Israel on brink of war as ‘deal of the century’ waits in the wings

by WorldTribune Staff, November 13, 2018

More than 450 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel on Nov. 12 and Israel responded by hitting over 70 Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets, reports said.

The Jerusalem Post reported on Nov. 13 that Hamas requested a ceasefire with Israel via four mediators – Egypt, the UN, Norway and Switzerland. Israel agreed to the ceasefire, but also said that it reserves its freedom to operate.

A ball of fire is seen above the building housing the Hamas-run TV station on Nov. 12. / AFP

The new hostilities broke out as the United States said it will soon release its plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

The U.S. said President Donald Trump’s proposal, which he has referred to as the “deal of the century,” will be for a complete solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict as interim solutions have not worked and the U.S. won’t invest time in them anymore.

Related: U.S. envoy: Trump’s Mideast ‘deal of the century’ to be released ‘soon’, November 11, 2018

The barrage from Gaza began on Nov. 12 when Hamas terrorists fired an anti-tank missile towards a bus in the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council. One soldier was seriously injured in the attack.

A 40-year-old man was killed when a Gaza rocket hit a residential building in the city of Ashkelon.

A large percentage of the rockets fired from Gaza were taken out by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

Hamas said the rocket attacks were retaliation against the Nov. 11 IDF operation in Gaza that resulted in the deaths of seven Hamas militants.

Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said its fighter jets struck Hamas’s military intelligence headquarters and “hit dozens of targets in under two hours, including four ‘super targets’ – multi-story buildings in the heart of the city. We did all this without killing anyone, and we made sure that the surrounding buildings were evacuated.”

Another major target was the Hamas-run television station in Gaza.

U.S. envoy to the Mideast Jason Greenblatt issued a scathing condemnation of Hamas.

“Terrorists in Gaza are again attacking Israel with tools of war. These rocket & mortar attacks on Israeli towns must be condemned by all. Israel is forced once again into military action to defend its citizens. We stand with Israel as it defends itself against these attacks,” Greenblatt wrote.

“Hamas’ activities continue to prove they don’t really care about the Palestinians of Gaza & their only interest is to use them for political purposes. Even Palestinian lives seem not to matter to Hamas,” he added. “The world has grown tired of Hamas’ violence and the violence of other bad actors in Gaza. This violence prevents any real help for the people of Gaza.”

Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, appealed to the Security Council to condemn the firing of hundreds of rockets from Gaza at Israel.

In a letter to the Council’s members, the ambassador noted that “after a day of rocket barrages, there is no room for any other definition of Hamas except that of terrorist organization. To the world it presents its civilians as victims, but then uses them as human shields.”

Danon added that “Israel cooperated with all international bodies, including the UN, but the aggressive escalation from Gaza indicates that there are elements pushing for another round of violence that will cause destruction and losses within the Gaza Strip.”

Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said in a statement to the Turkish media outlet Anadolu that Israel must end its military activity in the Strip “immediately.”

The Turkish government spokesman also called on the international community to “take action” to force Israel to halt its ongoing air campaign against terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

“The international community, which stays silent in the face of Israel’s attacks, must take responsibility and take action,” Kalin said.

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