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|Malaysia Invaded – 100's of Terrorists Land on Beaches, Western Media Mute |
|by Faith Defenders on |
|Hundreds of heavily armed terrorists have crossed from the Philippines and landed in the eastern Malaysian state of Sabah. Dozens are already dead, and the Malaysian military has brought in aircraft and armor to confront the audacious, bizarre invasion, scattering militants into the jungles of Borneo island. A seemingly headline news event, the invasion has been downplayed and spun by the Western media, many calling militant Al Qaeda-linked terrorists, an “armed Filipino clan.” |
The West’s woeful, irresponsible coverage of a burgeoning region-wide destabilization, fits in nicely with its coverage of US-Saudi funded/armed terrorism around the world, including in Syria where US-funded terrorists of the so-called “Free Syrian Army” have just taken dozens of UN peacekeepers hostage in the Golan Heights – just days after the US announced it would fund the terrorists further, to the tune of $60 million and the West’s Arab partners have just granted the terrorist faction Syria’s seat at the “Arab League.”
Terrorists are US-Saudi Funded Extremists – Part of Engineered Destabilization.
While the West pleads ignorance over the identity of the militants held up in the jungles of Malaysia’s Sabah state, the militant organizations themselves have declared thousands more in reinforcements are being arranged in the Philippines to join and exasperate the conflict. The Free Malaysia Today newspaper reported in its article, “10,000 Tausugs to sail to Sabah,” that :
Thousands of Tausug from Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi have sailed to Sabah to reinforce members of the so-called royal army of the sultanate of Sulu who are fighting it out with Malaysian security forces, a Moro National Liberation Front official said Tuesday.
The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) of course, is one of several of Al Qaeda’s franchises in Southeast Asia, and spun off the notorious terrorist organization, Abu Sayyaf, a US State Department-listed foreign terrorist organization with direct ties to Al Qaeda.
The Philippines’ terrorist organizations, located amongst the country’s southern islands have long held ties to Al Qaeda and receive funding and support from Saudi Arabia. AFP reported in their 2010 article, “WikiLeaks: US suspected Saudi ambassador to the Philippines of terror link,” that:
The United States suspected a Saudi Arabian ambassador to the Philippines of potential involvement in funding terrorists, according to US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks this week.
The report would also state:
Francis Townsend cited Waly’s intervention to secure the release of two members of an Islamic charity detained in the Philippines, the cable showed.
The group was suspected of funneling funds to Al-Qaeda-linked groups based in the southern Philippines.
It continued stating:
The February 24, 2007, US embassy cable named the charity suspected of terror financing in the Philippines as IIRO, which stands for the International Islamic Relief Organisation.
Intelligence agencies have said IIRO was set up by Muhammad Jamal Khalifa, a brother-in-law of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
The report concluded by stating:
Overall, the WikiLeaks cables singled out Saudi Arabia as the key source of funding for radical Islamist groups including Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Hamas.
Saudi Arabia is of course is the chief financier of Al Qaeda, and is currently leading efforts to fund, arm, and fill the ranks of Al Qaeda’s franchises from Mali and Libya, to Syria and Iraq. A multitude of reports from across the West have identified Saudi Arabia as the lynch pin in Al Qaeda’s global terror campaign, including the US Army West Point Combating Terrorism Center.
Its reports “Al-Qa’ida’s Foreign Fighters in Iraq” and “Bombers, Bank Accounts and Bleedout: al-Qa’ida’s Road In and Out of Iraq,” identify a vast terrorist network maintained by the Saudis that recruits, arms, and funds terrorists from across the Muslim World, and can funnel a mercenary army into any desired nation. At the time, the desired nation was Iraq. In 2011, it was Libya. Today it is Syria. The same network that US soldiers fought in Iraq is verifiably in use today, in support of US regime-change operations in Syria.
And while it is acknowledged across even the Western mainstream media that Saudi Arabia is a notorious state-sponsor of terrorism, including the terrorists allegedly behind the September 11, 2001 attacks that left 3,000 Americans dead, the US has had a decades-long, deep economic and military relationship with the despotic Arabian autocracy.
The US maintains permanent military bases inside Saudi Arabia, funds the Saudi military, and has recently concluded the largest arms deal in US history with the Saudis. Additionally, Saudi Arabia’s brutally repressive internal security apparatus is a creation of US advisers and operators.
The Saudi royal family and the elite amongst the US corporate-financier Fortune 500, have maintained deep financial and political ties as well. Saudi Arabian corporate-financier interests (run by the royal family) are tied directly to Wall Street and London via conglomerations like the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council and representation upon the JP Morgan International Council (Khalid Al-Falih of Saudi Aramco, amongst the highest valued companies on Earth).
This also includes the Bin Laden family, whose multi-billion dollar Saudi Binladin Group is an active member of the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council and plays a central role in deciding bilateral policy for the benefit of collective US-Saudi corporate-financier and corresponding geopolitical interests. At one point, the Bin Ladens and the Bush family sat around the same table, as both families were involved in the equity firm, Carlyle. In fact, Bush and Bin Laden family members were clicking champagne glasses together in Washington on 9/11, an event that would make both families immensely rich in the coming decade.
It is clear, most acutely in Libya and Syria, that the use of Saudi Arabia’s global Al Qaeda mercenary army serves both Saudi Arabia’s interests as well as Western geopolitical ambitions, including to exact regime change around the world. And it just so happens that the West and Saudi Arabia both seek regime change in currently Russo-Iranian-Chinese friendly Malaysia.
West Attempts to Install Client Regime in Malaysia
The West has been propping up Malaysian opposition candidate Anwar Ibrahim for years.
Anwar Ibrahim, head of Malaysia’s opposition coalition, which includes the Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), has spent a lifetime in the service of Western interests. Anwar Ibrahim was Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 1998, held lecturing positions at the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, was a consultant to the World Bank, and a panelist at the Neo-Con lined National Endowment for Democracy’s “Democracy Award” and a panelist at a NED donation ceremony – the very same US organization whose subsidiaries are funding and supporting Bersih, a faux-pro-democracy Western-funded street movement that in fact was created by, and in the service of Anwar Ibrahim’s political ambitions.
Bersih’s street activism fits into a global pattern of Western-backed “color revolutions,” where meddling in sovereign nation’s political processes to install Western-client regimes is disguised as “democracy promotion.”
Anwar Ibrahim’s affiliations with Malaysian “Islamists,” the already active political subversion his US State Department-funded Bersih movement is sowing in Malaysia’s streets, and his Western backers’ habitual support for terrorism internationally as a geopolitical tool, raises the possibility that his opposition movement is complicit in the conveniently timed militant destabilization Malaysia now faces, only months before 2013′s general elections.
This may be why the Western media refuses to properly cover an otherwise very noteworthy conflict. The fact that these militants are emanating from long-time US ally, the Philippines, and the Philippines’ current role in assisting the US “pivot” towards Asia, and more specifically facilitating a proxy confrontation with China, illustrates the greater regional implications at play. The US intends to install client regimes in Myanmar led by Aung San Suu Kyi, Thailand led by Thaksin Shinawatra’s despotic political dynasty, and in Malaysia led by Anwar Ibrahim. Together, this front will then be turned against Chinese interests as part of a long-planned desire to encircle and contain China.
It will be done so under ASEAN and at the cost of Asia’s stability and prosperity.
The future of Asia hangs in the balance, and therefore conflicts like Malaysia’s battle against armed extremists in Sabah may not be covered by the Western press, but it must be covered by the alternative press. The unhinged insanity that is now spilling blood on Malaysia’s shores, also represented by the West’s proxy Anwar Ibrahim and his attempts to provoke street protests against the ruling government, illustrates just how dangerous the current Anglo-American international order is, and how far its reach extends.
We must identify the corporate-financier interests driving this agenda, – interests we most likely patronize on a daily basis, and both boycott and permanently replace them to erode the unwarranted influence they have used, and will continue to use against people the world over.
Tony’s article first appeared on his blog LandDestroyer.blogspot.com.
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|Persecution Explodes as Muslims Come to Christ |
|by Faith Defenders on |
|400% Increase in Persecution |
The persecution of Christians in the 10/40 window area of North Africa, the Middle East and South Central Asia has increased by 400% over the last 10 years. Some of the worst persecution of Christians is taking place in the Arab nations of the Middle East, particularly in Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, in the Muslim dominated North of Nigeria, in Sudan, in communist China, North Korea and in Buddhist Burma.
Coptic Christians Targeted in Egypt
In Egypt, Salafis Muslims are kidnapping Coptic Christian girls for forced conversion to Islam and marriage to Muslims. Coptic girls have also been subjected to violent attacks on the streets. Frequently these knife attacks are by Muslim women wearing hijabs (a black face covering with only narrow slit for the eyes). These hijabs prevent the assailants from being identified for prosecution.
