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Fatah and Hamas officials announce unity deal
Israel's army chief hails Gaza war as 'excellent'
Published Wednesday 28/12/2011 (updated) 31/12/2011 11:23
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A woman and child pictured in front of buildings damaged by Israel in
the Gaza war.(MaanImages/file)
TEL AVIV, Israel (Ma'an) -- Israel's army chief on Tuesday marked the third anniversary of the Gaza war by hailing Operation Cast Lead as an "excellent" operation.

Lieutenant Benny Gantz made the remarks during an interview with Army Radio. He added that if another invasion of Gaza takes place it must be "swift and painful," Israeli daily Haaretz reported.

The military chief's comments come as Israeli airstrikes targeted the coastal enclave on Tuesday, killing one person and injuring at least 10.

Hamas marked the three year anniversary of the Gaza war by saying that Israel's blockade had failed to achieve its goals.

"Instead of being erased from the map, Gaza has become the Qibla (the direction Muslims face when praying) for the free people of the world and a symbol of dignity under challenge," spokesman Abu Zuhri said.

Hamas will continue to refer to the Goldstone report as "proof" of the occupation's war crimes in Gaza, he added.

Israel launched an unprecedented three week war on the Gaza Strip on Dec. 27, 2008.

Nearly 1,400 Palestinians were killed in the military assault, including over 300 children. The majority of those killed were civilians and over 5,000 people were wounded.

About 1.7 million Palestinians live in the narrow coastal enclave and UNRWA say Gaza's unemployment rate is still one of the most severe in the world.

The Gaza Strip has been under a sea, land and air blockade imposed by Israel since 2007. The blockade has been described as a form of collective punishment by rights agencies.
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1 ) Carol Scheller / Palestine
28/12/2011 12:57
From a human and from a military point of view, the attacks on Gaza were a blot on the name of Israel. It has changed the opinions of countless people around the world as to the right Israel has "to defend itself".

2 ) Tony B? / ME
28/12/2011 13:42
Israel's action to defend against the constant rocket bombardment on its civilian population has been hailed as the most humane military operation in the history of warfare. The IDF dropped leaflets, broke in on Hamas radio broadcasts and sent texts to thousands of Gazan phones to warn civilians of the areas they were about to attack. By contrast: Hamas stationed its weapons next to hospitals and schools and forced families to stay in war zones, hoping to gain propaganda from their deaths.

3 ) ian / australia
28/12/2011 14:13
Am I alone in thinking "swift and painful" sounds like how you'd describe the terrorising of civilians rather than combat with enemy forces! Has Lieutenant Benny Gantz let the cat out of the bag about the real objective of Cast Lead?

4 ) EE / UK
28/12/2011 15:17
Hamas is lying – Israeli policy toward Gaza did achieve it’s goal – terrorist activity generated from Gaza toward Israel is kept at minimum since conclusion of the last war, Hamas is afraid to do anything and keeps pressing other Gaza terrorist organizations to hold their fire. Unfortunately for Gaza’s civilian population such situation does not last usually very long and lessons of the last Gaza war should be repeated soon – so Hamas would not forget those lessons.

5 ) hahaha / u poor man
28/12/2011 15:27
#2 Nazis also droped leaflets so what? no harm done? yeah... live a lie;] the use of illegal weapons, starting the war in the first place- isr attacked during the US elections and broke the truce, etc... you know the rest.... ;] dream on... dream on....

6 ) swift and painful / USA
28/12/2011 15:29
it mean blitz kreig...you know likle nazi total war on civilians...the jews learn well

7 ) JG / UK
28/12/2011 18:01
“Swift and painful” just remember that Hamas before you take any provocative action.

Keep these words in mind “Swift and painful”.

8 ) southparkbear / usa
28/12/2011 18:03
hey why are you pals crying? didn't you win the last war? here is your chance to win again, hehehe

9 ) ABE / USA
28/12/2011 18:27
But still no country called Palestine!! All the "choices " the Palestinians make have led to what? a division between Palestinians! Have any of you been to ISRAEL lately? Tel Aviv looks like a middle east New York city!! I do not see where Hamas and it's friends in Gaza have made the right decisions for it's people.

10 ) Mel / USA
28/12/2011 19:40
Cont: Himmler thought the Naz concentration camps were state-of-the-art too! Very 'efficient'! Israeli Zionism is the offspring of European Nazism&Fascism,combined,after all. Deluded Zionists,with their most moral army' and 'purity of arms' crapola! It's all genocide ðnic cleansing,racism,bigotry wrapped in 'below the political radar' patriotic Israeli military camouflage. And again, Op.Cast Lead was not a "war".It was a military slaughter of non-Jewish civilians as per Zio-norm!

11 ) Joe Fattal / USA
29/12/2011 00:00
I would consider it as an excellent operation if I was the Army chief type, but I am not, he is a coward It was an uncontested war, unchallenged with the superiority of the Israeli military force. What Israel needs is a comparable military force and will see the outcome. I believe and I stick wit what I said before Israel needs the Palestinians to survive more than the Palestinians needs Israel.

12 ) Colin Wright / USA
29/12/2011 00:11
He could put it in writing. It could be like the Stroop Report.

13 ) Colin Wright / USA
29/12/2011 00:23
To EE #4 'Israeli policy toward Gaza did achieve it’s goal – terrorist activity generated from Gaza toward Israel is kept at minimum since conclusion of the last war' This involves the usual concerted distortion of fact. There had been a cease-fire. Israel began violating it the September preceding the operation, eventually managed to bait Hamas into responding, mounted 'Cast Lead,' and then went back to the ceasefire. 'Cast Lead' was simply a pointless atrocity.

14 ) Colin Wright / USA
29/12/2011 00:33
To Mel #10 'And again, Op.Cast Lead was not a "war".It was a military slaughter of non-Jewish civilians as per Zio-norm!' The word you're looking for is 'pogrom.' Not at all coincidentally, it's an institution from the Jews own past -- only with the roles reversed and themselves as the oppressors. To a large extent, that's what Israel's all about. Israel needs the Palestinians -- the only problem is the part they are to play.

15 ) Ben Alofs / UK/Netherland
29/12/2011 01:24
Response to #4) EE/UK You are distorting the facts. Hamas was sticking to the cease-fire in 2008 as even Israeli intelligence indicates. Israel wanted a war exactly BECAUSE Hamas showed to be a responsible party. It attacked the Gaza Strip and killed Hamas members, to provoke a response. The same situation now. Israel just two days ago again attacked Gaza unilaterally (the second time in two weeks) to provoke a response. Desperate tactics to divert attention away, from internal Israeli strife.

16 ) facts / please
29/12/2011 14:36
#15 "Israel just two days ago again attacked Gaza unilaterally"?!! do you forget 2 missiles were fired from Gaza to Israel on Sunday?? 2 days before the Israeli air strike???
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