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Discussion & Updates on Palestinian statehood bid

Discussion in 'International Politics' started by Hembo, Sep 19, 2011.

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  1. lucifer

    lucifer Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    no, I cant say what they believe in, but I have read about Islamic clerics (radical) calling on annihilation of christians and jews

    A verse from koran:
    Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (9:29)

    Anyways such thinkings are present in many religious books, Old Testament would've easily rivaled the Koran if not prevailed in terms of what we today can call as barbaric acts. Even in Bhagvad Gita, cousins are fighting for power to rule over their kingdom
     
  2. TereBinLaden

    TereBinLaden Captain STAR MEMBER

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    I love my cause of Atheist belief and nothing is barring me, that is some thing I love about my nation:smitten:
     
  3. lucifer

    lucifer Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    ^^well religion is a very personal choice, and if atheist belief answers to you, then thats the way you should go! :cheers:
     
  4. TereBinLaden

    TereBinLaden Captain STAR MEMBER

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    Well I must confess my atheist belief do not bars me from respecting any belief of religion, I respect all religious practices. My parents practices Hinduism.
     
  5. lucifer

    lucifer Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    (Reuters) - Arabs made a "mistake" by rejecting a 1947 U.N. proposal that would have created a Palestinian state alongside the nascent Israel, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview aired on Friday.

    Palestinian leaders have always insisted that General Assembly Resolution 181, which paved the way for Jewish statehood in parts of then British-ruled Palestine, must be resisted by Arabs who went to war over it.

    Decades of regional fighting have hinged on challenges to Israel's existence and expansion. By describing historical fault on the Arab side, Abbas appeared to be offering Israel an olive branch while promoting his own bid to sidestep stalled peace talks by winning U.N. recognition for a sovereign Palestine.

    "At that time, 1947, there was Resolution 181, the partition plan, Palestine and Israel. Israel existed. Palestine diminished. Why?" he told Israel's top-rated Channel Two television, speaking in English.

    When the interviewer suggested the reason was Jewish leaders' acceptance of the plan and its rejection by the Arabs, Abbas said: "I know, I know. It was our mistake. It was our mistake. It was an Arab mistake as a whole. But do they punish us for this mistake (for) 64 years?"

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel has blamed the Palestinians for the diplomatic deadlock, citing what he described as a refusal by Abbas to recognise the roots of the conflict and encourage his people to accept the Jewish state.

    Netanyahu's office declined immediate comment on Abbas's remarks, which Channel Two broadcast over the Jewish Sabbath.

    Abbas, whose U.N. manoeuvring is opposed by Israel and the United States, says the problem is the Netanyahu government's continued settlement of the West Bank, where, along with the Gaza Strip, Palestinians now seek a state. Israel occupied those territories in the 1967 war and withdrew from Gaza in 2005.

    U.N. solemnisation of their independence would help Palestinians pursue negotiations with Israel, which in turn could produce an "extra agreement that we put an end to the conflict," Abbas told Channel Two.

    His language raised the hackles of his Islamist Hamas rivals, who control Gaza and with whom Abbas is trying to consolidate an Egyptian-brokered power-sharing accord.

    Hamas opposes permanent coexistence with the Jewish state and has drawn core support from Palestinians dispossessed in the 1947-1948 war, when Israel overran Arab forces to take territory beyond that allotted it by Resolution 181.

    "No one is authorised to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people and no one is authorised to wipe out any of the historical rights of our people," said Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza.

    "There is no need for Abu Mazen (Abbas) to beg the Occupation," Barhoum said, using a Hamas term for Israel.

    Alluding to political turmoil which, in U.S.-aligned countries such as Egypt and Jordan, has emboldened popular hostility to Israel, Barhoum said Abbas "should arm himself with the emerging Arab support."

    Asked on Channel Two how he could bring Hamas to agree to peacemaking, Abbas, himself a refugee from a town now in northern Israel, said: "Leave it to us, and we will solve it."
     
  6. lucifer

    lucifer Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Palestinian officials expressed pessimism on Wednesday that scheduled meetings with representatives of the Middle East Quartet of international mediators would see Israeli-Palestinian direct peace talks get underway.

    The Quartet - the United States, European Union, Russia and the United Nations - is slated to hold separate meetings on Wednesday with Palestinian and Israeli officials at the UN headquarters in Jerusalem, to discuss the renewal of the deadlocked negotiations.

