Day 12 of the Gaza war, Wednesday, January 7, 2009 -- Daily sticky post, constantly updated.
Note: Using the "Refresh" (F5 key) command in your Web Browser will show you the latest updates -- Refresh on an Apple/Mac is apple+R.
Please say a prayer for the safety of our soldiers.
Additional New posts from today can be found below this post.
As a general rule we will try and keep operational details to a minimum, that includes troop movements and the exact location of rocket hits. If items are reported in the Mainstream Israeli Media we will report them as well.
12:27 GRAD rocket launched at Beer Sheva area.
11:59 PM Herald Tribune...Oops. As reported below
12:48 PM Israel's Foreign Ministry contemplates evicting Venezuela's diplomats from Israel, after Venezuela threw out Israel's ambassador.JERUSALEM: Israel's foreign ministry says it is considering expelling Venezuela's diplomats from Israel in response to the expulsion of Israel's envoys from Venezuela. The Israelis were ordered out of their Caracas embassy in protest over Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip. IHT
11:52 PM No reports of injuries from the rocket attacks in the past few minutes.
11:40 PM Reports of GRAD rocket landing in Beer Sheva area; emergency units responding.
11:39 PM Additional barrage of rockets to Western Negev. Updates momentarily...
11:37 PM Rockets launched towards Ashkelon, Ashdod and Beer Sheva. Air raid Sirens going off...
11:33 PM IDF Artillery pounding away at Hamas targets in Chan Yunis and Dir Al Balach.
11:22 PM The picture (below) is being followed by the good folks at Fauxtography. See their updates
11:12 PM Experts looking at the photo below are wondering if AP has "pulled a Reuters", similar to the Reuters doctored photo from the second Lebanon war.
Can any of our readers help out? The items flying away from the blast seem to be added in, and disproportional to the rest of the picture. Again, this is conjecture, we're looking for additional confirmation now.
11:09 PM As we reported earlier, the IDF was warning Gazan Rafiah residents to leave their homes by 6:00 PM this evening. Reports indicate that over 30,000 residents of Rafiah have taken the advice of the IDF, and have fled.
The IAF has been conducting a large scale bombardment of targets and tunnels in the Rafiach area since 9 PM this evening.
11:06 PM If anyone can contact LGF and have them look into this story below about the possibly faked AP photo, it would be very much appreciated. I don't know of this story appearing anywhere in the English language blogosphere.
10:39 Israeli Bloggers question authenticity of AP photograph from "Gaza" -- many believe it is photoshopped or even not from Gaza at all!
The AP Comment for the picture states: "An explosion after an Israeli strike in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday, as seen from Gaza City.(Adel Hana/Associated Press)"
SOURCE FROM HERE -- SEE IT FOR YOURSELF)
The following is noted.
1. We don't know of mountains near Gaza like those in the background.
2. The debris "flying" away from the explosion appears to be "photoshopped" in.
3. Israeli bloggers are now trying to determine where this photo is really from in the first place.
Ongoing investigation - we will keep you posted. (source from rotter, Israeli bloggers)
10;31 PM Many updates in the coming minutes, please stay tuned. (Just came back from grocery shopping...[jameel])
9:16 PM 5 Government Cabinet ministers pushing for extended ground operation and do not want operation to end now. This would mean tens of thousands IDF reserve soldiers taking over the Gaza Strip.
9:15 PM IDF air strikes over Rafiach. Possible preparation for ground incursion into Rafiach to destroy tunnels leading from Egypt.
8:00 PM Rockets fired at Negev. No damage. No injuries.
7:45 PM Foreign sources are saying that the US has supplied the Israel Air Force with many new types of ammunition to test them out in Gaza.
7:44PM IDF Air Forc eliminated terrorists in Northern Gaza.
7:03 PM Reports of a shooting attack near Shiloh. Unconfirmed.
