Mar. 21  2018
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Invasion of Gaza a 'Matter of Time', Israel Tells US

Despite the "shock" of the EU, the "deeply troubled" US administration and widespread international condemnation, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF, instead of IDF/Israel 쏡efense Forces) are persisting with their deadly military incursions into densely-populated Palestinian civilian areas and Israel has told the United States that an invasion of Gaza "is a matter of statistics and time."

Source  :  BASE21

by Christian/Base21 Media Activist

Despite the "shock" of the EU, the "deeply troubled" US administration and widespread international condemnation, Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF, instead of IDF/Israel “Defense” Forces) are persisting with their deadly military incursions into densely-populated Palestinian civilian areas and Israel has told the United States that an invasion of Gaza "is a matter of statistics and time."
Israel has told the US an Israeli military invasion of Gaza "is a matter of statistics and time," because as supposed attacks mount in the Strip - mostly against illegal Jewish settlements - "Israel will be forced to act." The message was delivered by a senior Israeli "defense" establishment official during recent talks with his American counterpart, Hebrew newspaper Ha'aretz reported on Tuesday.
New York Times correspondent James Bennet Tuesday wrote that Israel called this "a new strategy to place the Islamist group Hamas on the defensive."

On Oct. 7, 2002 fourteen Palestinians were killed in an IOF raid on Khan Younis, a town in central Gaza Strip, mostly populated by Palestinian refugees from the 1948 war. Eleven died when a missile slammed into a large civilian crowd in front of a hospital. Palestinian officials said all the dead were civilians, while IOF claimed six were armed men.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called the 'operation' Tuesday with the highest death toll in weeks a "success" and said he would press on with similar military operations in the Gaza Strip, a day after the bloody raid, drawing strongly-worded international rebukes.
"The complicated operation we carried out (Monday) was a success. It was an important one and there will be other anti-terrorist operations of this sort in the Gaza Strip," Sharon told Israel's army radio.

He justified as "vital" the new Israeli massacre, which left 14 Palestinians dead and dozens more injured, some of them seriously, and expressed his "regrets over the loss of civilian life," Israeli public radio reported. US State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said Washington was "deeply troubled" by civilian deaths, but reaffirmed Israel's right to defend itself in ways that do not harm civilians.

"We're deeply troubled by the reports of Israeli actions in Gaza over the weekend that resulted in the deaths and wounding of many Palestinian civilians," Boucher said.

IOF however confirmed they could not avoid civilian casualties. Brig. Gen. Yisrael Ziv, IOF commander in Gaza, said, "we knew that operating in a Hamas stronghold would involve combat and casualties and we thought the crowding in the neighborhood would make it likely that innocent people would be hurt. For that we are sorry."

IOF sources, quoted by Ha'aretz, said their "operation" was aimed at arresting two men from Hamas alegedly "wanted" by Israeli security agencies. Givati soldiers, backed by tanks and bulldozers, failed to capture the two targeted men but killed the mother of one of them.
Nonetheless, Brig. Gen. Ziv insisted that the " operation was definitely successful from our point of view."

The US government called on Israel Monday to investigate the 'circumstances' of the 14 Palestinians deaths.

"We call on the Israeli military to investigate the circumstances surrounding these deaths and we expect immediate steps to be taken to prevent the recurrence of tragic incidents such as these," Boucher said. No Legal or Moral Justification: AnnanUN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on Monday conveyed his deep condolences to the families of the victims and said he was "particularly concerned by reports that a missile from an Israeli helicopter gunship was fired into a crowd of civilians in reckless disregard of the obligation under international humanitarian law protecting civilians."

"Such actions have no legal or moral justification," Annan said in a statement. He urged the two sides to halt all "provocative acts" as called by the UN Security Council No. 1435. "Actions like those carried out this morning do not promote Israeli security," he said. "Rather, they could lead to a further escalation while increasing the sense of vulnerability and insecurity among both Palestinians and Israelis."

The Associated Press on Tuesday listed a number of similar Israeli attacks on Palestinians that caused extensive civilian casualties, condemned by the PNA as "massacres".

On May 18, 2001: An Israeli F-16 warplane attacked a Nablus jail, killing 11 people, mostly policemen, and wounding 30 people. The target of the strike was the prison's only inmate, Hamas leader Mahmoud Abu Hanoud. He survived with light injuries.

On March 4, 2002: Israeli tank shells targeted and bombed a pickup truck in Ramallah, killing the wife and three children of Hamas leader Hussein Abu Kweik. He was not in the vehicle.

On July 23, 2002: An F-16 warplane dropped a one-ton bomb on an apartment house in Gaza City, killing Saleh Shehadeh, head of the Hamas military wing, and his bodyguard. Thirteen civilians, including nine children, were also killed.

On September 26, 2002: Two Hamas activists were killed in a helicopter missile attack in Gaza aimed at Hamas leader Mohammed Deif. At least 15 children were among 35 people wounded, and Deif himself also survived with wounds.

The latest Israeli massacre on Monday that caused extensive Palestinian civilian casualties has "shocked" the EU foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, who was in a meeting with President Yasser Arafat in his besieged Ramallah headquarters.

"I am shocked to listen to what happened overnight, I have to condemn in the same terms all acts of violence," he said.

Palestinian sources said the Apache rocket attack was fired on a crowd of innocent people. Palestinians confirmed that the occupation army surrounded the home of Aref Salameh after midnight, calling for him to come out. At one point the troops opened fire without warning, wounding Salame's mother and then invaded the house, handcuffing Salame's father and brothers and searching for about half an hour.

IOF prevented a Red Crescent ambulance from reaching the area to take care of the wounded woman, who later died.

Sources said not far from the Salameh house, Abdel Fatah Sault, 40, was killed by gunfire from the shooting. They said Sault and his family were trying to get away from the gunfire, to the basement of their home, when he was killed by heavy machine-gun fire that poured into the house. In Copenhagen, the Presidency of the European Union strongly regretted and condemned Israeli Tuesday's massacre.

"There can be no justification for military actions directed indiscriminately against civilian neighborhoods, whether Palestinian or Israeli," said a statement by the EU presidency on Monday. The Presidency urged "both sides to do their utmost to bring an end to violence," adding, "the attacks come at a time where there was hope for a resumption of political talks on implementing the recommendations of the recent Quartet meeting in New York."
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