Israel is still under fire since Hamas broke the ceasefire on Tuesday, and the IDF is attacking back, picking off Hamas’s commanders and targeting terror infrastructure, rocket launchers etc.
The south of Israel has been under an intense rocket assault all this time, and it seems to me that the intensity is only increasing. Yesterday two kindergartens suffered direct hits from rocket fire. Thank G-d one kindergarten was empty since it is still holiday time, but the other kindergarten was located in a kibbutz, where the nurseries operate throughout the year. Miraculously the nursery carers managed to usher all the children into the safe room within 15 seconds but the father of one of the children, who was celebrating his birthday, was seriously hurt protecting the children:
Magen David Adom (MDA) crews gave initial treatment to the man, who is 33. He was seriously wounded by shrapnel that struck his chest.
MDA paramedic Oren Vacht, who treated the man before his evacuation to hospital, described him as having been hit in the chest by a shell fragment, “fully conscious and in great pain.”
“Civilians who had been at the scene told us that he did not make it to the protected space in time, and was hurt by shrapnel when he lay down on children who were near him, to protect them with his body,” Vacht said.
The thought of what might have happened sends chills through my veins.
Today we just heard that a synagogue has just taken a direct hit – a couple of hours before Shabbat begins. Two people were injured in that attack. Earlier, several other people were injured in missile attacks on Beer Sheva. Ynet has more:
Over 50 rockets were fired at Israel’s south Friday, with one landing a direct hit on synagogue in Ashdod, wounding three. Some people were treated for anxiety at the scene.
Earlier rockets fell near a preshcool in Be’er Sheva, wounding a man while another landed meters from another preschool in the south, after a quiet night gave residents a much needed rest from renewed fighting which have seen a record number of rockets slam into Israel.
The synagogue in Ashdod suffered a direct hit from a rocket in the early afternoon hours on Friday. Several suffered from anxiety after the attack and three were lightly wounded.
A rocket was fired at Tel Aviv in the early afternoon, but fell in an open area, failing to cause damage. Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attack.
A 52-year-old Israel man was moderately wounded from shrapnel in his arms after a rocket hit in Be’er Sheva noontime Friday; damage was also reported and he was taken to a local hospital.
As of Friday afternoon, some 56 rockets were fired at Israel, 43 of which managed to hit Israel, while seven were intercepted.
The synagogue that was hit might be more damaged than appears in the picture. Firefighters fear the structure might collapse completely.
For constant news updates, rocket attacks, IDF targeting of terrorists and their infrastructure, analyses and more, read the Times of Israel live-blog which updates in real-time.
For now, I want to post at least a couple of items to turn this into a Good News Friday installment of sorts.
One item from the above Times of Israel live blog which could technically count as good news is that Hamas has been busy executing alleged “collaborators with Israel”. Today they executed 18 people, including 6 whom they caught coming out of Friday prayers at a mosque. (So much for the sanctity of their mosques). As long as they are devouring their own, there is less work for for us!
But now for some real good news. Despite the war and despite the appalling smears of Israel in the international media, an OECD report ranks Israel as the 4th best foreign investment target:
Despite the security situation and the threats of commercial boycotts in Europe, a new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has ranked Israel the fourth most attractive target for direct investments among the OECD’s 34 member-nations.
According to the report, which tracks the ratio of foreign direct investments (FDI) to countries’ gross domestic product, Israel’s FDI totaled 4 percent of its GDP in 2013, trailing relatively closely behind Luxembourg, Ireland, and Chile.
In a related item, Israel’s hi-tech industry is flourishing despite the war. There are some down-sides too but it was noted that:
the number of startups that raised money in July continued the impressive trend in the second quarter of 2014. Instead of the expected downturn in the volume of capital raising caused by the security situation, it accelerated during Operation Protective Edge.
These items illustrate how solid is Israel’s economy, and despite the bad publicity it receives in the popular media, in places where it counts Israel’s reputation is still rock solid. May it continue thus!
Another upside to the war is the news that even the burglars stayed home during the fighting!
When the cannons roar, crime goes down. It turns out that one consequence of Operation Protective Edge was that thieves preferred not to take any chances, opting to hide out in their protected spaces. Police reported a 10 percent decrease in criminal cases that were opened throughout Operation Protective Edge, compared to the same period last year and compared to the period just prior to the war, and property-related incidents were dramatically lower by some 20 percent.
It’s nice to know that patriotism is not a dirty word, even amongst thieves. 😛
To conclude this good news section, to show you that not everyone is against us, here are some great videos taken around the world of shows of support for Israel in its fight against Hamas:
From Tokyo, Japan:
From Kolkata, India, where 20,000 Hindus rallied in support of Israel!:
And back in good old Blighty, the wonderful Sussex Friends of Israel organized a very well-attended rally in Brighton last Sunday at which Col. Richard Kemp addressed the crowd, accusing Hamas is committing war crimes.
Thank you to all our supporters all round the world. Knowing that we have the support of wonderful people like these gives us the strength to continue our fight.
May we have a quiet and peaceful Shabbat (well, we can but hope). Wishing everyone Shabbat shalom!