Update 11:30 pm Israel time Tuesday:
Your humble servant has just come from a large protest in the middle of Ashdod . . . waving Israeli flags, singing Israeli songs, chanting disdain for Hamas, declaring to Benjamin Netanyahu that we in the South absolutely do not want a ceasefire with the terrorists in Gaza.
And there is no ceasefire yet–and why should there be? Two Israelis were killed today and another 20 were injured.
There is word of major IAF attacks on Gazan infrastructure–apparently the gas line into Gaza has been hit. Tomorrow morning we will find out where things stand. For now, the fight for peace in southern Israel continues.
Update 7:00 pm Israel time Tuesday:
The Israel TV media (Channels 1, 2, 10) have gone wild in the last few hours reporting that Israel has agreed to a ceasefire that will be announced at 9:00 pm in Cairo in a joint press conference conducted by Egypt, Hamas, and Islamic Jihad. The provisions of that agreement, or what the TV networks believe are the provisions of that agreement as supplied by their “sources” can best be summarized as “Hamas gets everything–and Israel gets nothing but a promise”.
The strange thing is that there has been no announcement out of Jerusalem at all–and comments made by Netanyahu, Barak, and some in the IDF run counter to all of the punditry.
Israeli cities are continuing to be hit–Rishon Lezion has now been bombed twice in the last two hours, and the Eshkol region and Beersheva–well they both get hit virtually every hour any way. Al-Jazeera is currently airing real time video of an IDF strike on Gaza.
What is going on is obviously the fog of war. Stay tuned for further details.
Update 5:45 pm Israel time Tuesday:
Two more Palestinian terrorist missile attacks (60 and 61) have hit Ashdod in the last hour–most recently 5 minutes ago. One Israeli hit in an attack in Ashkelon an hour ago has been badly wounded and lost a leg.
Update 4:45 pm Israel time Tuesday:
Is there a ceasefire or isn’t there? The Egyptians are saying “yes”, but there is no word from Israel, and Hamas says “no”. Israel’s Channel 2 is reporting a ceasefire at 8:00 pm tonight.
Israel has been viciously attacked all afternoon by Hamas terrorist missiles from Sha’ar Hanegev in the far south, to Jerusalem in the east, to here in Ashdod in the northern part of the South.
Your humble servant and his family have grown increasingly tired of running down to our bomb shelter through 57 missile attacks on our location here in Ashdod.
So . . .
From 1:00 pm until 3:30 pm this afternoon, we went out to the site of the Iron Dome facility at an undisclosed location outside Ashdod. At that location, we witnessed the Iron Dome in action against missiles coming in over Ashdod (missile attack number 58 on the city). Number 59 occurred about a half an hour later.
In addition your humble servant was interviewed by the Al Jazeera Channel, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation–and then he and his wife were interviewed by Brazilian Global TV.
Hopefully, within the next hour, I will be able to post the Iron Dome missiles in action this afternoon against 3 incoming missiles.
Update 11:30 pm Israel time Tuesday:
The amazing unity of everyday Israelis is a thing to behold. Prayer services have been held at the Kotel (Western Wall) in Jerusalem; religious and secular groups have braved rocket fire to travel south to lend support to communities hardest hit; Israeli flags are flying everywhere–from the tops of houses, businesses, and from freeway overpasses; people are going out to Iron Dome batteries to bring food to soldiers–everywhere you look, people are acting for Israel.
The rocket attacks continue without pause; more than 140 have hit southern Israel this morning. Here at our location in Ashdod, we have been hit twice since 9:00 am–the 56th and 57th attacks on the city. Other cities and communities hit include: Gan Yavne, Kiryat Malachi, Be’er Tuvia, Beersheva, the Bnei Shimon region, Kerem Shalom, and Ofakim.
Beersheva has been hardest hit with 30 missiles this morning.
The IDF estimates that Hamas still has between 7000 and 8000 missiles at its disposal. The IAF has now carried out 1350 missions over Gaza.
One Israeli IDF officer in the Eshkol region has been badly wounded by mortar fire from Gaza in the last hour–unfortunately, as the reserves wait on the Gaza border for a possible invasion, they are sitting ducks.
There has just been a terror attack at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv in which a terrorist has attacked a security guard with an ax. Details are sketchy, but initial reports are that the security guard was moderately wounded but managed to shoot the terrorist. Israelstreet will have more details in the next update. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is arriving in Israel later this afternoon–joining a long list of “peacemakers” who are already here.
Update 9:00 am Israel time Tuesday:
Alarms for incoming Palestinian Hamas terrorist rockets in the last 2 hours and a half: (7:28 am) Beersheva and Bnei Shimon region, (7:59 am) Beersheva (8 missiles were shot down and two got through hitting a house and a bus; (7:59 am) Ofakim, Hatserim; (8:23 am) Ashkelon (5 missiles were shot down and 1 got through but hit an open place); (8:43 am) Ashdod; (8:59–1 minute ago) Melilot, Ma’agalin
This was the 56th missile attack against our city of Ashdod. We heard at least two explosive Iron Dome intercepts over our house.
Missile Numbers From Yesterday:
177 terrorist missiles were launched against southern Israel yesterday:
Ashdod: 29 rockets; Ashkelon: 20 rockets; Beersheva: 22 rockets; Eshkol region: 46 rockets; Ofakim area: 11 rockets; Sderot: 14 rockets; Sha’ar Hanegev region: 24 rockets; Sdot Negev, Netivot area: 11 rockets
The Iron Dome intercepted 39 of the above missiles.
Update 6:30 am Israel time Tuesday:
Hamas has continued firing missiles into southern Israel overnight. The most recent attacks occurred at 1:56 am when alarms sounded in Kiryat Gat, Sderot, Be’er Tuvia, Chof Ashkelon, Yoav, Lachish, and Sha’ar Hanegev.
Intense IAF activity over Gaza continues with reports of widespread explosions in Beit Lahiya and Gaza City. The homes of senior Hamas officials as well as the large Islamic National Bank have been hit.
Netanyahu’s nine person security cabinet has reportedly been debating the ceasefire proposal all night. The basic outline of that proposal appears to be that in return for Hamas’ cessation of rocket fire (for an unknown period? and how enforced?) Israel will lift the military blockade of Gaza and open the border crossings.
Israel is demanding that the agreement be made in two stages: (1) Hamas must stop the rocket fire at Israel for a period of time, and (2) Israel will then stop targeted killings, attacking Hamas targets, and end the blockade of Gaza. Hamas opposes this approach and is demanding that the entire agreement be implemented in one step.
All media are basing their information on reports filed by the Al-Arabiya network which seems to have a source inside the negotiations. According to Al-Arabiya, the ceasefire could come as soon as in a few hours or take another 24 to 48 hours to be realized.
Meanwhile, the international media continues to fraudulently focus on accusing Israel of randomly attacking Gazan civilians, especially children. Yesterday, Jon Donnison—the BBC’s main reporter in Gaza–sent out the following photograph of Palestinian misery:
What is the problem? Just as in the picture posted in the israelstreet blog yesterday of a dead child, the picture above was taken in Syria. There is a movement this morning to have Donnison fired for his fraudulent reporting.
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