Israel readies Gaza ground invasion despite cease-fire efforts

Israel on Thursday said it was massing troops along the Gaza frontier and calling up 9,000 reservists ahead of a possible ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled territory, as the two bitter enemies plunged closer to all-out war. Egyptian mediators rushed to Israel for cease-fire efforts but showed no signs of progress, AP reports.

The stepped-up fighting came as communal violence in Israel erupted for a fourth night, with Jewish and Arab mobs clashing in the flashpoint town of Lod. The fighting took place despite a bolstered police presence ordered by the nation’s leaders.

The four-day burst of violence has pushed Israel into uncharted territory — dealing with the most intense fighting it has ever had with Hamas while simultaneously coping with the worst Jewish-Arab violence inside Israel in decades. A late-night barrage of rocket fire from Lebanon that landed in the sea threatened to open a new front along Israel’s northern border.

Early Friday, the Israeli military said air and ground troops struck Gaza in what appeared to be the heaviest attacks yet. Masses of red flames illuminated the skies as the deafening blasts from the outskirts of Gaza City jolted people awake. The strikes were so strong that people inside the city, several kilometers away, could be heard screaming in fear.

“I said we would extract a very heavy price from Hamas,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a videotaped statement. “We are doing that, and we will continue to do that with heavy force.”

The fighting broke out late Monday when Hamas, claiming to be the defender of Jerusalem, fired a barrage of long-range rockets toward the city in response to what it said were Israeli provocations. Israel quickly responded with a series of airstrikes.

Since then, Israel has attacked hundreds of targets in Gaza. The strikes set off scores of earth-shaking explosions across the densely populated territory. Gaza militants have fired nearly 2,000 rockets into Israel, bringing life in the southern part of the country to a standstill. Several barrages targeted the seaside metropolis of Tel Aviv, some 70 kilometers (45 miles) away.

Gaza’s Health Ministry said the death toll has climbed to 109 Palestinians, including 28 children and 15 women, with 621 people wounded. The Hamas and Islamic Jihad militant groups have confirmed 20 deaths in their ranks, though Israel says that number is much higher. Seven people have been killed in Israel, including a 6-year-old boy.

In Washington, President Joe Biden said he spoke with Netanyahu about calming the fighting but also backed the Israeli leader by saying “there has not been a significant overreaction.”

He said the goal now is to “get to a point where there is a significant reduction in attacks, particularly rocket attacks that are indiscriminately fired into population centers.” He called the effort a “a work in progress.”

Thursday’s visit by Egyptian officials marked an important step in the cease-fire efforts.

Egypt often serves as a mediator between Israel and Hamas, and it has been a key player in ending past rounds of fighting. The officials met first with Hamas leaders in Gaza before holding talks with Israelis in Tel Aviv, two Egyptian intelligence officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media. Hamas’ exiled leader, Ismail Haniyeh, was also in touch with the Egyptians, the group said.

Despite those efforts, the fighting only intensified. Israeli aircraft pummeled targets in Gaza throughout the day. And late Thursday, Israel fired tank and artillery shells across the border for the first time, sending scores of terrified residents fleeing for safety.

The airstrikes have destroyed scores of buildings, including three high rises. Israel says the buildings housed Hamas militants or facilities, but civilians were inside as well.

In the northern Gaza Strip, Rafat Tanani, his pregnant wife and four children were killed after an Israeli warplane reduced the building to rubble, residents said.

2 Comments

  1. Russian Press Condemns Israel. Israel has yet to commit ground troops to Gaza.

    UN chief ‘deeply disturbed’ by civilian casualties & IDF bombing of Gaza media building. Eva Bartlett, a Canadian independent journalist and activist declares: “The destruction of two important Gaza buildings housing 20 media outlets was both shocking and predictable.” According to her unbiased speculations, this Arabist declares the purpose and intent of bringing down these two buildings – “Israel is deliberately obliterating media buildings in Gaza to cover up the war crimes that will follow.” However, this Arabist concedes the key point that Israel gave the inhabitants of in both buildings both warning and time to evacuate the premises to avoid civilian casualties. Interesting Gaza leadership has fired thousands of missiles at Israeli populated cities, has never given any warning what so ever … but Israel, (that Pariah State), will in the future, commit war crime atrocities!

