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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

Last updated on: November 20, 2012 12:56 IST

Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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As tension escalates in West Asia, the United States has dispatched three warships to the region to be on standby in the event of a need, even as President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to world leaders in efforts to defuse the crisis.

Israel killed Ahmed Jabari, a top military commander of the Hamas, in an airstrike on the Gaza Strip, bringing the two sides to the brink of a possible new war.

"The occupation has opened the gates of hell on itself," the Hamas had said after the assassination.

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Image: An explosion and smoke are seen after Israeli air strikes in Gaza
Photographs: Yasser Gdeeh/Reuters

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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Israel's cabinet met late Monday night to discuss the latest ceasefire initiatives with Hamas, on the bloodiest day yet of the military offensive when over 30 Palestinians were killed in multiple strikes.

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Image: A Palestinian demonstrator wearing a rosary holds a stone during minor clashes with Israeli troops in protest against Israel's military operation in the Gaza Strip, in the West Bank village of Bir Zeit, near Ramallah
Photographs: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters
Tags: Hamas , HELL , Israel

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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As United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon stepped into the Egypt-led efforts to strike a ceasefire, the Security Council wrangled over an Arab-proposed statement calling for Israel-Hamas hostilities to end, with Russia expressing frustration over the silence on the issue and blaming the US for blocking any action.

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Image: Israeli soldiers stand near a mobile artillery unit after it fired a shell towards northern Gaza from its position outside the Gaza Strip
Photographs: Amir Cohen/Reuters

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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Early on Tuesday morning, at least four people were injured when F-16 fighter jets hit the Islamic National Bank in Gaza City, which is located in a residential area, Al Jazeera reported.

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Image: A Palestinian firefighter tries to extinguish a fire after an Israeli air strike, witnessed by a Reuters journalist, on a floor in a building that also houses international media offices in Gaza City
Photographs: Suhaib Salem/Reuters

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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At a late night cabinet meeting, the Israeli government agreed to briefly hold off sending ground forces into Gaza to see how the ceasefire efforts in Cairo turn out, according to Jerusalem Post.

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Image: An Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket near the Israeli city of Ashkelon
Photographs: Darren Whiteside/Reuters

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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This makes Tuesday's round of talks in Cairo very crucial to the situation and if a tangible solution is not arrived at by the end of the day, Israel would then decide on a ground assault.

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Image: Israeli soldiers check their weapons at a staging area near the border with the Gaza Strip
Photographs: Nir Elias/Reuters
Tags: HELL , Israel , Hamas , Cairo

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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While several Western nations have supported Israel's military offensive and its 'right to defense', they have warned against launching a ground invasion of Gaza enclave.

Khaled Meshaal, leader of Hamas, the controlling authority of Gaza, said Hamas was aware that Israel is 'capable' of an invasion, but warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that such a move would not 'be a picnic, but a political disaster'.

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Image: A Palestinian man uses his iPad as he takes pictures of a destroyed house after an Israeli air strike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip
Photographs: Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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Speaking at a press conference in Cairo on Monday, Meshaal said Hamas was willing for a truce but the Israeli aggression and the continued economic blockade of Gaza should end.

"Whoever started the war must end it," he said, insisting that Hamas would not yield to Israeli conditions on a ceasefire. UN Secretary-General Ban, who arrived in Cairo on Monday for talks, will travel to Jerusalem on Tuesday to lend his weight to calls for a 'de-escalation' of hostilities.

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Image: A Palestinian walks past a destroyed Hamas security site after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City
Photographs: Yasser Gdeeh/Reuters
Tags: Hamas , Cairo , Meshaal , HELL

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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On a diplomatic tour of Asia, US President Barack Obama called Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi to discuss ways to halt the violence while Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke to foreign ministers of France, Qatar and Turkey.

In Gaza, meanwhile, Israeli raids continued for a seventh day on Tuesday, and medics said the death toll had reached to 111 in the narrow coastal territory, according to Al Jazeera.

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Image: Israeli soldiers prepare a tank near Israel's border with the central Gaza Strip
Photographs: Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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Israel President Shimon Peres meanwhile accused Iran of encouraging the Palestinians to continue rocket attacks on Israel rather than negotiating a ceasefire even as he praised Egyptian President Mohammad Mursi's role in the crisis.

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Image: A Palestinian inspects the damage to a soccer stadium after an Israeli air strike in Gaza City
Photographs: Ahmed Zakot/Reuters

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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"They are out of their mind," he said of the Iranians. On Monday, Israeli attacks flattened Gaza's police headquarters and targeted a building housing media offices for a second time.

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Image: Palestinian stone-throwers take cover behind a garbage bin during clashes with Israeli security forces outside Ofer prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah
Photographs: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters
Tags: HELL , Hamas , Israel , Israeli

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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The building houses Palestinian and international media outlets, including Britain's Sky News, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya and the official Hamas broadcaster, Al Aqsa TV.

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Image: Palestinian stone-throwers pull down their pants in front of Israeli security forces during clashes outside Ofer prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah
Photographs: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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The Islamic Jihad group said one of its commanders was killed in the attack. In a similar attack on Sunday eight journalists were injured including one who had a leg amputated.

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Image: An Israeli soldier stands on the side of the road near the border with the Gaza Strip
Photographs: Amir Cohen/Reuters
Tags: HELL , Hamas , Israel

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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However, Israeli government spokesperson, Mark Regev said Israel was not targeting journalists but 'Hamas communications equipment'.

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Image: An Israeli police officer gestures in front of a burning car after a rocket fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza landed in the southern city of Ashkelon
Photographs: Edi Israel/Reuters

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Israel onslaught has opened the gates of HELL: Hamas

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"Hamas used communication facilities on buildings where journalists were," he said, describing Al Aqsa TV as a "Hamas command and control facility".

The US meanwhile dispatched three warships to the region to be on standby, if needed for the purpose of evacuation of Americans in the region.


Image: Israeli soldiers watch as an Iron Dome launcher fires an interceptor rocket near the southern city of Ashdod
Photographs: Darren Whiteside/Reuters
Tags: Hamas , Al Aqsa , HELL , Israel , US

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