This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
- Israel launches military operation in Gaza
- Hamas says that Israel ‘Opened the gates of hell on itself’
- U.N. security council and Arab League plan emergency sessions
- Europe-wide anti-austerity marches turn violent in Spain and Portugal
Israel launches military operation in Gaza
Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on Wednesday
Tensions have been rising significantly in the Mideast since Saturday,when the Islamic Jihad terrorist group started launching rockets athomes in southern Israel. Some 500 rockets have been launched sincethen.
On Wednesday, Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued the followingcommuniqué:
“The Cabinet directed the IDF and the ISA to continuevigorous action against the terrorist infrastructures operatingfrom the Gaza Strip against the civilian population in Israel inorder to allow a normal life for the residents of the State ofIsrael.
It was unanimously decided, this evening (Wednesday, 14 November2012):
1. To direct the IDF and the ISA to continue vigorous actionagainst the terrorist infrastructures operating from the GazaStrip against the civilian population in Israel in order to bringabout an improvement in the security reality and allow a normallife for the residents of the State of Israel.
Alongside the military effort, Israel will, to the best of itsability, work to avoid harming civilians while honoring thehumanitarian needs of the population, in keeping with the rules ofinternational law.
2. To direct the IDF, the Home Front Defense Ministry, the IsraelPolice and all relevant agencies to take all necessary measures inkeeping with Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s statement regarding thedeclaration of a special home front situation.
3. To allow the IDF, as per need and with the approval of DefenseMinister Barak, to mobilize reserve units.
4. To direct the National Information Directorate and the ForeignMinistry, in conjunction with all relevant agencies, to explainIsrael’s actions, in Israel and in the international arena.
5. To authorize Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, along withDefense Minister Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, andin consultation with other ministers as per need, to decide, onbehalf of the Security Cabinet, regarding the actions necessary tocontinue with Operation Pillar of Defense and to submit otherdecisions for Government approval, as may provenecessary.”
The operation began with air strikes that killed Ahmed Jabari, thecommand of Hamas’s military wing, killing him and his son as he wasdriving in his car. Jabari is blamed for a number of terroristattacks in the last ten years, and he also masterminded the kidnappingof Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Shalit was held in captivity, andwas only freed in return for the release of 1,000 Palestinianprisoners in Israeli jails last year. Jabari also led Hamas’ssuccessful military campaign that defeated Fatah in 2007.
The Israeli air strikes are continuing as of this writing on Wednesdayevening ET.
Israel has called up its military reserves, and has announced that thewar may be expanded, with the possibility of a ground invasion such asoccurred in Operation Cast Lead, when Israel invaded Gaza in 2008.
Hamas says that Israel ‘Opened the gates of hell on itself’
Ahmed Jabari was the head of the militant Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, whichissued a statement on Wednesday that “The occupation has opened thegates of hell on itself.” A Hamas spokesman said:
“The occupation committed a dangerous crime andcrossed all the red lines, which is considered a declaration ofwar.
The occupation will pay dearly for this and we will make it regretthe moment they thought about it.”
The killing of Ahmed Jabara sparked furious protests in Gaza. It’swidely believed that Hamas has no choice but to seek revenge. Hamashas a number of options that were not available during Operation CastLead in 2008.
Ever since Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak was deposed last year, theRafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt has been open, allowingsophisticated weapons to pass through from Egypt to Gaza. Inaddition, it’s now possible for Hamas to send suicide bombers throughthe Rafah crossing into Israel via Egypt’s Sinai. It appears likelythat both sides will escalate the war in the days to come.
U.N. security council and Arab League plan emergency sessions
At Egypt’s request, the United Nations Security Council is meeting inclosed emergency session on Wednesday evening to discuss the Israeliair strikes on Gaza. The Arab League has condemned Israel, and willbe meeting on Saturday. Reuters
Europe-wide anti-austerity marches turn violent in Spain and Portugal
Millions of people across Europe took part on Wednesday in a mostlypeaceful general strike called by organized labor. However, in LisbonPortugal, the marches ended with a level of violence not seen sincethe financial crisis began, with police charging demonstrators whohurled stones and bottles. Riot police used rubber bullets todisperse violent protesters in Madrid and Barcelona in Spain. InRome, scuffles broke out between police in riot gear and demonstratorswho threw stones, bottles and fireworks. Reuters