UPDATE AND TODAY’S BLOG: 9 am Israel time Monday:
Yesterday’s events were confusing to say the least as Global Jihad terrorists operating from Gaza and the Sinai killed numerous Egyptian policemen in an attempt to infiltrate Israel.*
The afternoon began with a barrage of 5 mortars fired at southern Israel at around 1:00 pm.
Then, the IAF targeted a motorcycle carrying two terrorists, Ahmad Said Ismail and Nadi Okhai, in the southern Gaza neighborhood of Tel Sultan (near Rafah). Ismail, who was implicated in the June attack on the Israel-Egypt border in which an Israeli Arab construction worker was killed, was badly injured while Okhai was killed. Both were members of the “Popular Resistance Committees” and both were affiliated with the “Global Jihad” movement.
Shortly thereafter, at about 5:45 pm another barrage of six mortars was fired at Israeli communities along the Gaza border. This was quickly followed by more mortars and at least 4 rockets fired at the Sderot-Sha’ar Hanegev area between 6:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
Between 7:00 pm and 8:00 pm, “dozens” (IDF description) of mortars were fired at Israel.
At around 8:00 pm, a Global Jihad cell attacked an Egyptian police station at a security checkpoint near Rafah. Apparently the terrorists drove a car into the police compound, and detonated it, killing 15 Egyptian policemen. They then commandeered two armored jeeps and crashed them into the Kerem Shalom Crossing into Israel. One of the vehicles was blown up at the border on the Egyptian side, the other infiltrated into Israel.
The terrorists in the jeep that was still operational began firing automatic weapons, RPGs, and even tank shells at IDF troops. At this point, the jeep was destroyed by a missile fired from an IAF jet.
Still, four terrorists in the jeep managed to escape at which point they were killed by machine gun fire from another IAF jet.
A search of the area revealed 3 dead terrorists on the Egyptian side of the border, and 4 more in Israel. Nevertheless, no one seems to have been sure if all the terrorists were killed; an alert (which has just been lifted this morning) was issued to all those living in southern communities to remain behind “locked” doors in case there were still terrorists on the loose.
Nevertheless, the terrorists in Gaza continued firing mortars into Israel as late as 11:00 pm last night.
As of this morning:
1. An IDF spokesman has said that there was no connection between the missile strike on the motorcycle and the attack at Kerem Shalom–though both involved terrorists from Global Jihad.
2. PM Netanyahu has praised the IDF for stopping the terrorist attack at Kerem Shalom and thwarting a much larger attack had the terrorists gotten into Israeli communities.
3. The Egyptian government has declared a state of emergency in the Sinai. More than this, believing that the Palestinian Global Jihad terrorists who killed the Egyptian policemen came from Gaza either through the Rafah Crossing or through the smuggling tunnels, Egypt has closed down the Rafah Crossing into Gaza “indefinitely” and ordered all smuggling tunnels destroyed immediately. New Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is currently holding an urgent meeting of his cabinet (your humble servant wonders what Hosni Mubarak must be thinking now).
4. The Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza–despite their obvious affiliations with Global Jihad–are disingenuously claiming that they had nothing to do with the attack on Egypt and Israel.
5. Insofar as Israel is concerned, there were no IDF casualties from the events at Kerem Shalom, and no physical injuries seem to have been suffered from the massive mortar and missile bombardment yesterday (though numerous people were treated for traumatic shock).
6. All told, at least 85 mortars and 8 missiles have struck Israel in the last 24 hours.
So . . . a major terrorist attacked was blocked . . . and everything has returned to normal this morning . . .
At 6:45 am, terrorist rockets fired from Gaza struck Sha’ar Hanegev again.
At 6:48 am, sirens for incoming terrorist rockets were sounded in the Ashkelon area.
At 8:29 am–30 minutes ago–sirens for incoming terrorist rockets were sounded throughout the communities around Gaza.
Yes indeed, everything is back to normal–or as a Jerusalem Post columnist ridiculously stated this morning–we have returned to “relative calm”.
*Today’s blog is merely a recounting of yesterday’s events–tomorrow’s blog will discuss the implications of these events.
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