January 4 2009
By Nidal al-Mughrabi
Israeli tanks and infantry battled Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip on Sunday in a ground offensive launched after eight days of deadly air strikes failed to halt the Islamist group’s rocket attacks on Israel.
A column of Israeli tanks, backed by aircraft, pushed deep into the territory, and Israel’s navy prevented travel along Gaza’s coastal road, witnesses said, effectively cutting the enclave in half.
In initial fighting, Israeli ground forces killed eight Gazans, five of them gunmen, bringing the Palestinian death toll since the start of an air campaign on December 27 to more than 450, Palestinian medical officials said.
Israel said 30 of its soldiers were wounded, two seriously, since the start of the ground assault and that Israeli aircraft struck more than 45 targets, including arms smuggling tunnels, weapons depots and mortar squads.
“During exchanges of fire overnight, dozens of armed Hamas operatives were hit,” an Israeli military communique said.
At the United Nations, the United States thwarted an effort by Libya to persuade the Security Council to call for an immediate ceasefire, diplomats said.
Israel said it called up tens of thousands of reservists and the military’s chief spokesman estimated the operation in the Hamas-run territory could take “many long days.”
Heavy casualties are likely to increase international pressure on Israel to halt its biggest operation in the Gaza Strip in four decades, fighting that holds significant political risks for Israeli leaders ahead of a February 10 national election.
The plight of the 1.5 million Palestinians crammed into the Gaza Strip was growing more desperate. People have taken shelter in their homes for days and humanitarian agencies warned that water, food and medical supplies were running short.
The Israeli military said “large infantry, tank, engineering, artillery and intelligence forces” were operating throughout the Gaza Strip, backed by attacks by aircraft and warships off the Mediterranean coast.
A spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, said Israeli troops faced certain death or capture. “The Zionist enemy must know his battle in Gaza is a losing one,” said the spokesman, Abu Ubaida.
At least a quarter of the 453 Palestinians killed in the current conflict have been civilians, a U.N. agency said. Another 2,050 Palestinians have been wounded. A leading Palestinian rights group put the number at 40 percent.
Four Israelis have been killed by rockets that continue to pound southern Israel.
In New York, the U.N. Security Council held a special meeting to discuss the latest developments. Several council diplomats said the U.S. refusal to back the Libyan-drafted demand for an immediate truce had killed the initiative, since council statements must be passed unanimously.
“It won’t be easy. It won’t be short,” said Barak, leader of the center-left Labor party and a candidate for prime minister in the election.
A spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing, the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, said Israeli troops faced certain death or capture. “The Zionist enemy must know his battle in Gaza is a losing one,” spokesman Abu Ubaida said.
At least a quarter of the 453 Palestinians killed in the current conflict have been civilians, a U.N. agency said. Another 2,050 Palestinians have been wounded.
Four Israelis have been killed by rockets in southern Israel.
The United States, Israel’s main backer, said a ceasefire should take place as soon as possible but should guarantee an end to Hamas rocket attacks.
A spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the Israeli attack as “a vicious aggression.”
(Writing by Angus MacSwan; Editing by Janet Lawrence)
Israel has all the Weapons of Mass Destruction at it’s finger tips thanks to the US. Seems they pan on putting them all to use against Palestinians who have very few weapons of any sort.
Sort of like a 250 pound man, betting on a 2 year old kid that has been starving to death for weeks. Why am I not impressed by this type of behavior.
Gaza offensive criticized across Asia
Israel’s deadly assault on Gaza drew cries of alarm across Asia Sunday, with Pakistan and China calling for it to end and angry Muslims in Indonesia urging war against the Jewish state.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi called for an immediate end to the Israeli air and ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.
“There should be an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. We should stop the loss of life and property there,” Qureshi told a televised news conference. “What has happened is unjustified.”
The offensive, launched more than a week ago by Israel in response to a wave of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip run by the Hamas Islamist movement, has killed at least 485 people so far, according to Gaza medics.
Rocket fire from Gaza over the same period has killed four Israelis.
