Alarm bells ring in Sinai as Israel threatens to widen Gaza strikes

By AFP
Published: November 15, 2012
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Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza City, on November 14, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike on a house in Gaza City, on November 14, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

JERUSALEM: A series of Israeli airstrikes in the Gaza strip on Wednesday set alarm bells ringing in the Sinai as Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas called for an emergency Arab League and UN Security Council meetings. Egypt recalled its ambassador to Israel and also called for an emergency UNSC meeting.

Israel kicked off its campaign to send a “clear message” to Hamas by killing their commander in an airstrike on Wednesday afternoon. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an ominous press conference warned that the scope of its continuing bombing raids could be widened.

Israel sent a “clear message” to Hamas through the killing of its top military commander and is ready to widen its operation in Gaza if necessary, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Wednesday.

“Today we sent a clear message to Hamas and other terrorist organisations, and if it becomes necessary we are prepared to expand the operation,” he said in a televised address.

Speaking several hours after a major wave of air strikes pounded militant targets in the Gaza Strip, killing top Hamas commander Ahmed Al-Jaabari and eight other Palestinians, Netanyahu vowed Israel would not tolerate any further rocket fire on its territory.

“Hamas and the terror organisations have chosen to escalate their attacks on the citizens of Israel in recent days. We will not tolerate a situation in which Israeli citizens are threatened by rocket fire,” he said after consultations with his security cabinet.

Defence Minister Ehud Barak said the strike was only the beginning of an operation whose goals were to strengthen Israel’s deterrence, damage militant groups’ rocket-firing capabilities and stamp out attacks on southern Israel.

“Israel doesn’t want a war but the Hamas provocation of recent weeks, with recurring, frequent rounds of mortar and rockets fired at southern Israel, an explosive tunnel that was activated … and anti-tank fire at a jeep in Israel, forced us to act sharply and decisively,” Barak said.

He was referring to a series of attacks by Gaza militants.

“We are at the beginning, not end of this action,” he said, stressing the need to be “on high alert in Israel and West Bank.”

“It won’t be a quick fix.. but we’ll reach the goals we set for this operation.”

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Reader Comments (13)

  • Cautious
    Nov 15, 2012 - 3:00AM

    Classic Israel/Palestinian conflict — shoot a hundred rockets into Israel and run to the UN when they respond.

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  • Saladin
    Nov 15, 2012 - 3:14AM

    & our Government WILL condemn. Am damn sure.

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  • ayesha
    Nov 15, 2012 - 3:55AM

    Damn it am so bored of such kind of news now,come up with something new please…

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  • SK5
    Nov 15, 2012 - 7:07AM

    @Cautious:
    Why won’t they shoot rockets into israel when they’ve been isolated from the world by this apartheid regime. For 4 years now Israel has illegally blocked out Gaza not allowing in food, medcine, water or anything basic for human survival and you except them not to respond?. Why does Israel continue to ignore UN resolutions passed against it huh tell me??. The world needs to unite to end this modern day apartheid just like it did against South Africa or else question if we have made moral progress!.

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  • Guy Fawkes
    Nov 15, 2012 - 7:18AM

    These rocket fires are in retaliation of an incident that “liberal” & “free” media doesn’t feel worth covering.

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  • Jewcifer
    Nov 15, 2012 - 8:39AM

    Timing is so impeccable. Right after US elections.

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  • Zeux
    Nov 15, 2012 - 8:52AM

    @Cautious:
    Palestianians are fighting for their home. If you or anyone got problem with that, i suggest you keep it to yourselves.

    You type will only see the palestianians but you won’t (and don’t wanna) see Israel blowing entire towns up killing civilians.

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  • Imran
    Nov 15, 2012 - 9:46AM

    @Aysha, there is music and entertainment section as well on tribune, you should go there for a change. :)

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  • Dr Dang
    Nov 15, 2012 - 2:56PM

    @SK5:
    Dont like the heat , get out of the kitchen.

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  • SK5
    Nov 15, 2012 - 6:48PM

    @Dr Dang:
    It’s not your kitchen to start with!

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  • Cautious
    Nov 15, 2012 - 6:49PM

    @SK5.

    blocked out Gaza not allowing in food,
    medcine, water or anything basic for
    human survival and you except them not
    to respond?.

    Last time I looked Egypt and Gaza share a border — and Israel doesn’t control that border crossing. Further — the infamous naval blockages which get lots of press are there to stop arm shipments – those same ships can dock in Egypt and transport their cargo through the border controlled by Egypt. Your argument has popular appeal – it just lacks substance.

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  • janaan
    Nov 15, 2012 - 9:02PM

    @Cautious:
    are you blind at what the israelis have as against the defenseless palestinians. they should be supported overwhelmingly by other countries with military hardware to strike even harder.

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  • SK5
    Nov 16, 2012 - 5:48AM

    @Cautious:

    Do you remember what happened last time Israel declared war on Gaza, Egypt was accused of “Collaboration” with Hamas just because it opened its borders by some of the western powers which caused defamation and put Egypt under tremendous pressure. Whenever you try to side with “Hamas” your name automatically goes onto the list of evil countries even if your trying to do the right thing. It dosen’t matter how big the border, how many shipping docks Egypt shares with Gaza political influence determines what happens in the mid-east.

    You talk about arm shipments, did you know that this conflict would have never entered this century if Israel had not received gun gifts from the Americans, Brits and French?. If they didn’t support the Israeli’s, Israel would’ve been forced to negotiate peace with the palestinians as both would’ve been even militarily. “Illegal arm shipments”, im glad to know your keeping an eye out for hamas’s amunition but what about Israel?. It receives billions of dollars of military equipment every year from the americans, why is that “legal”. Your arguments should start showing more solid arguments.

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