Rockets, airstrikes follow attack on Israel

Discussion in 'West Asia & Africa' started by Parthy, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. Parthy

    Parthy Air Warrior Senior Member

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    Gaza militants launched barrages of rockets deep into Israel early on Friday and Israeli aircraft struck targets in the Palestinian territory in the aftermath of the deadliest attack against Israelis in three years.

    Gunmen who appear to have originated in Gaza and crossed into southern Israel through the Egyptian desert ambushed civilian vehicles traveling on a remote road, killing eight people. Six were civilians, and two were members of Israeli security forces responding to the incursion.

    The attack signaled a new danger for Israel from its border with the Sinai Peninsula, long quiet under the rule of Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak. He was deposed in February, and the desert of the Sinai Peninsula _ always restive and controlled largely by Bedouin tribes _ has become increasingly lawless.

    The sudden spike in violence threatened to upset the already frayed ties between Israel and Egypt and escalate the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

    On Friday, militants in Gaza launched at least 10 rockets into Israel, the military said. One, aimed at the city of Ashkelon, was intercepted by the new Israeli anti-missile system known as Iron Dome. Another hit next to a synagogue in the port city of Ashdod and wounded six Israelis, according to Israeli emergency services.

    Israel's south has been equipped with early warning systems and bomb shelters over years of rocket fire from Gaza, and those measures have helped keep casualties low.

    The Israeli military's chief spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, said it was ``too early'' to say that a broad escalation in Gaza was imminent.

    ``If we see that Hamas is choosing to escalate, we will not hesitate to expand the scope of our actions, respond in strength and exact a price from Hamas,'' he told Israel Army Radio on Friday morning.

    Egyptian officials said five Egyptian security personnel died as a result of Thursday's gunbattles. An Egyptian security official said three died Thursday and two others died of wounds on Friday. He said they were apparently caught in a crossfire as Israeli soldiers chased the attackers.

    The military said Friday that Israeli forces killed seven militants during the clash. The military did not release their identities.

    Israel responded hours after the border attack with an airstrike in Gaza that killed five members of the Palestinian group that Israel said was behind it, an organization known as the Popular Resistance Committees. The dead included the group's leader.

    A spokesman for the group, Abu Mujahid, would not confirm or deny responsibility for the attack inside Israel, but said militants would avenge the killing of the men in Gaza.

    Hamas, which controls Gaza, denied any connection with the attacks but hurriedly evacuated all of its security facilities Thursday in anticipation of more Israeli retaliation. Those strikes continued through the night and past midday Friday, targeting what the military said were smuggling tunnels and sites used by gunmen.

    Hamas officials said two children, 3 and 13, were killed in the Israeli strikes.

    Also Friday, dozens of Palestinians trying to reach the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for Muslim prayers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan scuffled with police at one of the gates to the Old City. The police were allowing access only to older Muslims in a measure police said is meant to prevent unrest.

    The officers used a water cannon to disperse the crowd and made several arrests, police said. No injuries were reported.

    The violence in the south focused Israel's attention on its border with Egypt _ 125 miles (200 kilometers) of mountainous desert with no fence for most of its length. Bedouin smugglers ferrying drugs and thousands of African asylum-seekers into Israel have crossed the border almost unimpeded for years.

    Thursday's attack _ the deadliest for Israel since a Palestinian gunman killed eight people in a Jerusalem religious seminary in 2008 _ took place near Israel's popular Red Sea resort city of Eilat, currently at the height of the tourist season.

    Though the desert outside Eilat showed signs of an increased military presence on Friday morning, the city itself appeared unaffected. Joggers and cyclists were visible along the beach.

    Resident Zion Cohen, 53, said the steady stream of African migrants crossing the border with ease in recent years showed that an incursion like the one on Thursday was only a matter of time.

    ``What bothers me is the unbearable ease with which they cross the border and the knowledge that ... every day, every minute and every hour something can happen like yesterday,'' Cohen said.

    A new fence is currently under construction, and the military says it will be completed by the end of 2012.

