Information

academic site|c.v.


e-mail
columns
legal
RSS .92| RSS 2.0
Follow PoliBlog on Facebook
Follow me on Twitter
Saturday, December 27, 2008
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC: Massive Israeli air raids on Gaza

Israeli F-16 bombers have pounded key targets across the Gaza Strip, killing at least 195 people, medics say.

Gaza officials and the Hamas militant group said more than 300 others were hurt as missiles hit security compounds and militant bases.

The strikes, the most intense Israeli attacks on Gaza for decades, come days after a truce with Hamas expired.

Israel said it was responding to an escalation in rocket attacks from Gaza and would bomb “as long as necessary”.

Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak said “it won’t be easy and it won’t be short”.

[...]

It is the worst attack in Gaza since 1967 in terms of the number of Palestinian casualties, a senior analyst told the BBC in Jerusalem.

Haaretz has the death toll higher than does the BBC: Palestinians: At least 205 dead, over 200 hurt in IAF Gaza strikes

According to the NYT (Israeli Attack Kills Scores Across Gaza/):

The Israeli Air Force on Saturday launched a massive attack on Hamas targets throughout Gaza in retaliation for the recent heavy rocket fire from the area, hitting mostly security headquarters, training compounds and weapons storage facilities, the Israeli military and witnesses said.

[...]

Dr. Muawiya Hassanein, the head of emergency services at the Gaza Ministry of Health, said at least 140 Palestinians were killed in the raid.

Most were members of the security forces of Hamas, the Islamic group that controls Gaza, but a few civilians were also among the dead, including children. Scores more Palestinians were wounded.

In regards to the rocket attacks:

The air attack came after days of warnings by Israeli officials that Israel would retaliate for intense rocket and mortar fire against Israeli towns and villages by Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza. On Wednesday alone, more than 60 rockets and mortars were fired, some reaching further than previously. While the rockets are meant to be deadly, and several houses and a factory were hit, sowing widespread panic, no Israelis were killed or seriously injured in the recent attacks.

There has been a rocket attack in retaliation. The Jerusalem Post reports: One killed as Kassams rain on Negev

Over 80 rockets and mortar shells struck areas throughout the western Negev. In Netivot, one person was killed, one person was seriously wounded, and four others sustained light to moderate injuries when their house was hit by a rocket.

The pattern here is similar to the war with Hezbollah in 2006: a provocation (in that case the kidnapping of two soldiers and in this the rocket attacks) that lead to a massive retaliation (which was likely not what was anticipated in terms of scale).

While I do not know what Hamas thought it was going to achieve by randomly flinging rockets at Israelis, I likewise wonder what this attack by Israel will ultimately achieve aside from convincing even more Gazans that Israel is their mortal enemy and to further recruitment into the militant wing of Hamas.

Filed under: Uncategorized | Comments/Trackbacks (20)|
The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.

20 Responses to “Israel Launches Attacks on Gaza: 205 Reported Dead, at Least 300 Wounded”

  1. hazmaq Says:

    21st century Jews have, thanks to a bought and paid for Democratic congress and George W. Bush, turned into vicious tyrants and barbarians, gorged full of American blood and treasure.

    They have no rights to dare touch and putrify the soils of Jerusalem and should be shipped of to a remote island where they’re forced to face only each other every morning, and on their own dime.

    Damn, I’m so sick of them.

  2. Justin Says:

    Israel will use anything they can to as an excuse to kill and steal land from Arabs. It is a pretty sad time to be an American and know your allies are acting like the people we saved them from just 50 years ago. How fast we forget.

  3. a Says:

    Israel does depend on the United States on some level, but the Arab conflict is complicated on both sides. Both have their reasons, and Hamas needs to be gone in order for some change. There are bad people on both sides, just as there are good people as well.
    The reason Israel is probably not taking its full force for war, is that it doesn’t want it. It has suffered from it, just like the other side, and does have heart towards its civilians.
    But when children are killed on both sides, the parents on both sides can’t see more then the child dead. And all they are able to think, is die.

  4. Muslims Against Sharia Says:

    Hypocrisy in Action:
    Where were Egypt, Russia, OIC, EU, Britain, Sarkozy, US & Austria when Hamas was pounding Israel with daily barrage of rockets?

    http://muslimsagainstsharia.blogspot.com/2008/12/hypocrisy-in-action.html

  5. Randy Says:

    It’s hilarious that for some people it’s always Israel’s fault for defending its citizens from terrorists. I wish that all the critics of Israel would go and spend some time in Sderot, Netivot and Ashkelon under fire while going to work or school. At least the IDF intentionally attacked terrorists and their installations, not civilians, exactly the opposite of Hamas and the rest of the barbarian cowards and their supporters who deny Israel’s right to exist in peace and who intentionally attack civilians.

    It’s about time Israel made some serious moves to stop the madness coming from Hamas. Sooner or later, the people in Gaza who only want peace and quiet and a chance to get on with life will have to rise up and take control of their own lives, instead of allowing the coward Hamas to hide in their midst like the cowards and frauds that they are. Gazans will reap what they sow.

    And, indeed, where is the outrage from people when rockets rain down on Israeli civilians? The silence is deafening. Hypocrites.

  6. DB Says:

    Right or wrong, Israel is going to drag us into a war we don’t want to be in. Well, non-right wingers don’t want to be in it at least.

  7. kc Says:

    NO more foreign aid to Israel, no weapons or loan “guarantees”. I’m writing my NEW congressman now. AIPAC can’t own them all. Maybe REAL change is coming.I sure as hell hope so!

  8. Chris Says:

    I checked out the photos posted on CNN and I saw a lot of dead HAMAS policemen and maybe 3 people in all pictures looked to be civilians. Civilian casualties will happen always and you can’t blame Israel for defending their land after an attack aimed at “ANYTHING”. Hamas launches rockets that probably kill 10 people but they do NOT aim at israeli military sites, they launch these attacks to kill ANYTHING on the other side.

    In contrast, Israel probably kills 10 civilians for every 100 Hamas militans, policemen, govt officials. I highly dobut that israel will launch a rocket to a market full of people in Gaza and I also doubt israelis will wear bombs and go to Gaza to blow up a bunch of people.

    It’s is bad on both sides, but let’s also look at the objectives behind each attack. Be more objective about your opinions.

    Just my .02

  9. Jack Says:

    It is about time. No country will allow terrorists to rain bombs and missiles down upon their citizens with reckless abandon.

    It is time for Hamas and company to reap the rewards of their actions.

  10. Noam Says:

    Oh, of course, sure it’s Israel’s fault. Always our fault. I mean, rockets were rained on us for eight years on an almost daily basis, even when we and the Hamas had cease fire agreement. Must’ve been our fault then, too. Yes, innocent civilians will be killed, but this is WAR, this is how it works.

    The Hamas is their government , for crying out loud - this isn’t some little fanatic group that is attacking Israel, it’s their government!

    And before someone says that if it’s ok to kill civilians in a war terroism is ok, Hamas never attacks the IDF because they are cowards. They attack civilians on purpose, and only civilians. While it’s a shame that innocent arabs get caught in the middle, it’s the Hamas who’s using them as human shields.

    Where were you when Israel civilians were killed? When Hamas killed those that came to give them humanitarian aid? When they killed captives and traded their bodies for the murderers we had in captivity?

    Before you go around yelling how Israel is evil, do your frigging research.

  11. DB Says:

    The fault lies with both parties for poor leadership and poor diplomacy for letting it get to this level. Again. If Israel was smart they would put an end to Hamas once and for all because if they don’t (as they never do) this conflict will flare up. Again. Israel might think they are in the right, but that won’t stop a new generation of suicide bombers and attackers if Israel doesn’t finish it here. Either full out war is the solution, or no war at all. Middle ground is all that has been attempted and the results haven’t been so stellar.

    Or they can just wait for the United States to come in and “solve” this problem for them. Again.

  12. MSS Says:

    Not to be overly cynical here, but the main thing the attacks by the Israeli forces will show is that Livni is “tough.”

    Elections are coming in February.

  13. Dr. Steven Taylor Says:

    I fear that may be the best explanation that can be generated at the moment.

  14. JR Says:

    Let’s ALL say it like it is: What “civilized” nation would allow rockets
    to barrage its cities day in and day out FOR YEARS — while the rest
    of the world says ABSOLUTELY NOTHING? And this continues as
    Hamas builds its army.

    I am relieved that Israel has FINALLY blew a gasket. It should have
    occured long ago.

    I want peace, but you don’t play that game with ‘organizations’ like
    Hamas.

    END OF STORY.

  15. DMac Says:

    Oh, look, the price of oil is going up due to ME “tensions.”

    Funny, isn’t it?

    http://www.forbes.com/markets/2008/12/29/briefing-europe-midday-markets-equity-cx_je_1229markets04.html

  16. Captain D Says:

    Israel’s response was not strong enough. It should have used more massive force; the only thing that will ultimately deter terrorists in organizations like Hamas is fear of utter annihilation of their cause.

