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Subject: Has the Offensive in Gaza to Wipe Out HAMAS Finally Begun? If So - NO LETUP
swhitebull    3/1/2008 7:04:41 PM
DEBKA (with a grain of salt) reporting (with backup from Jerusalem Post) Israel aims to stamp out missile jihad by destroying Hamas rule of Gaza March 1, 2008, 7:36 PM (GMT+02:00) DEBKAfile’s military sources report the Israeli military command is now targeting Hamas rule of the Gaza Strip as ultimately the only effective way of halting the Palestinian missile offensive against civilian locations. It therefore proposes to systematically destroy Hamas institutions one by one until its rule of Gaza caves in. This tactic was presented to prime minister Ehud Olmert Friday on his return from Japan. If Hamas alternatively decides it can no longer afford the exorbitant price exacted by the Israeli military for sustaining its missile offensive and abandons it, the IDF will halt its military operations. This would lead to an informal truce. The IDF has now set itself the following targets: Every Palestinian military and security installation belonging to Hamas, as well as its Al Dawa social welfare branches used as meeting places and the money changers’ places of business. A series of ground operations on the same lines as the Sejayia raid will be launched to drive Hamas and its allied terrorist groups out of northern Gaza – the sites of most missile launches against Ashkelon and Sderot. Once this part of the territory is purged, Israeli military control can be exercised without reoccupation. DEBKAfile’s Palestinian sources report that Hamas leaders are well aware of the IDF’s revamped tactics and have employed counter-measures. 1. Their heads of government, armed wings and clerical authorities have gone to ground. 2. Their rank and file have taken over an estimated 3,000 to 4,000 civilian homes around Gaza City active and set up a wall for the town’s defense. Each home is provisioned with sufficient ammo, water and food for three weeks’ combat. 3. All Hamas operatives have dumped their cell phones and all means of communication which could betray their whereabouts. Orders and messages are carried by courier, usually children. 4. Thousands of missiles and rockets of different types are stocked in private homes and schools inside Gaza City and its refugee camps to escape Israeli attacks. This stratagem allows Hamas to calibrate its missile barrages on Israeli civilians according to the intensity of Israeli strikes against them. Two Israeli soldiers killed, 6 injured in heavy battles in Gaza. Palestinians report some 50 dead March 1, 2008, 11:30 PM (GMT+02:00) Israel self-propelled gun in N. Gaza The Israeli fatalities are identified as 1st Sgt. Doron Asulin, 20 from Beersheba and 1st Sgt. Eran Dan Gur, 20, from Jerusalem. DEBKAfile’s military sources report: Israel’s Givati Brigade troops engaged in heavy fighting with Hamas armed forces in the northern Gaza Strip’s Sejaya and Jebalya areas Saturday March 1 in the IDF’s first extended challenge to Hamas' protracted missile and rocket offensive on Ashkelon and Sderot regions. Tanks, self-propelled guns, F-16 fighter jets and helicopters took part in the combat. Two Israeli soldiers were killed by Palestinian fire, six injured. The Palestinians reported some 50 dead – 20 in battle, the rest civilians, including 5 children, as well as 120 injured. A Palestinian truck loaded with 160 missiles, rockets and mortar shells was blown up in Jebalya by an Israeli air strike Saturday night. A large store of war materiel, including missiles was struck earlier. Throughout the battles, the Palestinians continued firing scores of missiles and rockets – more than 50 by evening. Three waves of extended Katyusha rockets hit Ashkelon, under attack for the third day running. One set the shopping center on fire after two crashed into houses, injuring 6 people, two of them children. There were dozens of shock victims. After the Red Color code alert was installed, furious Ashkelonites said they will never let their town become Sderot No. 2, a much smaller Israeli town whose population has dwindled under years of missile attacks from Gaza. Leaders of Ashkelon’s 120,000 inhabitants are demanding tough Israeli military action against Gaza to nip its expanded rocket aggression in the bud. More sirens were installed in Ashkelon Saturday, public bomb shelters opened and Magen David emergency services reinforced with extra ambulances and medical teams. Sderot and its kibbutz and moshav neighbors sustained 50 Qassam missiles. One exploded harmlessly in an empty nursery school. Six shock victims were hospitalized. A Grad rocket reached Kfar Silver which is situated between Ashkelon and the big port town of Ashdod to the north. This town, 27 km north of Gaza, and just within range of the larger and more powerful Palestinian rockets, is preparing for attacks to start. Twelve alert systems are ready. DEBKAfile’s military sources report that the 120mm Grad, which is based on the Soviet Katyusha artillery rocket, has a maximum ra
 
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farscape       3/1/2008 11:36:55 PM
In my opinion---also with a grain of salt :-)--- I think this is still a limited offensive in an attempt to ratchet up pressure against Hamas, not an ultimate effort. I predict that international pressure will, as it has many times before, terminate a an attempt at a more massive offensive against Hamas before both military and political goals are accomplished.  In the manner of the botched ending of the Second Lebanese War. Which is unfortunate. Also bear in mind, a significant majority of Israelis ( in polls taken just before the latest action) now see some merit in negotiating with Hamas (!) for a truce. So there could be a large degree of domestic pressure to end this---especially if IDF and civilian casualties mount.

