“Israel Launches Airstrikes Against Hamas,” from AP, with thanks to DC Watson:
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) – Israel launched a “crushing” retaliation Saturday against Hamas in the Gaza Strip with deadly airstrikes and troops massed at the border, after militants fired 35 rockets at Israeli towns – their first major attack since the Gaza pullout.
But note AP’s venomously biased reporting: Hamas’ rocket barrage didn’t “threaten to derail” the truce, but Israel’s “escalation” does.
The escalation threatened to derail a shaky seven-month-old truce and squashed hopes that Israel’s ceding the coastal strip to the Palestinians would invigorate peacemaking. Israel’s reprisals drew fresh Hamas threats of vengeance, and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas came under growing Israeli pressure to confront the militants.
Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told security chiefs in a meeting that “the ground of Gaza should shake” and that he wanted to exact a high price from Palestinians everywhere, not just Hamas.
He promised a “crushing” response, including airstrikes, targeted killings and arrest raids, participants said afterward. A large-scale ground operation was seen as a last resort, after Israel won international praise for leaving Gaza just two weeks ago.