UK & World News
Gaza: Hamas' Jaabari Killed In Israeli Attacks
Israel has killed the commander of Hamas' military wing, as it launched a series of airstrikes on targets across Gaza.
Palestinian officials say the attacks have killed a total of 10 people so far - including two girls under the age of five - and injured 20.
Two of Hamas' training facilities were among the sites hit by the bombings in Gaza City, Khan Younis and Rafah.
Israel says the airstrikes are the beginning of a broader operation - codenamed 'Pillar of Defence' - launched in response to days of heavy rocket fire from Gaza.
Sky sources say targets in northern Gaza are under ongoing bombardment from the Israeli navy.
Israeli authorities said earlier that aircraft had targeted 20 facilities that served as storage or launching sites for rockets - and that the killing of Hamas military commander Ahmed al Jaabari was "the beginning".
The official Twitter page of the Israeli military said a ground invasion was possible.
"All options are on the table. If necessary, the (Israeli military) is ready to initiate a ground operation in Gaza," it said.
Israel military spokeswoman Avital Liebovich said: "After the rocket fire of recent days, the chief of staff has decided to authorise the targetting of terrorist organisations in the Gaza Strip - Hamas, Islamic Jihad and others. This is the beginning."
Another spokesman, Brigadier General Yoav Mordechai told Channel 2 TV that the ensuing conflict could "prove protracted", adding that "the homefront must brace itself resiliently".
The Israeli Defence Force - which released black and white aerial footage of the airstrike on the car carrying Mr Jaabari - says the number of cross-border rocket launches from Gaza has risen from 310 in 2009 to 1,200 in 2012.
The attacks mark the biggest escalation between Israel and Gaza militants since a 2008-2009 conflict - and came despite signs on Tuesday that neighbouring Egypt had managed to broker a truce in the enclave after a five-day surge of violence.
Immediate calls for revenge were broadcast over Hamas radio.
"The occupation has opened the gates of hell," Hamas' armed wing said.
A statement issued by the group said: "The Palestinian government mourns the loss of the senior Palestinian leader Ahmed al Jaabari, one of the symbols of the resistance and holds the occupation responsible for the consequences of this crime."
Egypt's foreign ministry condemned the attacks and its president, Mohammed Morsi, has withdrawn the country's ambassador from Tel Aviv. Israel has reportedly removed its ambassador from Cairo in response.
A statement issued by US state department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said: "We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence.
"We support Israel's right to defend itself."
Meanwhile, United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-moon called on both sides for an "immediate de-escalation of tensions".
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for an urgent Arab League meeting, which will reportedly take place on Saturday.
Sky's Foreign Affairs Editor Tim Marshall said the anticipated rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza could have major consequences.
"Every missile fired carries the risk of triggering the ground attack because if there is a single Israeli civilian fatality caused by rocket fire, the IDF will probably go in," he said.
Hamas said Mr Jaabari, who ran the organisation's armed wing, the Izz el Deen al Qassam, died along with a passenger after their car was hit by an Israeli missile in Gaza City.
Mr Jaabari oversaw the capture and subsequent release of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in October 2011, in exchange for 1,027 prisoners in Israeli jails.
Israel's Shin Bet domestic intelligence service confirmed it had carried out the attack, saying it had killed Mr Jaabari because of his "decade-long terrorist activity". He has long topped Israel's most-wanted list.
It marks a dramatic resumption of Israel's policy of assassinating Palestinian militant leaders.
A tweet posted by the British Foreign Office said: "We continue to call on all sides to exercise restraint to prevent a dangerous escalation that would be in no one's interests."
Mr Jaabari becomes the most senior Hamas official to be killed since an Israeli invasion of Gaza four years ago.
Crowds of people and security personnel rushed to the scene of the strike, trying to put out the fire that had engulfed the car and left it a charred shell.
Hamas police cordoned off the area around a hospital where at least one body from the strike was taken.
Israeli officials had said in recent days that they were considering assassinating top Hamas officials following a wave of heavy rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, triggering Israeli airstrikes.
what do you think?
when will we learn to live with one and all together
When people stop believing in fairy tales written hundreds of years ago.
Lorgar You hit the nail right on the head brainwashed by a bible of every religion could have easily bedn the Viz of 2000 years ago just a comic mockin people
d and d Phillips
To be relaced Lorgar by the fairy tales that we are fed today by our lily livered politicians maybe?
Nope. Replaced by scientific and rational thinking. Politics can take a running jump.
The Israelis fire missiles at their terrorists. We let them appeal to the EU and then set them free.
This is sickening. The tiny amount of the land that's not yet been stolen by Israel is being bombed to kingdom come. Luckily the Palestinian people are the most resilient people on earth and when one is murdered it creates more hatred for the full regime that suppresses them into poverty, check points, assassinations, pregnant women denied hospitals- hell on earth. In these times of corruption, abuse i feel to lucky to be able to kiss my little boy good night knowing i won't fear for his life each and every day. People are rotten to the core.
But they have the support of the yanks so they can do as they please.
Jimmy jed the large nose religion have been persecuted throuhout history romans germans etc etc now they do this to the little man then plead we never forget what they went through Smacks of double standards to me. Careful what u say their secret service will be after u
i agree with you jimmyjedi,The People and not just here,global wide, are rotten to the core! we are lucky that we don't have to put up with daily air strikes,bombing houses,look after your little boy,take care
Well said guys- and thanks joelle i appreciate it :)
Why are any of you not there in the Gaza Strip in solidarity then?
Cos we don't fancy being killed lorgar.
So you lack the strength of your convictions then. You just confirmed what i already suspected. Many thanks.
Why would anyone want to be murdered?
Ha ha lorgar. I guess you have to die to believe in something, a? Pathetic.
Rather sickening....guess Israel is trying to start another futile war. ok, so they retaliate against the rockets fired into their land but they kill and i read no rockets killing. More UN whatits/resolutions to add to the biggest list
Gaza is a concentration camp, Israel carries out collective punishment of a captive people, we never hear Hague and Cameron condemning the killing of innocent civilians when it is the Israelis doing the slaughtering.
No rockets, no attacks,
No persecution of innocent people, no rockets.
To Steven White. No persecution of Jews by Arabs, No Israeli occupation necessary................
What makes Israel the homeland of the Jews anyway?
I wonder how many of these sheeple would be so smug and cynical if they were the ones living in an open prison with little help or recognition from the wider world. Thankfully the media is losing its grasp on the easily influenced minds to unbiased reporting and endless sources of information now available for those people to have the 'a ha' moment of enlightenment. And once you have the 'a ha' moment you pick up the trail for more and more truth and the world never looks quite the same. I was once an ignorant fella that supported Israel, but once you scratch the surface you can see what's happening in the world. And once you wake up just don't stop banging on about it. People get sick of it, but occasionally the odd one will wonder from the herd and discover the truth for themselves. Viva palestina!
d and d Phillips
What makes Israel the homeland of the Jews? United Nations Resolution 181 28th November 1947. Ignored by Arabs.
And the fact that Judaism has been practiced there long before Islam was even made up.
Yeah well lets all just pack up and go back to our supposed roots no matter who or how long ago. We can just go around building on other peoples lands with complete impunity, cus we were there thousands of years ago lol typical fascist ideology- Will use anything to try and justify their actions no matter how insignificant, dogmatic or ridiculous they are. The kind of mentality you'd expect from a child not a grown up ;)
David and debra- what authority does the untied nations have over a angry that does not accept their terms and conditions? I bet you're one of those clones that pay private parking tickets just because you have a piece of paper that tells you that's the way it is.
I'm a fascist because i say the people who were there first have a right to be there? Ok Jimmy, so i assume if some squatters moved into your house that's fine, don't moan that you were there first though! Or as a typical socialist it's fine as long as it's not MY house they trash?
Any living Jew currently in occupied territory was sent there by the British 60 years ago and ever since then have been stealing land - which is even recognized and condemned by the farce that is the UN, yet they still build on 'holy land' as it's 'gods will' and 'their right' so even a smug person such as yourself that discredits religion would surely see their actions are only justified by their own delusions that it's their 'religious right' thus leaving no reasonable claim to a land that 'might have been there's 1000's of years ago because it was written in a 'book'
More than written in a book Jimmy. Archeological evidence. As you rightly say i discredit religion, but i do it fairly - ALL religion is nonsense. I base the fact they have a right to be there on that, i don't care what orthodoxy says. If both sides were 'infidels' then this wouldn't be happening.
Jimmyjedi 1979. I am my roots are here in England.
Out of Africa Diane, that is where our common ancestor originated.
Ah i see! An old piece of tin unearthed from the ground gives them the moral high ground does it lol lorgar- you have conceded by basing your argument around religion so you move the goal posts to suit an old archeological find that may or may not even be valid. So you're left standing exactly where you set off- holding an empty sack. But feel free to post more drivel- each post is riddled with hypocrisy. But ill be happy to call you out on each and every time you open your chops ;)
Yes Diane- a few thousand families in England were diluted by French, Scandinavian, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, German etc so your roots tracing back to the indigenous English, that were from Europe, and before that Africa, are about as likely as you winning the lottery
Israel has a right to defend herself. It would not have happened if there had been no rocket fire.
Agreed and lets remember these Hamas yobs are supposed to be government now. This is the only response they understand.
Compare how Hamas have behaved as a governing party with the way Sinn Fein have been since they de-militarised. The latter have tried to engage the populace, rejected attacks by renegade republicans and moved forward while Hamas cling to the old ways. Shouldnt take much to see why one group has won friends and respect and the other has not.
Stephen I agree about hamas but not Ireland there us still trouble and adams and his mate know about it
oh how peaceful the Jews and Christians are. why in gods name would anyone wanna attack such kind and humble people
well Ali Ababa you being a Muslim you would know all about that wouldn't you
Ali baba I do agree with u however i forgotten to mention how peace loving the muslims are how they get along with everyone hate noone and never blow innocent prople up??? So yes all peaceful religions
d and d Phillips
And what is the precise religious basis of this conflict ali baba? I thought the matter was rather more likely to be a political one.