On the other hand, it has been surprising at the (for now) still minimal criticism of Israel's actions from Arab governments and fairly muted in the Arab press, as well. Hamas may very well be painting itself definitively into a friendless corner.

As always, the unexpected always pops up to surprise all the analysts, pundits, and decision makers of events in this quarter. I have far more confidence in my poker playing.
 
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Ezekiel    It comes down to the Philidelphia Corridor   3/2/2008 7:28:34 AM
Until Gaza is isolated, which means the IDF effectively controls the gaza border with egypt...this will be nothing but a tit for tat operation.
 
other options would be splitting the gaza up into three sections like sharon did in the 50's. Staying out of the cities but on their outskirts once again, neutralizing their ability to aggregate arms/training/unified strategy and disseminate intel!!!
 
All hail disengagement, what a marvelous strategic plan...all those who were taken in by the ruse of ethnically cleansing gaza of its Jewish inhabitants in the idea that this would further Israel's security were suckers plain and simple!!!
 
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battar    Who is the first to duck?   3/2/2008 2:28:53 PM
Ezekiel,
              The removal of Jewish settlements from the Gaza strip has done nothing for the residents of Sderot, but it has mightily increased the security of the ex-residents of the settlements, who no longer travel from home to school in armed convoys, and has done a lot for the security of those soldiers who had nothing better to do than protect them. So we are not all losers.
The Palestinians - and other Arab nations - have historically shown less regard for the welfare of their own people than we expect of Western societies, so it is no suprise that they are drawing fire onto their own civillian populations. Whining to the media when they get hit is a neat propaganda trick that works quite well. But Arab leaders do duck and run when they find themselves in the centre of the crosshairs. It would appear that the leaders of Hamas have no problem in sacrificing hundreds or even thousands of their own people to achieve their aims - in fact they virtually say as much out loud - but they are not prepared to put their own lives on the line. If you want to get them to stop, you have to go straight to the top.
 
For a comparison, se what effect the arrest of drug dealers has on the drug trade. None. Because the dealers who hand out the fix and take the money are just foot soldiers working for minimum wage, and no one is looking out for them. The show is being run by the crime lords, surrounded by crooked lawyers. They are the ones you have to go for if you want the system to collapse.
 
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Ezekiel    Gaza Judenrein: no regrets   3/3/2008 2:13:58 AM

Ezekiel,

              The removal of Jewish settlements from the Gaza strip has done nothing for the residents of Sderot, but it has mightily increased the security of the ex-residents of the settlements, who no longer travel from home to school in armed convoys, and has done a lot for the security of those soldiers who had nothing better to do than protect them. So we are not all losers.

The Palestinians - and other Arab nations - have historically shown less regard for the welfare of their own people than we expect of Western societies, so it is no suprise that they are drawing fire onto their own civillian populations. Whining to the media when they get hit is a neat propaganda trick that works quite well. But Arab leaders do duck and run when they find themselves in the centre of the crosshairs. It would appear that the leaders of Hamas have no problem in sacrificing hundreds or even thousands of their own people to achieve their aims - in fact they virtually say as much out loud - but they are not prepared to put their own lives on the line. If you want to get them to stop, you have to go straight to the top.

 

For a comparison, se what effect the arrest of drug dealers has on the drug trade. None. Because the dealers who hand out the fix and take the money are just foot soldiers working for minimum wage, and no one is looking out for them. The show is being run by the crime lords, surrounded by crooked lawyers. They are the ones you have to go for if you want the system to collapse.


Once again Battar your analaysis lacks a certain nuance and sophistication to capture the reverberations that the forced ethnic transfer of the Jewish inhabitants in Gaza had on the situation in southern Israel. First you point out that the disengagement had no impact on the residents of sderot....this is like saying that the removal of the IDF from s.lebanon had no impact on the rocketing 7 years later on Naariya, Haifa, Sefat etc. The point I am trying to make that in either case when we were inside the disputed territories, the concentration of fire and aggression wasn't on Israeli communities inside the green line, but was far more concerned with these disputed zones of influence. That is why once the retreat was called on both cases, we see a brand new reality where instead of rockets and attacks happening sporadically they have become the norm inside Israel. 
The Jewish communities inside gaza and the IDF in S.Lebanon were on the front lines with the militant islamic groups, the moment Israel pulled back the front lines also moved back. When you retreat in war the enemy doesn't just sit still they fill the vacuum as both examples have proven.
 
