Sunday, March 13, 2016

13-Mar-16: Friday night rockets and a drive-by shooting

Friday night on Route 443 after a shooting attack [Image Source]
The respite which the Sabbath provides from the rush of news is behind us. While we were engaged in very pleasant family-focused matters, the Arab-on-Israeli violence continued apace.

On Friday night, two attacks occurred at about 10:30 pm, though no one seems to be connecting them. One was directed at the IDF, the other at anyone or anything they could hit. In the jihadist strategy, the two amount to the same thing.

In the Negev region of southern Israel, Tzeva Adom (Color Red) sirens pierced the air in and around Sha’ar Hanegev (population: about 6,000) and Sderot (population: 24,000) warning residents to take immediate cover. Several rockets crashed into open fields a few moments later. It's now known (says Ynet) that the IDF detected four in-bound rockets. There are no reports of injuries or damage, but it's self-evident that, for those doing the firing in the Gaza Strip, this was not the intended outcome.

A little earlier on Friday evening, according to Times of Israel, Hamas hacked into the private satellite feed of Israel’s Channel 2 television channel, interrupting broadcasts with a video promising its “terror will never end.” (According to Israel National News, this is the second time in recent years that Hamas has broken in to Channel Two broadcasts by broadcasting a very strong signal over the same frequency.) The rockets were fired soon after.

Israeli forces shot back at four Hamas targets in northern Gaza. This, according to "senior official Ismael Radwan" of Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip with an iron fist, amounted to “an escalation”. Quoted by Times of Israel, the Hamas man placed “full responsibility” on Israel.

The EU-funded Ma'an News Agency, reporting Israel's response in the Arabic version of its news report (but not in its English edition) terms this "Israeli aggression". The terrorists of Hamas - in every language - warned the following day, also according to Times of Israel, that their patience is "wearing thin".

No other Gaza Strip organization - home to numerous terror-focused factions and splinter groups - has claimed to be behind Friday night's rockets.

At about the same time as the Friday night, rockets, IDF soldiers manning a security checkpoint on busy Route 443, Jerusalem's major northern intercity artery, near Beit Horon came under drive-by gunfire attack . Two soldiers are injured. Both were taken to Shaarei Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem for hospital care. One has a bullet wound to the leg, the other has bruising injuries. Both are reported to be in satisfactory condition. Jerusalem Post says: "The gunman escaped back into Palestinian Authority territory, security forces said, and IDF units launched a search for him."

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