Wednesday, April 1, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Israeli strike kills 18, stirs debate over targets

By
From page A1 | July 14, 2014 |

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — The target was the Gaza police chief. He survived the Israeli airstrike on a cousin’s home with critical injuries, but 18 family members were killed, including five children and teens.

The weekend attack highlighted Israel’s broad definition of military targets in its current offensive against the Islamic militant group Hamas. The army says those targets include senior Hamas activists and their homes, even as it insists it is doing the utmost to spare bystanders by warning them to clear out.

However, the U.N. Office for Humanitarian Affairs said Sunday that civilians made up the majority of Palestinian casualties over the past six days – 133 of 168 killed and nearly half of more than 1,100 wounded. And a human-rights researcher said some of Israel’s strikes appear to have violated rules of war.

The issue of Israel’s targets cuts to the core of conflicting narratives.

Palestinians – and not just those loyal to Hamas – say Israel is punishing all of Gaza’s 1.7 million people and is killing civilians with impunity. The situation in Gaza “has become unbearable,” Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, a longtime rival of Hamas, said Sunday.

Israel has portrayed its offensive against Hamas as self-defense, saying it is trying to halt the group’s indiscriminate rocket attacks on Israeli communities. Gaza militants have fired more than 800 rockets over the past week, disrupting life in large parts of the country but so far causing no deaths, according to the Israeli military.

A senior army commander said Sunday that Israel is trying to cause maximum damage to Hamas, which seized Gaza in 2007 and seeks Israel’s destruction. The military sometimes holds back because of concern for civilians, said the officer who briefed reporters on condition of anonymity, citing military regulations.

“I could kill a lot more Hamas commanders, but the way I’m operating now is consistent with my values and my conscience,” he said.

Trying to highlight its attempts to warn civilians, the military released a recording of a phone call to a resident in an area about to be targeted. The caller is heard saying he is speaking on behalf of the Israeli army.

“You speak Hebrew? Excellent,” he says to the Palestinian on the other line – in Hebrew. He then urges residents to clear out because a house is about to be targeted. “In five minutes, we are bombing,” the Israeli says.

Members of the extended family of Taysir al-Batsh, the police chief in Gaza, said they did not receive any call before Israel flattened the two-story home of one of the chief’s cousins late Saturday, just as worshippers streamed out of a nearby mosque after evening prayers.

Al-Batsh was in stable condition Sunday at Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital. Eighteen of his relatives were killed, said Dr. Ayman Sahabani at Shifa.

Among the dead were the owners of the home, Majed and Amal al-Batsh, their seven children ranging in age from 13 to 28, and a 2-year-old granddaughter, according to the Palestinian Center for Human Rights. Also among the dead were two more children, ages 7 and 12, and a 17-year-old from other branches of the clan.

Clan member Kamel al-Batsh, 22, said he heard the strike while he was in the mosque and then rushed to the scene.

“In a second, the place became a mass of dust and destruction, mixed with blood and body parts,” he told a radio station.

“My cousins who I used to play with . . . shared joy and sad moments with, have gone,” al-Batsh said. “What did we do for them to target our clan? Is it because of Uncle Taysir? He was not hiding. From the first day, he was working all day long in the street. He is the police commander who cared about people safety and stability.”

An Israeli army spokesman, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, said the police chief had been a target but that other militants were also in the area. Lerner said it was not clear if a warning was given before the strike and that the military is looking into the matter.

Lerner accused Hamas of using civilians as human shields.

“Hamas chooses to operate and hold the civilian population of Gaza hostage,” he said. “If they have a command-and-control room and next door is a living room, they are jeopardizing everyone in that building.”

However, the Israeli human-rights group B’Tselem said Israel is overreaching.

“Official spokespeople state that it is enough for a person to be involved in military activity to render his home (and his neighbors’ homes) legitimate military targets, without having to prove any connection between his activity and the house in which he and his family live,” B’Tselem said. “This interpretation is unfounded and illegal.”

Palestinian human-rights groups in Gaza said Israel has directly targeted at least 171 homes since the start of the offensive.

The military would only say that in addition to rocket-launching sites and weapons-storage facilities, it struck 32 “Hamas leadership facilities, 29 communications infrastructures and additional sites used for terrorist activities.”

Bill van Esveld of the New York-based group Human Rights Watch said that in some cases, Israel appears to have violated the rules of war under which parties to the conflict can only target military objects using proportionate force.

“We’ve looked into several cases that look like unlawful attacks,” he said. “And we’re very concerned by other attacks with high numbers of civilian casualties, often attacks on homes.”

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 7 comments

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

  • BobJuly 14, 2014 - 7:06 am

    What "military targets" was Hamas firing at? Hamas kidnapped those kids, killed them so the entire area would be blamed and then they fired missiles to get a response, which one of you wouldn't respond? If you said you wouldn't congratulations you'd be dead dummy

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • ChrisJuly 14, 2014 - 9:23 am

    I'm tired of Israel being made out to be the bad guy in this mess; Hamas started the problem and now cries when Israel retaliates back. If I were Israel I would give no slack to a group that has made it very clear they would kill every Jew and take the land for Muslims.....is this not enough reason to protect your country? The media is courting the world's sympathy for the wrong people....Israel should be congratulated not admonished.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • rlw895July 14, 2014 - 2:37 pm

    What evidence is there that Hamas was behind the Israeli teen murders?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • ArtimusJuly 14, 2014 - 11:26 pm

    You are smoking crack RIW895..heheheh.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • Rick WoodJuly 14, 2014 - 2:50 pm

    In the past the Palestinians in Gaza have had little choice but to fire back and then negotiate a cease fire. It's worked in the past. But now, with Israel feeling it has the edge with its "Iron Dome" missile defense system, that strategy is on its heels. Israel wants to press its technological advantage to the hilt. Like all technological advantages, it will be surpassed by offensive weapons eventually. You can understand the Israeli viewpoint even if you disagree with it. Only a politically implausible abandonment by the U.S. will deter the Israelis now. What the Palestinians need is a game-changer that recognizes they can't beat the Israelis militarily or with violence. Gandhi and his successors such as Martin Luther King, Jr. showed the way, but can the Moslem Arab culture produce and accept such a leader?

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • just sayin'July 14, 2014 - 8:02 pm

    Israel has a right to protect herself. Israel did not start this. The Lame Stream Media did not question anything or anyone when Israel had rockets fired into her every day. What rot. I support Israel.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • The SugarJarJuly 14, 2014 - 8:29 pm

    I'd say that everyone should have the right to protect themselves. Imagining that the situation re: Gaza is somehow equal between the Israelis and the Palestinians is just that, imagining. Previous to the strikes on Gaza after the 3 Israeli teens found dead, there were so many Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces that if spread out evenly it worked out to 1 every 3 days. A little accurate history might help with a less biased understanding. Israel does deserve to be safe--but maybe it doesn't deserve to do all it has done in the name of its safety. Apartheid, land grabbing, the dozens to hundreds of eyes-for-every-eye.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

Records detail shooting victim’s court history

By Jess Sullivan | From Page: A1, 40 Comments | Gallery

 
Vallejo youth wins county spelling bee

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
25th annual Rush Ranch Open House on April calendar

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A2

 
 
Saturday Club schedules Shower of Flowers event

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A3

 
Searchers find 84-year-old missing nearly a day

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A4, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Symphony opportunity, scholarships available

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

 
Free Healthier Living workshops begin this week

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A5

Music teachers receive program grants

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A5

 
Vallejo woman hit, killed by vehicle

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A6

Workshops offer information on child support process

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A6

 
 
Group plans Haiti missions fundraisers

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Travel presentation ready to roll in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A6

Helen Mirren film set for debut

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9 | Gallery

 
Frazier to deliver keynote at Solano EDC event

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10

WIB to host regional career fair

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
Fairfield police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Fairfield police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
Suisun City police log: March 29, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

Suisun City police log: March 28, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A14

 
Man struck by car, injured

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

.

US / World

 
 
3D print technology provides ‘robohand’ to 7-year-old girl

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Endangered bighorn sheep moved to Yosemite, Sequoia parks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7 | Gallery

Family: Man dead at Hollywood Hills home is Andrew Getty

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

 
Tuskegee Airman Leslie A. Williams dies in California at 95

By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

Woman charged with stabbing boyfriend after salsa argument

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Dress-wearing man killed by NSA police had lengthy record

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Exercising critically ill patients may help speed recovery

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10 | Gallery

Defense rests in 1st phase of Boston Marathon bombing trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Transportation strike shuts down Argentina

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Nigerian troops prevent Boko Haram attacks

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

Iran nuke talks extend past deadline

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
Relief program paid millions for ‘flawed’ work

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Buhari defeats Goodluck Jonathan in Nigerian election

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: April 1, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
Today in history: April 1, 2015

By Maureen Fissolo | From Page: A2

Should we sent wedding invitations to relatives we know can’t come?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

 
Horoscopes: April 1, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

Dressing up spring asparagus with an easy brown butter sauce

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
 
.

Entertainment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B9

 
‘General Hospital’ leads Daytime Emmy nominations

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

Olympic champ Gabby Douglas’ family to get reality show

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
.

Sports

Randle sets record, leads Stanford past ODU in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Vanden’s Orme strikes out 16, tosses no-hitter

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep boys golf preview: All 4 city teams are young

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1

 
Short-handed Miami rallies to beat Temple 60-57 in NIT semis

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Barry Zito’s scoreless streak ends; A’s beat Angels 13-10

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Cubs will track noise so Wrigley rehab doesn’t disturb fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Lincecum pitches into 6th in Giants’ win over Rockies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP’s Run to the Roses: Mubtaahij No. 8; Dortmund still No. 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michigan State title would be worth $1 million to Vegas man

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

AP study projects average MLB salary tops $4M

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
University of North Dakota begins campaign to find nickname

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Judge rules Ernie Banks will is valid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Kentucky’s platoon system gives way to traditional rotation

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Chris Mullin returns home to coach St. John’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Soccer player at center of search killed crossing LA freeway

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Frozen Four will be old home week for BU coach David Quinn

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rio Olympic tickets go on sale despite football uncertainty

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tiger Woods plays practice round at Augusta

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
US gives up another late goal in 1-1 tie at Switzerland

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR finds Ryan Newman’s race team for manipulated tires

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Patriots owner: Aaron Hernandez told me he was innocent

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Raiders release DT Antonio Smith

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Tennessee hires former Texas coach Rick Barnes

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Thunder star Kevin Durant has bone graft surgery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey showing off versatility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson released from hospital

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
.

Business

San Bruno supports higher fine

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Google to release their cheapest laptop yet

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Several charged in Medicaid shoe fraud

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 3 Comments

 
Fast food organizers expand their campaign

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10, 2 Comments

Online craft retailer Etsy preps for IPO

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
Many trucks being driven beyond designed top speed

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

Buffet expected to buy dealerships

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Obituaries

Gordon Davis

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carlos Penados

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

.

Comics

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7