Update 11:00 pm Israel time Monday:
The inner security cabinet is presently meeting in Tel Aviv to debate the “ceasefire” document arranged in Egypt. Apparently, there is intense disagreement among cabinet members about what action to take.
Southern Israelis are expressing universal disgust at the idea of a ceasefire.
Meanwhile the missiles continue falling here–most recently in Beersheva 45 minutes ago.
Update 8:00 pm Israel time Monday:
A ceasefire deal is on the table and will be discussed by Netanyahu, Barak, and Lieberman at 9:00 pm. There is every indication that Israel will accept the arrangement–what is left is to negotiate when and how the different phases of the deal will be implemented.
Israel has attacked, killed, and wounded numerous senior members of Islamic Jihad and so-called Palestinian Resistance Committees in recent hours. Among those killed was Ramiz Harb, a senior commander in Islamic Jihad.
Ashkelon has been hit by Palestinian missiles within the last hour as other communities near the Gaza border.
Update 4:15 pm Israel time Monday:
As of this moment, 98 Hamas rockets have struck southern Israel today; 31 have been intercepted by the Iron Dome system. In the last three hours, we have had two more missile attacks against Ashdod (numbers 54, 55).
In addition, there have been several mortar barrages against the border communities near the Gaza border.
Update 1:30 pm Israel time Monday:
We have just had missile attack number 53 on Ashdod. Again, there were no alarms.
Your humble servant is returning to the theme of his 10:30 am update this morning because another instance of complete Palestinian fraud has come to light courtesy of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza (yes, that is right, a Palestinian organization has pointed out the fraud of Hamas).
Perhaps you have seen this picture–which was made several days ago when Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil visited Gaza.
What was the point of this sick display? To show that Israel is massacring the children of Gaza. Except it turns out, according to the Palestinian Centre, the boy was killed by a Hamas missile fired at Israeli civilians from the dead boy’s neighborhood that misfired.
Further update 12:40 pm Israel time Monday:
Here in Ashdod we have just been hit with our 4th missile attack of the day–6 Grads intercepted this time by the Iron Dome system. Ashdod has now absorbed 52 missile attacks launched by the Palestinian terrorists in Hamas Gaza.
Further update 12:00 pm Israel time Monday:
Red sirens have been blaring all over southern Israel in the last hour and a half:
10:34 Ashkelon (3 Grads hit–direct hit on an empty school); 10:34 Be’er Tuvia; 10:48 Ofakim, Eshkol region; 11:13 Chof Ashkelon, Ofakim; 11:15 Ashdod (1 Grad was shot down over the city–there was no alarm before or after, the second time we have been hit today with no alarm); 11:16 Ofakim, Bnei Shimon; 11:19 Gan Yavne, Kiryat Malachi, Be’er Tuvia, Chof Ashkelon; 11:29 Beersheva; 11:53 Sderot and all the communities around Sderot, Sha’ar Hanegev.
Meanwhile, the IDF continues striking Hamas with another hit on a motorcycle carrying terrorists to a launch site about an hour ago.
Further update 10:30 am Israel time Monday:
WARNING THIS UPDATE CONTAINS A GRAPHIC IMAGE:
PROCEED AT YOUR OWN DISCRETION
The time has come, as we all knew it would, to address the nauseating claims of an “Israeli massacre” in Gaza.
As always, the Palestinians are all too eager to trot out photographs of dead children. One of the most heavily used photographs has been this horrific one:
The only problem is that the picture is a fraud. This poor child was not killed by the Israeli Army. He was killed by the Syrian army in Syria on October 16, 2012–when the picture was posted on Facebook. I have included the Arabic description of the photograph below followed by an English translation (you can click here to see it yourself in Facebook–be sure to scroll two thirds of the way down the page):
“Eyewitness Aleppo | | published a few days ago for a child martyr was identified and is the martyr, “Firas Hamed Mahmoud” at the age of two years, and the date of his martyrdom 10/16/2012, shot by a sniper on Highway Alhaidariya – he was accompanied by his father and brother”.
In fact, many of the photographs–and even video–pouring out of Gaza are of Syrian atrocities.
The sad fact is that Hamas has deeply implanted itself in the civilian population with rocket launchers, missile repositories, weapons factories, and terrorist hideouts in apartment buildings, schools, mosques, and sports stadiums. The Hamas terrorist hierarchy is all too willing to use its people as human shields–and the so-called “civilians” of Gaza are all too willing to be so used.
