Hamas Targets Israeli Cities With More Than 200 Missiles
Thu, November 15, 2012
Hamas has targeted Israel in the last week with more than 200 rockets and missiles, many launched from residential population centers in the Gaza Strip, including sites located near kindergartens and mosques.
The latest barrage came during the last 24 hour period, when 132 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza after Israel assassinated the head of Hamas' military wing, Ahmed Jabari.
Jabari, who was long at the top of Israel’s most wanted list, personally over saw the kidnapping and more than five-year imprisonment of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. He is credited for having made Hamas’ military wing, the Izzadin Kassam Brigades, more professional, resulting in the last ten years of Hamas terror waged on Israel.
Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich, a spokeswoman for the Israeli military quoted in The New York Times, said Jabari had “a lot of blood on his hands.”
After Schalit’s release in October, 2011, Jabari vowed to kidnap more Israeli soldiers to use them as bargaining chips to gain the release of Palestinian terrorists being held in Israeli prisons.
Explosions from rockets were being heard in Israel in locations as far away as the city of Dimona (site of a nuclear power plant), which is located 75 kilometers (about 46 miles) from the Gaza strip.
The Israel Defense Forces Spokeman’s Office said that that Israel’s missile defense system, Iron Dome, had successfully shot down 43 missiles Wednesday night alone.
The Israel Air Force hit an additional 20 sites in Gaza Wednesday night, mainly storage facilities of long-range missiles. Israel waited until late in the night to destroy the facilities, since "unfortunately, some of the targets are [located] near kindergartens and near mosques," said Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai.
Mordechai added that the Israeli army is doing its utmost to make precision strikes, saying, "Kindergartens should be a place for learning; mosques should be a place for praying."
Thursday morning, Israeli air force planes dropped tens of thousands of flyers over Gaza cities and towns, warning civilians to stay away from Hamas terror bases and rocket-launching sites, so that they would not be injured in an Israeli attack on a legitimate target.
The Israeli air force also reportedly assassinated a regional Hamas commander.
In the first Israeli fatalities since the rocket barrage began last weekend, two young couples were killed Thursday morning in the city of Kiryat Malachi when a long-range missile hit an old building in which they had taken refuge. A number of people were injured in the attack, including two infants, one just eight months ago.
A number of homes, apartment buildings and schools in Israel have also been hit in the rocket attacks in locations as far away as the Israeli cities of Beersheba, Ashkelon and Ashdod.
Israel ordered all schools closed on Thursday within 40 kilometers (close to 25 miles) of the Gaza Strip. Earlier in the week, Israelis reported that missiles were specifically being launched by Hamas to coincide with the times that children were being taken to and picked up from school (a war crime, according to the Protocols of the Geneva Convention).
Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has called for protests Friday, issuing a statement that read, “The wanton aggression against Gaza proves that Israel has yet to realize that Egypt has changed and that the Egyptian people who revolted against oppression will not accept assaulting Gaza.”
The statement further called on Arab and Muslim leaders "to play their role in supporting the Palestinian cause and to help stop the bloodshed."
"What is happening in Gaza is a violation of international law and exposes the lies of the claimed Zionist peace," added the statement.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood’s President Mohammed Morsi also cited Israel’s “wanton aggression” in justifying his decision to recall the Egyptian ambassador from Israel.
The Egyptian press reported that Israel “claimed that the strikes were in response to an anti-tank missile fired by militants at an Israeli jeep earlier this week.”
In reality, on October 23, an Israeli officer was critically wounded by an explosive device while on patrol near the Gaza border. At that point, Israel did not respond.
Then, on November 6, an explosion along the Gaza border injured three Israeli soldiers. The explosion was followed by Hamas rocket fire into southern Israel. The same day, Palestinians detonated a massive tunnel along the border, knocking sideways an Israeli army jeep but causing no injuries.
Two days later, Palestinians shelled the Israeli border injuring another Israeli soldier. There was still no response by Israel.
It wasn’t until the next day, November 9, after Palestinians fired an anti-tank missile at an Israeli jeep on patrol along the Gaza border, wounding four soldiers, that the Israeli army responded by returning fire into Gaza.
Afterwards, the Hamas rocket barrage into Israel began.
Ironically, CNN, tweeted “Rockets Raining Down on Gaza” and “Pain in Gaza,” making no mention of the rocket barrage.
Headlines in The New York Times yesterday read “Ferocious Israeli Assault on Gaza Kills a Leader of Hamas.” Underneath the headline is a series of 12 photos, 11 of which emotionally show the “devastation” in Gaza (including boys crying over the death of terror leader Jabari). Only one photo (number 10 in the series) shows Israelis. The Israelis in the picture chosen by The New York Times look placid and calm waiting out the rockets in a pristine bomb shelter.
The reality of the missile barrage is quite different, with most Israeli left terrifyingly unprotected and rampant damage of homes and property, as can be shown in the following video: