Israel Started Ground Invasion in Gaza. Hamas warns: 'Price Will Be High'

Jan 04 2009 @ 12:06am
Por: Spencer
Publicado en: English
After eight consecutive days of bombing without getting to behead the leadership of Hamas or its operational infrastructure for the launchment of rockets, the Israeli High Command decided for what every international analysts and observers have pointed as the most feared scenario for the Israeli army: The Ground Invsasion of Gaza. After a week of military extermination, the deaths sum 457 and the wounded 2,800.

"The aim of the operation is to destroy the infrastructure of Hamas taking control of the area to launch rockets and reduce these launchments as much as possible," said government communique broadcasted by Israeli television.

According to the release issued on Saturday by the office of premier Ehud Olmert, the Israeli soldiers were ordered to occupy areas of the Gaza Strip used by Palestinian fighters to launch rockets on Israeli territory to instill panic in the cities and Jewish towns.

Before entering the Strip, Israeli tanks and batteries fired about 500 meters from the border while the fighters of Hamas responded with mortar fire.

The Israeli army spokesman declined to report the number of soldiers involved in the operation, but added that infantry, engineers, artillery and tanks are involved . These forces are in turn supported by the Air Force and Navy, as well as various security and intelligence agencies working on the field.

According to official information, at the entry of ground troops, and at one week of the start of air operations, the bombing on Saturday brought thirty Palestinian victims, which are already 457 dead and wounded exceeded 2800 since the start of the offensive, last December 27.

According to official data, among the dead are at least 75 children and 37 women, while about forty percent of the wounded are civilians.

The bloodiest attack occurred on Saturday in the largest mosque in the town of Beit Lahiya in the north of the Strip where eleven people were killed and dozens wounded by the firing of Israeli Apache helicopters.

The aircraft, according to EFE, launched three bombs against the temple, where, after the massacre spread chaos as aviation of the Jewish state continued to bombard the area, which prevented ambulances to quickly evacuate the wounded.

According to the head of emergency services in Gaza, Moawiya Hasani, twenty-four of the hospitalized are in a state of "extreme gravity".

The bombing was accompanied by artillery fired by Israeli tanks and batteries from outside the Strip, and, in addition to the mosque, its objectives were positions that Palestinian fighters often use to launch rockets on Israeli territory.

According to Israeli television, the attack with artillery fire was the run-up to the land invasion of the Strip by hundreds of tanks and thousands of Israeli soldiers that surrounde the area since early this week.

Israeli tanks opened fire in northern Gaza Strip at the beginning of his foray into Palestinian territory. The Islamist movement Hamas responded with mortars, as witnesses reported to the AFP.

A Palestinian child was killed and other 11 were wounded by a shell fired by an Israeli tank, becoming the first victims of the ground offensive, as witnesses and medical sources told to the agency.

Ground invasion into Gaza occurs after the Hamas leader in exile Khaled Meshaal warned Israel that the Islamic movement is ready to resist any ground invasion of the Israeli army on Palestinian territory. "If they decide to invade Gaza, what awaits them is a black future," he said.

The Islamist group also reported that Abu Zakaria Al Jamal, one of its most prominent leaders, died on Saturday morning as a result of wounds caused by an Israeli air raid conducted on Friday night.

Israel will pay a "high price" for its ground offensive, warned the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, the Brigades of Ezzedine Al Qasam , said in a statement.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that during the Israeli ground operation is going to "take" in Gaza areas from which rockets are launched against the southern Jewish state.

Defense ministry sources quoted by Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported previously that about 10,000 soldiers were ready to cross the border and launch the invasion.

In a message broadcasted by radio on Saturday, Hamas threatened to kidnap Israeli soldiers if Israel launches a ground offensive in Gaza.

"If they (the Israelis) are (in Gaza), Gilad Shalit (the kidnapped Israeli soldier since June 25, 2006 in the Gaza Strip by Hamas) will have new friends," said the message.

