Sunday, July 13, 2014

13-Jul-14: Sunday and more in-bound victim-seeking rockets

Iron Dome battery, somewhere in Israel
In the three hours of daylight this morning, Israel's skies have already been pierced repeatedly by yet more Gazan rockets. Thankfully the price paid on our side in personal injuries and property damage - while unbearably high - might easily have been far, far worse. Details to follow.

We plan to update this post through the morning hours of Sunday, and pray the reports become ordinary and boring. (We're again working from a Tablet; please excuse the deficient spelling and formatting.)
  • 08:35 am: The IDF, summing up the events of the past 24 hours of the latest phase of this ongoing war, says 129 rockets were fired into Israel during Saturday, 9 of the intercepted in midair by Iron Dome. They don't report on how many lives were threatened or saved or rendered paralyzed by fear.
  • 08:50 am: Khaled Abu Toameh tweets: "Egyptians ban European medical team from entering Gaza Strip to treat Palestinians." [His source]
  • 09:15 am: Not now but earlier this morning, around day-break, in-bound terror rockets were intercepted in the skies over Ashdod and Rishon Leziyon in central Israel. Calling them terror rockets is critical to understanding the strategy of the jihadist practitioners of terror who fire them: in terms of a military strategy, assuming Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the other terror groups even had one which is doubtful on the evidence, they make near-zero effort to attack the IDF and its resources. Their war - by disgraceful choice and shameful ideology - is waged principally against ordinary people and ordinary places. Israel's Iron Dome missile-defense system stopped and destroyed multiple rockets over Israeli cities today in the course of fighting off a missile barrage from Gaza that began this (Sunday) morning around 06:00 am.
  • 09:20 am:  Israelis are geing reminded this morning by Israel Police that Iron Dome throws those rockets off course but does not always succeed in detonating their warhead. "Anyone who finds a fallen rocket is asked to call the police so that trained sappers can safely remove the warhead." It's a message worth passing along.
  • 09:30 am: Apologists for what the Gazans do like to call it one of the world's most densely populated places. The facts plainly contradict this claim but let's pretend for a moment that it's true and relevant. One of the more revealing stats just disclosed in an IDF media briefing in the past hour is that Israeli forces have so far targetted and successfully neutralized “735 concealed rocket launchers, 64 training bases and militant compounds, 58 weapons storage and manufacturing facilities, 32 Hamas leadership facilities, 29 communications infrastructures". Given the compact dimensions of the Hamas death-cult's Gazan domain, it boggles the mind to imagine  an urban landscape so densely populated with the instruments of murder.
  • 09:50 am: Additional data from the IDF briefing: "635 rockets have hit southern Israel since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, with 147 interceptions by the Iron Dome..."
  • 10:00 am: Over at, this bulletin went up during the small hours of Sunday morning: "3:50 a.m. Israel Navy commandos raided a facility from which Hamas fired many long-range rocket at Israeli cities, the IDF said. During the raid, the commandos were shot at by Hamas gunmen, and returned fire. "The facility was hit and damaged," the army said."
  • 10:07 am: Tzeva Adom sirens right now in a huge swathe of central and southern Israel including the cities of Ashkelon and Ashdod.
  • 10:45 am: Be'er Sheva sirens now.
  • 10:50 am: Tzeva Adom in Merhavim region.
  • 10:55 am: Ynet says Iron Dome downs one rocket over Ashkelon.
  • 11:12 am: Several Tzeva Adom focuses at this moment in Ashkekon area.
  • 11:50 am: Israel Radio is reporting that the call by the IDF to residents of the northern part of the Gaza Strip has had an effect... of sorts. Its estimate is that about 4,000 Gazans have evacuated, leaving their homes and taking refuge with UNRWA.
  • 02:20 pm: Tzeva Adom sirens are being heard right now in Ashkelon, the Hof Ashkelon region and the city of Ashdod. A boy of 16 was critically injured in one of the earlier attacks on Ashkelon today. Times of Israel says "he was playing outside when the sirens went off, and did not seek shelter. He was injured by shrapnel from the projectile."
  • 03:00 pm: Times of Israel says "a teenager armed with a knife" attempted to stab a security guard at the Jerusalem  Light Rail station outside the Mahaneh Yehuda market on Jaffa Road. It's referred to as a foiled terror attack: "The culprit attempted to stab the officer, who responded by aiming his gun and directing the youth to lie on the ground. The security guard, along with Border Police who arrived at the scene, disarmed and detained the youth." He is now being questioned. Here's a photo of the incident's immediate aftermath, as it appears on The Muqata's Facebook Page:

  • 03:15 pm: In the past twenty minutes or so, three more rockets fired by the terrorists from Gaza were shot down and destroyed in mid-flight by the Iron Dome missile defense system over the southern Israeli cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon [Ynet].
  • 04:30 pm: Times of Israel: A rocket has hit a residential area in Ashkelon, sparking a fire. Police and fire fighters are at the scene. Three missiles land in the Eshkol region. There are no immediate reports of damage or injuries.
  • 04:35 pm: Channel 2 broadcasting live reports on sirens in HaderaHaifa and Nahariya, and rocket crashes in the Western Galilee. Tel Aviv heard sirens a few minutes before, as did a large number of communities in the center and north of Israel.
  • 05:15 pm: Times of Israel: "The missiles that hit Hadera and the northern city of Nahariya, over 170 kilometers from the Gaza Strip, were launched from the Gaza Strip, Channel 2 reports. Hamas TV claims it fired an R160 rocket at Nahariya, which has a range of 160 kilometers. Analysts have claimed over the past week that Hamas and Islamic Jihad empty long-distance rockets of their warheads in order to increase their range."
  • 06:30 pm: We wrote in the early hours of this morning [here] about how the IDF has been warning people who live in the northern Gaza Strip communities to leave the area as fast as possible. Gaza's Hamas-controlled Interior Ministry responded with its own counter-announcement telling Gazans not to heed the Israeli army warnings and to stay put. In other words, telling them to become human shields. If you were wondering how this all worked out, here's how. According to a Times of Israel note this evening, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (the notorious UNRWA, about whom we have written frequently) now says some 10,000 Gazans from the Beit Lahiya area have abandoned their homes and have moved out. Those Hamas directives are being ignored on a very large basis.
Back soon.

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