Yeah Ali you must be right as we are all western non-muslim idiots according to some of the followers of Islam so what do we know. Unfortunately my friend with a comment like you have made it just fans the flames for more aggro and grief as to not include the muslims in that statement is one of the biggest jokes ever seen or heard. When will everyone realise that all religions are corrupt in some way or another and it all comes down to interpretation which idiots of all faiths do to suit their desires. I'm catholic but not naieve to the fact that the catholic church is one of the most powerful and corrupt organisations in the world. Thats the difference between humble and arrogance I am a catholic but can see the bad part of my religion, arrogance shows you can't
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I know sarcasm when I see it, but your comment is in which case out of context, maybe you are just trying to get a reaction and doing a good job may I say but don't try and cover your tracks now and if I was attacking just the muslims then i wouldn't be risking the wrath from other christians on here who probably wouldn't take to kind to my comments about the catholic church. So no not saying Christians or Jews are sweet and innocent just saying think about the bigger picture and the reaction you might get from your so called sarcastic comment, must think we're stupid or it might be we are as we don't follow your beliefs eh Ali !!!!
@ Americo Ur bang on the button mate as a staunch atheist I can comment fairly on religion Well I will always try to every religion is thousands of years old as anybody ever played Chinese whispers?? Within ten minuets the stories twisted beyond belief so not a chance for thousand year old fairytales
Americano ur obviously new here. Adj Jackson is a good guy. Can see your also a good guy. I am not religious at all. But over time just watch the hatred the Muslims get on these boards. Then u will understand were my comments come from xxx
Dangerous opponents are 7 year old Girls.
Ben you have forgotten how big the rocks are these little girls can throw a match for any tank
Hamas would never use a 7 year old girl as a suicide bomber would they...?
Have you ever seen a child suicide bomber? No thought not.
You thought wrong Mr Ralph.
Even the Israelis report youngest arrested suicide bombers to be 14+. Youngest successful (?!) suicide bomber was 15/16. Bit different to infants of 5-7 years old.
we in the UK should start focusing on Israel.never mind Europa,this mess will trigger more air strikes,and more mess,and more countries will get dragged in to it,more innocent people will have to pay for it with their lives.what a waste.
Joelle, it's Europe. Europa is a Jovian moon covered by a planatary ocean with a crust of ice.
Think it's time to get Blair out of his comfy hotel suite and get them round the table (thought that what he was there for). But we know which side of the fence he sits on!!!!!
They always fail to mention the fact that the retaliatory attacks from Gaza always follow an Israeli attack on Gaza, our media is very pro-Israel, it paints the victims of Israeli oppression as the villains.
Totally true John
d and d Phillips
The evidence is what?
well the Israelis didnt need much excuse to board aid ships in international waters and kill .
That's because they are the villians. Watch the BBC if you want some terrorist cheerleading.
Since when does the BBC do that?
Every bloody day!!
Israel of all nations should know might does not create right. They are killing civilian children so are no better than murderers with uniforms. We have long since lost sympathy for the Israeli cause. Time to think why they are hated so much.
Curious as to how the thumbs downers refer to the killing of innocent children by indiscriminate shelling. And remember we all know two wrongs don't make it right.
I think the truth in your statement david has struck a nerve
Most of the comments on here are to be disagreed with It is a fact that the average Israeli and the average Palestinian would far rather get along with one another. After all being both Semitic races they have far more in common than is generally realised. Along come the nasty Fatah sect and spread virulent Anti Semitic and Anti Western propaganda and their Charter still has a clause in it which says the Israelis should be driven into the sea. Rockets are fired for the hell of it so when they are fired in huge numbers the Israelis naturally retaliate not deliberating aiming at children and when have you heard of an Israeli suicide bomber? True, there are some ultra OrthodoxIsraeli
If the Israelis would only stop stealing Palestinian land John, then maybe the situation would improve, justifying stealing someone else's home because the imaginary bloke in the sky has promised it to you is lunacy.
This whole situation is absolutely disgusting. Both sides have behaved in an appalling manner.
Dr M i do agree with u here
Palestinians want all Israelis wiped out Israelis want all Palestinians wiped out Don't you just love all these religious people.
Exactly! Religion of all stripes has caused more suffering than it will ever alliviate.
yeah Ali new on here but been observing for quite a while and some of the rubbish I see posted on here makes me wonder so thought time to chip in. The muslims do get a rough time totally agree, one thing you will see from any of my comments though is I look at it all from both sides and not from my own dogmatic belief and unfortunately to date I havent really seen anyone comment from a rational point of view just from their own solid belief which they believe to be the one and only answer.... arrogance. I have strong opinions and beliefs but will always listen to someone elses point of view and if its good enough will take it on board 100%.
Got a lot of mates who are muslim so got no issue at all just got issues with anyone, whatever religion who try to force their beliefs on me, and obviously you got to understand with everything going on at the moment and in recent years natural reaction in the UK is to have a go at the muslims especially now matey boy has escaped extradition again. is it right? no, but if this country had some backbone and just kicked him out and dealt with other issues like this in the same way then the uk population would feel better and the fear and doubt would disperse.