FINAL UPDATE 10:30 pm August 20:
More than 200 missiles have struck Israel today–with more probable before midnight.
Hamas is already warning of a large attack early tomorrow morning.
UPDATES 7:30 pm–10:30 pm:
Palestinian terrorists in Gaza have launched so many rockets into Israel today that we have run out of space on our israelstreet breaking news ticker in the right hand column.
For the next few hours, we will update in this space on the main blog every few minutes:
10:17 pm Wednesday: Palestinian terrorists in Gaza launch missile attack on Eshkol region.
10:06 pm Wednesday: Two more large explosions off the coast here in Ashdod as Gaza terrorists continue to target gas and oil well. No alarms.
9:46 pm Wednesday: Four more large explosions off the coast here in Ashdod. No alarm.
9:36 pm Wednesday: Two large explosions heard in Ashdod and Ashkelon from out at sea. No alarm. Terrorists targeting oil and gas wells off coast.
9:04 pm Wednesday: Palestinian terrorists in Gaza launch missile attack on Chof Ashkelon region.
8:50 pm Wednesday: Palestinian terrorists in Gaza launch missile attack on Gaza perimeter communities.
8:35 pm Wednesday: Hamas leader Salah Dibai declares in speech in Turkey that Hamas was behind the kidnappings and murders of the three Israeli teenagers near Hebron.
8:12 pm Wednesday: Palestinian terrorists in Gaza launch missile attack on Eshkol region.
7:46 pm Wednesday: Palestinian terrorists in Gaza launch missile attack on Eshkol region.
7:36 pm Wednesday: Palestinian terrorists in Gaza launch missile attack on Eshkol region.
UPDATES 5:00 pm:
**There have been more than 40 missile launches out of Gaza so far today-totaling at least 120 missiles (precise numbers will be given later today). At least 95% of the missiles have targeted areas within 40 km of Gaza with most of those being aimed at the Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev, and Chof Ashkelon regions.
**The burning question of the moment is whether Mohammed Deif, the military commander of Hamas, was killed last night or not. Funerals have already been held in Gaza this afternoon for his wife and his son or daughter (accounts vary). Whether those being buried actually were his wife and child is not actually known. Apparently, the rocket production head of Hamas was killed in the strike.
**A Hamas spokesman has just spoken and warned that the next two or three days will be difficult for Gaza and Israel.
**The IDF has just issued a recall for 3000 reserve soldiers who had been released from service just 10 days ago in yet another sign of the completely dysfunctional Netanyahu government and military command.
UPDATES 9:00 am:
**Since midnight, there have been 9 more Hamas terrorist missile launches against southern Israel involving 28 missiles. MADA reports numerous cases of emotional trauma, but fortunately no physical injuries.
**You will recall that over the last week, israelstreet has detailed the connection between terrorist sponsor Qatar and terrorist organization Hamas. This morning, news has come that Qatar has threated billionaire Hamas head Khaled Meshaal with expulsion from his luxury compound in Qatar if Hamas agrees to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal.
**Yesterday, your humble servant described how the Netanyahu, Ya’alon, and Gantz have gone completely insane in their capitulation to Hamas. One aspect of Netanyahu’s affliction has been his desire to keep everyone in his own Security Cabinet in the dark about what is being agreed to in Cairo.
In this context, it has come to light that a Security Cabinet meeting last Thursday or Friday may have been a turning point of sorts for Netanyahu. Apparently, he began that meeting by describing that no agreement had been reached in Cairo.
Before he could proceed, he was interrupted by FM Lieberman who took from his pocket copies of what the Egyptians said that the Israeli negotiators had agreed to. He then passed out copies of that “agreement” to the Cabinet members. Lieberman was particularly incensed that there was not one word about demilitarization of Hamas—a demilitarization that was supposed to have been the primary goal of the Israeli negotiators.
When Lieberman finally relinquished the floor, Netanyahu struggled to explain that there still “really” was no agreement. King Bibi has been on the defensive and bunkered down ever since.
UPDATES 6:00 am:
**Between the breaking of the ceasefire at 3:34 pm yesterday afternoon when Hamas fired missiles at Netivot and Beersheva and midnight, there were 25 more launches totaling 62 missiles that took place until midnight.
Missiles struck at the Gaza border communities as well as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem:
**In the midst of the missile fire, Israel struck targets in Gaza, including an attempt to kill Mohammad Deif, the leader of the military wing of Hamas. Even at this hour, it is not clear if the attempt was successful; Hamas is reporting that his wife and daughter were killed, but that he survived. However, there is no independent confirmation of any of this.
**At 12:02 am we were sent running to our bomb shelter here in Ashdod by sirens warning of incoming missiles and just made it as 5 explosions sounded overhead.
All night long, Israeli planes were flying low over our house as we heard bombing and cannonfire coming from Gaza. As we do at this moment.
Missile alarms have just sounded for the Gaza perimeter focusing on the Eshkol and Chof Ashkelon regions. According to a Hamas statement early this morning, what has begun again is “a long war of attrition against Israel.”
**For the moment, the ceasefire negotiations in Cairo have halted. Israeli “negotiators” returned from Cairo yesterday when the “ceasefire” was broken. Apparently, Palestinian negotiators have remained but are threatening to leave if Israel “does not stop its aggression”.
**An American-Israeli IDF soldier was found dead in a ditch near his military base late yesterday. David Menachem Gordon was a Givati soldier who had just served in Gaza. He had been reported missing since Sunday.
As of this morning there is no news as to the cause of his death.
Another IDF soldier has been reported missing in the same general area this morning.