Over 3,000 Christians are imprisoned in Eritrea and all missionaries have been expelled from the country.
Beheaded in Somalia
In Somalia, on 16 November, Al-Shabaab Muslims publically beheaded 25-year-old, Farhan Haji Mose, for leaving Islam and embracing "the foreign religion of Christianity".
Churches Bombed and Burned in Kenya
In Kenya, where Christians are the majority, numerous churches have been attacked by Muslim militants connected with Al-Shabaab. Churches have been bombed and others have been burned down. Numerous Christians have been killed and crippled in these terror attacks. On Sunday, 4 November, Chaplain Julius Mukonyi was killed and 11 Christians injured in a bomb attack on a church in Garissa. The chaplain was preaching when the bomb landed on the pulpit.
Persecution in Pakistan
In Pakistan, Christians have been beaten by mobs for sharing the Gospel with their neighbours.
Suicide Bombings in Nigeria
Suicide bombing attacks on churches in Nigeria continue to kill and cripple Christians gathering for worship. Christian students at some colleges have been targeted, called upon to deny their Faith, or be hacked to death with machetes. Many churches, businesses and homes of Christians have been targeted for arson attacks and burnt to the ground. There have been over 700 attacks against Christians by Muslims in Northern Nigeria recorded during 2012. On Sunday, 25 November, 20 Christians were killed and many wounded in a twin suicide bombing of St. Andrews Protestant Church inside the Jaji military barracks in Kaduna. Investigators believe that the bombers may have been residents of the barracks and that they built the bomb on site. This has raised fears that all military and police establishments which have Muslim staff and personnel could be similarly targeted from within.
Muslim Mobs on the Rampage
On 1 December, 9 Christians were killed and 4 churches were burned down in two separate attacks in Borno state, in North Eastern Nigeria. Muslims went on the rampage burning the homes of 20 Christians and a church in Kwaple village. Another 3 churches were burned in Gamboru, Ngala. 10 Christians were killed in the attacks by Muslims in Kwaple
. Jihad in Nigeria
In a press communication released on 29 November, the radical Muslim terrorist group, Boko Haram declared: "Jihad started now! Jihad started now, oh enemies of Allah!" On Sunday morning, 2 December, approximately 50 Muslim terrorists, in cars and on motorbikes, attacked a police station, immigration and customs offices and 3 churches in Gamboru, Ngala, in Borno state, near the border of Cameroon. Before launching the attack, the Jihadists destroyed the mobile phone masts to prevent communication and delay the arrival of ambulances and reaction teams.
Murder in Allah's Name
Shouting "Allah Akbar", they opened fire, killing 5 police. While torching churches, targeting the homes of Christians, slitting the throats of Christians and looting the neighbourhood, they chanted "Allah Akbar" repeatedly. At least 10 Christians were killed in this attack. A tailor was shot for making clothes which the Islamists deemed un-Islamic.
Phenomenal Church Growth
Yet, while persecution, particularly in the Muslim and communist world is increasing, Bible-based, Evangelical Christianity is the fastest growing Faith on the planet. Mega Shift documents that while liberal mainline denominations are losing members, the fastest growing religious movement on earth are those who are Biblically inspired, born again and Evangelistic.
A Massive Spiritual Harvest
Bible-believing Evangelicals are increasing by 8% a year. Every day an average of 175,000 more Bible-believing Evangelicals are added to the Church, net gain. There are over 707 million Bible-believing Christians who would describe themselves as born again.
Muslims Turning to Christ
Over 200,000 Muslims have been converted to Christ in the last 6 years. Many of these converts include Sheiks, Imams and other Muslim leaders. There is a tremendous dissatisfaction and disillusionment amongst many of those who have studied the Qur'an and know it the best, and who are informed concerning the history of Islam.
It is this explosive growth of the Christian Church, in many cases at the expense of Islam, that has led to this vicious backlash by Muslim terrorists. There is a desperation that they are losing ground and they are reacting in the only way they know how, violently.
From Islam to Christianity
For 36 years, Nigeria was considered a Muslim country, and was a member of the Organisation of Islamic Countries. Yet, now, the percentage of Christians in Nigeria outnumbers those of Muslims. Many Churches in Northern Nigeria are made up primarily of converts from a Muslim background, members of the Hausa and Fulani tribes, which traditionally have been completely Muslim.