    An Israeli military spokesman told the media that the tower was targeted because it housed “Hamas military intelligence.” Hamas uses “civilian media” as “human shields,” the IDF also said in a statement on Twitter. The Palestinian militant group “deliberately places its military assets in the heart of the civilian population in the Gaza Strip,” the post added. Yet the Russian Arabist Press gave priority to Eva Bartlett’s evil eye of the Jewish State’s response to stateless Arab refugees firing missiles into Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and targeting, with their missiles, most of the populated cities across Israel – Israel, that tiny speck of a country. The Arabist Russian Press Head Lines: Israeli airstrike levels Gaza tower housing AP, Al Jazeera & other international media.

    Clearly foreign imperialist governments seek to promote their agenda: to divide the tiny Jewish state. Jesus son of Zeus once taught: (divide and conquer), a nation divided against itself cannot stand. These foreign jackal nations, in all their innocence and piety, seek to promote Civil War within Israel. It means nothing to these hostile powers, who dub themselves – ‘the Quartet’, that 57 Arab and Muslim countries cover the Middle East, Africa and the former Soviet Union empire.

    No they demand that Israel, about the size of New Jersey, MUST surrender the miraculous victory of the 1967 Six Day War. That only then can peace bless the Middle East! Interesting, Arab control of these recaptured territories which Israel reconquered, prior to that short war, Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia fought 2 previous wars against Israel – with the objective – to obliterate the Jewish state. President of Egypt, Nasser, promised prior to the June war of ’67, that Arabs would in this war accomplish what they failed to achieve in 1948, to throw the Jews into the Sea, and thereby complete the Nazi Holocaust.

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  2. War as a trauma, defines the term T’shuva. טוב

    What connects the pains of labor childbirth to tzar’at/leprosy?
    אתה חונן לאדם דעת ומלמד לאנוש בינה, חננו מאתך דעה בינה והשכל. ברוך אתה ה’, חונן הדעת.
    The toldoth generations of Man compares the plagues which HaShem brought upon the hardened heart of Par’o and Egypt. Learning, whether Talmudic or T’NaCH, requires comparing similar cases. Oral Torah operates through the medium of Common Law. Common Law stands upon the יסוד of precedents. Herein explains the commentary made by the Baali Tosafot upon the whole of the Sha’s; it reflects how the Gemara learns every Mishna in the Talmud. Persons who study Talmud and fail to develop the logic required to compare Case studies of halacha, never learned how to learn Talmud.

    Knowledge holds positive and negative aspects. When the sons of Shem first called upon HaShem, our sages learn that the sons of Shem called upon tuma avoda zara. Knowledge requires the understanding which can discern between like and like, between tohor and tuma. The exile of Adam HaReShon from the garden teaches a powerful mussar, a mussar יסודי. When Adam hid himself from the Spirit of HaShem due to his shame, this quality passed from generation to generation to generation to generation etc.

    Plagues affected Par’o. Par’o trusted advisors declared these plagues “the finger of G-d”. Yet Par’o hitched his chariot and pursued after Moshe and Israel. And subsequently his entire army drowned in the Sea of Reeds. Par’o could not see “the finger of G-d” in his life! All the generations of Adam HaReShon, they too, blind to “the finger of G-d” in their lives. Hence the entire T’NaCH and Talmud spins around awareness of tohor and tuma spirits. All the translators of the Xtian Bible lacked this awareness; they translate tohor and tuma as clean and unclean — pure or impure. There theology of Creed and Dogmatism, belief replaced awareness of “the finger of G-d” in their lives.

    Why does the Talmud emphasize observance of halacha? Not because halacha defines the Will of God. Rather the framers of the Talmud edited the Sha’s Bavli to teach mussar woven into the fabric of ritual halachic observances. All T’NaCH prophets command mussar. Mussar teaches “the finger of G-d” in our lives, the holy dedication unto HaShem to walk/אמת in tohor. The framers of the Talmud mixed halacha with aggadita with the k’vanna that a Yid observes halachic mitzvot to perceive “the finger of G-d” in their lives. Herein explains the entire Sha’s Bavli limited to a few paragraphs.

