Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Israeli Gaza strikes 'open gates of hell'
by Staff Writers
Tel Aviv, Israel (UPI) Nov 15, 2012

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

Israel has unleashed its biggest military operation against the Gaza Strip since its controversial invasion in December 2008, raising fears of a wider regional conflagration and a potentially dangerous backlash from Egypt's Islamist government.

Hamas, the fundamentalist Palestinian group that rules the coastal enclave, warned after its military chief, Ahmed al-Jaabari, was assassinated in an airstrike that the Israelis had "opened the gates of hell."

Israel claimed groups in Gaza have fired some 200 rockets and missiles. These reportedly included Iranian-made Fajr-5 missiles smuggled into the enclave via tunnels from Egypt's neighboring Sinai Peninsula.

One strike killed three people, the first Israeli fatalities of the current combat.

Israel intensified its airstrikes Wednesday night, saying that "approximately 100 medium-range and long-range rocket launch and infrastructure sites were targeted."

Israel's propaganda machine went into high gear too, broadcasting video footage of the airstrike that killed Jaabari that incensed the Palestinians.

Egypt, which neighbors Gaza and mediates between Hamas and Israel, announced it's recalling its ambassador. The ruling Muslim Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, called for international intervention.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry warned the Israeli airstrikes will jeopardize regional stability, although in truth there doesn't seem to be much of that anyway.

The Israelis' major concern is that that the Muslim Brotherhood, the godfather of Islamist groups across the region and Hamas' parent organization, may retaliate by intensify demands for major modifications to the landmark Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement signed in March 1979.

Specifically, Cairo wants to end restrictions on the number of troops it can deploy in the Sinai Peninsula, a barren wasteland of desert and mountains that the Israelis see as a buffer against attack by its southern neighbor.

Most of Egypt's 82 million people have long opposed the U.S.-brokered treaty as offensive and heavily biased in favor of Israel, which they consider illegitimate and illegally occupying Palestinian land.

Israel wants to avoid heavy diplomatic pressure to renegotiate the treaty, which has been the pillar of its security policies for more than three decades.

But at the same time it cannot allow Hamas and an amalgam of other militant Palestinian factions operating in Gaza to attack its territory, particularly as the Palestinians now have rockets with increasing range and destructive power.

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood doesn't want a war right now either as it seeks to consolidate its power following the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, who supported the peace treaty, in 2011.

But it may find itself pushed into a robust response by Egyptian public opinion.

And there's another danger. "Conflict in Gaza could trigger operations by actors outside Cairo's control," the U.S. global security consultancy Stratfor observed.

"The military, currently neutralized in the political realm, might not be content to watch from the sidelines as events unfold in Gaza."

Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since a June 2007 coup against the mainstream Palestinian organization Fatah, claims the other groups, including some inspired by al-Qaida, were behind the recent rash of rocket attacks on southern Israel, including the ports of Ashkelon and Ashdod as well as Beersheba, Israel's third largest city.

But the Israelis hold Hamas responsible for the attacks that have reached Dimona, in the Negev Desert south of Tel Aviv and the site of Israel's nuclear reactor.

Hamas also doesn't want a war right now. But extremist groups, which accuse it of abandoning the struggle against Israel to seek international legitimacy, want to undermine its influence.

If, as expected, the fighting escalates, there's a danger Hamas and the extremists in Gaza could unleash a wave of suicide bombers against Israel.

Although the Israelis haven't had to contend with suicide bombers for several years because of increased security, Palestinian "martyrdom operations" are what they fear most.

Much will depend on whether Israel decides to mount a large-scale ground operation to destroy Hamas' military infrastructure and the militants' rocket depots in the densely populated enclave.

So far, Operation Pillar of Defense has primarily involved airstrikes, one of which killed Jaabari Wednesday.

But, with Syria ablaze to the north, Jordan to the east gripped by unrest and Iran seen as a major threat, the Israelis may decide they have to eliminate, for a time at least, the danger from the south.


Related Links

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Three Israelis, 3 militants killed as Gaza violence rages
Gaza City, Palestinian Territories (AFP) Nov 15, 2012
Warplanes pounded Gaza for a second day Thursday as three Israelis and three Palestinians were killed in fierce fighting which began with Israel's targeted killing of a top Hamas chief. Israel's harshest assault on the Palestinian territory in four years, which comes as the Jewish state heads towards general elections, prompted an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council amid growing int ... read more

Lockheed Martin Continues To Supporting US Air Defense, Missile Warning and Space Defense Missions

US, Israel wrap up major joint missile drill

Rafael upgrades Iron Dome amid new barrage

Turkey discusses Patriot deployment with NATO

N. Korea shipped missile parts to Syria: media

Patriot Air and Missile Defense System receives US Army stamp of approval

India to buy Russia's Konkurs-M, Invar guided missiles

Taiwan tests new anti-ship missile: report

Iran minister confirms firing at US drone in Gulf

Iranian jets fired on US drone in Gulf: Pentagon

Sagetech, Arcturus Demonstrate Joint Manned, Unmanned Aircraft Operations using COTS NextGen ADS-B Tracking

Guided mortar rounds fired from small UAV

The Skynet 5D secure telecom satellite is received in French Guiana for Arianespace's December Ariane 5 mission

Lockheed Martin Completes On Orbit Testing of Second AEHF Satellite

LynuxWorks LynxOS-SE Deployed by ITT Exelis in New Line of Software-Defined Radios

Digital Modular Radios For New US Navy Ships and Submarines

Australia rolls out Thales desktop system

Northrop Grumman Begins Full-Rate Production of LITENING SE Targeting Pods for USAF

Northrop Grumman and ITT Exelis Partner for U.S. Navy's Next Generation Jammer

Lockheed Martin Wins Contract to Enhance Combat Vehicle

Panetta orders ethics review for US top brass

US defence chief in Thailand to boost military ties

Cameron defends Gulf trip

Have America's generals lost their way?

Philippines urges ASEAN to unite on sea dispute

Rubio takes different tack on Rice

US, Thailand boost military ties to counter China

Conservative tinge in new China leadership: analysts

Pull with caution

What if the nanoworld slides

Strain tuning reveals promise in nanoscale manufacturing

Low-resistance connections facilitate multi-walled carbon nanotubes for interconnects

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement