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August 23, 2014 / 27 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Rocket fire’

Netanyahu Reassures Israel: War Mode until Total Quiet

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took to the air waves Wednesday night to reassure the country that the war against Hamas will continue until there is total security, peace and quiet not only for residents in southern Israel but also for all of the country.

The rah-rah speeches by the Prime Minister, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz included nothing that was not said in the past but were a clear message to the people of Israel and to Hamas that the resumption of missile attacks on Israel has deepened the government and military’s resolve to put an end once and for all to nearly a decade of rocket, mortar shell and missile s launched from Gaza at Israel, from the Gaza border to the north.

“We are taking all means to reach the objective and bring complete quiet,” Netanyahu said.” Operation Protective Edge has not ended, not even for a second,”

He recounted the heavy damage the IDF inflicted on the hams terrorist infrastructure but left unsaid that the “heavy blow” to Hamas has not deterred the terrorist organization from continuing to place most of Israel under daily and nightly rocket attacks.

“We will not stop until there is total security to southern Israel and to all citizens of the country,” he added.

“Our policy is simple. Shoot? You will get it back,” Netanyahu asserted. “If Hamas does not understand that today, it will understand tomorrow. If not tomorrow, then in two days because in the Middle East, it not just a matter of force but a matter of continued force.”

The IDF has called up more reservists and has recalled thousands of reservists who have been on an extended leave of absence. Plans for a massive ground incursion have been drawn out although it may be the last option the government and military want to exercise.

The Prime Minister sounds like he means what he says. The goal of the war has changed from destroying terror tunnels to a broader but an indefinite objective that will require an even stronger retaliation.

After nearly a decade, it’s about time, isn’t it?

Sapir College Closed (Again!) Due to ‘Rain’ of Rocket Fire

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Sapir Academic College has canceled classes and exams on Wednesday due to the renewal of rocket, mortar and missile fire from Sderot.

The well-known institution, home to dramatic and other arts programs is located on the outskirts of the city of Sderot, barely a mile away from the Gaza border.

The institution said it would keep students informed as to when classes will resume. It is not yet clear how and when class time and exams will be made up.

On August 8, 2014, the director of the college, 71-year-old Dr. Nachmi Paz was wounded during a rocket attack when he was unable to make it to a safe space in time. A house in Sderot sustained a direct hit during the same barrage of Qassam rockets fired by Gaza terrorists that day.

When is “enough,” truly enough?

US Holds Hamas Responsible for All Rocket Attacks on Israel

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

The United States holds Hamas accountable for all rocket attacks on Israel, U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters at the daily oppress briefing Tuesday.

Asked if the rockets that broke the cease-fire were launched from Gaza, she said, “It came from Gaza, and Hamas has responsibility for Gaza.”

Harf also that there has been no agreement on re-opening border crossings.

Hamas immediately denied responsibility for the first rockets that rained on Be’er Sheva late Tuesday afternoon, six hours before the latest 24-hour truce was set to expire.

At least eight rockets were fired on southern Israel during the afternoon and the evening.

Thousands of soldiers, including Reservists, still are deployed along the Gaza front although most tanks and armored personnel carriers were transported back to the Golan Heights immediately after the first cease-fire was announced two weeks ago.

Each transport of a tank costs around $3,000, and if the IDF has to bring them back to Gaza, the round-trip cost will reach millions of dollars.

If the tanks are needed, someone is going to have to a lot of explaining to answer why the military got so over-excited over the cease-fire and showed its cards to Hamas by pulling out heavy equipment long before there was any evidence that the cease-fire would hold.

Hamas has failed to honor dozens of cease-fires the past several years, with one exception being the five-day truce that expired shortly before midnight Monday and was extended for 24 hours, until it was broken Tuesday afternoon.

The Israeli government kept its word that there will be no negotiations with Hamas, though Egyptian mediation, even if there is one rocket attack, and it ordered negotiators to return home.

Hamas still is acting as if it has the upper hand and warned that it has made its final offer to Israel, through Egypt, for a longer-term cease-fire.

The gimmick is an old one for Hamas. It creates a situation whereby it knows Israel cannot negotiate, in this case because it under rocket attacks, and then makes an offer that cannot be discussed. The next step is to blame Israel.

No one is buying it.

 

 

Gaza Terrorists Back to Attacking Israel, Israelis ‘Absolutely’ Outraged

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Gaza terrorists returned to ‘business as usual’ launching rocket and missile attacks against Israel late Tuesday afternoon.

It’s the 11th time Hamas has violated an Egyptian-brokered cease-fire, due to end at midnight.

A barrage of missile fire was aimed at Ashdod and communities along the Gaza border Tuesday evening, with all of the missiles landing in open areas.

