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Monday, November 12, 2012
Excerpts: Response to Hamas rocket fire. Israel response to Hamas rocket fire. National Coalition, newly formed Syria opposition November 12, 2012

Excerpts: Response to Hamas rocket fire. Israel response to Hamas rocket
fire. National Coalition, newly formed Syria opposition November 12, 2012

+++SOURCE: Haaretz2 Nov.’12:”Egypt mediating Israel-Hamas truce as more than
100 rockets hit south”
By Avi Issacharoff, Yanir Yagna and Gili Cohen
SUBJECT: Response to Hamas rocket fire
QUOTE: both sides have said quiet will be answered with quiet”

FULL TEXT:Egyptian intelligence officials have been mediating between Israel
and Hamas in order to reach a cease-fire agreement that would put an end to
the two-day cross-border escalation.

More than 100 rockets have hit southern Israel since violence flared up on
the border on Saturday[10 Nov.]. The IDF has responded with nine separate
air strikes, killing five Palestinians.

So far, no time has been set for the commencement of the cease-fire, but
Haaretz has learned that both sides have said quiet will be answered with
quiet.

Three people were lightly wounded in the Gaza envelope area on Sunday
morning, when rockets exploded in the city of Sderot and in the Sha'ar
Hanegev Regional Council. Gaza militants continued to fire missiles into the
evening on Sunday, both in Sha'ar Hanegev and in Eshkol Regional Council.

On Sunday evening, a rocket hit a house in Sderot, causing damage but no
casualties. Some people suffered from shock after the incident. Later
Sunday, a Gaza rocket hit an open field in the southern Israeli city of
Netivot, located between Be'er Sheva and Gaza.

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted two rockets, one aimed at
Be'er Sheva on Sunday, and one fired toward the Ashdod area the previous
day.

Several buildings in the Sha'ar Hanegev Council were damaged in the barrage.
A factory in the industrial zone of Sderot sustained a direct hit.

The Israel Defense Forces responded to the barrage of rocket fire with nine
separate air strikes on the Gaza Strip, including one on Sunday morning.
Five Palestinians were killed in the strikes.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Sunday that if more broad action was
needed in response to the attack, Israel would act.

Earlier Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the IDF will
respond aggressively to any attacks carried out by Palestinian militants in
the Gaza Strip.

"The world needs to understand that Israel will not sit with arms crossed
when faced by attempts to hurt us," Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly
cabinet meeting, after more than 40 rockets struck Israel over the course of
Sunday morning. "We are prepared to intensify our response."

Islamic Jihad, a smaller faction than Hamas which often operates
independently, identified a casualty in the strike on Sunday as one of its
own. The group said the dead man was a member of a rocket crew hit by an
Israeli missile in Jabalya, northern Gaza Strip.

Schools in southern Israel's Eshkol and Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Councils,
and in Sderot, were closed on Sunday. The Sapir College in Sderot, as well
municipal businesses were closed, as well.

Saturday's rocket barrage followed an earlier anti-tank missile attack on an
IDF jeep near the border with Gaza, which wounded four soldiers. The IDF
responded to the jeep attack with shelling on the Gaza Strip in which at
least four Palestinians were killed and over 36 wounded.

+++SOURCE: Saudi Gazette 12 Nov.’12:”Israel( transportation ) minister calls
for assassination of Hamas leaders”,by Mohammed Mar’i
SUBJECT: Israel response to Hamas rocket fire
QUOTE:”Israel is ‘prepared to escalate’ its response to(Gaza) Palestinian
rocket fire”
FULL TEXT:RAMALLAH – Israel is “prepared to escalate” its response to
Palestinian rocket fire, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Sunday [11
Nov.]P.M. Netanyahu: The army is acting and will act forcefully against the
terror organizations in the Gaza strip, after one of the worst flare-ups
along its border with Gaza in recent years.

“The army is acting and will act forcefully against the terror organizations
in the Gaza Strip. They are receiving strong blows from the army,” Netanyahu
told ministers at the beginning of his cabinet meeting.

“The world must realize that Israel won’t sit by idly in the face of
attempts to attack us. We are prepared to escalate our actions,” he said.

Israel Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said that Israel must resume the
policy of targeted killing against Hamas leaders.

Katz, of ruling Likud party, said during the weekly cabinet meeting that
“Israel must act according to a very clear policy in Gaza. To cut off the
head of the snake…We must take out the leadership of Hamas in Gaza.”

The Israeli minister called to “disengage from Gaza in a civilian sense,
including all factors: electricity, water, food and fuel… move to a policy
of deterrence like in southern Lebanon.”

The flare-up began Saturday[10 Nov.] evening when Gaza fighters fired an
anti-tank missile at an Israeli jeep along the Gaza border, injuring four
soldiers, one of them severely. Three remained in hospital Sunday.

Israel retaliated with airstrikes, shelling and artillery fire that left six
Palestinians dead and 32 injured by Sunday[11 Nov.] morning, and Palestinian
fighters fired at least 57 rockets into southern Israel.

The latest barrage of rockets, Sunday[11 Nov.] morning, hit the Israeli
border town of Sderot, injuring four civilians, Israeli police said.

