UPDATES 7 pm:
Your humble servant wants to scream at the world.
How is it possible that Israel has come to this? How is it possible that Israel has allowed an entire section of its country to be depopulated by terrorists?
Missile after mortar after missile after mortar have been pounding the Eshkol, Sha’ar Hanegev, and Chof Ashkelon regions all day long. Not one at a time, but 10 or 15 at a time.
More than 125 mortars and missiles have exploded in southern Israel today. And it is only 7:00 pm.
How low we have fallen.
Allow me to describe a little trip that your humble servant took today from Ashdod to Eilat.
We started off from Ashdod. Just after we left Ashdod, missiles hit the city.
We then traveled down the road towards Ashkelon past Nizzanim. Just after we passed Nizzanim, missiles hit the area.
We turned left after Ashkelon. Just after we passed Ashkelon, missiles hit the area.
We continued on toward Kiryat Malachi before turning onto Highway 40 at the Pelugot Junction. Just after we passed the Kiryat Malachi area, missiles hit the area.
We traveled on toward Beersheva and turned off at the bypass road which runs past Omer. Just after we passed Beersheva, missiles hit the area.
It was not until we reached Sde Boker on the way to Mitzpe Ramon that we got out of missile range.
The Israeli government and the IDF General Command have become jokes. We have a rudderless government controling a clueless military who couldn’t stop incoming missiles if it tried.
We just keep bombing empty buildings in Gaza hoping that one day Hamas will run out of missiles.
Is there any other country in the world that would put up with this? Would your country?
UPDATES 8 am:
**4-year-old Daniel Tregerman is being buried this morning at 9 am at the Hevel Shalom Cemetery in the Eshkol region.
If Hamas terrorists in Gaza will let it take place. They have been firing missiles and mortars at the area every 30 minutes or so this morning.
**The most interesting developments overnight were the missile attacks from Lebanon against northern Israel and from Syria against the Israeli Golan Heights. In the first attacks, Israeli citizens in the famed city of Pekin were wounded by shrapnel, while in the second, 5 missiles hit “open spaces”.
It remains unclear this morning who fired the missiles. Was it Hezbollah or Palestinians in Lebanon? From Syria, was it al-Qaeda elements along the border or Assad’s forces?
Whatever the case in either situation, this missile fire is a very troublesome addition to the fighting that is already going on here.
**Meanwhile, that war with Hamas grinds on with no end in sight.
There were at least 126 missiles and mortars fired at southern Israel yesterday–with 106 of them hitting the Gaza border communities (20 more hit 40 km communities such as Ashdod and Beersheva). As noted yesterday, the unremitting missile and mortar fire on such places as Sha’ar Hanegev, Nahal Oz, Alumim, and at least 30 other kibbutzim have had a devastating effect.
These areas of Israel are simply unliveable.
And while PM Netanyahu is fond of praising the resilience and patience of the people living in the “fire zone”, the fact is that the resilience and patience of those closest to the Gaza border have worn out.
**The main headline in the Jerusalem Post this morning reads “Air strike destroys key Hamas command center.” The story that follows is how the IAF flattened a 13-story building in Gaza last night.
Say what? We are 47 days into a war with Hamas during which they have launched nearly 4500 missiles at us. Why in the world was that building still standing? How is it possible that we knew that it was a “key Hamas command center” and did nothing about it? Shouldn’t it have been flattened 47 days ago?
How many more “key Hamas command centers” are there that we are doing nothing about?
By the way, the IDF made sure that all Hamas “operatives” (read “terrorists”) were out of the building before we bombed it.
**Your humble servant is still shaking his head this morning over the visit that our so-called “Defense” Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief Benny Gantz made to the South yesterday.
Not only did Ya’alon and Gantz show their true colors by failing to meet with residents along the border because of the risk that they (Ya’alon and Gantz) would be exposed to dangerous mortar and missile attacks, but also Ya’alon made some extraordinary statements that deserve to be repeated here today. Here is a sampling:
–According to Ya’alon, the purpose of Israel’s military operation in Gaza is to “maneuver Hamas to a diplomatic agreement.”
One would have thought that the purpose of Israel’s military operation was to defeat Hamas. Period.
–According to Ya’alon: “The Gaza border communities are going through difficult days indeed, but we’re in the midst of a campaign. This campaign has diplomatic aspects, military aspects and one other important aspect – the citizens’ resilience. It is not a coincidence the other side is trying to attack citizens. We will win in the end. This is a test of determination, of resilience, a test for us as a society.”
Does this sound like a “defense” minister to you, dear reader, or a person whose primary interest is diplomacy?
A test of determination, of resilience, a test for us as a society? Essentially, nowhere in this country is being hit except southern Israel within 40 km of the Gaza border. Can you even begin to imagine what would happen if Tel Aviv or Jerusalem were being hit with more than 100 missile and mortars per day?
And how about this gem from Ya’alon: “I’m convinced the other side in its current situation needs a ceasefire more than we do, and it’ll happen at some point.”
This has been perhaps the fundamental flaw in the IDF reasoning all along.
From the outset of this war 47 days ago, the IDF has seemed to think that if we bomb the empty houses of Hamas leaders and the empty spaces from which a very few of the missiles and mortars are shot, then Hamas will come begging for a ceasefire.
The level of misjudgment in this strategy is mind-numbing, as is the total inability of the IDF to grasp the failure of this strategy.
Here’s a news flash to Ya’alon and Gantz: Hamas is still firing 45 launches a day out of Gaza which still include 125-150 missiles and mortars per day.
And what about a ceasefire “will happen at some point”? These are the words of a passive man, a man who is perfectly willing to let Hamas dictate if and when the shooting stops.
Ya’alon’s attitude is absolutely pathetic. Both he and Gantz should be immediately be removed from their positions–but of course they won’t be because they are merely reflections of Benjamin Netanyahu.