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Israeli airstrikes against Hamas facilities in Gaza continued on Sunday and the death toll rose to more than 280 in Israel’s most severe campaign against Palestinian militants in decades. Link
Why such a "severe" attack? Because "shock and awe" works so well...
Israeli analyst Ron Ben-Yishai said the strike was "shock treatment ... aimed at securing a long-term ceasefire between Hamas and Israel on terms that are favourable to Israel".
Worst Israeli attack in 60 years...
A five-day Israeli offensive in March killed more than 120 people, but Saturday's death toll was the highest for a single day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 1948, when the Jewish state was established.
Hamas was elected to parliament in democratic elections, something unacceptable to the U.S. Not the elections, just the results.
The Islamist group, which won a 2006 parliamentary election but was shunned by Western powers over its refusal to renounce violence and recognise Israel, said all of its security compounds in the Gaza Strip were destroyed or seriously damaged.
"The United States strongly condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence in Gaza," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a statement. "The cease-fire should be restored immediately." Link
Overwhelming nature of the response from Israel....
Military officials said aircraft released more than 100 tons of bombs in the first nine hours of fighting,
But the United States, Israel's closest ally, blamed Hamas. ''These people are nothing but thugs, so Israel is going to defend its people against terrorists like Hamas that indiscriminately kill their own people,'' White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
Palestinians said Israeli bombs destroyed a mosque early today. The military called it a ''base for terrorist activities.''
Another target early today was the Al Aqsa TV station used by Hamas. Its studio was destroyed, but the station remained on the air with a mobile unit. Palestinians counted about 20 airstrikes in the early hours today.
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said Hamas' political leaders could soon be targeted. ''Hamas is a terrorist organization and nobody is immune,'' she said.
The campaign was launched six weeks before national elections. Livni and Barak hope to succeed Olmert as prime minister, and the outgoing government has faced pressure to take tough action. Link
Isolating and punishing all residents of Gaza has become the Judeo-Christian countries' response to democratically elected Hamas leaders in Gaza.....while the timing of Israel's renewed military aggression over the weekend can't be separated from their own upcoming elections....
...the elections have made it impossible for officials like Mr. Barak not to react, because the public has grown anxious and angry over the rocket fire, which while causing no recent deaths and few injuries is deeply disturbing for those living near Gaza.
Israel, backed by the United States, Europe, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, has sought to isolate Hamas by squeezing Gaza economically, a policy that human rights groups condemn as collective punishment. Israel and Egypt, which control routes into and out of Gaza, have blocked nearly all but humanitarian aid from going in.
The result has been the near death of the Gazan economy. While enough food has gone in to avoid starvation, the level of suffering is very high and getting worse each week, especially in recent weeks as Israel closed the routes entirely for about 10 days in reaction to daily rocket fire. Link
The Gazans held free and fair elections....Hamas won. Because Hamas won...the U.S and Israel decided to punish the entire population of Gaza by isolating them into misery. Hamas launches primitive rockets near Israeli border towns....eventually killing one Israeli. Israel responds by swooping down with their own version of "shock and awe"....killing 280 Palestinians thus far and wounding 700 using highly sophisticated helicopter warships.
So everything's about even, huh?
UPDATE: And right on schedule, American media elites rush to defend Israel....
"Frankly, I am up to my gullet with this reflex criticism of Israel as going beyond proportionality in its responses to war waged against its population with the undisguised intention of putting an end to the political expression of the Jewish nation. Within hours, Nicolas Sarkozy was already taking up the cudgel of French righteousness and pronouncing the actually quite sober Israeli response to the continuous war on its borders "disproportionate." Enough. Link
Also read Glennzilla's take-down of the completely corrupt American media's response to anything calling into question Israeli actions.