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Israeli assault targets symbols of Hamas power

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: Egypt
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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Israel's air force obliterated symbols of Hamas power on the third day of its overwhelming assault on Gaza on Monday, striking a house next to the Hamas premier's home, devastating a security compound and flattening a five-story building at a university closely linked to the Islamic group.

The three-day death toll rose to 315, including seven children under the age of 15 who were killed in two separate strikes late Sunday and Monday, medics said. Israel launched the deadliest attack against Palestinians in decades on Saturday in retaliation for rocket fire aimed at civilians in southern Israeli towns.

Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak told Israel's parliament in a special session that Israel was not fighting the residents of Gaza "but we have a war to the bitter end against Hamas and its branches."

The strikes appear to have gravely damaged Hamas' ability to launch rockets but a medium-range rocket fired at the Israeli city of Ashkelon killed a man there Monday and wounded several others. It was the second fatality in Israel since the beginning of the offensive and the first person ever to be killed by a rocket in Ashkelon, a city of 120,000.

Six people have been killed in Israel in rocket attacks from Gaza since the beginning of the year, according to Israel's Foreign Ministry.

On Sunday, Hamas missiles struck for the first time near the city of Ashdod, twice as far from Gaza as Ashkelon and only 25 miles from Israel's heart in Tel Aviv.

At first light Monday, strong winds blew black smoke from the bombed sites in Gaza City over deserted streets. The air hummed with the buzz of pilotless drones and the roar of jets, punctuated by the explosions of new airstrikes.

A Hamas police spokesman, Ehab Ghussein, said 180 members of the Hamas security forces were among the dead. The United Nations agency in charge of Palestinian refugees said at least 51 of the dead were civilians. A rise in civilian casualties could intensify international pressure on Israel to abort the offensive.

Israel's intense bombings — more than 300 airstrikes since midday Saturday — wreaked unprecedented destruction in Gaza, reducing buildings to rubble. The military said naval vessels also bombarded targets from the sea.

One strike destroyed a five-story building in the women's wing at Islamic University, one of the most prominent Hamas symbols. Another attack ravaged a compound controlled by Preventive Security, one of the group's chief security arms, and a third destroyed a house next to the residence of Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas prime minister.

Like other Hamas leaders, Haniyeh is in hiding.

Late on Sunday, Israeli aircraft attacked a building in the Jebaliya refugee camp next to Gaza City, killing a woman, a toddler and three young teenage girls, Gaza Health Ministry official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain said.

In the southern town of Rafah, a toddler and his two teenage brothers were killed in an airstrike aimed at a Hamas commander, Hassanain said. In Gaza City, another attack killed a man and his wife.

Shlomo Brom, a former senior Israeli military official, said it was the deadliest force ever used in decades of Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

In the most dramatic attacks Sunday, warplanes struck dozens of smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border, cutting off a lifeline that had supplied Hamas with weapons and Gaza with commercial goods. The influx of goods helped Hamas defy an 18-month blockade of Gaza by Israel and Egypt and was key to propping up its rule.

Gaza's nine hospitals were overwhelmed. Hassanain, who keeps a record for the Gaza Health Ministry, said more than 1,400 were wounded over two days of fighting and casualties were now being taken to private clinics and even homes.

Abdel Hafez, a 55-year-old history teacher, waited outside a Gaza City bakery to buy bread, one of the few people visible outdoors. He said he was not a Hamas supporter but believed the strikes would only increase support for the group.

"Each strike, each drop of blood are giving Hamas more fuel to continue," he said.

In Jerusalem, Israel's Cabinet approved a call-up of 6,500 reserve soldiers Sunday in apparent preparation for a ground offensive. The final decision to call up more reserves has yet to be made by the defense minister, Ehud Barak, and the Cabinet decision could be a pressure tactic.

Israel has doubled the number of troops on the Gaza border since Saturday and deployed an artillery battery. Several hundred reservists have already been summoned to join their units but no full combat formations have been mobilized so far.

Military experts said Israel would need at least 10,000 soldiers for a full-scale invasion.

Since Israel's withdrawal from Gaza in 2005 after a 38-year military occupation, Israeli forces have repeatedly returned to the territory to hunt militants firing rockets at Israeli towns. But it has shied away from retaking the entire strip for fear of getting bogged down in urban warfare.

The assault has sparked diplomatic fallout.

Syria decided to suspend indirect peace talks with Israel, begun earlier this year. The United Nations Security Council called on both sides to halt the fighting and asked Israel to allow humanitarian supplies into Gaza. Israel opened one of Gaza's border crossings Monday and about 40 trucks had entered with food and medical supplies by mid-day, military spokesman Peter Lerner said.

