Archive for the ‘Nizar Rayyan’ Category

As Gaza Cease Fire Nears: Israel “Beheading Hamas Snake”?

January 15, 2009

Israel has confirmed the deaths of additional Hamas leaders in Gaza as the fighting intensified on Thursday.
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Palestinian sources said Thursday that an Israel Air Force strike in Gaza City has killed three of Hamas’ most senior officials: the group’s Interior Minister, Said Siam, the head of its security apparatus, Salah Abu Shreh, and the head of its military wing, Mahmoud Watfah.

One of Hamas's senior leaders in Gaza, interior minister ... 
One of Hamas’s senior leaders in Gaza, interior minister Said Siam, pictured in 2008, was killed on Thursday in an Israeli air strike in Gaza, the Islamist television channel said.(AFP/File/Said Khatib)

Siam was the Hamas political echelon’s liaison with the group’s military wing, and was responsible for the various security apparatuses in the Strip, including the police  and the naval force.

This follows the deaths of several other top Hamas members since the start of the fighting, fueling reports that Israel wants to kill off all top Hamas leaders and eviscerate the group.

One Israeli said, “We are beheading the Hamas snake.”

Yesterday representatives of Hamas gave a preliminary agreement to a cease fire plan.  Many who watch Isreal say today’s assault may be a start to the final action to destroy Hamas before a cease fire is agreed.

Yesterday former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the death of Hamas itself.  The current Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, has taken a hard line against Hamas but government sources will not say that Israel is on a campaign to destroy Hamas totally.

After Israel was accused of attacking the UN center for relief supplies in Gaza City today, Olmert said the attack was in response to Hamas fire from that location.

“It is absolutely true that we were attacked from that place, but the consequences are very sad and we apologize for it,” he said. “I don’t think it should have happened and I’m very sorry.”

Nizar Rayyan was among the other top Hamas officials killed this year in Gaza.  He was killed in Gaza in an Israeli air attack on January 1.  He was considered to be one of the top five men in Hamas.

Rayyan died suddenly in his home in Gaza on January 1, 2009.  The cause of death was blunt force trauma all over his body plus beheading by weapons from an Israeli F-16.

The top members of Israel’s “War Cabinet” meet Thurday night when Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni gather.  They will reportedly discuss the progress of the war effort and the cease fire proposal.

John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
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Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends the weekly cabinet ... 
Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert attends the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem January 11, 2009.(David Silverman/Pool/Reuters)

Related:
Haaretz:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1055899.html

Associated Press:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090115/a
p_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

Related:
Shelling Ignites UN Relief HQ and Controversy in Gaza
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 Top Israeli Urges Obama for United Anti-Terror Front
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Unable To Stop Hamas Arms, Some Israelis Say “End Hamas”
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Israel Kills Third Hamas Leader: Assassination Inc.?

 Killed, Beheaded In Air Attack, Hamas Leader Who Boasted of Victory Over Israel, Family, Killed

CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/mea
st/01/15/gaza.aid.plea/index.html

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/me
ast/01/15/gaza.aid.plea/index.html?e
ref=rss_topstories

Israel Kills Third Hamas Leader: Assassination Inc.?

January 3, 2009

Israel early Saturday morning killed the third top Hamas leader in Gaza since the start of its military offensive in the Strip a week ago.

Abu Zakaria al-Jamal, a commander of the Hamas armed wing, died of wounds sustained in an air strike overnight.

On Saturday morning, Israel Radio quoted a spokesman for the Hamas military wing as saying it had repelled an attempt by Israel Defense Forces soldiers to infiltrate the Shajaiyeh section of Gaza City.

A Palestinian man shouts at the scene of an Israeli air strike ... 
Palestinian man shouts at the scene of an Israeli air strike on the home of senior Hamas leader Nizar Rayyan in Gaza, January 1, 2009.(Suhaib Salem/Reuters)

According to Israel Radio, Hamas said that its militants detected the soldiers and fired six mortar shells. Hamas said the soldiers reportedly opened fire and then returned to Israeli territory.

Related:
Killed, Beheaded In Air Attack, Hamas Leader Who Boasted of Victory Over Israel, Family, Killed

Read the rest from Haaretz:
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1052034.html

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By Nidal al-Mughrabi, Reuters

GAZA (Reuters) – An Israeli air strike killed a senior commander of Hamas‘s armed wing on Saturday while the Islamist group’s leader warned the Israeli army, currently massing on the border, would be defeated if it invaded Gaza.

A week after Israel launched devastating air strikes against the Palestinian enclave with the declared aim of ending Hamas rocket attacks on its southern towns, an end to hostilities remains elusive despite international diplomatic efforts.

The overnight air strike in Gaza killed Abu Zakaria al-Jamal, a senior leader of Hamas’s armed wing, the Islamist group said. The Israeli army said only that it carried out a series of air attacks throughout the night.

On Thursday, an Israeli air strike killed another…

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/200
90103/wl_nm/us_palestinians_israel_81

Gaza, Day 7, January 2, “Brutal Even By Middle East Standards”

January 2, 2009
The Israeli Air Force responded swiftly Friday to morning attacks from Hamas in Gaza on  Ashkelon, striking the terror cell responsible for firing four Grads.
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Day seven offered no respite for either side.
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The ongoing battle was called “Brutal even by Middle East standards.”Hamas top man Nizar Rayan, believed to be one of five men at the very top of Hamas, died suddenly in his home in Gaza on January 1, 2009.  The cause of death was blunt force trauma all over his body plus beheading by weapons from an Israeli F-16.

All four of his wives and several of his children also died in the sudden air raid.

“It was like an earthquake,” a neighbour said of the massive blast.

“This is a very bloody operation, by anybody’s standards, even by the standards” here said John Holmes, the UN’s undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and its emergency relief coordinator.
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A mosque was destroyed in an Israeli missile strike in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip.

“The mosque was used as a storage site for a large amount of Grad missiles, Qassam rockets and additional weaponry,” an Israel Defense Forces spokesman said. “The strike set off a lengthy series of secondary explosions and a large fire, caused by the ammunitions stockpiled in the mosque.”

Palestinians gather around a mosque destroyed in an Israeli ... 
Palestinians gather around a mosque destroyed in an Israeli missile strike in Jebaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Friday, Jan. 2, 2009. The mosque destroyed Friday was known as a Hamas stronghold and was identified with Nizar Rayan, the Hamas militant leader killed Thursday along with his four wives, ten of his children, 20 people in all. Hamas has boasted that more than 100 of the mosque’s worshippers have been killed in the past on missions against Israelis.(AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

Following Thursday’s death of top terror sheikh Nizar Rayyan, killed in an IAF strike, Ismail Radwan, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, called on Hamas’s armed wing to harm “Zionist interests” everywhere, Israel Radio reported.

 Israel destroyed the homes of more than a dozen Hamas operatives and bombed one of its mosques on Friday, according to the Associated Press.  In what appeared to be a new Israeli tactic, the military called at least some of the houses ahead of time to warn inhabitants of an impending attack. In some cases, it also fired a sound bomb to warn away civilians before flattening the homes with powerful missiles, Palestinians and Israeli defense officials said.

For days, Gazans have been asking the Israeli newspaper Haaretz why Israel is hitting Hamas foot soldiers, empty buildings and innocent civilians rather than the leadership. They see this as proof of Israel’s inability to really deal with Hamas. 

Nizar Rayan death shows that Israel is no longer holding anything back.

And Gazans are responding in kind.

“We call on our people and the resistance groups — along with al-Qassam Brigades — to revenge for the blood of the Imam, leader and martyr Nizar Rayan, as well the blood of our people’s martyrs,” Hamas leader Ismail Redwan said in a eulogy broadcast on Al-Aqsa.

Related:

“Making a Lot of Martyrs”: Where’s Israel’s Ground Assault? Are Objectives Clear?

Haaretz reported today:

Almost a week into the war it now seems clear that Israel missed a golden opportunity in the first or second day to end the operation as a reprisal action only. The government says it is giving the IDF a chance to achieve the maximum, but in reality the air strikes were to have given the government time to come up with an exit strategy. That did not happen. As a result, Hamas is rallying somewhat while Israel is sliding toward a a ground operation that holds many risks.

The battle is being conducted in the shadow of a looming, election-eve political crisis, with tensions especially high between Livni and Labor Party chairman and Defense Minister Ehud Barak. The latter gained points early in the operation but in the past two days his mood seems to have soured, following media criticism after it was leaked that he was willing to consider a cease-fire before a ground offensive.

More than 20 air strikes were carried out on Hamas in the Gaza by the IAF Friday, following some 50 rocket attacks by Hamas.

Related:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200901
02/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spa
ges/1052051.html

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Sat
ellite?cid=1230733139253&page
name=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Killed, Beheaded In Air Attack, Hamas Leader Who Boasted of Victory Over Israel, Family, Killed

January 1, 2009

Ever wonder where all the big shot and loudly boasing leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah the Taliban and al-Qaeda are going?  Well, many are dead or too scared to talk.

Hamas top man, believed to be one of five men at the very top of Hamas, died suddenly in his home in Gaza on January 1, 2009.  The cause of death was blunt force trauma all over his body plus beheading by weapons from an Israeli F-16.

Two of his wives and several of his children also died in the sudden epidemic.

Similar death have occurred in the tribal areas of Pakistan at the hands of U.S. Preditor drones.  And terror leaders have been dropping like flies due to sudden blunt force trauma in other areas too…

Related:
Gaza, Day 7, January 2, “Brutal Even By Middle East Standards”

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From AFP

The day before a powerful blast sent his headless body flying out of his Gaza home on Thursday, senior Hamas leader Nizar Rayan predicted that the Islamist movement would defeat Israel.

“God willing, Hamas will win,” Rayan said in a vitriol-laden speech that the movement’s television broadcast just after he, his four wives and 10 of his children were killed in the Israeli blitz of the Gaza Strip on Thursday.

Rayan, 51, was among the top ranked leaders in Hamas and was its most senior figure to have been killed since Israel unleashed a massive bombardment on Saturday in response to persistent rocket fire from the enclave.

Israeli F-16 jets fired two missiles at Rayan’s five-storey house in the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza. The powerful explosion hurled his decapitated body out into the street, according to witnesses.

“It was like an earthquake,” a neighbour said of the massive blast.

A dozen neighbouring houses were destroyed or damaged in the blast which also killed 17 neighbours and brought to 420 the death toll since “Operation Cast Lead” started.

The Israeli air force said the secondary blasts demonstrated the house was used for weapons storage, and claimed it was also a communication centre. “In addition, a tunnel was located under the house and was used for the escape of terror operatives,” it said.

In the minutes following the strike, dozens of people rushed to the scene, pulling bodies from the rubble including those of the two girls, aged seven and 10.

A neighbour, Mohammed Al-Madhun, 75 watched flames emerging from his building but refused to leave.

“I want to die like Sheikh Nizar,” he said, using the bearded Hamas commander’s honorary title.

Rayan was a hardliner within the Islamist movement.

From AFP

A few months after Hamas seized control of Gaza in June 2007, Rayan vowed at a Gaza City rally that the Islamists would also seize control in the Israeli-occupied West Bank which is administered by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

A skilled orator, he was known for his vitriolic attacks against both Israel and the Western-backed Abbas he claimed colluded with the “Zionist enemy.”

In his latest speech delivered on the eve of his death and broadcast by Al-Aqsa TV on Thursday, Rayan insisted Hamas would never cave in.

With tanks massed just outside Gaza and Israel threatening a ground offensive, he defiantly declared: “We will know how to kill and capture soldiers and how to rout them.”

Isreal Claims Progress, Says Gaza Attacks “Achieved Changes” But Escalates Campaign

January 1, 2009

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Thursday the Gaza attacks had “achieved changes” and Egypt’s foreign minister,  Ahmed Aboul Gheit, said  that Israel must immediately halt its offensive, but he insisted Hamas must commit to enforcing a halt to its  rockets also.
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“We expect the Palestinian side to say that if a cease-fire is announced, we’ll stop firing rockets,” Aboul Gheit said.

Also today, Israel’s air bombardment killed Nizar Rayyan, a key Hamas leader.

Nizar Rayyan, the most senior Hamas figure to be killed since 2004, had urged suicide attacks against Israel.

He was ranked among Hamas’ top five decision-makers in Gaza.

Medical staff said seven people were killed in the airstrike on Rayyan’s house Thursday, including at least two of Nizar Rayyan’s four wives and several of his children.

“We are trying to hit everybody who is a leader of the organization, and today we hit one of their leaders,” Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said in a television interview.

After hearing news of the death of Nizar Rayyan, Hamas militants said they would “fight to the last breath.”  Rocket attacks into Israel continued today.

A Palestinian firefighter shouts at the scene of an Israeli ... 
A Palestinian firefighter shouts at the scene of an Israeli air strike on the home of senior Hamas leader Nizar Rayyan in Gaza January 1, 2009. Israel killed a senior Hamas leader in an air attack on his home on Thursday, striking its first deadly blow against the top ranks of the Islamist group in a Gaza offensive that has claimed more than 400 Palestinian lives.REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (GAZA)

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Thursday in Paris, France, that Israel was making progress in the Gaza attacks and had “achieved changes.”
“What we are doing now is changing the equation, making it a better reality to our citizens, stopping the rockets on Israel,” Livni said after meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“And I think that even now, after a few days of operation, we achieved changes,” she said without elaborating.

As the day ended and Israel moved towar January 2, 2009, no cease fire seemed on the day’s agenda and no ground attack had commenced….

The Associated Press had this to report:
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Throughout the day, huge blasts had rocked cities and towns across Gaza as Israeli warplanes went after Gaza’s parliament building, militant field operatives, police and cars. The military said aircraft also bombed smuggling tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border, part of an ongoing attempt to cut off Hamas’ last lifeline to the world outside the embattled Palestinian territory.

So far, the campaign to crush rocket fire on southern Israel has been conducted largely from the air. But military spokeswoman Maj. Avital Leibovich said preparations for a ground operation were complete.

“The infantry, the artillery and other forces are ready. They’re around the Gaza Strip, waiting for any calls to go inside,” Leibovich said.

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/mea
st/01/01/israel.gaza/index.html#cnnSTCText

http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/me
ast/01/01/israel.gaza/index.html

 Hamas Vows “Fight to Last Breath” And For Key Leader, 400 Others, They Get It

Gaza: Israel Preparing for Endgame?

Gaza Day 6, January 1, 2009

AP:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200901
01/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

Hamas Vows “Fight to Last Breath” And For Key Leader, 400 Others, They Get It

January 1, 2009

Nizar Rayyan, a key Hamas leader, has been killed by Israeli air attack in Gaza.

Nizar Rayyan - file photo dated 23/09/2005

Above: Nizar Rayyan

Nizar Rayyan, the most senior Hamas figure to be killed since 2004, had urged suicide attacks against Israel.

Medical staff said seven people were killed in the airstrike on Rayyan’s house Thursday, including at least two of Nizar Rayyan’s four wives and several of his children.

New York Daily news writers in Gaza reported that Hamas vowed to fight “until the last breath.” Ordinary Palestinian citizens in Gaza City – where there is no power or water – braced for an invasion. Bread lines and funeral marches were the only signs of life in the normally crowded streets on the first day of the new year, 2009.

According to CNN, Palestinian medical sources said 400 people have been killed in Gaza since the Israeli raids began Saturday, with 42 children, 13 women and two medical workers among the dead. In addition, 2,000 have been wounded, 216 critically, they said.

Related:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east
/7807124.stm

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090101/a
p_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_wor
ld/2008/12/31/2008-12-31_hamas_vows_
to_fight_to_last_breath.html

From CNN:
http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/
meast/01/01/israel.gaza/index.html