Israel escalates offensive in Gaza, Hamas rocket commander killed

posted at 8:41 am on July 10, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Israel achieved one of its objectives in the offensive against Hamas in Gaza yesterday as it escalated the intensity of its attack overnight. The Jerusalem Post and other Israeli media report that a missile attacked killed Aymat Siam, the Hamas commander in charge of the group’s artillery forces:

The Israel Defense Forces killed a senior Hamas operative who headed the Islamist organization’s vast arsenal of rockets that have intermittently pounded the western Negev for over a decade, Channel 10 is reporting on Thursday afternoon.

According to Channel 10, a joint Shin Bet-IDF operation resulted in the killing of Ayman Siam, one of the most wanted Hamas figures.

Channel 10 is reporting that Siam was killed in a strike as he was driving in a vehicle in the southern Gaza Strip.

In the past 24 hours, the IDF has struck 320 targets, nearly half of all the targets hit in the three-day offensive. The Israelis are escalating the offensive in an attempt to stop the rocket fire, some of which almost hit a nuclear power plant:


ABC News | ABC Sports News

Israel dramatically escalated its aerial assault in Gaza Thursday hitting hundreds of Hamas targets, as Palestinians reported 16 people killed in strikes that hit a home and a beachside cafe and Israel’s missile defense system once again intercepted rockets fired by militants at the country’s heartland.

Military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said Israel struck more than 320 Hamas targets overnight, focusing on underground tunnel networks and rocket launching sites. That brought the total number of targets hit to 750 in three days of the massive offensive that has killed at least 80 Palestinians.

Lerner said Israel has already mobilized 20,000 reservists for a possible ground operation into Gaza, but for the time being Israel remained focused on maximizing its air campaign. A ground invasion could lead to heavy civilian casualties on the Palestinian side while putting Israeli ground forces in danger.

Interestingly, one of the strongest voices for peace in Israel warned that Hamas was given its chance to prevent the war, and that a ground invasion might be necessary:

President Shimon Peres, whose role is largely ceremonial and is not involved in setting policy, said in an exclusive interview with CNN’s Becky Anderson that he believed a ground offensive “may happen quite soon” unless Hamas stops firing rockets at Israel.

“We warned them. We asked them to stop it,” Peres told Anderson. “We waited one day, two days, three days and they continued, and they spread their fire on more areas in Israel.”

While Peres was speaking on his own and his position may not outline an official government policy, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz earlier told CNN that a ground operation “might become necessary.”

Peres most recently went on a trip to the Vatican with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, who complained that the IDF was imposing “collective punishment” on Gaza:

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, meanwhile, convened an emergency meeting of his cabinet on Wednesday to discuss the crisis.

“This war is not against Hamas or another political party but it is against the Palestinian people,” he told the media afterward. “What do you call this crime? What is this crime known under international law? To kill entire families, is this collective punishment? This is called collective genocide.”

The PA may have some arguably legitimate complaints about “collective punishment” in the West Bank, but that’s not what is happening in Gaza. The residents of Gaza voted to put Hamas in charge of its government after the Israelis ended the occupation there. Hamas has conducted continuous acts of war against Israel, constantly firing artillery into civilian areas. Israel has the right to respond to those acts of war, and has no obligation once war is under way to use proportionate force, although they do have to act within the bounds of international treaties to which they are signatories in the conduct of the war. If Gaza does not want war, then they should endeavor to remove Hamas from government.

With that said, though, this is yet another tiresome repeat of a cycle that has gone on in this region for decades. Hamas isn’t interested in peaceful coexistence, which means the state of war is constant. Talking to Israel to restrain its response is ultimately useless because Israel isn’t the problem in this part of the conflict. Until Hamas decides to live with Israel, there will be no peace in Gaza, and as long as Abbas keeps inviting Hamas into his PA government, the pursuit of a lasting peace in the West Bank will ultimately be futile, too. Hamas may not be the worst of the terrorist groups in the region, but that relative standing doesn’t turn them into a partner for peace either.


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Send in the clowns….

err..

I mean Kerry…

Electrongod on July 10, 2014 at 8:49 AM

GOOD!

WannabeAnglican on July 10, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Channel 10 is reporting that Siam was killed in a strike as he was driving in a vehicle in the southern Gaza Strip.

You see what happens when you text while driving.

jmtham156 on July 10, 2014 at 8:51 AM

that a missile attacked killed Aymat Siam

davidk on July 10, 2014 at 8:53 AM

The irony here is that Israel is actually benefitting from Obama’s dithering weakness “joke of the world” status. Obama has no leverage here at all. He can’t stop them from putting Hamas down, which they MUST do.

Obama’s weakness is Israel’s window of opportunity.

The only thing Obama could do is go stark raving lunatic on behalf of the muzzies, which only would reinforce his irrelevancy.

ConstantineXI on July 10, 2014 at 8:53 AM

Boy, who could have seen this coming? Everyone!!

Deano1952 on July 10, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Napalm the whole place.

1sttofight on July 10, 2014 at 8:54 AM

Nuke ‘em. If someone was tossing hundreds of rockets into my Town everyday, I personally would use every single weapon in my arsenal to stop them, and to H. E. Double Toothpicks about what anyone else thinks.

Johnnyreb on July 10, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Hamas ain’t too bright.

davidk on July 10, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Until Hamas decides to live with Israel, there will be no peace in Gaza, and as long as Abbas keeps inviting Hamas into his PA government, the pursuit of a lasting peace in the West Bank will ultimately be futile, too.

Hard to see where this is going to resolve itself so long as Israel exists. Hamas will never agree to the terms that would make such co-existence possible. Abandoning the call for right of return and giving up demands to re-establish the 1968 borders for two examples.

Happy Nomad on July 10, 2014 at 8:57 AM

I don’t understand why Israel is being so timid.

docflash on July 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Nuke ‘em.

Johnnyreb on July 10, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Um, that would be like setting one off outside your front door.

cozmo on July 10, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Johnnyreb on July 10, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Geography is not your strong subject area is it?

Bradky on July 10, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Rinse, lather, repeat.

At some point you’d think Hamas and the PA would get a clue.

HumpBot Salvation on July 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM

docflash on July 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Notice the way the press in our country treats conservatives.

Transpose that to the world press and replace conservatives with Jews.

Israel has to play nicer than it wants to.

cozmo on July 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM

That’ll learn him.

CurtZHP on July 10, 2014 at 9:03 AM

Go, Israel. Flatten Hamas. Show the world what a righteous backbone looks like.

BuckeyeSam on July 10, 2014 at 9:04 AM

I just heard the dumbest thing on the radio about how now that Hamas can reach out a hundred miles they have a really powerful arsenal.

Their bombs have a bigger slingshot.

cozmo on July 10, 2014 at 9:05 AM

God Bless Israel in her defense of her citizens.

workingclass artist on July 10, 2014 at 9:05 AM

Destroy one mosque for every rocket launched at Israel.

jwolf on July 10, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas, who complained that the IDF was imposing “collective punishment” on Gaza:

When your ideology includes the genocide of the the other side, I’m not going to get worked up about “collective punishment.” Especially when you punish anyone on your side who steps out of line.

rbj on July 10, 2014 at 9:12 AM

Hamas rocket commander killed

Live by the bombardment weapon, die by the bombardment weapon.

We should drop the idea that any Palestinian “authority” can be, or wants to be, a “partner for peace”. All they want is Israel gone and every Jew on Earth dead. To be followed by all other “infidels” dead or enslaved.

They are doctrinaire Islamists. And Islam’s doctrine allows no other worldview.

clear ether

eon

eon on July 10, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. With all the UN money poured into “humanitarian efforts”, making children was the easiest way to earn sustenance. That plus chronic joblessness is a perfect breeding ground for “freedom fighters”, which was, of course, the original reason why the UN created it. The problem will NOT be solved without mass genocide from one of the sides, possibly both, and I fervently hope that the people and the government of Israel will eventually come to understand that, and put their humanity on temporary hold.

Rix on July 10, 2014 at 9:14 AM

“Israel dramatically escalated its aerial assault”

ABC dramatically escalated their adjectival descriptions in their reporting of the pummeling Hamas is receiving from Israel in response to Hama’s unremitting and, fortunately, pathetically amateurish attacks on them.

Dusty on July 10, 2014 at 9:15 AM

This is what happens when you give up land that rightfully belongs to you. God gave them this strip of land and the Israelis have turned it into a beautiful place with Gods blessing.

crosshugger on July 10, 2014 at 9:15 AM

If Obama was commanding Israel, Hamas terrorists, sneaking over the border, would be given food and beverage comfort stations, amnesty and citizenship.

MaiDee on July 10, 2014 at 9:17 AM

Hamas wants this. I say give it to them. Kill them all. The world wouldn’t miss them one bit.

Bmore on July 10, 2014 at 9:18 AM

After that declaration by Abbas, I wouldn’t blame Israel if they accidentally dropped a bomb or three on Abbas’ house during dinnertime. Heck, it would be a crime not to.

Dusty on July 10, 2014 at 9:19 AM

What’s all this “protecting our people and enforcing our sovereign territory” crap, doesn’t Israel know that we are one giant community on this globe?

Bishop on July 10, 2014 at 9:24 AM

My advice to Israel: Kick. Their. A$$. And remember, there’s no run rule in a war.

Wisdom_of_Homer on July 10, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Geography is not your strong subject area is it?

Bradky on July 10, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Has anyone here heard of the B61 dial a yield nuke? Works great in congested Urban areas.

Johnnyreb on July 10, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Killing each Muslim just once is proportionate I believe.

BL@KBIRD on July 10, 2014 at 9:27 AM

Allahpundit ‏@allahpundit 11m

U.S. Ignored Warnings Before ISIS Takeover of a Key City http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/07/10/u-s-ignored-warnings-before-isis-takeover-of-a-key-city.html

Bmore on July 10, 2014 at 9:29 AM

The world wouldn’t miss them one bit.

Bmore on July 10, 2014 at 9:18 AM

The world wouldn’t miss them and would actually be somewhat relieved.

It would also give the world something else to blame on the Jewish people.

Johnnyreb on July 10, 2014 at 9:26 AM

And you are still setting off a nuke in your own yard.

cozmo on July 10, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Tit for tat. One rocket hits an Israeli nuke facility, resulting in the release of fissile material, one nuke on Gaza. Just assure that the prevailing wind is blowing toward Egypt.

vnvet on July 10, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Geography is not your strong subject area is it?

Bradky on July 10, 2014 at 9:01 AM

And military technology isn’t yours, is it?

B61.

Bishop on July 10, 2014 at 9:38 AM

The PA may have some arguably legitimate complaints about “collective punishment” in the West Bank, but that’s not what is happening in Gaza.

So did Germany and Japan in World War Two. So did Iraq in 2003 and Afghanistan, and a whole host of other hostile nations.

The United States didn’t just go after Hitler and his henchmen.

Its called war and the Palestinians were all for it.

The lack of collective punishment on Israel’s part is actually part of the problem.

sharrukin on July 10, 2014 at 9:46 AM

The PA may have some arguably legitimate complaints about “collective punishment”

War is not “collective punishment”.

Just as in Europe from 1914-1945 there won’t be peace until the aggressor (the side firing rockets) is made to feel enough pain that they decide peace is the better option.

18-1 on July 10, 2014 at 9:49 AM

“This war is not against Hamas or another political party but it is against the Palestinian people,”

Yes, Mr. Abbas. That is the way it works. The Palestinian people support, fund, and give cover to Hamas, then the Palestinian people have war waged against them. There are no innocent Palestinians just as there were no innocent Nazis in Germany.

My fervent hope is that Israel musters the fortitude to mercilessly and completely wipe out the verminous Hamas, and Hamas supporters whoever they may be, in short order.

You, Mr. Abbas, made your bed with terrorists presumably under pressure from your people. Now you must all pay the price.

NOMOBO on July 10, 2014 at 9:58 AM

Could someone please inform the media that there is no such animal as “the Palestinian people?” They’re Arabs. They’re ethnically and genetically indistinguishable from Arabs in Egypt, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Conservative Mischief on July 10, 2014 at 10:00 AM

tactical neutron weapons (tuned yield) should be able to be used in that geography/setting. worth looking in to.

dmacleo on July 10, 2014 at 10:11 AM

And military technology isn’t yours, is it?

B61.

Bishop on July 10, 2014 at 9:38 AM

I love the smell of a B61 in the morning…smells like…victory!

Seriously, better to use regular dumb iron bombs(or Hellfires)- one less thing for the world to complain about.

Lord Whorfin on July 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM

Kill every last one of the Hamas terrorists.

Then bury them with pig guts like Gen Pershing did in the Phillipines.

txdoc on July 10, 2014 at 10:13 AM

tactical neutron weapons (tuned yield) should be able to be used in that geography/setting. worth looking in to.

dmacleo on July 10, 2014 at 10:11 AM

Good idea- just keep them away from any farmland still producing.

Lord Whorfin on July 10, 2014 at 10:14 AM

May Israel be victorious over all her enemies…

mnjg on July 10, 2014 at 10:20 AM

Watching Hamas use Gaza, as a launching pad for attacks on Israel, can anyone doubt, that a Palestinian State on Israel’s border, would be used in a similar fashion.

kjatexas on July 10, 2014 at 10:30 AM

“This war is not against Hamas or another political party but it is against the Palestinian people,”

Once again the dumb ass Palestinians smack the hornet’s nest and end up on the short end of the stick, crying “I’m a VICTIM!”

Screw you people! You want war, you got it, now STFU and suck it up!

GarandFan on July 10, 2014 at 10:31 AM

Hamas is just the front line of the Arab world.
Destroying their fighting capability, which basically entails slagging Gaza and possibly the West Bank, would bring the rest of the region (plus imported Islamic “freedom fighters”) into the hot war. With most of Europe and a lot of Americans on the Muslim side, Israel would be vastly outnumbered and outgunned.
So, winning would take a little bit longer.

AesopFan on July 10, 2014 at 10:36 AM

Only way to stop the Arabs is to forcefully put them down once and for all. It’s the only thing they will respond to. Israel shouldn’t care what we or anyone else in the world thinks. They will be condemned (and especially by our dear leader if he can get away from his fundraising) one way or the other. If this was your country being attacked constantly, you’d do what you need to protect yourself.

COgirl on July 10, 2014 at 10:43 AM

PA may have some arguably legitimate complaints about “collective punishment”

No they don’t. All you have to do is search the web to find videos of palascsum parading their children in bomb vests wile carrying signs that say “death to Israel” to learn that the palascum get what they deserve. They don’t want peace and have never wanted peace. They want israel exterminated and they want the world to help them do it, and it is.

earlgrey on July 10, 2014 at 10:44 AM

Some reporter on CBS this morning was calling Hamas “militants”. Militants don’t constantly fire rockets at civilian targets. Terrorists do. I’m sorry I watch new on CBS this morning. I know better than that.

Israel has to do what it is doing just to survive.

sadatoni on July 10, 2014 at 11:24 AM

That’s a lot of attacks for such a puny casulty number.

Meremortal on July 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM

Hamas rocket commander killed


And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then
I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
It’s lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight
Oh no no no I’m a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

Marcola on July 10, 2014 at 11:30 AM

It is time to let Israel get the job done.
Obama’s disinterest in Israel is a green light to flat out decimate the opposition. They should attack and crush leaving no ability to confront Israel again for a long time.

Nat George on July 10, 2014 at 11:37 AM

That’s a lot of attacks for such a puny casulty number.

Meremortal on July 10, 2014 at 11:28 AM

That’s exactly what I yelled at the TV, earlier today.

OldEnglish on July 10, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Gen. Curtis LeMay was asked how he felt about bombing Japanese cities.
His reply, “If we kill enough Japs they’ll stop fighting.”
A philosophical truth then and it remains so today.

Besides King Putt say HE’s good at killing people.
Bet he’s getting jealous and will ask Israel to stop.

Missilengr on July 10, 2014 at 11:51 AM

…kill them!…kill them all!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 10, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Notice they didn’t send the dude on a Gitmo vacation.
Or spend $millions trying him in Tel Aviv, looking for witnesses and having some high priced attorney make silly arguments to postpone the case.

Give Bowe Bergdahl back to the Taliban and get those five dudes back and let them escape from the airplane on the way back over the Atlantic.

KenInIL on July 10, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Destroy one mosque for every rocket launched at Israel.

jwolf on July 10, 2014 at 9:06 AM

Hey, why not? ISIS is already doing that in Iraq.

dentarthurdent on July 10, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Nuke ‘em.

Johnnyreb on July 10, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Um, that would be like setting one off outside your front door.

cozmo on July 10, 2014 at 9:01 AM

Yes. And we don’t want the fall out going down wind to Egypt, because Egypt is currently playing hardball with the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas.

Just carpet bomb the border, then carpet bomb a little deeper and a little deeper until the entire population of Gaza is backed up to the ocean and let them swim for it. “Driving them into the sea” can cut both ways. (I’d be really interested to see how many rescue boats their fellow Muslim Arab “brothers” send in to rescue them)

catsandbooks on July 10, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Israel escalates offensive in Gaza, Hamas rocket commander killed

Extra points!

There Goes the Neighborhood on July 10, 2014 at 12:34 PM

Abbas has no power over Hamas to order them to stop the rockets. He rejects responsibility for the rocket attacks as a result. All he can focus on is to propagandize so his benefactors Norway and Sweden and Cynthia McKinney will get riled up.

jake49 on July 10, 2014 at 12:36 PM

in the words of the Governor from the Walking dead..

“Kill them all” (hamas that is)

Carlos Spicy Weiner on July 10, 2014 at 12:37 PM

That brought the total number of targets hit to 750 in three days of the massive offensive that has killed at least 80 Palestinians.

Unless you’re targeting rocks and trees, that’s a lot of attacks for 80 enemy dead. Like about a 9-to-1 ratio. I’m pretty sure the IDF’s aim is a lot better than that, so how to explain it?

bofh on July 10, 2014 at 1:15 PM

Israel – 0
Hamas – 75

Keep it up guys!

SansJeux on July 10, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Nuke ‘em.

Johnnyreb on July 10, 2014 at 8:56 AM

Um, that would be like setting one off outside your front door.

cozmo on July 10, 2014 at 9:01 AM

No big deal, just follow the weather reports very closely and do your drop from a plane so it goes exactly where you want it. Three bombs dropped along a North/South line should do it.

slickwillie2001 on July 10, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Wonder where the Palestinians celebrating rocket fire into Israel will be going for medical care.

Recon5 on July 10, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Killing a few of the Hamas leaders is not going to solve this problem, that has been tried before to no avail. Hamas and the Palestine Authority have to be totally destroyed, it is insane to allow a terrorist group to live on your border that kills your people at will. We in this country are going to have this same problem with our southern border if we don’t wake up soon and take control.

savage24 on July 10, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Wonder where the Palestinians celebrating rocket fire into Israel will be going for medical care.

Recon5 on July 10, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Send them to the VA- that will be the end of them

Lord Whorfin on July 10, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Does Israel have veto proof majorities in both houses of Congress?

goatweed on July 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM

I don’t understand why Israel is being so timid.

docflash on July 10, 2014 at 9:00 AM

This is called “battlefield preparation.”

They’re about to launch the largest ground invasion in years. At least two motorized infantry brigades are in the area.

Urban combat is the most dangerous there is. They need to destroy weapons caches beforehand.

Some of the video shows MASSIVE secondary explosions. Each building they bomb reduces the danger to the invading troops.

A Chair of Some Kind on July 10, 2014 at 4:10 PM

From my perspective I find it VERY interesting why the AMD (anti-missile defense) ‘experts’ in the West are being very quiet about now and we her noting like: ‘It’ll never work.’
“Paging doctor Postal, please pickup the white courtesy phone.”

Not an insurmountable problem if you have the right minds and money.
Tell you who is watching this REAL CLOSE … Mr. Putin and our good internet friends … the Chinese.

Missilengr on July 10, 2014 at 4:38 PM

From my perspective I find it VERY interesting why the AMD (anti-missile defense) ‘experts’ in the West are being very quiet about now and we her noting like: ‘It’ll never work.’
“Paging doctor Postal, please pickup the white courtesy phone.”

Not an insurmountable problem if you have the right minds and money.
Tell you who is watching this REAL CLOSE … Mr. Putin and our good internet friends … the Chinese.

Missilengr on July 10, 2014 at 4:38 PM

Yep; nothing to see here, move along, move along…

slickwillie2001 on July 10, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Ed, what’s with all the preaching and weird terminology?
What [former] “occupation” of Gaza? What do you mean “they do have to act within the bounds of international treaties to which they are signatories”? It’s as if you’re calling them out on it. What, did you see something indicating they’re violating these? Wussup with the preachin’, brother?

I hope this is you preemptively crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s in a long disclaimer about your meaning or something.

I miss Allah’s (not “Allahpundit” – what a PC bullshiit name) old photoshops from the 2nd intifada when he brutally made fun of these fooking barbarians against whom yet another round of war is being conducted now. Please stop with these gay disclaimers and dry moralizing.

AlexB on July 10, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Does Israel have veto proof majorities in both houses of Congress?

goatweed on July 10, 2014 at 3:46 PM

It has an Army, Navy, and Air Force.

Chaz706 on July 10, 2014 at 9:58 PM