Monday, November 19, 2012

Live blog of the fighting from the Times of Israel

This is a live report via the Times of Israel blog as of earlier today, Monday, November 19.  Fascinating to follow the timeline and watch the events unfold.

From the Times of Israel November 19

Netanyahu indicates calm must return before Israel will consider Hamas truce terms

This liveblog, covering developments on Monday afternoon and night, is now closed. Our current liveblog, updating events as Operation Pillar of Defense goes into its seventh day, is here.
Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani releases a statement after consultations with Italian PM Mario Monti in Cairo, Al Jazeera reports. In it, he promises that “we won’t send weapons” to Gaza if borders are opened as a result of a cease-fire agreement.
Al-Thani says that the focus should be on “humanitarian aid and reconstruction” for the 1.7 million Gazans who don’t have basic supplies and are “under siege.”
He says that “violence should stop from both sides. They cannot continue the attacks and then expect the other side to negotiate, violence should stop.”
On the sixth day of Operation Pillar of Defense, Israel upped the frequency of its airstrikes at the Gaza Strip, targeting smuggling tunnels, rocket launching squads, weapons and ammunition caches (including one located under Gaza City’s main soccer stadium), and terror groups’ field commanders. The death toll in Gaza stands at 84, roughly two thirds of which are combatants.
Meanwhile, terror organizations in Gaza continue to launch rockets on southern Israel, hitting an Ashkelon school, which fortunately was empty of students and staff. Iron Dome intercepted 35 rockets in the past 24 hours. Since the beginning of the operation, on Wednesday, 540 rockets were fired on Israel, most of them falling harmlessly in unpopulated areas.
In Cairo, Hamas and Islamic Jihad heads are convening with Egyptian military and intelligence officials in an attempt to reach a ceasefire agreement. An Israeli representative is also in Cairo to debate with the Egyptians. So far the sides have failed to find common ground.
40,000 reserve soldiers, belonging primarily to infantry and tank units, have been called up and are making final preparations to enter Gaza if so ordered.
Labor party head Shelly Yachimovich (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Labor Party head Shelly Yachimovich (photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
The Labor Party doesn’t plan to delay its primary elections, scheduled for November 27, because of Operation Pillar of Defense, Labor Party head Shelly Yachimovich tells Channel 2.
She says the Israeli offensive was being conducted “rationally,” with clear objectives, and talks about the economic impact of the operation, especially in the communities within rocket range where normal patterns of work, purchasing and school have ground to a halt.
Reports of five Ashkelon-bound rockets intercepted by Iron Dome in the last few minutes. Sirens continuing in Ofakim, Ashkelon and Eshkol.
President Shimon Peres meets with Middle East Quartet envoy and former British prime minister Tony Blair in Jerusalem to discuss the conflict with Gaza.
At a joint press conference Peres said that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is fulfilling an important function, and it is therefore strange that Hamas doesn’t hold Morsi in any esteem, whereas Israel does.
 There is much more, read it all

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