Friday, January 2, 2009

Hamas Rockets Put Israel's Nuclear Facility in Battle Zone

 Friday, January 02, 2009 

Rocket attacks from Gaza have forced Israelis to flee in ever greater numbers, escalating the belief among Israel's military chiefs that Hamas missiles could threaten the nation's top secret nuclear facility at Dimona.
Israeli officials say that Hamas has acquired dozens of Iranian-made Fajr-3 missiles and with it, an even longer range than previously seen. Many fear that as the group acquires ever more sophisticated weaponry it is only a matter of time before the nuclear installation at Dimona, 20 miles east of Beersheba, falls within its sights.

Dimona houses Israel’s only nuclear reactor and is believed to be where nuclear warheads are stored.

Israeli officials allowed dozens of Palestinian holders of foreign passports to flee the fighting in the Gaza Strip on Friday.

Army spokesman Peter Lerner says nearly 300 Palestinians poured through the Israeli-controlled Erez crossing Friday morning. The Palestinians hold citizenship from a number of other countries, including the U.S., Russia, Turkey and Kazakhstan.

On Thursday an Israeli warplane dropped a 2,000-pound bomb on the home of one of Hamas' top five decision-makers, instantly killing him and 18 others, while the Israeli army said troops massed on the Gaza border were ready for any order to invade.

The airstrike on Nizar Rayan was the first that succeeded in killing a member of Hamas' highest echelon since Israel began its offensive Saturday. The 49-year-old professor of Islamic law was known for personally participating in clashes with Israeli forces and for sending one of his sons on a 2001 suicide mission that killed two Israelis.

The attacks continued Friday. Before dawn, Israeli aircraft hit 15 houses belonging to Hamas militants, Palestinians said. They said the Israelis either warned nearby residents by phone or fired a warning missile to reduce civilian casualties. Twelve people were hurt in the attacks, hospital officials said.

Even as it pursued its bombing campaign, Israel kept the way open for intense efforts by leaders in the Middle East and Europe to arrange a cease-fire. Israel said it would consider a halt to fighting if international monitors were brought in to track compliance with any truce.

Adding to the urgency of the diplomatic maneuvering, the Israeli military said its preparations for a possible ground assault were complete and that troops stood ready to cross the border if the air operation to stamp out Hamas rocket fire needed to be expanded.

Soldiers massed along the Gaza frontier said they were eager to join the fight, and some even cheered as they heard thunderous airstrikes in the distance.

The hit on Rayan's home obliterated the four-story apartment building and peeled off the walls of others around it, creating a field of rubble in the crowded town of Jebaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. Mounds of debris thrown up by the blast swallowed up cars.

Eighteen other people, including all four of Rayan's wives and nine of his 12 children, also were killed, Palestinian health officials said. A man cradled the burned, limp body of a child he pulled from the rubble.

The house was one of five bombed Thursday, among more than 20 targets altogether. Warplanes shredded the houses, taking off walls and roofs and leaving behind eerie, dollhouse-like views into rooms that still contained furniture.

Israel's military, which has said the homes of Hamas leaders are being used to store missiles and other weapons, said the attack on Rayan's house triggered secondary explosions from the arms stockpiled there.

Seven other Palestinians were killed in airstrikes Thursday and one died of earlier injuries.

Israel has targeted Hamas leaders many times in the past, and the current leadership went into hiding at the start of the offensive. Rayan, however, was known for openly defying Israel and in the past had led crowds to the homes of wanted Hamas figures — as if daring Israel to strike and risk the lives of civilians.

Residents said he openly went to a nearby mosque Thursday morning to pray.

In his last interview, recorded with Hamas TV on Wednesday, Rayan was as defiant as ever about confronting the Israeli military.

"Oh fighters, know that you will be victorious," he said. "God promises us either victory or martyrdom. God is greater than they are, God is greater than their planes, God is greater than their rockets."

The military said it had information that there was a tunnel beneath Rayan's home for use as an escape route.

Israel seemed determined to press ahead with airstrikes on Hamas houses. It also has been targeting buildings used by the territory's Hamas government — emptied days ago by evacuations — as well as rocket-launching sites and smuggling tunnels along the border with Egypt.

"We are trying to hit everybody who is a leader of the organization, and today we hit one of their leaders," Israeli Vice Premier Haim Ramon said in a television interview.

More than 400 Gazans had been killed and some 1,700 wounded since Israel embarked on its aerial campaign, Gaza health officials said. The United Nations has said the death toll includes more than 60 civilians, 34 of them children.

One of them, 11-year-old Ismail Hamdan, was buried Thursday after dying of wounds suffered from an airstrike Tuesday that killed two of his sisters, Haya, 4, and Lama, 12. His body was wrapped in a Palestinian flag and his battered face was still bandaged as he was carried above a crowd of mourners.

Since Saturday, three Israeli civilians and one soldier have also died in rocket attacks that have reached deeper into Israel than ever before, bringing more than a tenth of Israel's population of 7 million within rocket range.

The bombing campaign has worsened an already hard life for Gaza's mostly poor population of 1.5 million. On Thursday, hundreds of people stood in long, snaking lines across the territory waiting to buy bread.

Israel launched the offensive Saturday after more than a week of intense Palestinian rocket fire that followed the expiration of a six-month truce, which Hamas refused to extend because Israel kept up its blockade of Gaza.

So far, the campaign has been conducted largely from the air. But a military spokeswoman, Maj. Avital Leibovich, said preparations for a ground operation were complete.

"The infantry, the artillery and other forces are ready. They're around the Gaza Strip, waiting for any calls to go inside," Leibovich said.

Thousands of soldiers waited along the border, resting among tanks, armored personnel carriers and howitzers. The troops watched warplanes and attack helicopters flying into Gaza, cheering each time they heard the explosion of an airstrike.

