UPDATES 7 am Israel time, Monday, July 14 2014:
Summary from yesterday:
*The israelstreet count of missiles, which records every rocket attack in the column to your right, shows that there were 56 such attacks yesterday involving 191 terrorist missiles which exploded in or were intercepted above Israel.
Some areas such as Beersheva experienced fewer attacks while others such as the Eshkol and Sha’ar Hanegev regions experienced the same if not a greater number of attacks. Here in Ashdod, there were nine more attacks bringing to 28 the number of times we have been in our bomb shelter since the current operation began. We were just in our bomb shelter 28 minutes ago at 6:32 am because of another terrorist missile attack. (Actually, we have just learned that it was a Hamas drone attack).
It is important to note that the Iron Dome continues to operate very effectively and another battery (Israel’s 9th) was put into operation. Nevertheless, in virtually every attack that is occuring in which a volley of at least six missiles is fired, at least one missile is getting through and wounding Israeli citizens. Therefore, it is not surprising that the number of Israelis wounded and traumatized is ever increasing because of the incessant attacks.
*Given the IDF warning for residents of northern Gaza to leave their homes and go into southern Gaza by 12 pm noon, many thought that a limited IDF ground incursion was imminent. Nonetheless, the Netanyahu cabinet, never one to be able to make a decision, continues to dither and has chosen to intensify bombing of the area.
More reserves have been called up this morning.
*Netanyahu is now demanding as a condition of a ceasefire that Gaza be demilitarized. This seems wishful thinking at best. For its part, Hamas appears to be in no hurry for a ceasefire. With a huge stockpile of missiles, it can carry on shooting 200 missiles a day for the next two months.
*There was another missile attack from Lebanon yesterday at Nahariya–and another response from the IDF of artillery fire. The IDF seems unsure about who is firing the missiles–Lebanese-Palestinians, global Jihad groups, or Hezbollah.
The questions on everyone’s mind here in southern Israel this morning are:
“What damage is the IDF inflicting on Hamas in Gaza?”
“Why hasn’t the IDF gone into Gaza to ferret out the missile launchers?”
“How long will it be until Netanyahu succumbs to international pressure and agrees to a ceasefire?”
The answers, in brief are:
1. No one really knows what damage is being inflicted. For all the IDF talk about blowing up rocket launchers, weapons storage facilities, and weapons factories, Hamas and its cohorts are still launching the same number of attacks with the same number of missiles as they were at the outset of the current conflict.
2. Netanyahu has apparently taken the advice of the IAF who have informed him that it can take care of the problem from the air and that a ground incursion is not necessary. Of course, this is completely absurd. The IAF could not take care of Hezbollah in Lebanon in the last conflict there, or Hamas in Gaza in 2012.
As of this morning, the intensification of the air bombardment of northern Gaza is being spun by the IDF spokesman as “a demonstration that Israel is in control of the escalations taking place.” That is small comfort to Israelis who are in their bomb shelters 20 or 30 times a day.
3. Netanyahu has a proclivity to succumbing to international pressure. He is making noises today that wants a demilitarization of Gaza as a price for a ceasefire, but if you believe that Hamas will give up its stockpile of 10,000 missiles, your humble servant will sell you a $100 apartment in Tel Aviv.
When will he succumb? Back in 2012, Netanyahu’s surrender came quickly after the Egyptians became involved. The only thing stopping that surrender again is the fact that Hamas and Islamic Jihad do not want a ceasefire yet. When they want one, they will inform the Egyptians and Qataris, and Israel will in short order roll over.
Meanwhile, your humble servant would like to tell you about two rather incredible events–one that took place yesterday and the other that took place 5 days ago but only came to light yesterday.
As israelstreeters know, one of the most insane actions that Israel is engaged in is supplying Hamas with supplies of all sorts: electricity, fuel, water, concrete . . . the list is endless. All of these supplies are trucked directly from Israel into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom Crossing.
Yesterday, Daniel Metrie, a member of the Kerem Shalom kibbutz, finally had enough. In a brave act of civil disobedience he drove his truck out onto the road leading into the crossing, parked it, and refused to move.
He then declared: “I will block the crossing into Gaza, as I see fit . . . at night my children cry [because of the missile fire from Gaza] but the goods pass into Gaza.”
Perhaps actions like his will cause our government in Jerusalem to wake up.
More than this, perhaps actions like his will mark the beginning of the end of the IDF’s infamous COGAT unit which oversees the supplying of Hamas.
The second event was a remarkable interview given on Palestinian television by the Palestinian representative to the abominable United Nations Human Rights Council (click here for interview). The interview was made available by MEMRI.
In the interview, Ibrahim Khreisheh–no friend of Israel (in the interview, he accuses Israel of war crimes in Judea and Samaria)–points out that each and every missile that Hamas fires at Israel, whether it kills or wounds anyone or not, is a war crime because it is targeting civilians. On the other hand, Khreisheh points out that when Israeli bombardments kill civilians in Gaza, they are “accidents” because Israel warns the civilians in advance.
In short, Khreisheh says that it is extremely problematical for the Palestinians to go to the International Criminal Court because of what is happening in Gaza.
This is the type of interview that you, dear reader, should share with everyone you know. It is simply remarkable. Thanks to MEMRI for making it available.