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Thread: Israel Authorizes Deeper Gaza Invasion

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Israel Authorizes Deeper Gaza Invasion

    Israel Authorizes Deeper Gaza Invasion

    (Gold9472: Didn't Israel just leave Gaza?)

    Jul 5, 3:39 PM (ET)

    JERUSALEM (AP) - Israel stepped up pressure Wednesday on Hamas militants who launched improved, longer range rockets into the heart of a major Israeli city, authorizing the army to enter populated areas in the northern Gaza Strip.

    The planned invasion threatened to be far bloodier than Israel's week-old offensive in Gaza aimed at freeing an abducted soldier.

    To carve out a sufficiently wide buffer zone to protect Israeli towns from such attacks, the army might have to go into densely populated areas where it can expect fierce resistance from Palestinian militants.

    Previous raids into the northern town of Jebaliya have sparked running gunbattles that have caused serious casualties on both sides.

    "There will be steps taken and they will be very serious," said Cabinet Minister Yitzhak Herzog, who refused to elaborate on the military's plans. "There is a very broad operation here. It will continue."

    Israel has had soldiers massed on its border with northern Gaza since June 29, but Israeli officials postponed a planned invasion as international mediators sought a way out of the standoff over Cpl. Gilad Shalit. The 19-year-old soldier was captured by Palestinian militants on June 25.

    Justice Minister Haim Ramon said Wednesday he believes Shalit, who reportedly was wounded in the attack, is alive and being held somewhere in Gaza.

    The Security Cabinet's decision to step up a ground offensive indicated Israel could be prepared to partially reoccupy Gaza less than a year after withdrawing all troops and settlements from the area.

    Prime Minister Ehud Olmert convened the urgent meeting after Hamas militants fired a rocket Tuesday into Ashkelon, a southern Israeli city of 110,000 people. Militants fired a second rocket Wednesday that hit an orchard in the city.

    The attacks caused no injuries, but were the first time rockets have penetrated so far into Israel, signaling that militants have improved the range of the primitive weapons.

    As Egyptian and Turkish mediators tried to end the worsening crisis, Mohammed Awad, the Palestinian Cabinet secretary, told reporters in Gaza on Wednesday that the "Israeli escalation is posing a threat to these ongoing efforts and it must stop."

    In Cairo, Egypt's mediation efforts ground to a halt because Hamas' Syria-based political chief Khaled Mashaal refused to press for the unconditional release of Shalit and because of growing mistrust between Egypt and Hamas, Egyptian and Palestinian officials said.

    Mashaal was turning his attention to Turkey, which has stepped up diplomacy in an effort to end the standoff, the Palestinian officials said.

    Mashaal has denied claims by Israel that he masterminded Shalit's capture.

    The Hamas-linked militants holding the soldier have demanded Israel release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for information about the captive. On Tuesday, Olmert ignored a deadline to begin freeing prisoners. Israel has publicly refused to negotiate with the militants, but could be indirectly communicating with Hamas through the Egyptian or Turkish mediators.

    U.N. Mideast envoy Alvaro de Soto urged both sides to show restraint.

    "We hope that it will be possible for both sides to stop for a minute and reflect on this situation and not allow it to get any worse than it already is," de Soto told The Associated Press.

    Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz met Wednesday with top military officials to decide which parts of a broad invasion should be immediately implemented, including the possibility of creating a buffer zone.

    Olmert's office denied the Cabinet had approved the formation of such a zone. But meeting participants said the ministers had agreed a standing plan by the army to create a buffer zone could be an effective way of preventing rocket fire.

    A statement from Olmert's office gave no details about the military operation, but said the army would continue to go after Hamas militants and their infrastructure. It said the army has been ordered to "prepare for a phased and continuous" operation. Its main goals remain to find Shalit and to prevent more rocket fire into Israel, the statement said.

    Israel occupied a strip of southern Lebanon for 18 years before withdrawing in 2000 after high casualties raised public complaints in Israel. A similar occupation in northern Gaza could be risky.

    Israel could establish a security zone in its abandoned former settlements in northern Gaza, vacant lands that militants use to fire rockets and that Israel could seize with relatively little bloodshed. If Israel wants a broader zone, it might have to enter the northern towns of Beit Lahiya and Beit Hanoun, which would likely lead to bloody street battles with militants.

    Meanwhile, Israel continued airstrikes in Gaza on Wednesday, targeting the Palestinian Interior Ministry for the second time in a week. Witnesses said missiles hit the main structure and damaged a building next to the ministry. Rescue workers said five people were wounded.

    The two top floors of the main building collapsed, and the second building, which provides housing for ministry employees, was set on fire, witnesses said.

