Morning Brief: Israel launches Gaza offensive

From Foreign Policy Thu Nov 15 2012, 13:53:54

Israel launches Gaza offensive

Top news: The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched a vicious air assault on the Gaza Strip, hitting at least 20 targets on Wednesday and killing Ahmed al-Jabari, Hamas' top military commander. The assault, which was announced via Twitter, came after a surge in Palestinian rocket and mortar fire. "We recommend that no Hamas operatives, whether low level or senior leaders, show their faces above ground in the days ahead," read one Tweet from the IDF. At least 80 more rockets and mortars were fired at Israel Wednesday following Jabari's death, and three Israelis were killed by rocketfire overnight.

The fighting continued unabated on Thursday, with the Gaza health ministry reporting that at least 13 Palestinians have been killed, five of them militants. In Cairo, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy condemned the attacks and warned that they could destabilize the region. Yesterday, Egypt withdrew its ambassador to Israel and called an urgent meeting of the U.N. Security Council in response to the Israeli offensive. Morsy's Muslim Brotherhood has called for Egypt to sever all diplomatic relations with the Jewish state and open its border with Gaza.

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