UPDATE AND TODAY’S BLOG:
As of Israelstreet’s last update at 9:45 pm last night, 107 Palestinian terrorist rockets and mortars–all of which Hamas claimed credit for–had struck the cities, towns, and communities of southern Israel since Monday. At 10:00 pm, the terrorist factions in Gaza announced to the world that they were abiding by a truce brokered by the Egyptians and that they would launch no more attacks on the people living here in the south.
Since that so-called “truce” supposedly went into effect, the following has taken place:
At 3:05 am (an hour ago): Hamas terrorists fired 2 Qassams–one hitting Ashkelon, the other being intercepted by the Iron Dome system over Ashkelon.
At 1:43 am: the residents of Ashkelon were sent running to their bomb shelters again by incoming rocket sirens–sirens that were followed by a loud explosion seconds later.
At 11:53 pm: a terrorist rocket struck “an open area” of the Eshkol region.
At 11: 16 pm: the residents of the Chof Ashkelon region were sent to their bomb shelters by incoming rocket sirens.
At 11:01 pm: three mortar shells were fired into the Chof Ashkelon region.
At 10:47 pm: there was another alarm for incoming rockets in the Chof Ashkelon region.
At 10:29 pm: there was a red alarm for incoming rockets south of Ashkelon and at Sha’ar Hanagev.
At 10:19 pm: a barrage of 8 rockets were fired into southern Israel –one hitting near Ashkelon, the other 7 striking the Eshkol region.
This brings to 125 the total number of terrorist strikes against southern Israel since Monday.
So why is your humble servant sitting here in his Ashdod study writing this blog at 4:00 am this morning? Despite the fact that there have been no strikes against Ashdod per se, it does not mean that we do not hear the strikes, and the ones an hour ago on Ashkelon were distinctive “booms” heard here at our position.
Talk about surreal. Last evening, your humble servant and his wife decided to go down to Topaz Beach–just in front of our house in far south Ashdod. From there, we have an unimpeded view of the coastline stretching 8 km south to Ashkelon–we can easily see all the way to the Ashkelon power plant with his huge ever-working smokestack.
But the beach was a different world. Picture this from right to left: three young Arab construction workers–who live illegally in uncompleted houses in the neighborhood–were indecently cavorting in their underwear in the waves; a young teenage Israeli couple was playing matkot on the beach hitting a ball back and forth with their paddles; to our immediate right were two young Israeli mothers with their three young children playing in the surf; to our left was another couple laying on their beach towel cradling their infant girl from the wind blowing in from the Mediterranean; further to the left were two older men in their beach chairs.
All the while young 17 and 18 year olds in training on their own for their impending military service–ranging from religious girls in their long black dresses over long pants and fully covered arms and torsos to young men fully clothed with boots and heavy backpacks—were jogging south along the beach in front of us as Cobra helicopters flew northward over their and our heads returning from missions in Gaza.
At precisely 7:43 pm, about 9 minutes before sundown, the sand shook with the force of an explosion coming from Ashkelon. We immediately looked to our left–but there was nothing to be seen. It was not until we returned to the house a half hour later that we heard that at 7:43 pm, a terrorist missile had struck Ashkelon.
This is the surreal world of Israel–a world in which people go on about their daily lives in the face of life-threatening terrorism, a world in which young people either play on the beach or prepare for war, a world in which you never really know what is going on or what is going to happen next because the Israeli media grossly under-reports the actual number of terrorist events taking place, and a world in which your own Israeli Defense Forces rarely act proactively against terrorists–and absurdly exult when the same terrorists ply for truces, ceasefires, and hudnas.
Stay tuned to israelstreet.org today for continuing updates on the situation here in southern Israel–this is the only source for uptodate information on missile strikes (whatever is reported here is often reported days or even weeks afterwards in the mainstream Israeli media).
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