UPDATES 7 am Israel time, Saturday, July 12 2014:
**A summary of yesterday’s Palestinian terrorist attacks:
—There were at least 70 separate missile attacks from Gaza.
—These 70 missile attacks involved at least 250 missiles exploding in Israel. There are no missile attacks that involve only 1 missile–and most missile attacks involve barrages of 4-6. Larger Israeli cities such as Beersheva and Ashdod are receiving barrages of between 6 or 12 at a time.
–To put it another way, the level and intensity of terrorist missile attacks has not subsided.
Here in Ashdod, we were sent to our bomb shelter 5 times by incoming rocket sirens yesterday–which have become less and less reliable. Whereas we are supposed to have 45 seconds between the time that the siren sounds and the missiles hit, we now are getting missile impact explosions within 15-20 seconds–when we get sirens at all.
–One elderly Israeli woman in Haifa died yesterday as she tried to make it to her bomb shelter. Other Israelis were seriously wounded in Ashdod when a missile hit a gasoline truck and in Beersheva when a missile destroyed a woman’s house after striking a gas line.
—There were no new sites targeted by the terrorists; however, many of the ones hit the day before (Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem) were attacked with more missiles.
–The hardest hit areas were the communities near Gaza–especially Sha’ar Hanegev and Sderot. For long stretches yesterday, the incoming rocket alarms did not stop blaring in either city. The residents of the Eshkol region have been virtually living in their bomb shelters for almost a week now.
–Perhaps the most worrying factor, aside from the continued shooting, is the overt attempt by Hamas to try to target Ben Gurion Airport. Several barrages yesterday tried to break through the Iron Dome defenses around Lod. The military wing of Hamas even went so far as to send a notice to all major airlines flying in and out of the airport that their airplanes are now within range of their missiles.
**As yesterday, there is little information coming out of Gaza concerning IDF actitivies there except for continued IDF strikes on Hamas infrastructure and the homes of Hamas leaders.
Reportedly, there was a strike last night on a meeting of all the leaders of the major terrorist groups; however, the results of that strike are unknown.
The terrorists continue churning out numbers of their dead and wounded, but all of their numbers are specious as are most of the photographs they are producing of the same dead and wounded. As has been reported in numerous media from the BBC to CNN, the Hamas is merely recycling photographs from Syria, Iraq, and any other “war” location it can find for use as “Gaza”.
**There were reports last night on Israeli television that the power was out in Gaza. We can only hope that Israel has finally “wised up” and cut the power to the terrorists.
TODAY’S BLOG (9 am Israel time Saturday):
Following yesterday’s heavy Hamas missile fire on Israel which saw no diminution in the range, quantity, or frequency of terrorist missiles, a strange quiet has descended on Israel since around 11:00 pm. From that point until now, there have been “only” six missile strikes against Israel.
Your humble servant would like to offer four theories for this–which may be true in whole or part:
1. This is the quiet after the storm and before the storm. The spokesman for Hamas’s military wing, Abu Zuhri, announced for the second time a few minutes ago that “in the coming hours” Hamas will have a “surprise for Israel” involving “new elements” that will “confuse” the enemy.
Thus far, Hamas has never made statements like this without backing them up. Some kind of attack is in the works that we will shortly encounter.
2. There has been a major power outage in large swaths of Gaza since the early evening last night. Did Israel finally cut off the power to the terrorists? Did an Israeli strike hit the Gaza power plant? Did Hamas turn off Gaza power in an attempt to thwart Israeli strikes? In any case, the power is apparently still off this morning which must be hurting Hamas attempts to operate its underground hydraulic rocket launchers.
3. Boom. Boom. Boom. Since midnight, we in southern Israel, especially in locations along the coast like here in Ashdod, have heard the steady beat of Israeli naval cannon fire on Gaza. Is it possible that Israel is beginning to make a dent in Hamas’ launching capability? Your humble servant doubts it, but there were reports throughout the day yesterday that the IAF was having success striking missile launchers immediately following launches.
4. Has Hamas gone underground to regroup? This seems a likely explanation given the fact that Israel has already attacked more targets in Gaza than in the last conflict with Hamas in 2012.
So, the coming hours will tell the tale.
Meanwhile, some of the comments coming from the mouths of those all around range from the ridiculous to the absurd to the fraudulently surreal.
To begin with, Jordanian King Abdullah ridiculously blathered to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden yesterday that Israel’s actions will endanger attempts to “reach a two-state agreement” and that Israel’s dangerous escalation will increase Palestinian suffering and harm the chances of returning to the negotiating table.”
What planet is Abdullah living on? Does he think that anyone in Israel aside from the ultra-lefties cares anything anymore about the negotiations with the Palestinians?
From the ridiculous to the absurd–we have had Turkish leaders spouting off yesterday and today. First, Turkish President Abdullah Gul warned Israel: “I would like to remind Israel that (a ground operation) would lead to dangerous developments and sow the seeds of hatred. Such an escalation could lead to chaos in our region.”
Say what? Could lead to chaos? Hmm. Turkey is spending all of its time fighting chaos on its border with Syria–a chaos that is being propagated by Hezbollah in Lebanon and the ayatollahs in Iran–both of which are now becoming entwined in the chaos in Iraq.
But wait. There was more absurdity from Turkey. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan became downright Orwellian: “We cannot look positively at a process of normalization while bombs are raining on our Palestinian brothers. We cannot be on the side of the oppressor.”
Say what? Erdogan cannot be on the side of the oppressed unless he is the oppressor as he systematically wipes out all anti-government opposition in Turkey.
And finally, moving from the absurd to the fraudulently surreal, we have Israel’s wonderful internationally-proclaimed partner for peace, Mahmoud Abbas, who affirmed in Ramallah that the PLO agreement with Hamas will be maintained and then added: “It’s genocide — the killing of entire families is genocide by Israel against our Palestinian people. What’s happening now is a war against the Palestinian people as a whole . . . We know that Israel is not defending itself, it is defending settlements, its main project.”
Genocide? Well your humble servant supposes Abbas should know; after all, he wrote his dissertation at Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow on how the number of Jews murdered in the Holocaust was greatly exaggerated.
And settlements? In Abbas’s mind, that’s right. Settlements like Ashkelon, Ashdod, Tel Aviv, Beersheva, and Haifa.