UPDATES 8 am Israel time, Monday, August 26 2013:
**More “red” sirens blared in southern Israel yesterday evening in the areas of Yad Mordechai and Kissufim–warning of incoming rockets from Palestinian Hamas terrorists in Gaza. None of them were reported in the news last night or this morning.
How did we know about these sirens while sitting here in Ashdod (about 20-30 km away and out of audio range)? We were sitting outside eating dinner, when suddenly all of our telephone “tsava adom” (red siren) apps went off simultaneously. We then called a friend in the area to confirm what the telephone app was telling us–and sure enough, sirens had just sounded.
Complete non-reportage of a missile attack against southern Israel: is this part of the new IDF arsenal of keeping the public uninformed?
**You will remember, dear readers, that your humble servant vented several days ago about the sheer idiocy of a Meretz delegation from the Israeli Knesset that went to Ramallah to offer support to Mahmoud Abbas and the PLO. Part of that vent was my inability to understand how anyone could believe Abbas’s absurd statement that “if a peace agreement is reached with Israel, then the Palestinians would have no further claims” on Haifa, Tel Aviv, and the rest of Israel.”
Yesterday, the Fatah Central Committee, chaired by none other than Mahmoud Abbas, met in Ramallah–only a few meters from where Abbas had met the Meretz delegation. At the end of the meeting, the group’s official spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said that the goal of the “negotiations” with Israel is “the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital.” Note that Rudeineh did not say “eastern Al-Quds” but simply “Al-Quds”.
Oh yes, and Rudeineh made a special point to declare that the Palestinians demand “the return of all refugees in accordance with all international resolutions and the proposal of the Arab Peace Initiative”–-in other words, the return of 5,000,000+ self-proclaimed refugees to Israel.
**There is little news on the Syrian and Egyptian fronts as of this hour. Russia has apparently prevailed upon Assad to allow UN chemical weapons inspectors into the area where the nerve gas massacre occurred earlier this week. The U.S. for its part has declared that it is too late for those inspectors to have any credible results because the area was subsequently bombed by the Syrian Air Force.
Over in Egypt, the demonstrations seem to have quieted down a bit for the moment, and Hosni Mubarak returned to court yesterday to face old charges concerning the deaths of demonstrators. One cannot help but believe that these charges will soon be thrown out because if they are not, General Al-Sisi would be the next person in the dock.
In an atrocious display of undemocratic behavior last Friday, security forces in riot gear and carrying machine guns assaulted Palestinian journalists with steel batons. The journalists were covering a pro-Morsi demonstration that had been organized by Hamas.
Two of the journalists who were badly beaten were Ahmed Milhem of Wattan TV and Mohammed Arouri of Al-Quds TV–a television station operated by Hamas. Arari later told reporters that the security officers had dragged him, beat him up, and then told him to leave “for security reasons.”
According to the “Palestinian Journalists Syndicate in the West Bank”, not only were the journalists beaten, but also their cameras were confiscated and the film that they had shot was taken out of the cameras and destroyed.
The “Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms” also denounced the actions of the security forces in this statement:
“Violations against the freedom of expression by the security forces [are] moving from bad to worse. Suppression of marches is a policy of the security forces and leads to assaults on journalists. Failure to hold those responsible encourages assaults on journalists and freedoms [sic] of expression.”
Oh, I almost forgot to mention two small details: the demonstration took place in Ramallah, and the security forces were Palestinian security forces. In an environment in which Palestinian journalists are regularly arrested for insulting Mahmoud Abbas, your humble servant wouldn’t be too surprised to find out that all of the journalists in the Palestinian reporter’s syndicate and all of the members of the Palestinian Center have been put in the pokey this morning.
PS. The security forces in the picture above are Palestinian security forces.