    It doesn’t matter how nice Israel plays. Yes, retaliation does fuel animosity, but it is also true that lack of retaliation fuels animosity. If anything, lack of swift and severe retribution in the face of terror attacks encourages the attacker more than retaliation does - it makes the goal seem attainable.

    If Israel wants to be rid of Hamas, they need to bomb the Gaza strip until it is populated only by bacteria and cockroaches.

  17. cjacks Says:

    I have seen Obama’s quote that he would do everything in his power to stop rockets from coming into the place where his daughters sleep but I wonder under what conditions he would accept his daughters being subjugated by occupiers/colonizers. If there are any then he should be barred from taking office. And if there are none then what excuses does he have to accept that happening to someone else. Any person that excuses occupation/colonization has a spurious and corrupt humanity.
    Israelis have occupied the Palestinians’ land for decades, denying them the vote and common human rights on the basis of race, religion and national origin. Recently they have embargoed the Palestinians and tried to annul their election for selecting for themselves people that would fight for their human rights instead of kowtowing to the whims of occupying squatters.
    Of course we know the psychopaths Bush and Blair will probably expedite the shipment of cluster bombs to Israel to use on civilian population centers like they did with Israel’s attacks on the population of Lebanon.
    If you support Israel then may your children and your children’s children suffer under occupiers as heartless as Bush, Blair and the Israelis.

  18. gene Says:

    The people of Israel and their American supporters are a disgrace to humaniy. I wish the Jewish American supporters who enforce America’s support with their money and power could still remember what it is like to be oppressed and cease their support of a bad idea.

    The land was stolen to begin with, but I guess that is not the point anymore. Given that, the Jewish people seem incapable of making friends. For a supposedly intelligent people, they don’t seem to be able to make real friends, ever.

    U.S interest has never been with Israel in my opinion, and has only cost this country and the world much grieve and tragedy. What should it matter what political beliefs a country has in order to be treated as humans. Not that that matters though, we don’t seem to support democracy either if we don’t like the outcome.

    I am convinced that eventually and perhaps even now, we will pay for our misdeeds. Rather than support peace and harmony among all people, we instigate hatred and differences.

    America received the support of American Germans and Italians in World War II and I’m sure the Jews appreciated it. I wonder why the American Jews cannot support what is best for America rather than walk in lock step for Israel.

    Until I see at least an open mind with American Jews, not an automatic acceptance of Israel with concern for humanity,
    God knows no of us are always right, I will not support American Jews in their busineses or lives.

    Maybe this will cost me like it costs anyone who tries to speak their minds against Israel, but I don’t care. I am for humanity, truth, justice and God. No spin.

  19. Sasi Moha Says:

    Israelies have no rights to dare touch and putrify the soils of Jerusalem and should be shipped of to a remote island where they’re forced to face only each other every morning, and on their own dime.

    Damn, I’m so sick of them. everyday killing inicient peolpe and involve the US and world to defend them. Muslims around the world are 1.5 b people. Jewish are only 2-3m. Israelies are inlvoing all the world to defend them and finally put the Great US in the this today finacial problems becasue the US were pushed by the Dick Chiny, Walfaworth (which are both Jewish rel;eagion)into wars to defend Israelies and direct the war into the Arab and Musilims world so Israel stay safe for the sake they push the US into troubles and wars.
    Please Americans wake up to this and stop Push and his slaves to defend Israelies to invlove you into wars you do not need.

  20. Anonymous Says:

    Injustice will destroy the world. until the leaders of the world and local regions accept this we’re all in trouble. God help us and our chidren, in the world we are leaving them behind in.

    History is very important why it still haunts us today. How any countries in the world will silently withdraw as refugees and give away their land to a foreign people? Most of us can’t even accept refugees in our country. Thats what happend to palestine. A people dying for their rights, their heritage, their homes, their lands, their memories. I sometimes wonder are the holoaust victims in the grave thinking ‘ not in our name’. Israel can no longer use the holocasust or bits of the bible to justify its status quo and its 50 year of chaos in the region. Its time to make peace, compromise or go. The palestinas, even the militants are no longer asking for all of their land, only a part of it, the 1967 agreement. They the palestinas have compromised when will israel? Empires rise and fall, israle will too, i just hope when it does the enemies it has created in the world look down at it mercifully.


blog advertising is good for you

Visitors Since 2/15/03


Take a Look At This!
Inquiries
Blogroll
Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics
---


Advertisement

Advertisement


Powered by WordPress