Monday, July 07, 2014

7-Jul-14: And now a night in the life...

We will be updating this post as Monday evening wears on.
  • Around 8:30 pm, Tzeva Adom siren warnings are heard in a huge swathe of the country including (in no particular order) Ashdod, Nes Ziona, Rehovot, Kiryat Malachi, Beer Tuvia, Kibbutz Brenner, Gederot, Beit Shemesh, Kibbutz Gezer, Gan Raveh, the Yavneh region, Har Hevron area, Hof Ashkelon, Lachish, Nahal Sorek and Emek Hefer. That list includes places that can legitimately be thought of as the Tel Aviv metropolitan area.
  • In the Ashdod attacks, we know of one person lightly injured by shrapnel. 
  • Haaretz's rocket/mortar count for the day has reached 70. Not much expectation that it is going to taper off without something decisive from the Israeli side.
  • A Haaretz report around 9:00 pm makes the astounding statement that the Iron Dome system has just made seven mid-flight rocket intercepts over Ashdod and five over Netivot. This is serious fire. 
  • 9:00 pm: An estimated 60 rockets were fired into Israel during the past hour alone. Hamas takes credit (source: Times of Israel). 
  • Seven people are treated for shock in the wake of this latest rocket barrage, according to Israel's Channel 2 TV news which also reports Israeli air activity in southern Israel's skies.
  • The US State Department says "the US condemns rocket fire from Gaza and supports Israel's right to defend itself". Astonishingly, this does not slow down the incoming rockets.
  • 9:20 pm: Incoming-rocket warnings again, this time Hof Ashkelon and Eshkol regions.
  • From the BBC, background on Israel's version of what ended the careers of several Hamas terrorists today: "Israeli military spokesman Lt Col Peter Lerner said the tunnel where the men died had been bombarded on Thursday. He said the militants were killed as they went into the tunnel on Sunday to assess the damage and meddled with some explosives, which were apparently detonated accidentally. The Israeli military believes the militants planned to use the tunnels to infiltrate Israel, kill or abduct residents of nearby communities and troops."
  • A Tweet just now from NGO Monitor's Prof. Gerald Steinberg (@GeraldNGOM) reminds @HRW @amnesty @btselem @EUinIsrael @kenroth that 65 rockets from Gaza, directed at Israeli civilians, amount to 65 war crimes. The silence from the highly-politicized, self-appointed guardians of human rights is considerably more eloquent than their carefully framed occasional crocodile-tear expressions of regret and sympathy when Israeli victims unavoidably need to be addressed. And in case they want to hide behind professed doubt as to who is doing the rocket firings, Haaretz's Jack Khoury reports that Hamas is proud to take full credit tonight.
  • And newsagency reports say the same.
  • Train travel throughout Israel's south is severely impacted by today's fighting. Many train services are cancelled (Ynet).
  • A guest at an outdoor wedding in Netivot tonight (outdoor weddings suit our climate well) captured a video clip of a Hamas rocket being destroyed in mid-flight. Check it out even if Hebrew's not your first language.
  • 9:45 pm Another incoming rocket report from Sderot and Sha'ar Hanegev regions, followed a few minutes later by reports from the same two places plus Hof Ashkelon. No reports yet of results on the ground.
  • 10:00 pm: In Ashdod, all school classes for tomorrow are canceled. And at Be'er Sheva's Ben Gurion University of the Negev, they have just announced that exams set for tomorrow are postponed until further notice. Same goes for Sapir Academic College in Sderot.
  • 10:20 pm Physical damage in the wake of an incoming Gazan rocket that crashed into the Yoav region.
  • Around 10:30 pm, says Times of Israel, the Iron Dome system brings down another in-flight Gazan rocket. This one was pointed at Sderot. Three others land crashed and exploded in open areas in Sha'ar HaNegev region and near Sderot.
  • A Grad rocket crashed and exploded somewhere close to Kiryat Malachi. There's damage.
  • The national ambulance service, Magen David Adom, is now officially on high alert in central and southern Israel. Further Gazan attacks are expected overnight and they need to be ready.
  • At Soroka Medical Center, the Be'er Sheva hospital that serves a huge area in Israel's south including (naturally) a very high percentage of Arabs, and is reputed to have more births each year than any other Israeli hospital, they announced in the last hour [Hebrew report] that all preemie babies and newborns have been moved urgently to rocket-protected parts of the hospital buildings. There's no statistical breakdown of the respective number of Moslem, Christian and Jewish mothers/babies because, being Israel, that has no relevance to anything worth talking about.
  • Rock-throwing Arabs from Beit Safafa, a generally quiet West Jerusalem neighbourhood, have been causing serious problems ronight for drivers and for the police [Hebrew report]. 
  • Acknowledging the way the social media and the Internet can mould people's perceptions, and sometimes manipulate them, a BBC article tonight points out that many of the most-widely circulating images purporting to show Gaza in flames are fakes. "A #BBCtrending investigation has found that many of these images are not from the latest conflict and not even from Gaza. Some date as far back as 2009 and others are from conflicts in Syria and Iraq."
  • 11:00 pm Another round of incoming-missile siren warnings from the IDF's Tzeva Adom system. Awaiting details from the areas impacted, principally Sderot and Sha'ar Hanegev
  • 11:25 pm Yet another rocket attack on Sderot (perhaps on other places too). This one must have been on-course to do real harm because the Iron Dome system was deployed again, and intercepted one of those rockets in mid-flight. The bad news is that the thugs with the rockets have far, far more rockets than Israel has anti-rockets. At Times of Israel they quote Yaakov Amidror, former national security adviser: Hamas has “about 10,000 rockets” in its arsenal (he tells Channel 2) and “we may be in for many more nights” of rocket attacks. And the "good" news? Hamas “does not have any kind of game-changing Doomsday weapon” so we can breathe... easier?
  • 11:50 pm Tzeva Adom sirens sounding in Hof Ashkelon region.
  • 12:30 am More Jerusalem area clashes tonight involving Arab neighbourhoods - this time Beit Hanina on Jerusalem's north side where some of the locals are hurling firebombs at police.
  • 12:30 am Tzeva Adom siren warnings again, and they're unlikely to be the last of the night, being heard now in Hof Ashkelon region again.
  • 12:35 am Initial and unconfirmed report [Hebrew] of a shooting attack in a Jewish neighbourhood of East Jerusalem.

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