Archive for the ‘defensive’ Category

Hama: Gaza is Israeli “Cemetery”; France Condemns Ground Offensive, Europe Mixed

January 3, 2009

Hamas vowed on Saturday to turn the Gaza Strip into a “cemetery” for the Israeli army, which launched a ground offensive in the enclave following a week of air and naval bombardment.



France condemned Saturday Israel’s decision to send ground forces into the Gaza Strip, branding it a dangerous military escalation that would undermine attempts to broker a ceasefire. — AFP


By James Mackenzie

PARIS, Jan 3 (Reuters) – France condemned an Israeli land assault in the Gaza Strip on Saturday just hours after the Czech presidency of the European Union said the action was “defensive, not offensive”.

The conflicting statements suggested disunity among European partners ahead of separate visits to the region by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and an EU delegation led by Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg.

France, which handed the EU presidency to the Czechs on Jan. 1, has led calls for a ceasefire and hosted a meeting of EU foreign minsters to reinforce the message on Tuesday.

Israeli troops clashed with Hamas forces on Saturday as columns of tanks backed by helicopters advanced into Gaza under darkness, a Palestinian witness said.

In Prague, Czech EU presidency spokesman Jiri Potuznik said Israel, which launched air bombardments against Gaza a week ago in retaliation against rocket attacks from the Hamas-controlled area, appeared to be acting defensively.

“At the moment, from the perspective of the last days, we understand this step as a defensive, not offensive, action,” he said.

Saeb Erekat, aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called for the world to condemn the Czech position.

“This is a vicious aggression against our people. The international community cannot stand silent … This position (by the European Union’s Czech presidency) deserves condemnation,” told Al Arabiya television.

The French Foreign Ministry said: “France condemns the Israeli ground offensive against Gaza as it condemns the continuation of rocket firing.”

It said the “dangerous military escalation” complicated efforts to end the fighting and bring aid to the area.

Further underlining the impression of European division, a British government source said of the Czech statement: “It is not the position of the British government.”

In London, British Foreign Minister David Miliband urged both Israel and Hamas to agree to stop hostilities.

“Unfolding events show the urgent need for the immediate ceasefire that we have called for. The escalation of the conflict will cause alarm and dismay,” he said in a statement.

Israeli troops and tanks had been massed on the border for days in readiness for an invasion as Israeli firepower pounded Gaza from land, sea and air and diplomatic efforts to arrange a ceasefire stalled.


India’s Air Force, Military On “High Alert” – Report

December 10, 2008

Indian Air Force (IAF) has been put on the highest level of readiness since Operation Parakram in 2001.

An IAF plane takes off from somewhere in the Western Sector.

READY FOR ACTION: An IAF plane takes off from somewhere in the Western Sector.

The level of readiness has been raised to ‘Passive Air Defence’ (PAD). The high alert is in response to heightened perceptions of air attack on Indian positions.

All IAF aircraft have been armed with bombs and missiles and are ready to take off within minutes. Even the warships of the Western Naval Fleet are aggressively patrolling the Arabian Sea.

Above: INS Tabar.  India has a modern, capable Navy.
The alert has been sounded in view of intelligence reports of air strikes at Indian installations from across the border or an aerial attack by terrorists groups based in Pakistan.

However, the alert is still defensive in nature and intended to protect Indian targets.

From IBN Live, India

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