Israeli Assassination of Hamas Military Chief as Hamas Announces that it will Open the Doors of Hell in Retaliation: By Donovan Reynolds Blogger and Independent Writer
Ahmad Jabari, the head of Hamas’s military wing, has been assassinated in an Israeli air strike on Gaza. Israel killed the military commander of Hamas in a missile strike on the Gaza Strip and launched air raids across the enclave, pushing the two sides to the brink of a new war. The attacks on Wednesday the 14th of November marked the biggest escalation between Israel and Gaza fighters 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. Hamas said Ahmad Al Jabari, who ran the organisation’s armed wing, Ezzedine Al-Qassam, died along with his son when their car was blown apart by an Israeli missile. Palestinians said nine people were killed, including a seven-year-old girl. Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency and the military also confirmed the operation.
“During a joint operation of the General Security Service [Shin Bet] and the IDF [army] today, Ahmed Jabari, the senior commander of the military wing of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, was targeted,” a statement from the Shin Bet said. The military said Jabari “was a senior Hamas operative… directly responsible for executing terror attacks against the State of Israel in the past number of years”. The purpose of this operation was to severely impair the command and control chain of the Hamas leadership, as well as its terrorist infrastructure,” it said in a statement. Military spokeswoman Avital Leibovich said the strike was the start of an operation targeting armed groups in Gaza following multiple rocket attacks on southern Israel. “The IDF started an operation against terror organisations in Gaza due to the on-going attacks against Israeli civilians,” she said on her Twitter account. Later in the evening, the Israeli military has said it was prepared for a ground operation in Gaza “if necessary”.
“All options are on the table. If necessary, the IDF (army) is ready to initiate a ground operation in Gaza,” the military said on its official Twitter account .Responding to the killing, the armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said its fighters would “continue the path of resistance”. “The occupation has opened the gates of hell on itself,” Leibovich a senior Hamas spokesman said, in a statement in a passionate call for revenge. Said to have been the head of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades. He in the past has co-ordinated much of Hamas’ military capability, its military strategy, and the transformation of the military wing. He also led the final negotiations in Cairo that concluded the prisoner swap between Hamas and Israel in 2011.The killing of Jabari sparked furious protests in Gaza City, with hundreds of members of Hamas and the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, chanting for revenge inside Shifa hospital. Outside the hospital, armed men fired weapons into the air, and mosques throughout the city called prayers to mourn the commander’s death.
An Israel defiant defence Minister Ehud Barak warned on Tuesday prior to the targeted assassination that a flare-up in violence with Gaza was “not over,” after Palestinian fighters fired two more rockets and Israel carried out air strikes throughout the previous night. Barak, meeting Israeli military chiefs, said the current round of confrontations was on-going, adding that Israel would decide how and when to respond to the rocket fire. “It is certainly not over and we will decide how and when to act if necessary,” he said in remarks communicated by his office. “We intend to reinforce the deterrence, and strengthen it, so that we are able to operate along the length of the border fence in a way that will ensure the security of all our soldiers who are serving around the Gaza Strip,” “At this time… it is preferable to act [in a timely fashion] rather than just talk.” he said.
The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the longest-running and most contentious in the world. The conflict can be seen at one level to be essentially over the competing claims of two different nations to one area of land. However the issues are deeply complex and contested, and in 2010, despite many years of a peace process a final solution to the conflict remains a distant hope. Both Israeli and Palestinian civil society groups have reacted to the conflict by forming a large number of peace building organisations, including some notable collaboration.
The main bone of contention is the Israeli West Bank barrier .A separation barrier under construction by the State of Israel along and within the West Bank. Upon completion, the barrier’s total length will be approximately 700 kilometres (430 mi). The barrier is for 90% a fence with vehicle-barrier trenches surrounded by an on-average 60 metres (200 ft) wide exclusion area, and 10% of the barrier is eight metres (26 ft.)-tall concrete wall. The barrier is built mainly in the West Bank and partly along the 1949 Armistice line, or “Green Line” between Israel and Palestinian West Bank.
According to the Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, 8.5% of the West Bank area is on the Israeli side of the barrier, and 3.4% is on the other side but “partly or completely surrounded”.
Opponents of the barrier like me object the wall on the basis that: the route substantially deviates from the Green Line into the occupied territories captured by Israel in the Six-Day War of 1967. We argue that the barrier is an illegal attempt to annex Palestinian land under the guise of security, violates international law. It also has the effect of undermining negotiations (by establishing new borders), and severely restricts Palestinians who live nearby, particularly their ability to travel freely within the West Bank and to access work in Israel. In a 2004 advisory opinion resulting from a Palestinian-initiated U.N. resolution, the International Court of Justice considered that “Israel cannot rely on a right of self-defence or on a state of necessity in order to preclude the wrongfulness of the construction of the wall”. The Court asserted that “the construction of the wall, and its associated regime, are contrary to international law”. While: some Jewish settlers on the other hand: condemn the barrier for appearing to renounce the Jewish claim to the whole of the Land of Israel.
