Friday, January 16, 2009

Wanna bet the cease fire occurs just as Obama is sworn into office?

Because the Bush administration understands how peace comes from the end of a gun and Obama's won't.

The Israeli military on Thursday shelled the main United Nations aid compound in Gaza, struck a building that houses foreign news organizations, and caused a fire at a hospital. The attacks sparked global condemnation even as efforts to reach a cease-fire continued.

Later in the day, Hamas struck the Israeli city of Beersheba with a salvo of Qassam rockets, injuring five people, two of them seriously.

The Israeli strikes on what political officials said were unintended targets in the Gaza campaign underscore what some analysts see as a furious drive by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to achieve as many last-minute blows to Hamas as possible before a cease-fire is reached. And at this stage of the war, fissures are emerging within the Israeli civilian and military leadership.

"It's the final push to make Hamas understand, either they make a decision for a cease-fire, or it will be difficult to survive," says Shmuel Rosner, a leading opinion maker and journalist. "They need to show seriousness so Hamas doesn't interpret Israel's waiting of the last few days as reluctance to continue the operation."

While Ehud Barak, Israel's defense minister, apologized to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon for Israel's strike on their Gaza headquarters, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert took a different approach. He said the building had been used by Palestinian militants to strike Israeli forces.

[snip]

In Gaza, flames from the bombings Thursday also engulfed the al-Quds Hospital in Gaza City, though it was unclear whether this was from a direct hit or from a fire resulting from a nearby attack.

A UN spokesman said that the headquarters was hit by what was believed to be three white phosphorous shells, which burn at higher-than-usual temperatures, and that UN workers were unable to douse the flames with standard fire extinguishers.

Thursday marked the second time since the war began that a UN facility took a direct hit from Israel.

Last week, Israeli forces bombed a UN-run school in Jabalya, in northern Gaza, killing 39 Palestinians sheltering there. The Israeli army says it hit the school because it was the source of mortar fire, but the UN says that no militants were found at the site.

And the use of white phosphorous bombs is a nice touch. We use them in the Iraq war even though at first our military denied it. Even the phosphorous dust is a dangerous hazard.
White phosphorus can cause injuries and death in three ways: by burning deep into tissue, by being inhaled as a smoke, and by being ingested. Extensive exposure by burning and ingestion is fatal.
Kind of like salting the earth of your enemies, isn't it?

2 comments:

Robert said...

the use of white phosphorous bombs is a nice touch. We use them in the Iraq war even though at first our military denied it. Even the phosphorous dust is a dangerous hazard.

ellroon said...

And don't forget we'll be looking at depleted uranium effects for decades, both in our own soldiers and helpless citizens in Iraq. Lovely.