Wednesday, May 07, 2008

7-May-08: Remembrance

The 11 o'clock Remembrance Day siren has just completed its two-minute wail. Time to remind ourselves what it signifies...

Security (says Haaretz this morning) has been stepped up in recent days following an increase in intelligence warnings of terrorist plans to carry out attacks during the Independence Day holiday. The number of specific warnings has risen to 11, from seven two weeks ago according to un-named security sources. Those warnings have led the Shin Bet security service and the Israel Defense Forces to raise their levels of preparedness.

In parallel to the specific threats, there are dozens more warnings that intelligence assessments call "general".

Remembering, in this part of the world, is an indispensable part of the daily routine.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

1-May-08: Seven thousand medical treatments

Before you read the brief report below, go back and remind yourself of a report we carried here ten days ago (21-Apr-08: What the Palestinian-Arab silent majority really thinks).

We wrote there that Palestinian Arab support for killing-by-bombing jihadist attacks against Israeli civilians stands at 51% according to a Palestinian Arab poll carried out in April 2008. In simple terms, the "silent majority" of men, women and children walking the streets of the Palestinian-Arab villages, towns and cities are comfortable with one of the modern world's most barbaric activities.

Keep this in mind as you read the next two paragraphs.

Israel Treats Thousands of Sick Gazans
...Ahmed was first taken to Gaza's Shifa Hospital, but his only hope for life-saving treatment lay in Israel. "We got our permit from the Israeli authorities within 24 hours," said Ahmed's father, Muhammad. In 2007, more than 7,000 Palestinians were allowed into Israel for medical treatment - a 50% increase on 2006. "We treat hundreds of Gazans here each year," says Dr. Ron Lobel, deputy director of Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. He says there are some five to 15 Gazan patients there at any given time. Many cases are treated by Israel for free.

"The Israeli policy is to facilitate all the medical needs for Gaza," said Maj. Peter Lerner, spokesman for the Coordinator of Activities in the Territories. However, he says militants have repeatedly tried to exploit Israel's humanitarian policy to carry out attacks inside Israel. In June 2007, two Palestinian women who had received medical entry permits were arrested after it was discovered they planned to blow themselves up in an Israeli hospital.
(Extracted from BBC report)

1-May-08: Little noticed side-issue

Israel Hits Palestinian Rocket Factory
Yesterday (Wednesday) the Israel Air Force precision-bombed a rocket-manufacturing plant in Rafah in Gaza, killing one person and wounding three.

Islamic Jihad Commander Was Headmaster at UN School
The person killed in Wednesday's Rafah airstrike was the deputy commander of the Islamic Jihad military wing, according to Palestinian sources quoted by CNN who said he also served as a school headmaster at a United Nations Relief and Works Agency school.

1-May-08: Wednesday war

15 Gazan Palestinian Arab rockets have crashed into Israel so far today (Wednesday), one of them landing in the yard of a residence on the southern side of Ashkelon, causing light damage to the home and sending a woman into shock. 2 other rockets landed near Sderot tonight, shortly after the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony began in the town's cultural center. Fortunately no injuries or casualties were reported, which was not the intention of the terrorists.