Winning Muslims to Christ
It is these churches which have large numbers of Muslim converts which are primarily being targeted by the Jihadists. There have been cases of entire mosques being converted to Christ. One Muslim town in Northern Nigeria, which has martyred numerous Christians, now has 7 thriving churches.
"The desert tribes will bow before Him and His enemies will lick the dust... all kings will bow down to Him and all nations shall serve Him." Psalm 72:9-11
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|California Muslims Arrested for Terror Plotting Discussed "Committing Violent Jihad" |
|by Faith Defenders on |
Contributor: Scott Allswang
This kind of thing is common, and yet witless mainstream media reporters still swallow uncritically what smoothly deceitful Islamic supremacist spokesmen tell them about jihad.
More on this story. "California terrorist suspects talked of 'violent jihad,' FBI says," from the Los Angeles Times, November 20:
California men charged with plotting to join Al Qaeda and the Taliban discussed "committing violent jihad," according to the criminal complaint in the terrorist case released Monday.
In all, four men with Southern California ties were charged in the international terrorist plot that authorities say stretched from the Inland Empire to Afghanistan.
Sohiel Omar Kabir, 34, a former Pomona resident, allegedly left the United States last year and traveled to Afghanistan in July to set up terrorist training with Al Qaeda and Taliban members, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Monday in federal court.
Kabir is accused of converting Ontario resident Ralph Deleon, 23, and Upland resident Alejandro Santana, 21, to "radical and violent Islamic doctrine," according to the complaint, which was filed in U.S. District Court in Riverside. The men allegedly sought to target Americans.
Santana and Kabir allegedly posted terrorist audio and video files on the Facebook pages and communicated via Skype when Kabir was overseas, federal authorities said in the complaint.
Kabir, a naturalized U.S. citizen born in Afghanistan, served in the Air Force from 2000 to 2001, according to court records filed with the complaint. The records did not specify why Kabir spent only a year in the service....
"At various times," the complaint alleged, "Santana and Deleon discussed their preferred roles in committing violent jihad," according to the complaint. Santana allegedly said he wanted to be a sniper, and Deleon said he wanted to be on the "front lines."
The men allegedly went to shooting ranges, where they practiced firing semiautomatic weapons, according to the complaint.
In September, Santana and DeLeon recruited Riverside resident Arifeen David Gojali, 23, to travel overseas with them and join Kabir for terrorist training, according to federal authorities. Gojali is a U.S. citizen....
Source: Jihad Watch
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|News Flash: Egypt’s Islamist President Assumes Dictatorial Powers |
|by Faith Defenders on |
Contributor: Scott Allswang
The French press agency headline says it all: “Egypt’s [President] Morsi assumes sweeping powers, branded new pharaoh.” Mursi has issued a decree giving himself virtually dictatorial powers and contradicting the assumption that he—and his Muslim Brotherhood organization—intend to rule democratically. Opposition forces said this constituted a coup.
Mursi’s spokesman explained the decree in these terms: the president can issue any decree he wishes to protect the revolution. “The constitutional declarations, decisions and laws issued by the president are final and not subject to appeal.”
It seems apparent that this is another step in the process toward the fundamental transformation of Egypt into an Islamist, Sharia-ruled state. If one views the 2011 revolution as a democratic one, then Mursi is destroying it. But of course he and the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists see it as an Islamist revolution, parallel to the 1979 Iranian revolution — though in Egyptian terms, of course. Lest there be any illusions about what this means, note that Mursi is one man whose legitimacy is not established in practice–despite having won an election–and who cannot depend on the country’s institutions to obey him. The power behind Mursi is not that he is president but that he has the support of the country’s strongest group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and can generally count on the Salafists as well.
The timing of this takeover is ironic since it coincides with an all-time high for the Obama administration’s regard for Egypt, following that regime’s brokering of an Israel-Hamas ceasefire, including a continuous insistence from the U.S. government and mass media that the Brotherhood was now moderate and pro-democratic. In a normal universe, a U.S. president would be furious at Egypt for being made to look foolish after lavishing so much praise on Egypt and its insistence that the Brotherhood was moderate and democratic. Of course, that will not happen with this administration.
It is true that Mursi acted “pragmatically” on the ceasefire issue. But what does that mean? He took into account his own regime interests and didn’t just howl “Alahu Akhbar!” repeatedly. Westerners seem to think that for someone to be a radical Islamist they have to be a wild man. If Osama bin Laden wore a suit and tie, he’d still be alive today.
