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Three Israelis Killed by Rocket in Southern Israel

Dozens of rockets slammed into southern Israel on Thursday killing three Israelis in the southern town of Kiryat Malakhi. The deaths came when a long-range rocket fired from Gaza scored a direct hit on a four-story building. Palestinians say 13 people have been killed in Israeli airstrikes Wednesday and Thursday. Israeli officials said they expect more rocket barrages on Thursday and Friday, especially after the funeral of Ahmed Jabari, killed by Israel in a rocket attack yesterday. Jabari is the most senior Hamas official killed by Israel since Operation Cast Lead four years ago. Jabari, the de facto head of the Hamas military wing, was believed to be personally responsible for the kidnapping and imprisonment of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Israeli planes dropped leaflets on Gaza urging civilians to stay away from weapons storage facilities. Israel has launched dozens of airstrikes meant to destroy Hamas’s ability to launch rockets at Israel, and Israel has blown up many al-Fajr rockets that can reach Tel Aviv. Life in southern Israel came to a standstill today, as schools and many workplaces were closed and residents were urged to stay close to reinforced rooms.

Egypt Calls for UN Security Council Meeting on Gaza

Egypt has requested a special meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss what it called “Israeli aggression on Gaza.” Egypt yesterday recalled its ambassador to Israel for consultations as a sign of protest at Israel’s killing of Hamas’s senior military commander. Egypt was the first country to sign a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, but relations have never been warm. The Israeli strikes on Gaza, which Israel says come in response to frequent rocket fire on Israel, put Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in a difficult position. The new Egyptian government is controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Hamas is also an offshoot. At the same time, Morsi does not want to endanger security ties with Israel or his relationship with the U.S.

Hamas Calls Israeli Killing of Senior Military Leader a “Declaration of War”

The armed wing of Hamas, Azzadin al-Qassam, threatened to send missiles into the heart of Israel including Tel Aviv and called Israel’s killing of Ahmed Jabari a declaration of war. In a statement they said that Israel “had opened the gates of hell for itself.” Palestinian officials from the rival Fatah movement also condemned the Israeli airstrikes. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Palestinian Authority held Israel responsible for what he called “the brutal aggression” against Gaza.

Father of Captured Israeli Soldier Says Killing of Jabari “Not Personal”

Noam Shalit said his son Gilad Shalit, who had been held in Hamas captivity in Gaza for more than five years, did not show any emotion when Noam told him of Jabari’s killing by Israel. “This is not personal, we are not seeking revenge,” Noam Shalit told Israel’s Channel 2 television station. “The fight against terror continues and we are united with the Israeli army in that fight.” Noam Shalit is running for a seat in Israel’s next parliament with the center-left Labor party. He said the Israeli campaign in Gaza will not solve Israel’s problems with Hamas. “Hamas won’t disappear and neither will Gaza,” Shalit said. “At some point, whether directly or indirectly, Israel will have to find a way to talk with Hamas and end the hostilities between them.”

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Arab News Bites

The Media Line presents Arab News Bites:

A daily summary of articles appearing throughout the Middle East

Compiled by Amir Khalil, The Media Line

An electronic war: IDF and Al-Qassam brigades battle on Twitter

Al Hayat daily, London, Nov 15 2012

 

Thousands around the world shared the news of the latest military attack on the Gaza Strip on social media websites after the assassination of Ahmed Al- Jabari, a prominent leader in Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam brigades. However, two accounts on Twitter were unusually active in this regard, those of the IDF (Israeli army) and the Qassam Brigades. As the IDF started tweeting heavily after the Jabari assassination justifying the Israeli attacks, adding that the mission is not over with the assassination, the account of the Qassam responded to the IDF in English saying that targeting Jabari “opened the doors of hell on the occupation”. The IDF tweets included a photo for Al-Jabari, a drawing that said “12 thousand missiles fired from Gaza and information that the situation will escalate.” An IDF tweet advised Hamas members not to show their faces in the next few days, an Al-Qassam tweet responded to that by saying “our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are”.

Gaza, the hardest test

Al Quds Al Arabi, London, Nov 15, 2012

 

The editor-in-chief of Al Quds Al-Arabi Abed Al-Bari Atwan wrote in the daily paper’s editorial that the resistance in Gaza doesn’t have access to developed weapons, but through its will, and what is available of artillery, it can still remind the Israelis and Arabs that there is a lost right in “Palestine” and that there are people fighting for that right. He added that Al-Qassam promised to avenge the death of their leader, and these brigades fulfill their promises. Atwan said that the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called for early parliament elections and decided to run in one list with the right-wing extremist, head of Israeli Beitenu Avigdor Liebermann, who wants to boost his guaranteed success by killing more people in Gaza.  He described what is happening in Gaza to a test to the regimes of the Arab Spring, particularly Egypt, affirming that most of these regimes will fail this test.

 

Israeli blindness

Al Arab newspaper editorial, Doha, Nov 15, 2012

 

The Qatari Arab newspaper wrote that the recent Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip confirm that the Israeli government doesn’t know what to do, and doesn’t recognize that the region has changed and entered a new phase. The editorial said that if the attack on Gaza in late 2008 was ignored by some Arab regimes that were in power at the time, this new attack will not be ignored in the same way. The article suggested that these complicit regimes changed and the people chose new regimes closer to their visions and closer to “Palestine” and Jerusalem. The editorial added that Israel might need to reconsider its moves as this new attack on the besieged Gaza Strip will lead to new tension in the region, stating that the problem with Israel is that it always relies on power when dealing with Arabs and Palestinians, the Arabs and the new national regimes will not allow Israel to repeat its attacks on Gaza. This power might backfire on Israel, the article concluded.

A Ministerial Arab Committee to discuss the Israeli attack on Sudan

Al Dustour daily, Amman, Nov 15 2012

 

The Sudanese Foreign Minister Ali Karti said that the Arab League has formed a ministerial committee to study a response to the Israeli attack on Sudan. Karti added that the committee consists of Tunisia, Egypt, Qatar in addition to the Arab League Secretary General, Nabil Al-Arabi. Karti was quoted as saying that the Arab League will file a complaint to the United Nation’s Security Council as the Israeli attack represented a serious violation of the international law, adding that the Arab League stressed Sudan’s right to defend itself and its citizens.

A protester was killed in a demonstration in Jordan

Al Youm Al Sabe daily, Cairo, Nov 15 2012

 

A protestor was killed and ten were wounded early on Thursday as violent demonstrations protesting rising fuel prices in Jordan entered their third day. The protesters were killed as an armed group raided a police station in the Northern city of Irbid Wednesday evening, according to the Jordanian Public Security Department. Security sources refused to reveal additional details of the latest protests that started on Tuesday after a decision to raise fuel prices.  More than 30 people were arrested during Wednesday’s protests.

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