ALL UPDATES ARE ISRAEL TIME
UPDATE (5:00 pm Friday): Another day with more sporadic missile fire at southern Israel starting at 9:30 this morning with the areas around Gaza under incoming rocket alert sirens. All schools in the south from Beersheva to Ashkelon and Ashdod remain closed. In its public announcements today, Islamic Jihad laughingly said that it would abide by the “ceasefire” (the terrorists have now fired 37 rockets and mortars at southern Israel since the “ceasefire” went into effect less than 3 days ago). They also thanked Hezbollah for supplying them with missiles–and crowed about keeping 1.5 million Israelis cowering in their bomb shelters. As usual, the Israeli government and the IDF have done nothing today.
Your humble servant was struck by two reports on the Debka website this morning–two reports that completely confirmed points made in this blog during the week.
Regular readers of israelstreet will recall that two days ago, I pointed out that the minute missiles strike Tel Aviv or Jerusalem, an all-out assault on Gaza will ensue. It turns out that the Israel has been warning Hamas and Islamic Jihad all week not to fire 60 and 120 km ranged Iranian Fajr 3 or Fajr 5 missiles that can hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. According to Debka, the warning was transmitted to the leaders of the Gaza terrorist group by Egyptian General Murad Muwafi.
Once again, the obscene part of this Israeli warning to Hamas and Islamic Jihad is that southern Israel has been thrown under the bus. There seems to be little IDF interest in protecting one million citizens in the South and every interest in protecting the citizens in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
Similarly, as was reported in this blog this week, the IDF has officially told Hamas and Islamic Jihad that it will permit rocket fire to continue on southern Israel until tomorrow. If it continues after that (which of course it will), the IDF will supposedly act to stop the rockets. Of course, this is simply a bad joke; rocket fire has continued to rain down on the South since who knows when.
But again, the sheer willingness of the Israeli government to sacrifice citizens in the South is tragic and mind boggling.
In an op-ed in Yediot Aharonot online this morning, Tali Ben-Ovadia penned these words:
“Only in the land of [the] absurd, just 30 kilometers separate the sounds of music at Purim parties from the wailing horns urging southern residents to hide from yet another missile barrage . . . Only in the land of absurd [do] news reports on the radio start with blocked roads as result of too many travelers, and other roads that are blocked because of the missiles.
The usual words are pulled out in cyclical regularity: round of violence, rockets, iron dome, situation assessment, lull. Oh, how well trained we are. Possibly too well trained. (. . .)
We have a leadership that’s not worthy of its citizens. These are citizens who quietly sustained the sirens and coped with the horror without uttering a word, based on the understanding that they are soldiers in this war. Because only in the land of [the] absurd, [does] a ceasefire mean that the countdown to the next round has begun.”
Your humble servant wonders:
How many more missiles will fall tonight and tomorrow?
How many more men, women, and children in southern Israel will suffer psychological trauma from terrorist rockets–a trauma from which they may never completely recover?
And how many Israelis in the South will finally realize that they can no longer live in an absurd situation in which their government will simply not protect them, and is willing to use them as pawns in a game with the terrorists?
Only time will tell.