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  #1  
Old 12-30-2008, 07:49 AM
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Default Israel vows lasting campaign

Israel says it is ready for "long weeks of action" as it continues its fiercest air assault on Gaza for decades to stamp out militant rocket attacks.

Palestinian officials say 10 people died in the latest attacks, taking the death toll to over 360 since Saturday. Four Israelis have died in rocket fire.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said this was the "first of several stages" of military action.

A UN human rights monitor accused Israel of "shocking atrocities".

Richard Falk - the special rapporteur for human rights in the Palestinian territories - said the international community must put more pressure on Israel to end its attacks on Gaza.

"Israel is committing a shocking series of atrocities by using modern weaponry against a defenceless population - attacking a population that has been enduring a severe blockade for many months," Mr Falk said in a BBC interview.
The activists said one vessel had rammed them without warning during the confrontation. Their boat put into port in Lebanon with heavy damage on one side.

Israel has massed forces along the boundary with Gaza and political leaders have not ruled out ground operations.

The Egyptian-Gaza border was due to be opened to permit more trucks carrying aid to enter the territory, and for wounded Palestinians to be transported to Egyptian hospitals.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, under popular pressure to open the crossing fully, said that could not happen while Hamas, rather than the Palestinian Authority, led by its rival Fatah, controlled the border.

Demonstrators in Yemen, angered by Egypt's co-operation with the blockade on Gaza, briefly stormed the country's consulate in Aden, where they burned an Egyptian flag and hoisted a Palestinian one.

There have been angry protests against the Israeli offensive in many cities across the Arab world and in several European capitals.

European Union foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Paris later (1730 GMT) to discuss the escalating crisis.

The European Commission has issued a statement urging both sides to halt the conflict so supplies can be delivered to Gaza's 1.5m population, and expressing "deep concern" about the situation.

Ceasefire expiry

Hamas has pressed on with rocket and mortar assaults, killing three Israeli civilians and a soldier in areas that have not previously suffered such fatalities.


The UN says at least 62 of the Palestinians killed so far have been women and children, and it is calling for an investigation into the attacks, which are causing heavy civilian casualties.

One air strike on Tuesday morning killed two sisters, the eldest aged 11, riding in a donkey cart in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza, Palestinian medical sources said.

Coastal clash

Israeli jets attacked targets linked to the militant Hamas movement, which controls the Gaza Strip, for a fourth day, hitting a number of government buildings and security installations.

See detailed map of attacks
Forty people were said to have been wounded in Tuesday's raids.

The Israeli military "has made preparations for long weeks of action", deputy defence minister Matan Vilnai said in an interview.

Mr Olmert's statement that the bombardment was "the first of several stages approved by the security cabinet" was quoted from a briefing he gave to President Shimon Peres on Tuesday.

Separately, Israeli naval vessels confronted pro-Palestinian activists seeking to break the Gaza blockade by boat about 45 miles (70km) off the Israeli coast in international waters.

Israeli military officials said rocket attacks landing more than 25 miles (40km) from Gaza put nearly 10% of Israel's population of seven million within range.

Israeli political leaders have been under pressure to act against rocket fire with a general election looming in early February.

Opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu has backed the campaign, telling the BBC that "Israel is using a fraction of its power to try to target surgically the terrorists".

The strikes began less than a week after the expiry of a six-month-long ceasefire deal with Hamas, which has controlled Gaza since 2007.

Correspondents say short of a full-scale invasion of Gaza, it is unlikely Israel will be able to prevent rocket fire permanently.

Israel dismantled its strategic settlements and military bases in Gaza in 2005 but has kept tight control over access in and out of the narrow coastal strip and its airspace.
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:53 AM
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how long before the ground campaigne then guys.....or did Leb 2006 change the way Israel views its deployment of troops on the ground?

air strikes alone wont stop the rocket attacks
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Old 12-30-2008, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by jrj1000 View Post
how long before the ground campaigne then guys.....or did Leb 2006 change the way Israel views its deployment of troops on the ground?

air strikes alone wont stop the rocket attacks
I use to feel sorry for the jews, not any more though
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:18 AM
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As long as they don't ask my *** to go over there I have no problem with them killing each other. It's not going to change anything they have been doing it ever since somebody's been there.
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Old 12-30-2008, 09:22 AM
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I'm glad. For 30 years Israel has been the victim.

She has every right to defend herself, after all, the Palestinians violated the cease-fire.
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Old 12-30-2008, 10:14 AM
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I'm glad. For 30 years Israel has been the victim.

She has every right to defend herself, after all, the Palestinians violated the cease-fire.
I agree that the Hamas rocket attacks are wrong, but I think you need to look a bit harder to find the truth.
Gaza is cut off from the world outside by Israel and has been cut off for some time. It is a ghetto! A living, breathing 21st century equivalent to Krakow or Warsaw in 1940's Poland. Which is quite shocking when you consider how we are expected to feel about the actions of the Nazi's. Israel is stupid if it thinks the Armoured divisions gathering to enter Gaza are the solution. They would be using a steam roller to swat a fly! I hope they are just posturing to gain ground at the Bargaining table with Hamas. Hamas are nothing but Iranian backed Islamic thugs throwing stones at a lion to initiate a response, are Israeli's really this stupid to fall into this trap?
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Old 12-30-2008, 07:57 PM
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I agree that the Hamas rocket attacks are wrong, but I think you need to look a bit harder to find the truth.
Gaza is cut off from the world outside by Israel and has been cut off for some time. It is a ghetto! A living, breathing 21st century equivalent to Krakow or Warsaw in 1940's Poland. Which is quite shocking when you consider how we are expected to feel about the actions of the Nazi's. Israel is stupid if it thinks the Armoured divisions gathering to enter Gaza are the solution. They would be using a steam roller to swat a fly! I hope they are just posturing to gain ground at the Bargaining table with Hamas. Hamas are nothing but Iranian backed Islamic thugs throwing stones at a lion to initiate a response, are Israeli's really this stupid to fall into this trap?
Well put.... and yes, I do think that they are that 'stupid.' Israel has a forced hand in this situation based upon the precedence set forth by their actions over the past 60+ years. Concede land to Palestine, or respond with brute force. Obviously, land concessions aren't going to happen.
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by scconwill View Post
As long as they don't ask my *** to go over there I have no problem with them killing each other. It's not going to change anything they have been doing it ever since somebody's been there.
Dont worry Scconwill....I dont think they will be giving you a call...I doubt you would do much for peace process
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  #9  
Old 12-31-2008, 04:33 AM
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Spike makes some good points to be honest

Israel are and have always been looking for a military solution....Its never going happen unless they break more rules then the ones they have smashed already.

Hamas bait the Israelis and they take it every time....I believe Israel have the right to live in peace and take out the groups that deny them peace

However.... lets be honest...its not and rarely ever has been a measured response by the Israeli top brass when they tell the world their goals.....if they were honest in what they told us there goals were....fair enough

Its a show of force and almost a pointless one.....It will make no difference to the standing of Israel and only good towards damaging their reputation even further when it comes to the use of force

Im no military expert but I know that all the air strikes Israel can muster wont stop the rocket attacks......and they definitely wont stop the problem

Like it or not they have to go to the table if they want to be seen as a nation that is good for peace......if not... forget the decades of foreplay and get serious
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  #10  
Old 12-31-2008, 05:49 AM
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Default Israel rejects Gaza truce calls

Israel has rejected international calls for a 48-hour truce in the Gaza Strip to allow in humanitarian aid, says a government spokesman.

Mark Regev said that Israel was not looking for a "band aid", or something that would expire a month from now. But he said dialogue would continue.

The truce is among issues being discussed by the Israeli cabinet.

Israel has launched air strikes on Gaza for a fifth day, and more Palestinian rockets landed in south Israel.

A foreign ministry spokesman earlier said a unilateral 48-hour halt was "unrealistic", as long as Hamas continued to fire at Israel.

The 48-hour ceasefire plan to allow aid into Gaza, proposed by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, was raised during an Israeli leadership meeting late on Tuesday.

Reports of the discussions - involving Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and his defence and foreign ministers - suggested any pause in fighting would be accompanied by a threat to send in ground troops if rocket fire into Israel continued.

Mr Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni were reportedly opposed to the ceasefire plan, while Ehud Barak, the defence minister, was said to be inclined to examine it.


See detailed map of attacks
A Hamas spokesman quoted by AFP news agency criticised the current international truce proposals as unbalanced.

"The current efforts aimed at ending the combat and installing a ceasefire put the executioner and victim on equal footing," Fawzi Barhum said.

He said international and Arab efforts had to focus on "ending this aggression".

A European Union statement had called for an "unconditional" halt to Hamas rocket attacks.

The Arab League is also meeting in Cairo to discuss the crisis.

Extra reservists

The ceasefire request is being discussed at a cabinet meeting, along with the possibility of widening and deepening this campaign, says the BBC's Mike Sergeant in Jerusalem.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said that dialogue with the international community would continue.

An extra 2,500 reservists have been called up by the Israeli army and, on the frontier with Gaza, preparations continue for a possible Israeli ground operation.

A statement by Hamas has warned any invasion would see "the children of Gaza collecting the body parts of Israeli soldiers and the ruins of tanks".

On Wednesday, Israeli missiles pounded tunnels along Gaza's Egyptian frontier, as well as an office of former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and other buildings linked to his Hamas movement.

Palestinian officials say about 374 Palestinians have died in Israeli air strikes since Saturday; four Israelis have been killed by rockets fired from Gaza, which is under Hamas control.

Israel has warned it is ready for weeks of action to end the threat posed by rockets, which on Wednesday and Tuesday landed in and around Beersheba, 46 km (28 miles) from the Gaza Strip. No serious casualties were reported there.
A police spokesman said 860,000 Israelis were now in range of Palestinian rockets.

The UN says at least 62 Palestinian civilians have died since Saturday.

Red Cross spokesman in Gaza Iyad Nasr said Gaza badly needed more supplies bringing in.

"In particular the hospitals have been depleted and stretched to the maximum because of the closure imposed," he told the BBC.

A spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency - the largest aid agency operating in Gaza - says it will resume food distribution on Thursday after a two-week suspension because of a shortage of supplies.

Eighty-four UNRWA trucks carrying mostly food and some medicine are due to go into Gaza today.

It says its employees will take whatever risks involved because of the sheer intensity of humanitarian need.

Ground operations?

The Mid-East Quartet - which comprises the US, UN, EU and Russia - called for a ceasefire "that would be fully respected" and for all parties to address "the serious humanitarian and economic needs in Gaza", a UN spokeswoman said.

The EU foreign ministers echoed that call following a meeting in the French capital, Paris.

A separate proposal from Egypt and a number of other Arab countries has called on Israel to re-open its border with Gaza.

The US - Israel's strongest ally - has called for a long-term solution beyond any immediate ceasefire. But the White House reiterated that the onus was on Hamas to act first to end the violence.

Mr Olmert said earlier that the air assault on Gaza was "the first in several stages" of operations against Hamas.

Israel has massed forces along the boundary with Gaza and has declared the area around it a "closed military zone".

Correspondents say the move could be a prelude to ground operations, but could also be intended to build pressure on Hamas.

The Israeli air strikes began less than a week after the expiry of a six-month-long ceasefire deal with Hamas.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005 but has kept tight control over access in and out of Gaza and its airspace.


Rocket ranges below
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