    [​IMG]

    But Nabil Shaath, a member of the Palestinian negotiating team, said he did not foresee anything coming out of the talks.

    "The Quartet, and particularly the U.S., does not seem to have a clear vision on how to restart negotiations," he told Voice of Palestine Radio.

    Palestinians have said they will not return to the talks until Israel stops all settlement activities in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, and recognizes the lines which existed before the Six Day War in 1967 as the borders of the future Palestinian state.

    "Our demands are very clear and they will not change for any reason," said Shaath, who is also a leading member in President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement.

    Unless Israel complies with these conditions, he said, "we will not return to negotiations. There is just no use from them."

    Shaath said the Palestinian negotiating team would relay this message to the Quartet representatives, stressing that "the Quartet does not seem to understand that we will not return again to negotiations while the land is being stolen from under our feet."

    Israel has said it is prepared to sit down with the Palestinians at any time but only without conditions.

    "Israel has welcomed the Quartet's call for the resumption of direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians without preconditions," Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said Wednesday. "And we hope to see the early resumption of such talks."

    The Quartet mission comes after the Palestinians asked the UN last month to recognize an independent state of Palestine. The request defied a U.S.-led effort to block the move,
    which is currently under review at the UN Security Council.

    Immediately after the statehood application was submitted, the Quartet called for a
    resumption of peace talks in a month, with the ambitious goal of reaching a peace agreement by late 2012.

    Peace talks stalled three years ago, then resumed for a brief three weeks in September 2010 before collapsing after a 10-month Israeli freeze on settlement construction expired.

    The deadlock prompted the Palestinians to seek statehood through the UN, where the move faces a threatened U.S.veto at the Security Council if the Palestinians manage to muster the required support of nine of the council's 15 members.

    Without Security Council backing, the most the Palestinians can hope for is a largely symbolic upgrade of their status at the UN to non-member observer state.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. jack

    jack FULL MEMBER

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    Palestinians get Unesco seat as 107 vote in favour

    [​IMG]

    The UN cultural organisation has voted strongly in favour of membership for the Palestinians - a move opposed by Israel and the United States.

    Of 173 countries voting, 107 were in favour, 14 opposed and 52 abstained.


    Under US law, Washington can now withdraw funding to Unesco. This would deprive the agency of some $70m (£43.7m) - more than 20% of its budget.

    The UN Security Council will vote next month on whether to grant the Palestinians full UN membership.

    Membership of Unesco - perhaps best known for its World Heritage Sites - may seem a strange step towards statehood, says the BBC's Jon Donnison, in Ramallah, but Palestinian leaders see it as part of a broader push to get international recognition and put pressure on Israel.

    This is the first UN agency the Palestinians have sought to join since submitting their bid for recognition to the Security Council in September.

    "This vote will erase a tiny part of the injustice done to the Palestinian people," Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told the Unesco meeting in Paris, after the result was announced.

    Widespread applause greeted the result of Monday's vote in the chamber, where a two-thirds majority is enough to pass the decision and no country has the right of veto.

    The BBC's David Chazan in Paris says Arab states were instrumental in getting the vote passed despite intense opposition from the US. He says that in an emotional session, China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa voted in favour of Palestinian membership, while the US, Canada and Germany voted against and the UK abstained.

    Link:BBC News - Palestinians get Unesco seat as 107 vote in favour
     
  8. lucifer

    lucifer Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Palestinians Want UN Reaction to Israeli Actions


    [​IMG]
    The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations says his government will ask the U.N. Security Council to take action against Israel’s withholding of some $100 million in tax payments to the Palestinian Authority and its decision to add 2,000 more settlement units. The Israeli move follows the Palestinians' admission into a U.N. agency on Monday.

    Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour told reporters Thursday that his government sent a letter to the Security Council - the U.N.’s most powerful body - on Wednesday saying the Israeli actions were provocative and an act of retaliation for Palestinian actions that were fully within their legal rights.

    Ambassador Mansour said the Palestinians want the Security Council to issue a formal response to the Israeli actions.

