Sunday, April 26, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Rockets hit Israeli heartland as offensive begins

By
From page A1 | July 09, 2014 |

JERUSALEM — Israel on Tuesday launched its largest offensive in the Gaza Strip in nearly two years, carrying out a blistering aerial assault on scores of targets and killing 25 people in what officials called an open-ended operation aimed at ending weeks of heavy rocket fire. As Gaza militants unleashed salvos on cities including Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Israel mobilized forces along the border for a possible ground invasion.

The offensive set off the heaviest fighting between Israel and the Islamic militant group Hamas since an eight-day battle in November 2012. The militants fired about 160 rockets at Israel, including a strike that reached the northern city of Hadera for the first time, while Israel said it attacked more than 150 sites across Gaza.

Palestinian medics reported at least 25 dead, including six killed in an airstrike that flattened an apartment building in southern Gaza and set off widespread panic.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said continued rocket attacks on Israeli communities would not be tolerated.

“Therefore I have ordered the military to significantly broaden its operation against Hamas terrorists and against the other terrorist groups inside Gaza,” he said on national TV. “I call on you to display patience because this operation could take time.”

Israel and Hamas are bitter enemies that have engaged in numerous rounds of fighting over the years. But until recently, they had been observing a truce that ended the previous hostilities in 2012.

Tensions have been rising since Palestinian militants kidnapped three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank on June 12. Accusing Hamas of being behind the abductions, Israel launched a crackdown on the group’s members in the West Bank and arrested hundreds of people. Hamas, which controls Gaza, responded by stepping up rocket fire.

The situation deteriorated last week after the bodies of the Israeli youths were found, and a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem was abducted and burned to death in what Palestinians believe was a revenge attack. Six Jewish Israelis have been arrested in the killing, and the rocket fire from Gaza has increased in recent days.

The fighting raged throughout the day. In its fiercest attack, an airstrike flattened the home of a Hamas militant in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, reducing the concrete structure into a smoldering pile of rubble.

Panicked residents fled, shouting “God is great.” Some had bloody faces, and crying mothers held small children as they ran away. Screaming Palestinians took away motionless bodies. Palestinian medical officials said six people, including two children, were killed. Israel’s military said it had called the home shortly before the airstrike to warn civilians to leave, something it has done in past fighting as well.

The normally bustling streets of Gaza City were deserted late Tuesday. Fearing an Israeli ground operation, many residents from areas near the border moved to stay with relatives living deeper inside Gaza.

In southern Israel, hundreds of thousands of citizens were ordered to stay close to home because of the rockets. Israeli streets were also quieter in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem after attempted rocket strikes set off air-raid sirens in Israel’s two largest cities. The Jerusalem municipality said it was opening special bomb shelters.

Militants twice fired rockets at Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial capital, sending people scurrying for cover. Both were intercepted by the “Iron Dome” rocket defense system, with the second shown on live TV, as a winding plume of smoke followed the interceptor into the black skies, culminating with a flash.

Late Tuesday, Hamas said it fired four rockets toward Jerusalem, and two distant booms were heard from the city’s center. Three rockets landed in the Jerusalem area, officials said, and police said there were no injuries.

The Israeli military said one rocket exploded in the northern Israeli city of Hadera, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) from Gaza, in the farthest distance a rocket from Gaza has reached so far. It caused no injuries, the army added. With its new reach, Hamas’ rockets now have an estimated 5 million people — more than half of Israel’s population — in range.

Hamas said it had used a new rocket called the R-160 after one of its leaders, Abdel Rantisi, who was killed last decade.

In other violence, the Israeli military said it foiled Gaza militants who tried to infiltrate a military base in southern Israel by sea. Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said four attackers came ashore and attacked the base with grenades and automatic rifles before they were killed. An Israeli soldier was slightly wounded.

As Israel built up forces along the border, the government authorized the army to activate up to 40,000 reservists. The army said that about 1,000 soldiers were immediately activated, in addition to an earlier group of 1,500 reservists called into action.

“If we need to go inside in a ground operation, then we will do it. These things are on the table. These options exist. We will not stop anything until the rocket firing ends,” said Yitzhak Aharonovitch, the minister for internal security and a member of Netanyahu’s inner Security Cabinet. Israel’s last ground offensive was in 2009.

Asked by Channel 2 TV if there were any efforts underway to reach a cease-fire, he said: “Not now.”

The U.S. State Department condemned the rocket fire on Israeli civilians, defended Israel’s right to protect itself, and said it hoped Israel’s “strong message” would deter further attacks. “But certainly, our preference is to de-escalate the situation on the ground,” spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

Israel and Hamas, which is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state, agreed to an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire that ended the last round of fighting in late 2012.

In Gaza, Abu Obeida, a masked spokesman for Hamas’ military wing, accused Israel of violating that agreement and demanded a halt to the airstrikes, its recent crackdown in the West Bank and its opposition to a Palestinian unity government that is backed by Hamas.

“In the face of this aggression, we affirm that the Zionist enemy should not dream of calm and stability,” he said.

Hamas, however, is far weaker than in 2012. At the time, Egypt was governed by the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’ close ally. Following a military coup in 2013, Egypt’s new government is hostile to Hamas and has closed a network of smuggling tunnels used by the group as an economic lifeline.