But of course Mursi wants to stay in power and strengthen his regime. He’s not going to throw away $10 billion in aid (U.S., EU, IMF) for some wild adventure in the Gaza Strip that Hamas began without asking him. He doesn’t yet control the country or the army. There’s no constitution and no functioning parliament. If the Muslim Brotherhood has proven anything, it is that it has patience.
According to the New York Times:
Mr. Obama told aides he was impressed with the Egyptian leader’s pragmatic confidence. He sensed an engineer’s precision with surprisingly little ideology. Most important, Mr. Obama told aides that he considered Mr. Morsi a straight shooter who delivered on what he promised and did not promise what he could not deliver.
“The thing that appealed to the president was how practical the conversations were — here’s the state of play, here are the issues we’re concerned about,” said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. “This was somebody focused on solving problems.”
But the main problems Mursi is focused on is how to keep the Muslim Brotherhood in power, how to get lots of money from the West, and how to make Egypt into a radical Islamist state. Enforcing quiet in the Gaza Strip right now is part of that effort.
Being the main sponsor of Hamas, a terrorist group, used to be called “state sponsorship of terrorism,” now it is to be admired as being, in the New York Times formulation, Hamas’s “most important international ally.” Another interesting parallel is that Hamas, like the fellow Brotherhood branch in Egypt, won an election and then seized power completely. Things in Egypt have not yet gone that far, but Mursi has taken a big step in that direction.
At home, it has taken only a few weeks for Mursi to return to dictatorship. The decree comes as secular-minded groups demonstrate in the Tahrir Square area while the Islamists call for suppressing them.
Mursi’s offensive seeks to give him the power to purge existing institutions and put supporters in control.
Perhaps the highest priority is to take over the court system by appointing Islamist judges. During the late Mubarak regime, judges were among the most courageous of dissidents, issuing decisions the government doesn’t like. After the revolution, judges gave rulings against the Brotherhood’s goals, for example, saying that the election of parliament—which is three-quarters Islamist—was illegal. Mursi wants to reverse this ruling by decree rather than face new elections where Islamist vote totals will probably plummet.
The other key institutions are the armed forces, where top generals have already resigned, and the religious establishment. While the chiefs of Egypt’s religious system, including the powerful mosque-university al-Azhar, are hardly liberal, they are also not systematic Islamists or Brotherhood supporters. Once such people are replaced with loyalists, the Brotherhood will have the power to define Islam itself.
Given the international authority of al-Azhar, which trains clerics for many different countries, Sunni Islam from Morocco to Indonesia would be closer to becoming thoroughly in line with revolutionary Islamist, anti-Western, antisemitic thinking. That is not to say it is open, liberal, and tolerant now. But the situation would be far worse and destabilizing. For example, mainstream clerics would issue a stream of rulings justifying terrorism and condemning anyone who cooperated with the West.
The Egyptian regime’s cooperation on a Gaza ceasefire, then, was in large part intended to defuse any reaction against its movement toward dictatorship at home. It is doubtful, for example, that the Obama administration will condemn the new decree giving Mursi total power in the country. And Egypt will get almost $10 billion in aid from the United States, European Union, and International Monetary Fund, even as it becomes a repressive, Islamist state.
Source: Rubin Reports
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|Israel Bus Blown Up, Shelling of Gaza Continues as Clinton Keeps up Frantic Diplomacy |
|by Faith Defenders on |
|Contributor: Scott Allswang |
A bomb exploded aboard an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding 27 people and delivering a major blow to diplomatic efforts to forge a truce to end a week of fighting between Israel and Gaza's militant Hamas rulers.
The attack came as diplomats, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, shuttled around the region to try to broker a cease-fire following a week-long Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza that intensified to its most feverish state overnight, according to CBS News correspondent Charlie D'Agata. Palestinian officials say more than 140 people have been killed, and 1,000 wounded -- most of them civilians, and many children among them.
Israeli aircraft pounded Gaza with at least 30 strikes overnight, hitting government ministries, smuggling tunnels, a banker's empty villa and a Hamas-linked media office. And it took Israel less than two hours to respond to the bus bombing with a fresh round of air strikes on the tiny Palestinian territory. As night fell in the Middle East, D'Agata says at least 30 shells from an Israeli warship pounded the city.
One blast the night before blew out the windows of the hotel room where D'Agata was staying in Gaza.
Militant rocket fire into Israel has killed five Israelis.