    “We want the Security Council to react to this latest escalation and provocation with a view of stopping it and containing it," said Ambassador Mansour. "Because you all know if it is not contained it might lead to further escalations and provocations, and the situation is very volatile in our region.â€￾

    It was not immediately clear what action the council might consider. In February, the United States vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning all Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territory as illegal, saying that while it agreed that settlements are illegitimate, the resolution harmed chances for peace talks.

    Member states voted this week in Paris to give the Palestinians full membership in UNESCO - the U.N.’s cultural and scientific organization.

    The application for membership at UNESCO is part of the Palestinians' larger effort to win full U.N. admission through the Security Council. That application, submitted in late September, is currently under review by the council’s admissions committee. It was to be discussed in a private meeting Thursday afternoon.

    The United States and now Canada have said they will pull their funding to UNESCO. That will deprive the organization of about 25 percent of its operating budget, something U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern about.

    Ambassador Mansour said the funding decision is unfortunate and hoped it would be reversed.

    “To punish UNESCO financially for this harmless act and legal act by the Palestinian side is beyond comprehension," he said.

    Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki has said there are no immediate plans to seek membership in any other U.N. agencies, but rather they would focus on their bid for full U.N. admission. A vote on that could come as early as November 11th, when the admissions committee will present its report to the full council reflecting the positions of the 15 members on the Palestinian application.

    The United States has said it will veto the bid, but that may not be necessary if there are not nine votes supporting the application from the other 14 members.
     
  9. lucifer

    lucifer Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Palestinian statehood bid stillborn in Security Council


    [​IMG]

    RAMALLAH: Palestinian officials have admitted their bid for statehood in the United Nations in all likelihood has failed.
    A UN Security Council committee that has been considering the Palestinian application for recognition as a member state was expected to issue a final statement last night saying that it had been unable to muster majority support for the bid.
    The committee released a draft statement earlier this week that made the same point.

    Without the approval of the Security Council, the Palestinian application for UN membership cannot be considered by the 193-nation General Assembly, where it probably would have been approved. Palestinian officials said they still hoped the Security Council would hold a vote to ''name and shame'' those who stood against them.
    ''We believed that those who do not think we deserve a state should say so publicly and not hide behind a technicality of not reaching a consensus,'' a spokesman for the Palestinians, Xavier Abu Eid, said. Such a vote seemed unlikely, however.
    The Palestinians needed at least nine nations on the Security Council to vote in favour of their membership in order to move the application to the General Assembly. The US had sworn to use its veto on the Security Council if it appeared the Palestinians had secured the necessary votes.
    US diplomats managed to secure enough abstentions from the Security Council's 15 members to deny the Palestinians nine votes, thus saving the US from having to veto.
    ''We wanted to force the US to use the veto because that would show the world what they truly are - a lackey of Israel that does their bidding. We all know that it was the US that blocked us,'' said a Palestinian official involved in the bid, speaking on the condition of anonymity.
    In September, Palestinians applied for full membership in the UN as a state that included the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
    But the membership bid was vociferously opposed by the US and Israel, the US arguing granting the bid would undercut peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Israeli officials said once statehood was granted, there would be little reason for the Palestinians to make concessions in other areas.
    The Palestinian official said the Security Council was divided into three groups, with only the US directly opposing Palestinian membership. Russia, China, Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa, Gabon and Nigeria supported the Palestinian bid and Britain, Germany, France, Portugal and Colombia said they would abstain in any vote. Bosnia did not speak.
    ''We were just one country away from getting the nine we needed. But we could not convince them. We had hoped that France or Portugal would sway, or the UK, but they were being held in line by the United States,'' the official said.
    Palestinian officials said they would continue to seek ''alternative paths'' to statehood, which could include recognition in international bodies such as the World Health Organisation.
    Last month, Palestine was accepted as a full member of the UN's cultural organisation, UNESCO, prompting the US to announce it was cutting off $US60 million in funds to the group. On Thursday, UNESCO said it had been forced to suspend all its spending programs until the end of the year because of the lack of funding.
     
  10. lucifer

    lucifer Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    The Path to Palestinian Statehood


    The time is ripe for the Palestinians to ride the crest of change sweeping the Arab world. A democratic state of Palestine is well within their grasp. To achieve it, they need only follow the successful Jewish model that led to the rebirth of Israel following World War II.