The outbreak of violence was one of the most serious since Israel’s
devastating 22-day operation in the Gaza Strip over New Year 2009, and
raised the specter of a broad Israeli operation against the Palestinian
territory.

The flare-up comes ahead of Israeli elections in January, but ministers said
the build-up to the vote would not prevent an operation if it was necessary.

On Sunday[11 Nov.] morning, Palestinian medics said the death toll stood at
six, after a Palestinian was killed and two other people wounded in an
Israeli air strike near the northern Gaza town of Jabaliya overnight.

The dead man was named as Mohammed Shwikani, a 20-year-old activist with the
armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the group said.

Early on Sunday[11 Nov.], medics reported finding the body of another
Islamic Jihad fighter, 20-year-old Mohammed Abed, who was killed in another
air strike east of Jabaliya.

Ashraf Al-Qudra, spokesman for the Hamas-run health ministry, said 32 people
had been injured, 10 of them requiring amputations. Medics said 10 people
were in “serious to critical condition

+++SOURCE: Naharnet(Lebanon) 12Nov,’12:”New Syria Opposition Bloc Wins Gulf
Recognition”, Agence France Presse
SUBJECT:National Coalition newly formed Syria opposition

QUOTE:”The six Gulf States recognized the newly formed opposition bloc as
the Syrian peoples legitimate representative”

FULL TEXT:The six Gulf states recognized a newly formed opposition bloc as
the Syrian people's legitimate representative on Monday[12 Nov.], as border
violence stoked fears of a spillover of the country's 20-month conflict.

The Gulf Cooperation Council move came a year to the day after the Arab
League suspended Syria's membership, and as the National Coalition met Arab
foreign ministers in Cairo buoyed by the hard-won unity deal.

Deadly fighting flared, meanwhile, on Syria's border with Turkey and Israel
fired across the ceasefire line on the Golan Heights for a second day,
scoring direct hits on the source of a mortar round that struck the
Israeli-occupied half of the disputed territory.

The GCC members -- Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the
United Arab Emirates -- became the first to recognize the opposition
coalition.

"The states of the council announce recognizing the National Coalition... as
the legitimate representative of the brotherly Syrian people," GCC chief
Abdullatif al-Zayani said.

The oil-rich bloc would support the coalition "in order to achieve the
aspirations of the Syrian people in hope that this will be a step towards a
quick political transfer of power," Zayani said.

He hoped its formation would lead to ending the bloodshed and "a general
national congress to pave the way to build a state ruled by law and open to
all its citizens."

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani, whose government
hosted the marathon four-day talks that culminated in Sunday's[11 Nov.]
unity deal, said earlier that he would seek "full recognition" of the
coalition.

His minister of state for foreign affairs, Khaled al-Attiya, said
recognition would remove any obstacles to the opposition securing arms for
rebel fighters.

The National Coalition's newly installed leader, Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib, told
al-Jazeera television it already had promises of weapons, but did not say
from whom.

Under Sunday's[11 Nov.] deal, the opposition agreed to establish a new
supreme military council to take overall command of rebel groups on the
ground and address U.S. concerns that weapons have been reaching jihadist
groups that are threatening to hijack the uprising.

Washington swiftly declared its backing for the new structure.

"We look forward to supporting the National Coalition as it charts a course
toward the end of Assad's bloody rule and the start of the peaceful, just,
democratic future that all the people of Syria deserve," State Department
spokesman Mark Toner said.

Traditional Damascus ally Moscow gave a cooler response, saying "such
alliances must act based on a platform of peaceful regulation of the
conflict by Syrians themselves, without interference."

-- Israel scores 'direct hits' --

Fanning international concerns about the potential a conflict spillover, the
Israeli army targeted the source of new mortar fire into the part of the
Golan it occupies and reported "direct hits" on Monday[12 Nov.].

On Sunday[11 Nov., an Israeli warning shot -- its first across the
U.N.-monitored ceasefire line since the 1973 Middle East war -- left U.N.
chief Ban Ki-moon "deeply concerned by the potential for escalation," his
spokesman said.

Air strikes and shelling of rebel positions in the town of Ras al-Ain on the
Turkish border killed at least 12 people, said the Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights.

One bomb exploded less than 150 meters (yards) from the border, with the
blast blowing out windows in houses in Ceylanpinar, where there were also
injuries, the Turkish town's mayor told Anatolia news agency.

The same blast killed four Syrians and wounded scores of others, around 20
seriously, Anatolia said, later adding that six of the wounded died.

The Observatory said seven rebels and five civilians were killed.

Near the town, helicopters strafed rebels who for the past three days have
besieged an army post, said the Observatory.

At the far eastern end of Syria's border with Turkey, Kurdish militia took
Malikiya village after troops loyal to President Bashar Assad withdrew.

On the Jordanian frontier, shelling and clashes left two Syrian border
guards dead.

Warplanes also bombed rebel positions on the strategic highway between
Damascus and second city Aleppo, while clashes on the southern outskirts of
the capital near a Palestinian refugee camp killed seven civilians.

At least 52 people were killed nationwide on Monday, said the Observatory,
which has given an overall death toll of more than 37,000 since March 2011.

SourceAgence France

==========
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA

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