Hamas seized control of Gaza in 2007 from the rival forces of President Mahmoud Abbas. But facing international isolation and an economic crisis, Hamas last month agreed to back a new unity government with Abbas.

Abbas, however, has little real influence over Gaza. Hamas, with an arsenal of thousands of rockets, remains the dominant power there. Smaller and more radical forces are also involved in rocket fire from Gaza.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the multiple rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and demanded an immediate halt to the attacks, U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said. Arab League Chief Nabil Elaraby called for an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council to stop the violence.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Hard-fought battle ends in victory

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Children enjoy day of fishing at Fairfield pond

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Solano cities celebrate Earth Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Those addictive, terrible, wonderful smartphones

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2

 
Expo shows Kroc Center fun for whole Framily

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Suisun police execute tobacco sting

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4

Edibles in your landscape

By Daily Republic | From Page: C4

 
CHP offers free class for senior drivers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

Supervisors consider changes in various county fees

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4

 
Patrons raise a glass to toast a good cause

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Walk MS hits stride along Suisun waterfront

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Covered California offers Solano enrollment events

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Weather for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B6

 
Pay close attention to investment costs

By Mark Sievers | From Page: B7

Be wary of next ‘big’ thing

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: B7

 
.

US / World

With legalization, lawyers turn to business of pot

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Remains of dismembered newborn found in South Los Angeles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
‘Operation Babylift’ kids, soldiers reunite 40 years later

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Starbucks stores reopen Saturday after computer glitch

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

 
Nearly 17 million watch Jenner interview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Mother in custody dispute freed after 8 years behind bars

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
A dozen arrested as Freddie Gray protests turn violent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Italy marks 70th anniversary of anti-Nazi uprising

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
European authorities stop illegal horse meat network

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Italian navy rescues 274 from migrant ship off Libyan coast

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Aden hit by coalition airstrikes amid fierce street battles

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Army shutting down wounded warrior transition care units

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Warrior pose: Yoga catching on as therapy for veterans’ PTSD

By The Washington Post | From Page: B10

Toll climbs after powerful quake hits Nepal: Things to Know

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
.

Opinion

Corruption tarnishes values of our ancestors

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Obama sides with enemy

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

Who’s asleep at the switch?

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
How can we give them more?

By Brian Thiemer | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

Primary challenge could force Harris’ hand

By Dan Walters | From Page: A8

 
Sound off for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic | From Page: A8

 
.

Living

Brides show short wedding gowns more of the love

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
Community Calendar: April 26, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Today in history: Sunday, April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Vatican goes on offensive to defend US-Spanish saint

By The Associated Press | From Page: C3

 
You get what you need with Jesus

By Noel Reese | From Page: C3

How can I trust my husband after he texted a younger woman behind my back?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: C4

 
Horoscope: April 26, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: C4

 
Veterinarians are too expensive, and it puts pets at risk

By The Washington Post | From Page: C5

Old standby body-weight training still has moves

By The Washington Post | From Page: C7

 
Milan spiffs up for Expo 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: C7

.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
More copies of Laura Ingalls Wilder memoir being printed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

Amber Tamblyn writes book of poetry about dead actresses

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

 
TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B11

.

Sports

Rain postpones NASCAR race at Richmond until Sunday

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Giants beat Rockies 5-4 in 11 innings

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Warriors complete sweep with 109-98 win over Pelicans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Athletics drop 3rd straight game, 9-3 to Astros

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Watford back in Premier League after 8-year absence

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Several Kentucky Derby hopefuls get workouts in before rain

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Levy falters at Volvo China Open; 4 tied for lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Former Expos executive Jim Fanning dies at 87

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Sandy Lyle, Ian Woosnam team to lead Legends of Golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Compton, Day top leaderboard in rain-plagued Zurich Classic

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Suzuki breaks Oh’s record for runs by a Japanese player

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Bulldogs get 10-0 baseball win over Panthers

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B2

 
Canadian teen Henderson has 1-shot lead in LPGA Tour event

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Klitschko outpoints Jennings to defend heavyweight titles

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michael Schumacher’s son makes strong Formula 4 debut

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

US routs Canada 7-2 in semifinal at under-18 hockey worlds

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
A’s place Ben Zobrist on disabled list with knee injury

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

7 players from Royals, White Sox punished by MLB for brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Grizzlies hold off a late Trail Blazers rally to go up 3-0

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Hometown report: Bicycle racing, youth track

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

 
Bowling report for April 26, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B4

Bayless’ layup at buzzer gives Bucks 92-90 win over Bulls

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

 
Nets beat Hawks 91-83, pull within 2-1 in series

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4 | Gallery

Sports on TV for Sunday, April 26, 2015

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B5

 
This date in sports history for April 26

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

.

Business

Veggies take center plate as healthy fast food chains expand

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

 
What’s in a hotel name? Guests try to decipher the mystery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B7 | Gallery

Is ice cream safe? Federal health officials say yes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
Don’t panic, college seniors: Jobs for grads likely to grow

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

Nicole Herdia Spann

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

 
Reginald Morris Davis

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

Kirk Noonan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Sandra King

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Elizabeth Cepeda

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Janis Ruth (Sefzik) Skinner

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics