Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Israel vice-premier calls for new war against people of Gaza

There are calls today from the 'political echelon' in Israel for a renewed war on Hamas - or, more accurately, on the people of Gaza. It's not just the rockets they are worried about (although no one has been injured by them, in contrast to deaths running into double figures on the Palestinian side) - it's the revolutions sweeping the Arab world, the dissipation of international support, moves towards reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas and another Freedom Flotilla due to arrive in May. There's a meeting of the Israeli security council today.
The Israeli vice-premier, Silvan Shalom, said the situation recalled the runup to Israel's 2008-2009 Gaza war, in which around 1,400 Palestinians died. Hamas has mostly held its fire from the enclave since.

"We may have to consider a return to that operation," Shalom told Israel Radio. "I say this despite the fact that I know such a thing would, of course, bring the region to a far more combustible situation." more

Four Palestinian fighters killed in airstrike as rockets hit deeper into Israel

Four members of Islamic Jihad were killed late yesterday in addition to the civilian casualties earlier.
GAZA — Palestinian militants fired rockets far into southern Israel late Tuesday and early Wednesday and Israel responded with airstrikes in Gaza. Tensions were running high after Israeli mortar fire killed three Palestinian youths and a 60-year-old man in response to a rocket attack a day earlier.

In an unrelated attack on Tuesday night, the Israeli Air Force killed four militants in a car, all members of Islamic Jihad, the organization and the Israeli military said. The army said the men were preparing to launch rockets at Israel. more