In New York, the UN Security Council failed to agree on a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire after hours of closed-door talks.
Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso warned that Israel’s ground offensive into Gaza would only worsen the situation.
“I have asked both of them to show self-restraint,” Aso told a news conference, referring to Israel and Hamas.
“It was difficult for them to sort things out to begin with. I’m very worried that the dispatch of ground troops will make the situation much worse,” he said.
China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, for the third time called for the armed conflict to end.
“China is seriously concerned with the escalating situation,” foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang said in a statement.
“We strongly call on the concerned sides to immediately cease military activities and armed conflict and prevent more civilian casualties.”
Thousands of Islamists in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, rallied across the country to condemn the strikes and called on the government to send troops to fight Israeli forces.
Around 3,000 members of the Islamist Hizbut Tahrir movement filled the streets of central Jakarta in a peaceful march, carrying banners denouncing the Jewish state as a “terrorist” force.
“Indonesia’s military must go to war against Israel, not just as peacekeepers. We ask the government to send troops there, not just medicine,” Farid Wadjdi, the movement’s local head, was quoted as saying by news website Detikcom.
Protesters marched over an Israeli flag painted onto the ground in the city of Makassar in South Sulawesi province, rubbing their feet into the image as a sign of disrespect, television station MetroTV said.
Protesters had also rallied in several cities across Pakistan on Friday against the Israel’s operation, with some burning Israeli flags, and calling for jihad, or holy war, against the Jewish state.
Singapore’s foreign ministry said in a statement that Israel’s invasion was “extremely disturbing” and “can only exacerbate the already grave humanitarian situation,” reiterating a call for restraint on all sides.
“We hope that an immediate ceasefire can be agreed so that urgent humanitarian concerns can be addressed,” the statement said.
In Australia, some 2,000 people marched through Sydney in protest at Israel’s attacks and urged their government to condemn the invasion of the battered Palestinian enclave.
El-Magadma Mosque Bombed to Ashes 13 Worshippers Killed Many are Wounded
By Hiyam Noir
17:25 pm local time
January 3 2009
On Saturday afternoon, the Zionists state of Israel launched two ballistic missiles at the El- Magadma Mosque in the Bietverdana; Lahia Project nearby Kamal Edwan Hospital, in the northern Gaza Strip. Many people are killed, unconfirmed reports say 12 worshippers has been killed inside the Holy Mosque and many are reported to be wounded.
This report from Biet Lahia is written while bombs are falling everywhere, people are fearing the main electricity power line will be destroyed in these heavy air strikes. Many Ambulances and medical team has arrived. The situation is plain horrible. Israeli ground artillery are expected to invade the northern Gaza Strip any time soon.
(Islam Kaloubcontributed to this report)
January 3 2009 1.23 am
In the seventh day of criminal assaults on Gaza Strip, Israeli ballistic missiles paid for with US money, where cutting through steel, bones and flesh – building structures, cars, homes and people across Gaza. By Friday early evening, more than 60 Gaza residents are reported to be maimed and killed.
During this week of Israeli carnage 57% of the killed are innocent children. On Friday morning the Israelis pounded again Hamas targets in Gaza with heavy air strikes.
The report of causalities listed by the Palestinian Governmental Health Ministry in Gaza Strip reveal that the number of death of more than 425 and over 2,000 people are injured.
In response to the assassination of Hamas respected and prominent political and military leader,the commander of Al Qassam Brigades, Nizar Rayan and his family, Hamas will possibly retaliate using its most lethal and effective weapon, which has not been used in several years, suicide operations inside the Jewish state.
In the three air strikes on Nizar Rayan’s home situated in the densely populated Jabaliya Refuge camp, in northern Gaza Strip, Nizar was killed together with his wives and most of his children. Rayan was also a theological lecturer at the IUG, Islamic University of Gaza, a good and brave man, he fought alongside his troops in the battles with Israeli heavy armed soldiers and tanks. He made a point of daring the enemy, the Zionists Israel, he chose to live among his people, openly in his home in Jabaliya refugee camp, and he encouraged other leaders to do the same. Nizzar Rayan’s son, a member of the armed Palestinian resistance, died a Martyrs death, at the early age of 22, in a suicide bombing inside an Israeli settlement.
