Gaza

Anti-Israel violence erupts across world

January 8, 2009

Violence against Jews, and protests and demonstrations linked to the Gaza conflict, have occurred around the world.

The French Jewish community has suffered a number of attacks. The most serious incidents were in Toulouse, where a burning car was crashed into the gates of a synagogue on Monday. According to police, a second car was about to be rammed into the shul but the attackers abandoned the vehicle when an alarm went off. Police found petrol bombs in the vehicle.

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Analysis: Should Israel be in Gaza?

January 8, 2009

Melanie Phillips: Yes

War is hell. There can surely be not one amongst us who does not feel the utmost horror and anguish at the devastation and misery in Gaza and the deaths of civilians, especially children. And it may well get even worse.

This is because Hamas are using the people of Gaza as human shields behind which to store and fire their missiles. That’s what happened on Tuesday, when the IDF returned mortar fire from a school where Hamas were hiding amongst civilians. It appears that IDF shells detonated bombs

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Egypt holds key to ending the conflict

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 8, 2009

Egypt appears to hold the key to the solution of the Gaza crisis as the Israeli government waits for an improved ceasefire deal before ending Operation Cast Lead.

The IDF has indicated that it is prepared to escalate the ground offensive by reinforcing the units already operating in the Strip and entering Gaza City. However, the army high command and Defence Minister Ehud Barak are opposed to such a move as it may result in higher casualties.

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Bid to firebomb synagogue as protests grow

By Craig Silver, January 8, 2009

An attempt was made to firebomb a London synagogue at the weekend in a protest against Israel’s actions in Gaza.

The attack, just before midnight on Sunday, at Brondesbury Synagogue in Willesden, North-West London, was the most serious of 25 antisemitic incidents that have occurred since Israel launched its operation on December 27.

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We need to be scared, says IDF colonel

By Anshel Pfeffer, January 7, 2009

An IDF colonel has described how he hopes his troops feel fear as they continue to push into Gaza.

“Fear is healthy” Lt-Colonel Amir Ulo said this evening. “It is part of a warrior’s basic skills that helps him prepare, not fear that paralyses.”

Lt-Col Ulo is commander of the Combat Engineer Corps special operations unit Yahalom and his soldiers have been leading the IDF’s combat groups as they take up positions around Gaza.

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Israel rejects ceasefire call

By Daniella Peled, December 31, 2008

Israel has rejected a French proposal for a 48-hour ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

France had called for a temporary truce to allow humanitarian aid to reach the beleaguered Stri, but an Israeli foreign ministry spokesman said that the plan failed to include any guarantees that Hamas would stop firing rockets at Israeli communities.

However, sources said the truce might be reconsidered if its terms were amended.

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JC comment: Israel did not want to act

December 31, 2008

It is difficult not to be moved by the pictures from Gaza. Innocent civilians — in Gaza and elsewhere on the planet — are always caught in wars over which they have no control and, often, in which they have no interest. Most want simply to be left to get on with their lives.

Seeing Israel’s military hardware causing such damage in Gaza can seem hard to reconcile with the human need to protect civilians.

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Limmud: ex-defence chief assesses Gaza

By Simon Rocker, December 31, 2008

The idea that armies should use proportionate force was dismissed by a former director of military intelligence for the Israel Defence Forces at a special session on Gaza at the Limmud conference.

General Yaacov Amidror said: “The advantage Israel has, is only because it can react disproportionately.”

From a military perspective, he added: “The only way to deal with such a situation is to react without taking into consideration proportionality… otherwise you will lose before you begin.”

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Our goal is to end the rocket fire, says Israel

By Yaakov Katz, December 31, 2008

Israel’s air strikes on Gaza, known as Operation Cast Lead, may have set out to create shock and awe among the Palestinians but the ultimate goal is straightforward, say defence officials.

It is not to topple the Hamas regime or to replace Hamas with Fatah. Instead, the purpose of the operation is to “change the reality in southern Israel” and to make Hamas understand that it is against its interests to launch rockets into Israeli cities.

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Analysis: Barak proves man for the moment

By Daniella Peled - Foreign Editor, December 31, 2008

A week is a long time in Israeli politics, too. Labour leader and defence minister Ehud Barak has long been a non-entity, languishing in the polls, his party an irrelevance.

But Barak seems to have pulled off an astonishing reversal. The operation in Gaza positions him as a man to lead in a crisis — and puts him in stark contrast to his predecessor as both Labour leader and Defence Minister Amir Peretz, whose performance in the Second Lebanon War was laughable.

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