One soldier, who can be identified under military rules only as Sgt. Yaniv, said he was eager to go in. "I am going crazy here watching all this. I want to do my part as well," he said.

Hamas promised to put up a fight if Israeli land forces invaded.

Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and many other Western nations. From 2000 to 2004, Hamas was responsible for killing nearly 400 Israelis and wounding more than 2,000 in 425 attacks, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

From 2001 through May 2008, Hamas launched more than 3,000 Qassam rockets and 2,500 mortar attacks against Israeli targets.

"We are waiting for you to enter Gaza to kill you or make you into Schalits," the group said, referring to Israeli Sgt. Gilad Schalit, who was captured in a cross-border raid by Hamas-affiliated militants 2 1/2 years ago and remains in captivity in Gaza.

Israel's bruising campaign has not deterred Hamas from assaulting Israel. According to the military, militants fired more than 30 rockets into southern Israel during the day.

No injuries were reported, but an eight-story apartment building in Ashdod, 23 miles from Gaza, was hit. Panicked residents ran through a debris-strewn street.

Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rebuffed a French proposal for a two-day suspension of hostilities to allow for the delivery of humanitarian supplies. Israel has been allowing trucked relief supplies to enter Gaza. Ninety aid trucks crossed the border Thursday.

Still, Olmert seemed to be looking for a diplomatic way out, telling Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and other world leaders that Israel would accept a truce only if international monitors took responsibility for enforcing it, government officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were confidential.

A Turkish truce proposal included a call for such monitors.

Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, speaking to reporters during a visit to Paris for meetings with French officials, expressed skepticism about the benefits of a cease-fire. She said Hamas used the lull during the six-month truce that expired last month to build up its arsenal of weapons.

"Our experience from the past is that even when we accept something in order to have a peaceful period of time, they abuse it in order to get stronger and to attack Israel later on," Livni said.

Egypt's foreign minister said Hamas must ensure that rocket fire stops in any truce deal, and he criticized the Palestinian militants for giving Israel an "opportunity on a golden platter" to launch the offensive.

Gaza has been under Hamas rule since the group's fighters overran it in June 2007. The West Bank has remained under the control of moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has been negotiating peace with Israel for more than a year but has no influence over Hamas. Bringing in truce monitors would require cooperation between the fiercely antagonistic Palestinian factions.

An Abbas confidant said the Palestinian president supported the notion of international involvement. "We are asking for a cease-fire and an international presence to monitor Israel's commitment to it," Nabil Abu Rdeneh said.

World leaders have not been deterred by the initial rejections by Israel and Hamas of truce efforts, and next week French President Nicolas Sarkozy plans a whirlwind trip around the region.The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comment: Hamas had been using the Qassams rockets as long as I can remember. This rockets are cobbled together in a rudimentary from a different parts smuggled from the outside.

Its only effective on short-range up to 1.8 miles. Very short indeed. Unlike the Israeli possesion, this rockets is very simple, it don't have any sophisticated guidance/targeting systems, infact there have none at all. This of course contributed toward it poor performances and less infective unless it ben used in a populated area. Sort of trowing stone with a blind eyes hopping to hit somebody so to speak. What a trully reminiscence of Palestinian people throwing stone on the street at the full heavily armor Israel army.

The Fajr-3 rocket is an Iranian multiple-launch artillery rocket which carries a 45-kilogram warhead. With the ranges about 75–80 kilometres efectively can reach the Dimona nuclear facilities, 20 miles away. There were growing fears in Israel that this missiles could bring catastrophe to the complex.

Well I this type of rocket wont bring no harm to the reactor. It may damage the fasilities surrounding the buildings but not the re-enforced harden reactor building. If it ever pass multi layers of USA made and Israel own anti missile system. 

Aljazeera video on Israeli's bombardment:

Aljazeera reports on the further Israeli airstrikes on Gaza pluss an interesting comment from Israeli Foreign Minister:


Anonymous said...

Contained Panic..

airkita said...

If Hamas causes any serious damage, Isreal will carpet bom the Palestinian like no tomorrow.

ipv6 said...

yeah airkita,spot on. Israeli will be using this to lunch massive military action again the palastinian. A full and heavily arm Israel Defense Forces aka IDC will launch their tanks,armour vehicles,jets and choppers and pound Gaza with his powerfull artilery..with satelite aided in the sky. On the other End is the Hamas group, barely arm with light sub-machine gun, the famous Kalasnikov and the unsophisticated rocket luncer, Qassam and perhap a few RPG. Even if they really have the Iranian Fajr-3 rocket, it cannot match the much more variety and advanced Israeli's missile and not to mention one that lunch from the air...

perunding said...

It is the battle oh between David and Goliath.
But this time around ,Palestine is the David.
When no hope is expected from anybody,then all heart will focus on praying for Allah Helps.
No worry.
Killed is heaven.
Survived is victory.

ipv6 said...

It's kind of hard to repeat what the Hizbollah did in 2006, whereas Hizbollah receives a bit of logistical support and tactical decisions from Syria. But Hamas doesn't enjoy the same circumstances, worse still the Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak turn his back on them, and probably did more damaging by aide the Israeli's army.

The fate of the dead is certain but the fate and life of those who's not is much concerned to me.

Anonymous said...

Elohe Israel, Elohe Moshe, Elohe Muhammad, One Elohe, The Greatest, El Gibbor, In You We Trust, Oh Powerful, The Most Knowing …

Shalom To All Prophets and Messengers of Our Elohe, Allahu Akbar, He and His Armies will win …

We believe in Him, His Angels, His Books, His Messengers, The Last Day, The Qadr which from Him & The Ressurection after Death!

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