Tuesday, July 15, 2014

15-Jul-14: Tuesday with both rockets and ceasefire in the air

Eilat early this morning: Incoming rockets from Gaza destroyed
several cars and narrowly missed doing much more serious harm
[Image Source: Cell phone snapshot
This morning's news and general conversation here focuses to an understandably large extent on talk of a ceasefire. Meawhile there's considerably more fire than cease.
  • 08:30 am: Times of Israel points out that in continuing to hit each other while ceasefire talks are happening, "they might be continuing a pattern seen in recent conflicts — an increase in attacks right before a deal to end hostilities is set to take place."
  • 08:40 am: Tzeva Adom being heard right now in the Ashkelon area.
  • 08:45 am: Eilat came under rocket attack during the night. Haaretz says these were apparently launched from the Sinai Peninsula. Three rockets were fired after the sirens sounded around 01:30 am; two crashed within the city and the third in an open field.
  • 08:55 am: The Eshkol region just now heard the Tzeva Adom siren, with the ceasefire starting in 5 minutes.
  • 09:10 am: A journalist with the BBC tweeted this just now: "Hamas sources tell BBC "there is no real (ceasefire) effort yet," Hamas's armed wing says attacks will increase in "ferocity and intensity"." And Anshel Pfeffer who writes for Haaretz tweeted this "Someone usually lobs a rocket from #Gaza after the ceasefire just to say they had the last word..."
  • 09:15am: Widely reported now (NY Times, for example) that Israel's government has accepted the Egypt-brokered ceasefire proposal but that Hamas is still holding out for its conditions. The tone of Israeli reports is that the proposal on the table gives little comfort to the terrorists. Past experience unfortunately suggests the terrorists are actually pretty good at extracting concessions when others give them little chance. We're hoping things work out much better this time, but not optimistic.
  • 09:20 am: We're seeing a Tweet now from an Israeli source, @galberger, saying that the Hamas TV channel has made no mention of a 9:00 am ceasefire with the Israelis and is continuing with its war-friendly programming as before. The Islamic Jihad TV station did carry a Reuters report about Israel having agreed: ‏הטלוויזיות של חמאס (אלאקצה אלקודס) משדרות עסקי מלחמה כרגיל. אין אזכור להחלטת הקבינט. הטלוויזיה של הג'יהאד דווקא ציטטה את רויטרס במבזק
  • 09:25 am: @barakravid who writes for Haaretz is quoting an Israeli official saying that, in the wake of Israel accepting the 09:00 am ceasefire, Israel is going to see itself as having international legitimization to strike back hard at Hamas if the terrorists ignore the ceasefire. News reports say Hamas has not accepted. On the other hand, our impression is there have been no further Tzeva Adom warnings since 09:00 am.
  • 09:50 am: We can't recommend highly enough an article published now on jpost.com, the Jerusalem Post's site: "The Gaza numbers game | UN officials’ emotive statements are entirely disconnected from the legal and moral implications of Israel’s actions". Anne Herzberg attacks the abuse of public positions and of tendentious data and analysis to criticize the victims of Hamas terror via claims that "are entirely disconnected from the legal and moral implications of Israel’s actions.... Many highly politicized non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have issued overwrought statements on Gaza casualties, making unverifiable claims that the vast majority are civilians and blaming Israel again. These comments stand in stark contrast to the sterile, pro-forma and brief mentions of Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli civilians, to the extent they are mentioned at all."
  • 10:05 am: An hour after the purported start of today's ceasefire, Tzeva Adom sirens are being heard now in Israeli communities around the Gaza Strip. AP quotes Sami Abu Zuhri of Hamas declaring “this proposal is not acceptable.” Fox News tweets it this way: "Hamas rejects proposed Gaza cease-fire minutes after Israel Security Cabinet approves it http://t.co/o4l8YhdGE9". We can expect further developments. (Excuse us while we take care of some urgent business.)
