Monday, November 19, 2012

Operation Pillar of Defense (Day Six)

The IDF believe they have successively targeted the head of Hamas' rocket program, Yahyia Abiya.

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=292421 (via)

"The IDF targeted the head of Hamas' rocket program, Yahyia Abiya, after a heavy barrage of rocket fire engulfed Ashdod Sunday afternoon.

The targeted attack was directly ordered by Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz.

Army sources say that Abiya was directly responsible for the majority of rockets that have been fired on Israel.
"

The United States Navy is moving three ships to the eastern Mediterranean. The United States is almost certainly not going to get involved militarily in any way. They are there in the event that an evacuation of Americans become necessary, and for some reason the current commercial exits are cut off or blocked.

http://security.blogs.cnn.com/2012/11/19/u-s-sends-warships-near-israel-in-case-evacuation-needed

"Three U.S. Navy amphibious warships are returning to the eastern Mediterranean to remain on standby in the event they are needed to assist Americans leaving Israel in the coming days, according to two U.S. officials.

The officials stressed an evacuation remains an extremely remote possibility and the Obama administration is not currently planning for one. Americans who wish to leave the region now are able to do so using commercial airlines.

But the decision to send the ships even if the event is such a remote contingency underscores the growing concern about where the Israel-Gaza conflict could be headed.

"This is due diligence. It is better to be prepared should there be a need," one official said Monday. Both officials said the ships would be used only for assisting Americans and not for any combat role.
"



Hamas is 'daring' Israel to launch a ground incursion. For all their bravado, they have to understand that it would go very poorly for them militarily, but Hamas is likely confident that they will get a media win.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/world/middleeast/israel-gaza-conflict.html

"The top leader of Hamas dared Israel on Monday to launch a ground invasion of Gaza and dismissed diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire in the six-day-old conflict, as the Israeli military conducted a new wave of deadly airstrikes on the besieged Palestinian enclave, including a second hit on a 15-story building that houses media outlets. A volley of rockets fired from Gaza into southern Israel included one that hit a vacant school."

Egypt, who could once be counted on as a relatively balanced mediator, is still attempting to fill the mediation roll. Since Mubarak's overthrow, the 'balanced' part of the equation is missing.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/11/20/world/middleeast/egypt-advocates-for-palestinians-while-brokering-truce-talks.html

"While holding itself out as an honest broker for truce talks between Israel and Hamas over the Gaza conflict, Egypt’s new government sought on Monday to plunge into the battle over international public opinion on behalf of the Palestinian cause — an arena where the Israelis, more experienced in the world of the free press and democratic politics, have historically dominated."

Turkey has also taken sides against Israel in the propaganda war against Israel.

http://washington.cbslocal.com/2012/11/19/turkish-prime-minister-israel-is-a-terrorist-state

"A top Turkish official has claimed that Israel is committing acts of terrorism by bombing Hamas targets in Gaza.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told the Eurasian Islamic Council conference in Istanbul that the Jewish state is systematically mass-killing Muslims.

“Those who associate Islam with terrorism close their eyes in the face of mass killing of Muslims, turn their heads from the massacre of children in Gaza,” Erdogan said, according to Reuters. “For this reason, I say that Israel is a terrorist state, and its acts are terrorist acts.”
"

The lack of response from the US State Department did not go unnoticed by the media.

Video embedded below.





Israeli museums have been forced to move their collections from their displays to underground bunkers to ensure that they are not damaged or destroyed by rocket fire.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_ISRAEL_ART_UNDER_FIRE

"The wine-red walls of the Brueghel exhibition hall at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art are now bare, like the crime scene of a daring art heist.

Tel Aviv's leading art museum, spooked by rocket attacks on Israel's cultural capital, moved nearly 200 works Friday into a rocket-proof safe the size of an auditorium - including some 100 works painted by relatives of Flemish Renaissance master Pieter Brueghel the Elder.

"Even if there's a very small possibility (of damage), we don't play around. We don't take chances," said Doron J. Lurie, the senior curator and chief conservator. "We've guarded them like our own kids."

One other Israeli art museum followed suit, hauling some of its most prized artworks into fortified vaults deep underground to protect them from the current round of Israel-Palestinian fighting.
"

Jonathan Schanzer explains why Israel is striking Hamas now.

Video embedded below.



Here is some gunner cam of the IDF launching pinpoint strikes on Hamas' operational communications infrastructure.

Video embedded below.



The IDF has put out this sixth day recap.

Video embedded below.



Al Jazeera is reporting that the casualty count has increased to 111 for the Palestinians with the Israeli casualty count remaining at three.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2012/11/2012111915617518485.html

"despite calls for a truce, with the overall death toll reaching 111, according to medical sources.

A media centre was targeted for a second time on Monday when Israeli fighter jets hit the Shuruq tower in Gaza City. The building houses Palestinian and international media outlets, including Britain's Sky News, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya and the official Hamas broadcaster, Al Aqsa TV.
"

Past Posts on Operation Pillar of Defense (from first to last):
Berman Post: Israel Launches Operation "Pillar of Defense"
Berman Post: Operation Pillar of Defense (Day Two)
Berman Post: Operation Pillar of Defense (Day Three)
Berman Post: Operation Pillar of Defense (Day Four)
Berman Post: Operation Pillar of Defense (Day Five)

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