Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Israel Escalates Threats To Invade Gaza

Israel has escalated threats to invade the Gaza Strip over Palestinian rocket fire after planned economic sanctions drew objections from legal experts and foreign powers.
Since occupation forces withdrew from Gaza in 2005, Israel has mounted regular raids and air strikes on the territory, but has failed to stop rocket fire over the border.

And Hamas's de facto rule of the strip since June, following infighting with rival Fatah, has only stoked calls in the Jewish state for a big military sweep.

Late on Tuesday, Israeli aircraft bombed a police station in southern Gaza, killing at least four Hamas policemen, hospital officials said.

The Israeli military confirmed its forces carried out the shelling in Abasan village, near the city of Khan Younis. An earlier air attack on the Jabalya refugee camp wounded six civilians, according to hospital sources.
Speaking to reporters earlier, Ehud Barak, Israel's defence minister, said: "Every passing day brings us closer to a broad operation in Gaza.
We are not looking forward to it [and] we would be happy if circumstances prevented it."

'Collective punishment'
Israel, which controls official Gazan border crossings, began reducing the amount of fuel pumped to Gaza this week. It also wants to reduce power supplies, but has put that on hold.
The sanctions, which were put together by Barak, prompted UN and EU delegates to urge Israel not to impose "collective punishment", illegal under international law, on Gaza's 1.5 million residents.
Israel's attorney-general also opposes cutting electricity supplies to Gaza on humanitarian grounds.
Britain said on Tuesday it was "deeply concerned" by reports that Israel had reduced Gaza's fuel supply and was considering electricity cuts, and had spoken to the Israeli government about the matter.
Makeshift Palestinian rockets have killed two Israelis this year.

Hamas has not claimed recent attacks, but Israel's military says Hamas is carrying out an arms build-up that will make it a serious fighting force.
Weighed against an invasion of Gaza is a US-organised peace conference in November between Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, who affectively only rules the occupied West Bank.
While Olmert may want calm, he is also under pressure from right-wing coalition partners to hit Hamas hard.
Haim Ramon, Israel's vice prime minister, when asked about a possible Gaza invasion, said: "The present situation will not last."
"I prefer that we use sanctions. I believe that the implementation of sanctions will be effective. But we have our doubts about it."
In the interview with Reuters news agency, he added: "If they stop sending rockets over, our need for the weapons of sanctions, or other weapons, will not be an issue."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This entry, as is the case with at least some other entries on this site, is lifted directly, entirely and without attribution from another site, in this case -

You owe it to your readers to dislose that this is not original material and you owe it to your sources to disclose that you are using their work.

You might also want to add you own comments on the pieces you use. Simply copying the text of a news article is pretty pointless - you may as well just post a link to the original story.

What's your take? What do you think about the story you posted? Add some value to the story. Otherwise, you're just another selective news aggregator.

BTW, I'm not sure "collective punishment" is the best approach for Israel to take, but I'm hard pressed to come up with a better idea. Military retaliation is bound to bring even fiercer international condemnation. If Hamas is in control, why do they allow the rockets to be fired into Israel? Should Israel pressure Hamas? If so, how?

Cutting off electricity and fuel to Gaza seems the least violent way of getting the point across. It sure has Al-Jazeera squawking.