    First, the Palestinians must prioritize statehood over utopianism. The state promised to the Jewish people by Great Britain under the Balfour Declaration comprised all of Mandatory Palestine: what is today Jordan, the West Bank, and Israel. Britain severed Jordan from the land in 1922. The Jewish state of Israel recognized by the UN further severed the Jewish homeland by excluding the West Bank and its holy sites. It also excluded Jerusalem, the eternal capital of the Jewish people. Yet the Jews accepted a state with truncated borders, none of the West Bank, and none of Jerusalem because having a state was more important than the boundaries of that state. Had the Jews said "no" in 1948, there might be no Israel today. Had the Arabs said "yes" in 1948, Jerusalem would be an internationally administered city and there would be an independent Arab state on the West Bank.

    Time can't be frozen. Israel can't be expected to deny its people the opportunity to live in parts of their homeland because some day the Palestinians might get serious about peace. The reality is that certain communities on the other side of the Green Line, especially the blocs around Jerusalem, are permanent. That's why the borders of a Palestinian state will not be the 1967 lines, but will be based on mutually agreed upon land swaps and security arrangements to ensure Israel's safety.

    Of the millions of refugees displaced in the aftermath of World War II, only the Palestinians remain unsettled. The Arabs control a sparsely populated land mass hundreds of time larger than Israel and could have resettled them. The idea that the Palestinians are somehow entitled to return (or in many cases, come for the first time) to Israel and overrun the world's only Jewish state is a nonstarter. Insisting on what amounts to Israel's destruction is inconsistent with the dream of creating an independent Palestinian state.

    Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and is not a settlement. Had Jordan not attacked Israel in 1967, Jerusalem would not today be Israel's undivided capital, but Israel cannot now be expected to reverse the realization of a 2,000 year-old dream. The Palestinians will have to accept some type of shared sovereignty.

    What will the Palestinians get in return? A state.

    Second, the Palestinians must accept Israel's offer to negotiate. The Palestinians should be looking for reasons to enter into negotiations, not excuses to avoid negotiations. The settlements are irrelevant. The way to stop settlement growth is to negotiate a final status agreement. New outposts in Judea and Samaria under construction today would not exist if the Palestinians had accepted the Clinton/Barak proposals in 2000 or Ehud Olmert's proposals in 2008. These proposals didn't give the Palestinians everything they wanted, but they came close, and most important, they would have resulted in the creation of a Palestinian state.

    Settlements in the Sinai did not stop Egypt and Israel from signing a peace agreement. Israel removed the settlers by force. Settlements in Gaza did not stop Israel from unilaterally withdrawing. Israel removed the settlements by force. The PLO was formed in 1964, three years before Israel gained control over the West Bank in a defensive war against Jordan. The obstacle to peace from 1964 to 1967, when there were no settlements, is the same obstacle to peace that led to the creation of the PLO: Arab refusal to accept the permanent reality of a Jewish state of Israel coupled with Arab refusal to negotiate in good faith for an agreement that will once and for all end the conflict.

    Settlements in the West Bank will not stop Israel and the Palestinians from reaching a peace agreement. But Palestinian refusal to negotiate will. Instead of attempting to bypass negotiations by seeking UN recognition of a non-existent state, the Palestinians should prove they are serious about their aspirations by negotiating with Israel.

    The Palestinians frequently complain about the indignity of occupation. Many of the hardships imposed by Israel result from Israel's legitimate duty to defend its citizens from terrorism. The occupation, and all the indignities that come with it, would end the day a Palestinian state is agreed upon by Israel and the Palestinians. If the Palestinians want to end the occupation, they should agree to negotiate in good faith with Israel.

    But what about Israel's good faith? How do the Palestinians know that Prime Minister Netanyahu is sincere? They don't. So why not sit down, negotiate, and let the world see who is sincere and who isn't? The Palestinians have nothing to lose and everything to gain -- assuming their goal is a state of their own rather than the destruction of Israel.

    Finally, the Palestinians need an Altalena moment. The Altalena was a ship run by the Irgun, a pre-state militia, laden with badly needed weapons for Israel's War of Independence. The Irgun insisted on controlling the allocation of these weapons. In 1948, Israel's Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, ordered the destruction of the Altalena before it could dock to make clear that Israel was one state with one army and one set of leaders, not a hodgepodge of quasi-independent militias. Ben-Gurion did what he had to do, even if it meant killing Jews and losing valuable weapons, to create a state based on the rule of law.

