted and turn away from their faith. If Muslims saw the true nature of Islam and were honest with themselves, he sincerely believes that they would see Allah and Mohammed as their biggest enemies, and would hate the religion more than anyone on the outside. “The problem starts with the Koran,” he stated, and went on to say that our enemy is not the Muslim people, but rather the powers of darkness that have deceived them. He does not want to see a religious war, but the truth brought to his people, given from a place of love.
What attracted Yousef to the gospel of Jesus Christ is the message in the sermon on the mount to “Love your enemies.” (Matthew 5:44). In working for the Shin Bet and getting close to some of the agents, he saw that his former enemies were caring toward him and looked out for him; the message really struck home.
Following the lecture, a brief encounter with Yousef allowed time for two burning questions. First, when asked if the Muslim Brotherhood will take over in Egypt, he shook his head and responded with a quick and very certain, “No.” If only there was time to grill him on all the reasons why he doesn’t think so! Next, he was asked if he believes that we will see the establishment of a Palestinian state. He looked up with a troubled and serious expression and replied, “No, I hope not.” Let’s all hope he’s right on both fronts.