This, as thousands of Israeli ground troops massed on the Gaza border awaiting a possible order to invade.
The bus exploded about noon on one of the coastal city's busiest arteries, near the Tel Aviv museum andacross from an entrance to Israel's national defense headquarters.
The bus was charred and blackened, its side windows blown out and its glass scattered on the asphalt. The wounded were evacuated and blood was splattered on the sidewalk.
An Israeli driver who witnessed the explosion told Army Radio the bus was "completely charred inside." Another witness said there were few passengers on the bus when it exploded. The witnesses spoke to Israeli TV and were not identified.
The last bombing in Tel Aviv was in April 2006, when a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 11 people at a sandwich stand near the city's old central bus station. A bomb left at a bus stand in Jerusalem last year killed one person.
While Hamas did not take responsibility for the attack, it praised the bombing.
"We consider it a natural response to the occupation crimes and the ongoing massacres against civilians in the Gaza Strip," Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum told The Associated Press.
Clinton, meanwhile, pressed on Wednesday with efforts to wring an elusive truce deal from Israel and Gaza's militant Hamas rulers, after earlier attempts to end more than a week of fighting broke down amid a furious spasm of violence.
She joined other world diplomats in shuttling between Jerusalem, the West Bank and Cairo, trying to piece together a deal that would satisfy the two foes after a week of fighting and mounting casualties.
After meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem Tuesday night, Clinton conferred with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank on Wednesday morning, then arrived in Cairo, where the new Muslim Brotherhood-led government is mediating in the crisis.
Clinton met Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, and was to sit down later with Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr, and Arab League Secretary-General Nabil al Araby.
The two sides had seemed on the brink of a deal Tuesday following a swirl of diplomatic activity also involving the U.N. chief and Egypt's president. But sticking points could not be resolved as talks -- and violence -- stretched into the night.
At least four strikes within seconds of each other pulverized a complex of government ministries the size of a city block, rattling nearby buildings and shattering surrounding windows. Hours later, clouds of acrid dust still hung over the area and smoke still rose from the rubble.
The impact of the blast demolished the nearby office of attorney Salem Dahdouh, who was searching through files buried in the debris.
"Where are human rights?" he asked, saying officials negotiating a cease-fire ought to see the devastation.
In downtown Gaza City, another strike leveled the empty, two-story home of a well-known banker and buried a police car parked nearby in rubble.
"This is an injustice carried out by the Israelis," said the house's caretaker, Mohammed Samara. "There were no resistance fighters here. We want to live in peace. Our children want to live in peace. We want to live like people in the rest of the world."
The Israeli military said its targets included the Ministry of Internal Security, which it says served as one of Hamas' main command and control centers, a military hideout used as a senior operatives' meeting place and a communications center.
Washington blames Hamas rocket fire for the outbreak of violence and has backed Israel's right to defend itself, but has cautioned that an Israeli ground invasion could send casualties soaring.
Israel's outspoken foreign minister, meanwhile, expressed what many in Israel suspect - that ahead of January elections, the country's leaders do not want to get mired in a ground operation.
"There is no point embarking on such a dramatic move two months before elections after we didn't do it for four years," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told the Ynet web site Tuesday. Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev had no comment on Lieberman's remarks.
Hamas official Izzat Risheq predicted a truce deal would be reached Wednesday, but the movement wouldn't discuss what the problems were.
Israeli media quoted Defense Minister Ehud Barak as telling a closed meeting that Israel wanted a 24-hour test period of no rocket fire to see if Hamas could enforce a truce among its forces and other Gaza militant groups.
Palestinian officials briefed on the negotiations said Hamas wanted assurances of a comprehensive deal that included new arrangements for prying open Gaza's heavily restricted borders, and were resisting Israeli proposals for a phased agreement. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Israel launched the offensive on Nov. 14 following months of rocket salvoes from the territory into southern Israel, which has endured attacks for the past 13 years. For its opening salvo, it assassinated Hamas' military chief, then followed up by bombarding the militant-run territory to its south with more than 1,500 airstrikes that initially targeted rocket launchers and weapons storage sites, then widened to include wanted militants and symbols of Hamas power.
Defying Israel's claims that they've been badly battered, the militants have so far fired more than 1,400 rockets at Israel, drawing upon newly developed and smuggled weapons to extend the reach of their attacks toward Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Israel's largest cities. The number of Israelis within rocket range leapt to 3.5 million from 1 million.
Source: CBS News
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