UPDATES 9 am Israel time, Thursday, July 3 2014:
**Since 3:00 yesterday afternoon, Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have attacked the citzens of southern Israel with at least 32 mortars, Qassams, and Grads. In a brash display encouraged by the complete lack of effective action by the Israel Defense Forces, the PLO-Hamas terrorists have been launching their missiles in volleys every two or three hours.
The rocket fire went on all evening and night and has continued this morning: at 6:17 pm, 7:37 pm, 7:49 pm, 8:26 pm, 9:59 pm, 12:41 am, 12:52 am, 3:24 am, 4:26 am, and at 6:15 am. The most recent volley struck at 8:17 am–43 minutes ago–and hit a home containing a kindergarten in Sha’ar Hanegev. Fortunately all of the children were in a fortified room and none were wounded.
In fact, Israeli citizens living in Sderot and tens of other communities near the Gaza border have had to bunker down in their bomb shelters and fortified rooms. As was mentioned yesterday, the missiles are becoming increasingly accurate; Sderot was particularly hard hit last night with missiles striking apartment buildings and transformers in the city (power did not return until 7 am this morning). Some Israelis have been physically wounded and many others have been treated for trauma.
What has the IDF done in response to these latest attacks (this makes more than 50 attacks in the last 36 hours)? Again, virtually nothing except hit empty buildings and empty land in Gaza.
By now, you must have heard about the heinous and grisly murder of 17 year old Palestinian teenager, Mohammed Abu Khedair, in Jerusalem two nights ago (his partially burned body was discovered yesterday morning in a forest in the city). His death has sparked large scale rioting throughout the Shuafat neighborhood where he lived as well as other locations throughout Judea and Samaria.
The reason for the rioting and the reason you must have heard about this is simply because a cabal of Israeli leftist politicians and news media as well as international leftist politicians and news media–all fed by Mahmoud Abbas and his PLO-Hamas propaganda machine—has gone into high gear publishing inflammatory reports about who killed him and why.
The storyline being disseminated is that “right wing fanatic settlers” picked up the boy when he was hitchhiking at 4 am early Tuesday morning on “his way to a mosque for early morning prayers”, and “brutally murdered” him in revenge for the deaths of the three Israeli teenagers. This storyline is entirely based on the account of the victim’s uncle, Hussain Abu Khedair who reported that he saw three “Jews” hop out of a black car and kidnap the young man off the street.
It is a story that so far remains completely uncorroborated.
In fact, a number of other facts have surfaced in the last 24 hours, any one of which could have provided the motivation behind Abu Khedair’s killer or killers.
1. Mohammed Abu Khedair was openly gay, and homosexuality is an anathema in Arabic culture. Other Palestinian gays in Palestinian areas have been killed by their relatives in self-proclaimed “honor killings”, and there are reports that the Khedair family was “unhappy” with their son’s lifestyle.
2. The Khedair family is no stranger to kidnappings. There have been previous attempts to kidnap members of the Khedair family made by members of a rival family.
3. Khedair family members have extensive criminal backgrounds. A retired senior police officer in Jerusalem commented yesterday that “the family has a criminal background with internal conflicts that have been going on for years.”
But these facts haven’t stopped the parade of politicians rushing to the microphone to incite hatred and ascribe blame. Two examples will suffice:
Meretz party member and Jerusalem city councilman Meir Margalit:
“It’s clear that it’s [the murder] revenge. It’s a political and terrorist action carried out by the right wing.”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry:
“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms the despicable and senseless abduction and murder. It is sickening to think of an innocent 17-year-old boy snatched off the streets and his life stolen from him and his family. There are no words to convey adequately our condolences to the Palestinian people.” Once again, your humble servant would like to say Mohammed Abu Khedair’s death was gruesome and whoever committed it–his own family members, criminals, or Israelis bent on revenge–should be punished to the full extent of the law.
But to rush to judgment without knowing the facts is recklessly and maliciously incendiary.