    Sixty-three years later, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has chosen to negotiate with Hamas rather than with Israel. Hamas is a terrorist organization that openly seeks Israel's destruction and routinely terrorizes Israeli civilians. Ben-Gurion risked civil war to ensure a viable state. If Abbas is serious about creating a Palestinian state, as opposed to creating a united front against Israel, he needs to emulate Ben-Gurion and show the world that certain tactics and ideologies will not be tolerated by a Palestinian state.

    Most Israelis understand that Israel cannot indefinitely remain Jewish and democratic while retaining the West Bank. Israel continues to strive for peace not because the Arab Palestinians have a better legal, historic, or moral claim to the land -- after all, there has never been an Arab nation of Palestine and the concept of a unique Arab Palestinian people was unknown before the 20th century -- but because trading land for peace is in Israel's best interests, and most Israelis know it. The Palestinians should seize this opportunity. What they want is in Israel's best interests to give. But Israel can't give if there is no one sitting at the table across from them to take.

    There is no guarantee that the current Israeli willingness to trade land for peace will continue indefinitely. The longer the Palestinians tarry, the more validation they give to those within Israel opposed to any territorial compromise. The Palestinians only encourage hardliners on the right by refusing to negotiate. The best answer to those who claim that Palestinian leadership is not serious about peace is for the Palestinians to prove that they are. Nothing would do more to undercut the credibility of those who oppose a two-state solution than for the Palestinian Authority to enter into unconditional negotiations with Israel.

    Peace can be achieved tomorrow if the Arab world accepts the permanent reality of a Jewish state of Israel today. A people who genuinely wanted a state of their own would let nothing stand in the way of negotiations. Israel accepted several partitions of its national homeland before achieving independence in 1948. Israel remains willing to cede parts of its national homeland because Israel values peace over land. If Palestinian leadership accepts the same paradigm, the dream of peace will become reality
     
  11. lucifer

    lucifer Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Iceland votes to recognize Palestine


    Iceland 'first Western European country to take this step,' FM boasts; Abbas reaffirms statehood bid


    Iceland's parliament voted on Tuesday in favor of recognizing the Palestinian territories as an independent state, the first Western European country to do so according to Iceland's foreign minister.

    The vote paves the way for formal recognition by the small north Atlantic island, which led the way in recognizing the independence of the three Baltic States after the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991.


    "Iceland is the first Western European country to take this step," Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphedinsson told Icelandic state broadcaster RUV. "I now have the formal authority to declare our recognition of Palestine."

    The Icelandic parliament decided by 38 votes in the 63-seat house to back a resolution allowing for the recognition of a Palestinian state within the borders of the Six-Day War of 1967.

    "At the same time, parliament urges Israelis and Palestinians to seek a peace agreement on the basis of international law and UN resolutions, which include the mutual recognition of the state of Israel and the state of Palestine," said the resolution, proposed by the foreign minister.

    It also called on all sides to cease any violence and recalled the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes.

    Abbas: It's our legitimate right
    Iceland's recognition, however, is expected to amount to a little more than symbolic step as the Palestinian Authority strives to get United Nations recognition. Its quest for a seat at the international body has so far failed.

    Meanwhile, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas reaffirmed his bid for UN membership on Tuesday, saying it should complement peace negotiations provided that Israel is prepared to negotiate on the basis of 1967 borders.

    He said that the Palestinian Authority's decision to apply to join the United Nations "is our legitimate right" based on the 1947 UN resolution to partition Palestine into two states.

    "We do not want and we do not seek to delegitimize Israel by applying for membership in the United Nations, but to delegitimize its settlement activities and the seizure of our occupied lands," Abbas said.
     
  12. lucifer

    lucifer Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    well its just to make some noise..... perhaps they want to make noise with these words while their other arm (Hamas & Hezbollah) rearm with more missiles to make more noise and implode

    And palestine failing in its objectives....... thats not being a pessimist ;)
     
  13. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Gaza violence spikes, Netanyahu warns militants

    Israeli air strikes on Gaza killed three Palestinians on Sunday, raising the toll to 18, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed no let-up against rocket-firing militants.

    Hamas said it was talking with Egyptian officials in a bid to reach a truce with Israel, but warned that it expected the Jewish state to hold fire first and that talks had so far been unproductive.

