FURTHER UPDATES: 7:30 pm Israel time, Saturday, July 19 2014:
Two more Israeli soldiers have been killed. Maj. Amotz Greenberg (45) of Nahariya and Sgt. Adar Barsano (20) of Hod Hasharon were killed when Hamas terrorists attempted to infiltrate Israel through a tunnel earlier today.
May their memory be honored and may they rest in peace.
FURTHER UPDATES: 2:30 pm Israel time, Saturday, July 19 2014:
*Another Israeli civilian has been killed–this time by a Palestinian missile strike on his family’s encamptment in the Negev close to Dimona. Not only was a Beduin man killed, but also three members of his family were wounded.
*A major infiltration attempt by Hamas has apparently been thwarted. A four man terrorist squad entered the Eshkol region where they were again spotted by security cameras. Two or three (hence the “apparently”) were killed in an Israeli missile strike on their position.
Another terrorist escaped and disguised himself as an old man seeking medical help. When soldiers went to help him, he threw two hand grenades. The soldiers were wounded–the terrorist was shot to death.
*There are quite a few indications that the war is about to take a considerably more bloody turn. Israel has dropped leaflets in central Gaza ordering Palestinians living there to leave there homes. As you will recall from previous reportage, one of Israel’s goals is to perhaps divide Gaza in half.
UPDATES 7 am Israel time, Saturday, July 19 2014:
**As of this hour, there has not been an update from the IDF of Israeli activity in Gaza overnight. However, from other sources we know that two soldiers (including one officer) have been critically wounded and are fighting for their lives while nearly 20 more Israeli soldiers have been lightly and moderately wounded in fighting with terrorists. Most of these have been evacuated to hospitals in Israel for treatment.
As have terrorists who have been wounded by Israeli forces. Believe it or not, Israel has transported at least one wounded terrorist to Soroka Hospital in Beersheva.
This comes amidst reports of Israeli soldiers being placed in untenable situations. In one incident yesterday, soldiers were attacked by a group of 15-20 Hamas terrorists. However, according to the rules of engagement established by the IDF, they were unable to return fire because the terrorists were surrounded by “civilians.”
The IDF is reporting that more than 40 Hamas terrorists have been killed and 21 others captured.
**Palestinian missile fire against Israel did not abate yesterday. According to the IDF, there were “more than 135” missiles fired out of Gaza yesterday. According to israelstreet’s count, that number was actually 161 fired in at least 46 separate missile attacks.
No Israelis were killed by missiles yesterday; however, a number of citizens suffered shrapnel wounds, and numerous people were treated for trauma by MADA.
The incredible pounding taken by the Gaza border communities is barely reported in the media, but the people in the Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev, and Chof Ashkelon are being hit two or three times every hour in a continuous rain of missiles from Gaza.
**Here in Ashdod, we experienced several barrages of missiles (you saw the after-effects of one of those yesterday on this blog). Very early this morning, at 2:56 am, we were jolted out of our beds by screeching incoming rocket sirens. Even before we could get to our bomb shelter, explosions were taking place over our heads again.
All told, at least 5 missiles struck us (the only missiles that hit Israel between 1 am and 6:30 am). Four were intercepted directly over our house again; one made it through the Iron Dome defense and hit a residential neighborhood miraculously passing through a narrow opening between two apartment buildings and hitting in a street. Again, numerous people were treated for shock.
This morning, a quick walk around the neighborhood has revealed numerous pieces of shrapnel as well as many small ball bearings that the terrorists pack the missiles with in order to inflict as much bodily injury as possible when the missiles explode.
By the way, there has been no sleep here since the attack at 2:56. The Israeli artillery and naval bombardment of northern Gaza has been filling the air with tremendous “booms”–tremendous enough to repeatedly shake the foundations of our house and rattle our windows (and we are about 35 km away). One can only imagine what this must be like for Israeli residents in Ashkelon and Chof Ashkelon.
Hopefully, this bombardment is having a salutary effect on the Hamas terrorists and all those wonderful people in Gaza who harbor them.
It is simply stupefying how in the midst of war with a determined adversary that continues rocketing Israeli kibbutzes, communities, towns, and cities, Israeli “leftists” continue to sow seeds of dissension.
At a time when all Israelis should be pulling together, the “left” is doing all it can to pull them apart.
Yesterday saw numerous examples of this phenomenon.
First of all a “peace bus” full of extreme leftists pulled into Sderot of all places. As they stepped off the bus and attempted to engage local residents, their reception what something less than polite.
Among other things that will not be printed here, Sderot residents welcomed them with comments such as:
“What are you doing here, you scum?” and “Hamasniks, terrorists, you have chutzpah!” and “Go to Gaza and see how long you live!” and “Bring your children here and see how you feel” and “Get out of here!”.
A brief verbal altercation ensued, but the leftists got back on the bus in short order and left–as soon as the incoming rockets sirens sounded.
But can you imagine such people coming into a place like Sderot which has been hit by more than 10,000 terrorist missiles and bringing a message that we should stop the violence?
We from the South are united in our belief that the evil of Hamas should be wiped off the face of the planet.
And then we had the incident at the Jerusalem Film Festival on Thursday when Shira Geffren asked the audience to stand for a minute of silence before the showing of her movie Self Made to remember the children killed in Gaza.
While some in the audience stood, others booed and shouted angrily why the audience was not also standing for the Israeli man killed at the Erez Crossing.
Geffen, who is the sister of ultra-leftist singer Aviv Geffen, has been reduced today to saying that she didn’t mean for the moment of silence to be a “political statement” and that she “is tired” and doesn’t want to talk about it anymore.
Every statement made by the leftists whether it is a “peace bus” or a “moment of silence” is a political statement which is meant to delegitimize Israel and undermine Israeli society.
The residents of Sderot were right. Let them go to Gaza and spread their message there.