Operation Protective Edge has moved into its 6th day with continuing rocket fire over almost the whole country, reaching as far north as Haifa, and as far as Ariel to the east. Earlier today a teenage boy was seriously hurt in Ashkelon when he was caught outdoors during an attack:
Condition of injured teen deteriorates
The Ashkelon teenager seriously wounded earlier today took a turn for the worse this afternoon, with doctors saying his condition is critical and unstable, Channel 10 reports.
The 16-year-old, who was outside when the sirens sounded, hid behind a wall after he failed to reach a fortified room in time.
Yesterday, Day 5, 129 rockets were fired from Gaza, only 9 of which were shot down by Iron Dome. The day was also marked by the first ground operation by IDF troops.
A unit of naval commandos entered Gaza to strike a rocket-launching site, but 3 of the troops were lightly injured.
According to the IDF, a force of IDF naval commandos set out to destroy a long-range rocket cache and launch site near Gaza City, in the northern Gaza Strip.
The force encountered Hamas fighters belonging to the group’s armed wing on Sudaniya Beach. Hamas claimed early Sunday that the encounter was not accidental; the fighters had ambushed the IDF soldiers.
According to unconfirmed reports from Hamas sources, three Hamas fighters died in the ensuing firefight.
The IDF said Sunday that four soldiers were lightly wounded and were evacuated to hospitals in Israel, but not before the rocket-launching site was destroyed by the army.
“The mission was accomplished,” the army’s spokesperson’s unit said in a tweet.
IDF naval and air units bombarded the rocket site during the fighting, according to reports.
A soldier injured last Thursday is still in a serious condition and needs our prayers. Please pray for Mordechai Chai ben Bracha Yehudit.
Meanwhile I should apologize for being late with this post. I’ve been trying to blog about today’s events as I have done on previous days but I’m having trouble concentrating. Since the siren last night in Petach Tikva (which I missed since I was in the nice safe Shomron with our daughter) I am a bit on edge. I have one ear open to the radio, which is being interrupted every minute, every few seconds even, with an announcer saying calmly “Siren in Ashdod. Siren in Bnei Ayish. Siren in Modi’in, Maccabim-Reut…” with a long, long list of towns and communities. The broadcast is more siren announcements than the news discussions it was supposed to be. There appears to be a massive rocket attack right at this moment on the south of Israel, but also in the Shomron for the first time, in the region of Ariel.
The Times of Israel are very quick off the mark:
Some 20 rockets were shot at Israel from Gaza over the last few minutes, Channel 2 reports, the largest salvo since Hamas tried to overwhelm Iron Dome near Tel Aviv Saturday night.
The Gazan terror groups seem to have a habit of sending large salvos at around 8 pm, to ensure the attacks get primetime coverage.
Channel 2 reports that three or four rockets were shot down by Iron Dome.
Rocket reported shot down over Ariel
Following a massive rocket barrage sent from Gaza at the Jerusalem and Ashdod areas, several rockets are shot down by Iron Dome.
One rocket is reported shot down near the West Bank city of Ariel, the first time a rocket has targeted the Samaria region of the northern West Bank.
Two rockets are also reported shot down over Gan Yavne.
It is not yet clear how many rockets were fired during the large salvo, which set off several consecutive sirens in Ashdod.
No damage or injuries are reported.
I’ve just come off my family Whatssup group where we’ve all checked in with each other. My daughter is in the shelter in her Jerusalem college; I’m not sure where son #1 is (he works in Jerusalem) but his wife and kids, not far from Ariel, are OK. Son #2 just walked in. PT is quiet for the moment. My brother in Modi’in is probably in his shelter or is just emerging … and this is simply a crazy situation, yet us Israelis just take it all in, absorb the blows and get on with the everyday business of living.
Earlier this afternoon Petach Tikva had its second alert. I was watching the TV news when a sign flashed across the screen: “Siren in Gush Dan, area no. xyz”. These area numbers are a new initiative from the Home Front and I had no idea what area we are. I simply assumed the rocket was aimed at greater Tel Aviv. So I took my time and ambled over to the computer to the Home Front website to find out what our area code is. I was still muddling my way around the site when the siren started up. I admit that I got quite a fright. I froze for a moment while I considered my options: corridor outside the bathroom or down one flight of stairs to the shelter. The shelter won and I made a mad dash for it, stopping only for my phone. As I got downstairs I noticed a mother with her 3 small children crouching down just outside our building’s front door. I yanked it open and dragged them inside and yelled “get into the shelter”. At that moment there was a boom which we felt more than heard. The whole building shook. It turns out that the missile fell where I do my shopping. Now that is what I call chutzpah!
