Operation Protective Edge Day 9: Temporary humanitarian truce and reader poll: How long will the 5 hour humanitarian truce last?

Operation Protective Edge has closed another day of intense rocket fire by Hamas terrorists on Israel, and IDF assaults on Hamas installations around Gaza.

Dror Hanin HY'D, killed at the Erez crossing

Dror Hanin HY’D, killed at the Erez crossing

The day started, or rather  ended on Tuesday evening, with the first Israeli death from Hamas fire. It was not a rocket that killed volunteer Dror Hanin at the Erez crossing, but a mortar round, against which Iron Dome cannot protect:

Dror Hanin, 38, a married father of three from Beit Aryeh in the Shomron, was killed Tuesday by a Hamas mortar shell as he gave out gift bags to soldiers at the Erez Crossing near Gaza.

Avi Naim, Head of the Beit Aryeh Council, expressed condolences to Hanin’s family and friends, and said, “The residents of Beit Aryeh are shocked at pained by the death of our friend, Dror Hanin, as he gave out gift bags to IDF soldiers near the Gaza Strip. Dror was a special person, motivated by values, who found his death while he did what he loved to do most – expressing love for his fellow man and endless giving.

“I hope that the government of Israel completely eradicates the terror threat from Gaza,” he added.

The Judea and Samaria Firefighting District eulogized Hanin, who volunteered in the local firefighting team. “He was a true fighter, imbued with the spirit of volunteering, the first to initiate and take action, dominant and active in the fire station at Beit Aryeh. Three years ago, he finished his trainng in the firefighting course for adult volunteers and he took part in various events.”

Dror was struck by a mortar shell as he gave out food and sweets to soldiers, near Erez. Emergency teams took him to Barzilai Hospital but it was too late to save him. His friend, Beit Aryeh’s sceurity officer, was lightly injured.

May Hashem avenge his blood and may his memory be for a blessing.

Today, Wedensday, saw a total of 132 rockets launched at Israel, from the south to the center. The government also gave its approval for the call-up of a further 8,000 reservists, bringing the total to 50,000.

Rockets launched from Gaza City, showing Hamas's clear violation of international law by attacking from a civilian population

Rockets launched from Gaza City, showing Hamas’s clear violation of international law by attacking from a civilian population

And then the day ended as it had begun, with the death of civilians – this time four Palestinian children were killed on a Gaza beach – according to the Palestinians by Israeli shelling. The IDF is investigating (which is probably more than it is obliged to do in time of war):

IDF Spokesman, Brigadier General Moti Almoz addressed reports of four Palestinian Arab children being killed in an IAF airstrike on Wednesday, noting that the accidental deaths were the result of Hamas using civilians as human shields.

“Hamas is hiding among civilians targets,” Almoz said, on Channel 2. “Hamas continues to make cynical use of civilian casualties and we will continue to operate within a civilian environment.”

The IDF is still conducting an internal investigation on the reports.

If true, he said, “the fact that uninvolved civilians were killed is a tragic event. It is important to remember the cynical use of civilians by Hamas in Gaza, which holds them hostage by encouraging them to stay in the line of fire as Israel take out terrorist targets.”

“As demonstrated numerous times in recent days, the IDF has no intention to harm civilians caught in the reality of fighting between Israel and Hamas,” he continued.

The international media has fired a frenzy over the alleged deaths, with witnesses telling reporters at some outlets that Israel was deliberately targeting the children.

Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra named the four children as Ahed Atef Bakr, aged 10; Zakaria Ahed Bakr, also 10; Mohamed Ramez Bakr, 9, and Ismail Mohamed Bakr, 11.

This is a very tragic event, but as is completely clear to anyone with eyes in their head and who has been keeping up with the news, the extent to which the IDF makes efforts to avoid civilian casualties does not jibe with the deliberate killing of children. This was obviously either a tragic mistake, a technical error (e.g. a missile mis-firing) or a case of human shields being cynically abused by Hamas.

We saw this deliberate use of human shields only this morning, when Hamas urged residents of Beit Lahiya to stay put rather than evacuate as warned by Israel before the IAF began a bombing raid on Hamas hideouts. Unfortunately for all concerned, many residents heeded Hamas and not the IAF. I’m sure the world will take note of this wilful disregard by Gaza’s residents of Israel’s humanitarian concerns. (Please ignore my sarcasm).

Following the intense IAF bombing and the over 200 deaths in Gaza, the UN asked for a 5 hour temporary truce in order to enable humanitarian agencies to transfer food and medical supplies into Gaza. Israel accepted the ceasefire:

Israel announced Wednesday that it would halt all military operations against targets in the Gaza Strip for a period of five hours in order to allow humanitarian agencies to transfer food and medical supplies into the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave.

The ceasefire, which was unilaterally agreed upon by Israel, will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the IDF said in a statement.

“This humanitarian window is meant to allow the civilian population of the Gaza Strip to engage in resupply for their humanitarian needs,” the statement said. “Should the humanitarian window be exploited by Hamas or other terror organizations for the purpose of launching attacks against Israeli civilian or military targets the IDF will respond firmly and decisively.”

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry had requested that Israel initiate the truce in the hopes that Hamas would join in later.

It was unclear which of the border crossings into the Strip would be opened for humanitarian purposes.

