Gaza: UN calls for restraint, Israel authorizes more reservists, bodies continue to pile up
By End the Lie
The news coming out of Israel and Palestine is hardly getting any better as protests continue to erupt, more reservists are called up by the Israeli military, rockets hit Jerusalem and some argue that any possibility of peace was eliminated by the very public killing of Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari.
The death toll continues to rise with no less than 29 Palestinians, among them 16 civilians including eight children and a pregnant woman, killed in Gaza according to officials cited by Reuters, while three Israeli civilians have been killed by a rocket. Naharnet confirmed that since Wednesday Israeli aircraft “has killed 29 Gazans and sparked outrage across the Arab and Islamic world.”
The numbers of those killed in Gaza continues to rise while an Israeli military spokesman told AFP, “A rocket fired from Gaza hit an open area outside of Jerusalem, causing no injuries or damage.”
A second rocket landed in the sea off the coast of Tel Aviv “some 200 meters (yards)” from the beachfront U.S. embassy which sent beachgoers fleeing, according to an eyewitness cited by AFP.
According to a report from Israeli news outlet Haaretz, Israeli peace activist Gershon Baskin, the man who helped mediate the deal between Hamas and Israel to release Gilad Shalit, said that Jabiri received a new truce document shortly before he was killed.
JTA reported, “Israeli officials ordered the hit on Jabari despite knowing about the truce draft.”
The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on both Hamas and Israel to cease the deadly fighting and restore peace in the land shortly after it was revealed that a teacher working with the United Nations in Gaza was killed by an Israeli strike.
The teacher, Marwan Abu El Qumsan, was in his early 50s and taught Arabic at a school run by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East in Jabalia.
According to Ban Ki-moon’s spokesman, Martin Nesirky, Ban Ki-Moon is, “extremely concerned about the continued violence in Gaza and Israel, and deeply worried by the rising cost in terms of civilian lives.”
“He urgently appeals to all concerned to do everything under their command to stop this dangerous escalation and restore calm,” said Nesirky, according to Metro.
“A new cycle of bloodshed will make neither Israelis nor Palestinians more secure,” Nesirky continued. “Nor will bloodshed open the door to negotiations that could achieve the two-state solution necessary to end such violence permanently.”
Meanwhile, even Reuters sees the mobilization of up to 75,000 Israeli reservists as “preparing the ground for a possible Gaza invasion.”
“The Israel Defense Forces will continue to hit Hamas hard and are prepared to broaden the action inside Gaza,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said before rockets hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, according to Reuters.
On Wednesday, the United Nations Security Council held a closed-door meeting on the events occurring in Gaza with no formal statement or action taken as a result, according to The Washington Post.
The Security Council did not plan any other meetings on Gaza scheduled as of the afternoon of Nov. 16, which means that the only UN action appears to be statements issued by Ban Ki-moon through his spokesman.
These statements are quite hollow as there is no mention of action being taken and, “Nesirky would not comment on questions about where Ban would travel in the region, and whether he would visit Gaza or Israel,” according to the Post.
Interestingly, while under the impression that he was not live on air, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth Jonathan Henry Sacks, also known as Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks, said of the situation in Gaza, “I think it’s got to do with Iran, actually,” according to the Telegraph.
Immediately after being informed that he was indeed live on the BBC’s Radio 4 Today program he said, “A continued prayer for peace is needed, not only in Gaza but the whole region.”
The BBC quickly apologized for the question asked by the presenter, saying that the manner of the questioning was “inappropriate” without citing what exactly was so inappropriate, according to The Independent.
“The Chief Rabbi hadn’t realized he was still on-air and as soon as this became apparent, we interjected,” said a BBC spokesman. “Evan likes to be spontaneous with guests but he accepts that in this case it was inappropriate and he has apologized to Lord Sacks. The BBC would reiterate that apology.”
UPDATE: Anonymous has taken their assault on Israeli websites to the next level with reports of over 550 Israeli sites taken offline. In addition, databases have reportedly been wiped while email addresses and passwords have been leaked in the course of what Anonymous is calling #OpIsrael.
As of Nov. 16 at 5:15 p.m. PST, Anonymous itself has reported that 663 websites have been targeted and/or defaced.
The New York Times’ Bits blog reports that attacks have targeted the Israeli Foreign Ministry website and the municipal website for Tel Aviv as well.
On one of the many Anonymous Twitter accounts it was reported that they deleted the database for Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Bank of Jerusalem.
According to Voice of Russia, Anonymous declared that the “decision to hold the initiative was spurred on by the threat of the Israeli government to block all telecommunications in Gaza.”
We will attempt to keep you abreast of the latest updates coming out of this horrific situation. If we have missed anything please contact me immediately.
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