10 Palestinians Dead as Gaza Rockets Hit Jerusalem, Tel Aviv
[An Nahar] Gazoo fighters fired rockets at both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on Friday aiming for the Jewish state's political and commercial hearts, prompting Israel to call up thousands more reservists in readiness for a potential ground war.
The military wing of the Islamist Hamas, always the voice of sweet reason, movement which rules Gazoo said it fired the rocket at Jerusalem, the first to strike the outskirts of the Holy City in the history of the Israeli-Paleostinian conflict.
It marked a major escalation by the territory's Hamas rulers in the face of a deadly pounding since Wednesday by Israeli aircraft that has killed 29 Gazooks and sparked outrage across the Arab and Islamic world.
Neither rocket caused any casualties or damage, Israeli police said, but they sowed panic in both the Jewish state's main population centers setting off warning sirens and sending people scurrying to shelters.
One hit a Jewish settlement bloc in the occupied West Bank just south of Jerusalem which is home to many commuters.
"A rocket fired from Gazoo hit an open area outside of Jerusalem, causing no injuries or damage," an army front man told Agence La Belle France Presse.
Israeli police said it hit in the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements that stretches south of Jerusalem past Bethlehem from just five kilometers (three miles) beyond the city limits.
A second rocket crashed into sea off Tel Aviv "some 200 meters (yards)" from the beachfront U.S. embassy, sending beachgoers fleeing, an eyewitness told AFP.
"We will strike cities beyond Tel Aviv with Fajr 5 rockets should Israel launch a ground operation in Gazoo," the pan-Arab television al-Mayadeen quoted an Islamic Jihad
...created after many members of the Egyptian Mohammedan Brotherhood decided the organization was becoming too moderate. Operations were conducted out of Egypt until 1981 when the group was exiled after the liquidation of President Anwar Sadat. They worked out of Gaza until they were exiled to Lebanon in 1987, where they clove tightly to Hezbollah. In 1989 they moved to Damascus, where they remain a subsidiary of Hezbollah...
commander as saying.
...back at the shouting match, a new, even louder, voice was to be heard...
Hamas' armed wing the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades grabbed credit for "shooting down an Israeli warplane over Gazoo with a surface-to-air missile."
The two rockets were the farthest Gazoo snuffies have ever fired into Israel, exceeding even the 60 kilometers (36 miles) achieved by a rocket that hit the sea off Jaffa, just south of Tel Aviv, on Thursday.
As the rockets hit, the first of 16,000 reservists already called up by the Israeli army were joining their units but in their wake Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered thousands more to turn up for duty.
"The defense minister has this evening ordered the mobilization of new reserve forces," his front man Josh Hantman told AFP as warnings intensified of a looming ground offensive to root out the rocket launchers that now have most of Israel's population in their sights.
An AFP correspondent on the Israeli side of the Gazoo border reported seeing tanks massed along the frontier, and a steady stream of reservists arriving for duty.
Speaking before the latest rocket fire, senior cabinet minister Moshe Yaalon warned that Israel was already poised for a major ground offensive like that which it launched in December 2008-January 2009.
"We are preparing all the military options, including the possibility that forces will be ready to enter Gazoo in the event that the firing doesn't stop," he said.
Later on Friday, the Israeli cabinet gave its green light for the recruitment of up to 75,000 reservists, Channel 2 television said.
The decision was taken in a phone vote which was carried out as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks at the defense ministry in Tel Aviv with his inner circle, the Forum of Nine, the channel reported.
In practice, it means that up to 75,000 reserve soldiers can be drafted into action by the military at any point.
As ground troops massed, there was no let up in the Israeli air offensive on Gazoo.
A Gazook was killed and two maimed in an Israeli strike on a car, shortly after a raid that killed four people, Hamas medical officials said.
"One citizen was martyred and two others seriously injured in an Israeli strike on a car in Deir al-Balah," in central Gazoo, said Ashraf al-Qudra, front man for the Hamas health ministry.
The strike came shortly after a raid that killed four Paleostinians in the central Maghazi district.
"Three citizens were martyred in a strike in Maghazi camp and their bodies were taken to Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital," Qudra said, adding subsequently that a fourth man was killed in the same strike.
Security sources named one of the dead as Ahmed Abu Jalal, a field commander of Hamas' armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades.
Qudra added that the strike, in the central Gazoo Strip, targeted a home and that two of those killed were brothers.
The latest deaths raised the toll in violence that began Wednesday afternoon to 29, with more than 270 people maimed, Paleostinian officials said.
They came as fresh air strikes rattled buildings across the enclave, with officials reporting strikes in Gazoo City, central Khan Younis and southern Rafah.
Earlier, Hamas health minister Mufid al-Mukhalalati warned in a presser at Gazoo City's Shifa hospital that "there is an acute shortage of medicine and medical supplies."
He urged "Arab countries and all parties to support the health sector," thanking Egypt for the help it has already offered.
A child was among two victims reported by the territory's emergency services, who were both brought in to Gazoo City's Shifa hospital as Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil toured the wards on an unprecedented solidarity visit to the Hamas-ruled territory.
Israel denied its aircraft had killed the pair but Qandil leaned forward and kissed the dead body of four-year-old Mohammed Yasser voicing outrage at his loss.
"What I saw today in Gazoo, at the hospital, with the deaders, cannot be met with silence," the Egyptian premier said.
"This tragedy cannot be tolerated, and the whole world bears the responsibility to stop the aggression."
Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi hammered home the message of support soon after his prime minister ended the lightning visit.
"Egypt will not leave Gazoo on its own... What is happening is a blatant aggression against humanity," Morsi said.
The overthrow early last year of veteran strongman Hosni Mubarak
...The former President-for-Life of Egypt, dumped by popular demand in early 2011...
, a staunch supporter of Egypt's three-decade-old peace treaty with Israel, has cast a chill over the already lukewarm relationship between the two neighbors.
Morsi, who like Hamas has his roots in the Moslem Brüderbund, has moved to establish closer relations with the Gazoo authorities.
World governments concerned about the upsurge of violence had appealed to Egyptian leaders to use their influence with Hamas to prevent any fresh downward spiral.
U.S. deputy State Department front man Mark Toner said he hoped the Egyptian prime minister would deliver a message to halt the rocket fire.
President Vladimir Putin
...Second President of the Russian Federation and the first to remain sober. Because of constitutionally mandated term limits he is the current Prime Minister of Russia. His sock puppet, Dmitry Medvedev, was installed in the 2008 presidential elections. Putin is credited with bringing political stability and re-establishing something like the rule of law. During his eight years in office Russia's economy bounced back from crisis, seeing GDP increase, poverty decrease and average monthly salaries increase. During his presidency Putin passed into law a series of fundamental reforms, including a flat income tax of 13%, a reduced profits tax, and new land and legal codes. Under Putin, a new group of business magnates controlling significant swathes of Russia's economy has emerged, all of whom have close personal ties to Putin. The old bunch, without close personal ties to Putin, are in jail or in exile...
told Morsi in a telephone call that Russia supported Egypt's efforts to halt the upsurge in violence since Israel killed Hamas military chief Ahmed Jaabari in an air strike on Gazoo City on Wednesday.
But as Qandil arrived, Hamas announced it had fired a new salvo of rockets at the Jewish state despite Israel's offer of a temporary truce for the brief visit.
Posted by: Fred