GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip – Why Israel is not Attacking West bank Palestenians ? why only Gaza ?
There are more Palestenians are there in west bank than Gaza, but Rockets are not coming from Westbank. Hamas is responsibile for all these misery of Palestenians of Gaza, and People of Gaza are equaly responsible for their problems too. They select and elect hardcore leaders,who involved in Terrorist activities and world brand them as Terrorists. Its is the people who shelter them, allow them to fire rockets from their premises, Donate money and ready to die for them.
The get sympathy from all over world, arab medai has very good tactics showing old photos of Women and children, some of the photos currently in circulation on net are from Israel Hezabolla war in lebanon, these palestenian now cry for Food and medical help, but they have money to buy Rockets, each home made Qassam require at least 500Euro for raw material and Katyushas cost not less than 25,000 Euro. Hamas has money to buy these rockets, but they do not habe money to buy medicine ?
They have tunnels to smuggle weapons, rombs but they cann`t smuggle food ?
Israeli ground forces made their deepest foray yet Sunday into Gaza\’s most populated area, with tanks rolling into residential neighborhoods and infantry fighting urban warfare in streets and buildings with Hamas militants who kept up their rocketing of southern Israel.
An Israeli army spokeswoman said residential neighborhoods in Gaza are riddled with homemade bombs and booby traps, including mannequins placed at apartment entrances to simulate militants and rigged to explode if soldiers approach.
The army \”is advancing more into urban areas,\” said the spokeswoman, Maj. Avital Leibovich. \”Since the majority of the Hamas militants are pretty much in hiding in those places, mainly urban places, then we operate in those areas.\”
Early Monday, Israeli navy gunboats fired more than 25 shells at Gaza City, setting fires and shaking office buildings, including the local bureau of The Associated Press. The military said that in general, the targets are Hamas installations but had no immediate information about the shelling that began just after midnight.
Before daybreak Monday, at least one militant was killed in an Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza, where a battle was in progress, hospital officials said.
Gaza medical officials say at least 870 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, have been killed in the conflict that began Dec. 27 with Israeli airstrikes on Hamas buildings, as well as suspected rocket launch sites and smuggling tunnels on the Egyptian border. Thirteen Israelis, including 10 soldiers, have died.
German and British envoys pressed efforts to negotiate an end to the war even though Israel and Hamas have ignored a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for an immediate and durable cease-fire.
Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Israel had made progress in its objectives in the Gaza offensive but was not finished yet.
\”Israel is nearing the goals that it set for itself,\” Olmert said. \”However, further patience, determination and effort are necessary in order to achieve those goals in a way that will change the security reality in the south.\”
While Olmert\’s comment signaled no immediate end to the offensive, it indicated that Israel is wary of an open-ended conflict with an unclear agenda. Israel wants to end years of rocket attacks by Hamas on its southern population, a complex goal that could require Egyptian or international help in shutting off routes to smuggle weapons into Gaza from Egypt. Israel has been bombing tunnels that run under the Egypt-Gaza border.
In an e-mail message early Monday, Hamas leader Ismail Radwan said his group would not consider a cease-fire before Israel stops its attacks and pulls back from Gaza. He also demanded the opening of all border crossings, emphasizing the Rafah crossing with Egypt.
That would relieve economic pressure on the destitute territory but also strengthen Hamas\’ control of Gaza, an odious prospect for Israelis who fear a halt to the fighting will just give Hamas another opportunity to re-arm.
Military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told the Israeli Cabinet Sunday that Hamas\’ ability to fight has been damaged, the group is suffering from ammunition shortages and has been hard hit by the deaths of senior militants. The military says troops have killed some 300 armed fighters since the ground offensive began and many more were killed in the air phase.
But Yadlin said Hamas \”is not expected to raise a white flag.\”
In Cairo, Egypt\’s state-owned news agency reported progress in truce talks with Hamas, but provided no specifics. The Middle East News Agency quoted an unnamed Egyptian official as saying talks between the nation\’s intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, and Hamas envoys were \”positive.\”
Palestinian medical officials reported about 60 deaths on Sunday, including 17 who had died of wounds suffered on previous days. Most of those killed Sunday were noncombatants, medical officials said, including four members of one family killed when a tank shell hit their home near Gaza City, and a 10-year-old girl killed in a similar attack.
Palestinian witnesses said Israeli troops moved to within half a mile of Gaza City\’s southern neighborhoods, and within a quarter mile of the northern neighborhood of Sheikh Ajleen.
Firefights in Sheikh Ajleen erupted before dawn as Israeli forces advanced toward Gaza City, home to 400,000 people, Palestinian witnesses said. The battles were still in progress nearly a full day later, though tanks pulled back, with the Israelis in control of some buildings on the neighborhood\’s outskirts.
