Archive for the ‘armor’ Category

Saturday Night in Gaza: Israel Unleashes Artillery, Warns Gazans to Flee, Ground Assault Ready

January 3, 2009

More signs of an impending ground assault from Israel against Hamas in Gaza this Saturday night in the Middle East.

For the first time, Israeli artillery unleashed a barrage on targets within Gaza, after a week-long air assault subsided.

Israel Launched Ground Offensive
Into Gaza; Saturday Night Jan 3-4

Leaflets, phone messages and other media were used to warn Gazans to leave or risk personal danger.

The leaflets were signed by the commander of the Israeli military and were dropped over northern Gaza on Saturday morning, warning residents to “leave the area immediately” to ensure their safety.

But Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai played down speculation the artillery fire and leaflets promised a ground offensive.

“I don’t think this is the next stage. This is part of a military campaign being waged and now artillery cannons have joined in,” he told Israel Radio.

Fox News reporters said they had seen tanks reporitioning and moving closer to Gaza.

Troops and tanks looked poised to attack following the week-long air assault, according to several observers.

An Israeli soldier walks in front of tanks and armored vehicles ... 
An Israeli soldier walks in front of tanks and armored vehicles in a staging area near Israel’s border with Gaza, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009. Israel demanded international monitors as a key term of any future truce with Gaza Strip militants, as its warplanes bombed the parliament building in Gaza City on Thursday and its ships attacked coastline positions of the territory’s Islamic Hamas rulers.(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

From Reuters:

Jerusalem Post:



Israel bombs Hamas sites, split on ground invasion

January 3, 2009

Israeli warplanes and gunboats blasted more than two dozen Hamas targets Saturday, including weapons storage facilities, training centers and leaders’ homes as Israel’s offensive against Gaza’s Islamic militant rulers entered a second week.

There were tentative signs that the current phase of fighting may be nearing an end. Most of the airstrikes targeted empty buildings and abandoned sites, suggesting Israel may be running out of targets.

Israeli defense officials said some 10,000 troops, including tank, artillery and special operations units, were massed on the Gaza border and prepared to invade. They said top commanders are split over whether to send in ground forces, in part because such an operation could lead to heavy casualties but also because they believe Hamas already has been dealt a heavy blow. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were classified discussions.


At the same time, international cease-fire efforts were also gaining momentum. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is visiting the region next week to try to end the violence, and President George W. Bush and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon both spoke in favor of an internationally monitored truce.

But Hamas, in its first reaction to the proposal on Saturday, reacted coolly to the idea of international monitors.

Israel launched the offensive on Dec. 27 in response to intensifying rocket fire by Hamas militants in Gaza. The operation has killed more than 430 Palestinians, including….

Read the rest:

Gaza Prepares for Ground Assault; At UN, Regret for Civilian Losses But No Promise of Let Up

December 30, 2008
The death toll in Gaza rises to 364. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak says the offensive will be expanded ‘as we see fit.’ Palestinian militants’ rocket attacks kill three Israelis.
By Ashraf Khalil and Rushdi abu Alouf
The Los Angeles Times
December 30, 2008
Reporting from Gaza City and Jerusalem — Residents of the Gaza Strip braced Monday for a long-feared Israeli tank incursion as warplanes pounded the tiny bottled-up coastal enclave for a third day.
Israeli soldiers stand near armored military vehicles at a staging area just outside the northern Gaza Strip on Dec. 29
Israeli soldiers stand near armored military vehicles at a staging area just outside the northern Gaza Strip on Dec. 29

The West Bank-based Palestinian Authority announced it was suspending peace talks with Israel to protest the Israeli campaign in Gaza against the militant Hamas movement, which controls the territory. The Gazan death toll rose to 364, many of them civilians, with about 1,400 wounded, local medical sources said.

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Israel will push forward with its offensive in the Gaza Strip until it “completely destroys” Hamas, Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Gabriela Shalev, said Monday, saying that the operation will continue as long as necessary to reach that goal.


Shalev also played down international criticism of the offensive and ruled out a return to the terms of a recent cease-fire with Hamas that collapsed in violence over the weekend.

Shalev expressed regret for civilian deaths in Gaza, but said Hamas was responsible for the bloodshed by operating in residential areas and using civilians as “human shields.”

“We are very sorry, and really I say it as a mother, as a grandmother … to speak of children and of women being killed,” she said. But “it’s only the Hamas to blame.”

Read the rest and see the video from The Jerusalem Post:


Israel’s bomb and missile offensive in Gaza may boost voter support for Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni in her bid to defeat frontrunner Benjamin Netanyahu in the February 10 election.

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