14
Search AOL Mail
AOL Mail
Video
Video
AOL Favorites
Favorites
Menu

Israel leader: World pressure won't stop military offensive



By JOSEF FEDERMAN

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's prime minister vowed Friday to press forward with a broad military offensive in the Gaza Strip, insisting international pressure will not halt what he said was a determined effort to halt rocket fire by Palestinian militants as the death toll from the 4-day-old conflict rose above 100.

Addressing a news conference, Benjamin Netanyahu brushed off a question about possible cease-fire efforts, signaling there was no end in sight to the operation.

"I will end it when our goals are realized. And the overriding goal is to restore the peace and quiet," Netanyahu said.

Israel says it launched the offensive on Tuesday in response to weeks of heavy rocket fire out of Gaza. The Israeli military says it has hit more than 1,100 targets, mostly what it identified as rocket-launching sites, bombarding the territory on average every five minutes.

At least 21 Palestinians were killed Friday, pushing the overall death toll to 106, including dozens of civilians, according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Palestinian militants have fired more than 600 rockets at Israel, including one that struck a gas station and set it ablaze earlier Friday in the southern city of Ashdod. Israeli health officials said the blast wounded three people, including one in serious condition.

The army also said the condition of a soldier wounded by rocket shrapnel on Thursday had worsened. But there have been no deaths on the Israeli side, in large part because of a new rocket-defense system that has intercepted at least 128 incoming projectiles.

Netanyahu said he has been in touch with numerous world leaders, including President Barack Obama and the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Canada.

He said he had "good discussions" with his counterparts, telling them that no other country would tolerate repeated fire on its citizens.

"No international pressure will prevent us from acting with all power," he said.

Israel's allies have backed the country's right to self-defense, but they have called for restraint. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed concern about the heavy civilian casualties in Gaza, and on Friday, the U.N.'s top human rights official said the air campaign may violate international laws prohibiting the targeting of civilians.

"We have received deeply disturbing reports that many of the civilian casualties, including of children, occurred as a result of strikes on homes," said Navi Pillay, the U.N. high commissioner for human rights.

"Such reports raise serious doubt about whether the Israeli strikes have been in accordance with international humanitarian law and international human rights law," she said.

Netanyahu brushed aside such criticism, saying Israel's aerial campaign is aimed at military targets.

He blamed Hamas for causing civilian casualties by hiding in residential areas and criticized the group for targeting Israeli population centers.

Israel has massed thousands of troops along the border in preparation for a possible ground invasion. Netanyahu was evasive when asked about the odds of a ground operation, saying only: "We are weighing every possibility."

Rocket fire continued in earnest from Gaza toward various locations in southern and central Israel. The commercial center of Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion airport, Israel's main international gateway, also heard warning sirens Friday but these rockets were intercepted and there was no disturbance to Israel's air traffic. Hamas says it intends to fire rockets at the airport and warned foreign airlines to stop flying to Israel.

Militants in Lebanon also took aim at northern Israel with rockets for the first time in the conflict. Rocket fire struck near the border between the two countries and the military responded with artillery fire toward the source in southern Lebanon, military spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said.

The Lebanese military said militants there fired three rockets toward Israel and the Israelis retaliated by firing about 25 artillery shells on the area.

Lebanon's state-run National News Agency said that one of the militants firing the rockets was wounded and rushed to a hospital. The Lebanese military said troops found two rocket launchers and dismantled them.

Southern Lebanon is a stronghold of the Shiite militant group Hezbollah, which has battled Israel numerous times. However, recent fire from Lebanon has been blamed on radical Palestinian factions in the area and Hezbollah has not been involved in the ongoing offensive.

A pair of Lebanon-based al-Qaida-linked groups, the Battalions of Ziad Jarrah and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades, has claimed responsibility in the past for similar rocket attacks on Israel.

No Plans For Peace In Gaza: Ground Conflict Near?

Join the discussion

1000|Characters 1000  Characters
dal July 11 2014 at 4:42 AM

I have said it every time Hamas starts this crap, let Israel take care of business and don't interfere with them when they finally rid the earth of the likes of palestine and Lebanon.

Flag Reply +100 rate up
10 replies
R July 11 2014 at 4:37 AM

Heard on the national news that Netanyahu called Obama and Obama ignored the call. He never returned the call to Netanyahu. Obama has been destroying relationship with America's allies since the day he took office.
On his first presidential trip to foreign nations, Obama bashed the USA in every foreign country he visited. The news about an American president slamming the USA made headline news throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
Think about it:
Obama bashes our country, America – worldwide.
Obama does nothing when Middle East Terrorists are growing stronger and gaining more and more territory.
When Terrorists, our enemies, were slaughtering civilians and Syria needed help, Obama did nothing.
When Iraqi officials call and ask Obama for help in the form of air strikes, Obama does nothing to help stop the Terrorists, including ISIS, our enemies.
Obama was and is aiding the Terrorists, our enemies. Obama does nothing.
What Obama is doing is help strengthen the Terrorists while turning his back to those in the Middle East who want to live in peace.
Obama is ripening our country for Terrorists attacks.
He’s turned his back on our allies.
He’s created a precedent-setting budget deficit of more than $17 Trillion and continues to ask for billions and trillions. The USA will never be able to pay off that debt.
Despite continuing to ask for billions and trillions, none of our problems have been solved, fact: our problems keep growing.
As a registered Democrat, I can totally understand why the Congress refuses to continue throw money Obama’s way. What is Obama doing with our country’s money?
Long before he was elected to any office, Obama had plans for America. His Agenda was and is to weaken the USA and everyone in it. His Agenda was and is to destroy the USA.
1. Precedent-setting budget deficit
2. Breaking ties with our long-time allies
3. Massive unemployment
3. Refusal to close our borders despite the fact that the USA was attacked by Mideast Terrorists on 9/11
4. Release of 5 Top Taliban Terrorists in exchange for an American soldier who allegedly deserted his platoon
5. Sending a message, worldwide, that anyone can come to the USA and we’ll take care for each and every one of them. The result is unprecedented chaos.
6. Moving more people/families from the Middle Class into Poverty than any other president in modern day America.
7. Growing list of scandals - the majority of which have resulted in Americans dying.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Obama has done nothing but weaken and destroy us. He hasn’t helped anyone.
Remember his Agenda and his very own words: “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction.”
The Muslims Obama is standing by are the Terrorists – enemies of the United States and enemies of those in the Middle East who want to live in peace.
The most recent snub is to Benjamin Netanyahu.
If our country ever needs help from other nations, will there be anyone who will want to help America and its people. Obama is hoping there is no one.

Flag Reply +100 rate up
49 replies
Bob July 11 2014 at 4:31 AM

It is very simple. Stop firing missiles at Israel and Israel will stop firing back at you.
The Palestinians don't want peace and their leaders incite hatred of Jews just like Hitler did

Flag Reply +100 rate up
11 replies
bert hall July 11 2014 at 4:28 AM

ISRAEL KEEP DEFENDING YOURSELF. YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB. DO NOT DEPEND ON OUR PATHETIC,INCOMPENTENT PRESIDENT OBAMA. PRESIDENT OBAMA IS THE WORST PRESIDENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY.!!!!

Flag Reply +100 rate up
42 replies
Bob July 11 2014 at 4:25 AM

I find it amazing that Palestinians call Israelis Nazis.
Talk about projecting.
The Islamic use of religion as an excuse and justification for murder is
Hard for most people to understand.

Flag Reply +100 rate up
11 replies
gosox41 July 11 2014 at 4:19 AM

This is what you should expect when you attack someone elses country. What did the US when it was attacked ? Get rid of Hamas and all of the other aggressers in the area and give peace a chance.
Why don't they show the mutilated bodies of the 3 Israelli children who were brutally killed buy Hamas who once again initiated a confrontation.

Flag Reply +100 rate up
13 replies
siscosdad July 11 2014 at 4:26 AM

Totally amazing to me....the Muslims keep telling us how they're going to take over the world...with what? Israel has 100 times the firepower of Hamas and Hezbollah combined, and they would love to Have Iran openly join into the fray. Do we need further proof that these people are mad fanatics?

Flag Reply +98 rate up
7 replies
jewel July 11 2014 at 4:43 AM

obama would not help israel-- he's a muzzzzz-but they have one that is helping them -- GOD ALMIGHTY. DON'T ASK OBAMA HE WILL NOT HELP THEM-- YOU'LL SEE.

Flag Reply +87 rate up
18 replies
Hi! Tom July 11 2014 at 3:23 AM

Is this the start of yet another World War? Will the U.S. stand by Israel and protect them?

Flag Reply +47 rate up
33 replies
Ranoush July 11 2014 at 4:43 AM

FREE PALESTINE from the Isreali terrorists!

Flag +39 rate up
51 replies
aol~~ 1209600

Voting...

1413986337358

World Series

More From Our Partners