Saturday, July 12, 2014

12-Jul-14: Saturday night live

Israel Television Channel 2 broadcasting
live as rockets appear in the skies above Tel Aviv
Here in Jerusalem, the Sabbath passed quietly until the Tzeva Adom sirens sounded throughout the city late this afternoon.
  • Towards the end of the Sabbath, around 7:20 pm, Hamas announced that it had fired three M-75 rockets at Jerusalem. Times of Israel reported shortly afterwards that a rocket "landed at the entrance to a Palestinian home in the Hebron area. The home is in the Umm-Dalia neighborhood, inside Palestinian-controlled territory, close to a liaison office staffed by Israeli and Palestinian security officers. The owner of the affected home, Iyad a-Raabi, says it was damaged by the strike. He says the rocket landed just two or three meters from his front door." Ynet points out that Hebron, which took one of the hits, is "a city controlled mostly by Hamas". It adds that two additional rockets hit Bethlehem and Gush Etzion and quotes a Faebook post by the IDF's Arab-language spokesman, Avihay Adarei mocking an earlier Hamas claim that "the "resistance" knows where to fire, so Arabs are not hurt." "A few minutes ago, a pointless rocket fired by the resistance, as it calls itself, fell inside the city of Hebron. What do you think about the Hamas spokesman's comments from yesterday, that the resistance knows the geography and therefore knows how to avoid having rockets hit Arabs?"
  • 08:55 pm: A rocket was intercepted and destroyed by Iron Dome in the skies over Ashdod, after sirens sounded in the city earlier. [Times of Israel]
  • 09:10 pm: Extraordinary images on Israel's Channel 2 Television of live coverage from the Greater Tel Aviv (Gush Dan) area, with multiple rockets in the air heading towards the country's major population centers.
  • 09:15 pm: And Tzeva Adom warnings (which we are seeing on TV) in Bet Shemesh and Ashdod areas.
  • 09:30 pm: Channel 2 and Ynet report a Gazan terrorist rocket crashes, for the first time, in the Modi'in area, a dormitory suburb located half-way between Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. No serious damage, no injuries.
  • 11:00 pm: Initial reports of rockets being fired into Israel from Lebanon. 
  • 11:05 pmTimes of Israel says 3 rockets have been fired from Lebanon and crashed into open territory. Tzeva Adom sirens blared in Israel's far-north city of Nahariya and surrounding region in the north. No injuries or damage reported. "Hezbollah is not believed to be behind the rocket fire. Other jihadi or Palestinian groups suspected, as in the incident Friday morning when two rockets fell near the northern town of Metulla." On the other hand, a Hamas official in Lebanon is quoted saying Hamas and the Lebanese terrorists from Hezbollah are coordinating and “exchanging expertise” on Israel with "constant field cooperation and coordination” according to Osama Hamdan in the Lebanese Daily Star:  “The relationship with Hezbollah and Iran today is better than everyone thinks, and ties with Hezbollah [specifically] is by far better than what [enemy] optimists want to believe,” Hamadan,says. “These ties are based on confronting the Zionist and working on liberating Palestine. Everyone is keen on preserving such a relationship regardless of how much the circumstances change and opinions differ.”
  • 11:10 pm: AP quotes the IDF's Spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Motti Almoz, saying Israel plans to hit Gaza with heavy force in the next 24 hours and that Palestinians living in the northern Gaza Strip ought to evacuate the area "for their own safety." That's the base from which the terrorists of Gaza have been repeatedly and provocatively firing rockets at Tel Aviv. "In a statement Saturday, the military said it would send messages to residents overnight to leave the area." French newsagency AFP carries a similar report. 
  • 11:15 pm: Israel has fired back at the source of those Lebanese rockets [source].
  • 11:30 pm: We're dumbstruck by how people have been telling us (via Twitter and emails) they are backing the Gazan side because there have been so many casualties down there compared with so few Israeli losses. It's quite a compelling argument, no? The logical extension is when there are more dead Jewish children, our side gets to have more supporters. Do the on-line social media make people stupid faster than television and newspapers used to?
  • 11:45 pm: Unconfirmed report that all electrical power is out in the Gaza Strip. We're checking. 