The prime minister of Turkey, one of the few Muslim countries to have relations with Israel, called the air assault a "crime against humanity" and French President Nicolas Sarkozy condemned "the provocations that led to this situation as well as the disproportionate use of force."

The carnage has inflamed Arab and Muslim public opinion, setting off street protests in Arab communities in Israel and the West Bank, across the Arab world and in some European cities. On Monday, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded four Israelis in a West Bank settlement before he was shot and wounded. It was not immediately clear if the attack was directly connected to the events in Gaza.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081229/ap_on_...el_palestinians


Don't just open your mouth and prove yourself a fool....put it in writing.

It gets harder the more you know. Because the more you find out, the uglier everything seems.

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Hamas should have stuck to the truce.


"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies."

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: Egypt
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:ph34r:

Don't just open your mouth and prove yourself a fool....put it in writing.

It gets harder the more you know. Because the more you find out, the uglier everything seems.

kodasmall3.jpg

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Israel
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cycle continues... everyone hates Hamas for firing rockets then Israel for retaliating, then suicide bombers


Emmett Fitz-Hume: I'm sorry I'm late, I had to attend the reading of a will. I had to stay till the very end, and I found out I received nothing... broke my arm.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Morocco
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Solution: Israel should fire rockets...filled with pie. Everyone LOVES pie.

My god...I've just solved the ME crisis. Somebody get me the President STAT!!

:D

i wish it were that simple! it should be, shouldn't it?

i would vote for you.


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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Egypt
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"I will play music and celebrate what the Israeli air force is doing." Those were the words, spoken on Al Jazeera today by Ofer Shmerling, an Israeli civil defense official in the Sderot area adjacent to Gaza, as images of Israel's latest massacres were broadcast around the world.

A short time earlier, US-supplied Israeli F-16 warplanes and Apache helicopters dropped over 100 bombs on dozens of locations in the Israeli-occupied Gaza Strip killing at least 195 persons and injuring hundreds more. Many of these locations were police stations located, like police stations the world over, in the middle of civilian areas. The US government was one of the first to offer its support for Israel's attacks, and others will follow.

Reports said that many of the dead were Palestinian police officers. Among those Israel labels "terrorists" were more than a dozen traffic police officers undergoing training. An as yet unknown number of civilians were killed and injured; Al Jazeera showed images of several dead children, and the Israeli attacks came at the time thousands of Palestinian children were in the streets on their way home from school.

Shmerling's joy has been echoed by Israelis and their supporters around the world; their violence is righteous violence. It is "self-defense" against "terrorists" and therefore justified. Israeli bombing -- like American and NATO bombing in Iraq and Afghanistan -- is bombing for freedom, peace and democracy.

The rationalization for Israel's massacres, already being faithfully transmitted by the English-language media, is that Israel is acting in "retaliation" for Palestinian rockets fired with increasing intensity ever since the six-month truce expired on 19 December (until today, no Israeli had been killed or injured by these recent rocket attacks).

But today's horrific attacks mark only a change in Israel's method of killing Palestinians recently. In recent months they died mostly silent deaths, the elderly and sick especially, deprived of food and necessary medicine by the two year-old Israeli blockade calculated and intended to cause suffering and deprivation to 1.5 million Palestinians, the vast majority refugees and children, caged into the Gaza Strip. In Gaza, Palestinians died silently, for want of basic medications: insulin, cancer treatment, products for dialysis prohibited from reaching them by Israel.

What the media never question is Israel's idea of a truce. It is very simple. Under an Israeli-style truce, Palestinians have the right to remain silent while Israel starves them, kills them and continues to violently colonize their land. Israel has not only banned food and medicine to sustain Palestinian bodies in Gaza but it is also intent on starving minds: due to the blockade, there is not even ink, paper and glue to print textbooks for schoolchildren.

As John Ging, the head of operations of the United Nations agency for Palestine refugees (UNRWA), told The Electronic Intifada in November: "there was five months of a ceasefire in the last couple of months, where the people of Gaza did not benefit; they did not have any restoration of a dignified existence. We in fact at the UN, our supplies were also restricted during the period of the ceasefire, to the point where we were left in a very vulnerable and precarious position and with a few days of closure we ran out of food."

That is an Israeli truce. Any response to Israeli attacks -- whether peaceful protests against the apartheid wall in Bilin and Nilin in the West Bank is met with bullets and bombs. There are no rockets launched at Israel from the West Bank, and yet Israel's attacks, killings, land theft, settler pogroms and kidnappings never ceased for one single day during the truce. The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah has acceded to all of Israel's demands, even assembling "security forces" to fight the resistance on Israel's behalf. None of that has spared a single Palestinian or her property or livelihood from Israel's relentless violent colonization. It did not save, for instance, the al-Kurd family from seeing their home of 50 years in occupied East Jerusalem demolished on 9 November, so the land it sits on could be taken by settlers.

