UPDATES 6 am Israel time, Thursday, July 10:
*Palestinian terrorists in Gaza carried out more than 52 separate missile attacks against Israeli children, women, and men on Wednesday firing more than 175 missiles climaxed by a 40 missile burst around midnight.
*The hardest hit locations were Sderot, Sha’ar Hanegev, and Ashkelon–with Ashkelon taking the brunt of the attack between 11:00pm–11:59 pm.
*Hamas rockets reached Haifa, Carmel and Zichron Yaakov in the north. In the south, 7 missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome battery in Dimona. In short, Hamas showed yesterday that it has the means to hit the entire country.
*There was another attempted Hamas infiltration from the sea near Zikim. Two more terrorists were shot and killed by IDF troops.
TODAY’S BLOG (9:30 am Thursday):
An hour ago, 5 more missiles struck Tel Aviv. This follows a night in which Hamas successfully targeted (though unsuccessfully “hit”) strategic targets all over Israel.
–Dimona was struck by 7 missiles, and we all know what is in Dimona.
–Haifa was reached by Hamas missiles, and we all know about the port and power facilities in and around Haifa. By the way, the largest port in Israel, here in Ashdod, has been closed.
–A host of other military sites, which will remain unnamed here for security reasons, have seen rockets rain down on them.
The fact is that whatever the IDF is doing in Gaza is not working. Every day Hamas is increasing its range and is firing the same number of missiles. Hamas has successfully buried its automated hydraulic rocket launchers, and all of the terrorists in Gaza have now taken up residence in their hardened underground bunkers.
All the while, the main IDF strategy is apparently to blow up their empty houses–houses which will all be rebuilt palatially by the Emir of Qatar once this round of hostilities is over. Occasionally, a rocket launch team in a car or on a motorcycle is hit, but these “successes” are few and far between.
The IDF is crowing that last night it struck 320 targets. So what? Nothing that the IDF is doing is having any effect on the missile fire.
As many other commentators have noted, Israel has lost its deterrent power. As a result of not finishing the job back in 2009 in Operation Cast Lead and not finishing the job back in November, 2012 in Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas has become increasingly oblivious to Israeli threats. But to be honest, this lack of deterrence can be traced all the way back to the last war with Hezbollah–at the end of which Hezbollah was still firing hundreds of missiles per day.
Part of Israel’s loss of deterrence can be directly linked to the Iron Dome system.
The Iron Dome has been successful in protecting Israelis from incoming missiles even though Hamas is becoming increasingly adept at overcoming the system by focusing volleys of missiles on a specific location–a tactic they learned back in 2012. Nevertheless, for all of its success, the Iron Dome is a passive system that goes into operation at the whim of the terrorists. By relying on the Iron Dome, the IDF has become a passive organization obsessed with international approval and political correctness.
As hard as it is to believe, the IDF was also crowing this morning about how in the midst of this latest conflagration–and as all of Israel is under fire–it has permitted 180 trucks carrying fuel, food, and other supplies into Gaza today. It is insane that Israel is supplying its enemy, and doubly insane that the IDF is proud of it.
But more than this, Israel is also supplying Hamas with the electricity to operate the rocket launchers. What everyone in southern Israel cannot understand is why Israel doesn’t cut off all electricity to Gaza? Again, the situation is simply insane.
And more than this, Israel continues laundering Hamas money while all of this is going on. Trucks ferrying unusable dollars out of Gaza and shekels into Gaza continue running in and the crossings between Israel and Gaza. And who supervises this money exchange? The IDF.
At least in 2009 and 2012, the IDF seemed to have a plan–though it did not follow through either time. This time around very few terrrorists have actually been killed because Hamas is far better prepared and the IDF is far less prepared. The IDF is exhibiting all the characteristics of an organization that didn’t want to fight to begin with and is now reluctantly carrying out attacks on perfunctory targets.
Netanyahu, Ya’alon, and Gantz keep blathering about how this attack on Hamas will continue to grow in intensity, but we all know how this is going to end–in a week or less, with Israel substantially weakened psychologically and militarily with another absurd ceasefire.
Whatever happened to the IDF?