Since June 2007 Hamas has governed the Gaza portion of the Palestinian Territories, after it won a majority of seats in the Palestinian Parliament in the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections and then defeated the Fatah political organization in a series of violent clashes. The European Union,[ the United States, Canada, Israel and Japan classify Hamas as a terrorist organization. Meanwhile the Arab nations, as well as some other countries including Russia and Turkey, do not.
In the January 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections Hamas won a decisive majority in the Palestinian Parliament, defeating the PLO-affiliated Fatah party. Following the elections, the United States and the EU halted financial assistance to the Hamas-led administration In March 2007 a national unity government, headed by Prime Minister Ismail Haniya of Hamas, was briefly formed, but this failed to restart international financial assistance Tensions over control of Palestinian security forces soon erupted into the 2007 Battle of Gaza, after which Hamas retained control of Gaza while its officials were ousted from government positions in the West Bank. Israel and Egypt then imposed an economic blockade on Gaza, on the grounds that Fatah forces were no longer providing security there.
After a series of behind the scene brokered Arab led negotiations between Fata and Hamas .On May 4, 2011, Hamas and Fatah announced a reconciliation agreement that provides for “creation of a joint caretaker Palestinian government” prior to national elections scheduled for 2012. As part of that agreement, Hamas’ resistance would be peaceful and not military, according to Israeli news reports. The conflict between Israeli and the west bank simmered with the odd artillery shelling between both parties meanwhile Fatah and Hamas enjoyed a awkward coalition mainly to attract international aid to keep the near bankrupt Palestinian coffers afloat.
The history of Israeli and Palestine is a long history of filed negotiations from as far back as back as you can imagine. The last direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority took place since September 2010 as part of the peace process, between United States President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. The ultimate aim of the direct negotiations at that time was reaching an official “final status settlement” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by implementing a two-state solution, with Israel remaining a Jewish state, and the establishment of a state for the Palestinian people. In early September, a coalition of 13 Palestinian factions began a campaign of attacks against Israeli civilians, including a series of drive-by shootings and rocket attacks on Israeli towns, in an attempt to derail and torpedo the on-going negotiations.
Direct talks broke down in late September 2010 when an Israeli partial moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank expired and Netanyahu refused to extend the freeze unless the Palestinian Authority recognized Israel as a Jewish State, while the Palestinian leadership refused to continue negotiating unless Israel extended the moratorium. The proposal was rejected by the Palestinian leadership, that stressed that the topic on the Jewishness of the state has nothing to do with the building freeze. The decision of Netanyahu on the freeze was criticized by European countries and the United States.
Wednesday’s attack comes after several days’ worth of Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip, leaving at least seven Palestinians dead and several more wounded. Saeb Erekat, Palestinian negotiator based in the West Bank, told Al Jazeera News: “We condemn this Israeli crime and assassination of Ahmad Jabari.”We are witnessing a major escalation against our people in Gaza, and it seems to me the Israeli agenda is war, not truce or a ceasefire. We hold the Israeli government responsible. He said.
On BBC Palestinian security sources and medics confirmed a total of four air strikes across Gaza during the late afternoon, two in Gaza City, one of which killed Jabari, one in northern Gaza, and a fourth in the southern city of Khan Yunis. A CNN correspondent, reporting from Beirut, Lebanon, said Jabari had been a target for Israel for a long time. In my opinion this has been a big loss for Hamas, and a success for Israel, who have been after him for a while and it could lead to an outright Israeli Palestinian war on the eve of President Obamas second term in office. Certainly I believe we will see an escalation for sure within the immediate future as the Hamas supporter in in the Gaza strip are infuriated and want revenge. We expect therefore in the days to come a lot of civilian casualties’ bot in Israel and on the Palestinian side. So let us watch the space in the days to come and wish for a speedy resolution. As it comes on the back of a civil war in Syria and both events could plunge the entire Middle East in a complex conflict that the world is unprepared for.
Donovan Reynolds is a Blogger and Independent Writer. He is a British based Social Worker and Human rights Activist. He has an interest in Politics, Culture, Human Rights and International Development issues. Readers of this blog may add their comments or critique at the space provided on this blog .Or alternatively they may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org/ or dannygerm@twitter