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Thursday, June 12, 2008

'Work accident' in Beit Lahiye cover for 'Palestinian' invasion?

A 'work accident' in Beit Lahiye in the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning has resulted in the death of six 'Palestinians' including at least one child. The six were killed when a powerful explosion destroyed the home of a senior Hamas 'activist' who was storing or working with explosives in the home. I have two videos for you of the aftermath of that incident - one raw (uncommented - from Israel's Channel 10) and one narrated. But first let me tell you what happened afterwards: Almost immediately, the 'Palestinians' shot some 50 mortars and rockets into Israel in what the IDF now says was apparently an attempt to breach the border. Let's go to the videotape.

Palestinians report at least three people [later rose to six. CiJ]have been killed and 40 more wounded in a large explosion in northern Gaza on Thursday afternoon.

The incident occurred in the home of Ahmed Hamouda, a member of the Izz al-Din al Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas. Witnesses reported the explosion was caused by an Israeli airstrike, though the IDF made clear no forces had launched an attack in the area.

Military officials said the army was looking into whether the explosion may have been the result of ammunition detonation, but estimated it most likely appeared to be a Palestinian 'work accident.'

Palestinians say there are women and children among those wounded, five of them are said to be in serious condition.

The explosion resounded throughout the far corners of the city and the house has been completely destroyed. A number of neighboring residential buildings and business establishments were seriously damaged.

Three Hamas operatives were killed in a similar mishap two months ago.

Earlier in the day IDF forces operating in Gaza killed three Palestinian gunmen. Two of them, members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, the military wing of Fatah, were killed in the Beit Lahiya region.

The two gunmen were spotted approaching the border fence opposite an Israeli town with the apparent intent of planting an explosive device on the fence.

Infantry troops who crossed the border to scan the area were able to locate one of the gunmen, who was killed a short time later by a tank shell. The troops continued searching the region and found the second gunman, charged towards him and killed him with small arms fire.

IDF officials said that through no large-scale operation has been launched; the army continues its counterterrorism efforts as usual.
Here's the second video.

Israel denied any involvement in a blast that ripped through the home of Hamas commander Ahmed Hamuda killing four Palestinians and wounding over twenty in Beit Lahiya in Gaza on Thursday. Hamas spokesman Mushri al Masri warned that the tahdiya had ended and there will be no deal with Israel.

In response to the blast Hamas fired barrages of mortar shells and Kassam rockets into southern Israel, in one incident a rocket made a direct hit on a home in Kibbutz Yad Mordechai moderately wounding an Israeli woman. By mid Thursday afternoon over 40 Kassam rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel.
But what's key here is what happened while those rockets were being fired.
As salvos of rockets exploded across the western Negev, Givati Brigade troops identified an armored bulldozer approaching the security fence in northern Gaza. Soldiers fired a LAU missile at the vehicle and its occupants escaped.

An unnamed IDF official told Channel 10 that the vehicle was believed to have been intended for use in an infiltration attack, which would have caused multiple casualties.

The IDF praised the alertness of the Givati soldiers in thwarting the attack.
For those wondering where the 'Palestinians' in Gaza got an armored bulldozer, the answer is from the United States of America with Israel's permission. The bulldozer was undoubtedly part of the US weapons package given to Fatah which fell into Hamas' hands when they took over the Strip last year.

Since the rocket fire was obviously planned as a means of sending explosives into Israel, was the pretext - the 'work accident' - planned too? We will probably never know. But it wouldn't be the first time.

By the way, the total missile statistics for today were thirty mortar shells and eighteen Kassam rockets fired at Israel, mostly hitting in the beach area in Ashkelon.

I want to talk for a minute about why this happened. It's really quite simple. On Wednesday, I reported that Israel's insecurity cabinet had decided to accept the Egyptians' cease fire option subject to certain conditions, because Defense Minister Barak had withdrawn his support for an IDF invasion because it could damage his political career. But even Barak isn't a total fool, and he knows that instituting a 'cease fire' in which borders are reopened and massive amounts of weapons flow into Gaza will not do wonders for his political career either. Since the government knows that the Egyptians cannot or will not do the job to prevent weapons smuggling, it decided not to go along with reopening the Rafah crossing into Egypt as part of the 'cease fire.'

But for Hamas, there is little point to a 'cease fire' if they cannot use it to rearm and regroup (i.e. bring in new terrorists). So on Thursday night, Hamas claimed that it is Israel and the US who want the 'cease fire' and that Hamas will not go along with it unless it includes the opening of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt.
Haniyeh told reporters in the Strip that the opening of the crossing was an essential component of any agreement.

"Any agreement must include a timetable for the opening of the Gaza crossings and a list of goods that can be transferred through them," he said.

Haniyeh's comments came after Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry's Security-Diplomatic Bureau, and Egyptian Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman met in Cairo for two hours in a bid to wrap up a Gaza truce deal.

Gilad sought clarifications on Egypt's efforts to stem Hamas weapons smuggling and on the possible release of captured IDF soldier Giald Schalit.

On Wednesday, the Security Cabinet decided against a massive ground offensive in Gaza, in order to give Egypt more time to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Israeli government and security officials said Israel was willing to give the Egyptian mediation efforts about two more weeks to succeed, but if those efforts fail, it would invade Gaza. [Two weeks would just about coincide with the government's likely downfall. CiJ]

Earlier, at the end of a day of severe violence in the Gaza Strip, Haniyeh made a defiant speech, saying that Gaza gunmen were defending the rights of the Palestinian people and claiming that a request for a cease-fire came from the US and Israel, not Hamas.

"Even if the blockade continues a lot longer, we still won't recognize Israel," Haniyeh exclaimed during a conference in the Strip.

Haniyeh said that Gazans were stronger than the siege. "We will withstand the siege under which bigger countries would have collapsed and given in to demands," he said.

"The Palestinian groups led by the Hamas military wing are those who are defending the Palestinians' rights and who are enabling the Palestinian leadership to stick to its principles," continued Haniyeh.

He expressed confidence that the Gaza blockade would collapse and said that US officials had already admitted that it would not achieve its objectives.


Regarding Egyptian efforts to broker a truce in Gaza, Haniyeh said that a cease-fire was not a Hamas request but was proposed by the US and Israel. "The Palestinians are not begging for calm," he said. "The Israelis are concerned that things will end like they did with Hizbullah and they understand that Hamas is not an organization made up of a few cells, but one with many wings and with a deep hold on land and on the Palestinian public."

The Hamas prime minister went on to say that the movement would not disappear. "Those who will disappear are the Israeli leaders who want Hamas to disappear, like [former prime minister Ariel] Sharon and [Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert...whoever replaces him will also disappear but we will continue to exist."
Maybe we'll still have that little rumble in Gaza after all.


At 12:24 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Maybe. But only if Olmert and Barak can get over their timidity and decide having a legacy is better than having none.

At 6:33 AM, Blogger Findalis said...

It is time that Israel makes Gaza look like Dresden or Tokyo in 1945. Fire bomb the place. If a million or so die, then maybe they will stop firing rockets into Israel.

Israel better do it soon, for if Obama is elected expect to see US Troops invading Israel within his first term.

At 6:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumble in Gaza? Firebomb the place? Only if we go in there to stay and take it away from these animals forever.

Otherwise, we'll just be doing it again and again.


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