Saturday, July 04
Latest News
  1. Kuwait tightens security as emir attends joint prayers
  2. Mourners hold minute's silence at Tunisia beach attack resort
  3. Nigerian leader condemns 'inhuman, barbaric' Boko Haram attacks
  4. Greek banks say have sufficient liquidity until Tuesday
  5. UN watchdog chief says 'more work needed' with Iran after visit
  6. Yemen clashes, strikes kill 21 in Aden
  7. Tunisia arrests 8 with 'direct links' to beach massacre
  8. Israel says Hamas linked to IS assault on Egyptians
  9. Iraq Christians train to recapture homes from IS
  10. IS destroys statue outside Syria's Palmyra museum
  11. UN watchdog chief says 'more work needed' with Iran after visit
  12. Yemen clashes, strikes kill 21 in Aden
  13. Tunisia arrests 8 with 'direct links' to beach massacre
  14. BBC announces it will cut more than 1,000 jobs
  15. Judge: Court overturns death sentences in mob killing of Afghan woman
  16. 'No breakthrough yet' in Iran talks, Britain says
  17. US train with toxic chemicals derails, catches fire
  18. UNESCO chief warns about militant 'culture cleansing'
  19. Kuwait MPs pass $23.2 bn deficit budget on oil slide
  20. Kuwait makes DNA tests mandatory after IS bombing

Israel's army claims Hamas crippled after Gaza assault

Nov. 21, 2012 11:42 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 21, 2012 11:43 P.M.)
TEL AVIV (Reuters) -- Israel's Operation Pillar of Cloud has crippled the military power of Gaza's ruling Hamas, the Israeli military said Wednesday.

In a statement, the military named key militant leaders killed by Israel and listed weapons and bases destroyed.

Referring to the confrontation pitting Hamas rockets against Israeli air strikes and naval artillery as "the fighting in the south", it said the offensive launched on Nov. 14 had "accomplished its pre-determined objectives".

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the aim of the operation was to stop Hamas, Islamic Jihad and smaller groups firing rockets and mortar bombs at southern Israeli communities. The militants say they are defending Gaza against Israeli aggression.

Israel targeted 1,500 sites, the military said in its detailed summary of the conflict, and the "command and control apparatus of Hamas was significantly struck".

Targets included "19 senior command centers, operational control centers and Hamas' senior-rank headquarters, 30 senior operatives, hundreds of underground rocket launchers, 140 smuggling tunnels, 66 terror tunnels, dozens of Hamas operation rooms and bases, 26 weapon manufacturing and storage facilities and dozens of long-range rocket launchers and launch sites".

"These actions have severely impaired Hamas's launching capabilities, resulting in a decreasing number of rockets being fired from the Gaza Strip," the army said. Israel captured Gaza in the 1967 Middle East war and withdrew unilaterally in 2005.

It did not give any estimate of how many Palestinians were killed in its operation, but named seven senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad operatives who had been "targeted".

They included one man in charge of anti-tank operations, another in propaganda, a senior police officer, a man in charge of air defense and another responsible for tunnel operations in the south where Hamas has smuggled in weapons via Egypt.

Gaza health ministry officials say over 170 people were killed in Israeli air strikes and shelling in the narrow enclave, more than half of them civilians including 37 children.

The Israeli military said Hamas fighters and other groups fired 1,506 rockets from Gaza into Israel, of which 316 were launched on Nov. 15, the day after an air strike killed the acting head of Hamas's armed wing, Ahmed al-Jaabari.

Most of the rockets, 875, exploded in open country. Israel's Iron Dome interceptor missiles knocked out 421 in mid-air and 58 exploded in urban areas, killing five Israelis and wounding 240, the military's battle damage account said. Failed launches accounted for a further 152 rockets.

"These operational achievements provided the underlying framework for this evening's ceasefire agreement," the Israeli military command said. The truce mediated by Egypt commits both sides to stop shooting, but leaves other parts of the agreement to be finalized.

"The 'Iron Dome' defense system has accomplished a high rate of successful interceptions (84 percent) and Hamas's accuracy with regards to hitting populated areas within Israel remained below 7 percent," the statement said.

Israelis - especially in Tel Aviv which came under Gaza rocket fire for the first time - were grateful for the shield in the sky. But many question whether Hamas has been effectively disarmed and deterred by Israel's latest military onslaught.
Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015