Wednesday, July 09, 2014

9-Jul-14: Wednesday in the target zone

File photo: IDF servicemen firing an
Iron Dome intercept rocket [Image Source: UPI]
We're away from anything resembling a desk and working on a small tablet. So apologies in advance for the limitations this imposes on our posts. We plan to keep updating this one at intervals during the day when circumstances allow.
  • 07:30 am: A status update from the IDF says the number of Gazan rockets fired at Israel since January 1, 2014 is 450. Everyone knows the impact of a number like that is close to zero; it's beyond normal human empathy to think in such terms because, while a single rocket attack that you personally endure causes you to quake with fear, 450 of them happening to other people is really just a number.
  • 08:05 am: Incoming rocket warning is now being heard in Sderot. How people who live there cope is beyond us.
  • 08:18 am: Tzeva Adom now in Sha'ar HaNegev region, yet again.
  • 08:35 am: IDF spokesperson says more rockets heading into Tel Aviv now. It's morning rush hour. See Tweet. Other parts of Israel's metropolitan area also hearing sirens. [Around 9:00 am, the IDF says two in-bound Gazan rockets were intercepted in mid-flight thanks to Iron Dome. Fair to assume they were en route to inflict serious damage.]
  • 09:00 Tzeva Adom being heard now in Merhavim region of the northern Negev. And 3 minutes later also in Eshkol region.
  • 09:20 am: There's a very timely reminder to us Israelis - those of us able to read news reports in between running to shelters and checking in to see that family members are alright in these angst-inducing times - of how we ought to be improving ourselves. The invaluable insight comes from an authority by the name of Philip Gordon, President Obama's special assistant and White House coordinator for the Middle East. Israelis, he declared yesterday at a conference in Tel Aviv as dozens of rockets were fired at our homes, "should not take for granted the opportunity to negotiate... a peace with Abbas, who has shown time and again that he’s committed to non-violence and co-existence and cooperation with Israel.” He made clear that we're actually guilty of worse than "taking for granted". In his words: “How will Israel remain democratic and Jewish if it attempts to govern the millions of Palestinian Arabs who live in the West Bank? How will it have peace if it’s unwilling to delineate a border, end the occupation and allow for Palestinian sovereignty, security and dignity? How will we prevent other states from supporting Palestinian efforts in international bodies, if Israel is not seen as committed to peace?[Source]   How indeed? Thankfully the Obama administration with its endless run of Middle East and Eastern Europe successes is here to guide us.
  • 10:05 am: Several rounds of Tzeva Adom sirens in Ashdod and Ashkelon vicinities. Scant details at this stage of what has happened on the ground but there does appear to be damage.
  • 10:30 am: Some interesting issues raised in an article on the Al-Monitor site, written in Gaza, on how the Palestinian case is doing in the media (title: "Palestinian press losing media war in current crisis") while the utterly-indiscriminate rocket fire keeps raining down on our homes and cafes, here. Did we say interesting issues? Actually it provides some insights into the delusional spinning that is a necessary part of running a mini-state on the principles of jihad and child abuse.
  • 11:00 am: From AFP: "Jordan calls for immediate halt to air strikes | Jordan, one of just two Arab countries to have signed a peace treaty with Israel, has demanded an immediate halt to deadly Israeli air raids against Gaza. Government spokesman Mohammad Momani said that the raids that killed more than 20 Palestinians in purported response to rocket fire that has killed no one in Israel were "barbaric". Jordan "condemns the military aggression that Israel has launched in the Gaza Strip" and calls for "its immediate halt", Mr Momani said. He said the "barbaric aggression" had "negative repercussions on the Gaza Strip and the whole region".
  • 11:30 am: Thanks to Adam Levick for pointing us to this sharp takedown of certain voices of "peace" in these peace-free days through which we are passing. It's from David Suissa, posted early this morning in the Los Angeles Jewish Journal. The whole piece ["The honesty of war"] is thought-provoking and unforgiving, which is a highly appropriate standpoint in view of all that is happening. Here's an extract: "There’s something about war that can make intelligent people look foolish. I’m thinking right now of all those smart people in Tel Aviv who analyzed the subtleties of peace at the Haaretz Peace Conference—only a few hours before Jew-hating terrorists from Hamas began firing rockets all over Israel. I wonder if they even considered having a session at the conference called, “What happens when people want to kill you no matter what you do?” That session might have included, for example, a panel of experts discussing the Hamas Charter, which calls for “the eventual creation of an Islamic state in Palestine, in place of Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and the obliteration or dissolution of Israel.” But there was no such panel at the conference. Instead, they had exclusive contributions from important people like President Barack Obama, who expressed the well-worn mantra of the sophisticated man: “Peace is the only true path to security” ...The Middle East is one of those places where you can’t always rely on the thinking of sophisticated, intelligent people – it’s a place where the brutality of life creates its own dynamic, its own logic, its own rules."
  • 11:50 am: Two additional rounds of rocket sirens within a couple of minutes of each other in the Eshkol region, very close to the Gaza fence.
  • 12 noon: The Tzeva Adom system reports another hail of rockets in the Lachish region. Times of Israel says Ashdod and Be'er Tuvia as well.
  • 12:10 pm: Tzeva Adom in Hof Ashkelon
  • 12:25 pm: Tzeva Adom in Eshkol region.
  • 12:45 pm: Times of Israel says incoming rocket sirens being heard yet again in Hof Ashkelon region.
  • 12:55 pm: Again, Tzeva Adom in Eshkol region.
  • 1:00 pm: From Iran via the AFP newsagency, some constructive ideas about how to address terror-fixated jihadists: "Iran urges end to 'human catastrophe' in Gaza | AFP Published 07.09.14, 12:15 | TEHRAN - Iran's foreign ministry on Wednesday condemned Israeli air raids in the Gaza Strip, calling on the West to urge the Jewish state to prevent a "human catastrophe." "We are, unfortunately, witnessing the escalation of savage aggression by the Zionists in recent days against the innocent and defenseless people of Palestine," said ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham. Iran calls on "Western countries and supporters of the Zionist regime (to) take firm a stance and prevent a human catastrophe and stop the attacks," she added, while questioning an "unrealistic excuse of the kidnapping of three Zionist settlers..."
  • 1:20 pm: Tzeva Adom is heard in Sderot.
  • 1:25 pm: The vaunted "moderates" of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization want the Arabic-speaking world to know they too, and not only their jihad-minded rivals in Hamas and the like, are fully engaged in serving up rockets to the Israelis. This is reported by Khaled Abu Toameh in another revealing piece of his on the Gatestone Institute site today:
    "Fatah has several hundred militiamen in the Gaza Strip, some of whom are members of the Palestinian Authority security forces, who continue to receive their salaries from Western governments. At least two Fatah armed groups announced that they had started firing rockets at the "settlements" of Ashkelon and Sderot, cities inside the pre-1967 borders of Israel, with another Fatah group claiming responsibility for firing 35 rockets into Israel since Sunday. So far as Abbas is concerned, "it all started when Israel fired back" in response to hundred of rockets fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip during the last few days. [But] he seems concerned that if the world hears about the role of Fatah in the rocket attacks, the news will affect Western financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, which is dominated by Fatah."
  • 1:35 pm: From Times of Israel, this mid-day summary. Forty rockets have been fired from Gaza so far today up until 1:00 pm. (Yesterday's full-day total was 160.) The defensive Iron Dome system succeeded in intercepting eight of today's rockets in mid-flight. We assume that's a statistic that implies many saved lives. In the right hands, super-advanced technology has the power of the divine.
  • 1:50 pm: Tzeva Adom again, heard in Kiryat Gat and Hof Ashkelon regions.
Closing this post now and about to open a new one.

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