UPDATE 8 am Israel time, Sunday, July 13 2014:
There is growing evidence that the IDF is about to make a ground incursion into Gaza. Pamphlets have been dropped into certain areas believed to house long-range missiles and launchers warning residents to leave. According to one leaked plan, the IDF is going to attempt to evacuate civilians before ferreting out terrorists.
In your humble servant’s opinion, this striving to be “humanitarian” will carry grievous costs to the IDF. How can one distinguish between civilians and terrorists in Gaza? In an attempt to be politically correct, the IDF may be setting itself up as sitting ducks.
PREVIOUS UPDATE 6 am Israel time:
We have just awakened to an incoming rocket siren here in Ashdod and two explosions over our house.
*The summary for yesterday (Saturday):
–There were 66 launches of missiles against Israel involving some 236 missiles. All of the targets hit in the previous day were hit again, though not quite in such numbers as on Friday.
–Again, the hardest hit areas have been the Sha’ar Hanegev and Eshkol regions (more on this in Today’s Blog). Ironically, new targets hit by Palestinian terrorist missiles fired from Gaza were Palestinian neighborhoods in Hebron and Bethlehem.
–There was a raid on Gaza long-range missile facilities by Israeli naval commandos. Four soldiers were lightly wounded. The result of the raid is unknown.
–According to the IDF, 109 targets were hit by the IAF and by naval fire on Saturday including another 59 rocket launchers, 8 tunnels, 2 military complexes, and the homes of 23 senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists. Eighteen (according to Hamas) were killed in an IAF strike on the house of the Gaza police chief and a nearby mosque being used as a rocket storage area.
–There has been an outbreak of missile fire in the north being carried out (apparently) by Lebanese-Palestinians. The IDF has responded with artillery fire.
The Eshkol region of southern Israel:
And the adjacent Sha’ar Hanegev region just to the north but still bordering Gaza:
Palestinian terrorists in Gaza launch missile attack against Eshkol region.
Palestinian terrorists in Gaza launch missile attack against Sha’ar Hanegev region.
How many times have you read the above lines in the israelstreet breaking news scroll in the right hand column of this page? Take a look at this morning alone.
Between 12:01 am and 6:25 am, there were 15 separate missile launches against southern Israel. 12 of those were directed against the Sha’ar Hanegev and Eshkol regions. Sha’ar Hanegev was hit 7 times alone between 12:41 am and 1:47 am.
Virtually every day begins and ends with one of these regions getting attacked. And these attacks are ones that have gone on for a decade. Is it any wonder that a huge proportion of the population in both locations suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome?
Your humble servant was thinking about this while reading an absurd piece on the front page of the Jerusalem Post this morning authored by David Brinn. Brinn’s second paragraph begins this way:
“Despite Hamas’s macho threats and salvos of rockets, the effect on life in Israel has been minimal.”
Wherever David Brinn lives, it is certainly not in southern Israel and most certainly not in the Eshkol or Sha’ar Hanegev regions. In fact, his opinion expressed above is representative of the profound disconnect between those living in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and those Israelis living on the front lines on the Gaza border.
It is no wonder that because of this disconnect a political movement is growing in southern Israel for our own political party–a movement symbolized by the following logo:
Southern Israelis are tired of being put into the above position by lawmakers in Jerusalem who make occasional forays into the South to feign support. Southern Israelis demand a voice in making decisions concerning the destructive impact that Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza are having on our lives. Southern Israelis are tired of being cannon fodder.
You want to know who the true heroes of the current situation are? They are the residents of the Eshkol and Sha’ar Hanegev regions of southern Israel.