\”We are safe, but we don\’t know for how long,\” said Khamis Alawi, 44, who huddled with his wife and six children in their kitchen overnight. He said bullets riddled his walls and several came in through the windows.
Military analysts say Israeli troops are probing territory, clearing buildings and moving around regularly, rather than digging into positions that would allow Hamas militants to get a fix on their whereabouts and lay ambushes. Israel risks losing the advantage of armor and heavy firepower in urban settings that the militants know well.
Israeli military footage showed soldiers walking around a zoo in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City two days ago. The footage showed caged birds and a white cable identified as an explosive detonation cord, part of an alleged booby trap set by Hamas.
An Israeli airstrike destroyed a mosque and Islamic school in Rafah, on the border with Egypt. Hours later, men and boys clambered over the wreckage, and one man held aloft the remains of a Quran recovered from the debris.
Israeli has accused Hamas of launching attacks from mosques and schools and using them to hide weapons. Israel says Hamas fighters are wearing civilian clothes and endangering civilians by operating in residential areas.
The Israeli military said it hit more than 40 Hamas militants on Sunday, but did not specify whether they were killed or wounded.
Late Sunday, dense plumes of smoke from explosions rose over Gaza City and heavy gunfire was heard just south of the city.
International aid groups say Israel must do more to ensure the safety of civilians. They note that civilians are in many cases unable to flee to safe places in Gaza, and are essentially trapped because the territory\’s exits are closed.
The U.N. agency in charge of Palestinian refugees has resumed operations after suspending them because of Israeli attacks on its convoys. U.N. aid vehicles were moving around Gaza on Sunday and U.N. workers tended to about 30,000 people in shelters, but aid officials warned that the dire security situation made it impossible to operate at full capacity.
\”This is a very small fraction of what we normally do in the Gaza Strip,\” said Filippo Grandi of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency. \”Things might get worse.\”
Israel has warned Gaza residents of a wider offensive. On Sunday, it dropped leaflets urging Gaza residents to report the whereabouts of Hamas fighters, providing a phone number to call.
Israel\’s chief military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Avi Benayahu, said the army has sent more reserve units into the Gaza Strip.
In other fighting, Hamas militants launched at least 24 rockets at southern Israel, lightly injuring three people. Rockets hit an empty kindergarten and a children\’s playground in the city of Ashdod.
The rockets have disrupted life for hundreds of thousands of terrified people who rush into bunkers and basements at the sound of warning sirens. Four people have died in rocket attacks.
However, thousands of children in southern Israel returned to school Sunday for the first time in two weeks. Schools had been closed since the beginning of the offensive, but the military said schools that have been sufficiently fortified against attack could reopen.
British Mideast envoy Tony Blair and Germany\’s top diplomat visited Jerusalem Sunday, and Israel planned to send a senior defense official this week to Egypt, which is trying to broker a truce.
Blair met Olmert and said a plan to end the fighting must include a halt to weapons smuggling and the opening of border crossings into Gaza. He said urgency was vital because \”every day this action continues there are more people that die.\”
Germany\’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, appeared at a news conference with his Israeli counterpart, Tzipi Livni, in Jerusalem.
\”The shooting of Qassam / Katyushas rockets and other weapons must be stopped and the smuggling of new weapons to the Gaza Strip for re-arming, or even to improve the weapons of Hamas, must be stopped,\” Steinmeier said.
Qassams are primitive missiles lacking any guidance system. Building one is \”child\’s play,\” Abdul says: One of the team welds the rocket casings together from metal pipes, while another fills the warhead with up to three kilograms of TNT. Abdul\’s specialty is the last step: the rocket propulsion. He and his mates brew up the fuel out of a mixture of glucose, fertilizer and a few other chemicals, which is used to fire the rockets at distances of up to nine kilometers. Right at the end, he inserts the detonator cap, which makes the missile explode on impact. They hide the finished rockets in depots, which the launch commandos can then freely avail themselves of. Abdul only fires them himself when he has made some tiny improvements to a proven model. \”Then I want to see how it flies.\”
Up to 100 Rockets a Night
The team can make up to 100 rockets per night shift, but today it won\’t be more than 10. Instead of the usual 12, only three of Abdul\’s men have turned up tonight. \”The other guys are over in Egypt, shopping,\” he says, adding that the militants are just ordinary people who want to experience the open border with the neighboring country. Will they be looking for ingredients for building the Qassams? \”Hardly,\” the oldest of the group laughs. \”They are buying potato chips. We have enough raw materials to last for a few years.\”
The presence of smuggling tunnels under the Egyptian border have ensured that there is never a lack of supplies. \”The TNT comes to us from Sudan via Egypt.\” Other elements arrive by boat across the sea to Gaza. \”We get some from Eastern Europe.\” The raw materials for one large rocket cost up to €500. The money to finance the operation comes the same route as the materials. \”The Israeli blockade doesn\’t affect us; it\’s just intended to plunge the people into misery.\”
Now and then shots can be heard outside and an explosion echoes through the night. There is fighting at the nearby border. The walkie-talkies in the hut keep them up-to-date on the situation. With a hiss, the gas cooker comes to life. A cauldron full of fuel is set on it, and one of the men stirs in a lump of golden syrup, while the others weigh the fertilizer, which contains nitrate. They explain that the nitrate has to be mixed very slowly with the sugar solution. \”The thing is highly explosive.\” Abdul admits that many of his friends have suffered severe burns or lost fingers. He shrugs his shoulders: \”There is a local saying in Gaza: He who cooks poison has to also try it.\”
\’If It Hits a Child, naturally We are not Happy\’
The production of the fuel may be delicate, but the really danger lies in the Israeli helicopters, Abdul says. \”We know that we are easy prey.\” His thumb flashes a nervous Morse code with his flashlight onto the floor of the hut. \”We are ready to die; that is the price of our freedom.\” He says that the Palestinians are left with no other choice but to fight the Israelis with weapons. \”Either we resist, or they treat us like slaves.\” He has thought about who is hit by his rockets. \”If we kill soldiers, then we are more than happy,\” he says. \”If it hits a child, then naturally we are not happy.\”
Human Rights Watch said Sunday that Israel\’s military has fired artillery shells with the incendiary agent white phosphorus into Gaza and a doctor there said the chemical was suspected in the case of 10 burn victims who had skin peeling off their faces and bodies.
Researchers in Israel from the rights group witnessed hours of artillery bombardments that sent trails of burning smoke indicating white phosphorus over the Jebaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza. But they could not confirm injuries on the ground because they have been barred from entering the territory.
The chief doctor at Nasser Hospital in southern Gaza said he treated several victims there with serious burns that might have been caused by phosphorus. He said, however, that he did not have the resources or expertise to say with certainty what caused the injuries.
The substance can cause serious burns if it touches the skin and can spark fires on the ground, the rights group said in a written statement calling on Israel not to use it in crowded areas of Gaza.
Military spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich refused to comment directly on whether Israel was using phosphorus, but said the army was \”using its munitions in accordance with international law.\”
Israel used white phosphorus in its 34-day war with Hezbollah in Lebanon in 2006. The U.S. military in Iraq used the incendiary during a November 2004 operation against insurgents in the city of Fallujah.
An AP photographer and a TV crew based in Gaza visited Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis on Sunday and recorded images of several burn patients.
One of them, Haitham Tahseen, recalled sitting outside his home with his family in the morning when something exploded above them.
\”Suddenly, I saw bombs coming with white smoke,\” said the man, whose burned face was covered with medical cream. \”It looked very red and it had white smoke. That\’s the first time I\’ve seen such a thing.\”
His cousin, in another hospital bed, was more severely burned, with patches of skin peeling off his face and body, and had to be wrapped with thick white bandages.
The hospital\’s chief doctor, Youssef Abu Rish, said the burns were not from contact with fire, but he couldn\’t say what sort of substance caused them. He said information he collected on the Internet indicated it could have been white phosphorus.
White phosphorus is not considered a chemical weapon, and militaries are permitted under laws of warfare to use it in artillery shells, bombs and rockets to create smoke screens to hide troop movements as well as bright bursts in the air to illuminate battlefields at night.
Israel is not party to a convention regulating its use. Under customary laws of war, however, Israel would be expected to take all feasible precautions to minimize the impact of white phosphorus on civilians, Human Rights Watch said.
\”What we\’re saying is the use of white phosphorus in densely populated areas like a refugee camp is showing that the Israelis are not taking all feasible precautions,\” said Marc Garlasco, a senior military analyst for the rights group. \”It\’s just an unnecessary risk to the civilian population, not only in the potential for wounds but also for burning homes and infrastructure.\”
Garlasco was among researchers on a ridge about a mile (1.5 kilometers) from the Gaza border who observed the shelling from a 155mm artillery unit on Friday and Saturday.
Some of the burning trails of smoke caused fires on the ground that appeared to go out after a few minutes, said Garlasco, who formerly worked at the Pentagon where he was in charge of recommending high-value targets for airstrikes during the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
Each 155mm shell contains 116 of what Garlasco described as wafers doused in phosphorus that can be spread over an area as large as a sports field, depending on the height at which it detonates. The phosphorus ignites when it comes in contact with oxygen.
Human Rights Watch has not been able to confirm whether there have been any civilian casualties from phosphorus. The group has a consultant working for it inside Gaza but he has been unable to move around due to the danger. Foreign journalists have also been barred from entering Gaza.
Garlasco said photos published Thursday in British newspaper The Times showed Israeli units handling American-manufactured white phosphorus shells with fuses on them.