Thursday, February 06, 2014

6-Feb-14: Gazan rocket attacks on Ashkelon - again

An initial report around 8:20 pm this evening (Thursday) said the dreaded incoming rocket alert siren (the one known as Tzeva Adom, or Color Red) was heard throughout the Hof Ashkelon region. Shortly afterwards, we saw social media posts about explosions being heard in Ashkelon city.

Times of Israel is now saying the terrorists of the Gaza Strip fired a GRAD rocket into southern Israel and that it was intercepted in mid-air by the technologically superb Kipat Barzel/Iron Dome defense system. It's possible a second rocket was fired into the area at the same time, according to Israel's Channel Two News. No sign at this stage of where it crashed to earth or whether it may have been intercepted too.

Earlier today (Thursday), we tweeted that another rocket fired from Gaza had triggered the same incoming-rocket sirens in the same Hof Ashkelon region. That rocket, says Times of Israel, fell harmlessly in an open area where it exploded without injuries or damage.
Three weeks ago, the Iron Dome anti-missile battery team in Ashkelon succeeded in bringing down no fewer than five in-bound Gazan rockets, each of which was intended to destroy or kill anything Israeli and which, fortunately, were prevented from doing that.

On the basis of past experience, what's likely to happen in the wake of tonight's Palestinian Arab attack is fairly clear: the IDF will attack pre-selected focal points of terrorist activity in the Gaza Strip - perhaps a weapons factory, perhaps a training facility - taking maximum care to avoid collateral harm. Then the usual parts of the Israel-phobic news reporting media will, without so much as a single reported syllable about today's rockets over Ashkelon, devote lavish attention to the victimhood of the Gazan Arabs, always the targets of the over-armed Israelis and without a friend in the world. And so on.

Thus the cycle of  violence - we mean the cycle of reportorial violence, better known as lethal journalism - continues in its customary way. This is deeply worrying. At some point, even the IDF demonstrates (as it has in the past) a willingness to avoid perfectly justifiable defensive actions against the terrorists forces in Gaza and on Israel's northern borders just so as to deflect media criticism.

When that happens - and it will - and innocent people are hurt - as they will - the true potential of the practitioners of lethal journalism to cause real, physical harm, becomes manifest. Serious minded people need to get thinking about how to prevent that process. In other words, how to recognize and offset the damage that ideologically-driven reporters, editors, photographers and even caption writers can and do cause via the illegitimate practice of their craft.

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