The Israeli Air Force struck a Hamas training facility in the area of Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday night in retaliation for a rocket fired at southern Israel earlier in the day. The attack marks the first time Israel carried out an air strike in the Gaza Strip since Operation Protective Edge ended in August. No injuries were reported.
The IDF spokesperson issued a statement confirming that the IAF hit "terrorist infrastructure" belonging to Hamas's military wing in the southern Gaza Strip.
A direct hit was detected, the statement said, adding that the "attack constituted a response to the steep trajectory rocket fire towards Israeli territory at the noon time hours."
Earlier Friday, a Code Red siren was heard shortly before noon in the Eshkol Regional Council, an Israeli community close to the Israel Gaza border, and was soon followed by blasts, residents reported - indicating that a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in Israel.
IDF forces canvassing the area found the rocket in an open area, and no injuries or damage were reported. This is the third time a Gaza rocket has landed on the Israeli side of the border since the end of Israel and Hamas' 50-day summer war.
The head of the Eshkol Regional Council Haim Yellin warned residents that a diplomatic approach must be taken to restore quiet in southern Israel in a remark after the code red alert this morning, "Whoever thinks that a strong IDF response is the solution for quiet in the Gaza border communities does not understand that wars are decided by politicians, who with courage can bring peace and security. After Operation Protective Edge, the country had an opportunity to establish a long-term arrangement. Instead of this, we found ourselves with a ticking clock until the next escalation and war."
Ilan Yosef, from the Nir Yitzhak kibbutz located in the Eshkol Regional Council, said the alarm was sounded on the first day of a visit by Jewish-American parents visiting their children who had volunteered to serve in the IDF and were residing in the kibbutz.
“We are prepared for a scenario of total war…. We don’t want war, we want peace and we are fighting for European values. But Russia does not respect any agreement”
“More than anything we want peace, but we must at the moment face up to the worst-case scenario.” Said in an interview Ukrainian president to the German daily, Bild.
So it seems that the ‘anti-terrorist action’ which mainly focuses on the bombing of civilians in the areas of New Russia will be continued. Carrying out a series of interviews with Dr. Matthew Piskorski (founder of the Center for Geopolitical and one of the international observers of the situation in the New Russia) I asked him about the status of the Ukrainian army and situation on the front. It is worth noting that some of the information cited here comes from the prime minister of DLR, Oleksandr Zacharczenko. Here is the report of situation in New Russia from dr.Matthew Piskorski.
The morale of people who are forcibly recruited in the army, sent to die in horrible conditions, are very low. Now, Ukrainian army is unable to secure weapons and even lunches and food.
From what we know, a lot of food, which is sent to the units fighting on the front is stolen on the way. Extremely small rations reach to conscripts on the front
I received information that at the border of DRL district, actually, near Donetsk, Grat missile systems are settled in several towns. There are approximately 50 of them at this moment. These are of course the systems that prepare a massive attack, actually sweeping away from the surface of the earth, the population of the city district. If the Ukrainian authorities decided to take such a desperate step then there will be thousands of victims among civilians. On the other hand, I am convinced that the Ukrainian troops today are not ready to carry out any major operation.
Ukrainian army does not exist. One month ago, official statements of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine said that 67% of the Ukrainian army equipment was destroyed, or is not suitable for use. Because of that, we do not have to deal with the regular army. We have to deal with a jumble of volunteer battalions consisting of nationalist extremists and mercenaries from third countries
I also talked with representatives of the DRL and learned some very interesting things. The Ukrainian front consists of three lines. Conscription or let’s say openly cannon fodder fight in the first line: young people who were forcibly conscripted into the army and sent to the southeast of Ukraine in order to take part in the so-called ‘anti-terrorist operations’. These people, whenever there is a possibility, submit to the representatives of the People’s Republic hoping that thanks to the prisoners exchange program they will go back home. They cannot withdraw because, behind their backs stand Ukrainian Guard unit that shoot each retreating soldier.
This is the old method known from the period of the Second World War. This method is now applied in Ukraine. And the third row, the most ruthless, the most dangerous military units are penal battalions that shoot both of these recruits mentioned at the beginning as well as possibly retreating units of the National Guard. Accordingly, the so-formed front is obviously chance to carry out various kinds of military operations on a smaller scale
This will, however, take place at the cost of lives (including thousands of people in the operations on a large scale), mainly conscripts – ordinary citizens, young people who are now conscripted into the army in Ukraine. This in turn will cause the predictable protests, predictable outrage of the families, mothers, wives, children of those who died on that front. This would have dire consequences today. Any intensification of hostilities on the part of Kiev would have dire consequences, even for Kiev. I’m not afraid of the level of morale and level of preparedness of the so-called ‘separatists’. I suspect that these so-called ‘separatists’ built more professional, better equipped army than the Ukrainian army.
Geopolitical goal of the sponsors of current authorities in Kiev is not to maintain the Ukrainian statehood. Geopolitical goal of the current sponsors of so-called ‘anti-terrorist operation’ (operating through figures, such as local oligarch Igor Kołomojski and a few others) is to maintain a zone of chaos in our part of Europe, namely to continue this conflict without a firm resolve to either side in the years to come . In order to lead this conflict to a source of contention, the source of conflict between the European Union and the leading countries of the European Union and Russia, and that the conflict has allowed Western world geopolitical reformat and setting up a Trans-Atlantic investment partnership zone that is subordinate to the United States the EU economy. This is the geopolitical background of the conflict. I stress once again that the party authority, the sponsor and the party coordinating these events is the United States, with a minor contribution from its European partners
Washington has decided to arm Ukraine for renewed military assault on Russian ethnics in Donetsk and Luhansk.
The US Senate approved the first reading of the draft law according to which henceforth Ukraine has the status of an American ally, without holding membership in NATO. This bill requires that the US, in the case of direct military aggression of Russia against Ukraine, will put its troops into action in the territory of an allied country in order to fight against the Russian enemy.
As a consequence, we have a situation in which Ukrainian troops can join the storming of the Donbas. In the event of a failure, they can accuse Russia of aggression and then America will have the full right to start a war in Ukraine.
As Poroshenko said he is ready for ‘total war’.Konrad Stachnio is an independent Poland based journalist, he hosted a number of radio and TV programs for the Polish edition of PrisonPlanet, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”