    Israeli aircraft fired missiles at a Hamas camp in southern Gaza and a Hamas-affiliated school in Gaza City, and shelled open areas in the north.

    At the Erez industrial zone on the Gaza border, which has been shut since hostilities escalated, troops opened fire at Palestinians who were apparently looting closed businesses, wounding a 13-year-old boy in the head, Palestinian medics said. The army said it had no knowledge of the incident.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    Partridge Guest
    British Jews criticise Gaza raids

    Some 300 British Jews have signed a petition condemning Israel's military actions in the Gaza Strip.
    The group, including dozens of well-known figures, says it has "watched with horror" Israel's response to the capture of a soldier.

    Palestinians in Gaza were being subjected to "collective punishment" because of the actions of militants, said Jews for Justice for Palestinians.

    An Israeli spokesman said this view did not represent those of British Jews.

    The petition, which appeared as a full-page advert in Thursday's Times Newspaper, condemns the way Israeli forces have responded to the capture of Cpl Gilad Shalit.

    Palestinian militants captured the soldier on 25 June amid a cross-border attack between Israel and Gaza.

    Israeli forces have targeted infrastructure in Gaza in an effort to secure the soldier's release, a move that had led to accusations that it has breached humanitarian norms.

    The Times advert, which cost £10,000 (US $18,400), is signed by well-known figures in British society including playwright Harold Pinter, film director Mike Leigh, historian Prof Eric Hobsbawn, and actor Miriam Margoyles.

    The group also includes a large number of academics.

    Dan Judelson, spokesman for Jews for Justice for Palestinians, said: "We simply do not see how Israel can defend attacking civilian targets such as water works and power supply."

    "There are those in the community who say that Jews should not criticise Israel. But Israel is damaging itself through this kind of action."

    Mr Judelson said that many people believed the attacks on Palestinian infrastructure were less about liberating Cpl Shalit and more about seeking a pretext to over-throw Hamas, the militant Islamist organisation elected to run the Palestinian Authority

    "Whatever your views are of Hamas, and I of course do not share the politics of Islamists, you cannot kick out democratically-elected governments because you do not agree with them."

    Growing crisis

    Israel has defended the action, saying it is justified to target institutions and infrastructure which "facilitates terrorism".

    An Israeli embassy spokesman in London said: "The views expressed by these individuals do not reflect the position of the British Jewish Community. Nor does it represent the British Government, or even the British media.

    "Israel is doing everything possible to secure the release of the abducted soldier and to put an end to the barrage of Qassam attacks, with minimum civilian casualties.

    "If the signatories are so concerned about our region, one must ask why they have not also chosen to voice solidarity with the residents of Sderot and Ashkelon, who are living under daily threat of Qassam Rockets."

    Daniella Peled of the Jewish Chronicle, the influential London-based community newspaper, said that the story was significant but had to be put in context.

    "The advert is likely to cause a strong reaction amongst many mainstream Jews," said Ms Peled.

    "But vigorous debate and diversity has always been part and parcel of Jewish life.

    "As the old saying goes, where there are three Jews you'll find four opinions - and of course that's especially true when it comes to Israel."

  3. #3
    Partridge Guest
    Text of JfJfP Advert

    WE WATCH WITH HORROR the collective punishment of the
    people of Gaza. Everything reasonable must be done to secure
    Corporal Gilad Shalit’s safe release but nothing Israel is doing
    contributes to that aim. Instead, it is using its enormously superior
    military might to terrorise an entire people.

    DESTRUCTION OF THE FRAGILE Gaza infrastructure will
    not release Shalit. Bombing power stations and cutting off fuel
    supplies deprives people of electricity, refrigeration, pumped
    drinking water and sewage disposal services. It holds hostage
    hospital patients on life support systems, or undergoing dialysis.
    It brings the threat of epidemics and starvation.

    AS GIDEON LEVY WROTE in the Israeli daily Ha’aretz, this
    is “not only pointless, but … blatantly illegitimate”. Gilad Shalit
    has become a pawn in the Israeli government’s ongoing battle to
    topple the democratically-elected government of the Palestinians.

    PRESENTING THIS AS AN ISOLATED hostage-taking incident
    ignores Israel’s regular snatching of Palestinians from their
    homes.Thousands are held in ‘administrative detention’ without
    trial, women and children amongst them. A doctor and his
    brother – civilians – were kidnapped from their home in Al
    Shouka, near Rafah, the day before Corporal Shalit was captured.
    Like him, they need to be returned to their families in
    the established practice of prisoner exchange. And all elected
    MPs, punitively imprisoned by Israel in recent days, must be
    immediately released.

    FOR THE US AND ITS ALLIES merely to call for “restraint” is
    desperately inadequate – and evidently ineffective. This is a
    situation that requires determined action by the international

    SUPPORT THOSE ISRAELIS protesting against their government’s
    destructive actions.

