Here are some quick updates on the 7th day of Operation Pillar of Cloud:
A rocket was fired at Jerusalem for the second time (the first time was on Shabbat), landing in the Gush Etzion area without causing damage or injury. The rocket launch triggered air -raid sirens throughout the wider Jerusalem area. I wonder how Ban Ki-Moon felt about it.
A rocket exploded in an open area near an Arab village in Gush Etzion around 2:15 p.m. as sirens wailed in Jerusalem during another barrage of rockets and missiles unleashed by Hamas.
The missile exploded in an open area, and no one was injured. Minutes before the sirens rang out, an AFP correspondent in Gaza City reported hearing the loud report of an outgoing rocket.
The attack was claimed by Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which said it had fired “an M75 rocket at the occupied city of Jerusalem.”
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who spent the past two days in Egypt, had been scheduled to hold talks in Jerusalem with Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman shortly after noon.
A question for Hamas and its Muslim allies: If Jerusalem is so holy to you, how come you’re trying to bomb it? Or is it only holy when Jews hold it?
Cutting off your nose to spite your face:
15:58 Residents of Bethlehem erupted with glee when they heard the boom caused by the rockets that were fired at Jerusalem from Gaza, Channel 2 reports. The rockets fell in a Palestinian-controlled area south of Israel’s capital, near the Etzion Bloc
What a shame it didn’t hit those Bethlehem residents.
Here’s the Kotel during the air-raid siren:
Here’s a somewhat light-hearted look at what happens during a rocket attack – although it really isn’t funny at all, and cuold so easily have ended in tragedy:
The staff at Israel’s Ben and Jerry’s ice cream factory posts a picture on Facebook showing “what happens when there’s a siren during production of Toffee Crunch, and we have to run to the protected area.”
The factory is located in Be’er Tuvia, near Kiryat Malachi, one of the southern towns being hit by rockets. Some 2 million dollars was invested in the facility, which used to be a soup factory and logistics center for another food manufacturer.
There was no word as to how much ice cream was lost during the rocket attack.
You tell me – doesn’t that qualify as a war crime?
15:53 A man is critically wounded from a rocket fired at the Eshkol region. He is being treated by medical personnel. Another rocket hits a building in the Eshkol region, slightly injuring five people.
The constant bombing of the south, between 80-100 rockets today, continues even as I write, with a small grocery store in Ashdod taking a direct hit, with 3-4 lightly injured civilians.
Considering the massive number of rockets that have been shot at Israel, and the large number of direct or close hits, it is nothing short of miraculous that not more people have been killed or seriously injured. I wish refuah shlema to all those who have been injured, and sincere condolences to the families of the 3 victims in Kiryat Malachi on Sunday, but we must give thanks to Hashem for saving us from much worse.
As to rumours of a ceasefire, we hear the following contradictory information:
15:04 Israeli official tells Israel Radio that the United States and Egypt will announce the signing of a ceasefire Tuesday night. German mediation reportedly helped reach the truce, the final wording of which is still being worked out.
16:46 Islamic Jihad is announcing that a ceasefire with Israel will go into effect in three hours, Channel 2′s veteran Arab affairs analyst Ehud Ya’ari reports. There is no other confirmation yet.
17:13: Apparently, the Egyptian intelligence chief has called a press conference about Gaza for this evening. Channel 2 News analyst Ehud Ya’ari says that he wouldn’t be addressing the press merely to announce that ceasefire talks had failed. Meanwhile, Islamic Jihad is saying a truce will go into effect at around 7 p.m.
However we also read that the IDF warns Gaza residents to leave their area immediately
The IAF dropped leaflets across northern Gaza on Tuesday urging local Arab civilians to evacuate immediately.
“For your own safety, you are required to immediately evacuate your homes and move toward Gaza City center,” the Arabic-language flyers said, AFP reports. The pamphlets noted which roads would be safe to use for evacuation.
The move lent strength to predictions of an impending ground operation in Gaza.
I suppose we’ll find out soon enough. I just hope the ceasefire, if it comes into effect, won’t be another waste of time, energy and resources which will entail another similar operation in a short while down the line.