Little tiny Israel, who has been subject to hatred, invasion, slaughter, violence and threats from Muslims for 1400 years can do nothing but keep fighting back to defend themselves against never ending Muslim aggression and antisemitism. Today they knocked the lights out of a senior member of terrorist organization Hamas; their military commander Ahmed al-Jaabari.
Israel and Hamas on brink of new war after air strike kills top military commander
Israel’s confrontation with Hamas threatened to escalate into a new war when 20 air strikes rocked the Gaza Strip, killing the radical Islamist group’s military chief and nine other Palestinians.
By David Blair, Phoebe Greenwood in Gaza
8:01PM GMT 14 Nov 2012
The Israeli army said that “Operation Pillar of Defence” was designed to stop Hamas from launching rocket attacks on its territory and that “if necessary” Israel was willing to “initiate a ground operation” inside Gaza.
The air strike killed Ahmed al-Jaabari, commander of the group’s military wing, and another official as they drove through Gaza City. Last night, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) posted video footage online showing the moment his car was struck as it passed along a crowded street.
Israel also bombed 19 more targets across the territory, triggering the most serious confrontation since the Gaza War of 2008-09, which claimed at least 1,200 lives.
A child of six and a baby of 11 months were among the dead, said the Gaza health ministry, adding that another 45 people were wounded.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said that the killing of Jaabari had sent a “clear message” to Hamas, adding: “If it becomes necessary we are prepared to expand the operation.”
Other Israeli officials made clear that yesterday’s raids marked the “beginning” of an operation, adding that further air strikes were more likely than a ground incursion in the immediate future. A military statement however, said that “all options are on the table”.
Hamas promised to retaliate, saying that Israel’s actions had “opened the gates of hell”.
The renewed bloodshed in Gaza threatens to inflame regional tensions. Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, urged an emergency meeting of the Arab League. Saeb Erekat, the Palestinian chief negotiator, said: “We hold the Israeli government fully responsible for the consequences that this new act of aggression would bring to the region.”
Egypt’s government had been trying to defuse the situation by mediating a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. The Freedom and Justice Party, the political wing of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood, condemned the Israeli operation, adding: “The occupying state has to understand that the changes the Arab region, and especially Egypt, have witnessed will not permit that the Palestinian people be put under the hold of the Israeli offence in the same way as the past.”
Egyptian state television said the country had withdrawn its ambassador from Israel.
The air strikes marked the culmination of a period of rising tensions between Israel and Hamas. About 120 missiles had been fired from the Palestinian territory into southern Israel since Saturday, wounding four Israelis.
On Tuesday, Mr Netanyahu had promised that militants could pay the “highest price” for the attacks.
Lt-Col Avital Leibovich, the Israeli military spokesman, said the goal of the operation was to “protect Israeli civilians and target the terror capability” of Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza.
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