Wednesday, February 01, 2012

1-Feb-12: Raining and rocketing [UPDATED]

Getty Images picture from Gaza's Shati district today.
The men who run the place could focus on making their streets and
lives work a little better; they get more foreign aid by far than
any other aid beneficiaries on earth. But tonight's news
reminds us that when faced with the choice of making a better life
for their children or firing rockets at us - well, no need to labor the point.
It's cold and wet tonight. Israelis who don't need to be out of doors are inside. Ideal weather, in other words, for the thugs of Gaza  and their rockets. Ynet reported about an hour ago that a Gazan Qassam rocket was fired into southern Israel around 6:30 this evening, and exploded in an open space within one of the communities in the Shaar Hanegev region. For reasons of security (why give the terrorists any free and easy information?), the town is unidentified. Fortunately the report suggests no one was injured, and no property damage is reported.

The secretary-general of the United Nations, Mr Ban Ki-Moon, is due to visit the beleaguered city of Sderot tomorrow. It has the misfortune of being the closest Israeli city to our fence with Gaza, and as a result has absorbed a torrent of inbound rockets and grenades since Israel walked away from the Gaza Strip and handed control to the Palestinian Arabs in 2005. It would be good to think that visiting there will sensitize him to what it means to live next to thugs with an arsenal of rockets that numbers in the tens of thousands.

It's reported that Mr Ban will be visiting Gaza tomorrow as well. Today he spent time with the Palestinian Arab president Abbas (picture here) and with Shimon Peres, Israel's president, in Jerusalem where he opened with the right greeting: "Shalom". It seems likely - though it's not announced - that in Gaza he will meet with the leaders of the "other" Palestinian Arabs, the Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Mr Ban managed to be in the Jordanian capital today as well. There he told the Hashemite Kingdom's foreign minister - a man with the famously unlikely name of Judeh - that the Arab world has a “generational opportunity” to create a future it deserves. In view of the things we wrote here earlier today, we're very much afraid that he's right. Large parts of the Arab world, thanks to unconscionable decisions they have made about how to raise their emerging generations of young people, are indeed heading towards a future they deserve.

UPDATE: Wednesday 9:15 pm - While writing the above, a report came in that five more Qassam rockets have crashed into southern Israel, all it seems into the same Shaar Hanegev region as the one two hours ago. We'll go off now and check this disturbing development more closely.

UPDATE: Wednesday 11:30 pm - Both and Haaretz are reporting that the volley we reported earlier around 9 pm tonight in fact consisted of six rockets and not five as we reported earlier. Sounds of high intensity gunfire are now being reported from Sderot plus "massive" helicopter action over the city and into Gaza that started roughly an hour ago (Hebrew-language eyewitness reports here and here).

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