UPDATE 6 (Monday, 6:00 am Israel Time): At 2:20 am this morning, the terrorist “factions” under the control of Hamas agreed to a ceasefire. Forty minutes later, at 3:04, terrorists launched missiles at Beersheva. At 3:10, another missile was launched at Beersheva. At 3:33 am, incoming rocket sirens were heard in the Ashkelon Chof region. At 5:46 am, a missile was fired at Nir Oz, bringing to 220 the number of terrorist missiles that have struck southern Israel since Friday evening.
UPDATE 5 (Monday, 1:30 am Israel Time): Another 4 Hamas rockets fired at southern Israel (Eshkol region, Chof Ashkelon region, Ashkelon, Sha’ar Hanegev). Last missile at 12:20 am. 216 terrorist missiles now have struck Israel.
UPDATE 4 (Monday, 12:00 am Israel Time): Four Hamas rockets have assaulted southern Israel in the last hour (Ofakim, Eshkol region (2), and Beersheva). 212 terrorist rockets have struck since 6:48 Friday evening.
UPDATE 3 (Sunday, 11:00 pm Israel Time): 4 more Hamas missiles have struck Israel in the last hour and a half–most recently at Beersheva 5 minutes ago. This brings the total number of missile attacks against southern Israel since Friday evening to 208.
UPDATE 2 (Sunday, 9:30 pm Israel Time): 15 more Hamas missiles have struck Israel since the last israelstreet update–the last one in Ashkelon 4 minutes ago. This brings the total number of missile attacks against southern Israel since Friday evening to 204. Can you, dear reader, even begin to imagine the emotional toll that this is taking on Israelis in the southern part of the country?
UPDATE (Sunday, 5:15 pm Israel Time): At the time of the last israelstreet update at 10:15 this morning, 158 Hamas missiles had been fired at southern Israel since Friday evening. That number has now increased to 189 missiles targeting the men, women, and children of Israeli communities in the South.
In the seven hours since then, israelstreet counts 31 more rockets in numerous strikes: Ashdod and Gedera at 10:52; Ashkelon at 10:54; Ashdod at 11:01; Nahal Oz at 12:11; Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Gedera at 12:15; Ofakim and Beersheva at 12:33; Rahat at 12:43; Beersheva at 12:46; Beersheva at 12:56; Kiryat Malachi at 12:59; Ashdod at 12:59; Yad Mordechai and Zikin at 1:01; Kiryat Malachi, Kochav Michael, Beer Tuvia at 1:03; Ashkelon at 1:11; Eshkol regional council at 1:24; Beersheva at 1:32; Ashdod, Nahal Sorek, and Gan Yavne at 1:42; Ashkelon at 1:47; Gan Yavne at 2:01; Beersheva and Shimon Regional Council at 2:27; Ashdod at 2:28; Ashkelon at 2:32; Ashdod at 2:41; Sha’ar Hanegev at 2:56; Eshkol Regional Council at 3:00; Ashdod at 3:05; Beersheva and Omer at 3:20; Beersheva (direct hit on an empty school) 3:26; Nahal Oz and communities around Gaza at 3:28; Kibbutzim near Gaza at 3:58; Chof Ashkelon region at 4:24; Northern Negev region at 4:30.
Again, 189 Hamas missiles have struck southern Israel so far this weekend. This is a number that you will not see at this point in the Israeli mainline media (currently reporting approximately 150) whose news runs approximately 3 hours behind the reports from people on the ground.
Israel’s response to this madness has been “to protect” Israeli citizens with the Iron Dome system which has been about 90% effective in its three locations (Ashdod, Beersheva, and Ashkelon). And to continue to “surgically” target terrorists who are in the process of trying to launch missiles.
According to terrorist Hamas sources, 15 terrorists have been killed. From the so-called “Popular Resistance Committees: Ahmed Hanani, Zuhir al Qaisi, Mahdi Abu Shawish, Mansour Kamal Abu Nuseira, Hussein Barham Al-Breim, Ahmed Deeb Salem. From Islamic Jihad: Fayiq Saad, Muatasim Hajjaj, Ahmad Hajjaj, Shadi Sayqali, Ubeid Gharabli, Muhammad Maghari, Hazim Queriqi, Muhammad al-Ghamry, Muhammad Hararah, Mahmoud Najim.
Obviously, the Israeli policy of hitting the missile launchers is killing some of the missile launchers, but this policy is clearly having no effect in decreasing the number of missiles fired.
Your humble servant will continue updating this page during the day and night but offers now the following observations:
1. The rules of engagement that the IDF follows must change. The idea seems to be that only in the most extreme circumstances can pre-emptive action be taken against terrorists. Israel cannot attack unless it is being attacked or is about to be attacked.
This is a recipe for disaster. In the case of Gaza, this policy has allowed the Hamas terrorists to accumulate thousands of missiles. The IDF needs to go on the offense and attack the terrorists head on in Gaza–mercilessly rooting out every Hamas leader without any consideration of political correctness.
2. The Iron Dome system is again proving to be problematical. Prior to this morning, the IDF was reporting a 90% success rate in shooting down missiles–a success rate that has diminished in recent hours with three rockets getting through the system and striking Ashdod.
As your humble servant has written on numerous occasions, reliance on the Iron Dome is reliance on a passive defense system. The IDF needs to aggressively go after the terrorists.
One more point, the failure rate of the Iron Dome system should give pause to anyone thinking about the Iranian situation–with the understanding that the Arrow 2 system will probably have the same success/failure rate. Imagine 10 nuclear missiles fired at Tel Aviv. Nine are shot down, and one gets through. You can draw your own conclusions about what the result would be.
3. Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, and Benny Gantz are simply afraid of Hamas, and send the terrorists this message with every pronouncment. Yesterday, we had the absurd spectacle of Minister of Home Front Defense Matan Vilnai stating that “the IDF is not planning on launching another military campaign in Gaza.”
Idiotic statements like this must be greeted warmly in Khan Younis. What reason is there to stop firing missiles? Nothing substantial is going to happen anyway.
4. Speaking of idiotic statements, the IDF spokesman must take the award for sheer unadulterated idiocy. Yesterday the spokesman issued this gem: “Hamas, which uses the other groups to carry out acts of terror against the State of Israel, will be held responsible for any future operation that the IDF choose to launch in order to eliminate the threat of terror and restore relative calm to the region.”
Well that hollow statement must have Hamas shaking in its boots; after all, we now know from Vilnai that there is no “future operation” planned. And note that the IDF does not seek calm in southern Israel, instead it seeks ‘relative’ calm. Absolutely pathetic.
5. Finally, in what has to be the most bizarre statement of misplaced priorities, we had a senior official in the office of the Israeli ‘Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories’ (why in the world is there such a coordinator for Gaza in the first place?) saying this:
“At this time we can say that there is no crisis in the Strip. Meanwhile, we are readying for the possibility of sending equipment and aid if necessary, but no official decision on the matter has been made.”
Equipment and aid to Gaza? From Israel? If this isn’t a statement of what is horribly wrong with the Israeli government and IDF, nothing is. Southern Israel is being pummeled by rockets, citizens are being critically injured, families are living in bomb shelters, and the IDF is worried about sending aid to the terrorists in Gaza.
Your humble servant is speechless.