What is going on here?
JERUSALEM – Two Katyusha rockets fell on northern Israel Sunday, the first fired from Lebanon since last summer’s inconclusive war with Hezbollah guerrillas. No one was hurt, but there was some damage, police and the military said.
Hezbollah denied firing the rockets in a broadcast on the militant group’s Al-Manar television.
The attack raised the possibility of Israeli reprisal and a new flareup between the two countries. It came as Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was arriving in the United States for talks.
“Israel will not succumb to this provocation but will monitor the situation carefully,” said an official with Olmert, indicating that Israel would not hit back. The official requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.
There was no immediate comment from the Lebanese government.
And Pope calls for Middle East peace effort
Times of India – 52 minutes ago
ASSISI (Italy): Pope Benedict XVI called for greater peace efforts across the Middle East on Sunday, using the occasion of a pilgrimage to Assisi to highlight the urgent need for greater dialogue.
“The populations of these countries have known for too long the horrors of combat, of terrorism, of blind violence, the illusion that force can resolve conflicts, the refusal to listen to the reasons of the other and to bring him justice,” Pope Benedict said.
His comments came with no end in sight of years of bloodletting in Iraq and as violence between the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah engulfed the Gaza Strip.
“Only a responsible and sincere dialogue, supported by the full backing of the international community, can put an end to so much sadness and give life and dignity to individuals, to institutions and to peoples,” the Pope said.
The pontiff, speaking in Assisi- where John Paul II launched in October 1986 the first day of prayer for world peace- renewed the late Pope’s call, addressing all religions.
“From this town of peace, I want to pay respect to the representatives of other Christian denominations and to other religions,” he said.
“I consider it my duty to launch an urgent and sorrowful appeal to put an end to all the armed conflicts which are bloodying the earth, to silence the weapons and for hate to yield everywhere to love, offense to forgiveness, and discord to union.
Pope Benedict makes pilgrimage to Assisi Canada.com
Pope Benedict Makes Pilgrimage to Assisi FOX News
Reuters – International Herald Tribune – PR-Inside.com (Pressemitteilung) – NDTV.com
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The problem with dialogue is: are terrorists are their supporters willing to submit to the results of dialogue? I do not see Hamas fighters-militants-resistants-insurgents-terrorists very inclined to that, after winning. And I do not see also Al-Fatah because now they would want revenge.
As Gaza unravels, Palestinians flee
Thousands have already left the coastal strip because of its social and economic degradation.
Jerusalem – By the time the Islamic militant group Hamas declared victory in Gaza Thursday, thousands of Palestinians had already fled the coastal strip.
Recent figures collected by European monitors at Rafah, the crossing into Egypt, show that some 14,000 Palestinians have left Gaza in the past year, driven by a combination of political insecurity and economic strain.
Now, the violence between the two main Palestinian factions, which began to escalate Saturday and turned into brutal street warfare early this week, is driving even more Gazans to find a way out.
Israel retaliated to the three rockets fired by unidentified militants from South Lebanon by firing five shells into Lebanese territory. Palestinian militants are suspected of instigating the attacks.
[…] Five shells slammed on the mountainous areas of Birkat Naqqar and Jabal Saddaneh near the town of Shebaa in the eastern sector of the border with Israel, they said. There were no reports of casualties.
Three Katyusha rockets exploded near the northern Israeli border town of Kiryat Shmona. There were no casualties, but roads and vehicles were damaged. Lebanese troops carried out patrols and erected checkpoints in search of a civilian vehicle from where the rockets were apparently fired into northern Israel, they said.
Ya Libnan, Lebanon – 5 hours ago
Beirut, Lebanon – The Lebanese army discovered a rocket that was set to be launched Sunday on Israel and prevented it from being fired, shortly after three were launched and two landed in the Jewish state, Lebanon’s military said in a statement.
A Lebanese security official told The Associated Press that two 107 millimeter rockets were launched using timers from an area between the villages of Adaisseh and Kfar Kila, a few kilometers from Israel’s northern border. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
The army statement said that three rockets were fired toward Israel. Troops were sent to search the suspected launching area, where a fourth rocket equipped with a timer was found. The army was investigating and a search was underway for the attackers.
U.N. peacekeepers also dispatched a patrol to the area, the army said.
It was the first time rockets were fired from Lebanese territory at the Jewish state since last summer’s war between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas, when almost 4,000 rockets were fired at Israel and the Israeli army retaliated with artillery and missile fire on Lebanon.
Lebanese Lobby, Lebanon – 6 hours ago
Written by AP BEIRUT, Lebanon: The Hezbollah militant group denied firing at Israel on Sunday as the Lebanese army confirmed that two rockets were launched from villages next to the Lebanon-Israel border.
“Hezbollah denies being involved in any operation to launch missiles today against occupied Palestine,” said a flash script on Al-Manar television on Sunday.
A Lebanese security official told The Associated Press that two 107 millimeter rockets were launched using timers from an area between the village of Adaisseh and Kfar Kila, a few kilometers from Israel’s northern border. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
Looks like the
terrorists insurgents-militants-freedom fighters who shoot the rockects were militants Palestinians.
UPDATE 2: Read Gaza and Tea Leaves by Mike at Lamplighter.
What Hamas fails to understand, or refuses to admit, is that their statements will not change the fact – there are now two Palestinian entities.
[…] Hamas may only now be starting to realize the consequences of their armed takeover of Gaza. I have no doubt that through a reign of terror, which seems to have begun, Hamas will be able to instill some form of order – at least for a time. However, the question is how do you govern a strip of land inhabited by 1.5 million people that has no economy and and receives little aid?
[…] The best Hamas can hope for is that the Israelis provide the water, electricity, food, fuel, hospital supplies and so on necessary to advert a humanitarian crisis. Luckily for the Palestinians in Gaza, Israel has agreed to do so. How long Israel will continue to provide aid to a Hamas controlled government that fires rockets on its cities and towns is a question that is yet to be answered. [Afterwards, some people would blame Israel if a humanitarian crisis happens…]
[…] Bottom line, Hamas now has control of an impoverished strip of land with few contacts with the outside world and less aid. It is sitting on a powder keg – a powder keg the Palestinian people made themselves. Conversely, the disaster has presented Fatah, Israel, and the West with an opportunity to move towards a real peace with an independent Palestinian state on the West Bank. However, to do so Fatah must transform itself from the corrupt terrorist supporting organization it is to a true political party serving the best interests of its people – not the best interests of the people in power. I hope this time the Palestinians make the correct choice. it is the only way they can keep from following Gaza back to the dark ages.
Read it all. It’s a very good post about what is going on and what could go on in the future.
Also you can read Israelycool who has been liveblogging the events. Aussie Dave has also posted some interesting photos… of Hamas terrorists in their job.
About Lebanon: Lebanon’s Army now controls over 90% of the Militant’s strongholds by Tears for Lebanon. More fighting in Lebanon’s Nahr El-Bared refugee camp.