UPDATES 5:00 pm:
The situation as of this moment:
**Hamas continues firing missiles at southern Israel. There have been 9 separate attacks today with more than 25 total missiles exploding in southern Israel. In fact, Hamas has not fired a single missile outside of the Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev, and Chof Ashkelon regions. To put it a different way, the only missiles that have been fired today are Qassams.
**Remember the apparently principled stand that Israel took on yesterday when we ordered our “negotiators” home from Cairo? Remember how we stated that “we are not going to negotiate with Hamas while they are firing missiles at us?
“Us” does not include southern Israel.
The Netanyahu government has just leaked that the Israeli delegation is on its way back to Cairo at the end of Shabbat. And in fact, Israel has been negotiating with Hamas all along.
**This utterly pathetic situation is not lost on Hamas. It knows full well that the Netanyahu government is perfectly willing to throw southern Israel under the bus. It announced a few minutes ago, that if Israel does not stop procratinating in the negotiations, it will soon start firing missiles again at areas outside the Gaza perimeter.
**Speaking of how utterly pathetic the situation is, it has been revealed that at precisely the moment that the Netanyahu government was suspending flights in and out of Ben Gurion airport yesterday and placing IDF units along the border on higher alert, it was again encouraging residents of the South to return to their homes without a word of caution.
UPDATES 8:00 am:
**After a night of fitful sleep waiting for our phones to go off signaling incoming missiles from the terrorists in Gaza, we were awakened this morning at 6:52 am with the first missiles of the day.
All told, there were 28 launches out of Gaza yesterday involving 70 missiles—each one of which is a war crime against the citizens of this country. Both soldiers and civilians were wounded by exploding shrapnel–some seriously.
Your humble servant was thinking about these Israelis who were wounded as he quickly scanned the headline news on CNN, Sky News, the BBC, and Al-Jazeera at 7:00 am. Each one of them carried a story about Gaza; each one of them led with the statement that a 10 year old Palestinian child had been killed by an Israeli bomb; and none of them mentioned that it was Hamas who had broken the sixth ceasefire yesterday.
But back to that 10 year old Palestinian child for a moment. It was amazing yesterday how the 10 year old child, complete with stock footage of another wounded child, instantly materialized on every channel yesterday within minutes of Israel finally firing back yesterday morning.
Instantly appeared courtesy of the Palestinian pr machine.
And just like every other death that the Palestinians have ballyhooed in this war, there was no attempt by any news organization to verify that a 10 year old Palestinian had actually died. The way it works these days is that the Hamas machine simply pulls a “dead” number out of the bag several times a day, feeds the number to its eager minions in the media, and the rest of the world accepts it as fact.
Once the 10 year old Palestinian child “has died”, he is dead–and no amount of pointing out false information will ever correct the misinformation.
**It must seem to you, dear reader, that your humble servant is an angry person who constantly rails against PM Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ya’alon, and IDF Chief Benny Gantz.
The truth is that as a southern Israeli, there is no other perspective to have. And while it has seemed over the past few years that, at times, israelstreet was howling in the wind, the tirades unleashed yesterday were a confirmation of what this blog has been saying all along.
First, we had Yuval Diskin, the former head of Shin Bet, blasting Benny Gantz for his idiotic comments two day ago urging residents to return to the South: “Why must we be in such a hurry to make such statements and tell Hamas that as far as we are concerned that operation has ended, even though the ceasefire has yet to stabilize?”
Alon Davidi, the mayor of the ever-besieged town of Sderot whose residents virtually live in bomb shelters, was less restrained:
“While parties continue to talk about a political solution in Cairo, terror organizations from Gaza have opened massive rocket fire on the south. This is what happens when the defense minister fails to supply the goods and does not bring security to Israel’s residents. It is unconceivable that the minister will speak high and mighty about how Israel will respond if Hamas renews fire, but when it actually happens, we see a weak and meager response. I cannot understand why he told the IDF to leave the Strip and release thousands of reservists while there is bearly a ceasefire. We have a defenseless minister.”
True. True. And absolutely true.
And yet, already this morning we are beginning again to see the divide that always exists between we residents of the South and the rest of the Israel. How did the Yediot Aharonot newspaper describe Davidi? The newspaper dismissed his comments as those of a “right winger”.
A right winger? 70 missiles pound Israel yesterday, one of which scored a direct hit on a house in Sderot, and the mayor of Sderot is a right winger?
**So what is new in the capitulation-to-Hamas process this morning?
It depends on who’s talking to the media. Hamas would have everyone believe that no one is responding to their demands; Israel would have everyone believe that there are no Israeli negotiators in Cairo; the Europeans are falling all over themselves to establish a sea route from Gaza to Larnaca–monitored by Europeans–to move people and goods (read: “weapons”) in and out of Gaza.
One position of Israel was revealed yesterday: apparently we are willing to release the so-called Shalit “rearrestees” for “body parts” belonging to the two soldiers that Hamas claimed to have kidnapped–and whose funerals have already taken place.
As for the Americans, President Obama dropped another bombshell, pun intended, in an interview yesterday when he lamented that Netanyahu had grown stronger and Mahmoud Abbas weaker because of the Gaza war and concluded that only “internal pressure” can cause Netanyahu to compromise for peace. Of course, Obama’s comments were not really a bombshell inasumuch as the White House has been trying to undermine Netanyahu since the day that Obama first took office back in 2009.
And the missile fire continues. In the two launches this morning, 4 missiles hit the the Eshkol region and one hit the Negev region.
Check back for another update later in the day.