Archive for the ‘Ashdod’ Category

Rocket Attacks Into Israel Have Already Killed Land For Peace Policy

December 31, 2008

As Arab rockets reach ever deeper into Israel, they may be weakening what for years has been a cornerstone of Mideast peace efforts — an exchange of land for peace.

Israeli hard-liners have long warned that any territories Israel vacates will be used to attack it. They can now point to the Hamas missile that slammed into a bus stop in this port city Monday, killing a 39-year-old woman. It was fired from the Gaza Strip, which Israel gave up in 2005 and is now ruled by Hamas militants who reject the very existence of the Jewish state.

Even in the midst of the war, many Israelis still argue that a peace deal with the Palestinians, which would require a withdrawal from virtually all the West Bank, is Israel’s only real security guarantee.

By ARON HELLER and MATTI FRIEDMAN, Associated Press Writers
Hamas rocket hits Israeli house

Above: Aftermath of Hamas rocket hitting an Israeli house

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, in defending the Gaza offensive in a speech to parliament Monday, said Israel remains committed to the idea of a Palestinian state alongside it.

Yet the missile that hit Ashdod, a city of 200,000 people, drove home a grim new reality for Alin Ben-Yosef, 32, who fled to Tel Aviv for the night with her two young daughters after Ashdod was struck.

“Tel Aviv is the safest place we have,” said Ben-Yosef, who works at a clothing store. “But it is starting to feel as if there are no safe places anymore.”

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Israel says Gaza assault ‘war to the bitter end’

December 29, 2008

Israel obliterated symbols of Hamas power on the third day of what the defense minister described Monday as a “war to the bitter end,” striking next to the Hamas premier’s home, and devastating a security compound and a university building.

The three-day death toll rose to at least 315 by Monday morning, with some 1,400 wounded. The U.N. said at least 51 of the dead were civilians, and medics said eight children under the age of 17 were killed in two separate strikes overnight. Israel launched its campaign, the deadliest against Palestinians in decades, on Saturday in retaliation for rocket fire aimed at civilians in southern Israeli towns.

By IBRAHIM BARZAK and MATTI FRIEDMAN, Associated Press Writers

Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press

Since then, the number of Israeli troops on the Gaza border has doubled and the Cabinet approved the call-up of 6,500 reserve soldiers.

The strikes have driven Hamas leaders into hiding and appear to have gravely damaged the organization’s ability to launch rockets, but barrages continued. Sirens warning of incoming rockets sent Israelis scrambling for cover throughout the day.

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