No one was physically injured in any of the attacks, but many were traumatized and even more were “absolutely” outraged to find themselves and their children under rocket fire while they believed a cease-fire was in force and negotiations were underway.

A few minutes after 6:30 pm, two missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome defense system, indicating they were both headed directly for densely populated areas.

But the cease-fire had already been violated more than an hour earlier.

The first attack came in a barrage of Grad missiles aimed at Be’er Sheva and Netivot — a surprise not anticipated by residents who were not warned by the Code Red incoming rocket alert system, which malfunctioned.

Two missiles landed in open areas on the outskirts of Be’er Sheva, and a third exploded in Netivot. Miraculously, no one was physically injured and no property damage was reported.

Within half an hour, at about 5:30 pm, a rocket was fired at civilians living in the Sdot Negev Regional Council district. They, too were given no warning since the Code Red system was not triggered by the launch from Gaza, yet no one was injured in the attack.

A multiple barrage was fired shortly after, targeting the coastal city of Ashkelon and aiming again at the agricultural communities located along the Gaza Belt area, most of which provide food to markets in greater Israel.

“Operation Protective Edge is not over,” Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon warned journalists during a meeting at the IDF Naval Academy on Monday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He was right.

Israel Air Force fighter pilots took to the skies to retaliate immediately following the first cease-fire violation.

“Following renewed rocket attacks at Israel… amidst the ceasefire, the IDF is currently targeting terror sites across the Gaza Strip,” IDF Spokesperson Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement to media.

“The IDF remains alert and maintains both defensive and striking capabilities in order to address the renewed aggression. The IDF is determined to defend the civilians of the State of Israel. Yet again, terrorists breach the ceasefire and renew fire at Israeli civilians from Hamas ruled Gaza Strip. This continued aggression will be addressed accordingly by the IDF.

“We will continue striking terror infrastructure, pursuing terrorists, and eliminating terror capabilities in the Gaza Strip, in order to restore security for the State of Israel.”

Israel Won’t Return to Truce Talks if Rocket Fire Resumes

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

Egyptian-mediated talks between Hamas and Israel for a long-term cease-fire are to begin Saturday night or Monday morning, half-way through the five-day extension of the previous 72-hour cease-fire that followed the previous humanitarian cease-fire, all of which were punctuated by rocket fire from Gaza.

You can’t keep up with this game without a scorecard, or make that two scorecards because of the extra innings. Every cease-fire, even the one that ended last night and was extended at the usual last minute, has been broken by rocket launches followed by IDF retaliation.

Remember that before the cease-fire before the last cease-fire, which was after the first cease-fire that wasn’t a cease-fire, Israel insisted it would not attend talks unless there are zero attacks from Gaza?

The Jewish Press asked Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, if that policy still is in effect.

“Definitely,” was his one-word answer. Copy, paste and save in “favorites.”

Gaza terrorists were not able to hold on to their rockets for 72 hours in this week’s cease-fire. Nearly three hours before its expiration midnight Wednesday, three rockets were launched at Israel, followed by another volley a couple of hours later.

Hamas claims it did not break the cease-fire. “They did it,” was their explanation, “they” meaning Islamic Jihad, or ISIS, or AL QAEDA, or PFLP, or the Popular Resistance Committees, or Mohammed what’s-his-name from Kahn Yunis who started up his own terrorist gang.

Hamas also has used the excuse of “they did it” to explain cease-fire failures. That also is an admission that Hamas does not have such a firm grip over Gaza, or simply is letting others do what it would like to do.

As reported here Wednesday, Hamas apparently is continuing to manufacture rockets, destined for Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion Airport, during the halt in violence.

Hamas can hold on to rockets without firing them about as long as a child can keep chocolate in his pocket.

It would seem that Hamas has everything to lose if it breaks the cease-fire, or even if it claims a rival or cooperating terrorist group beaks it. But Hamas is not interested in a cease-fire, which is only one more tool for it to try to maneuver Israel into an indefensible corner.

The IDF managed to destroy almost all of the terror tunnels in the war. As for rockets, the good news is that it wiped out perhaps more than half of its arsenal. The bad news is that there are many more that were not destroyed, and, as noted, Hamas still is manufacturing them.

If Hamas can get thought Saturday night without even one little rocket, one that usually explodes in open area but also can kill a few people in one explosion, the next round of charades will begin.

That leaves about two days before the official end of the current cease-fire. Hamas has almost never been able to stop attacks before the end of truces, cease-fires, “calms,” “hundas” or whatever it wants to call them.

It always wants to show that it can have the last word.

If it tries that game again, will Israel walk out?

Remember Regev’s word.

“Definitely.”