A Hamas official, Ismail Radwan said on Thursday, regarding the Israelis threats to continue its targeted killings of Hamas leaders, that “after this crime [ the murder of Nizar Rayan], all our options are open to counter the Israelis aggression, including Martyr operations against Zionist targets everywhere, at any time”.
“The Israelis are mistaken if they believe that by killing Hamas leaders, the Israeli assassination campaign will uproot Hamas,” a professor of political science at Al-Azhar University in Gaza, Mkhaimar Abusada, said on Wednesday.” Hamas is a movement that has the support of over 40 percent of the Palestinian people, the assassination of Nizar Rayan, might be a morale blow to Hamas,” said Abusada, however Hamas movement will have no problem finding new leaders, killing Hamas leaders and courageous fighters will only increase the popularity of Hamas.
Ahmed Yousef, a Hamas spokesperson said on Thursday that “ the Israelis has killed our people, destroyed our homes, our governmental and other buildings, but the they can not destroy the Hamas movement – we are not worried about the existence of Hamas, even if their war machinery will destroy all of Gaza Strip – Hamas movement live inside the soul of the Palestinian people”.
Hamas’s media outlets are still broadcasting, Hamas police are still patrolling the streets of Gaza. Hamas will stand strong, in spite of the Israelis assault and the great Palestinian suffering and the loss of lives. On Friday morning, the military branch of Hamas, Al-Qassam were able to take over broadcast announcements trough the Israeli military radio channels, warning the Israeli soldiers from entering the Gaza Strip.
Hamas will stand steady despite of that, the Zionists Israel now are dropping leaflets calling for the Gazan’s to betray their own people. Similar tactics were used 2006 in the Israeli war on Lebanon. The Israelis used similar tactics intended to shake the civilian Lebanese population and crush the spirit of the home front.
In the months that will follow the Israeli ” Cast Lead Massacre” on Gaza Strip, after gathering all the evidence against the Zionist state of Israel including individual Israeli perpetrators, juridical procedures will be filed by thousands of Palestinian victims and their teams of lawyers. The questions of the amount of legal compensations and the sentence imposed, will be determined when the extent of violence and harm is determined. The court will render its decision when all the factors including both money compensation for loss of property and compensation for loss of life and body harm is consented.
The punishment for these unspeakable war crimes will be determined by the main World judicial tribunal, the World Court of Justice ( ICJ ) of the United Nations, and will apply to our international conventions and treaties. The judgment of the World Court of Justice (ICJ) is binding and cannot be appealed, once the parties have consented to its jurisdiction and the court has rendered a decision.
This time there is no way the Zionist state of Israel will get away with murder. The legal and cogent evidence of war crimes are overwhelming, plainly visible and will be supported by hundreds of thousands of testimonies.
( PFV have in possession, more than 500 photographical evidences on file, and transcripts, written or recorded, most of them wired throughout the world).
Below the alleged Israelis leaflet distributed throughout Gaza Strip:
Dear people of the Gaza Strip, Bear the responsibility for your fate!
The projectile launchers and the terrorist elements pose a threat on you and your families. If you wish to provide help and assistance to your people in the sector, call the number below to provide us with the needed information. The future of the massacre is in your hands Don’t hesitate!
We will be glad to receive any information you have and it is not necessary to give us your personal information. We will keep it as a secret. Call us at the following number: 02-5839749 Or e-mail us at: Helpgaza2008@gmail.com
To provide us with any information on the terrorist factions. Note: To protect your safety we ask you to be secretive when you call us. Head of the Israeli defense forces.
I can only hope they live long enough to make it a court room. If in fact it ever does make it to a court room and it should. Of course like the US they will get away with it, most likely. There is no real justice in this world. It is just a pretend justice.
People are Saying No to the Israeli Attacks.