6:18 PM The Taxi that Hurried - Miracle in Sderot
(IsraelNN.com) A Sderot cab driver hit the gas pedal and reached a bomb shelter 50 feet away when he heard the 20-second warning siren that a Kassam rocket was about to crash. He and his passengers reached the bomb shelter just as the rocket exploded, blowing away all the windows of the vehicle.
"The driver reached the shelter and ran out of the cab, opened the doors and ordered everyone out," said one of the passengers. "He told the elderly and the children to get out first and then the rest of us ran. The same second we reached the shelter, there was a boom that left the cab heavily damaged."
The passengers were hysterical, several were treated for shock, but there were no physical injuries.
6:04 PM Rocket lands in empty area - no injuries, no damage.
6:01 PM Rocket launched to Western Negev.
5:44 PM Israel Channel 1 TV reports: Apparently, the long range rockets (3) which hit Be'er Sheva at 4:28 PM were set up by Hamas during the 3 hour "Humanitarian" cease fire.
5:30 PM Israel's cabinet gives green light for continued Gaza operation (YNET)
4:51 PM In addition to following the Muqata (and Israellycool) for live-blogging, the following excellent list of pro-Israel sites are also covering the war.
See what Elie the IDF soldier is up to (or what he tells his mom he's up to) -- an Israeli mother's musings on her son serving in the IDF at A Soldier's Mother
Mere Rhetoric doing his snarky best at putting things in context.This list (mostly) courtesy of the esteemed Elder of Ziyon Blogger, who has many excellent posts a day. Don't forget to check out his monthly Qassam Calendar. And of course JoeSettler!!!
Israel Matzav doing a comprehensive and amazing job.
Jack's Shack has been putting up fantastic, twice a day roundups of articles in the old media as well as new.
The Augean Stables skewers the mainstream media coverage and digs up amazing facts.
Yaacov Lozowick has great, instant, in-depth observations and analysis.
The IDF Spokesperson Blog has some good info as well.
Snapped Shot adds his own expertise in finding media bias, especially in photographs.
Plus the usual JBlogosphere suspects: Daled Amos, Meryl Yourish, Soccer Dad, Yid with Lid, Boker Tov Boulder, Oleh Girl, and the ever-scary DoubleTapper blogger from my military unit.
Treppenwitz -- if you havent heard of him, it's right time you pay his blog a visit.
If I forgot you -- drop me and email and I'll include you as well...and now back to liveblogging.
4:48 PM Photo of GRAD Rocket Strike in Be'er Sheva at 4:28 PM
4:35 PM Explosions heard in Netivot were IAF jets' sonic booms. 3 GRAD Rockets have landed in the Beer Sheva area - no injuries, no damage.
4:28 PM Reports of Rockets falling in Beer Sheva. Emergency Units responding
4:26 PM Air Raid Sirens in Ofakim, Netivot, and Beer Sheva.
4:20 PM Reports of 3 IDF soldiers lightly wounded - arrived for treatment at Seroka hospital in Beer Sheva.
4:17 PM Reports from Israel TV Channel 10 and Reuters that intense fighting has resumed in Gaza following the 3 hour "Humanitarian Aid Cease Fire"
4:04 PM Both Israel and Hamas have said that the French/Egyptian peace proposal is still up for discussion. No cease-fire yet.
3:27 PM Reports that Israel and "Palestinian Authority" have reached a "cease fire" understanding based on the Egyptian proposal.
So...the PA is representing Hamas and Gaza? Does that mean the rockets being launched at Israel were with PA consent?
3:05 PM False alarm for air raid sirens in Ashkelon
3:02 PM Rocket on its way to Ashkelon.
2:55 PM For those of you who wish to say Tehillim/Pray for the full recovery of our wounded soldiers, the following is a recent list of IDF soldiers wounded in action in Gaza.
