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September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘SDEROT’

Mashaal Vows Cease-Fire a Step to New ‘Resistance’ War against Israel

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Hamas’ supreme leader Khaled Mashaal dashed any hopes of long-term peace with Israel in a speech in Qatar on Thursday in which he shot from the hip at Israel and also at his terrorist organization’s new partner, the rival Fatah movement headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

His lengthy speech in Qatar, which has financed Hamas terror and which fought Egyptian cease-fire proposals, followed by one day a “victory” speech by Ismail Haniyeh, the senior Hamas political leader in Gaza. Mashaal’s silence while Haniyeh accepted the cease-fire is a clear sign of a fierce power struggle between Hamas in Gaza and between Mashaal and Qatar, which holds the purse strings.

Mashaal also claimed victory, with lies that Hamas missiles hit the Ben Gurion Airport, which is not true, and that more than 5 million Israelis hid in bomb shelters, a gross exaggeration. However, there is no doubt that Hamas succeeded in scaring the daylight out of millions of Israelis, interrupting a few flights and generally turning half of Israel into sitting ducks.

And this won’t be the last time, regardless of a cease-fire, he warned.

“Whatever happened [in Gaza] is not the end to this story, and this is not the last operation to free Palestine. It was an important stop on the way to victory,” Mashaal declared.

His speech threw every obstacle possible on the road to negotiations with Israel. The talks are supposed to begin in a month, leaving open the possibility, or probability, that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is carrying on secret negotiations that will be formalized in 30 days.

The Prime Minister suffered another blow to any trust that Israelis may have for him with a report on Thursday that he met secretly with Jordanian King Abdullah, and perhaps Abbas, prior to the cease-fire, circumstantial evidence that Israel negotiated under fire, contrary to Netanyahu’s promise.

If Mashaal gets his way, there won’t be any talks because one of the new powers in Gaza is slated to be Abbas, whose security forces would patrol Gaza borders, according to the Egyptian proposal. That would provide Cairo with another tactic to get rid of Hamas.

Mashaal nailed Abbas to the wall in his speech, accusing him of throwing cold water on the resumption of the intifada during the war by allowing his security forces to limit protests.

“The next operation needs to use all of the Palestinian capabilities, not just part of them,” Mashaal said. “The resistance is holy and weapons are holy. There is no such thing as a country without weapons.”

A country or not, Gaza still has at least 2,000 rockets as well as anti-tank rockets and presumably anti-aircraft missiles. It still has rocket factories, one of which was filmed in production by Hamas during one of the failed cease-fires during the war.

Netanyahu had demanded that any halt in violence would be accompanied by disarming Hamas, but this week’s cease-fire only left the issue to be put on the negotiating table, along with Hamas’s demands for a deep-sea port and an airport.

Mashaal’s speech was full of hate and crude accusations that Israel inflicted a “Holocaust” on Gaza by “destroying schools and hospitals,” which all but the most extreme anti-Israel media now know were used by Hamas as rocket launching and terrorist command centers.

“We are against what Hitler did to the Jews, and Israel committed a second Holocaust in Gaza. Israel is an embarrassment to Jews and to the entire world,” according to Mashaal.

His rhetoric was aimed at Abbas as well as Israel. If and when negotiations begin, Egypt and the United States will be on the side of Abbas, who despite his unity government with Hamas has proved politically smart by a patient and single-minded tactic of using international support to slowly but surely win concession after concession from Israel until there is nothing left to negotiate.

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?

IDF Stops Train Service South of Ashkelon

Sunday, August 17th, 2014

Sunday night – IDF Homefront Command has ordered all train service south of Ashkelon stopped until further notice.

The army hasn’t said why, but presumably they believe the ceasefire may end sometime very soon.

Sources report that there is concern that an anti-tank missile may be fired at the train.

The IDF Homefront Command has also published silent radio channels for tonight.

Direct Strike on Homes in Sderot, Ashkelon in Rocket Barrage from Gaza

Friday, August 8th, 2014

A Qassam rocket slammed directly into a private home in the Gaza Belt community of Sderot at around 3:30 pm Friday afternoon, just a few hours before the start of the Sabbath. It was the second home in Sderot to be hit by a rocket today. No one was physically injured in the attack.

This is the second home to be damaged in a Qassam rocket barrage from Gaza today (Friday, August 8, 2014). Miraculously, no one was home.

This is the second home to be damaged in a Qassam rocket barrage from Gaza today (Friday, August 8, 2014). Miraculously, no one was home.

The Code Red rocket alert system allows residents of the communities in the Gaza Belt area – those in the Eshkol, Sdot Negev and Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council districts – only a 15-second window within which to reach a safe space before rocket impact.

Less than half an hour after the house in Sderot was hit, a home in the coastal city of Ashkelon suffered the same fate.

As in Sderot, however, the terrorist rocket found no victims; the owners of the home were safe in a shelter and were not physically injured, although the building was damaged. Residents of Ashkelon have a window of 30 seconds within which to reach shelter before an attack.