Hamas Breaks Cease-Fire with Three Rocket Attacks

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Hamas attacked southern Israel with three rockets shortly after 9 p.m. Wednesday, ending the 72-hour cease-fire nearly three hours before its official end.

No one was injured.

Israel has not responded to the rocket fire, at least so far and may be waiting to see if Hamas is intent on launched round two of the war, or simply is letting Hamas play head games by not extending the cease-fire but and shooting three rockets just to prove it can do so.

The best scenario would be that Israel has spotted the rocket launching sites and will retaliate later this evening.

However, Hamas claims it did not fire the rockets, which makes the terrorist organization look even worse because if true, it proves, as it has often proven, that it does not control Gaza.

The Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down one rocket over Ashkelon, and two other rockets exploded in open areas in the area of Sderot, located approximately one mile – as the missile flies – from the Gaza border, and in the area south of Ashkelon.

The Palestinian Authority postponed a scheduled 9:30 p.m. press conference as truce talks in Cairo appear to have been nothing more than hot air that is about to blow up. President Obama spoke with Prime minister Netanyahu about the cease-fire during the afternoon, according to White House spokesman Ben Rhodes.

The IDF has called up reservists and extended the emergency “Tzav 8” orders so thousands of soldiers, some of whom were called up as long as a month ago.

After the original ceasefire began, the IDF pulled troops out of Gaza but redeployed thousands of troops along the Gaza border, from the north to the south, so that they can go into action immediately if need be.

However, hundreds of tanks and armored personnel carriers returned to their bases near Eilat and in the Golan. But enough remain near Gaza so that the IDF can retaliate.

Hamas Huffs and Israel Bluffs towards New Ceasefire

Sunday, August 10th, 2014

Rumors of another 72-hour ceasefire are flying along rockets from Gaza on southern Israel Sunday afternoon while Israel maintains it will not hold negotiations under fire.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorists, who are separated only by which group can scream louder that the Zionists must be destroyed, attacked Israel from the Gaza border to Ashkelon more than 30 times Sunday morning.

Israel retaliated with a limited number of targeted aerial strikes. Hamas claimed, as usual, that an innocent child –this time a teenager – C was killed.

Israeli negotiators left the so-called ceasefire talks, which Hamas has tried to turn into negotiations for its demands, because of the continued rocket fire that broke the last 72-hour truce Friday morning.

The Arab negotiators threatened on Sunday they would leave Egypt if the Israelis don’t return. The Netanyahu government has not commented and has not offered a clue if negotiators are ready to fly back to Cairo.

Everyone is threatening everyone, but Israel is unlikely to refuse a ceasefire and lose Brownie points on the diplomatic front.

Despite protestations from both sides, talks for a ceasefire are going on behind the scenes. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is part of the action he never loses an opportunity to play with fire. He has talked again with officials from Qatar, which feeds Hamas money and hosts a computer system programmed by which pressing “enter” will set off an underground rocket launcher in Gaza.

One sign of a new ceasefire by Sunday evening was a fresh barrage of rocket attacks on Gaza Belt communities and as far north as Ashkelon. There was minimal property damage and no injuries.

The attacks will give Hamas an opportunity to say that it has scared Israel into a ceasefire and subsequent negotiations. If the rocket fire magically ends one minute before a ceasefire, then Israel can claim as if it stood its ground and refused to talk about a ceasefire before Hamas ran out of breath.

If Hamas really were serious about digging for an extended round of attacks and counter-attacks, it would have fired a missile towards Tel Aviv. It still might launch just to impress itself

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is feeling pressure from a large segment of the population and even from center-left Knesset Members not to go back to another round of allowing Hamas to harass Gaza Belt communities and to retaliate for the rocket explosions as if they were on Tel Aviv.

The problem is that the world already is used to Israel playing the wimp when the rockets are aimed at rural areas and usually explode in open areas. Once in a while there are near-misses of a rocket hitting a classroom of children.

Israel is gaining some international sympathy as even the BBC and The New York Times are beginning to own up to the truth that the number of civilian casualties in Gaza is far less than Hamas claims.

But the momentum is in Hamas’ favor. By all accounts, Gaza has been devastated, and the pictures of the destruction that foreign media publish day after day have incited hundreds of thousands of anti-Zionists around the world to protest. In South Africa, an unprecedented anti-Israel rally drew approximately 50,000 demonstrators.

Western media and many political leaders know that Israel is in the right “but” – meaning, “Hamas is at fault, so let’s sit down and talk about making peace with Hamas.”

This is a dramatic change in reasoning with the same unreasonable conclusion, a change from the mantra that “Israel is at fault, so let’s sit down and talk about making peace with Hamas.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-huffs-and-israel-bluffs-towards-new-ceasefire/2014/08/10/

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