Noam ben Elza - leg was amputated as a result of a mortar in Nachal Oz a month ago. Doctors fighting these days to save his other leg
Li'el Hoshea ben Miriam - critically wounded -- head trauma
Nerya ben Rivka - seriously wounded -- head trauma
Yitzchak ben Na'ava - moderately wounded in his shoulder
Netan'el ben Na'ava - moderately wounded by shrapnel in his leg
Maxim ben Olga - lightly wounded in his leg - doctors operating to remove shrapnel
Yisrael ben Ilana - lightly wounded by shrapnel
Yo'ad Ido ben Freida Rivka - lightly wounded by shrapnel
Idan ben Leora - lightly wounded by shrapnel
Nadav ben Miriam - lightly wounded by shrapnel
Dvir ben Leah -- seriously wounded.
Ben ben Netiva -- critically wounded, entering surgery now (3 PM)
Refael ben Dinah
May they all have a complete recovery among the wounded and sick of Israel.
1:01 PM Additional rockets on their way to Ashkelon.
1:00 PM No injured reported in Ashkelon rocket attack.
How the Arab Media covers the war on Gaza.
12:55 PM Rocket explosion heard in Ashkelon area
12:54 PM Air Raid Sirens in Ashkelon
12:51 PM No injuries or damage in rocket barrage from minutes ago to Western Negev.
12:48 PM Israel's Foreign Ministry contemplates evicting Venezuela's diplomats from Israel, after Venezuela threw out Israel's ambassador.
JERUSALEM: Israel's foreign ministry says it is considering expelling Venezuela's diplomats from Israel in response to the expulsion of Israel's envoys from Venezuela. The Israelis were ordered out of their Caracas embassy in protest over Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor says Israel's ambassador has been informed in writing that he and his diplomatic staff must leave Venezuela within 72 hours. He says the letter did not refer to any severance of diplomatic relations. IHT
12:44 PM Gazan mortars firing on Western Negev communities.
12:38 PM Reported concerns that the longer range "Grad" rockets will be used by Hams during the afternoon 3 hour cease fire.
12:11 PM Israel Channel 2 TV Reports: IDF warning Rafiah residents in Gaza to be gone by 6 PM this evening.
11:59 AM US Army engineering corp officers in Egyptian border city of Rafiah, helping locate Hamas smuggling tunnels to Gaza. (YNET in Hebrew)
11:30 AM Taken a few days ago - Smoke Rises from Gaza. Photo taken from Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion, 60 kilometers from Gaza.
Photo Credit; M. Berger.
11:18 AM Kudos to blog friend, Israel Soldier's Mother, who got a write up in the NY Times.
10:50 AM Without a doubt, this is one of the scarier things I've read over the past week. Not rockets which can hit Tel Aviv, not booby trapped cities in Gaza, and not the Grad Missile supply under the Shifa hospita (or even Hamas shooting rockets from UN schools).
Ashely Perry, writes the following on YNETNEWS in English:
The fighting in Gaza has filled the columns of every international newspaper and reputable news website around the world. International television and radio have provided a sea of analysts to pore over every detail, every inch and every angle of the operation. All the major international organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union and the Arab League are discussing nothing else.His thesis is that perhaps Iran is pulling the strings behind the Gaza war, in order to divert world attention (and Israel's) from the quickly paced Iranian nuclear program.
Perhaps this is the point of the whole conflict, and the decision by Hamas not to renew the ceasefire. Conceivably, the conflict was created to divert attention from something else, rather more pressing.
The fingerprints of Iran on the latest confrontation are well known. Many in the Arab world have been saying that Iran is playing a major destabilizing role in the region for a while, but some in the West have refused to believe them.
In the words of Dar al-Hayat columnist, Jihad El Khazen, "Iran is playing a disruptive and subversive role on the Palestinian scene; it does not intend through the $25 to $40 million it spends monthly in Gaza to support the Palestinians but rather to use them."
10:49 AM Warning of imminent rocket launch to Lachish region.
10:43 AM SKY News reports that the IDF will hold a 3 hour cease fire. I wonder if that applies only to Israel?
10:39 AM In Gaza we will be victorious! (The acronym also stands for, With G-d's help we will be victorious)
hat-tip: realRightWinger from the Modi'in settlement.
10:34 AM Just received this spoof in the mail. Click to read it in full size.
There's more on their website.
10:21 AM I was seriously disgusted hearing IDF Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) this morning. The "Razi Barkai" morning program started off something like this:
"IDF forces hit a UN school, killing lots of civilians, just like they did in Kafar Kana in the "Grapes of Wrath" operation in South Lebanon years ago. Why does the IDF keeping making the same mistakes of hitting civilians? The pressure grows to stop the operation, Jewish communities outside Israel are losing their patience, world leaders are turning on the heat. For our first interview this morning, lets chat with the head of the Gaza Shifa hospital emergency room..."
Disproportional Response is not only for the battlefield in Gaza, but in the media as well. With news sites around the world taking the Gaza side, with pro-Gaza demonstrations going on everywhere, we need to be as forceful as possible in our media reporting on behalf of Israel. Our soldiers in Gaza do not need to be stabbed in the back by IDF radio -- they need our full and total support, and not hearing interviews with the head of the Shifa hospital, which is housing munitions, rockets, and where Hamas terrorists are dressing up as doctors and nurses.
The following video from the IDF spokesman clearly states what happened yesterday at the UN school, and there is NO reason for the IDF to stop the counter offensive against Hamas.
10:13 AM As three rockets land around Ashkelon, several a treated for shock as one hits building. Emergency forces on site.
9:57 AM Sirens going of in Ashkelon, rockets in the direction.
9:00 AM Reports of another missile landing in Ayalon region (South of Ashkelon).
8:58 AM Grad missile hits Gan Yavneh area. United Hatzalah and emergency units responding.
8:49 PM Rockets on the way NOW to Ashdod, Yavneh and Gadera areas.
8:29 AM Rocket fired at Southern Israel. Rocket lands in open field. No injuries. No damage.
In case you aren't yet subscribed to the excellent IDF channel on YouTube, here's an excellent video they put out a few hours ago which quickly sums up the last few years regarding Gaza and demonstrates well the difference between the IDF and Hamas when it comes to valuing the lives of civilians - on both sides:
12:54 AM Is this what the world is waiting for?
12:40 AM Hi People - Jameel here. It's been another exhausting day for Israel; from mourning our brave soldiers who died defending Israel, to running back and forth to bomb shelters, as Gazan rockets continue to fall...our concern for a 3 month old baby who was wounded (thankfully, only a minor scratch) by a Grad missile that fell near Gedera this morning, to seeing the bravery of our soldiers and IDF commanders, who return to battle after hospitalization...to the overwhelming morale of our soldiers, as they are literally begging to be drafted (over 115% of units are arriving for draft call ups -- meaning people are showing up to their units even without receiving draft notices!)
Again, thanks for your wonderful comments, and emails, donations to our sponsors (all worthy causes for Israel), and even the occasional tip to the Muqata crew.
We salute you all, and thank you for your ongoing support for Israel.
A special thanks to the senior Muqata crewmembers: Litvshe and JoeSettler who help keep this blog running (and twitter) around the clock.
This is Jameel, signing off for tonight.
Be strong - חזק ואמץ!
12:30 AM Can you say, "Fifth Column?"
Israeli Member of Knesset, Ahmed Tibi: Israeli attack on UN school in Gaza is a war crime (Haaretz)
12:17 AM AP comes clean, corroborates IDF's position on Hamas attacking IDF soldiers from UN school.
Israel shells near UN school, killing at least 30
By IBRAHIM BARZAK and STEVE WEIZMAN, Associated Press Writers
The Israeli army said its soldiers came under fire from militants hiding in the school and responded. It accused Gaza's Hamas rulers of "cynically" using civilians as human shields. Residents confirmed the account, saying militants were seen staging attacks from the area.
The army said two Hamas militants — Imad Abu Askar and Hasan Abu Askar — were among the dead.
Two neighborhood residents confirmed the Israeli account, saying a group of militants fired mortars from a street near the school, then fled into a crowd of people in the streets. Israel then opened fire.
The residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they feared for their safety, said the Abu Askar brothers were known low-level Hamas militants.
12:04 AM It's a new day!
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