UPDATES 9 am, Israel time, August 28 2013:
*Another 450 immigrants from Ethiopia, the Falash Mura, are arriving in Ben Gurion airport today. This is being announced as the last flight of the Falash Mura–bringing to a close an operation that has brought thousands of new citizens to Israel (the Israeli-Ethiopian community now numbers about 130,000). However, there are advertisements in different media today taken out by the Israeli Ethiopian community pleading with the government not to stop the flights–because there are still more Falash Mura waiting to come.
*Judea and Samaria continue to be beset by violence. Consider this small 45 minute snippet from yesterday: at 12:29 pm Israeli motorists near Beit Ummar beside Hebron were hit by “rocks” thrown by Palestinian terrorists; at 12:37 pm yesterday, more “rocks” were thrown on Road 160 near Kiryat Arba; at 1:10 pm, dozens of Palestinians attacked Jewish worshipers at Rachel’s Tomb outside Bethlehem with “rocks”.
And lest you forget, dear reader, why your humble servant always puts “rocks” in quotation marks, take a look at these pictures from yesterday of an Israeli motorist whose car was hit by a “rock”:
*You will remember from yesterday how the three Palestinians from Qalandiya were killed after some 1500 Palestinians launched an attack on Israeli Border Guards. Another Palestinian was killed yesterday in Askar near Shechem (Nablus).
Amjed Odeh, aged 37, was killed in an exchange of gunfire between security forces and camp residents. Much the same as the day before, the security forces had entered Askar to arrest a “wanted” man. But unlike the day before, the security forces this time were not Israeli–they were Palestinian.
After the shooting, residents of Askar closed off the roads to Shechem with burning tires and threw “rocks” at the security forces.
*Here is a picture that you don’t see often these days:
But before you get too excited, look at the next picture. Note the Islamic Wakf man with the radio transceiver in the background reporting on the soldiers:
All of Israel watches and waits with gas masks in hand.
What was by all accounts to have been a strike against Syrian president Bashir Assad on Thursday has now morphed into a probable strike between Thursday and next Tuesday.
In the meantime, the Russians are exiting Damascus by hourly planeloads, Syrian soldiers on the southern Golan have begun defecting in droves, Syrian missiles are being secreted across the border into Lebanon, and there are even unconfirmed reports this morning that Assad himself has gone to Tehran.
There are other reports that Russia is threatening Saudi Arabia with retaliation in the event of a Western strike, that Egyptian General Al-Sisi is threatening to close down the Suez Canal, and that the Jordanians are refusing to let their airspace be used for an allied attack.
And everyone is a Zionist.
Turkish PM Erdogan is still accusing General al-Sisi of being a Zionist, the Iranians are now accusing PM Erdogan of being a Zionist, the Al-Qaeda groups are accusing the Gulf States of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait of being Zionists, and Assad is accusing the Al-Qaeda groups fighting against him in Syria of being Zionists.
And everyone is promising to fire missiles at Israel should the West attack Syria.
Yesterday the head of Islamic Jihad in Gaza said that his organization would fire missiles at Israel, the Islamic Jihad head in Lebanon said that this group would fire missiles, the Iranians have said that they would fire missiles, and the Syrians have said that they would fire missiles.
And what is the Israeli government’s response to all of these threats? The government’s response is simply that Assad and Iran would be “insane” to attack Israel–and that the threat of such an attack is extremely low (this hasn’t stop a flood of Israelis at gas mask distribution centers). As for the other groups, well, they are already attacking Israel anyway.
And finally, what are the British and Americans saying this morning? They are falling all over each other to assure the world that they are not after regime change and not even trying to meddle in the Syrian civil war–all they want to do is “punish” Bashir Assad.
So all of Israel watches and waits with gas masks in hand.