Seriously it was a little bit surreal and a bit scary but I had a nice yack with the neighbours. But it was a minor event in the scheme of things, and my admiration for the stoicism and strength of character of the residents of Sderot, Ashdod, Ashkelon and all the Eshkol region has only grown as we realise that this is the reality in which they live 24/7, and not only in time of war. We hardly hear about the odd missile or kassam that flies their way any time Hamas or a lone bored terrorist feels like heating things up, yet this has been carrying on for years.
All the supposed cease-fires with Hamas are not worth the paper they are written on. How anyone anywhere in the world can object to Israel’s actions in combatting this outrageous breach of human rights and laws of war is – well, it’s not a mystery at all. What is permitted to every other nation is not permitted to Israel.
At the same time, around the world there are virulent anti-Israel demonstrations taking place in which Israel is compared to the Nazis and is accused of committing genocide, ethnic cleansing and assorted other human rights crimes. The courageous Richard Millett took himself to one particularly nasty demo in London and should count himself lucky that he got out unscathed.
Note the juxtaposition of the 2 above photos. In the first, Israeli residents are taking shelter in what was originally a sewer pipe. It was placed in Nitzan especially to take shelter during a rocket attack. It brings back strong memories of the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto who escaped via the sewer pipes. And now contrast this to the revolting shirt worn by that disgusting specimen of humanity at the London demonstration. It is positively nauseating.
There were other demonstrations in Paris and South Africa too, and if history is anything to go by, these demonstrations will only get worse and more vicious as the war drags on.
Dr. Denis MacEoin has written a wonderful rebuttal to all those who accuse Israel of war-mongering and worse in “Why Israel had to go to war“. But I fear his words fall on deaf ears, and those who will hear him are those who agree with him (and us) anyway.
Some further “highlights” (if that’s the right term) of Day 6 so far:
Playing his usual double-game, Mahmoud Abbas has asked the UN for protection for Gaza:
In the West Bank city of Ramallah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he had appealed to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for “international protection” for the Palestinian people.
“The situation has become unbearable — hundreds of martyrs and thousands of wounded and huge destruction,” Abbas said.
Despite forming a government with Hamas’ backing last month, Abbas’s influence in Gaza is minimal.
It’s obviously a sign that Israel is winning. When we have the upper hand the Arabs start crying for a ceasefire. We should not give in until every rocket launcher has been destroyed.
The IDF has been dropping thousands of leaflets on Gaza, warning north Gaza residents to leave or suffer the consequences of an aerial bombing. Hamas warned the residents against leaving, after all, there’s nothing better for their public relations than having a load of “martyrs” killed by those nasty Israelis. Luckily for them (and probably us as well) Gaza’s residents have more sense and took the IDF’s warning to heart, and at least 10,000 residents have left Beit Lahiya so far.
Since we’re talking of Hamas’s method of victimhood-as-victory, a Hamas rocket fired from Gaza to Israel has cut off the electricity that Israel supplies to Gaza. (Yes, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we are out of our tiny minds).
9:23 A rocket fired from Gaza strikes infrastructure in Israel that provides electricity to the coastal strip, cutting power to 70,000 Palestinians.
Israel has not shut off power to Gaza, says Channel 2, but will not risk the safety of Israel Electric Corporation personnel to repair the damage caused by this shell. Still, overall electricity supply to Gaza will not be significantly affected by the strike.
I’m glad and relieved that we have at least that much sense, though we still should have shut off the electricity to Gaza at the first rocket.
The following is not really news for Israelis, but the cowardly Hamas leadership are hiding out underneath Shifa Hospital in Gaza City:
Some of the Hamas leadership is hiding out at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital, says Channel 2′s Ehud Ya’ari, because they know Israel won’t attack it.
Ya’ari also says that Hamas wants a ceasefire but doesn’t want to acknowledge it.
The veteran commentator also says that Hamas fears an Israeli ground offensive, though publicly it is saying the opposite.
Bringing us a slightly different angle to the war, and enlightening us about the IDF’s greatest “hero”, an IDF officer explains the Iron Dome Code Red dilemma:
Every one of the 896 rockets launched at Israel during Operation Protective Edge has been spotted by an air force soldier, and they’ve nearly all resulted in a warning siren, sending Israelis scrambling for shelter.