However Hamas took its own sweet time Hamas took its time, and only after firing a “final” salvo (who knows how final that is) at 1.30 a.m, did they too agree to the temporary ceasefire:

Hamas agreed on Wednesday night to a temporary humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, but not before firing another salvo of rockets towards Israel.

…Shortly before 2:00 a.m. Thursday morning, however, sirens were heard in the Eshkol region, Hof Ashkelon region, Ashdod, Kiryat Gat and Kiryat Malachi.

Sirens were also heard in the Mateh Yehuda Regional Council, near Jerusalem.

Several rockets from Gaza exploded in open areas in the Hof Ashkelon and Eshkol regions, causing no physical injuries or damages.

There are no reports of damages or injuries in the other areas where sirens were heard. The Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepted one rocket over Kiryat Gat and is believed to have intercepted other rockets as well.

And now, dear readers, in the light of Hamas’s rejection of the previous ceasefire, which lasted not 5 minutes, I present you with a poll where you can bet on how long the ceasefire will last, and what the consequences will be.

 It will be interesting to see how close our guesses are to the real thing. I’m prepared to be pleasantly surprised by Hamas but I’m not holding my breath. Meanwhile I wouldn’t be surprised if Hamas launch a massive rocket salvo until the very last minute, or even a minute or two after the official truce begins, just to be “davka” (contrary).

Stay tuned for more tomorrow. Let’s hope for a quiet night.

This entry was posted in Defence and Military, Israel news, Terrorism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Operation Protective Edge Day 9: Temporary humanitarian truce and reader poll: How long will the 5 hour humanitarian truce last?

  1. Rob says:

    It’s ironic, in a gruesome way, that while Hamas has no possibility of defeating Israel militarily, it does have one weapon that can turn the tide in its favour: dead Palestinians, and especially dead Palestinian children. Jeffry Goldberg had a piece the other day (I think in The Atlantic) where he argued that this was, in fact, the only reason for Hamas’ current assault. It can’t defeat Israel, thanks to the IDF; it can’t kill (many) Israelis, thanks to Iron Dome; but it can ensure that many, many Palestinians will be killed, and all the PR benefits will flow their way.

    It’s ghastly to see the demonstrations around the world. This pathological hatred of Israel is inexplicable, irrational. One can only hope Israelis won’t let it wear them down, or demoralise them. Your cause is right and just; your enemies are possessed of a pathology that confounds all reason, logic and evidence. Stay strong, Israel (and Anne – and all the Annes).

    • anneinpt says:

      Thank you for your wonderful words of support Rob. They are truly appreciated.

      We don’t let ourselves become demoralized by outside delegitimization. The advantage of the constant demonisation is that we have become inured to it and tend to ignore it with a laconic shrug. If anything, it only galvanizes us into feeling stronger about our cause. Remember, we Jews have a very long history of persecution, we’re used to it and almost expect it. It doesn’t make it right or fair, but that’s how the world is at the moment.

      You’re quite right that this hatred is irrational, in fact I have read a few articles on this subject that I haven’t had time to write about yet. Basically, it’s antisemitism in a new guise. And antisemitism at its heart is completely unreasonable and illogical. If we accept that premise then all the anti-Israel protests make sense in a warped way.

      As to your first point about the terrorists’ aims, you’re 100% right. For them any terror attack is a win-win situation. Either they create martyrs for the cause, and gain sympathy from an anti-Israel press, or they actually succeed G-d forbid in killing Israelis. I’m sure this is one of the reasons the IDF is taking such care about not hitting civilians, besides of course the purely moral reason.

  2. Pingback: Operation Protective Edge Day 10: Huge terror attack foiled, temporary truce begins after rocket salvoes | Anne's Opinions

  3. cba says:

    12:23 (or a few minutes earlier).

    Who wins the prize?

  4. cba says:

    You couldn’t make this up.

    Palestinian media claim IDF violates ceasefire
    Palestinian media sources claim IDF forces are violating the humanitarian ceasefire underway until 3 p.m. They claim IDF forces are firing toward open areas east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

    The claim follows three mortar shells that fell on the Eshkol Regional Council just two hours into the five-hour truce, which the IDF has blamed on Hamas.

    The Times of Israel http://www.timesofisrael.com/on-day-10-of-operation-protective-edge-truce-efforts-gather-pace-but-hamas-israel-fight-on/#ixzz37iyysR5z

  5. Reality says:

    Why should the IDF look into the deaths of the Gazan children?Sadly in a war(which Hamas started)there are civilian deaths.As a young girl yesterday said on the news after her house was hit directly by a rocket.It wasn’t just a miracle that nobody was hurt.We acted according to instructions therefore we are alive.
    BTW is Hamas investigating the death of Dror Hanin or any other severe casualtues that have occured here? So by the same token neither do the IDF have to investigate any desths civilian or otherwise

    • anneinpt says:

      You have a very good point. At least the IDF didn’t apologize and grovel immediately. They’ve learned their lesson from previous wars. They just said “it was tragic” and that they’d investigate. Let them investigate. Let them prove those kids shouldn’t have been there, or that the pilots couldn’t see that they were children not terrorists.

      Who sent those kids to the beach in the first place if the IAF was bombing there? Like you said, we look after ourselves and our families, they don’t.

Comments are closed.