Defense officials: Hamas hit hard, wants truce


Defense officials say Hamas approached Israel indirectly, asked for ceasefire after more than 20 terrorists killed, dozens hurt in past 48 hours; meanwhile, more than 70 rockets, mortar shells and missiles fired at southern communities

Is latest round of fighting nearing its end? Hamas’ political wing is interested in a ceasefire and has approached Israel indirectly with a message to that effect via various elements, defense officials said Saturday.

The officials noted that Hamas sustained a harsh blow in the past 48 hours, with more than 20 terrorists killed in the Gaza Strip and dozens wounded in IDF strikes. Overall, some 35 Hamas men have been killed in the past 10 days.

However, despite the assessment, rocket attacks on Israeli communities continued through Saturday, with anti-rocket sirens activated at various southern towns and regions Saturday afternoon. Earlier in the day, rockets exploded near the town of Ofakim, with one landing near a local school.

‘Terrorists hiding behind civilians’

The latest round of fighting began Thursday, after Hamas fired an anti-tank missile at a school bus traveling in southern Israel. A 16-year-old boy sustained serious wounds in the attack and the bus driver was lightly hurt.

Since Thursday, terror groups in Gaza fired more than 70 rockets, mortar shells and missiles at southern Israel communities. Several rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-rocket system.

The army said that terrorists in Gaza are making use of public buildings in their attacks and are operating in crowded population centers. A video published by the IDF Spokesman’s Office documented a strike on a rocket launcher hidden in a Gaza cemetery. Several Palestinian civilians were hurt in the attack.

“When Palestinian civilians are killed in these kinds of strikes, the population should only complain to Hamas, which continues to turn its own citizens into a protective vest,” a military official said.

Meanwhile, the IDF Home Front Command and municipal officials decided that sporting events scheduled for Saturday evening will be held without a crowd, to avoid the risk of a mass-casualty rocket attack.

‘All options on table’

Earlier, defense officials said that Hamas understood the heavy price it has paid following the missile attack on the school bus. The army added that Israel has not used all means at its disposal, and that “all options were on the table.”

“We won’t tolerate incidents like the one we saw Thursday,” a senior official said. “It’s important for us to initiate, and not only respond.”

In recent days, security officials reported that Hamas’ military wing is no longer following the orders of the group’s political wing, and that the organization is facing anarchy. At this time, officials expect significant pressure within Hamas to agree to a ceasefire.

April 9, 2011 | 12 Comments »

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12 Comments / 12 Comments

  1. There has been far, far more than sufficient provocation for Israel to now strive for the total elimination of Hamas.

    Disregard Barak’s foolish attempts at a ceasefire. He, evidently, is incapable of learning from past experiences.

    Any kind of pause or truce or hudna will only provide Hamas time to regroup and rearm as has happened so often in the past.

    There can be no compromise with Hamas. Israel must anihilate that murderous gang of terrorists and provide a vivid example for the rest of the Arab world.

  2. …………………….Israel detains 30 Hamas officials……………. ..More than 30 senior officials from the Palestinian militant group Hamas have been detained by Israeli forces in overnight raids in the West Bank. ….In the latest attacks they targeted two empty Hamas buildings – one in Gaza City and one in Deir al-Balah in the centre of the Gaza Strip……

  3. Idiot analysts on Israel’s CH2 TV just suggested everything that’s been tried a million times: Negotiate with Hamas. Hit Hamas targets but don’t endanger Gazan civilians. On and on and on and on.

    There’s also a Wikileaks where the joker who lost the appointment to be Israel’s Chief of Staff, Yoav Galant, actually thought it would be a brilliant idea to to strengthen Hamas. More in the Ha’aretz (forgive me) article, Israel has no clear or consistent policy on Gaza Strip or Hamas.

    In the meantime, rockets and mortars continue to rain down and it’s deja vu all over again.

    But relax, because AmericanEgo says that our Bibi is so crafty and so clever. Only the rest of us are too stupid to fathom Netanyahu’s brilliance. Puke.

  4. This is how it should be – you hurt one Israeli, and you’ll die!!! I hope Israel keeps it up, and continue that way. Respect is only gained by strength.

  5. Israel should announce they have arranged a deck of cards (a la USA in Iraq) w/ the names and pictures of the top 52 political and military Hamas personnel. They will be eliminated ASAP. Given the war they have declared (maintained) against Israel and its civilians. Anyone within 100 meters of these targets are taking their lives into their own hands. They well be targeted day and night, so do not live near them or walk near them or you are responsible for any casualties sustained. The world may find this not only reasonable but amusing (whats good for the gander….) This will serve 2 purposes: 1) eliminate those who are really amking war on Israel and 2) send those who are warring into deep bunkers where they are less able to work

  6. Overall, some 35 Hamas men have been killed in the past 10 days.

    Get rid of all of them and the remaining “palestinians” might have a life…

  7. If Hamas still has the ability to ask for a truce then Israel hasn’t hit them hard enough.
    Another volley or 5, Israel.

  8. Ramallah Gaza May 25 DPA Israel has arrested 33 senior Hamas officials in raids throughout the West Bank widening a campaign against the ruling Palestinian party in response to more than a week of intense rocket fire from the Gaza Strip…The officials included Education Minister Nasser Eddin al-Shaer in Nablus three parliament members and six mayors including those of Nablus and Qalqilya Adli Yaish and Wajih Qawwas Palestinian sources said..Israeli Defence Minister Amir Peretz said the arrests Thursday were a message to Hamas that Israel did not tolerate the rocket fire..I think that we have shown all the restraint necessary and I think that at this moment we will take any action that can have an impact to restore calm Peretz told Israel Army Radio..This type of action did not create more bloodshed and confrontation he added justifying the move..But Nabil Abu Rudeineh the spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas strongly condemned the arrests calling them punitive and revenge measures that would only increase the tension and have grave consequences..Information Minister Moustafa Barghouti at a news conference in Ramallah called the arrests an assault against the democratically elected Palestinian institutions and called for immediate and direct pressure on Israel to stop it..Hamas political leadership in Damascus also issued a statement criticising the arrests and said Hamas would not change its ideology of resisting occupation with all possible means military resistance foremost..US State Department deputy spokesperson Tom Casey said the United States has contacted the Israelis to express concerns about the arrests..While we understand and respect Israels need to defend itself we do wish to have them take into consideration the consequences of their actions including its effect on the ability to promote the kind of dialogue that we want to see happen Casey said..More than 40 members of the 132-seat Palestinian parliament are currently in Israeli prisons. The Israeli military said it was a building used by the Hamas organisation but Palestinians said it was a security post near Haniyas office..Meanwhile Palestinian President Abbas urged an end to the idle Hamas rocket fire at a joint news conference in Gaza with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana who too said the Palestinian rockets and the Israeli reactions must be stopped..Abbas made the call after overnight talks at his Gaza City office with representatives of militant factions including Hamas at which he failed to convince them to restore a six-month ceasefire with Israel in Gaza that has collapsed over the escalation in rocket-fire of the past 10 days..During this time close to 200 Hamas-made Qassam rockets had been launched at southern Israel.