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Gaza: beginners' guide

Posted by: Staff writers | 16 November, 2012 - 1:18 PM
Gaza

4BC Afternoons: Adel Abdel-Ghafar from the Centre for Arab and Islamic studies provides a beginners’ guide to Gaza tension in the Middle East. Abdel-Ghafar tells Moyd and Loretta how it started, what is happening, why, and can it be fixed?

News Update

Relentless strikes kill 19 Palestinians

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories, Nov 15 AFP: Militants have defied a major Israeli bombing campaign across Gaza by firing off volleys of rockets which killed three Israelis and sparked panic in Tel Aviv.

As Palestinian deaths from relentless air strikes rose to 19 on Thursday, Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak gave the go-ahead for 30,000 reservists to be called up, with the army saying it was "in the process of expanding the campaign".

Among 11 Palestinians killed on Thursday were five militants, two children and a teacher at a United Nations-run school, medics and a UN official said.

Two brothers were among the other three dead but it was not immediately clear if they were militants or civilians.

In a surprise move, Egypt announced that Prime Minister Hisham Qandil would visit Gaza on Friday, as Washington urged Cairo to use its influence to try to halt the violence.

But Gaza's ruling Hamas movement remained defiant, ruling out talk of a truce even as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned he was ready to "significantly expand" the campaign, codenamed Operation Pillar of Defence.

"In the past 24 hours, Israel has made it clear that it will not tolerate rocket and missile attacks on its civilians. I hope that Hamas and the other terror organisations in Gaza got the message," he said after three Israelis were killed and 19 wounded as rockets pounded the south of the country.

"If not, Israel is prepared to take whatever action is necessary to defend our people."

Shortly afterwards, a rocket hit the sea just south of Tel Aviv, the farthest distance ever attained by fire from Gaza.

The attack was claimed by the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, which said it had launched an Iranian-made Fajr 5 rocket at the sprawling coastal city.

As sirens wailed across Tel Aviv, television images showed people running for cover as others lay on the ground outside the defence ministry, their hands over their heads.

Israeli news networks said it was the first time rockets had been fired at Tel Aviv since the 1991 Gulf War, when the city was hit by Iraqi Scud missiles.

"The firing towards Gush Dan and the extent of the general (rocket) fire toward Israel is an escalation," Barak said in a statement.

"This escalation will have a price that the other side will have to pay," he warned after approving a military request for the call-up of 30,000 reservists.

Senior cabinet minister Moshe Yaalon warned on his official Twitter account that Israel was considering all options, "including the possibility that forces will be ready to enter Gaza in the event that the firing doesn't stop".

"Whoever continues attacking us, his blood will be on his own head."

Defiant Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said any "talk of a truce ... (was) an attempt to provide more cover for a continuation of the escalation."

As night fell on Gaza City, the aerial bombardment resumed in earnest, with loud explosions ringing out across the city, and others reported in Rafah in the south and Beit Hanun in the north.

The Israeli military said in a statement it had targeted about 70 rocket-launching sites in the space of an hour.

With much of Gaza in darkness because of scheduled power outages, the streets were almost empty, with just a few people out stocking up on food and medicine as the confrontation showed no sign of ending.

Also on Thursday, Hamas militants said they had hit an Israeli drone with a surface-to-air missile east of Gaza City, a claim dismissed by the army.

Israel's biggest military campaign against Gaza in nearly four years began on Wednesday with the targeted killing of Hamas commander Ahmed Jaabari, triggering a major flare-up in and around the tiny enclave where 1.6 million Palestinians live.

Blog comments Your Say

  • mick, you didn't chip Gayle for posting 'off topic'. Your getting soft.

    James W Friday 7 December, 2012 - 8:43 AM
  • Gayle, any response to "Gayle, you run the real risk of incurring the wrath of mick by posting off topic. Lets see if he notices. Which of the 3 facts (IMF's expectation of Australia's economy growing 3.5% over the next 12 months, the federal tax take is down 10% on the Howard Govt days and/or $18,200 tax free threshold) that I posted do you wish me to respect your right to disagree with, in particular? In order to know if one's level of debt is 'through the roof', one firstly needs to know where the roof is. As you are aware, I work in the property development industry, a very capital intensive business and finance is something we are constantly dealing with. In our business one's borrowings would be considered 'through the roof' when the LVR exceeds 65%. So what is Australia's LVR? What is your issue with Govt. polling it's constituents to seek their opinion? Don't you think people should have their voice heard? Known illegal arrivals are few and far between, and are sent back to their place of origin, soon after they are known to authorities. Whilst awaiting deportation, they are locked up and not housed in public housing. Our biggest problem are those who over stay their visas. 60,000 or so, I understand. Bear in mind, asylum seekers are not illegal migrants thanks to Menzies' Liberal Govt. signing us up UN conventions in the 50's and no subsequent govt, be they Labor or Liberal, has sort to walk away from the undertaking.
    James W Wednesday 21 November, 2012 - 9:00 PM"?

    James W Friday 23 November, 2012 - 10:09 AM
  • Gayle, you run the real risk of incurring the wrath of mick by posting off topic. Lets see if he notices. Which of the 3 facts (IMF's expectation of Australia's economy growing 3.5% over the next 12 months, the federal tax take is down 10% on the Howard Govt days and/or $18,200 tax free threshold) that I posted do you wish me to respect your right to disagree with, in particular? In order to know if one's level of debt is 'through the roof', one firstly needs to know where the roof is. As you are aware, I work in the property development industry, a very capital intensive business and finance is something we are constantly dealing with. In our business one's borrowings would be considered 'through the roof' when the LVR exceeds 65%. So what is Australia's LVR? What is your issue with Govt. polling it's constituents to seek their opinion? Don't you think people should have their voice heard? Known illegal arrivals are few and far between, and are sent back to their place of origin, soon after they are known to authorities. Whilst awaiting deportation, they are locked up and not housed in public housing. Our biggest problem are those who over stay their visas. 60,000 or so, I understand. Bear in mind, asylum seekers are not illegal migrants thanks to Menzies' Liberal Govt. signing us up UN conventions in the 50's and no subsequent govt, be they Labor or Liberal, has sort to walk away from the undertaking.

    James W Wednesday 21 November, 2012 - 9:00 PM
  • mick, it costs $80 to see the inside of the Big Brother house, hardly a signifigant (significant - your spelling still sucks) site. I would expect to pay to see more significant sights as we live in a free market (user pays) economy and free loaders need to understand that. The only reason someone will charge you to see something is because they can (supply) and you want to see it(demand). Commerce 101. If you don't want to pay, stay home.

    James W Wednesday 21 November, 2012 - 4:48 PM
  • mick, your comment 'Labor hates everyday Australians' is in direct conflict with the evidence. The evidence being an economy forecast to grow by 3.5% in the next 12 months - best of all developed nations on the planet. Taxes down 10% from the Howard Govt. levels, when expressed as a proportion of GDP and the Tax Free threshold has been lifted to $18,200 per annum. mick, if you are unhappy living in one of the best places on the planet right now, then you should emigrate.

    James W Wednesday 21 November, 2012 - 4:23 PM
  • mick, if ANYONE, including the police are trespassing on your property, call the police, very simple. If a farmer isn't calling the police, I suspect the farmer doesn't have an issue with it. They may even have invited the people in.

    James W Wednesday 21 November, 2012 - 3:39 PM

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