    And Islamic Jihad, which claimed responsibility for most of the rockets fired from Gaza in recent days, warned its operation would continue "whatever the price."

    Violence has spiked since Friday when Israeli jets raided the Gaza Strip, killing the head of a militant group and prompting barrages of rocket fire into the Jewish state.

    Palestinian medics said 18 people had been killed in Israeli air strikes since Friday, and Israel said more than 120 rockets had landed in its territory, wounding four.

    Both sides issued tough statements, with Netanyahu saying operations "will continue as long as necessary."

    "I have given orders to strike all those who plan on attacking us," he said during a tour of southern Israel, public radio reported.

    "The Israeli army has already dealt heavy blows to the terrorist organisations," he added.

    Islamic Jihad quickly issued a statement in response, vowing that "operations will continue whatever the price."

    "Escalation will be met with escalation, and what is coming is even greater," the group said.

    After more than 48 hours of fighting, Israel's top military officer said there would be no end in sight while rocket fire continued.

    "The IDF (Israel Defence Forces) has been responding, and will continue to do so with strength and determination against any firing of rockets at Israel," said Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz.

    Anyone who tries to harm Israeli citizens will face "severe consequences," he warned in a statement communicated by the military.

    On Sunday, Israel carried out four air strikes killing three Palestinians, including 12-year-old Ayub Asaliya, killed on his way to school in Jabaliya refugee camp.

    Medics named the other fatalities as 60-year-old Adel Saleh al-Issi and Ahmed Salim. They described Issi as a civilian but Salim's status was unclear.

    Israel's defence ministry said Gaza militants had fired at least 124 rockets at the Jewish state since Friday, including 68 Qassams and 44 longer-range Grads, with Israel carrying out 26 air strikes on Gaza.

    Since Friday, the Iron Dome air defence system set up around the southern cities of Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beersheva had intercepted 37 rockets, the army said.

    In Israel, four people were injured on Saturday, and several others were treated for shock after two Grads hit Beersheva on Sunday afternoon, medics said.

    One hit a road in a residential neighbourhood, while a second landed next to a school, which was empty at the time because of a blanket closure imposed by the education ministry on schools within rocket range of Gaza, police said.

    The rockets caused shrapnel damage to cars and buildings.

    The violence erupted on Friday afternoon when an Israeli strike killed Zuhair al-Qaisi, the head of the militant Popular Resistance Committees group.

    Additional strikes brought the death toll in Gaza to 15, including five PRC militants and 10 from Islamic Jihad, in the deadliest 24-hour period in and around Gaza in more than three years.

    In response, armed groups lobbed a barrage of rockets into Israel, most of them claimed by Islamic Jihad's armed wing.

    The Israeli army said Qaisi was involved in planning a deadly August 2011 deadly attack in which militants sneaked across the border from Egypt's Sinai and killed eight in Israel's southern Negev desert.

    And it said he was planning a similar attack "in the coming days."

    The violence prompted concern from the United States and the European Union but there was no sign that a truce was on the horizon.

    Hamas officials said on Sunday that intensive efforts were under way with Egypt to reach a mediated truce, but that they expected Israel to hold fire first.

    "The Israeli aggression started this three days ago and before any talk about a truce, the Israeli side should stop," spokesman Taher al-Nunu told AFP.
     
  14. Steel

    Steel Lieutenant SENIOR MEMBER

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    Report: Israel and Gaza militants reach ceasefire



    Israel and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip reached a ceasefire that was scheduled to take effect early Tuesday, Egypt’s state television reported, quoting an unnamed security official, but there was no immediate confirmation from Israel.

    The Palestinians agreed to stop launching rockets at southern Israeli cities and Israel agreed to stop carrying out airstrikes against militants in Gaza, the report said.

    The Jerusalem Post earlier reported Israeli officials as saying that peace on the Palestinian side would get the same response from the Israeli side.

    Twenty-five people, mostly militants, have been killed since the violence erupted Friday when Zohair al-Qaisi, the secretary general of the Popular Resistance Committees militant group, was killed in an Israeli airstrike. Israel said he had planned attacks against Israeli targets from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula.

    Palestinian militants have fired more than 200 rockets at Israel since Friday, forcing about 1 million Israelis into bomb shelters.

