Da Ha'aretz del 28/10/2005
Originale su http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/638933.html

Hamas abandons 'calm' in wake of Gaza air strike

di Aluf Benn, Nir Hasson, Arnon Regular

Islamic Jihad, Hamas and the Fatah-affiliated Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have vowed revenge for an Israel Air Force strike that killed seven Palestinians, including two Islamic Jihad militants and at least three civilians. At least 12 Palestinians were wounded in the northern Gaza attack, Palestinian sources said.

Hamas' pledge of revenge indicates that it plans to violate the "calm" it had agreed to maintain. The decision comes after four armed groups pressured Hamas to join them in responding to Israel's multi-pronged response to the suicide bombing in Hadera on Wednesday that killed five people.

In a text message sent to The Associated Press, Khader Habib, an Islamic Jihad spokesman, said the group would strike back. "There will be a painful, immediate response for tonight's crime," he said Thursday.

The IAF assassination of Islamic Jihad operative Shadi Mahaneh, who the army said was involved in launching rockets at Israel, was part of the response to the bombing, which was perpetrated by Islamic Jihad.

On Friday morning, Palestinians fired two Qassam rockets. One landed in an open area north of Gaza and the other hit the northern Gaza Strip, where the Elei Sinai settlement was located before the disengagement. No casualties were reported.

Also Friday, the IAF attacked two more roads leading to the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Lahia, Israel Radio reported.

The Israel Defense Forces has also begun implementing a plan to sever the northern West Bank, where the bomber lived, from the rest of the West Bank. The IDF was erecting permanent barriers in certain areas, setting up checkpoints on the roads and forbidding private Palestinian vehicles from using roads in this area.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced that he would not meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas as long as the PA fails to act against the terrorist organizations.

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who telephoned Abbas on Thursday, also urged him "to act against terrorist groups," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit, in contrast, said that Israel bore "the greater responsibility" for the escalation in the territories.


IAF KILLS QASSAM CELL LEADER

The assassination took place in Gaza's Jabalya refugee camp at about 7:30 P.M. Thursday, when the IAF fired missiles at the car in which Mahaneh was traveling. The missiles killed Mahaneh, 25, and six others.

According to the IDF, three of those killed were Islamic Jihad operatives who were in the car with Mahaneh, meaning that three of the fatalities were civilians.

However, Palestinians said that the car contained only one other person: Mahaneh's personal aide, Mohammed Razaina, 23, also a Jihad operative. Palestinians said that at least four of the other casualties were innocent bystanders: Rami Asef, 15; Ramez Abu Habal, 20; Mohammed Alohidi, 65; and an unidentified youth. The last casualty has not yet been identified.

Palestinian eyewitnesses reported hearing a secondary explosion after the missiles hit, and IDF sources said the army is investigating the possibility that the car was carrying Qassam rockets ready for launching, which blew up when the missile landed. If so, it is possible that the explosion of these rockets is what actually killed the bystanders, the sources said. But Palestinians attributed the second blast to the explosion of the car's gas tank.

According to the IDF, Mahaneh was a senior Islamic Jihad operative in northern Gaza who was directly responsible for crews that fired Qassams and mortar shells from Gaza into Israel. He was also involved in planning shooting and bombing attacks against IDF soldiers in Gaza before the disengagement. IDF sources said that throughout the period of the security lull, Mahaneh continued to prepare Qassams and mortars and train people to use them.

This is the second assassination that Israel has carried out in Gaza since the disengagement. The first was on September 25, when the IDF killed Mohammed Sheikh Khalil, also of Islamic Jihad.

In another response to the Hadera bombing, the IDF imposed a general closure on the territories on Thursday and shut down all the crossings between Israel and the territories. However, on-the-ground coordination with the PA continued, and Israel promised to make exceptions for humanitarian emergencies.

Throughout Thursday, the IAF bombed Qassam launch zones in northern Gaza and access roads leading to these areas, to make it harder for the terrorist organizations to fire rockets into Israel. An artillery battery stationed on the Israel-Gaza border also fired occasional shells. In addition, the IDF mustered forces on the border with Gaza, to be ready should the government decide on a ground operation there.

In the West Bank, the IDF conducted arrest operations throughout Thursday, nabbing some 20 wanted men, most from Islamic Jihad. In Qabatiyeh, the home town of the Hadera bomber, Hassan Abu Zaid, soldiers arrested Abu Zaid's father, among others.

Sullo stesso argomento

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In biblioteca

di Amos Oz
Feltrinelli Editore, 2009
di Ferdinando Imposimato
Koinè Nuove Edizioni, 2006
 
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