  • 12:20 pm: There has been an intensification of rocket fire from the jihadist forces in Gaza. Times of Israel, writing two and a half hours after the govetnment of Israel agreed to the terms of the Egypt-brokered ceasefire, said "Ten rockets are fired toward Ashdod and nearby towns. Iron Dome knocks down one rocket. Another lands in the yard of a house in Ashdod. No damage or injuries are reported, and rescue personnel are performing searches to verify that no one is hurt." As we write this, there are fresh Tzeva Adom sirens in Sderot and other southern communities around the Gaxa Strip, and another barrage on Tel Aviv's southern suburbs.
  • 12:25pm: And now rocket warnings again for Ashkelon and surrounding communities.
  • 12:30 pm: And again around Ashkelon.
  • 12:35 pm: And now a major wave of rockets targeting the coastal communities north of Tel Aviv.
  • 12:40 pm: Now Haifa.
  • 12:50 pm: Via jpost.com "Sirens go off in Binyamina, Zichron Yaakov, Hadera and the Haifa area, warning of incoming rockets launched from Gaza. Meanwhile in southern Israel, sirens blare across several communities in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council, as a rocket explodes near a kibbutz."
  • 01:10 pm: Another wave of Tzeva Adom sirens across central Israel now: Ashdod, Rehovot, Nes Ziyona, Rishon Lezion, and other parts of Greater Tel Aviv. Hamas have thousands more rockets, and the lives of their own people are cheap in their eyes so the waves of indiscriminate flinging of explosives goes on. What do such savages have to lose?
  • 01:20 pm: "Netanyahu: If Hamas does not hold fire, Israel will have broad legitimacy to hit back hard http://t.co/LnlWcoTrRa"
  • 02:00 pm: For those of us totally fed up with media portrayals of Mahmoud Abbas, "moderate" "president" of the PA, as Israel's peace partner, a report published in the last few minutes: "The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the armed movement of Fatah, claims responsibility for launching two Grad missiles at Ashdod at 12:30 p.m. In a statement posted on Fatah’s official Facebook page, the movement writes: “We continue pummeling the enemy’s settlements everywhere. We will not back down at any cost.” [source]
    For the record, the head of Fatah is Mahmoud Abbas. That's something the residents of Ashdod in particular may find hard to forget when this rocket war has passed.
  • 02:35 pm: Some sharp-eyed observers have pointed out that parts of the mainstream media are so discomforted by the sickening rejection by Hamas of the ceasefire that Israel accepted this morning, they are going back over their own published stories and removing the one about Sami Abu Zuhri of Hamas declaring “this proposal is not acceptable.” He has a long track-record of making statements in Hamas' name. So pretending now (which appears to be what the media people are doing) that it's only the military wing of Hamas that is rejecting the ceasefire can be done only by doctoring history. Omri Ceren's tweet [@cerenomri]addresses the NY Times via its Jerusalem bureau chief: ".@rudoren Hey, why did NYT remove Sami Abu Zuhri's rejection of ceasefire from your copy 1 hr after it went live? http://t.co/hUHrvXZXq9" We will be surprised if he gets an answer. And it will surprise us if readers are not surprised that this is the sort of monkey business that some of the world's most influential news organizations get up to.
  • 03:20 pm: We're hearing word about the IDF expressing the current state of mind of most Israelis i.e. "We're totally fed up with barbarians", and abandoning the ceasefire which Hamas rejected anyway.  Details coming.
  • 03:25 pm: From Times of Israel just now: "IDF Spokesperson: “After six hours of unilateral attacks by Hamas, the IDF has resumed operational activity in the Gaza Strip. Since 9am Tuesday, about 50 rockets were fired at Israel.”
  • 03:30 pm: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructs the Israel Defense Forces to “act forcefully against terror targets in Gaza,” after Hamas and Islamic Jihad refused to accept the Egyptian ceasefire proposal and fired dozens of rockets at Israel, diplomatic sources say." [Times of Israel
For further Tuesday updates, please go here.

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