Israeli forces kill 7 more Palestinians in new Gaza fighting. 1 Israeli officer killed

Medics and protester evacuate a wounded youth from near the fence of the Gaza Strip border with Israel during a protest east of Gaza City, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)
Medics and protester evacuate a wounded youth from near the fence of the Gaza Strip border with Israel during a protest east of Gaza City, Friday, Nov. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

A fresh wave of fighting erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, leaving an Israeli soldier and seven Palestinians dead, just as Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers had appeared to be making progress toward ratcheting down months of border violence.

Sheikh Nour el -Deen Baraka, a commander of the Izzedine al-Qassam brigades was fatally shot by Israeli  undercover force
Sheikh Nour el -Deen Baraka, a commander of the Izzedine al-Qassam brigades was fatally shot by Israeli undercover force

It was not immediately clear what set off the sudden, rare late-night burst of violence.

In a statement early Monday, the Israeli military said an officer was killed and another one was moderately injured during “an operational activity” in southeast Gaza Strip in which an exchange of gunfire was evolved. The operation had ended and the families of the soldiers were notified, it added.

Earlier, Hamas’ armed wing, the Qassam Brigades, said Israeli undercover forces in a civilian vehicle infiltrated three kilometers (two miles) into Gaza and fatally shot Nour el-Deen Baraka, its local commander in Khan Younis town. It said militants discovered the car and chased it down, prompting Israeli airstrikes that killed “a number of people.” The clashes cooled down early Monday.

The Israeli military reported earlier that “all IDF soldiers back in Israel.” It did not elaborate.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said six people, including at least five militants, were killed and seven others wounded. In the early hours, a seventh body was found.

In Israel, the military said it had intercepted two rockets fired from Gaza as air raid sirens continued to sound.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on an official visit to France, announced he was rushing back to Israel to deal with the crisis.

Sunday’s development shattered what appeared to be a turning point after months of bloodshed along the Israel-Gaza border, with weekly Hamas-led protests drawing thousands to the perimeter fence with Israel. Over 170 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in the border protests, in which Palestinians throw rocks, burning tires and grenades toward Israeli troops.

Last week, Israel allowed Qatar to deliver $15 million in aid to Gaza’s cash-strapped Hamas rulers. Hamas responded by lowering the intensity of Friday’s border protest.

Earlier Sunday, Netanyahu had defended his decision to allow the transfer of the Qatari money, rejecting criticism that the move had strengthened the Islamic militant group.

Netanyahu told reporters that it was “the right step” at the moment and that he was committed to restoring quiet along the Israel-Gaza frontier and preventing a humanitarian crisis in the coastal Palestinian territory.

“Every action, without exception, has a price,” he said. “If you can’t handle the price you cannot lead. And I can handle the price.”

Israeli critics, including members of Netanyahu’s hard-line coalition, accused him of capitulating to violence and of granting relief to the embattled Hamas group.

The internationally backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose forces lost control of Gaza to Hamas in 2007, angrily accused the U.S. and Israel of being involved in a “conspiracy” to permanently sever Gaza from the West Bank. He promised to take unspecified measures against his Hamas rivals in the coming days.

Hamas leaders in Gaza have described the arrival of the $15 million, delivered last week in three suitcases by a Qatari diplomat, as their first major gain of more than seven months of weekly protests along the perimeter fence.

Hamas has been leading the protests since March 30 in a bid to ease a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade that was imposed in 2007 in order to weaken the militant group. The blockade has led to over 50 percent unemployment and chronic power outages, and prevents most Gazans from being able to leave the tiny territory.

Israel says it is defending its border against militant infiltrations, but its army has come under international criticism because of the large number of unarmed protesters who have been shot.

With Hamas threatening to intensify the protests and international officials warning of a looming humanitarian crisis, Netanyahu on Thursday allowed the cash into Gaza. It is the first installment of $90 million that Qatar has pledged to cover the salaries of thousands of unpaid Hamas employees for six months.

Israeli opposition figures lambasted Netanyahu for appearing to cave in to violence. Army Radio played decade-old sound clips of Netanyahu, from when he was the opposition leader, threatening tough action against Hamas and criticizing his predecessor for being too soft.

Even his erstwhile allies attacked him for indirectly doing business with a militant group that has fought three wars against Israel and is sworn to Israel’s destruction.

“Everyone knows where that money is going to go ultimately,” said Netanyahu’s agriculture minister, Uri Ariel.

But in comments to reporters before traveling to Paris, Netanyahu said it was a “question of alternatives.” He said the step was coordinated with security officials to restore quiet for Israeli citizens living near the Gaza border and to avert a humanitarian crisis.

Later, at a press conference in Paris, when asked about his longer-term vision for Gaza, Netanyahu said there could be no political resolution as long as Hamas is in power.

“You can’t have a political resolution with those who are committed to your dissolution, to your destruction. That’s absurd,” he said. The alternative is to “do the minimal things necessary to maintain our security and to prevent the collapse of the humanitarian situation,” he added.

The payment is part of what is expected to be a set of informal understandings between Israel and Hamas reached through Egyptian and U.N. mediation.

Hamas is demanding an expansion of the permissible fishing zone off the Israeli-controlled Gaza coast, uninterrupted flow of fuel to mitigate chronic power shortages and the lifting of Israeli restrictions on exports and imports. In return, Israel wants quiet and an end to the border protests.

For the second week in a row, the Palestinians kept Friday’s protests carefully restrained, burning fewer tires and refraining from breaching the fence.

In the West Bank, Abbas angrily accused Israel and the U.S. of ganging up behind his back to entrench Hamas’ control over Gaza. He also accused Hamas of undermining his goal of establishing an independent Palestinian state that includes all of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

Abbas fears that the U.S. is preparing to float a peace plan, called the “Deal of the Century” by President Donald Trump, which would leave Hamas in control of Gaza and give him only limited autonomy in pieces of the West Bank.

“We are going to take tough measures (against Hamas) in the coming days,” Abbas said.

“There is an American conspiracy, which is the ‘Deal of the Century,’ and there is an Israeli conspiracy to implement the ‘Deal of the Century,’” he said. “To my dismay, there is another conspiracy from Hamas to foil the independent state.”

Abbas, speaking at a ceremony marking the 14th anniversary of the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, did not elaborate on what steps he might take against Hamas.

Abbas has repeatedly limited financial aid to Gaza in order to pressure Hamas into returning control to him.

Associated Press

  • Niemals

    We are fed with storys about Gaza residence suffering from Israeli / Egyptian blockade – lacking electric power, fuel medicine and more.

    How come they don’t have any shortage when it comes to weapon arsenal….
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3de3f1b47e66e7df313ca9b30175351dd7c7ce13547557ead3414a77a378a2fc.jpg “200 rockets fired from Gaza”

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d75469cd4a238f1d81d27022b3ddbe6cf8c7f9565049027034c381f6b635a557.jpg A Hamas employee in Gaza with a fresh salary…., att the same time https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1fc83ceb403337bdd9494c7a63851f869bb6672a1c0cbf138434a1a65f5a21f7.jpg we see the poverty in Gaza: A family in a Palestinian refugee camp near Chan Junis – probably not the supporters of Hamas……

  • Niemals

    Is Israel and the Palestinians heading for a new war?
    Massive Palestinian rocket fire (around 400 rockets and mortar shells) and air raids of the Israeli army that strikes the Gaza Strip.
    That fuel fears of a new massacre in the Middle East.

    Hamas TV station bombarded

    The Israeli attacks were directed against the radical Islamic Hamas and the militant Palestinian organization Islamic Jihad.
    These include three attack tunnels and a weapons production facility and a base to fire rockets, the Israeli army said.
    In addition, the Air Force had attacked the station of Hamas television station Al-Aksa in Gaza.
    https://youtu.be/0ORAM-usqhQ
    This spread information to Hamas fighters and call for terrorist activities against Israel.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6684c9310e689196b84f3880b492d5b42faacd51d26e316e078dec42cfe5a789.jpg
    Hamas and Islamic Jihad warn they intend to step up rocket attacks after IDF destroys several high-rise buildings in Gaza used by Hamas for terror activity; strikes come after Israeli south pummeled with hundreds of rockets since Monday.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/29208737b19e67696ea3403b75bc9e63eb164252b7f63960b6b7feac05b8287c.jpg Destruction in Gaza (Photo: EPA)

    Senior Hamas Izzat al-Rishq claims the terror group are holding ‘urgent talks’ with several Arab states and international organization in order to end ‘Zionist aggression’.
    However Israel says it’s not involved in any ceasefire efforts.

    Is yalibnan waiting with the reporting until a full-fledged ground offensive is started?

  • Hind Abyad

    12 Shocking Headlines From Lieberman’s Bombastic Career in Israeli Politics

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/a-look-at-lieberman-s-bombastic-career-in-israeli-politics-1.6654433

  • Hind Abyad

    -12 Shocking Headlines From Lieberman’s Bombastic Career in Israeli Politics-

    https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/a-look-at-lieberman-s-bombastic-career-in-israeli-politics-1.6654433

  • Niemals

    Israel and the Palestinians are not heading for a new war, simply because the Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has resigned as a protest against the ceasefire in Gaza, calling the deal a “capitulation to terror.” His right-wing party, Yisrael Beiteinu, will also leave the ruling coalition.
    (Perhaps it will help to get rid of Netanyahu)
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/26c4f80ca3da8309a17edb7e869133425e2b07396b9773f92550f1caa82eab79.jpg

    But as usually Hindler comes with a misleading Tweet https://twitter.com/AbyadHind/status/1062687737994719233

    Hindler supposed to be an expert on Israeli Zionists like Lieberman https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fec3b15659edad3612572d75bb8a1e8cd8b52d712ad48364231e4df26db25241.jpg
    However Avigdor Lieberman is a Soviet-born Israeli politician, not any “Ex-Romanian bouncer”….

  • Hannibal

    “No political preoccupation should turn our attention from Palestine! In our backyard, is currently developing one of the most anguishing questions of this world.”

    For him this problem represents a direct menace for Lebanon, Michel Chiha writes in December 1947:

    “(…) The decision to partition Palestine by creating the Jewish State, is one of the most serious mistakes of world politics. The most surprising consequences are going to result from an apparently small thing. Nor is it offensive to reason to state that this small thing will have its part to play in shaking the world to its foundations.”

    In his editorials, the question of Palestine would recur often. Michel Chiha insists relentlessly on the dangers that would jeopardize the newly born state of Lebanon. We find in his editorials the following phrases:

    “There is no other country that recruits its population this way, by giving to strangers, wherever they came from and only because they’re jewish, the right to be citizens!”
    “We forget often that the State of Israel is a racist and confessional issue.”
    “The mistake is enormous.”
    “The future of Palestine is being handled between the United States and the USSR exactly as if Palestine was uninhabited!”
    https://i2.wp.com/www.kadmous.org/souwar/m/michelchiha.jpg?resize=400%2C254
    “In a few month inter-confessional cohabitation in Palestine would become impossible, forever.”
    “We have ahead of us a permanent danger, a hatred without end.”
    “A mistake of this size committed in the middle of this century, our grand-children will reencounter it in the middle of the next one.”
    A text from 1946 would take today a particular value in the sense that it relates directly to current events:

    “…The American interventions in Palestine are increasingly looking like they’re dealing with a purely American question. It’s a pity that the people of the United States, today the most powerful in the world, would cover-up from their vantage point such an adventure; they are putting themselves in a definitive contradiction with their most sacred moral and political principles.”

  • Rascal

    What is crazy is how China treats its muslim population, and yet nobody cares, because its China.
    When was the last time some random Middle East muslim leader openly called to help the unfortunate religious persecution of the Chinese muslim that is suppressed from practicing his/her religion and is re-educated by the Chinese government on how to be muslim.
    And why not Iran, the self proclaimed muslim champion, doing what it does so well, why have they not smuggled arms into China and set up a Chinese Hezbollah like they do in all the Middle East countries to destabilize and infect governments like the sneaky fvcking parasite they are.
    The same with Saudi Arabia, they are too busy doing business and spending money in China to care about helping oppressed muslims. That is China’s business, and how they treat their population is none of anyone’s business. Right and wrong.
    Israel should handle these useless people like a bulldozer for the constant rocket attacks they receive. The Gaza strip is a wasteland of extremism and barbaric Islamic Jihad groups that deserve nothing more than to be slaughtered like the pigs they are. Unfortunate for less radical civilians if there are any, but they will have an opportunity to leave before Hamas/Islamic Jihad doom happens.