Hamas changes the rules of the game: At least four Israelis killed, dozens injured as rocket fire from Gaza continues
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Hamas changes the rules of the game: At least four Israelis killed, dozens injured as rocket fire from Gaza continues

Gaza : Palestine | Nov 15, 2012 at 12:15 PM PST
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Israel, Arab and foreign peace activists protest in Tel Aviv

Israeli TV Channel 10 reported that at least four Israelis—two women and two men, all in their 30s—were killed in the early morning by a rocket fired on the town of Kiryat Malachi, some 50 kilometers from the Gaza Strip, police said.

“Four people were killed and two others wounded seriously by a Grad rocket attack against a residential building in Kiryat Malachi,” Micky Rosenfeld, an Israeli police spokesman, confirmed. He added that several others suffered panic attacks. Another building in the city was directly hit, but no injuries were reported.

Israeli authorities said Hamas and other armed groups from Gaza have fired more than 650 Grad, Katusha and Qassam rockets on southern Israel, including the cities of Tel Aviv, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gan Yavne, Kiryat Gat, Beersheba and Ofakim, some 65 km from the Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Israeli police said that rockets fired from Gaza reached an Israeli city near Tel Aviv on Thursday night for the first time, as cross-border violence continued for a second day.

Israel's army said a projectile hit Rishon Lezion, a city 12 km south of Tel Aviv. The Israeli daily Haaretz said that two rockets had landed, but no casualties were reported.

The Voice of Israel website reported that the Rishon Lezion area was hit by four Grad rockets this morning and more than seven this night, as more than 40 rockets hit central Israel, including Tel Aviv and Afula.

A police source said that an air-raid siren was heard in Jaffa, near Tel Aviv, some 60 km away from the strip.

It is worth mentioning that the Israeli government banned foreign and Israeli press from publishing information about the places where the rockets landed, in addition to the number of victims, the reason being that they do not want the Palestinian resistance to know the results of launching these missiles, which is considered as the main cause for changing the plans of the Israeli army.

Israeli medical sources announced that the number of casualties from rockets that fell on Israel rose this evening to 130 Israelis. The source mentioned that more than 40 cases are considered as clinical death.

At the same time, an Israeli military source said that nine soldiers were seriously wounded when the Palestinian resistance targeted the military site Nir Yitzhak with Katyusha rockets.

In Gaza, the death toll of the Israeli offensive “Pillar of Cloud” against Gaza has reached 15 Palestinians, including al-Qassam members Rami Hamad and Khaled Abu Nasr, who were killed in an air strike east of the Jabaliya refugee camp. Moreover, 150 Palestinians have been wounded since the beginning of the operation, which was launched Wednesday evening with the assassination of Hamas military operations chief Ahmad Jabari.

A separate air strike targeted the Shujaiyya area of Gaza City, killing six Palestinians: a pregnant woman, a 7-year-old boy, an 11-month-old baby, two other children and a 52-year-old man. Earlier, an air strike hit Khan Younis and killed three Palestinians.

For its part, Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades announced that Hamas will not discuss another cease-fire after Israel broke the last truce mediated by Egypt.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said Israel had started the war and must bear the consequences. Israel is responsible for ending the aggression, he said.

Barhoum also said Palestinian resistance factions were united and had planned an evolving operation named the “Battle of Sijjil,” with different stages, beginning by firing short-range rockets and moving on to target Tel Aviv and beyond. Certainly the resistance knows how to direct its rockets toward all the vital goals inside Israel.

In new developments, spokesman of the Hamas government, Taher al-Nounou announced Thursday that Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil accompanied by several ministers, will on Friday visit in the Gaza Strip.

"We welcome this visit and appreciate this courageous stand," he said, adding that "this confirmed the support of the leadership, government and people of Egypt to the Palestinian people who is facing an Israeli war."

For his part, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said that the Israelis must realize that we do not accept this aggression and it can only lead to instability in the region.

Opinion:

I’m sure that Israel regrets killing Jabari, because they were not expecting a strong response—one that is still in its beginning—by the Palestinian resistance. At the same time, they cannot stop the fight now, as the decline means a fatal blow to the capacity of the Israeli army and to the morale of residents of the south. This cannot be afforded by Netanyahu's government, which is considered from some countries a “government.” But for the Palestinians, it is a terrorist gang that kills women and children.

The Palestinian organizations in the Gaza Strip, specifically Hamas and Islamic Jihad, have learned lessons from the operation “Cast Lead.” They also benefited from the lessons learned by Hezbollah during the war on Lebanon, and have applied these lessons now. This resulted in the success of these factions to fire Grad rockets and Katusha 122 mm, despite the presence of dozens of drones and warplanes in the skies of Gaza, and in addition to Israel working with advanced surveillance, both terrestrial and marine. All it cares for is to find and destroy the cells that fire rockets.

I think that Israel has already started the war on Gaza, but it does not have the decision to end it, as the Palestinian resistance is determined to answer with multiple responses to the Israel attacks.

The war on Gaza is still ongoing. A while before, Hamas announced, along with eyewitnesses, that the Palestinian resistance fired a ground-to-air missile at an Israeli aircraft flying over Gaza.

We do not expect Israel to admit to such an operation. We do not expect it even to declare the number of dead people from their side. However, we expect the international community to understand that Israel has little strength, and in fact is weaker than a spider's web. I do not think Israel would ever dare to launch a war on Iran because it did not bear the response of the Palestinian resistance—so how would they face a country with high ability such as Iran?

Sources:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/nov/15/israel-gaza-attack-netanyahu

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4306249,00.html

http://www.haaretz.com/news/features/under-attack-gazans-preparing-to-apply-lessons-of-cast-lead.premium-1.478170

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game, at least 4 Israelis killed, dozens injured as rocket fire from Gaza continues
Palestinians gather around the bodies of Hamas militants, killed in an Israeli air strike, at a hospital morgue in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip November 15, 2012. Reuters
saleh1966 is based in Gaza, Ġazzah, Palestine, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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