Hamas claims Israel stalling Gaza truce

2012-11-20 23:02

Cairo - A Hamas official said on Tuesday that Egyptian efforts to broker a truce with Israel had been held up because the Israeli government had yet to respond to proposals, indicating there would be no ceasefire until Wednesday at the earliest.

"The Israeli side has not responded yet, so we will not hold a [news] conference this evening and must wait until tomorrow," Ezzat al-Rishq, a senior Hamas leader, told Reuters after Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi, the main mediator, had said he expected a deal within hours.

"The truce is now held up because we are waiting for the Israeli side to respond," he added in a short telephone interview.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has arrived in Israel on an emergency visit to help end a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants.

Clinton touched down late on Tuesday and was headed to Jerusalem for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu amid mixed signs about the prospects of a ceasefire.

Clinton was hastily dispatched to the Middle East earlier in the day while on a visit with President Barack Obama to Asia.

Jornalists targeted

AP reported that Israeli airstrikes killed three Palestinian journalists in their cars on Tuesday, a Gaza health official and the head of the Hamas-run Al Aqsa TV said.

Israel acknowledged targeting the men, claiming they had ties to militants.

A number of journalists have been killed over the years while covering fighting between the Jewish state and the Palestinian militant group, but not in targeted strikes Israel acknowledged.

Two of those killed were cameramen working for Al Aqsa TV, the centerpiece of a growing Hamas media empire, said station head Mohammed Thouraya.

The two were driving in a car with press markings in Gaza City on Tuesday afternoon, shortly after wrapping up an assignment at the city's Shifa Hospital, Thouraya added.

The station said the car was hit by a missile, broadcasting the aftermath with the vehicle consumed by flames.

Thouraya said the bodies of the two, Mohammed al-Koumi and Hussam Salam, were badly burned.

Later on Tuesday, another Israeli missile killed an employee for Al Quds Educational Radio, a private station, said Ashraf al-Kidra, a Gaza health official.

Mohammed Abu Eisha died when his car was hit in the central Gaza town of Deir el-Balah, al-Kidra said.

Lieutenant Colonel Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, said a preliminary investigation showed all three were Hamas operatives, but he would not elaborate.

Israel has struck a wide range of Hamas-linked targets during its offensive, including rocket launching sites and the homes of suspected activists, killing more than 120 people.

Asked whether Israel had widened it range of targets to include journalists working for media run by Hamas or other militant groups, Leibovich said: "The targets are people who have relevance to terror activity."

Thouraya denied that the two employees killed Tuesday were linked to violence.

"Our crew were fighters, but they were not fighting with weapons," he said. "They were fighting with their cameras. They were on the battlefield to defend the people by filming the awful crimes [of the Israeli offensive] and broadcasting them to the world."

Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev alleged that both Al Aqsa and Al Quds "are integral parts of terrorist military organisations".

He said those working for the two outlets "are not journalists by any meaning of the word".

More than 1 300 rockets fired

An Israeli soldier and a civilian were killed by Gaza rockets and an Iranian-built Fajr 5 scored a direct hit on a residential building in greater Tel Aviv causing major damage, AFP reported officials as saying.

The two Israelis who died on Tuesday raised to five the total number of people killed by rockets in southern Israel since the bloodshed began on 14 November.

And the Fajr 5 which struck an eight-storey residential building in Rishon Letzion marked the first time a longer-range rocket fired from Gaza had struck a populated area in metropolitan Tel Aviv, police said.

Police said only two people had been lightly injured in the strike which hit Rishon LeTzion some 50km north of the Gaza Strip.

"There is extensive damage to an eight storey-building in Rishon Letzion which sustained a direct hit from a rocket," police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said, noting the damage extended "within a 200m radius of the building".

He said two people had been lightly hurt in the strike, saying most of the people had managed to find safety when the air raid sirens sounded.

The attack was claimed by Hamas militants from the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, who said they were responsible for the firing of the Fajr 5 rocket, and posted pictures of the building on their official Twitter feed.