For a week, some 500 Palestinian rockets fired from Gaza into Israel left four dead, including a soldier, and a dozen injured, according to figures from the Israeli army and police.

Humanitarian crisis

The Israeli offensive has aggravated the situation of the inhabitants of this territory already overcrowded and poor before the war.

"The current situation in Gaza is appalling and many lack basic supplies," said Christine van Nieuwenhuys, representative of the World Food Program (WFP) for the Palestinian territories.

According to the BBC, several humanitarian organizations, said food stocks in this densely populated area were depleted and access to potable water was limited due to damage in the systems.

The hospitals are full and the United Nations (UN) warned that the Palestinians in Gaza face a humanitarian crisis although Israel continues to claim that the population of Gaza is getting enough food and medicine.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) reported today that the situation in Gaza Strip which is already hit by an unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the last 40 years, is absolutely unsustainable and prevailing law of the jungle after the Israeli bombardments, still ongoing, over the area, said its director, Raji Sourani, told Europa Press.

Sourani described just hours before the raid by Israeli army ground a "Kafkaesque" situation, for surrealist, in Gaza City. "It's death from the sky," said Sourani. "Israel has decided to bomb an area with the highest density in the planet and already suffering before the attacks, a disastrous humanitarian situation," said the director of the center.

The director of the PCHR upheld the current number of Palestinians killed in the bombing, until this afternoon estimated at a total of 457 and wounded exceeds 2,800. "'Wounded', to call them someway", described Sourani, "since most of them come to hospitals in serious condition." In this regard, Sourani to reported to Europa Press that, currently, about 90 bodies are still unidentified, "completely torn."

The worker took the opportunity to harshly criticize the attitude of the European Union and the United States, whom he believed they have ignored all the international laws that "in theory and in practice, should protect the rights of the civilian population that is incapable to defend itself. "

Protest Against Israel are Spreading Worldwide

Meanwhile, according to Europe Press, the protests against the Israeli slaughter in Gaza spread in many parts of the world.

For example, in Israel itself, Israeli Arabs, Palestinian with passport of the Jewish state, concentrated together with Jewish pacifists and activists in the city of Sajnin.

Tens of thousands of people accused the Israeli government, with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the head accountable for "war crimes" perpetrated in the Gaza Strip.

The chairman of the Israeli-Arab party Balad, Jamal Zahalka, who led the rally, described the protest as "the largest public demonstration seen in the last decade", in comments picked up by the Israeli daily Haaretz.

The demonstrations were repeated in London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Athens and Madrid, where more than 2,000 people, according to organizers, gathered at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation in Madrid to protest against the bombing in Gaza asked the Spanish government to boycott Israel and asked for a rupture of diplomatic relations by consindering this country to be founded on racist and religious myths.

During the protest, held at noon at the Plaza Santa Cruz, participants carried banners with phrases such as "genocidal Israel", "Murderers. Terrorist. Stop the slaughter", which was illustrated with photographs of the attacks, or "Stop the genocide in Palestine."

The slogans were repeated in London, where personalities like the singer Annie Lennox and former City mayor Ken Livingstone marched alongside thousands of demonstrators from the River Thames and Trafalgar Square between slogans like "Free Palestine, free" or " Israel, terrorist."

Many of the demonstrators were stopped at the 10 Downing Street residence of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, to throw shoes at a similar gesture to the Iraqi journalist who launched their shoes to U.S. President George W. Bush, during a press conference in Baghdad to protest the occupation of the Arab country.

In addition, on Friday, thousands of people took to the streets of major Muslim countries in response to the Day of Rage convened by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) against the Israeli military campaign on the Gaza Strip.

There were demonstrations in India, Afghanistan, Jordan, Indonesia, Turkey, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, Iran, as well as a small demonstration held in London by British Muslims and, of course, the five major cities of the West Bank, from Hebron to Nablus, to the capital, Ramallah.

Rabbi Against Israel Zionism