Thursday, July 16, 2015

16-Jul-15: Lessons from yet another early-morning rocket attack on southern Israel

The huge role played in Palestinian Arab culture by exploding rockets
seems to be poorly understood by foreign news editors. In everyone's interests,
they ought to be paying more respect and giving much more attention to
the message of rallies like this one, in Nuseirat, Central Gaza Strip,
on December 12, 2014 [Image Source]
We were sound asleep at 2 this morning, Thursday. But in the communities of Israel's southern coast, it's likely that hundreds of thousands were rudely woken by the sounds of the Color Red incoming-rocket warning system, commencing at 2:02 am and blaring out a message of "seek shelter right now".

Ynet (basing itself in part on Reuters) reports today on
a rocket that was fired from the Palestinian enclave just after 2am local time... [N]one of the organizations known to hold rocket stockpiles in Gaza initially claimed responsibility for the early morning rocket attack on Israel. The rocket set off code red sirens in Zikim, parts of Ashkelon city and the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council... No damage or injuries were reported as a result of the Gazan missile that landed in an open area in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council. Security forces are still searching the area to find the projectile. "The IDF considers this incident a severe one," said the IDF spokesperson in announcing the retaliatory attack on Gaza. "We won't put up with any attempt to harm Israeli civilians. Hamas is the address of responsibility."
From the way the United Nations committee looking into last summer's vicious rocket attacks on all parts of Israel ("Commission of Inquiry on the Gaza Conflict", better known here as the Schabas Report after the chairman who resigned late into its work after revelations about his past involvement with the PLO) dealt with 2014's barrages of rockets on Israeli civilian targets, we're not expecting much interest by news reporting agencies outside Israel. Nor should you.

(Israel absorbed more than four thousand - no mistake, 4,000+, Palestinian-Arab-Gazan rockets during calendar 2014. Here's the record-keeping to demonstrate it.)

Reuters reported Thursday's early-morning attack, but in a way that guarantees close-to-zero reporting among its subscriber news channels.

Here are the key sections from the Reuters bulletin, issued around 8:30 this morning Israel time, with a headline that makes clear it's a story about what Israel did: "Israeli air strike hits Gaza Strip after militant rocket launch":
Israeli aircraft struck militant targets in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip early on Thursday after a rocket from the coastal territory landed in southern Israel, the Israeli military said. A passerby was lightly hurt in the Gaza Strip, according to residents. No damage or injuries were reported in Israel after warning sirens sounded and the rocket struck open ground near the city of Ashkelon before dawn, the army said. Rocket launchings have become an almost weekly occurrence from the coastal strip recently but no militant group took immediate responsibility for the attack... A group that sympathises with al Qaeda, who have defied Hamas, has been blamed for other recent strikes, none of which caused injuries or damage. The Israel-Gaza border area had largely been quiet since last year's July-August war, when Palestinian militants launched thousands of rockets and mortar bombs into Israel and Israeli shelling and air strikes battered the enclave. More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed, most of them civilians, while 67 soldiers and six civilians were killed on the Israeli side.
As always, we are struck by how the low casualties on the Israeli side feature as a key component of the newsagency messaging. Perhaps one day they will offer some insight into how and why it is that our side takes the measures that any sane society would to protect the lives and homes of its civilians, while on the Gazan Arab side, they don't even provide their miserable subjects with shelters.

Then there's the pathetically laconic
No damage or injuries were reported in Israel after warning sirens sounded... [Reuters]
but that was not, and never has been, the outcome that the terrorist forces, equipped with their rich arsenals of rockets, intend.

They fire at us hoping to kill and destroy. An outcome that involves merely terrifying families in their bedrooms (as happened in the small hours of this morning) is an achievement in their terms. But it is not the goal. And they will certainly keep trying again and again and again and again to achieve the goal - one which involves deaths and destruction.

No sane government would ever allow a terrorist enemy free rein to do that.

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