As far as being better security situation for those inhabitants in Gaza today, well that may be true....in the short term. BUT first these people some 3rd generation inhabitants didn't want to leave, they believed in pioneering the land of their ancestors conscience of the risk, and today more then 2/3 are still living without a permanent residents. Many have moved to Ashkelon, and as we can all see, rockets have followed them there....so the difference in security is minimal considering that katyusha's are falling all over south/western Israel, and if the trend continues, all of Israel.
 
The in true Israeli fashion you talk about the disengagement as if it were better for the soldiers....this is an absurd mentality. Soldiers are supposed to defend their homeland, people, national interest...and sometimes they die in the line of duty. You ask any infantry soldier (preferrably Givati) if since disengagement Gaza has become easier to penetrate, defeat terror and/or protect the homeland from threat eminating inside Gaza....every single one will say, that today the palestinian threat now in Gaza a whole different animal. Those Jewish communities in Gaza provided safe zones within enemey territory. They forced the IDF to control certain lines of supply, thus b/c it need control of roads it had a basic modicum of control over the strategic environment in Gaza. Then intel collection is must easier when the IDF is familiar within the territory, the moment their are no more troops, the ability to pick up informants and collect HUMINT drops considerably..... and then we are left with the phili corridor, the ceding of this border is one of the single greatest strategic blunder in Israeli history...outsoiurcing israeli security to Egypt as if the
 
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battar    Demmed if you do...   3/3/2008 3:02:57 PM
Demmed if you don't.  Ezekiel, just for the record I said that withdrawal from Gaza did not IMPROVE the security of the residents of Sderot. In August 2005, I truly believed that it would, and reality has proved me wrong. Of course it is the job of the IDF - as it was my job during my military career - to protect the citizens of our state, but if you have to put up a defensive perimiter around individual settlements rather than protecting the borders as a whole, it is possible that you are not pursuing the most efficient strategy.  
You stated that the Gaza strip is home to the most genocidal and hatred-soaked populations on the planet, true enough. Given that statement, why would any Jew prefer to live among them than anywhere else? Yes, you are making a loud political and historical statement, that even I can hear through my cynicism, but that doesn't make for a good nights' sleep.
My parents came to Israel from a country where Jews were reasonably tolerated, and going to live in a place where Jews are considered legitimate target practice would not have been a step up for them. So they settled in Ivory-towersville, and looked on with mild contempt at those Americans who were born in Brooklyn and came to settle in the west bank among Arabs whose families had lived there since the time of the Ottoman empire, and tried to push them aside saying "We were here first".  Of course, you can't put such blame on second and third generation settlers, or Israelis who were tempted by government grants and cheap housing, but those right wing settlers with the loudest mouths and most repulsive opinions always seemed to speak with a Yankee accent when interviewed on TV or radio.
As for the Hamas and Islamic Jihad, it would appear that they want to kill Jews merely for the sake of killing Jews, regardless of where they live.
 
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Herald12345    ??????????????????   3/3/2008 4:15:22 PM
If you are going to be hung for a goat anyway why not just apply the correct remedy and be done with it?

Hunt the Hamas thug leadership down and KILL them.

Then if the Gaza population persists, expel them, and take the strip settle it with those who practice the arts of peace and trade and rebuild it into a tourist resort.

Herald

 
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Shirrush       3/3/2008 4:26:28 PM
Battar, you're da man!
I never believed that the pullout from Gaza in the summer of 2005 would improve the security of the Israeli towns and villages around the Strip per se. What I naively believed was that any ballistic provocation from Gaza would be answered with a suitable artillery barrage, as Sharon had promised us. I've wisened up since, and I now know for sure that anything we do to defend ourselves is illegal and therefore a war crime. Oh welI!
 I supported the pullout, and still do. I resented the presence of two reinforced IDF brigades whose sole mission was to baby-sit a small bunch of ueber-privileged settlers, living like princes in tax-free villas-cum-swimming-pools, subsidized with our hard-earned tax money and protected with our own flesh-and-blood while the rest of us were working our asses off just to survive, and were not even getting as much as a police patrol every other week or so. I myself did a couple of weeks of reserve service in Kfar-Darom at the end of the first intifada. I honestly could not believe that these immoral, hate-spewing, fruit-trees destroying freeloaders were as Jewish as me and my comrades, since their ideology appeared to be the closest thing possible to the Hama"s death cult just across the street in Deir-el-Balakh. I am, therefore, still grateful to bad old Sharon for handing them that long-deserved political defeat. Fact is, these extremists don't call the shots anymore, and they've lost most of their power to order our army around. That was worth it!
That said, I'm really depressed tonight, because Olmert has again allowed our enemies to celebrate a "victory". Two of our best and brightest gave their lives for nothing, since the rockets are still falling on the children and little old ladies of Sderot and of Novoie-Ashkelonka.
I'm as much of a bleeding-heart liberal as every other Izzie on this board, but I sincerely believe the Gazans have earned the right to be duly Groznyfied  and thoroughly Srebrenica'ed, and the sooner the better. Since we're not Serbs, and not entirely Russian either, we can't do that really, not because of the World's opinion, but because of what we are. It'd be really nice, though, if our village militia could get off it's fat armored ass, and at least pull a Fallujah on them. Shock and awe baby!



