• Thu
  • Oct 23, 2014
  • Updated: 12:00pm

Israel blitzes 90 targets in Gaza Strip in revenge for Hamas rocket attacks

Air and sea bombardment in Gaza Strip as reservists are called up for possible ground offensive

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 July, 2014, 5:31pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 09 July, 2014, 3:16am

Israeli warplanes killed 13 Palestinians, as more than 90 targets in the Gaza Strip were pounded from sea and air in a new campaign to stamp out Hamas rocket fire.

The most serious flare-up over Gaza since November 2012 comes as Israel struggles to contain a wave of violence in Arab towns over the grisly murder of a Palestinian teenager by Jewish extremists.

With the two sides sliding towards another major conflict, Israel called up more reservists for a possible major ground operation.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas demanded that Israel "immediately stop" its air campaign, dubbed Operation Protective Edge, and asked the world to pressure Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government. But Netanyahu was expected to order a "significant broadening" of the operation and instruct the army to "take off the gloves", a source said.

In the worst strike, a missile slammed into a house in the southern city of Khan Yunis after people had reportedly formed a human shield to protect it, killing seven people.

Witnesses said an Israeli drone fired a warning flare, prompting relatives and neighbours to gather at the house as a human shield. Soon after, an F-16 warplane fired a missile that levelled the building.

In response, Hamas said "all Israelis" would be potential targets for retaliation. "The Khan Yunis massacre... of children is a horrendous war crime, and all Israelis have now become legitimate targets for the resistance," spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said.

In central Gaza, two people was killed in an air strike west of Nusseirat refugee camp, Palestinian medics said.

Soon after, four men were killed when a missile slammed into a car in the centre of Gaza City, the emergency services said.

Earlier, the Israeli military said nearly 300 rockets and mortars had been fired at the country in recent weeks, including a barrage of about 80 on Monday alone. So far, no Israelis have been killed. Israel responded with dozens of air strikes and signalled it would not launch a larger offensive if Hamas stopped its rocket fire.

But military spokesman General Moti Almoz confirmed Israel was now preparing for a possible ground offensive.

"All options are on the table. All these steps are being considered. Two brigades, which are currently stationed around the Gaza Strip, are prepared and ready and in the coming days, more will arrive," he said.

The cabinet has authorised the military to call up 40,000 reservists for a possible assault, Israeli media reported.

Among the sites the army said it targeted early yesterday were four houses it said were "activity sites" belonging to Hamas militants involved in launching rockets at Israel or other militant activity. There were no reported casualties in the strikes. Another military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, said Hamas had amassed about 10,000 rockets, including longer-range rockets that can reach "up to Tel Aviv and beyond".

The army ordered hundreds of thousands of Israelis within a 40km radius of the Gaza Strip, including Israelis in the major southern city of Beersheva, to stay indoors and near shelters, Lerner said. Kindergartens and summer camps in the area were cancelled.

Lerner said last month's kidnap and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank was connected to the intensified rocket fire carried out by Hamas militants in Gaza.

Israel blames Hamas for the teens' abduction and is conducting a manhunt for two Hamasaffiliated Palestinians in the West Bank it believes carried out the kidnapping and killing.

Agence France-Presse, Associated Press, Bloomberg


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This article is now closed to comments

Israel should not let the US/UN call for a cease fire - this only prolongs the war.
Israel should continue to fight until it runs out of bullets, bombs, and rockets.
-continued- I believe these are the end times the Bible teaches about. I believe that today’s world wide wars and events will escalate to a point that we are going to face a new world economic and political order. Soon an agreement of 7 (360 day) years will be made with the nations who hate Israel. That agreement will be viewed as evil in God’s eyes and has been foretold. I have been watching for these things for decades and now they are on us. I wrote a book that discusses some of the prophecies written about in the Bible. It’s a short read of 6 or 7 pages and it’s totally free. I hope you will have a look: ****www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next
Hamas would not stop their rocket launches and when Israel shot some down and targeted the launching sites, Hamas responded by launching dozens of rockets to overwhelm missile defenses. Now we have seen even more rockets launched today and some are landing in Israeli cities. Israel has widened it's attacks to Hamas leaders and thus some homes have now been hit, but what else could they do? Hamas is now attempting to even widen their attacks against Israel to a larger degree instead of ending their attacks. The need to invade Gaza is not something that I would argue at this point; at the rate of rocket launches against Israeli cities ground forces will likely have to be deployed to stop it. My fear is that a military campaign may get ugly and may give another of Israel’s enemies the bad Idea of attempting to point the finger at Israel and as irrational as it may be, swing the fighting of their own countries into a new war against Israel. Making this about Israel has long been a tactic of Israel’s enemies and with ISIS, Assad, the Syrian rebels, Iraqi shite’s and Iran all having wars within their borders and all trying to get other Arabs to join them in their “common” cause, this is just a bad time to have an invasion into Gaza. Yet, what else can Israel do? The air strikes may not be enough as Hamas seems to be determined to continue launching rockets. I pray for peace and look on, but what I see are obvious end time events taking place day by day. Continued-


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