Several hours later, the military announced that a soldier had been killed by rocket fire from Gaza during the morning.

In a statement, the military said 18-year-old Yosef Fartuk from the West Bank settlement of Emmanuel had been killed during the morning in the Eshkol regional council, which flanks the southern part of the Israel-Gaza border.

Shortly afterwards, a defence ministry spokesperson confirmed that Alayaan Salem al-Nabari, a Bedouin civilian, had been killed by a separate rocket.

The spokesperson said that Nabari had been "employed by a firm that worked for the defence ministry for many years."

Tuesday's deaths raise to five the number of Israelis killed by Gaza rocket fire after three other people - two men and a woman - were killed in a strike on a house in Kiryat Malachi on 16 November.

Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defence, the army says that 1 382 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel, with another 389 intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system.

Of that number, 138 rockets hit Israel on Tuesday, killing the two Israelis. Another 51 were intercepted by Iron Dome, the military said.

Since November 14, Israel's emergency services said it had treated 37 people injured directly by rocket fire, including three who were seriously hurt, four moderately and 27 lightly.

And another 55 people were treated for light injuries while running for cover during alerts, a spokesperson said.

  • Zak - 2012-11-21 02:02

    Israel killed many, many palestinians but news24 failed to mention it, you want to fight a war you leave women and children out of it but yet these cowards fight from above killing women and children as well. 1oos of palestinian men, women and children have died and how many Israelis? like 5o..i would suggest the media tells us both sides of the story, not just one.

      ppisciotta - 2012-11-21 03:08

      Zak - you are a total idiot. A product of SA Educational system. You can't even see the truth if it bit you in the bum.

      jason.sole.92 - 2012-11-21 06:12

      zak, many many die when you hide your rockets in and among women and children. the strategy of cowardice has many bad rewards.

      john.bucknall.1 - 2012-11-21 06:15

      Zak, you ignorant fool read this and find out exactly how long this has been going on and the true reasons why the Radical Islamist do it.

      larry.lachman.54 - 2012-11-21 06:19

      If you are so clever Zak, then why is Hamas so stupid. It is the same result as the 2008 conflict, so Hamas know that there will be many civilian deaths. The filthy killers are Hamas because they know that by attacking Israel with indescriminate rocket fire, will bring death and destruction upon the heads of all Gazans. Hamas once again has blood on its hands - Palestinian blood of innocents. You cannot throw your child in front of a moving car and then blame the car for the childs death. Hamas do this unashamedly. This is called PERFIDY and is a despicable war crime.

      dragonfire47 - 2012-11-21 07:14

      typical product of sa basic school education

      henry.justice.372 - 2012-11-21 08:28

      The number of Israeli's is 5 now,but we'll forgive your ignorance and inability to count as a byproduct of your fantastic OBE anc education. If we consider there are 1.6 billion muslims in the world an perhaps 13 million jews then we can do the math here. Israel is always accused of using disproportional force against the palestinians/muslims,but is that even a valid argument? If you going to fight a war ,you fight to win.But lets indulge the desert folk here. For a proportional use of force then ,to even things out, 1.6 billion divided by 13 million we get a ration of 1:123.076. For every Jew/Israeli killed ,124 muslims should meet the same fate. That would be justice.Israel had better get cracking before this cease fire then,else they've been on the receiving end

      jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-11-21 12:54

      So Zak Hamas rockets don't fall from above ?. Do they come from below then ?. Wow !!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-21 17:05

      Israel was created in 1948 from 52% of the land formerly occupied by the Jewish and Palestinian people, and Palestine 43%. Most of the Israeli territory was the Negev Desert. Jerusalem fell into neither territory. Palestinians with their unelected, self-serving neighbors declared war on Israel the very next day. In the 1960's they even invaded Israel twice. Full military invasions. The result: Israel survived and pushed them back, gaining territory in the process. This is the origin of what you wrongly call "stealing land". There have been almost daily attacks by Palestinians, incited by their self-serving unelected backers. Palestinians even teach their children at Kindergarten to attack Israel, rather than be peaceful. Children. Kindergarten. From day one, and even today it's wage war on Israel. Israel defends herself. Yes sometimes going too far, which is unacceptable, but self-defense nonetheless. All that needs to happen is for Palestinians to choose peace side by side with Israel. This is more likely going forward now because the unelected dictators are being removed from power by their people, one by one. They will no longer use the Palestinians for their own internal political ploys.