    Israel’s air force responded with a series of airstrikes.

    http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article2990352.ece
     
  15. SajeevJino

    SajeevJino Major SENIOR MEMBER

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    Israel invasion looms amid Gaza fighting

    [​IMG]

    general view shows the destruction after an Israeli air strike on a building in the northern Gaza Strip refugee camp of Jabalia on March 12, 2012. Israel launched a spate of air strikes killing at least two Palestinians, medics said, after Premier Benjamin Netanyahu vowed no let-up against rocket-firing militants.

    As Israeli jets hammer the Gaza Strip amid a barrage of Palestinian rockets on cities in the Negev desert, pressure has been mounting for a new invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory, a move that could draw global condemnation and threaten relations with Egypt.

    Clashes between the Israelis and extremist Palestinian groups the Popular Resistance committees and Islamic Jihad in Gaza escalated in recent days.

    Palestinians have fired scores of rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip but the attacks have caused little substantial damage.

    Israeli leaders have been saying for months the military will have to invade Gaza at some point because the Jewish state cannot accept having Hamas and Iranian missile bases there.

    Despite the fierce global censure of Israel's 22-day invasion of Gaza Dec. 27, 2008, in which some 1,400 Palestinians, mainly civilians, were killed, Israeli military Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz declared on the third anniversary of Operation Cast Lead that another large-scale attack on the Gaza Strip was looming.

    "I believe the state of Israel cannot continue to live under the active threat of Hamas in the Gaza Strip," he said. "Sooner or later, there will be no escape from conducting a significant operation."

    On Jan. 3, in a high-profile ceremony seen as a gesture of defiance toward the United Nations, which condemned Operation Cast Lead amid allegations of Israeli war crimes, Gantz promoted one of its commanders to brigadier general.

    Col. Ilan Malka, who led the Givati Brigade during that offensive, had been accused of bombing civilians but was cleared by Israel's military advocate general in December 2011.

    On Jan. 17, The Jerusalem Post reported the general staff ordered the Southern Command, which covers the Gaza front, to prepare for a possible large-scale incursion into the 146-square-mile coastal strip where 1.7 million Palestinians live.

    As clashes continued Monday, Egypt was apparently making a major effort to end the fighting, apparently aiming to head off an escalation that could drag Egyptian forces in the Sinai into the fighting.

    A high-level Hamas delegation headed by Moussa Abu Marzouk, one of the movement's top political chiefs, arrived in Cairo Sunday. Another Hamas team reached Cairo a day earlier.

    Hamas, which hasn't been involved in the clashes, made it clear it sought to maintain the relative calm that had prevailed with Israel until Friday but it made no apparent move to stop the attacks blamed on Islamic Jihad and the PRC.

    The Israelis warned they will escalate their actions if the rocket barrage continues and didn't appear to be overly concerned about international criticism.

    Officials said the world was probably indifferent because the Israeli action hasn't inflicted extensive civilian casualties. The bloodletting in Syria was also probably diverting global attention.

    Israeli leaders say they don't want to escalate the clashes. But it was their decision to launch the airstrike that killed PRC leader Zihair al-Qaisi Friday, claiming he was planning a major terrorist attack on Israel through Sinai, that triggered the sharp intensification in the Palestinian rocketing.

    Qaisi's three predecessors were all assassinated by the Israelis.

    In comparison, Israel had responded to desultory rocket fire in February by bombing smuggling tunnels used by Hamas, considered minor operations.

    Some Israeli commentators indicated that with the world distracted they believe the military, along with hawkish Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, now seek an escalation.

    They argue that Netanyahu doesn't want peace negotiations with Hamas and the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, and the attendant pressure on Israel to relinquish the West Bank.

    Hamas' recent moves toward a more pragmatic position, eschewing violence, and its steps to reconcile with Fatah after a lengthy split undermines Netanyahu's repeated claim that Israel "has no peace partner."

    "Thus," veteran Israeli commentator Zvi Barel observed in the liberal Haaretz daily Sunday, "Hamas must be dragged toward military activity against Israel.

    "And nothing is easier, at least in Israel's estimation, than to launch a 'unilateral' attack against a wanted non-Hamas man, to wait for the response to come, and hope that Hamas joins in.

    "So far, it hasn't happened Â… Hamas still prefers the diplomatic channel Â… Israel apparently needs to wait for another opportunity."
     
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