Have civilians been killed in Gaza despite the best efforts of the IDF (as already described on this blog)? Yes. Have children been killed? Yes. Do we know how many civilians/children have been killed? No. When Hamas fakes photographs like the one above, there is simply no way to gauge the truth.
Further update 8 am Israel time Monday:
The first mortars and missiles of the morning have been fired by the terrorists at Sha’ar Hanegev. Alarms have sounded in the last 22 minutes in: Or Aner, Netiv Asara, Erez, Dekel, Av Shalom, Yevul, Yeted, Prigan, Sde Avraham, Sde Yosef, Reim, and Yad Mordechai.
Overall, there seems to have been a slight diminution in the missile fire from Gaza yesterday (except in Ashdod and Ashkelon). “Only” 120 rockets were fired–and 50 of those were intercepted by Iron Dome systems. 924 rockets and mortars have now been fired at Israel since the outset of this current round of hostilities.
There were 80 IDF strikes on Gaza overnight.
Update 7 am Israel time Monday:
Just after your humble servant had written in his last report last night that a quiet had descended for the night on the South, the red sirens went off in Gan Yavne, Kiryat Malachi, and Be’er Tuvia at 10:52 pm. Here in Ashdod (in the 48th missile attack on the city), we were on the receiving end of at least 3 Grads; a direct hit was made on a house in Be’er Tuvia, but fortunately there were no physical injuries.
Your humble servant awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of airplanes and bombing in Gaza. Yes, it turns out that here in Ashdod–which is 38 km (23 mi) NNE of Gaza we can hear the booms from explosions taking place there. Eventually, I went back to sleep despite the heavy air traffic overhead (drones, F16s, and other planes are in the sky all the time).
I awoke this morning at 6 am to the roar of Israeli jets heading toward Gaza. At 6:45 am, just a few minutes ago, there was the muffled boom of a Iron Dome launch just south of us followed by a huge concussive blast right beside us. There were no alarms, and we have no idea what it was.
I am currently watching a live video from Gaza where smoke is drifting in various locations following IAF air strikes. Preliminary reports are that the homes of more Hamas terrorists have been hit overnight.
Of course, the Palestinians are now flooding the media with “estimates” of dead and wounded. The “wounded” numbers are always specious–because they are “rounded”–100, 200 . . . and the latest “700”. Another hour, and voila, another hundred. And almost invariably the talk about the “dead” is hearsay. When you hear a reporter, listen to whether he or she actually has seen victims, or is merely reporting what Palestinians have told him or her.
Once again, the IDF is making every effort to avoid civilian casualties. In the strike last night that killed Hamas’ chief rocketman Yahia Abia, the IAF had dropped repeated leaflets on the house warning of an impending strike and urging people to leave.
There is no ceasefire this morning. Israel is apparently demanding:
- 1. A lull for a period of more than 15 years.
- 2. An immediate cessation of arms smuggling and the transfer of weapons to Gaza.
- 3. Cessation of rocket fire on the part of all armed Palestinian factions and an end to attacks on soldiers near the Gaza border.
- 4. Israel has the right to hunt down terrorists in the event of an attack or if it obtains information on an imminent attack.
- 5. The Rafah border crossing between Gaza and Egypt will remain open, but the crossings on the Gaza-Israel border will remain closed.
- 6. Egypt’s politicians, headed by President Mohammed Morsi, will be the guarantors of any ceasefire agreement. Meaning, the agreement will be backed by Egypt’s political echelon rather than by its security establishment.
Hamas is demanding:
- Lifting the military blockade on the Gaza Strip
- International assurances that Israel would stop assassinations
- Maintaining possession of its missile arsenal (and other military measures)
According to some reports, Israel has given Hamas a 72 hour ultimatum to agree to a ceasefire or a ground invasion will be launched.
Rockets (in addition to the one that already fell) should begin falling in this area within the hour.
What you should be doing for Israel right now:
1. Contact your local political representatives and tell them about how you support Israel in its effort to stop the rocket fire on southern Israel.
If you are in the United States: find your Representative’s contact information here, your Senator’s information here, and President Obama’s information here. Also call your local representatives wherever you are, and let them know how you support Israel.
2. Get out into your community and demonstrate against those who are protesting against Israel.
3. Support organizations such as MADA that are dealing with the ongoing situation here in Israel.
A daily feature of this blog is the recognition of those of you who support Israel by donating to this website. Each month, your humble servant places each name on this wall of support into the Western Wall in Jerusalem.
To have your own Israeli flag, simply follow two steps:
Step 1: Click on the “Support Israel Street! Donate” button in the right hand column and submit your information.
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