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An Iran-backed terrorist organization has fired scores of rockets against Israeli targets in retaliation for the assassination of one of their top commanders in Gaza, according to reports.

“We are heading to battle, and there is no truce after this airstrike,” the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Ziad al Nakhalah said Friday.

“The results of this war will be in favor of the Palestinian people. The enemy should expect a battle, not a truce.”

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz is preparing to call up 25,000 reservists for the prospective fight, although he maintained that the “mission is to ensure that the tension ends and routine returns.” The uproar comes just over a year after a major clash between Israeli forces and Hamas militants rocked Gaza for 11 days.

"We don't know how this will play out … but this could take time,” Israeli Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked told local media. “This could be a lengthy round [of conflict] and a hard one."


The duration and intensity of this furor likely will depend on whether PIJ can induce Hamas to join the fight, according to a close observer of the militant groups who thinks that PIJ can only sustain a fight for a few days in the absence of reinforcements.

“Hamas is the dominant group in Gaza and has a much stronger military capability compared to Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the smaller groups,” Foundation for Defense of Democracies research analyst Joe Truzman told the Washington Examiner. "Hamas is watching, observing, but it hasn't decided to join the fight just yet. ... This is mostly Palestinian Islamic Jihad and some other smaller militant groups fighting Israel.”

The violence reportedly traces back to the arrest of a militant named Bassem Saadi, the leader of PIJ’s West Bank operations. His arrest was followed by the killing of PIJ commander Tayseer al Jabari in a bombardment that the Israel Defense Forces characterized as necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.

“Jabari was responsible for the concrete threat in the last three-four days to fire anti-tank missiles and mow down Israeli civilians or soldiers in the Gaza border area,” IDF spokesman Ron Kochav said this week. “We carried out a devastating ambush that thwarted Jabari and the members of the anti-tank cells, along with others.”

That operation drew a rebuke from a senior U.N. official, who said he was “deeply concerned” by the killing and also lamented the death of a 5-year-old girl who reportedly was killed in the attack on Jabari.

“The continuing escalation is very dangerous,” the United Nation’s Tor Wellesland, special coordinator for the Middle East, said Friday. “The progress made in gradually opening Gaza since the end of the May escalation risks being undone, leading to even greater humanitarian needs at a time when global resources are stretched and international financial support for a renewed humanitarian effort in Gaza will not be easily available.”


Wellesland’s statement drew a tart retort from Israel’s representative at the U.N.

“While the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is launching missiles at Israeli civilians, the U.N. envoy expresses ‘deep concern’ for the neutralization of a senior terrorist behind an imminent attack on Israelis,” Ambassador Gilad Erdan said. "Will he also express deep concern over the neutralization of [the late al Qaeda leader] al Zawahiri?”

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Letters to the Editor | Letters: New dams | Politics key | Sense of hope | Misleading bill | Defund Israel

Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor.

Voters made views
on new dams clear

The East Bay Times article “Water War” (Page A1, Aug. 7) highlighted the struggle over limited water for use. The problem is more than half of the available fresh water must be allowed to flow into the ocean, unused. This is due to environmentalist lawsuits to protect the Delta smelt, a finger-length fish. A recent state study found the greatest threat to this fish was the non-indigenous striped bass, introduced for fishermen.

The other serious problem we face is the lack of adequate storage. The voters showed their approval for new storage in 2014, passing Proposition 1. Unfortunately, there has been no new significant storage project in about 50 years, during which, the population has doubled. Environmentalists have long fought dams because they change the environment. Dams add great beauty and are lifegiving to surrounding wildlife. Dams are vital to agriculture and the very future of California.

Mark Fernwood

Politics are key in
climate change fight

Re. “Climate change demands a scientific approach,” Letters to Editor, Page A6, Aug. 9:

Daniel Mauthe thinks we should approach climate change in terms of science rather than politics. I wonder where he has been for the last 30 years, while scientists have cried to us about the urgency of the crisis? Science can inform us of possible solutions, but the implementation is political, and the hold-up has been entirely political. We have wasted those years and thus squandered the opportunity to make a leisurely transition.

I do agree with him that warming is a global problem. But as the world’s largest all-time emitter, the United States has a moral imperative to lead. If we won’t cut back our emissions, why should anyone else?

The “20-year-old student” is quite correct in her assessment, and I think Ms. Novoselov will be justifiably pleased with the Senate’s passing of the Inflation Reduction Act – the biggest climate bill to date.

Dean Shough

Inflation Reduction Act
brings sense of hope

Re. “U.S. Senate passes big Biden deal on economy,” Page A1, Aug. 8:

Hope has been in short supply this year, but, to their credit, Senators Schumer and Manchin kept up negotiations. Finally, the Senate actually passed the biggest climate bill ever.

The Inflation Reduction Act is expected to reduce emissions 40% by 2030. It will lower energy costs for American families while also creating new jobs. It includes incentives for transitioning to green energy, measures for climate-smart agriculture and forest conservation, funding for frontline communities, and more.

It’s a big deal. It doesn’t do everything — it is a compromise, after all — but it’s a great start. And it shows what Congress can accomplish when pushed by constituents. We all need to keep up the pressure so we can build on this strong foundation. Vote, and only for candidates that prioritize climate action.

For the first time in a long time, I’m feeling hopeful about our collective future.

Irmgard Flaschka

Name of bill is
misleading at best

In a report from the independent Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which contradicts claims from Senate Democrats, the $740 billion “Inflation Reduction Act” would in fact have a marginal or negative impact on inflation.

CBO Director Phillip Swagel states that inflation “would probably be between 0.1 percentage point lower and 0.1 percentage point higher in calendar year 2023.” The report went on to say that “the bill worsens inflation, especially in the first two years.”

Even Bernie Sanders said, “it will have a minimal effect on inflation.” Democrats need to stop naming bills that are deliberately misleading.

Jon Rego

Stop funding Israel’s
oppression of Palestine

Re. “Israel and Gaza militants exchange fire,” Page A14, Aug. 7:

Once again Israel has bombed Gaza. This periodic military action is casually referred to as “mowing the lawn.” It is designed to make life so miserable for the Palestinians that they are forced to leave their homeland.

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This is the fifth attack on the desperate 2.5 million refugees in Gaza. Seventy percent of these Palestinian families own homes and farms in greater Israel but have been refused the right of return. Israel has confiscated their lands to build illegal Jewish-only settlements. These violations of International Law are unconditionally supported by the U.S. taxpayers to the tune of over $10 million a day.

Ten million dollars a day would go a long way toward improving our health care and educational systems. Spending our tax dollars this way would ensure a brighter future for our children and would not violate international law.

Forrest Cioppa
Walnut Creek

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