Author Topic: Scores die in Israeli air strikes  (Read 593 times)

Elano

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #15 on: December 29, 2008, 09:52:17 AM »
As they prepared for lightning airstrikes on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, Israel's leaders drew sobering lessons from their stalemate against another Islamic paramilitary force, Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas.

In that setback in the summer of 2006, Israel rushed to battle without a detailed plan or realistic goals, and was handed its first failure to vanquish an Arab foe in war. Hezbollah not only withstood the 34-day offensive, but it also emerged stronger politically.

Faced with frequent Hamas rocket fire across its southern border, Israel planned its Gaza operation more meticulously, over nearly two years. As a result, Israeli officials said Sunday, their intelligence services developed a longer list of targets to bomb, enabling the air force to inflict more damage on the militant Palestinian group before Israel contemplates a risky ground assault.

And instead of boasting that they would "destroy" the enemy, as they did in the case of Lebanon, Israeli leaders set the more modest aim of "improving the security" of terrorized Israeli communities.

That less ambitious approach could make it easier for Israel to withdraw from the conflict on its terms, avoiding the kind of demoralizing stalemate that developed in Lebanon.


So far, Israel considers its Gaza offensive a success. Since it began Saturday, waves of airstrikes have destroyed dozens of Hamas paramilitary facilities, weapons-smuggling tunnels from Egypt and underground rocket-launching sites. Rocket fire from Gaza has diminished well below what was once considered Hamas' capacity.

Although many risks and uncertainties lie ahead, in particular the specter of getting bogged down in a ground war, the offensive has brought Israel to a psychological turning point, restoring a measure of the country's confidence in its capacity to confront armed adversaries.

"Hamas is dazed and confused and has no explanation to offer its people," Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli Defense Ministry official, told Israel Radio on Sunday. "But we must refrain from bragging and marking dramatic objectives."

Rather than remove Hamas from power, he and other Israeli officials say, the goal is to weaken the movement and demonstrate the price it would pay for continuing to launch rockets. Sooner or later, Israel hopes to restore and strengthen an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that worked for nearly five months before it started to break down in November.

"The army doesn't even have the pretense of neutralizing Hamas' ability to launch rockets. We have tried that before and failed," said Alon Ben-David, military correspondent for Israel's Channel 10 television.

"This operation," he explained, "is directed at Hamas' motivation to fire rockets at Israel rather than its actual ability to do so."

For reasons that became evident during the Lebanon conflict, it is far from certain whether even that limited goal can be achieved.

Hamas leaders have gone into hiding but given no hint of backing down. On the contrary, they have threatened to wage suicide attacks in Israel for the first time since 2005, apparently by infiltrating from the West Bank or from Gaza by way of Egypt.

"The ostensible aims of the operation amount to requiring Hamas not to behave like Hamas: not to fire into Israel or target Israeli civilians or soldiers, not to prepare for such attacks, not to store or smuggle in the material for such attacks," David Horovitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post, wrote in a Sunday editorial. "And that is not going to be achieved quickly."

Israeli officials have indicated that the offensive could last weeks or months. But as details of civilian casualties emerge from Gaza, Israel is coming under international pressure to halt the operation, just as it did in Lebanon. Health Ministry officials in Gaza estimate that as many as a third of the dead are noncombatants.

And it remains to be seen whether Israeli leaders have prepared adequately for the complications that may lie ahead if their army launches a ground campaign against Hamas' 15,000-man paramilitary force, which has drawn its own lessons from Hezbollah's success in the Lebanon war.

Anticipating a Lebanon-style ground war, Hamas used the recent cease-fire to fortify its military posts in Gaza, dig underground bunkers, acquire a large number of antitank missiles and install them in foxholes. How much of that defensive weaponry remains intact is unclear.

Israeli analysts believe an Israeli ground offensive is only a matter of time. The Lebanon war demonstrated that Israel's air force alone could not stop Hezbollah from lobbing rockets across the border.

But analysts also agree that a ground operation in the densely populated enclave would be messy, carrying the risk of an even higher civilian death toll and heavy casualties to Israeli soldiers. Hamas, which is still holding an Israeli soldier it captured in June 2006, is believed to have plans to try seizing others entering Gaza.

Despite support across Israel's political spectrum for a strong response to Hamas, many Israelis are wary of a prolonged offensive.

"How many soldiers are expected to be killed in the first wave?" columnist Zvi Barel asked in Sunday's Haaretz newspaper. "How many months is the [army] expected to spend in Gaza, sweeping its houses and tunnels? How many Palestinian civilians will be killed?"

