Tuesday, August 13, 2013

13-Aug-13: Oh and by the way, a rocket fired by terrorist forces was shot down in the skies over Eilat during the night

Eilat [Image Source]
The lead story on the BBC News website at this hour, Tuesday morning 8:30 am Israel summer time, is "Kerry hopeful on Mid-East talks despite settlement move", a basically upbeat story based on an interview with the US foreign minister who is visiting Colombia and who took time out to "underscore" the importance of "getting to the table quickly".

Happily underscoring, the BBC's editors quote multiple voices from the Palestinian side - including those of Hanan Ashrawi speaking in the name of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, and Abbas regime "chief negotiator" Saeb Erekat "reacting" "angrily" for some twenty paragraphs of reporting critical of one Israeli move or another. Magnanimously, the Secretary State is said to have urged the Palestinian Arab side "not to react adversely". A man of generous spirit.

Then in paragraph 21, at the very tail end of the Kerry story, the BBC's editors mention this:
In a separate development on Monday, Israeli police said a missile fired towards the Red Sea resort of Eilat had been successfully intercepted by the Iron Dome missile defence system. Residents had reported hearing a loud explosion and a siren. [BBC]
leaving its readers to infer, quite reasonably, that a rocket attack worthy of Israel firing off one of its super-expensive high-tech anti-missile missiles might or might not have happened, depending on how willing you are to believe what the Israeli police say about this "separate development".

BBC's report: Home page entirely free
of pesky missile-attack-on-Eilat stories
Naturally, given the doubtful nature of whether anyone really and truly would have fired something at Eilat, there's not a mention of it anywhere on the BBC News home page or in the news flash section. Because, you know, perhaps it's real, and perhaps because it's just a Zionist invention (though, as the BBC's even-handed editors are so fond of saying, "Israel disputes this").

Back in our world, where this morning's attack is far from being what the BBC calls a "separate event" but just the latest stage of an ongoing war, the reports are more sober. Ynet says
Iron Dome intercepts Eilat-bound rocket | The Iron Dome defense system, deployed last month in Eilat, intercepted a rocket aimed at an inhabited area in the region on early morning Wednesday. Magen David Adom reported two persons were treated for anxiety attacks. Shortly before 1 am a siren was heard in Israel's southernmost city and residents reported they heard echoes of two explosions in the area. The IDF and the police are canvassing the area and so far no further landing sites were found.
And at Haaretz:
Iron Dome battery successfully intercepts rocket targeting | The incident marks the first time the Iron Dome system has intercepted a rocket over the southern resort city, and comes two days after Egyptian reports of an Israeli drone strike which killed five militants at a rocket-launching site in northern Sinai. The apparent attack comes at the height of the tourist season... Last week, Eilat's airport was closed by order of the military, apparently due to security threats in the neighboring Sinai Peninsula... 
And the Jerusalem Post, quoting Channel 10 News (Israel) is saying the Sinai-based jihadists of something called Ansar Bait al-Maqdis took credit for the Eilat attack in an announcement some hours ago.
Screenshot from i24news.tv video coverage of attack
This is the same terrorist unit that Aljazeera said had claimed
four of its members were killed in an Israeli drone attack in Egypt's North Sinai region. Egyptian security sources said earlier that four people were killed by a missile strike on Friday as they prepared to launch rockets at Israel. "Our heroes became martyrs during their jihadi duties against the Jews in a rocket attack on occupied lands," Ansar Bait al-Maqdis, the group, said in a posting on a website. [Aljazeera]
(For the record, this Arab news source says Egypt's military refutes the claims that Israel was involved in liquidating the four rocket men.)

Because we know that today's barely-averted mass-casualty attack is far from a "separate event", it's worth observing that actually things are getting steadily worse down in the lawless, rocket-infested Sinai. (See some of our previous reports here.)

As for the BBC and its editorial policies, not much sign of change there.

UPDATE 10:20am Tuesday: Ynet says 'credit' for the thwarted overnight missile attack on Eilat is being claimed by a second terrorist grouplet called "Mujahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem". These jihadists issued a statement that in part says "Eilat and other Jewish towns will not be enjoying security, tourism or economy. Jews will pay for the blood of the jihad fighters". An Egyptian source quoted by Ynet says the rocket was launched from close to Israel's Egypt border.

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