A few hours earlier, the director of Sapir Academic College, Dr. Nachmi Paz, age 71, was wounded by shrapnel when a Qassam rocket exploded at the entrance to the community. A 20-year-old soldier also sustained shrapnel wounds in the same attack. Both running for shelter but weren’t quite fast enough when the rocket slammed into the ground nearby. Sapir College is located in an area on the outskirts of Sderot.

More than 50 rocketswere fired at Israel by Gaza terrorists in the past eight hours, since the 72-hour humanitarian cease fire ended at 8 am. Four Israelis were wounded.

Sapir College Director Wounded in Gaza Rocket Attack

Friday, August 8th, 2014

The director of Sapir Academic College in Sderot, Dr. Nachmi Paz, age 71, was wounded shortly after noon today (Friday) in a rocket barrage fired from Gaza.

The college director sustained shrapnel wounds. He was evacuated to Soroka Medical Center in Be’er Sheva with moderate injuries and is now listed in fair condition.

A 20-year-old soldier who also sustained shrapnel wounds in the attack is listed in good condition at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.

The two were hurt after a rocket exploded near the entrance to a community in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council District.

A separate barrage of six rockets was fired at around the same time at the Sdot Negev Regional Council district. Both attacks occurred shortly before noon.

Gaza Belt Says ‘No’ to Ceasefire

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

SDEROT – As the Security Cabinet continues to deliberate a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza, residents of the missile-battered south say a ceasefire now would only prolong their trauma.

Three weeks into Operation Protective Edge, central Sderot has too-easily into a familiar wartime footing. Although Tuesday morning was “quiet,” with no Code Red sirens between 10 am and noon, there were few pedestrians in the downtown shopping district. Many shops were closed, and virtually all the ones that had deigned to open were empty. At one downtown falafel stand, five middle-aged men sat around an empty table on the sidewalk, talking while trying not to watch the TV news, which was alternating between ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza and military funerals around the country.

But depute the economic trauma the war has caused to towns like Sderot around southern Israel, the men were united in their belief that it is too early to end the offensive against Hamas. It’s a theme that has animated conversation here during each military flare up in recent years.

“If you end the war now, Hamas wins,” said Yoram Alfassi, the owner of the falafel joint told this reporter in 2008. “We’ve been living with this reality for years, it’s enough already. There have been bad times and worse, but it’s been ongoing for years. If we don’t finish them off now, you can bet there will be another round of fighting, and that Hamas will be stronger the next time around.”

In hindsight, Aflassi’s words were prophetic. Although he no longer owns the falafel stand, the men sitting there Tuesday say the IDF made a mistake then, and in 2012, by accepting a ceasefire instead of dealing a “death blow” to the terrorist organization. Even worse, the men agreed that the discovery of an entire network of cross-border tunnels was far worse than they’d imagined. It was a sentiment echoed at communities around the region.

“Everybody knew there were tunnels under the border, but nobody thought it was this bad,” said Orly Schecter, a resident of Kibbutz Mefalsim, halfway between Sderot and the Gaza border. At the end of the day, the rockets are scary, but unless they score a direct hit, the Qassams don’t usually hurt people. The tunnels are a game-changer,” she said.

Asked how she would define an Israeli “victory” in the current operation, Schechter said simply, “when they cant’ fire rockets and can’t dig tunnels anymore. That’s how you’ll know we’ve won. If we stop any earlier than that, it will be only a matter of time until the rockets are flying at us again.

“It’s a crazy thing to say – we’ve been living for the past three weeks with constant noise – not only rocket sirens, but also the hum of drones overhead monitoring the goings-on in Gaza, and especially the explosions of our artillery and tanks firing into the Strip. We can hear them from many kilometres away, but some of the tanks fire right outside the kibbutz. It’s loud enough that it makes the entire kibbutz shake.

“But it’s really important to understand that we are strong, and that we have the strength to withstand these attacks until the IDF finishes the job. Our people who need some time away from it all have left the kibbutz, either for three-to-four day jaunts or for longer. Most people take a few days, then come back. We’re thankful that so many people and groups, like other kibbutzim, have come onboard to help us out by hosting us, opening tourist sites to us for free and more.

“But ultimately, this cannot go on indefinitely, and Hamas has proven that it will not honor any deal of ceasefire with Israel in the long term. We have to finish them off once-and-for-all. Otherwise, all this was for nothing,” she said.

US Jews Step Up for Israeli Kids

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Jewish communities from around the world have stepped up to support children from southern Israel who have lived their entire lives under the threat of missile attacks from Hamas freedom fighters in Gaza.

(To quote the late comedian George Carlin: If firefighters fight fire, and crime fighters fight crime… what do freedom fighters fight? But I digress).

According to Israel Radio, the Jewish Federations of North America and Keren Hayesod have donated NIS 12 million to fund summer activities in central Israel and in Jerusalem for 50,000 children from the missile-battered south.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-jews-step-up-for-israeli-kids/2014/07/24/

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