Reuven Pedatzur, head of the security studies program at Israel's Netanya College, said the longer Israel fights in Gaza, the more difficult it will become to justify withdrawing.

"Yes, the operation started successfully, but we need to ask ourselves how we get out and arrive at negotiations," he said.

Such decisions now rest in the hands of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Olmert had been elected just four months before the Lebanon war and later endured censure by a government-appointed panel for the way he and his top aides had conducted it. Amir Peretz, the wartime defense minister, later stepped down.

Disgraced by corruption charges and forced in September to resign, Olmert remains a caretaker leader with a major military conflict on his agenda before elections in February to choose his successor.

Israeli commentators who watched him announce the offensive Saturday said he looked more subdued than the overconfident leader who addressed the nation at the start of the Lebanon war.

"Olmert was a serious, reserved man, who has learned that some situations call for modesty," columnist Sima Kadmon wrote on Ynet, a news website. "His words lacked the grandiose promises made on the eve of the Lebanon war."
 

CantCme213

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #16 on: December 29, 2008, 04:59:39 PM »
How many stinky niggers die every year in Africa ?

Not enough, that's for sure. I like when Negroes die, too.

News Flash Michael jackson. Your still black !
 

Crooked I

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2008, 08:48:17 PM »
How many stinky niggers die every year in Africa ?

Not enough, that's for sure. I like when Negroes die, too.

09/11/2001
 

Jared Taylor

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2008, 08:57:01 PM »
News Flash Michael jackson. Your still black !

Newsflash Muhammad: I am not and never was black.
 

da_notorious_mack

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2008, 01:24:09 AM »
Syria decided to suspend indirect peace talks with Israel, begun earlier this year.

Syria? The country that bombed Hama back in 1982 and killed 10,000?

The hypocrisy of the Arabs is just ridiculous.


LMAO...says the nation that commited hiroshima ::)
 

Jared Taylor

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2008, 05:38:33 AM »
LMAO...says the nation that commited hiroshima ::)

Right, but we're not the ones criticizing the Israelis for bombing Pals.
 

da_notorious_mack

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2008, 06:29:56 AM »
LMAO...says the nation that commited hiroshima ::)

Right, but we're not the ones criticizing the Israelis for bombing Pals.

why would you??...there not "terrorists" so they can legitimately murder civilians ::)
 

Matty

Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #22 on: December 30, 2008, 06:38:32 AM »
when israel disproportionally bombs their neighbours its fine because they are protecting themselves but when russia do it it is an act of agression. is just me or america the biggest joke of 2008?

it's ok because obama is gonna fix it all! yeah right...i hope all the celebrities and rappers and idiots that voted and pushed for obama are exposed for the phonies and naive idiots that they are when obama does nothing to restore traditional american values or bring troop homes (not just move them around)...:pirate:

Jared Taylor

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #23 on: December 30, 2008, 06:47:39 AM »

why would you??...there not "terrorists" so they can legitimately murder civilians ::)

They aren't "murdering" civilians. That's what the Palestinians do.
 

da_notorious_mack

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #24 on: December 30, 2008, 06:52:25 AM »

why would you??...there not "terrorists" so they can legitimately murder civilians ::)

They aren't "murdering" civilians. That's what the Palestinians do.


what are they doing then??...sending them to god??...exterminating them??
 

Jared Taylor

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2008, 07:33:24 AM »

what are they doing then??...sending them to god??...exterminating them??

It's called collateral damage. And I don't see why anyone should care. It's not like the Palestinians (or Arabs in general) contribute anything to human progress.
 

Elano

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2008, 07:37:58 AM »
Hezbollah watches for now as Israel hits Hamas

BEIRUT, Lebanon – Lebanon's powerful Hezbollah guerrilla movement — widely seen as the Arab world's most effective force against Israel — is a staunch Hamas supporter but has so far held its fire as its Palestinian ally faces down Israel's assault in Gaza.

Hezbollah possesses a formidable arsenal of rockets and missiles that bloodied Israel during a monthlong war between them in 2006, but is constrained by its own domestic political goals and fears of Israeli retaliation.

Once considered as just a fighting force backed by Iran and Syria, Hezbollah has seen its political power in Lebanon grow since 2006. With Israel threatening massive retaliation if Hezbollah renews its rocket bombardments, that influence could come into doubt by Lebanese reluctant to be drawn into another war.

