Israel responds to Gaza attacks
The Israeli Air Force on Saturday launched a massive attack on Hamas targets throughout Gaza in retaliation for the recent heavy rocket fire from the area, hitting mostly security headquarters, training compounds and weapons storage facilities, the Israeli military and witnesses said.Certainly the world would be a better place and Palestinians would be better off if the Hamas death cult was destroyed. It has brought misery and ruin to the Palestinians, in ways that their enemy would not even imagine. The idiotic rocket attacks on Israel are just one example of its self destructive actions.
Dr. Muawiya Hassanein, the head of emergency services at the Gaza Ministry of Health, said at least 140 Palestinians were killed in the raid.
Most were members of the security forces of Hamas, the Islamic group that controls Gaza, but a few civilians were also among the dead, including children. Scores more Palestinians were wounded.
The air attack came after days of warnings by Israeli officials that Israel would retaliate for intense rocket and mortar fire against Israeli towns and villages by Hamas and other militant groups in Gaza. On Wednesday alone, more than 60 rockets and mortars were fired, some reaching further than previously. While the rockets are meant to be deadly, and several houses and a factory were hit, sowing widespread panic, no Israelis were killed or seriously injured in the recent attacks.
A shaky Egyptian-brokered truce between Israel and Hamas started to break down in early November. Hamas had originally agreed to a six-month lull, and declared it officially over when the six-month period expired on Dec. 19.
Though Israel had been threatening to end its policy of restraint that saw only limited strikes against rocket launchers and squads in recent days, the timing of the raid came as a surprise to Gazans. It came in mid-morning, when official buildings and security compounds were filled with personnel and children were at school, and not, as many had anticipated, at night.
Expecting some kind of Israeli response, the Hamas leaders in Gaza had already been in hiding for two days.
In a statement issued immediately after the raid, the Israeli military warned that “This operation will be continued, expanded and intensified as much as will be required.”
At Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, scores of dead bodies were laid out in front of the morgue waiting for family members to identify them. Many were dismembered.Inside the hospital, relatives carried a five-month old baby who had suffered a serious head wound from shrapnel. Overwhelmed, the hospital staff seemed unable to offer help.
But Ms. Ajab’s anger was not initially directed against Hamas.“Egypt, the United States and Israel have agreed together to destroy Hamas,” she said.
I suspect the casualty figures may be exaggerated. They may be part of a previously planned victim offensive by Hamas that it hoped would happen as a result of its rocket attacks. Ajad's misdirected anger can't change the facts.
CNN reports a higher death toll at 155 killed.
...The children in the hospital are an important part of Hamas's victim strategy. While the Israeli attack may have been larger than Hamas anticipated, it was clearly something they desired and they intend to use in their latest victim offensive.
Video showed severely wounded people being loaded into cars and driven to hospitals. Watch panicked Palestinians try to help the wounded »
Inside one Gaza hospital, doctors appeared overwhelmed; the floors were covered with wounded men and some children.
"Many killed and many injured," a Gaza-based reporter said. "People are running in the streets."
The BBC put the death toll at 195 and has its own video of the action.