Israelis inspect a house hit by a rocket fired by Palestinian militants from inside the…
Militants in Hamas-ruled Gaza bombarded southern Israel with rockets Thursday and Israel pounded back with air and ground fire, the latest spate of violence that has pushed peace efforts to the sidelines.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed to keep striking against what he called the “intolerable” assaults on southern Israel.
Twenty-five Palestinians, including the son of Gaza’s Hamas strongman, have been killed since the violence escalated Tuesday. Most were militants but a 12-year-old boy was also killed in a bungled Israeli airstrike, along with his father and uncle.
A foreign volunteer on an Israeli border farm was killed by a Hamas sniper.
Hamas, the Islamic militant group that rejects Israel’s right to exist, has intensified its direct involvement in the assaults on Israel since the clashes heated up. The group, which had let other militant factions take the lead in attacking Israel since wresting control of Gaza in June, claimed it fired 36 rockets by midday Thursday, after launching 79 rockets and mortars on Wednesday.
Other groups said they fired four additional rockets and eight mortar rounds.
Israel said at least 23 rockets and two mortars were fired at Israel by late afternoon. One rocket slammed into the side of a house, slightly injuring two people, police said.
Israel struck back at northern Gaza from the air and ground, targeting rocket squads and areas that militants frequently use to fire projectiles. A leader of the small, Hamas-allied Popular Resistance Committees, Raad Abu el-Foul, and his wife, Amnah, were killed when a missile fired from the air hit their white sedan, the faction said.
The group swiftly vowed retaliation.
“Sooner or later, (we) will, by God, avenge every drop of blood shed, and the response will be equal to the crime,” it said in a statement.
*Â For the first time, Israel is not demanding the custody of the murderers of Israelis. We are witnessing the shirking of the most basic responsibility of a government to its citizens.”
*Â Of course. Nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of the “peace process”!
(IsraelNN.com) Israel has acceded to a Palestinian Authority request not to demand the murderers of hikers David Rubin and Achikam Amichai, according to a Channel 2 report.
Rubin and Amichai were murdered last month while hiking in the Telem Stream region near Hevron. They were ambushed by four terrorists, but managed to return fire and kill two of them.
By Gabriel Milland â€“ Political Correspondent/Daily Express
MILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers’ money is being poured into financing terrorist propaganda, it emerged last night.
Some of the cash is even being used to fund school textbooks which teach children in Palestine to worship violence and hate all non-Muslims.
The money has also been spent on school books praising the “insurgents” killing British troops in Iraq, a report revealed.
Tories and Jewish leaders expressed outrage at the revelations and called for an urgent investigation into how the Palestinian Authority has used Â£47.5million in British aid over the past year.
Lets give them a state!
International aid for Palestinians increases to $7.6 billion (and they don’t know what to do with the money..!)
PA minister of planning laments difficulty of fulfilling development plans in Hamas-controlled Gaza, despite willingness to allocate some 40% of new development budget to impoverished coastal territory
Total donations from a Paris aid conference for the Palestinians last month have increased to at least $7.6 billion after countries fine-tuned their contributions, officials said Thursday.
Overall international pledges from the Dec. 17 conference – which originally totaled $7.4 billion – have risen to $7.6 billion, a French Foreign Ministry official said. The Palestinian minister of planning, Samir Abdullah, put the figure at $7.7 billion.
The French official said he could not immediately explain the discrepancy, but both he and Abdullah said donors had clarified their pledges in recent weeks, and that the final figure could still change.
Abdullah said the Palestinian Authority has already begun receiving aid. The European Union transferred $44 million, France some $35.2 million, the United Arab Emirates paid $42 million, and Saudi Arabia paid $30 million, he said.
The minister, speaking to reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, said the money has allowed his government to pay salaries to some 170,000 employees for January and part of February.
Pali grievance theater.
The Palestinian Authority on Thursday slammed Israel over its deadly raids on the Gaza Strip and called on Washington to intervene to preserve renewed peace efforts.
“The Israeli raids and military escalations aim to deliver a blow to the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations,” Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman for president Mahmud Abbas, told AFP.
Abu Rudeina called on Israel’s main ally Washington to “intervene rapidly to prevent a further deterioration that may spin out of control, and to preserve the historical chance for peace.”
His comments came amid escalating violence around the Hamas-run Gaza Strip, in which three continuous days of Israeli raids have killed 26 Palestinians and seen Hamas fire rockets at Israel for the first time in months, causing light injuries.
The deadly upsurge comes a week after US President George W. Bush made a landmark visit to the region, predicting that the two sides would sign a peace treaty within a year after formally relaunching the Middle East peace process at a US conference in late November.