    In a few hours Israel accepts the revelation of the Torah at Sinai. Herein explains the counting of the Omer – to remove avoda zara from the midst of Israel prior to receiving the Torah at Sinai, while breathing tohor spirits. The objections raised by Isaac Mayer Wise, one of the founders of the Reform abomination who declared halacha as antiquated, and unnecessary, and irrelevant stand, at least to my mind, totally refuted and completely false.

    Development of tohor awareness learns from the contrast of tuma: the hardened heart of Par’o; blind to “the finger of G-d” in his life. All the toldoth generations of Adam HaReshon, lived their long lives completely unaware of “the finger of G-d” … the mussar of tohor, in their lives. Halachot serve as a fence around the Torah. Avodat HaShem requires tohora. Tohora, defined as the awareness of “the finger of G-d” within our lives.

    The Irish, they serve as a specific example of the tuma mentality of all Europe. They condemn Israel for being the Jewish state. They demand the right of return apply to stateless Arab refugees of 1948! That pretty much sums up the regret of Europeans for Israel winning its national independence. The enemy of my people, Europe, desperately seeks to negate not just the ’67 miracle victory – which they euphemistically call ‘the 2 State solution, land for peace’ – but they seek to complete the Nazi ‘Final Solution’, or at least return Jews to our previous status as g’lut exiles: a People having no country of our own.

    This current conflict, only on the surface pits Israelis against Balestinians – an imaginary people comparable to Jesus son of Zeus, an imaginary man. The Jewish state proves 2000 years of church propaganda as false narishkeit. As it stands today, with the Jewish state, the Xtian church stands disgraced by the Shoah and exile has turned the fallen church upon it’s head. The church moans for the 2nd coming of Jesus. That disgraced and exiled ‘religion of love’ has collapsed as the faith of hope, the salvation of fallen mankind, as previously understood based upon the New Testament Bible theology taught by the Apostle Paul. Herein explains the need among European governments to push for their 2 State solution, the extension of their previous ‘Final Solution’, which European governments either actively or passively imposed. The Jewish state exposes the guilt and barbaric true nature of Europe as a third rate inferior race among mankind.

    השיבנו אבינו לתורתך, וקרבנו מלכנו לעבודלך, והחזירנו בתשובה שלמה לפניך. ברוך אתה ה’ הרוצה בתשובה.

    The bait and switch of the curse of the אלהים upon Adam HaReshon occurs with the sign of the rainbow; HaShem ceases to curse mankind, but Noach imposes an eternal curse upon the seed of Ham who witnessed the ערוה tuma nakedness of his father. The language of ערוה implies sexual perversion such as incest or homosexuality. The language of ערוה defines the spirit of tuma within the heart of all mankind. The story of Yaacov wrestling with the Angel of Esau teaches the mussaar that Man as a species for ever struggles and contends with the tuma Yatzir. Esau hates Yaacov. The sages of Israel refer to Europe by the metaphor of Esau.

    The Pesach story of the korban offered in Egypt explains the k’vanna of the High Holy Day of Yom Kippur. Par’o demanded that Israel offer a korban while in the land of Egypt. Moshe refused Par’o, saying ‘shall Israel publicly make a korban dedication before the eyes of the Egyptian people which they hold as an abomination? They would stone us! Yet the korban Pesach boldly public declares with blood painted upon the door posts of the houses of Israel, comparable to the existence of the State of Israel today in the eyes of Europe, and destruction came upon all Egypt!

    The t’shuvah of the Cohen people for all eternity, do we reject the Will of the tuma Yatzir within our hearts. Herein defines the sealing of Yom HaDin upon the Brit, as expressed through the mitzva of Yom Kippur. The anointing of the House of Aaron as Moshiach, dedicated to do avodat HaShem while tohor. This moshiach dedication learns from the sanctification from tuma of the eish tzar’at, dedicated in the exact same way as Moshe dedicated the sons of Aaron as Moshiach. As tefilla stands in the place of korbanot, כלל ישראל bears the dedication to HaShem to walk in the path/אמת of tohor middot. This defining quality trait, the Torah calls avodat HaShem. From this Torah source the Gemara of Sanhedrin teaches that כלל ישראל, that we live as the Moshiach in all generations. The Midrash teaches a powerful mussar concerning the Moshiach; it employs the metaphor which describes the Moshiach as an eish tzar’at, a man afflicted with leprosy.

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