All residents of the South have been told to stay within 15 seconds of a bomb shelter or fortified place. Train service to southern Israel has been suspended. Summer camps for children have been canceled. All large outdoor gatherings have been canceled.
FURTHER UPDATE 10:05 pm Israel time, Tuesday, July 8 2014
Just out of our bomb shelter: at least 14 missiles launched at Ashdod–many intercepted by the Iron Dome. Sirens heard in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv area, Beersheva and many other locations. Reports are that 40 rockets were fired at Ashdod, Beersheva, and Ashkelon alone.
UPDATES 9 pm Israel time, Tuesday, July 8 2014
*There have been so many missile strikes in the last four hours that we have run out of space on israelstreet breaking news. Here are a few of them:
Since 5:00 pm, terrorists in Gaza have launched missile strikes against: the Eshkol region (5:08 pm), the northern Negev and Sha’ar Hanegev (5:13 pm), the Eshkol region (5:22 pm), Ashkelon (6:21), Sderot and Sha’ar Hanegev (6.22 pm), Gadera, Givat Brenner, and Bet Shemesh (6:30 pm), Eshkol region (6:42 pm), Chof Ashkelon (6:50 pm), Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Givatayim (7:03 pm), Sha’ar Hanegev (7:10 pm), Chof Ashkelon (7:37 pm), Sderot. Chof Ashkelon, and Sha’ar Hanegev (8:10 pm).
*A major Hamas terror attack was thwarted in Zikim over the last few hours. Caracel soldiers (a female unit) alertly spotted a squad of Hamad terrorists swimming in from the sea. Over the last few hours, the entire squad of 5 terrorists has been shot and killed by IDF troops.
*There have been major demonstrations in support of the IDF action here in Ashdod and in Haifa. Your humble servant can only say that it has been heartwarming to see the outpouring of support!
This will be the last update for this evening unless circumstances warrant.
UPDATES 5:00 pm Israel time, Tuesday, July 8 2014
*Since the last israelstreet update at 1 pm, there have been at least 7 more missile attacks on southern Israel involving 15-20 missiles (the precise number is not yet known).
*All signs are now pointing toward a protracted conflict with Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.
—The Israeli Cabinet has approved a call up of 40,000 reservists.
—Israel Defense Minister has declared that the fighting “will not end within days.”
—IDF has reportedly killed the Hamas commander in charge of Hamas Navy Seals and 3 others in a strike on a vehicle in central Gaza.
—Hamas is now taking women, children, and injured people and putting them on the top of the homes belonging to Hamas senior members for use as “human shields”. According to Hamas claims (see item below about photoshopping), 7 such “shields” were apparently killed in an attack on a Hamas house several hours ago.
—The BBC has confirmed that Hamas is photoshopping scenes of supposed destruction in Gaza by using pictures from the Syrian war.
UPDATES 1:00 pm Israel time, Tuesday, July 8 2014:
**If you visited this site earlier in the day (or later in the evening depending on your location), you will note the change in the heading from 100 to 170 missiles fired at Israeli communities yesterday. This number has been changed because of the IDF has upped its original, conservative, number.
Since our last major update at 10:00 am, southern Israel has continued to be pummeled by missiles from Gaza–every fifteen minutes or so as you can see from the breaking news ticker in the right hand column. There have been 19 separate missile attacks so far today.
At our location here in south Ashdod, we have been sent to our bomb shelter 5 times by screaming air raid warning sirens. We have had huge explosions over our house as the Iron Dome has intercepted incoming missiles. Your humble servant was caught outside twice a few hours ago and witnessed Iron Dome intercepts over the ATM machine at our local bank, and along the beach road here in south Ashdod.
We constantly hear the F-15s and F-16s taking off nearby for Gaza as well as the naval cannon fire at Gaza from off of the coast. According to all reports, PM Netanyahu has finally ordered the IDF “to take off the gloves” in its treatment of the Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.
The coming hours will tell us what that means.
UPDATES 10 am Israel time, Tuesday, July 8 2014:
In the last 4 hours:
*The IDF continues to desperately urge Hamas not to fire at southern Israel. Several hours ago, Yoav Mordechai, the head of the infamous IDF COGAT unit which does nothing except offer material support to Hamas (yes, you read that correctly), issued a statement praising the “calm” so far this morning, and expressing the wish that the IDF “has no intention of harming civilians in Gaza during Ramadan.”
What utter absurdity. Hamas can target Israeli civilians all day long during Ramadan, and we are supposed to be concerned about what happens during Ramadan in Gaza?
*Following Mordechai’s “wonderfully sweet” statement, there have been 3 missile attacks launched by Hamas terrorists in Gaza targeting the Negev, Eshkol, and Chof Ashkelon regions.
*It has been reported that the IDF targeted the following during the night: buried launching systems, buried tunnels, and terrorist training camps (read empty land), and weapons storage sites (read empty buildings). The only targets of value that were actually hit were the homes of four Hamas senior members.
Of course, none of the Hamas terrorists or their families were in their homes at the time.
UPDATES 6 am Israel time, Tuesday, July 8 2014:
There were 35 separate missile attacks on southern Israel yesterday involving well over 170 missiles.
Eight of those missiles were intercepted directly over our house here in south Ashdod as we sat in our meclat (bomb shelter) at 10:37 pm last night.
There have been Israeli citizens wounded by shrapnel, injured while running to bomb shelters, and traumatized by the non-stop explosions. Particularly hard hit were the communities further south of here along the Gaza border such as Sderot, Sha’ar Hanegev, and the entire Eshkol region.
Incoming rocket sirens sounded in Jerusalem, Bet Shemesh, Rehovot, Nes Ziona, and other locations in central Israel. In the last 15 minutes, Hamas has declared that Tel Aviv “will be reached” shortly.
Just after 1 am this morning following another ridiculously protracted Netanyahu cabinet meeting in which no one could agree on what to do, if anything, the IDF was finally instructed to launch “Operation Protective Edge” which is “a limited aerial confrontation with Hamas.”
In other words, the Israel Air Force will continue doing what it has already been doing–hitting empty buildings and open spaces. Maybe the IAF can get lucky as it did yesterday when the 8 Hamas members were killed who happened to be in a tunnel that the IAF bombed. From 3 am until a few minutes ago, we have heard the steady hum of drones overhead and low roar of F 15s.
The feeling here in the south is that we are completely vulnerable to the whims of the terrorists in Gaza. Whether we are reading a book, or watching television, or working in the garden, or sitting at the beach, or eating a meal, we know that at any moment missiles can be launched our way that will send us running for cover.
It is not a pleasant feeling.
The nonstop attacks that we saw yesterday are the result of the completely failed Netanyahu government policy of “non-response”. How many times did we hear the IDF spokesman blather this week that “quiet will be met with quiet.”
Well guess what? Hamas read that message as “Israel is afraid to fight”.
And they are right. Netanyahu and his minions are afraid to fight back. They would rather have 1 million Israelis in the south living in their bomb shelters while their homes are being pulverized than risk international opprobrium.
There is not another country in the world whose government would sit idly by while its citzens are endlessly bombed.
Today’s blog will be a series of updates which will occur at 4 hour intervals unless circumstances warrant.