  • 12:20 am: We're monitoring the Hamas TV station, Al Aqsa. For what it's worth, the outdoor scenes they have shown in the past half hour seem to show darkness, absence of street lighting. But this is by no means confirmation of the idea that all electric power in Gaza is out. And the TV station is clearly supplied with power.
Al Aqsa TV from Gaza a few minutes ago
  • 12:30 am: We're just catching up now with a report published on Saturday while we were offline. An UNRWA warehouse in Gaza, presumably filled with the kinds of things that the ordinary people of Gaza need in order to get through their miserable, Hamas-manipulated lives, went up in flames today after it was struck by... a Hamas rocket. [Source] Yes, yet another Fell Short, one of those hideous, self-inflicted blows that follow from having out-of-control terrorist thugs controlling your streets and firing off rockets in indiscriminate fashion with a significant proportion of them falling onto the rooftops and heads of their own Gazan brethren. How long before the Gazans rise up and free themselves from the death-cultists? And by the way: why is the fact of the UNRWA fire having so little impact on the news? You saw it reported? Here's a scene [source] of Saturday's fire:
UNRWA warehouse goes up in flames on Saturday after
being hit by a Hamas "Fell Short" rocket
  • 12:45 am: Updated report on the aftermath of the barrage of rockets on Tel Aviv earlier tonight: Times of Israel says a man was hit in the leg by shrapnel from a rocket warhead. He's being treated know at Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot. And Palestinian Arab rioters, several dozen of them, all with their faces covered, are rioting at this moment, attacking Israeli police with rocks and firebombs in Isawiya and A-Tur, both of them largely-Arab neighbourhoods of Israel's capital city, Jerusalem. Police are responding with crowd-control weapons. No reports of injuries at this stage. Firefighters are battling a small forest fire on Mount Scopus, in Jerusalem's northern suburbs, evidently caused by a firebomb.
  • 1:00 am: After the IDF issued thousands of notes, leaflets, text messages and phone calls (in accordance with established procedure) to ordinary Gazans, telling those in northern Gaza Strip communities to leave the area as fast as possible [see our 11:10 pm note above], the Gazan Interior Ministry (back in action, it appears, now that no one is taking seriously the so-called "reconciliation" regime headed by Mahmoud Abbas and supposedly free of any overt Hamas presence) has responded with its own announcement [source]. Hamas spokes-thug Iyad al-Bazam is urging Gazans not to heed Israeli army warnings to evacuate areas that are about to be hit. In other words, knowing what Israel plans to do, Hamas is telling its people to stay put and serve as human shields for the jihadist leadership. For everyone interested in a brief summary of how international law works on this matter of hiding behind human shields, take a look at "Getting the law right on the Israel-Hamas conflict" by a professor of law who directs the International Humanitarian Law Clinic at Emory University's School of Law. Highly recommended.
  • 1:15 am: Just a follow-on thought after that previous comment: This announcement having been made by the Hamas-controlled ministry makes something of a joke out of the Obama administration  which went along with the charade of a 'reconciliation' regime devoid of any Hamas presence. Do we think anyone in Washington is going to make an "oops" statement now?
  • 1:20 am: Back to those rockets fired into northern Israel from Lebanon in the past couple of hours. Now reported that one crashed and exploded in a warehouse in a northern Israel village (no names at this stage); a second exploded in an open field, causing no significant damage or injuries; the third in Lebanon (yet another Fell Short). As to who did the firing, Hamas says its personnel are responsible, and thus not the Lebanese terrorists of Hezbollah.
  • 2:10 am: A state of emergency is in effect at Ben Gurion Airport as a Delta flight (probably this one) en route from Tel Aviv to New York is returning to TLV after reporting technical difficulties [source]. UPDATE 2:35 am - safely landed B"H. Details later.
  • 2:22 am: From Times of Israel: "Fighting is confirmed near the beach north of Gaza CityIt is still unclear if significant IDF forces are involved. The IDF has not conducted a sea landing with a large number of troops in decades... Gazans on social media are saying they can hear machine gun fire near Gaza City in the northern part of the Strip. It is not immediately clear if the reported gunfire means IDF troops are operating on the ground in the Strip."

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