Thursday, March 21, 2013

21-Mar-13: Rockets fired at Israelis as media focuses attention elsewhere

Sderot: Target of this morning's rocket attack
[Image Source:]
You don't need to be a political analyst to understand the phenomenon about which we wrote here ["20-Mar-13: If a firebomb hits a bus far from anyone important, did it happen?"yesterday:
The arrival of US president Barack Obama in Israel is triggering an increased level of terror-centred activity by the local Palestinian Arabs, as we have noted here, here, here and here (for instance) in the past three weeks.
Ninety minutes drive from where tens of thousands of Israeli police are deployed on the streets of Jerusalem and from the security measures that are in place to protect the visiting head of the United States, a lethal attack on Israelis was mounted this morning by the terrorist forces deployed against this country from the south. At least one home took a direct hit. Fortunately there are no injuries. 

Some will call the attack "symbolic" (as some of the most prominent news channels have in the past), but that certainly will not include the people at whom the rockets are aimed.

From Ynet an hour ago
  • Five Qassam rockets were fired at southern Israel from Gaza on Thursday morning, on the second day of US President Barack Obama's visit to the Middle East.
  • [The] Color Red alert sounded in the city of Sderot at around 7:15 am, followed by additional air raid sirens, one of them in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. 
  • One of the rockets hit the backyard of a house in Sderot, while another landed in an open area. There were no reports of injuries, but the yard sustained slight damage. Two additional rockets are believed to have landed on Palestinian territory. 
  • According to initial estimates, the rockets were fired from the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun.... 
  • Sderot Mayor David Buskila is also certain that the Gaza fire is directly related to Obama's visit. "The rockets fired at the city this morning are the Gaza organizations' way of communicating with the US president who is now in Israel. I believe they are trying to tell him that he can go to Ramallah or any other place in the territories and finalize things with Abbas, but that they are the ones setting the tone in regards to calm or escalation in the region.
Times of Israel says:
  • Obama should see how we live in Sderot, says mother whose house was damaged by rocket this morning
  • A woman whose home was slightly damaged by Gaza rocket fire in Sderot this morning has been on Army Radio. “Obama should come and see how we live here,” says Sara Hazizu. “We live in nice homes, but that means nothing. Really, we live in our security rooms. He should see how our 8-year-old daughter has to dash for the safety of the security room [when the rocket alarms go off].”
  • Security sources in Jerusalem agree that the rocket fire was “a message timed for Obama’s visit to show they’re still there” — hours before Obama goes to Ramallah...
  • The south has been almost completely quiet since November’s Operation Pillar of Defense, but terrorists in Gaza have shown a willingness to fire missiles when they think the situation warrants it, like a rocket that hit Ashdod last month during protests in the West Bank. 
  • The rockets come a day after Obama visited an Iron Dome battery moved especially to the airport for a photo op. The missile defense system was partially funded by the US.
If you look at the latest Associated Press report, you will notice it says there were two rockets which is a small enough number to make this a marginal note on the real events of the day, and hardly worth treating the attack for what it is - a reminder from the terrorist forces ("terrorist" - devoting their resources and energy to the inflicting of damage and fear on civilians) that they are here and have not gone away.

And there is no mention at all of the two Gazan Palestinian Arab rockets that fell short on top of the homes, and perhaps the heads, of the Gazan Palestinian Arab people among whom they themselves live. This lack is a constant: there is virtually zero coverage of the steady crash of terrorist rockets into the homes and bodies of Gazans.

We have written several times [for instance "18-Nov-12: Fell short? Not just the Hamas rockets but the ethics of the journalists covering them"; "24-Dec-12: Fell short? Not HRW"; "9-Mar-13: The viral power of a lying image and the editors who make it all happen"] about those "fell short" rockets. The unwillingness of reporters and their editors to acknowledge how often this happens is extraordinary. It's a subject that deserves some analysis.

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