    WRITE TO YOUR MP to demand that the British Government
    act to achieve an immediate ceasefire.

    WRITE TO THE ISRAELI EMBASSY. Make them understand
    their actions are wrong, their explanations unconvincing.


     Seymour Alexander
     Dr Helen Annis
     I Aronovsky
     Joe Arton
     Leonie Ashley
     David Aukin
     Martha Jean Baker
     Lynne Reid Banks
     Dr Lisa Baraitser
     Julia Bard
     Barbara Barnett
     Prof Tony Barnett
     Michael Baron MBE
     Rosemary Bechler
     Angela Behrend
     Ruth Ben-Tovim
     Bert Benham
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     Cllr Jonathan Bloch
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     Prof Emeritus Leslie
    Baruch Brent
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     Prof David Caplin
     Liz Cashdan
     Hilary Claire
     Lucien Clayton
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     Stan Cohen
     Sylvia Cohen
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     Angela Dale
     Ann David
     Prof Miriam David
     Sara Davidson
     Dr Hyman Davies
     Jean Davis
     Prof Mary Davis
     Gerald de Groot
     Nicky Defries
     Tony Defries
     Ivor Dembina
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     Prof Elizabeth Dore
     Audrey Droisen
     Linda Edmondson
     Prof Barbara Einhorn
     Maggie Eisner
     Mark Elf
     Liz Elkind
     Laurie Elks
     Michael Ellman
     Carolyn Emanuel
     Judith Emanuel
     Moris Farhi MBE
     Nina Farhi
     John Farrar
     Judy Farrar
     Prof Gene Feder
     Dr Rayah Feldman
     Tansy Feltis
     Neil Finer
     Deborah Fink
     Joseph Finlay
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     Sylvia Finzi
     Frank Fisher
     Sonia Fodor
     Joan Fogel
     Stephen Fox
     Eva Frean
     Dr Rachel Garfield
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     Tony Gee
     Carolyn Gelenter
     Mike Gerber
     Brian Gitlin
     Danya Glaser
     Denis Glaser
     Murray Glickman
     Dr Debbie Goldman
     Arthur Goodman
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     Paula Goodman
     Bernard Gowers
     Tony Graham
     Harry Greenberg
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     Justin Grossman
     Heinz Grünewald
     Clara Gutteridge
     Sue Gutteridge
     Judith Harrison
     Abe Hayeem
     Rosamine Hayeem
     Prof Susan
     Dr Robin Hirsch
     Dr Ken Hirschkop
     Prof Eric J Hobsbawm
     Dr Jeremy Isaacs
     David Iwi
     Claire Jackson
     Viv Jackson
     Howard Jacobs
     Sandra Jacobs
     Dr Susie Jacobs
     Prof Michael Jacobsen
     Tony Jaffé
     Riva Joffe
     Dan Judelson
     Ann Jungmann
     Paul Kaufman
     Ellie Kavner
     Michael Kendall
     Dr David Kerr
     Prof Lester Kershenbaum
     Orly Klein
     Reva Klein
     Dr Brian Klug
     Prof Francesca Klug OBE
     Graham Knight
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     Prof Emeritus Ailsa Land
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     Miriam Margolyes OBE
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     Howard Simon Marks
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     Dr Ann McPherson
     Martine Miel
     Prof Ursula Mittwoch
     Prof Simon Mohun
     Prof David Mond
     Paul Morrison
     Carole Mosco
     Gillian Mosely
     Gabe Moshenska
     Maurice Naftalin
     Dr Michal Nahman
     Dr Gill Nathan
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     Dr Ted Nathan
     Prof Mica Nava
     Prof Victor Nell
     Jeannette Nelson
     Art Neslen
     Chaim Neslen
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     Esther Neslen
     Orna Neumann
     Ines Newman
     Jan Newman
     Prof Mike Newman
     David Nussbaum
     Liz Nussbaum
     Rachel Oelman
     Dr Paul Oestreicher
     Susie Orbach
     Uriel Orlow
     Dr Kathy Panama
     Helen Pearson
     Prof Ruth Pearson
     Prof Helen Penn
     Sylvia Pepper
     Prof Naomi Pfeffer
     Rina Picciotto
     Prof Sol Picciotto
     Harold Pinter
     Donna Poppy
     Alison Prager
     Peter Prager
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     Colin Purkey
     Ruth Rabin
     Caroline Raine
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     Jerry Ravetz
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     Dr Naomi Richman
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    Jonathan Rosenhead
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     Martin Taylor
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     Natasha Leah Walden
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    Organised by JEWS FOR JUSTICE FOR PALESTINIANS • PO Box 46081 • London W9 2ZF •

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