Friday, January 17, 2014

17-Jan-14: Gaza rockets shut down schools in southern Israel

Ashdod [Image Source: Municipal website]
Around 9:00 pm, last night (Thursday), communities throughout the Ashkelon area heard the Tzeva Adom incoming rockets warning. We continue to scour the news and our sources to see whether a landing was identified, but for now there is little factual reporting beyond the fact of the sirens and a Jerusalem Post report that this was another "fell short" attack. (When they fall short on top of the heads and homes of Palestinian Arabs, the evidence shows there's very little journalistic desire or ability outside Israel to report that.)

The authorities in Ashdod, a coastal city a few kilometers closer than Ashkelon is to the Tel Aviv area, took steps last night, starting this morning, to protect their population of school children and, we assume, to also heighten awareness of the terrorist threat.

From Times of Israel:
After rockets, Ashdod cancels classes in unprotected schools 
Times of Israel | January 16, 2014, 11:25 pm   Students in the southern city of Ashdod whose schools are unprotected from rockets will stay home Friday, in light of fears of continued rocket fire out of Gaza. Officials in Ashdod made the decision late Thursday, hours after a rocket was fired for the second straight night, setting off sirens in the nearby Ashkelon region. Security officials estimated that the rocket landed inside the Gaza Strip. The school closure will affect some 3,500 kids in Ashdod, out of 54,000. Most of the unprotected schools in Ashdod sit in the ultra-Orthodox part of the city, according to Israel Radio. In the seaside city of Ashkelon, schools will be held as normal, even in unprotected schools. Late Wednesday night, a volley or eight rockets were shot toward Ashkelon. Five of them were downed by Iron Dome anti-missile batteries, and the other three fell in open areas outside of the city. There were no injuries or damage... In response to the late-night barrage, the Israeli Air Force conducted airstrikes on four sites in northern Gaza, including a hidden rocket launcher, a weapons storage site and a weapons manufacturing facility. The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit reported direct hits on all targets. Palestinian medical sources said a woman and four children were injured as a result of the strikes.
This is also Ashdod [see our report from two years ago]
As of this hour, no news sources other than the Israeli media, have reported on today's closure of schools in Ashdod, a city of a quarter-million people and battered by the missiles fired at random into its streets and buildings from the terror-infested Gaza Strip.

Ashdod, a gorgeous urban community which was nothing but sand dunes as recently as 1956, is about a thirty minute drive from the center of Tel Aviv. It's also only a few seconds flying-time from the lethal, exploding rockets of Gaza. It regularly pays the price for its location.

Interesting that the quoted casualty report from Gaza, where rockets are routinely fired from the urban areas in which the terrorists embed themselves, speaks of injuries that once again are suffered exclusively by women and children. If news items like this are to be believed (they should not), those clever and lucky men of Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the other rocket-armed gangs are remarkably impervious to the dangers of pinpoint Israeli counter-fire.

News sources - Reuters has just done it, and so too Ma'an and the Palestinian Arab news source WAFA - astonishingly accept without hesitation those self-serving accounts from "Palestinian medical sources" as if they were factual, and report them accordingly. As for the rocket men of Gaza, they generally get into the news only via their well-publicized 'martyr' funerals. We call that journalism in the service of an agenda.

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