Saturday, October 10, 2015

10-Oct-15: Bloody Saturday and Hamas says "we intend to join in"

Shabbat ended here in Jerusalem about four hours ago. The sirens of police and emergency vehicles throughout the night and day ensured that the drama unfolding in this city was never far from most people's thoughts, notwithstanding the specialness of the day and its message of peace.

A survey of the day's events:
  • Around the middle of this morning, two Jewish men, wearing the traditional black Sabbath garb that marks them as belonging to the Haredi sector, were attacked while walking home from Sabbath prayers at a local synagogue in the Nevi'im Street neighbourhood of Jerusalem adjoining the Old City. Medics who rushed to the scene found both men "on their feet... conscious and in stable condition", according to a Times of Israel report. One was moderately injured while other other sustained light wounds. Both, suffering from stab wounds to the upper part of the body, were rushed to Shaare Zedek Medical Center for emergency treatment. Police arriving at the site of the attack "saw the terrorist with a knife in his hand and called on him to halt. The terrorist ran towards them with his weapon and the two cocked their weapons, fired at him and neutralized him. The attacker was identified as Ishak Badran of Kafr Aqab in East Jerusalem." His life ended at the age of 16. In the Palestinian Arab media, they're saluting him today as "the child martyr". A photograph doing the rounds today on Twitter [here] purports to show him holding the knife before police did what they had to do:
[Image Source]
  • A second knifing attack in Jerusalem happened around 3:45 pm at Damascus Gate in the Old City. A police statement says two Border Police officers on patrol in the area noticed a Palestinian Arab male acting suspiciously. They asked him for identification and in the course of handing over his ID card, he pulled out a knife and stabbed one officer in the neck. Other nearby service personnel saw the attack and opened fire, killing the attacker, but also accidentally hitting two Israeli officers, one seriously. The dead terrorist is named as Muhammad Saed Ali, 19, from Shuafat in North Jerusalem. According to a Reuters report tonight, Hamas has issued a statement saying the attacker (Reuters calls him a shooter) "was one of its members. "The hero martyr fought the Israeli occupation with language they understand," Hamas said." That's interesting; perhaps the editors at The Guardian, always careful not to take sides in such matters unless it's to castigate Israel, ought to mention it some place, because right now they are telling their news consumers that Mr Ali "was shot dead after Israeli police alleged that he stabbed two police officers." Do you think the Islamist thugs of Hamas might be offended by the Guardian's squeamishness? We certainly hope so.
  • Iron Dome anti-rocket defense system batteries were emplaced in Ofakim and Be'er Sheva (both of them are cities in Israel's south) today after two separate rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip during Friday night. The first of the attacks consisted of two Israel-bound rockets fired late Friday night - both failed to get as far as Israeli territory and crashed into people or property inside the Gaza Strip, with zero news reporting about the outcome, which is what normally happens with Fell Shorts. A second attack, at about 1:00 am Saturday morning, resulted in a crash landing in an open area in the Eshkol region, close to the border fence with Gaza. Fortunately no injuries or damage, but that, as we keep saying here, was never the intention of the terrorists who have death and destruction on their minds and in their prayers.
  • Related to that last note: William Booth, writing for the Washington Post on Friday ["Gazans join in widespread violence sweeping Israel", Washington Post, October 9, 2015] said: "Palestinians in Gaza joined in angry protests sweeping across Israel and the West Bank, rushing Israel’s perimeter fence and throwing stones at soldiers, who shot and killed six Gaza residents and wounded 60, many of whom were in serious condition, according to the Health Ministry. The clash at the Gaza fence marks the highest death toll in the coastal enclave since last year’s war between Hamas and Israel. After Friday prayers in Gaza, the leader of the Islamist militant movement Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, declared that a third Palestinian uprising, or intifada, had begun “and we intend to join in.”
  • Over at the Wall Street Journal, Haniyeh is quoted differently but no less savagely: "A leader of Hamas, the Islamist movement that rules in the Gaza Strip, spoke in support of the attacks on Israelis. Ismail Haniyeh, a senior Hamas politician, in a sermon on Friday called for “the strengthening and increasing of the intifada,” saying Gaza was “ready for confrontation."
  • Incoming rocket warnings are sounding as we write this. The area under attack appears to be Ashkelon, a coastal city in southern Israel within a few seconds' rocket-firing distance from the terror-infested Gaza Strip. Initial indication [at 11:20 pm] - a successful mid-air intercept, which means the trajectory of the terrorists' rocket was calculated to be threatening to lives or property in the target area. There are also reports that Hamas has in the past few minutes been threatening (via its media channels) to launch additional rockets with longer-range targets as their goal.
  • Earlier this evening, we learned the government of Israel has issued emergency call-up notices (in Hebrew: Tzav 8) to three Border Police reserves units. They are expected to be deployed in and around Jerusalem.
  • There have been violent riots and clashes in Ramleh, Shuafat (North Jerusalem), Taibe.
  • We are scanning reports throughout the evening of Arab rock-hurling attacks on Israeli buses and cars, as well as firebombings in a number of dispersed locations throughout Israel. 
More coming.

No comments: