NUMBER OF TERRORIST MISSILES THAT HAVE HIT SOUTHERN ISRAEL SINCE THE CEASEFIRE AGREED TO BY BENJAMIN NETANYAHU AT 9:00 PM ON NOVEMBER 21, 2002:
UPDATE 10 am Israel time Thursday:
Our hearts go out this morning to the families of the five Israelis who were killed–and to the nearly 400 who were wounded in this eight day war with Hamas. Israelstreet also thanks the brave men and women of the IDF and IAF–including especially the miluim (reserves) who so readily answered the call to defend their country.
Now that the Israel’s conflict with Hamas has come to an end, many points need to be made–but today I will merely address two in this update:
*First, as always, we cannot trust the numbers supplied by the IDF as to the terrorist attacks on Israel (and perhaps as to the IAF attacks on Gaza as well).
According to the IDF, there were a total of 1506 total missiles fired at Israel; 421 were shot down by the Iron Dome, and 54 were missed by the Iron Dome (remember that the Iron Dome is not supposed to shoot at missiles that are expected to hit non-populated places).
How does your humble servant know that this number is grossly under-reported? Because we know what happened here in Ashdod.
According to the IDF, of those 1506 missiles that hit Israel, 161 were intercepted over Ashdod or got through and struck the city. Yet this is impossible. We were in our bomb shelter 69 times and kept meticulous records of each interceptor launch and each missile explosion. Twice we had no explosions (the missiles came through unimpeded). In all of the other instances, there were a minimum of 2 explosions and maximum of 12 (the final average we calculated this morning was “4.5”)–all in all, we counted 311 explosions.
More than this, it can be stated now that there were numerous strikes against “security” installations all around us that were completely unreported. 1506 missiles struck Israel? More likely, the number is somewhere around 2500, but your humble servant cannot speak to the mis-reportage in other communities. (In any case, the israelstreet counter in the right hand column will use the official “1506” number).
*Second, I would like to briefly discuss the Iron Dome. The numbers are spectacularly good–supposedly there was an 80-85% success rate in shootdowns. Yet, if our experience here in Ashdod is any indication, by the end of yesterday, the Iron Dome’s efficiency had begun to noticeably drop.
In the space of 24 hours, we had Iron Dome misses that resulted in direct hits on houses in the city and Iron Dome malfunctions in which rockets went awry (one almost turned around and hit the battery itself–another started a fire in a field outside Ashdod).
Part of these problems were technical ones having to do with the Iron Dome’s radar and missiles; other problems were caused by the terrorists simply getting better and better at eluding the Iron Dome missiles. My point is simply that for all the praise that Netanyahu and Barak and Lieberman heaped on the Iron Dome yesterday, one has a feeling that–as with all military technology–its days may be numbered. As Hamas’ missiles become more sophisticated, as they surely will, we can expect the Iron Dome to become less successful.
Today is Thanksgiving in the United States. Normally, we celebrate with a large dinner here in Ashdod with lots of family and friends.
Today we do not have the stomach for it.
Two quotations from recent days say it all:
*Benjamin Netanyahu–speaking in Beersheva on November 12:
“We do not intend to allow – in any shape or form – the continued harming of the day to day life of our citizens. And we intend to reinforce the deterrence – and strengthen it – so that we are able to operate along the length of the border fence in a way that will ensure the security of all our soldiers who are serving around the Gaza Strip.”
*Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, speaking in Cairo on November 19th:
“Netanyahu may have a powerful army, but he does not have the resolve . . .”
It strikes your humble servant this morning that whatever else you want to say about the disgusting way that the war with Hamas came to an end yesterday with Israel whimpering on the sidelines and making excuses for not finishing the job against Hamas, the following are undeniably true:
1. Benjamin Netanyahu has sold out the Israeli communities in southern Israel. He has not even remotely brought us peace. His blather about enabling citizens of the South to have a normal day-to-day life was just that–blather. The striking image last night on Israeli television of Netanyahu announcing the ceasefire while the breaking news ticker running across the bottom of the screen kept announcing missile strike after missile strike on us here in southern Israel will forever be emblazoned in our minds.
2. Benjamin Netanyahu has sold out the IDF. Not only did he not get any enforceable agreement to stop the rocket fire coming into Israel, he also did not get any enforceable agreement from Hamas to stop shooting at IDF soldiers on the border or planting IEDs to blow them up. Unbelievably, he apparently agreed in principle to even get rid of the buffer zone between the border fence and Gaza which will make it easier for the terrorists to attack the IDF.
3. Benjamin Netanyahu has turned over security of southern Israel to the Muslim Brotherhood. Outrageously, Israel must now report all violations of the ceasefire agreement to Egyptian President Morsi for his “management”.
4. Benjamin Netanyahu has instantly made Israel more vulnerable on every border–there is no longer any such thing as Israeli “deterrence.” In addition to the continuing mortar and missile fire from Gaza, we can now expect regular attacks from Hezbollah and Syria–both of which have already started. And what do you think will happen in Judea and Samaria? Already we saw the makings of a third intifada in the streets of Hevron and Shechem yesterday.
5. Benjamin Netanyahu has instantly rendered absurd all Israeli demands that “Iran stop its nuclear program or else”. There is no “or else.” Netanyahu never had any intention of attacking Iran. And even if he had the intention, he would never have had the courage to finish the job.
6. Benjamin Netanyahu has abused the trust of the Israeli people and forgotten that he is the Prime Minister of Israel. At a moment, when Israelis of almost every stripe had rallied together in order to defend the South and were willing to see the operation through to the end, Netanyahu was more interested in pleasing President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and the international community. Netanyahu simply cannot be trusted to defend Israel.
7. Benjamin Netanyahu has grown old. His courage as a young soldier has faded into an indecisive, doddering dotage. He can still talk the talk . . . but he can no longer walk the walk. He should no longer be Israel’s prime minister.
Khaled Meshaal had it exactly right when he said simply that Netanyahu does not have the “resolve”–a fact that is now recognized by everyone in the southern Israel, the rest of Israel, and the world. Your humble servant strongly suspects that as soon as the next set of Israeli pre-election polls come out, we will see that the popularity of Netanyahu and Lieberman has substantially dropped.
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