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December 29, 2014 / 7 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘mortar shells’

Intensive Rocket Fire Aimed at Israel’s Border Towns

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Intensive rocket fire and shelling attacks by Hamas and allied terrorists continued to be aimed at Israel’s Gaza border towns and the nearby coastal city of Ashkelon throughout the day on Monday.

It is not clear why Gaza terrorists are focusing so intently on the Sha’ar HaNegev, Sdot Negev and Eshkol Regional Council districts.

The terrorists seem particularly focused on Kibbutzim Alumim and Nahal Oz, where a 4-year-old child was killed in one such attack last Friday.

Most of the residents of the targeted areas have temporarily evacuated in order to more efficiently facilitate defense of the area by the IDF.

Bewildered Southerners Ask, ‘Is It Really Quiet Yet?’

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

IDF officials are now saying that southern residents can return to their homes and “feel safe” – but not everyone is buying that line; especially those whose homes were bombed just hours ago, first thing this morning. If it is so safe, how did Hamas manage to fire 26 rockets and missiles within 10 minutes at southern and central Israel, just before 8 am?

The families whose homes are located about a stone’s throw from Gaza, and who watched video footage of terrorists popping up from holes in the ground a jump and a half away from their communities, are also pretty uneasy. IDF soldiers fought really fierce battles to kill those terrorists, and Israel lost some of its finest young men in those fights.

Those same communities are located too close to Gaza for mortar fire to trigger the Code Red incoming rocket alert system – so they never have any warning of shelling attacks on their homes. As it is, they had only a bare 15-second window in which to find shelter from the constant rain of Qassam rocket fire Hamas terrorists sent their way, right up until 8 am this morning.

The cease fire officially ends in two days, unless negotiators find a way to lock it down permanently.

So why should anyone trust their fate to paper?

IDF officials told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and defense brass in a briefing at IDF Southern Command headquarters Monday (August 4, 2014) that all of the tunnels that were identified and located during Operation Protective Edge, were destroyed.

But many residents of the south are worried. The question, as one person told TheJewishPress.com, “is not so much whether the tunnels that were identified were destroyed, but whether all of the relevant tunnels were identified.”

The prime minister was filled with praise for the IDF, and rightfully so. He himself was a member of a Sayeret Matkal unit back in the day, so he knows first-hand what they’ve been going through.

“This was a complicated operation carried out by heroic soldiers under difficult combat conditions,” Netanyahu said.

“I would like to commend IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, GOC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sammy Turgeman, commanders, soldiers and ISA personnel all of whom had the fighting spirit that led to very impressive results.

“The operation struck at a strategic network that Hamas had invested great effort in over the years,” he pointed out. “These tunnels would have enabled Hamas to kidnap and murder civilians and IDF soldiers by launching simultaneous attacks from the many tunnels that penetrate our territory.”

But then, Netanyahu got to the point that all residents fear most: “As I said at the onset of the operation I said that there is no guarantee of 100% success — but we did the utmost in order to achieve the maximum,” he said.

Achieving the maximum in what time period, is the issue. Initially, the government assured the nation it would continue the operation until the objectives were achieved. Those objectives included tracking down and destroying all of the terrorist tunnels, as well as silencing the rocket fire “for a long, long time.”

Have these objectives been achieved?. That’s an ugly question but one that has to be asked. A ground operation was required in order to identify and reach the terrorist tunnels, and it took the government two weeks to arrive at a decision to approve a ground operation. It took two more weeks to carry it out, and now the troops have been withdrawn, due to massive disapproval from the world’s response to gory photos from Gaza, all of which was expected from the outset. And just as happened during the last three operations, the job is once again probably not finished.

Why Were Children Playing on a Gaza Beach When IDF Targeted a Terror Site?

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

Four Gaza children are dead in the aftermath of an attack Wednesday afternoon by the Israeli Navy that was aimed at Hamas terrorist operatives in Gaza City.  The incident, which raised an international outcry, is under investigation by the IDF.

Washington Post journalist William Booth reported in a column for the newspaper that Hamas often uses a site near the civilian hotel along the beach as a launching pad from which to fire rocket attacks against Israel. “It is not unusual for militants to launch rockets from sites near my hotel,” he wrote in his column on July 16.

A New York Times reporter also noted that a structure near the beach had been targeted in the attack by the IDF.

“My driver and I rushed to the window to see what had happened. A small shack atop a sea wall at the fishing port had been struck by an Israeli bomb or missile and was burning… “

It is clear the IDF was not just firing at little boys on the beach, but rather was aiming at a specific structure; most likely a concealed rocket launcher, similar to the hundreds of others that have been targeted and destroyed by IAF pilots over the past year.

If Hamas had not used the site to attack Israel, the IDF would not have fired at the spot to silence the rocket fire – Israel’s standard response to Hamas attacks.

Gaza residents have been repeatedly warned to distance themselves from terrorist sites and terrorist activity in order to remain safe and avoid endangering their children. The IDF has made phone calls to their homes and sent text messages to their cell phones, and dropped flyers in their neighborhoods to warn them to evacuate areas they intend to attack.

For comparison purposes:

Between 2001-2014, some 21,000 to 23,000 civilians were killed in Afghanistan.

Between 2001-2014, 20,000 to 30,000 civilians were killed in Pakistan.

Between 2001-2014, 133,000 to 147,000 civilians were killed in Iraq.

All these civilians were all killed by U.S., French, British and German forces.

Have any of those nations dropped flyers, made phone calls or otherwise notified the civilians in the targeted territories prior to launching their attacks?