So Hezbollah is instead calling for protests in Lebanon and across the Middle East to pressure Arab governments to act against Israel.

That call hasn't drawn any action for now — Egypt on Tuesday said it would not end its blockade of Gaza as long as Hamas remains in power there, and no Arab government has offered anything stronger than words and humanitarian assistance in response to Israel's assault.

Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah drew tens of thousands, waving Palestinian, Hezbollah and Lebanese flags, for a rally Monday in his south Beirut stronghold. He professed that Israel's Gaza offensive will ultimately fail.

Nasrallah put his men on alert in southern Lebanon in case Israel attacks and claimed he was ready to fight back if provoked. He promised not to abandon Hamas. The Islamic Sunni group is also backed by Hezbollah allies Iran and Syria.

But he made no threat to open fire on northern Israel to relieve Gaza — an act that would certainly provoke another war with Israel.

Hezbollah "cannot afford to enter a full-scale war with Israel, which would be devastating for Lebanon," said Paul Salem, Beirut-based director of the Carnegie Middle East Center, an arm of the Washington-based Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

The 2006 war was sparked when Hezbollah guerrillas snatched two Israel soldiers from northern Israel. Israel unleashed a massive bombardment of southern Lebanon and other parts of the country and Hezbollah fired thousands of rockets into Israel. The violence devastated much of southern Lebanon, and more than 1,000 Lebanese and about 160 Israelis were killed.

In May, Hezbollah gained significant clout by joining a national unity government with pro-U.S. rivals in Lebanon. The country is now enjoying an unusually long stretch of relative calm and prosperity — and many Lebanese fear anything that could disturb the stability.

But Hezbollah has also rebuilt its arsenal and claims to possess more than 30,000 rockets, with far greater range, sophistication and firepower than Hamas' mostly primitive rockets.

For its part, Israel has also been enhancing its army's capabilities. Israel's top commander on the border with Lebanon, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, warned in October that Israel would reply with "disproportionate force" if Hezbollah attacks again, adding that any village used to fire missiles against the Jewish state will be destroyed.

Hezbollah also has to reckon with Lebanese army and a more robust U.N. peacekeeping force in the south near the border with Israel. Since 2006, thousands of Lebanese troops have deployed along with 13,000 U.N. peacekeepers in a border zone.

For now, Hezbollah's strategy seems to be to mobilize the Arab masses, particularly in Egypt, while counting on Hamas holding out until Israel backs down under outside pressure to end the Gaza offensive.

Hezbollah expert Amal Saad-Ghorayeb describes the conflict as an "existential" one between those opposed to U.S. and Israeli policy — namely, Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran — and the so-called pro-U.S. Arab states.

A Hamas defeat will weaken its backers and "the moderate axis will reign supreme." But if Hamas survives, it would be a major victory for them, said Saad-Ghorayeb, author of the book "Hezbollah: Politics and Religion."

Salem says the Gaza fighting will do little to resolve contentious issues such as West Bank settlements, the fate of Arab east Jerusalem and the Syrian-Israeli conflict.

"In a way this is a war that is not going to solve anything. It will kill hundreds and thousands of people and we still remain where we are," he said.

 

da_notorious_mack

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2008, 09:01:16 AM »

what are they doing then??...sending them to god??...exterminating them??

It's called collateral damage. And I don't see why anyone should care. It's not like the Palestinians (or Arabs in general) contribute anything to human progress.

same thing "collateral damage"is an american concept..or should i say political spin...and you say they contribute nothing to human progress...what have you achieved to be in a position to judge??
 

Jared Taylor

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2008, 09:33:10 AM »
same thing "collateral damage"is an american concept..or should i say political spin...

It's not the same thing. Civilians aren't killed intentionally. And usually, they die because the guerrillas that are supposedly fighting for their "freedom" position themselves in a way that it's impossible to hit them and NOT hit civilians at the same time. The insurgents LIKE it when their own people are killed by us because it gets dumb leftist morons like you to express sympathy for them, without considering that they share just as much (if not more) blame as the Americans.

and you say they contribute nothing to human progress...what have you achieved to be in a position to judge??

My race is responsible for the development of modern civilization as you know it. As for me, I am a key racial-realist thinker in America. Someday, you might see me (or someone influenced by my readings) become President. In fact, I expect Obama's victory to help my cause.
 

Elano

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Re: Scores die in Israeli air strikes
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2008, 09:42:41 AM »
Someday, you might see me (or someone influenced by my readings) become President.

lmao