No Truce in the Middle East: Israel launches 100 different attacks on Gaza

Did Hamas respond by bombing a bus in Tel Aviv?

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 21, 2012

The Israeli army announced earlier Wednesday it has launched more than one hundred attacks on the Gaza Strip overnight, hitting a total of one hundred points of terrorist activity, of which approximately 50, the army said, were underground rocket launchers.

The Armed Forces spokesman pointed out that a senior member of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) in charge of the air offensive operations was hit in one of the attacks. The same happened to other alleged terrorist operatives, but he did not clarify if they are dead, injured or have walked away.

The objectives included the Department of Homeland Security in Gaza, considered as the main control center for Hamas, several tunnels allegedly used to smuggle, communication centers, a police station, three arsenals and a place used for the manufacture of armaments. These outcomes were confirmed by the Israeli daily The Jerusalem Post.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian news agency Maan reported on the impact of Israeli missiles in various parts of the Strip and indicated that some of them have reached civilian homes and government buildings.

Among the buildings affected are several international media houses as well as Palestinian ones, including the French news agency AFP, the U.S. agency AP
and the Qatari television network Al Jazeera. During the same attacks, Israeli bombs injured an Iranian correspondent for Press TV identified as Akram al Sattari.

According to the report provided by Maan, at least 137 Palestinians, about half of them civilians, have died since the Israeli offensive began, while
the number of injured amounted rose to 1,050. On the Israeli side, five people were killed, four civilians and military, due to the impact of projectiles against Israeli territory.

In addition, about a hundred people have been treated in their homes by emergency services, mostly for anxiety attacks.

Did Hamas respond by Bombing a Bus?

According to international media, a bus exploded Wednesday morning in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv because of a “terrorist attack”, reported Israeli police. The report was later corroborated by a government spokesman, but it has not been confirmed by other sources as a de facto terrorist attack.

It is unknown how many people were inside bus at the time of the explosion but medical emergency services that moved to the area reported that there have been 10 people injured, three of them seriously.

Israel Radio said the attack was committed by a suicide bomber, perhaps someone put a bomb and fled the vehicle, but no confirmation of this has been issued yet. “A bomb exploded on a bus in the center of Tel Aviv. It was a terrorist attack. Most of the injured suffered only minor injuries,” said Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Gendelman gave no proof of his statement, though.

Several ambulances headed to King Saul Boulevard, while the area was encircled police.

Television showed pictures of a bus full of smoke and with broken windows. The attack came on the eighth day of an offensive against the Gaza Strip, which the Israeli regime launched in a supposed attempt to prevent rocket attacks from Hamas.

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Will Israel be held accountable for War crimes?

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | NOVEMBER 20, 2012

The question above is one that always comes to mind whenever a more powerful military force uses its might to destroy livelihoods anywhere in the planet. In the case of the Israeli regime, its despise for live, especially that of Arab people is simply horrendous, and that is why it is just fair to ask. During the latest attacks carried out by the Israeli army, almost 50 percent of innocent victims are children and women.

The sum of civilian deaths in Operation Defensive Pillar continues to rise inexorably. On Monday morning there was a score, and throughout the day another dozen were killed in different parts of the Gaza Strip. The total number of deaths already exceeds one hundred.

“What is happening here is a war crime,” said Salah Abed Alaty, a representative of the Independent Commission for Human Rights in the north of the Gaza Strip. “The international community can not remain indifferent to a massacre like this, especially women and children,” he adds, when suddenly leaps up to feel the rumble and flare caused by a Qassam rocket launched from a hundred yards of the Omar el Moktar Avenue.

Statistics are never the best way to provide an account of the damage and destruction caused by war, but according to the numbers compiled by the Ministry of Health in Gaza, most of the fatalities in the territory are children, women and the elderly. The same three groups are also an important minority among the wounded, which already hit 700. The indiscriminate killing of civilians in Gaza caused the official condemnation by the UNICEF and international NGOs present in the area. Such condemnation has never been heard so publicly in the past, which is why is relevant to ask whether this time, the murder carried out by the Israeli army will be punished.

On  Monday, four members of a family, including two children under four years of age, were killed in an Israeli air strike on a house in the town of Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza. “Although a senior officer of the Qassam Brigades Ezadín had been in the building, there was no justification to destroy it,” said Abed Alaty, a lawyer who witnessed the attack. In his opinion, the alleged “extrajudicial execution” of a militia leader of Hamas is not enough to launch several missiles at the  building in which he was assumed to be.

Israel’s Air Force bombed a second time the building in Shuruq, Gaza City, which until Monday harbored Al Aqsa TV, which was linked to Hamas. In the same venue also operated crews from foreign channels such as Sky News and Al Arabiya.

Palestinian sources reported that at least two people died, one Ramiz Harb, leader of Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad. The Israeli military said in a statement that Harb was “responsible for the propaganda” of the militia. At least three other people were injured, including two journalists.

The tower was converted into a column of black smoke, and in dozens of soil and debris from broken glass objects. On Sunday, the tower next to the Al Shawa, which also hosted television producers serving international channels, was hit by an air to land missile. The director of the press office of the Hamas government, Ihab Al Ghusain says that the antennas were used exclusively for television. “The Israelis say masts served as the communications signal of our security forces,” he says. “But that’s silly, because these antennas are in the barracks and police stations, which are also being systematically bombed,” the spokesman stressed.

“We have come to the Beach Hotel,” said Mahmoud Jaber, the CEO of Palestinian Media Productions, the production company that was attacked on Monday for the second time. The new headquarters is a constant bustle of journalists, some are quick to come out with cameras, others stay glued to computer screens and connected to the radio, the most reliable source of information on the Strip.

“We believe that hotels are the safest, as host to foreign journalists and aid workers, so we have temporarily changed to Hotel Beach” concluded Jaber. The crisis is generating great benefits for the many direct connections prompted for foreign television. From the hotel, journalists follow the last-minute attempts in Cairo to reach a ceasefire through Egyptian mediation. The leader of the political wing of Hamas abroad, Khaled Meshal, and other members of the intelligence apparatus of the military require guarantees that Israel’s bombings will be halted.

Palestinians also called for an end to targeted killings against members of their militias and other armed groups in Gaza. The Israelis want to maintain control over the security zone near the border with Israel, which covers between 300 meters and a kilometer, but Hamas leaders have refused to accept such a request.

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