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October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘missiles’

Sleepless in Rishon Lezion, IDF Attacks in Gaza Continue

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

On the eve of the 22nd day of Operation Protective Edge, residents in the central Israeli coastal city of Rishon Lezion spent a sleepless night Monday, awakened suddenly at three in the morning by the wail of a Code Red rocket alert siren.

It had been a really tough day, with the loss of ten Israeli soldiers in Gaza operations, and the country was bone-tired. Israelis were tired.

Even though many homes are equipped with a ‘safe room’, it still required an effort to drag one’s self out of bed, and to rouse the children – or carry them sleeping – into the shelter, to safety, in 90 seconds or less.

Both of the M75 missiles fired from Gaza exploded on the outskirts of the city. Having presented no immediate threat to the population, neither was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. As a result, much of the city heard the resulting ‘booms!’

The third missile attack, aimed at Ashdod, was in fact aimed directly at the port city’s residential neighborhoods. That one was intercepted by the Iron Dome system, and shrapnel from the resulting explosion high above the city fell from skies a few seconds later.

Since nearly everyone was in bed or in their shelters at that hour, the risk of curious Israelis racing to examine or even take pieces of the shrapnel as a souvenir of the war, was thankfully minimized.

Meanwhile, Israel Defense Forces redoubled their attacks in Gaza overnight and into Tuesday morning, focusing heavy artillery fire and air strikes on the northern part of the region.

But reports by the IDF that 150 targets in Gaza were attacked over the past 24 hours are being challenged by retired IDF officials and analysts questioning their value. IAF fighter pilots bombed the home of Hamas Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, but it was empty at the time, with Haniyeh and his family safely tucked away elsewhere, far from the battle zone.

Retired National Security Council chief Maj.-Gen. (Res) Giora Eiland warned the Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Acharonot on Tuesday the IDF needs to advance deeper into Gaza. “It is not going to be possible to reach a true cease fire within the coming days,” he said. “It is unwise to remain only in the areas we are in at the moment; in order to get significant achievements we need to go deeper in our operations,” he explained. “Attacking Haniyeh’s home is not important,” he added. “He could not care less.” Haniyeh told reporters in response to the report: “My house is not more valuable than the houses of other people. Destroying stones will not break our determination,” he said.

Overnight IAF fighter pilots attacked 10 terror operatives in central Gaza, confirming hits each time.

The IDF targeted more than 70 terror sites overnight throughout Gaza, including two sites used as command and control centers belonging to Hamas, four weapon storage sites concealed within mosques, a concealed rocket launcher located near a mosque and an offensive tunnel.

In the early hours of the morning, IDF demolished a full terror tunnel route and also struck the Gaza City office of the Hamas treasury — used to fund and manage Hamas’ terror activities.

In addition, the IDF struck the Al-Aqsa television station used to incite Palestinians against Israel. The station is also used to transmit orders and messages to Hamas operatives and instruct Gaza residents to ignore IDF warnings about upcoming military activity in specific areas, the IDF said. But despite the bombing, Hamas reported the channel has continued its broadcasts – an indication that its primary transmitters and studios remained unscathed.

Massive Rocket Barrage Meant There Was ‘No Cease Fire and Never Was’

Monday, July 28th, 2014

At least several Israelis who were hoping that fewer attacks earlier in the day might mean the hope of a cease fire bitterly told a call-in show on Army Radio there “was no cease fire and never was” by Monday evening.

Just after 6:30 pm local time, Hamas unleashed a massive barrage of medium-range rocket fire aimed at Israel’s coastal cities.

The attacks were launched following one in which Gaza Belt communities were shelled in the Eshkol Regional Council district.

The surprise attack left four Israelis dead and at least nine others wounded – the first such deadly attack so far in the 21-day conflict – but none of the dead or wounded were residents of Eshkol.

Within the hour, Hamas began a barrage of rocket fire in which launches were barely three minutes apart.

Ashdod, Ashkelon and cities in between were all targeted, with Iron Dome anti-missile defense system operators busy at the controls. Three missiles were intercepted over Ashdod, with another shot down over Ofakim.

But then a massive barrage was unleashed, with Code Red alerts heard in all Gaza Belt communities and up along the Mediterranean coast as far north as northern Carmel.

Residents in Gedera, Zichron Ya’akov, Caesarea, and Hadera all were sent racing for shelter again, something they haven’t done in more than a week.

In the wake of the Eshkol shelling, the IDF has begun making phone calls and sent SMS text messages to the civilian population of Shejaiya, Zeitoun and eastern Jabalya. Residents in those areas were warned to immediately evacuate themselves towards the central area of Gaza City.

IDF Retaliates for Ashkelon’s Morning Rocket Fire

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Israeli forces fired at the Beit Lahiyah area Monday morning in the wake of a missile attack on the northern outskirts of the coastal city of Ashkelon.

The launch by Hamas terrorists was – again – another in a series of violations of a humanitarian cease fire being observed by the Israel Defense Forces following a request by the United Nations.

The missile exploded in an open area in the city, according to IDF officials. No one was physically injured, and no property damage was reported.

But the issue of never knowing where the next missile will come from, or when, regardless of whether a so-called ‘cease fire’ has been agreed upon is one that must be addressed.

The IDF attacked 40 terror targets on Sunday, and two terrorist tunnels in the past 24 hours.

The issue of the tunnels is especially important, as that is a threat that cannot be addressed by the air force. Yet terrorists can launch missile attacks as well as other serious, mass casualty attacks against Israel from such tunnels, thereby making the destruction of that threat a primary mission for the IDF.

Nevertheless, President Barack Obama on Sunday strongly urged Israel to cooperate with an immediate humanitarian cease fire agreement cobbled together in Paris by Qatar and Turkey — both of whom clearly were there for Hamas — and Kerry, who may have had Israel’s interests in mind but whose interests were questionable at best, given the fact that in every phrase, the concerns of Palestinian Arabs are noted before those of Israelis.

The United Nations Security Council agreed on a draft statement calling for a cease fire between the terrorists in Gaza and Israel. The Council was to meet again in an emergency session at midnight, Sunday evening, July 27, east coast U.S. time — 7 am, Israel time.

Egypt Foils Suicide Bombing Attack on Israel

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Egyptian soldiers shot and killed a suicide bomber and blew up a vehicle loaded with Grad missiles, its military reported Wednesday.

The suicide bomber was wearing a vest loaded with explosives while approaching the Kerem Shalom crossing. The truck with missiles and launchers was on the Egyptian side of border near Gaza.

Since the fall of the Muslim Brotherhood government last year, Egypt has been at virtual war with hams, outlawing it as a terrorist organization.

Did the US Let Hamas Rule Israel’s Skies?

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

As Israeli officials work to untangle the mess at Ben Gurion International Airport in the wake of an international ban on flights in and out of Tel Aviv, an ominous question is hanging over the Jewish State.

Did the United States allow Hamas terrorists to rule over Israel’s skies? Why would an “ally” do such a thing?

Although the FAA lifted its ban — which had to be approved by the White House — by midnight Wednesday, it still wasn’t clear whether airlines got the message. Worse, perhaps they had.

The damage incurred by an unprecedented 48-hour FAA ban on flights to Israel by U.S. carriers was incalculable, triggering a cascade of bans and possibly unparalleled damage to Israel’s economy.

The European Aviatian Safety Agency (EASA) “strongly recommended” its airlines avoid operating in and out of Tel Aviv.

Air France, Lufhansa, Germanwings, Austrian Airlines, Alitalia, Aeroflot and its associated airlines, and Turkish Airlines all suspended flights. Air Canada, generally a strong supporter of the Jewish State, also shied away.

Many still have not reinstated their flights. Those that have still have not established regular schedules. Ben Gurion airport is still a mess, with desperate travelers trying to figure out how to find their luggage and fix their ruined plans. Tracking down food, caring for children, getting enough sleep, changing clothes and dealing with hygiene needs — all of these issues were cast aside by many airlines after the first 24 hours, and by some from the very start, travelers told Israeli radio interviewers.

British Airways alone maintained its twice-daily flights to Ben Gurion International Airport from London Heathrow Airport.

