Israel At War With Hamas: Day 8


At 9:00 pm tonight the ceasefire went into effect–and while Israeli TV is showing scenes of people celebrating out in the streets of Gaza because the IDF and IAF are no longer firing, what are southern Israelis doing?

(9:01 pm) Beersheva: incoming terrorist rockets from Gaza.

(9:18 pm) Erez, Yad Mordechai, Netiv Asara: incoming terrorist rockets from Gaza.

(9:25 pm) Ashkelon, Sderot: incoming terrorist rockets from Gaza.

(9:26 pm) Kerem Shalom: incoming terrorist rockets from Gaza.

(9:33 pm) Yad Mordechai, Netiv Asara, Kerem Shalom: incoming terrorist rockets from Gaza.

(9:43 pm) Yad Mordechai, Netiv Asara: incoming terrorist rockets from Gaza.

(9:45 pm) Chof Ashkelon: incoming terrorist rockets from Gaza.

(9:59 pm) Emunim, Be’er Tuvia, Ashdod: incoming terrorist rockets from Gaza (we just came out of our bomb shelter for the 68th time–2 Grad rockets–the attack at 8:50 was not listed below).

(10:36 pm) Ashdod (our 69th trip to our bomb shelter), Gan Yavne, Be’er Tuvia: incoming terrorist rockets from Gaza.

(10:56 pm) Nahal Oz, Alomim, Shaar Hanegev: incoming terrorist rockets from Gaza.

(11:02 pm) Sha’ar Hanegev regionincoming terrorist rockets from Gaza.

(11:30 pm) In the first two and a half hours of the ceasefire, 26 terrorist rockets have been fired into southern Israel–about ten per hour. Thank you Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, and Avigdor Lieberman. 

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Update 9:00 pm Israel time Wednesday:

Netanyahu has just spoken and said nothing except to heap praise and more praise on President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

Barak has just spoken and said that “we accomplished everything” (perhaps he should explain that to the family here in Ashdod who just had their house destroyed). By the way, Barak said that we can still expect to get more rockets for 24 after the ceasefire (which starts in 2 minutes) “until Hamas gets everything under control” (translation: go ahead and shoot as many rockets as you want).

Lieberman has just spoken and said nothing.

Your humble servant has never been prouder of the Israeli people and more embarrassed by an Israeli government. 

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Update 8:40 pm Israel time Wednesday:

All of southern Israel is under attack, again. We have just been in our bomb shelter twice more–66 times now. Direct hits on houses in Beersheva and Ashkelon. And Ashdod. The sound of fire trucks and ambulances fill the air here.

By the way, there have two attempted launches of Katyusha rockets from Lebanon in the last 30 minutes against Metulla. Why not? What do they have to lose? You can expect the same from Syria on the Golan Heights tomorrow. And Al-Qaeda in the Sinai. And and and.

And still Netanyahu, Barak, and Lieberman haven’t had the guts to appear.

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Update 7:50 pm Israel time Wednesday:

We have just listened to the disgusting ceasefire being announced in Cairo with no Israeli representative even present. The Egyptian Foreign Minister praised the Palestinians, and Secretary of State Clinton praised, praised, and praised again the brave Egyptian President Morsi. There was hardly a mention of Israel.

The ceasefire is supposed to take place at 9 pm tonight. Supposedly we will find out some of the details in 45 minutes when Netanyahu, Barak, and Lieberman finally have the guts to speak. Excuse me, that was a typographical error. Netanyahu, Barak, and Lieberman have no guts–and now the whole world knows it. 

Oh and by the way, the Eshkol region and Beersheva have sirens at this moment for incoming rockets from Gaza.

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Update 6:15 pm Israel time Wednesday:

In the absence of an official announcement, it appears that Netanyahu government has made a shocking decision. Beginning at some point this evening or tomorrow, Israel will declare a unilateral ceasefire. The assumption appears to be that if Israel stops firing, so will Hamas.

This is simply unbelievable if this true.

Lest we forget, Israel went into this war with Hamas to stop the rocket fire on the Israeli communities on the border with Gaza. At precisely the moment when the rocket fire on the areas north of those communites such as Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Beersheva has slowed to a trickle–and the only communities now being attacked are those southern communities–Israel declares a unilateral ceasefire on the “hope” that Hamas will reciprocate.

This is simply unbelievable–and sickening.

If true.

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Update 5:30 pm Israel time Wednesday:

The IDF and IAF have attacked Hamas relentlessly all day. A number of terrorists have been killed, and a number of sites have been destroyed. 46 smuggling tunnels into Gaza from Egypt have been blown up during the day.

As of this moment, the number of terrorist missiles fired into Israel today stands at 62–a much lower number than this time yesterday. Most of the most recent missile attacks have been on communities on the Gaza border: Kfar Aza, Sdot Negev, Kerem Shalom, and the Eshkol region. Israelis have been wounded, most recently in the last 30 minutes at Sdot Negev.

Here in Ashdod, following 64 separate attacks involving several hundred missiles, today has been quiet. So quiet, that we have been able to hear the continued naval bombardment of Gaza all day.

There is the thought, perhaps unfounded, that the attack in Tel Aviv today is a sign that the battle has turned in Israel’s favor. Unable to continue to mount massive missile attacks, the terror groups are turning to bombs planted in Israel cities.  The police are currently engaged in a massive search for the terrorist or terrorists who carried out the Tel Aviv attack.

There have been intense “rock” throwing incidents throughout Judea and Samaria in scenes reminiscent of the Palestinian intifadas. Several hundred “rock throwers” have been arrested. Israeli-Arabs and Leftists continue to stage small demonstrations against the Israeli government in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Akko and other places countered by larger demonstrations supporting what Israel is trying to do.

A 4-hour meeting of the security cabinet has just ended, and we are waiting to hear about if Israel is going to agree to a ceasefire (intense pressure is being applied by Hillary Clinton who is still in the area).

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Update 1:15 pm Israel time Wednesday:

The bus that was bombed in Tel Aviv an hour ago.

There are reports that Tel Aviv’s main transportation hub, Azrieli, has been closed because of a bomb threat (some reports indicate an explosion has taken place). There are further reports that some roads into Tel Aviv are being closed (no confirmation). There are further reports that the police are looking for a terrorist disguised as a pregnant woman.

The Al Aqsa Brigades (part of the PLO/Fatah) have taken responsibility for the bus bombing. 

There are incoming rocket sirens sounding at this moment in Kiryat Gat.

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Update 12:30 pm Israel time Wednesday:

Terrorist attack in Tel Aviv: a bomber has just struck a bus in Tel Aviv–21 people wounded, 3 seriously (details sketchy but bomb was apparently was placed under the bus)

Red sirens in the last three hours include: Eshkol region (12:21 pm); Shaffir–with injuries (12:05 pm); Be’er Tuvia–with injuries (12:04 pm); Yoav (11:52 am); Eshkol region (11:50 am); Be’er Tuvia (11:34 am); Ashkelon (11:31 am); Eshkol region–6 rockets, 2 mortars (11:15 am); Be’er Tuvia–direct hit on house, residents suffer shock (10:29 am); Sderot (10:23 am); Ashkelon–4 rockets (10:16 am); Beersheva–4 missiles (10:03);  Chof Ashkelon (10:03 am); Eshkol region (9:40); Be’er Tuvia–2 missiles; Gan Yavne–2 missiles intercepted by Iron Dome.

IDF now says that 1,400 missiles have been fired at Israeli civilians by Palestinian terrorists in the last 8 days, 400 of which have been shot down by the Iron Dome systems.

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Update 9:30 am Israel time Wednesday:

20 missiles have been launched against Israel so far this morning. We have just heard 3 Iron Dome missiles being launched from Ashkelon. Other red sirens for incoming rockets for Ashkelon and Chof Ashkelon occurred at 8:28 am.

IDF Spokesman Yoav Mordechai issued this statement an hour ago: “We have increased our attacks on rocket launchers and missiles. In recent hours we have destroyed three rocket-firing squads. Gaza’s residents have awakened in a completely different reality this morning with many government buildings destroyed, smuggling tunnels blown apart,  and gas and oil pipelines–the main sources of revenue for Hamas– destroyed.”

Abu Amir Durmush, another Hamas rocket commander who was responsible for an attack on Eilat several months ago, has been killed.  With naval bombardment from the sea, IDF artillery shells hitting targets, IAF aircraft descending in all directions, and predator drones constantly flying overhead, a Palestinian commentator in Gaza has written this morning: “This is like nothing we have ever seen.”

And still, remarkably, the casualties among the so-called “civilians” in Gaza–civilians who voted for Hamas, have supported Hamas’ 7 year rocket campaign against southern Israel, have allowed Hamas to store weapons and establish missile launching bases in their homes and apartment buildings, and who are perfectly happy to be used as human shields–have been kept to a minimum.

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Update 7:30 am Israel time Wednesday:

Another picture from last night's protest here in Ashdod. A joyous--and angry-- crowd demonstrated against any ceasefire with Hamas.

Israel continues to be hit by terrorist rockets fired from Gaza. The most recent alarms are the ones taking place at this moment in Sderot and Ashkelon, and the ones that were sounded in Kiryat Ekron, Gan Yavne, Kiryat Malachi, and Be’er Tuvia at 5:17 am. Here in Ashdod, we were sent running to our bomb shelter at 1:55 am this morning by 5 Grad rockets that assaulted the city.

The IAF continues to degrade Hamas. Yesterday, Hamas squads went around Gaza gruesomely executing in the street alleged “collaborators” with Israel–some were shot and some were beaten to death, and the videos of their killings were then posted on the internet.

According to Palestinian reports, targets destroyed in Gaza overnight include a Hamas intelligence operations center, the police station in Khan Younis, a Hamas security compound west of Rafah, the Abu Khadra government building, numerous roads (such as the one connecting the al-Nuseirat  al-Mugraka neighborhoods). At our location here in Ashdod, we heard the bombing as well as Israeli naval cannonfire directed at Gaza all night.

According to Israeli security forces, 170 Palestinian terrorist missiles were launched against Israel yesterday, 53 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome. In addition to the two Israelis who were killed, MADA has reported that 112 Israelis were physically injured by the rocket fire (such as shrapnel wounds). Another 82 Israelis suffered from shock.

The ceasefire that was so energetically (and frantically) reported on yesterday by the Israeli media still seems on the verge of being enacted–though the parameters of such a ceasefire remain completely open to question. One theory this morning is that both sides will undertake a ceasefire without “signing” an agreement; the advantage of this arrangement for Israel would be the ability to continue responding to ceasefire violations. We shall see what transpires today.

The spontaneous demonstrations across the South in Ashdod, Beersheva, and Ashkelon late last night against a ceasefire have hopefully sent a message to PM Netanyahu.

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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. 

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