  • werner.mayer.10 - 2012-11-21 05:09

    Over a 100 rockets fired into Israel and only 2 died? What a shame. My heart bleed for the jews. What madness is this?

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-21 17:06

      Two groups of people resented and opposed the creation of an Israeli homeland for the Jewish people after the horrors of World War II, notwithstanding that the amount of land was a tiny, minuscule slither relative to their vast lands, and Jewish people had inhabited that land for millennia. Guess which groups that was, and is. Violent Muslims and White Supremacists.

  • larry.lachman.54 - 2012-11-21 06:13

    Hamas is "waiting for an Israeli response to the truce". Look up - there's your response. Hamas are wanting to announce the truce or ceasefire and act again as if it has won a great victory. Israel must finish what it started this time or we will be back to square one in a few years time.

  • glen.e.huysamer - 2012-11-21 06:40

    Religion! Is for fruit cakes.

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-21 07:12

      It is sir, the MOST destructive force in the history of the world as you might know? "more wars fought over religion than any other cause". Sadly Hamas and their ilk use women and children as a defence, they play foul. Anway, this is not about religion, its about power, and land. It has constantly amazed me of the brainless, hysterical mentality of the Arabs? They are seemingly 'leaderless' and simply jump in the fire when told to kill......if you get my meaning? eish........

  • peanutcluster - 2012-11-21 07:15

    The IDF can kill as many many Palestinians as they wish - it's not gonna change the inevitable fact that Israel, like apartheid SAfrica cannot survive in its present form. Israel is behaving like the apartheid regime behaved during the PW Botha era, state of emergency, total onslaught, swart gevaar, rooi gevaar, bantustans etc. The sooner the Jewish settlers from Europe accept their status as Palestinians of Jewish origin in the land of Palestine, the sooner things will calm down in the Mideast and the cousins can live in harmony like they did for centuries! - 2012-11-21 07:42

      Hamas can sacrifice as many Palestinians as they wish - it's not gonna change the inevitable fact that Gaza, like apartheid S.Africa cannot survive in its present form. Hamas is behaving like the apartheid regime behaved during the PW Botha era, state of emergency, total onslaught, swart gevaar, rooi gevaar, Bantustans etc. The sooner the Muslims from around the Middle East accept the democratic state of Israel, the sooner things will calm down in the Mideast and the cousins can live in harmony like they did for centuries!

      johan.dutoit.566148 - 2012-11-21 07:58

      100% agree with peanutcluster - the world has had enough of apartheid.

      johan.dutoit.566148 - 2012-11-21 08:54

      I have been to Israel. Have you?

      jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-11-21 10:12

      You mean the Jews must mos maar lie down and vrek ? Listen 'Peanut' - those days are GONE. The sooner you and your ilk cotton on to that things will calm down.

      peanutcluster - 2012-11-21 10:31

      Jon Jones - hell no! No one should lie down and vrek as you say. I'm referring to the inevitable when it comes to European settlers ruling in the middle of the Arab lands. How is that different to Europeans settlers ruling a pocket in Africa? Its unsustainable long term! Hamas are shooting home made rockets into Israel because their land was dispossessed by settlers from Eastern Europe. Lets keep it simple! The Palestinians / Arabs are never gonna give up - like the Africans never gave up till they get their land back! History is not on the side of the settlers and a time will come when, by sheer weight of numbers, Israel will revert back to the Palestinian Arabs. Until then, sadly, the carnage will continue!

      jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-11-21 12:08

      Peanut you speak with a bit of a forked tongue don't you now. What 'European settlers' are you talking about ?. The JEWS returned to the land of their ancestors. A land that they had continuously inhabited for 3 500 years. Jews for Iraq , Iran , Yemen , Poland , Spain , Greece Tunisia , Egypt , Romania , Ethiopia amongst many others returned to their home. What 'Arab lands' are you on about. The Middle East and the Mahgreg is home to Berbers , Turkmen , Assyrians, Kurds , Circassians and Jews amongst many others. This whole 'dispossession' canard is the myth that sustains this nonsense. There were a tiny few Arabs who were chased out of their villages by the IZL ( Not the Hagganah ) during the war. In fact the Hagganah , who were 99 % of the forces defending embryonic Israel actually ENCOURAGED the Arabs to stay. You can get on youtube to hear all of the broadcasts from Iraq , Syria and Eygyt urging the Arabs to flee to make way for the invading Arab armies who would drive the Jews into the sea. In fact this fatuous claim that the Palestians were driven from their homes is the very thing that stops the tiny handful of those who were genuinely driven from heir homes by the IZL from obtaining redress. The nub of the problem is that people like you have a problem with the very existence of Israel as the national home for the Jews . Why would that be ?. Why would that be in light of the fact that Israel occupies .015 % of the entire middle east ?????.

      jon.jones.90663894 - 2012-11-21 12:20

      oops ran out of space. Now just to put this whole 'dispossesion' nonsense to bed once and for all please explain the following. The IZL never numbered more than 600 fighters at their peak. It was the middle of a war in which 110 ( nearly a 25% of the IZL ) IZL fighters lost their lives. So please explain how in the middle of a war of national survival when their fighters are dying on a daily basis can 450 people ( even armed to the teeth ) chase away 500 000 people ---while they are being attacked by 12 armies ?. That is one person chasing away more than 1000. Which is patent nonsense.But hey what is reality when you a 'waqf' to declare and dhimmitude to implement ?.

      peanutcluster - 2012-11-21 15:58

      Jon Jones - the birthright argument is nonsense. It has no more validity than your right to return to the UK or Holland or wherever you came from in Europe! Furthermore Jon, every Israeli prime minister since its inception came from Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Ukraine etc. Netanyahu is the first Israeli PM born in Israel. The Jewish settlers can stay but they have to accept that they are in Arab lands and they should accept their status as Palestinians of Jewish origin! Like you may be an African of European origin!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-11-21 17:06

      peanutcluster = peanut brain

  • Savethe White O - 2012-11-21 07:28

    Spoken like a true ben chot

  • maureen.churchill.9 - 2012-11-21 07:42

    Who launched the first rocket, you play with fire you get burnt, simple.

  • sandy.sutherland.58 - 2012-11-21 07:55

    I should imagine it might have something to do with the fact that Hamas fails to understand that 'Cease Fire' means STOP FIRING THE EFFING ROCKETS into Israel!

  • jason.rom.9 - 2012-11-21 08:23

    HAMAS are cruel people deserved what is coming !!!!!!!!!

  • angela.nair.3 - 2012-11-21 08:47

    As always - start firing the first missiles - now blame the other side for not stopping mmmmm?I dont think the word "peace" is in their vocabulary! This has nothing to do with apartheid or Zionism - its hatred for the Jews that will never end. They want Israel - a thriving country built in the desert by people that wanted to become a nation - show me what the Arabs have done? It took the West to show them their oil was their fortune! They never want to live in peace.....Why? And Gaza - a wasteland that festers with hatred...... You can have peace - if you want it!

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-21 13:26

      You tell 'em!!!

  • Eli Lewenstein - 2012-11-21 09:20

    which other country in the world would care so much for human life during warfare as to drop pamphlets in enemy territory as to reduce the loss of civillian life where Hamas terrorists are known to use civillians as human shields,Israel cares more about human life even if its there own enemy who are trying to kill them then Hamas care about their own people!!To hell with what the media,rest of the world portray or think Israel must do what it needs to do to get rid of these terrorists,who not only terrorise Israelis but terrorise their own people!!

      beverly.young3 - 2012-11-21 13:27

      Well said, many of my family live there.

  • pages:
  • 1