Once again we are watching massacres in Gaza, as we did last March when 110 Palestinians, including dozens of children, were killed by Israel in just a few days. Once again people everywhere feel rage, anger and despair that this outlaw state carries out such crimes with impunity.

But all over the Arab media and internet today the rage being expressed is not directed solely at Israel. Notably, it is directed more sharply than ever at Arab states. The images that stick are of Israel's foreign minister Tzipi Livni in Cairo on Christmas day. There she sat smiling with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Then there are the pictures of Livni and Egypt's foreign minister smiling and slapping their palms together.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported today that last wednesday the Israeli "cabinet authorized the prime minister, the defense minister, and the foreign minister to determine the timing and the method" of Israel's attacks on Gaza. Everywhere people ask, what did Livni tell the Egyptians and more importantly what did they tell her? Did Israel get a green light to turn Gaza's streets red once again? Few are ready to give Egypt the benefit of the doubt after it has helped Israel besiege Gaza by keeping the Rafah border crossing closed for more than a year.

On top of the intense anger and sadness so many people feel at Israel's renewed mass killings in Gaza is a sense of frustration that there seem to be so few ways to channel it into a political response that can change the course of events, end the suffering, and bring justice.

But there are ways, and this is a moment to focus on them. Already I have received notices of demonstrations and solidarity actions being planned in cities all over the world. That is important. But what will happen after the demonstrations disperse and the anger dies down? Will we continue to let Palestinians in Gaza die in silence?

Palestinians everywhere are asking for solidarity, real solidarity, in the form of sustained, determined political action. The Gaza-based One Democratic State Group reaffirmed this today as it "called upon all civil society organizations and freedom loving people to act immediately in any possible way to put pressure on their governments to end diplomatic ties with Apartheid Israel and institute sanctions against it."

The global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement for Palestine (http://www.bdsmovement.net/) provides the framework for this. Now is the time to channel our raw emotions into a long-term commitment to make sure we do not wake up to "another Gaza" ever again.

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada, Ali Abunimah is author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse (Metropolitan Books, 2006).

http://electronicintifada.net/v2/article10055.shtml


"Only from your heart can you touch the sky" - Rumi

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Make that a couple of ICBMs over the entire region. That will end all the idiotic cycle of violence. Or if its a question of people wanting to Duke it out, then both sides must be declared equal, have similar armed forces so that terror tactics against innocent civilians done by militants and by armies ceases, and a battle field be drawn to take the conflict out of the urban areas.


Wishing you ten-fold that which you wish upon all others.

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When are the Hamas going to realize it's not in their best intrest to ** with Israel?!!! :wacko:

It's like poking a Kodiac bear with a stick... all you do is piss 'em off!


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When are the Hamas going to realize it's not in their best intrest to ** with Israel?!!! :wacko:

It's like poking a Kodiac bear with a stick... all you do is piss 'em off!

Are you saying that Hamas' rockets which killed no Israelis warrented killing over 300 Palestinians? How many Palestinian lives are worth one Israeli life?


"Only from your heart can you touch the sky" - Rumi

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Aaaaand so it begins. Because obviously one side is foul and evil, while the other side is righteous and innocent.

:yes:

So true brother mox!


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11-29-05: Mailed I-129F Petition to CSC

12-06-05: NOA1

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05-20-06: Arrived at POE, Honolulu

07-17-06: Married

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08-14-06: Mailed I-485 to Chicago

08-24-06: NOA for I-485

09-08-06: Biometrics Appointment

09-25-06: I-485 transferred to CSC

09-28-06: I-485 received at CSC

10-18-06: AOS Approved

10-21-06: Approval notice mailed

10-23-06: Received "Welcome Letter"

10-27-06: Received 2 yr Green Card

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07-21-08: Mailed I-751 to VSC

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08-27-08: Biometrics Appointment

02-25-09: I-751 transferred to CSC

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06-22-09: Received 10 yr Green Card

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07-20-09: Mailed N-400 to Lewisville, TX

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08-14-09: Biometrics Appointment

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10-30-09: Oath Ceremony

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Are you saying that Hamas' rockets which killed no Israelis warrented killing over 300 Palestinians? How many Palestinian lives are worth one Israeli life?

The firing of rockets into Israel was an act of war by a government (Hamas) freely

elected by its people (Palestinians). The voters bear responsibility for the actions

of their government.

Israel has repeatedly warned Hamas that if the rocket fire continues, it will decisively

respond. The warnings have been ignored by Hamas and gone largely unnoticed

by the media, as have the rocket attacks.

No country would allow terrorists to fire rockets into its cities for so long without an

overwhelming response.


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