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu offered his gratitude and special thanks to British Foreign Minister Phillip Hammond on Thursday in a news briefing with media, noting that apparently Britain alone understood the importance of not handing a “free prize to Hamas terror.”

Fifteen minutes before midnight, the FAA lifted its flight restrictions on U.S. airline flights into and out of Ben Gurion airport “by cancelling a Notice to Airmen it renewed earlier today…

“Before making this decision, the FAA worked with its U.S. government counterparts to assess the security situation in Israel and carefully reviewed both significant new information and measures the Government of Israel is taking to mitigate potential risks to civil aviation,” the notice read.

The back step followed a hugely publicized flight to Israel by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who scorned the FAA moved as ridiculous. Bloomberg immediately boarded an El Al plane straight to Tel Aviv, declaring to reporters that Ben Gurion International Airport is the safest in the world. The prime minister greeted Bloomberg at the airport, thanking him for coming and calling him a friend and a “man of principle and truth.”

Day 17: Iron Dome Protects Tel Aviv, Coastal Cities Again

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

The Iron Dome team was busy again Thursday morning protecting metro Tel Aviv-Yafo (Jaffa).

It appears that Hamas terrorists are becoming increasingly frustrated and desperate as they fire large mid-range missiles barrages at the Mediterranean coast in attempts to wreak havoc on major Israeli cities.

Fewer long-range missiles have been launched at other cities around Israel, however.

A massive barrage of missiles was fired just before 11 am at the White City, with sirens screaming as far north as Herzliya. and explosions heard above greater Tel Aviv. At least five M75 missiles were intercepted over Rishon Lezion, according to Channel 10 television. No one was physically hurt and no damage was report.

Six missiles were intercepted over metropolitan Tel Aviv, the station reported.

UNRWA School Shelters Rockets (Again!) and Residents in Gaza

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The United Nations is meddling again in Gaza, ‘helping the cause’ of the downtrodden Palestinian Arabs. Stashing their ammo, that is. And helping them hide it when international inspectors find out.

Wow, this all sounds so familiar, right?  This latest statement was posted Tuesday, July 22 on the website of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

More missiles were found in one of the agency’s schools in Gaza – surprise! – but this time the agency’s spokesperson was smarter and gave even fewer details about the incident. It is impossible, due to international regulations, to prevent the inspections mandated by the agency’s funding. But one can at least gloss over the findings when issuing a statement about what is found and how it is dealt with. Damage control in war time.

“Today, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip. As soon as the rockets were discovered, UNRWA staff were withdrawn from the premises, and so we are unable to confirm the precise number of rockets. The school is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.”

Were there so many missiles it was impossible to count them? Whoa. And how does the school’s location between two refuge spots relate to this issue? There are launchers planted in nearly every home.

“UNRWA strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law,” the statement continues.

“The Agency immediately informed the relevant parties,” — the local ruling Hamas terrorist government, that is — “and is pursuing all possible measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school. UNRWA will launch a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident.

“UNRWA has reinforced and continues to implement its robust procedures to maintain the neutrality of all its premises, including a strict no-weapons policy and regular inspections of its installations, to ensre they are only used for humanitarian purposes.

“Palestinian civilians in Gaza rely on UNRWA to provide humanitarian assistance and shelter. At all times, and especially during escalations of violence, the sanctity and integrity of UN installations must be respected.”

This is the second time such an incident has occurred, and this time UNRWA did not even bother to publicize the number of missiles it found – which obviously it is well aware of.

The last time, it turned the ordnance right over to the Hamas terrorists who placed the missiles there in the first place – a double war crime, sheltering lethal ammunition in a so-called international neutral zone for children, and then handing that dangerous material over to the terrorists firing the ammunition at civilians, who have been proved to be launching the missiles from civilian sites in the neighborhood.

Thus the agency is guilty of being an accessory to a terrorist organization’s attack on Israel, hardly a ‘robust procedure to maintain neutrality.’ It’s certainly not legal.

But since UNRWA is a United Nations agency, however, to whom can Israel appeal the issue?

A sad international joke that increasingly brings into focus the array of enemies around us.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/unrwa-school-shelters-rockets-again-and-residents-in-gaza/2014/07/23/

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