SPECIAL UPDATE 4:00 pm Israel time, Thursday, July 17 2014:
The humanitarian ceasefire that was supposed to have taken place between 10 am and 3 pm was broken just before noon when Palestinian terrorists fired 3 mortars into the Eshkol region.
The Israeli government and IDF which had promised to respond to any fire from Gaza during the ceasefire did nothing.
At 2:59 pm, just over an hour ago, Palestinian terrorists resumed their launching of missiles into southern Israel in earnest. During these 60 minutes, there have been 8 launches of missiles into Israel, focused on the border communities around the Gaza border but including Ashkelon and Beersheva.
The Israeli government and IDF which had promised to respond to any fire from Gaza has done nothing.
Updates 8:30 am Israel time, Thursday, July 17 2014:
**A major Hamas terrorist attack was thwarted this morning at 4:15 am. 13 terrorists attempted to infiltrate Kibbutz Sufa on the Gaza border through a tunnel. Details are still sketchy: apparently 7 terrorists were killed by a unit from the Golani Brigade and 6 escaped back to Gaza. Amazingly, the infiltration was spotted by another female IDF observer on the IDF camera system–from the same unit that spotted the attempted infiltration from the sea a few days ago.
**Infamous anti-Israel UN Envoy Robert Serry has engineered a “humanitarian ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas to run from 10 am this morning until 3 pm this afternoon.
That ceasefire certainly hasn’t started yet. Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have just launched volleys of missiles against Ashkelon, Tel Aviv, Ra’anana, Gadera, Gush Shmona and most of the Dan Region.
Here in Ashdod, at this moment, we are hearing the booms of explosions in the Ashkelon area.
By the way, the residents of southern Israel universally oppose any ceasefire with Hamas.
**The frequency and volume of missiles fired into Israel yesterday diminished significantly from the day before (by 33%) putting them back on a level from the beginning days of the conflict.
According to israelstreet numbers, there were 38 separate missile attacks against Israel totaling 133 missiles.
Also different from the preceding few days was the location of the missiles. Fewer missiles were fired toward Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other points north. The primary focus of the terrorists, as it always is only yesterday more so, were the communities along the southern border in Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev, and Chof Ashkelon regions.
The news story of the last 18 hours that has enraptured the international media and the leftist Israeli media has been the tragic story of the 4 Palestinian children who were killed on a beach near a pier at the small Gaza harbor yesterday afternoon.
The fact is that no one actually saw the children get killed, but there was at least one a journalist, Peter Beaumont of the Guardian newspaper, who has given an account of the explosions he saw and heard while sitting on the balcony the Al-Deira Hotel. His account appeared in Israel’s Haaretz newspaper this morning.
Here is the information that you don’t know, pieced together by your humble servant from Beaumont’s account.
1. The neighborhood around the harbor is a terrorist missile launching area.
Beaumont: “They shoot missiles (against Israel) from this neighborhood but none from that location.”
Your humble servant: How could Beaumont possibly know that no missiles have been launched from that location unless he was at the location 24 hours a day? And what is Israel supposed to do? Israel has a responsibility to its citizens to hit any launchers that are firing missiles at Israel. This is obviously another case of Hamas positioning its launchers in a civilian neighborhood–a war crime.
2. The IDF has repeatedly attacked the area.
Haaretz: “Beaumont, who has been in Gaza for the last nine days, said that during the time he has been at the hotel, that area of the harbor has been hit by the IDF “at least three times.”
Your humble servant: At least three times and probably more. Whether their fathers were fishermen or not, what in the world were the children doing out a beach at a location from which missiles had been repeatedly launched and which had been repeatedly attacked.
3. The IDF target was a shipping container on the beach.
Haaretz: “Beaumont says that he has no idea what the target could have been. ‘The building that was hit was just a shipping container next to where one of the kids’ father keeps his boat and stores fishing nets.'”
Your humble servant: No idea, but it was a shipping container. A shipping container whose contents are completely unknown to Beaumont.
4. No one knows (as of this time) how the children were killed.
Beaumont: ” . . . I literally was looking in that direction when I hear an almighty bang and saw an explosion on the pier wall . . . The second explosion came about forty seconds after the first and around thirty meters away. . . there was no warning signal or sound of airplanes before the explosions . . . My impression was they were killed in the first explosion and that the second didn’t kill anyone. . . It isn’t clear at this stage whether the four were killed by the first or second explosion.”
Haaretz: “The initial reports coming from journalists on the scene attributed the explosions to gunfire from Israeli Navy boats that have been firing at targets on the coast in recent days. Beaumont who has covered many wars including Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia, says that after he and colleagues began getting a clearer picture, he reached the conclusion that it was most likely an air strike.”
Your humble servant: Note the confusion here–especially Beaumont’s comment that there was “no sound of airplanes before the explosions” followed by the conclusion that it was “most likely an air strike.”
5. While it is likely that the children were killed in a legitimate Israeli strike against a Hamas launching target, it is possible they were killed in another way.
Beaumont (explaining why he thought, on second thought, that it was an air strike): “Usually when we hear the naval gunfire, we hear after the explosion also the sound of the guns . . . out to sea. After everything settled down, I realized we didn’t hear any firing out to sea.”
Your humble servant: So are we now to understand that the usual sequence of events at the Hamas launching area has been for Israeli naval fire to be directed at the launching sites, followed immediately by Hamas fire directed at the Israeli navy? The truth is that Beaumont does not know what he heard though he tried to reconstruct it “after everything settled down.”
It is at least possible that errant Hamas fire killed the children.
But we will never know because the world has decided that Israel did it, the IDF has already said that it probably did it but is awaiting an investigation, and the children are already buried.
And the Israel media continues running nonstop coverage of “the incident.”