 
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Shirrush    Hey Battar!   3/3/2008 4:42:25 PM
Where is it exactly your parents came from?
Let me guess: the UK? South Af'?

 
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Ezekiel    SHirrush and his civil war   3/4/2008 2:20:20 AM
Shirrush's demogoguery concerning those citizens who believe that Judea and shomron and Gaza should not be judenrein, that they are settleing the land of their ancestors at the behest of both labor and likud Government's are as finatical as Hamas.... What a travesty of intellect.
 
If this were the case, if these people are such fundamentalists" why during the forced ethnic transfer of these jewish populations from gaza, was not one Israeli soldier seriously injured, why did this population exhibit the truest and purest example of passive resistence to the world....if these are Israel's finatics, consider yourself lucky. Your strawman fallacy is so filled with generalization and prejudice that it is easy to understand the jaundiced expectations when regarding the strategic ramifications (you conveniently did not address the vaccuum and consequences i pointed out in this retreat in my above post) of this retreat. For the secular radical in Israel the idea that their is a population that puts more stock in its historical obligations and that it would live fearlessly right next to a population that hates them is anathema to them.
 
Which by the way is a patently false argument, if the question is why should these Jewish populations be their surrounded by this horde of arabs that hate them, well then taking this question  to a larger dimension; why should israel exist in a region that is filled with arab states that hate it. 5 million surrounded by 350 million the numners are quite the same in proportion. Should we pull out of the galille in 30 years because Jews will be a vast minority in this area? It is about Jewish rights and once the justice of the cause is ascertained you never, never, never, never, never give in. The jewish right to live on these lands is inviolate from a historical and moral standpoint and even 5 billion people were against them....it should make no difference. What is the point of values and principles, when the moment it is tough they are out the window, which is what seems to be for those who argue against the settler populations.
 
Soldiers have died proudly for alot less...some have died for a mound, a hill top, a ridge, a bridge, a plataeu....point is the soldiers defending these communities were not only defending the right for Jews to live anywhere in the land of their ancestors, but also to bring the fight to the enemy instead of the enemy (as we see today) bringing the fight to us....this though is a state of mind, an attitude, which unfortunately has long been forgotten in Israel. Israel want their little piece of the deluded peace train at any cost....even if that means creating Jewish finatics that are the scapegoat to all our ills.... "those jews over there are the problem, they are the one's that are causing all that mess for us." --- This view is myopic and ignorant to say the least....especially when we see in the post disengagement/oslo aftermath that the palestinian is not interested in a state of their own, they are only interested in no zionist state. So it doesn't matter if you rid yourselves of every patriotic jew that is unafraid  and wishes to live in the disputed territories inspite of its enemies. Because the enemy wont be happy until tel aviv is theirs.
 
Instead of israeli's coalescing, uniting and forging a patriotic culture in order to fight the massive array enemies that face them, they go in the directions of the shirrush's and the Battars' creating their strawman's, creating imaginary 5th columns, once again creating a divide reminiscent of the 10 tribes seperating from Judah...and we observe how that page in history turned out. If you really have the urge again to ethnically transfer some population for once don't pick on the most zionist and tough of Israel's populations, maybe instead of picking on the jews we could actually tranfer our enemy
 
Tranfer the palestinian gazans to the west bank, now that is a forced deportation i can get behind.
 
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Shirrush    Ezekiel (1)   3/4/2008 7:05:16 AM
I wasn't sure that your last, and inane post deserves a reply, but what the heck, have I not committed to confront all Israel bashers on this forum? So here's the first part, in which this guy Halevi accurately describes how I feel about this whole disengagement business, and he is a better writer than I am.
The second part will of course include the required amount of invective and names-calling, whenever I feel like writing it up.


 
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