Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza from north to south

Israeli warplanes unleashed a series of heavy airstrikes at several locations of Gaza City early Monday, hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the fourth war with Gaza’s Hamas rulers would rage on, AP reports.

Explosions rocked the city from north to south for 10 minutes in an attack that was heavier, on a wider area and lasted longer than a series of air raids 24 hours earlier in which 42 Palestinians were killed — the deadliest single attack in the latest round of violence between Israel and the Hamas militant group that rules Gaza. The earlier Israeli airstrikes flattened three buildings.

In a televised address, Netanyahu said Israel’s attacks were continuing at “full-force” and would “take time.“ Israel “wants to levy a heavy price” on the Hamas militant group, he said, flanked by his defense minister and political rival, Benny Gantz, in a show of unity.

Hamas also pressed on, launching rockets from civilian areas in Gaza toward civilian areas in Israel. One slammed into a synagogue in the southern city of Ashkelon hours before evening services for the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, Israeli emergency services said. No injuries were reported.

In the Israeli air assault early Sunday, families were buried under piles of cement rubble and twisted rebar. A yellow canary lay crushed on the ground. Shards of glass and debris covered streets blocks away from the major downtown thoroughfare where the three buildings were hit over the course of five minutes around 1 a.m.

The hostilities have repeatedly escalated over the past week, marking the worst fighting in the territory that is home to 2 million Palestinians since Israel and Hamas’ devastating 2014 war.

“I have not seen this level of destruction through my 14 years of work,” said Samir al-Khatib, an emergency rescue official in Gaza. “Not even in the 2014 war.”

Rescuers furiously dug through the rubble using excavators and bulldozers amid clouds of heavy dust. One shouted, “Can you hear me?” into a hole. Minutes later, first responders pulled a survivor out. The Gaza Health Ministry said 16 women and 10 children were among those killed, with more than 50 people wounded.

Haya Abdelal, 21, who lives in a building next to one that was destroyed, said she was sleeping when the airstrikes sent her fleeing into the street. She accused Israel of not giving its usual warning to residents to leave before launching such an attack.

“We are tired,” she said, “We need a truce. We can’t bear it anymore.”

The Israeli army spokesperson’s office said the strike targeted Hamas “underground military infrastructure.”

As a result of the strike, “the underground facility collapsed, causing the civilian houses’ foundations above them to collapse as well, leading to unintended casualties,” it said.

Among those reported killed was Dr. Ayman Abu Al-Ouf, the head of the internal medicine department at Shifa Hospital and a senior member of the hospital’s coronavirus management committee. Two of Abu Al-Ouf’s teenage children and two other family members were also buried under the rubble.

The death of the 51-year-old physician “was a huge loss at a very sensitive time,” said Mohammed Abu Selmia, the director of Shifa.

Gaza’s health care system, already gutted by an Israeli and Egyptian blockade imposed in 2007 after Hamas seized power from rival Palestinian forces, had been struggling with a surge in coronavirus infections even before the latest conflict.

Israel’s airstrikes have leveled a number of Gaza City’s tallest buildings, which Israel alleges contained Hamas military infrastructure. Among them was the building housing The Associated Press Gaza office and those of other media outlets.

Sally Buzbee, the AP’s executive editor, called for an independent investigation into the airstrike that destroyed the AP office on Saturday.

Netanyahu alleged that Hamas military intelligence was operating inside the building and said Sunday any evidence would be shared through intelligence channels. Neither the White House nor the State Department would say if any had been seen.

“It’s a perfectly legitimate target,” Netanyahu told CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Asked if he had provided any evidence of Hamas’ presence in the building in a call Saturday with U.S. President Joe Biden, Netanyahu said: “We pass it through our intelligence people.”

Buzbee called for any such evidence to be laid out. “We are in a conflict situation,” Buzbee said. “We do not take sides in that conflict. We heard Israelis say they have evidence; we don’t know what that evidence is.”

Meanwhile, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders asked the International Criminal Court on Sunday to investigate Israel’s bombing of the AP building and others housing media organizations as a possible war crime.

The Paris-based group said in a letter to the court’s chief prosecutor that the offices of 23 international and local media organizations have been destroyed over the past six days. It said the attacks serve “to reduce, if not neutralize, the media’s capacity to inform the public.”

The AP had operated from the building for 15 years, including through three previous wars between Israel and Hamas. The news agency’s cameras, operating from its top floor office and roof terrace, offered 24-hour live shots as militant rockets arched toward Israel and Israeli airstrikes hammered the city and its surroundings.

“We think it’s appropriate at this point for there to be an independent look at what happened yesterday — an independent investigation,” Buzbee said.

The latest outbreak of violence began in east Jerusalem last month, when Palestinians clashed with police in response to Israeli police tactics during Ramadan and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers. A focus of the clashes was the Al-Aqsa Mosque, a frequent flashpoint located on a hilltop compound revered by both Muslims and Jews.

Hamas began firing rockets toward Jerusalem on Monday, triggering the Israeli assault on Gaza.

At least 188 Palestinians have been killed in hundreds of airstrikes in Gaza, including 55 children and 33 women, with 1,230 people wounded. Eight people in Israel have been killed in some of the 3,100 rocket attacks launched from Gaza, including a 5-year-old boy and a soldier.

Hamas and the Islamic Jihad militant group have acknowledged 20 fighters killed in the fighting. Israel says the real number is far higher and has released the names and photos of two dozen alleged operatives it says were “eliminated.”

The assault has displaced some 34,000 Palestinians from their homes, U.N. Mideast envoy Tor Wennesland told an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council, where eight foreign ministers spoke about the conflict.

Efforts by China, Norway and Tunisia to get the U.N. body to issue a statement, including a call for the cessation of hostilities, have been blocked by the United States, which, according to diplomats, is concerned it could interfere with diplomatic efforts to stop the violence.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki urged the Security Council to take action to end Israeli attacks. Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Gilad Erdan, urged the council to condemn Hamas’ “indiscriminate and unprovoked attacks.”

The turmoil has also fueled protests in the occupied West Bank and stoked violence within Israel between its Jewish and Arab citizens, with clashes and vigilante attacks on people and property.

On Sunday, a driver rammed into an Israeli checkpoint in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families have been threatened with eviction , injuring six officers before police shot and killed the attacker, Israeli police said.

The violence also sparked pro-Palestinian protests in cities across Europe and the United States.

Israel appears to have stepped up strikes in recent days to inflict as much damage as possible on Hamas as international mediators work to end the fighting and stave off an Israeli ground invasion in Gaza.

The Israeli military said it destroyed the home Sunday of Gaza’s top Hamas leader, Yahiyeh Sinwar, in the southern town of Khan Younis. It was the third such attack in the last two days on the homes of senior Hamas leaders, who have gone underground.

1 Comment

  1. 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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