Israeli, 37, First Casualty of Operation Protective Edge

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

The first person to die in Operation Protective Edge was a civilian, not a soldier, and gave up his life to distribute food to those fighting for others.

The family has asked that his name not be released, even though it was already widely publicized.

The man, a 37-year-old resident of Beit Aryeh, and was handing out food to soldiers at an IDF base near the Erez crossing with Gaza when Hamas terrorists launched a mortar attack.

The man, who has also volunteered for Chabad in his community, was caught in the shelling and didn’t make it to shelter in time. His body was riddled with shrapnel; he was pronounced dead at Barzilai Hospital in nearby Ashkelon.

A second man, age 44, was also wounded in the attack. He too was distributing food at the time but had not yet left the car when the shelling began. Hospital officials told an interviewer on Israeli Army Radio that he suffered shrapnel wounds to the face but was listed in good condition.

More than 100 rockets, missiles and mortar shells were fired at Israel from Gaza by 9pm on Tuesday alone. At least four exploded in residential areas and 10 others were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.

IDF Soldier Wounded by Shrapnel

Monday, July 14th, 2014

An IDF soldier sustained shrapnel wounds early Monday afternoon during an attack by Gaza terrorists as they shelled Eshkol Regional Council.

The soldier is listed in light condition, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

Guide to The Latest Gaza Terrorist Arsenal

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

As ground forces of the IDF prepare to enter Gaza, Israel’s Air Force, Navy and Security Agency (Shin Bet) intelligence agents continue to operate on other fronts.

Israeli civilians are taking a deep breath and continuing to carry on their daily affairs as much as humanly possible given the situation and the missiles being fired at their families and homes.

Gaza terrorist groups are competing to see who can launch the missile at Israel that flies the farthest, fastest. All are deeply frustrated by their failure to score a significant “hit,” according to military analysts.

Hamas has made a number of attempts to strike the Dimona nuclear reactor. Each time, the group’s newest acquisition, the Syrian-made M302 missile, has failed to deliver — instead, it was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system.

The M302 as a range of 160 kilometers (100 miles) and carries a warhead weighing approximately 144 kilograms (318 pounds.) From Gaza, it can reach as far as Nahariya, north of Haifa, but it is not clear whether that is with or without explosives in the warhead.

Late Thursday Hamas claimed that it deployed another new missile in its arsenal: the Iranian-made Sajl — or “Sejjil” (‘baked clay’ in Persian) rocket. The group said that so far it has launched 10 of these longer-range missiles — but the claim makes no sense.

It may instead be part of the signature disinformation campaign that marks the intermediate part of a Hamas military campaign — that which includes boasting, threats, the use of human shields, misinformation and wild exaggerations.

The true “medium range” Iranian Sejjil-2 is a ballistic missile that weighs 21.5 tons and measures 18.2 meters in length, with a diameter of 1.25 – 1.50 meters. It is propelled by solid fuel and has an operational range of 2,000 kilometers, and allegedly is harder to detect by anti-missile systems, as it is covered with anti-radar material. The missile is also more efficient as it requires less amount of time for prelaunch preparations, according to a 2009 statement by Iran’s Press TV.

It is odd to think of Iran gifting such a powerful, valuable weapon to Hamas, when the entire length of the State of Israel is only 260 miles, or 418 kilometers. But if Hamas were to fire such a weapon, one has to wonder where it would land; probably not anywhere in the Jewish State. With a range of 2,000 kilometers, one wrong launch could land Hamas in very hot water with its patrons, and Israel’s hostile northern neighbors.

Meanwhile, here is a quick guide to the rest of the arsenal currently being held by Hamas and its allies in Gaza, courtesy of the IDF:

Hamas Short range (15-20 km) Over 1,000 units of self-produced rockets (15 km) Over 2,500 units of smuggled rockets (15 km) Approx. 200 units of self-produced Grad rockets (20 km) Approx. 200 units of smuggled Grad rockets (20 km) Medium range (up to 45 km) Approx. 200 units of self-produced improved Grad rockets (45 km) Approx. 1,000 units of smuggled improved Grad rockets (45 km) Medium-Long range (up to 80 km) Over 400 units of self-produced medium range rockets Several dozen of rockets (80 km) Long range (100-200 km) Tens of long-range rockets (100-200 km) In Total: Approximately 6,000 rockets

Palestinian Islamic Jihad Short range (15-20 km) Approx. 1,000 units of self-produced rockets (15 km) Approx. 1,000 units of smuggled rockets (15 km) Approx. 300 units of self-produced Grad rockets (20 km) Approx. 100 units of smuggled Grad rockets (20 km) Medium range (up to 45 km) Approx. 200 units of self-produced improved Grad rockets (45 km) Approx. 600 units of smuggled improved Grad rockets (45 km) Medium-Long range (up to 80 km) Over 100 units of self-produced medium range rockets Several medium-long range rockets (80 km) In Total: Approximately 5,500 rockets

Other Terror Organizations Short range (15-20 km) Hundreds of self-produced and smuggled rockets including Grad rockets (15 km) Medium range (up to 45 km) Dozens of self-produced and smuggled improved Grad rockets (45 km)

Mortar Fire Sends Israeli Families Racing for Safety

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Mortar shells rained down on the Eshkol Regional Council district in an attack launched from Gaza at southern Israel Wednesday afternoon.

Three of the shells exploded in open areas.

There were no initial reports of physical injuries or property damage.

About an hour after midnight Tuesday night, two mortar shells exploded in open areas in the same region, destroying the sleep of thousands of Israeli families who were forced to race for their shelters and safe rooms.

No one was injured and no property damage was reported.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mortar-fire-sends-israeli-families-racing-for-safety/2014/07/02/

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