    The attack came after a prolonged period without negotiations between Israel and the Western-backed Palestinian leadership in the West Bank. That deadlock has led the Palestinians to unilaterally seek recognition of statehood at the United Nations next month, a largely symbolic move opposed by Israel and the US.




    Rockets, airstrikes follow attack on Israel - The Times of India
     
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  3. Parthy

    Parthy Air Warrior Senior Member

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    This is how a country should respond to any attacks on its land or its own people... But our politicians will give away lives of people just provided for granted to terrorist like 26/11.... :mad2:
     
  4. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: ''Killing PRC leadership only first response to attacks''
    ISRAEL - 19 AUGUST 2011

    Netanyahu visits wounded soldiers in hospital, says "we have a policy of making anyone who attacks us pay dearly for it."

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited injured soldiers at Soroka University Medical Center in Beersheba Friday, where he said that the killing of the PRC leadership in Gaza was only Israel's first response to the terror attack that killed eight people near Eilat on Thursday, a PMO spokesman said.

    "Killing the leaders of the terrorist organization responsible for yesterday's attacks was just our initial response," Netanyahu said during the visit.

    "We have a policy of making anyone who attacks us pay dearly for it," he added. "We are implementing this policy in the field."

    On Thursday, Netanyahu said, “We all witnessed today an attempt to escalate the terrorist war against Israel by launching of attacks from the Sinai. If there is someone who thinks that the State of Israel will let this pass, he is mistaken.”

    He continued: “I have set out a principle – when the citizens of Israel are attacked, we respond immediately and with strength. That principle was implemented today. Those who gave the order to murder our citizens, while hiding in Gaza, are no longer among the living.”

    Netanyahu commended the IDF and security services for their swift retaliation against the senior terrorist officials in Gaza, thereby preventing an even greater tragedy.

    “If the terrorist organizations believe that they can attack our citizens and get away with it, they will soon learn how wrong they are. We will exact a price, a very heavy price,” he said.

    On Thursday evening the IAF bombed the southern Gaza Strip, killing the leadership of the PRC, who Israeli officials said had orchestrated the attacks.

    The PRC members killed in the retaliatory IAF air strike included the head of the terror group Kamal Nirab, who the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) said had personally directed and planned the attack.

    Another man killed in the strike was identified as Amas Hamed, commander of the PRC’s military wing and a resident of Rafah. The Shin Bet said that Hamed was involved in the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit in June 2006 and oversaw numerous attacks against Israel including suicide bombings and rocket attacks.

    Two other known PRC terrorists, including one who was also involved in Schalit’s abduction, were also killed in the air strike.

    “The terrorists were directly involved in the attacks along the Israeli-Egyptian border,” a security official said.

    The PRC has denied any involvement in the attack, the group told AFP on Friday.

    A PRC spokesman praised the attack, but said his group doesn't claim responsibility for launching it. "The occupation wants to pin this operation on us in order to escape its own internal problems," he said, according to AFP.

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Thursday that the IDF would escalate its response to the attacks. Egypt had lost its grip over Sinai Peninsula and terrorist organizations were able to move around there freely, he said.

    “The IDF has already struck the heads of the PRC in Gaza and if there will be a need, the strikes will intensify,” Barak said. “The IDF will use all of the force necessary to protect Israel’s citizens and to enable a normal way of life in the country.”


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    Source: The Jerusalem Post
     
  5. Someoneforyou

    Someoneforyou Regular Member

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    Report: Senior PRC commander killed in IDF strike in Gaza
    ISRAEL - 19 AUGUST 2011

    An IAF strike in the northern Gaza Strip Friday evening killed Samed Abdul Mu'ty Abed, identified by Israeli media as a senior commander in the Popular Resistance Committees, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

    The man was riding a motorcycle at the time of the strike, according to multiple Palestinian reports. Another 22-year-old man was injured in the strike.

    Ma'an cited medical sources in Gaza saying that another strike targeted a concrete factory in the northern Strip. The news agency said that 10 Palestinian have been killed by the IDF since Thursday night.



    Source: Reuters


    File Photo: An Israel Air Force AH-64D-I Apache Longbow "Saraf" Attack Helicopter
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    File Photo: An Israel Air Force F-16I 'Sufa'
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    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011

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