Editor’s Note – Just released at the time of this posting, Israel has suffered its first military casualty near Gaza. Of course, many will bemoan the fact that many more Gaza inhabitants have been killed, but its important to note that Gaza is finally feeling the response to the 9,000 rockets launched from there over the past many months and years.
The talk now is also about a brokered cease-fire being led by Egyptian PM Musri, but history tells us that this is tenuous at best, and likely to fail. In the mean time, both sides have ratcheted up the strikes as Hamas and Islamic Jihad have launched at least 300 more rockets today, many long range units. In the process of all these launches, the terrorists in Gaza have learned to outwit the Israeli ‘Iron Dome’ system by launching multiple simultaneous rockets at the same target.
It must also be said: cease-fire in Gaza means re-load. Then, we also learn of the fate of so-called Israeli spies in Gaza and how they are treated – summary death, dragged through the streets. If you co-operate with Israel, this will be your fate. Evil is as evil does.
Scroll down to see the video of Palestinians dragging “spies” through the streets. WARNING – GRAPHIC
By DAVID WILLIAMS – UK Daily Mail Online
Six men accused of being ‘Israeli spies’ were dragged through the streets of Gaza City and executed in front of a chanting mob today as Israel warned Palestinians to evacuate some areas of the territory in apparent preparation for a ground invasion.
Witnesses said the six were taken to an intersection in the north of the city where they were summarily shot for providing intelligence that helped Israel pinpoint key figures in Hamas and the Islamic Jihad targeted by their warplanes.
The names of the men are said to have been scrawled on the road after they had been questioned by Hamas security officials about who provided the ‘human intelligence’ necessary to pinpoint targets for ‘precision’ attacks that have 118 Palestinians – half civilians, including women and children, dead – in seven days of military operations.
Hamas Aqsa radio quoted a security official as saying the men had been ‘caught red handed’ with ‘hi-tech equipment and filming equipment to take footage of positions.’ Gunmen chained the body of one of the alleged collaborators to a motorcycle and dragged it throughout the main streets of Gaza City in a warning to others who ‘betrayed’ Palestinians.
The executions came as Israel carried out more than 150 more strikes in Gaza and dropped leaflets in the heavily populated north and south of the city warning Palestinians to evacuate certain areas.
The leaflets include a ‘grid’ of streets to be cleared, adding : ‘The Israel Defence Forces are not targeting any of you and they do not want to harm you or your families. For your safety, you are required to evacuate your residences immediately and move towards central Gaza city.’
The move was seen as preparation for a possible land offensive but also a means as increasing pressure on Hamas to give ground in its demands over the terms of a ceasefire agreement being brokered in Cairo through Egypt.
Significantly, Egypt’s president Mohammed Mursi, who has been vocal in his support for the people of Gaza and whose Muslim Brotherhood was mentor to the founders of Hamas, predicted a breakthrough ceasefire could be reached tomorrow and that negotiations were yielding ‘positive results.’
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton flew to the region yesterday to meet with leaders in what was seen to be a key move by President Barack Obama to ensure Israel pulls back from a land offensive.
Mrs Clinton is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank and Egyptian leaders in Cairo. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that Israel is exploring a diplomatic solution, but wouldn’t balk at a broader military operation.
‘I prefer a diplomatic solution, he said, ‘But if the fire continues, we will be forced to take broader measures and will not hesitate to do so.’ He added : ‘If a long-term solution can be put in place by diplomatic means, Israel will be a willing partner.’
UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon is already locked in talks in the region and warned yesterday : ‘This must stop, immediate steps are needed to avoid further escalation, including a ground operation. Both sides must hold fire immediately … Further escalation of the situation could put the entire region at risk.’
As Ban spoke in Jerusalem, residents ran for cover when Palestinians fired a rocket towards the holy city for the second time since the fighting started last Wednesday. TV pictures showed terrified people sheltering behind walls and beside cars. The rocket, which set off sirens in the city, landed harmlessly in an open area on the outskirts in one of the longest rocket strikes fired from the Gaza.
Jerusalem had previously been considered beyond the range of Gaza rockets – and an unlikely target because it is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, Islam’s third-holiest shrine. Israeli officials feared Gaza’s Hamas rulers will try to stage similar attacks deep into Israel’s heartland ahead of any possible truce.
Three Israeli civilians have been killed and dozens wounded since the fighting began last week, the numbers kept down by a rocket-defence system that Israel developed with U.S. funding. More than 1,000 rockets have been fired at Israel this week, the military said.
Shortly after the Jerusalem attack, an Israeli airstrike destroyed a car in Gaza City killing five people and seriously wounding four others. Six Palestinians died yesterday, health officials said.
In a sign of the difficulty diplomats will have in forging such a cease-fire, a man identified as Mohammed Deif, Hamas’ elusive military commander, urged his fighters to keep up attacks on Israel. Speaking from hiding on Hamas-run TV and radio, Deif said Hamas ‘must invest all resources to uproot this aggressor from our land,’ a reference to Israel.
Deif is one of the founders of Hamas’ military wing and was its top commander until he was seriously wounded in an Israeli airstrike in 2003. He was replaced as the de facto leader by Ahmed Jabari, who was assassinated by Israel last week in the opening salvo of its latest Gaza offensive.
Foreign Secretary William Hague warned the Commons the ‘window’ for a negotiated two-state solution between Gaza and Israel would soon be closed.
Read and see more here. Watch the video (WARNING GRAPHIC) :