UPDATES 6 pm Israel time Tuesday:
**At this moment, the IDF is conducting a search for Palestinian terrorists who fired at Israeli motorists at the Road 444 “Magic” Junction.
**Devastating research was published yesterday (open this link in Google Chrome for a translation if you do not read Hebrew) verifying that the incidence of miscarriages among women who live in cities, towns, and communities in southern Israel –especially on the Gaza border–is far greater than in women who live in other parts of Israel.
Constant warning sirens, constant running to the bomb shelter, constant explosions–all of these “external stimuli induce stress that can have an effect on fetal and postnatal development. This effect is manifested through several mechanisms which have a bearing on the different processes in pregnancy including placental function and blood supply . . . There is evidence of a link to exposure to strain and stress during pregnancy and negative obstetric outcomes. Pregnant women in the Gaza perimeter experience chronic stress everyday in all stages of pregnancy.”
So the next time you read or hear that a missile struck southern Israel but there were no “physical” injuries, think about injuries done to pregnant Israeli women and their unborn children.
Speaking of missiles striking southern Israel.
The Israeli media is reporting (barely) this morning that one rocket was fired from Gaza at Ashkelon at 5:59 am. The same media is also reporting that this was the first rocket that has been fired out of Gaza since the most recent “ceasefire” went into effect at 9:00 pm on November 21, 2012.
41 missiles have been fired out of Gaza at southern Israel since that “ceasefire” went into effect 98 days ago. Most of these were fired in the hours immediately following the “ceasefire”–at 10:00 pm on that same night of November 21st, your humble servant and his family were bunkered down in our bomb shelter in Ashdod as rockets struck our city yet again.
More than this, however, there were several rockets fired last month at the Kissufim area. There was virtually no reportage about these strikes in any of the mainstream Israeli media.
What happened this morning is again being misreported. Observers on the ground in Ashkelon report that there were 2 rockets fired, not one–a fact that is confirmed by photographs of the missiles taken by local residents.
What kind of rockets were these? Initially, it was reported that these were Qassams, but now (after the photographs have surfaced) it appears that these were either long-range Grads or M75s of the same type that hit Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in November.
Who fired the rockets? One military source claims it was Islamic Jihad, yet Fatah (aka the PLO) claims that it was their military wing, the Al-Aqsa Brigades, that fired the missiles. Either way, it is Hamas who is directly responsible–and Hamas is remarkably claiming that no missiles were fired at all. The ludicrous Hamas statement of the day: “Israel’s claims of a rocket hitting in Ashkelon are pure lies.”
And what about our vaunted IDF? What has been its response? We are back to the language of pre-November 14th, 2012. Here is what the IDF spokesman Amos Gilad ridiculously said this morning: “Overall, our deterrence in the south is in place and peace in the area has been maintained, thanks to the IDF’s successful operation [in November]. We do, however, have to remain vigilant to ensure no threat arises. This was a single event, but we have to make sure that peace and quiet are maintained. A single event does not change the reality of quiet.”
Peace and quiet? A single event? The reality of quiet? The reality is that two more missiles were launched this morning that attempted to kill Israeli men, women, and children. The reality is that the IDF has done nothing.
Well. . . not exactly nothing . . . it must be mentioned that after Gilad made the above absurd statement, the IDF did close the Kerem Shalom and Erez Crossings for the remainder of the day except “for humanitarian cases.” Undoubtedly, these crossings will be back to operating as usual tomorrow–providing a conduit for weapons material to be shipped into Gaza in the guise of “humanitarian aid.”
It must also be mentioned that there were no red warning sirens sounded in Ashkelon prior to the explosions. Again, the IDF spokesman offered the absurdity that the system recognized the launch as aimed toward “an open area” and thus did not sound. Take a look at photograph 2 again–does this look like an open area? The missile struck right in the middle of a heavily trafficked road.
Oh yes, and where may you ask, was the Iron Dome system that protects Ashkelon? As you may remember dear reader, this blog reported last month how the IDF announced to the world that it was moving the Iron Dome systems out of southern Israel into northern Israel. At that time, your humble servant blogged that it was only a matter of time until Hamas began firing at unprotected southern cities again.
And so the missile fire, and the IDF excuses, and the miscarriages continue . . .