More liveblogging at IsraellyCool and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/muqata Keyword #GazaWar
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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.
7:55 PM Channel 2 TV: IDF spox denies again all rumors that Gilad Shalit has been found/returned home/hospitalized/etc.
7:54 PM Hamas also demanding that IDF withdraw all tanks before start of ceasefire. Israel will probably agree (Channel 10 TV)
7:47 PM Good G-d. Channel 10 is reporting about the upcoming "ceasefire agreement". Channel 10 claims that Israel will open border crossings to Gaza. Hamas will not return Gilad Shalit, Hamas will only cease shooting rockets at Israel for a year.
For this we went to war?
7:37 PM Updated List of wounded IDF soldiers and civilians, here
7:32 PM Senior Hamas member, Rafat Nasif: Hamas will not agree to harm their tunnel operation which connects Gaza to Egypt. We reject any attempt to stop our resistance, and any commitment [to a casefire] would harm it. As long as the occupation continues, our resistance will continue" (ynet)
This doesn't really make sense in light of reports that Hamas is willing to accept the Egyptian brokered cease fire.
7:25 PM Released for publication by IDF censor: In addition to the 5 IDF soldiers wounded this morning by an anti-tank rocket (one seriously), 9 other IDF soldiers were wounded this afternoon; 1 moderately, the rest, light.
6:57 PM News is rather quiet. IDF soldiers are edgy. Cease fire looming?
6:30 PM The test of Israel's political leadership is this -- did they demand that IDF soldier Gilad Shalit be released from Hamas captivity as part of the cease fire agreement being reached with Hamas?
YNET: Hamas has agreed to a ceasefire in Gaza based on Egypt's proposal, Arab sources told Ynet Wednesday. The conditions for the truce have not been published at this time.
Senior Hamas official Ayman Taha is expected to hold a press conference at 7:30 pm (GMT) in which it will present the understandings reached during the Cairo talks.
6:24 PM IDF CRUSHING HAMAS. Channel B Israel Radio reports that Hamas is asking for a cease fire.
6:03 PM Phosphorus Mortar rocket fired at Israel from Gaza. No injuries (Channel 10, Israel TV)
5:42 PM Number of Gazans killed in IDF ground op reaches 1004.
13 killed (10 IDF soldiers, 3 civilians)
172 wounded (38 still hospitalized)
250 psychological trauma (shell shock)
734 Qassam, Katyusha and GRAD rockets hit Israel from Gaza
192 cars damaged as "total loss"
1000 homes damaged
8 Educational Buildings damaged
1004 Palestinians killed (at least 400 positively identified by IDF as Hamas terrorists)
4550 wounded (200 in serious condition)
4800 homes damaged
13 mosques destroyed
24 hospitals partially damaged
192 smuggling tunnels destroyed
1300 targets hit
70 captured Hamas terrorists
5:10 PM Rumors abound on the Israeli internet that Gilad Shalt was located this afternoon. Senior IDF officials say that unfortunately, that is not the case, and he wishes it were. (source)
5:07 PM IDF Spox Pics from Operation Cast Lead.
4:55 PM Released for Publication: IDF solider seriously wounded today by Hamas anti-tank rocket fired at IDF troops position today. 1 wounded moderately, 5 lightly. (source)
4:50 PM Israel's Eretz Nehederet Satire show lampoons the BBC's "balanced" war coverage.
4:34 PM Its not only in Gaza that Palestinians dig tunnels...Mom in Israel reports that a tunnel was just discovered in Petach Tikva behind the open air "shuk" for illegal Palestinian workers to sleep in. 47 mattresses were found in the underground tunnel...(read it all here)
4:21 PM Iranian "Peace" ship update:
An Iranian aid ship tried to break the blockade imposed on the Gaza Strip for the second time Wednesday. Israel Defense Forces sources confirmed that Navy ships contacted the boat's crew and ordered them to turn back.
Iranian media reported Tuesday that the IDF prevented the ship from approaching the Strip – a report which was later denied by the Israeli army.
4:15 PM Yawn: Silly Psychological Warfare from Hamas. SMS messages sent to Israelis today.
3:56 PM IDF to Gilad [Shalit]: WE ARE COMING TO GET YOU!
Photo Courtesy of Rafi G: The Life In Israel blogger:
"My friends brother in law took this picture. It is from a Reserves Battalion connected to the Engineering Corps. This is a giant-armored tractor called a "D9". Their job is to go in and clear the path for the incoming troops.3:48 PM Released for publication by IDF Spox: 6 IDF soldiers lightly wounded in Gaza battle with Hamas terrorists. (Channel 2, Nir Dvori)
Before this battalion went in yesterday to Gaza to do their work, the soldiers sprayed graffiti across the whole giant front of the bulldozer shovel expressing their strong desire to bring Gilad Shalit home.
Channel 10 reports : IDF Tank operating in Gaza locates cache of 20 rockets.
3:28 PM The "Shayetet 13" Ultra Elite IDF Unit is operating in Gaza now according to Channel 10 Israel TV.
Jameel adds: They aren't sent for just any mission -- Only extremely special operations. Read the above link for a description of what their specialties are.
3:26 PM Photo of GRAD rocket launched at Yavneh area today (no injuries)
3:17 PM How dare Israel defend herself? UK Guardian Reports...
3:11 PM OK, I give up. Over 25 people have sent me this video clip to go on the blog. While it's an excellent video, its also about 12 minutes long (much too long for a blogger's attention span).
Israel faces the prospect of intervention by international courts amid growing calls that its actions in Gaza are a violation of world humanitarian and criminal law.
The UN general assembly, which is meeting this week to discuss the issue, will consider requesting an advisory opinion from the international court of justice, the Guardian has learned.
(hat-tip: The Purple Parrot)
So, if you have a few minutes -- here's something worthwhile to watch about "Who is the Hamas?"
3:05 PM IDF Soldier Praying Near Gaza
Photo courtesy of Michal Harris and StandTogether.
Standing Together is a non-profit organization that started by sending pizzas to soldiers guarding the checkpoints. Seeing the smile on the soldier's faces helped the volunteers of Standing Together realize the importance of keeping our soldiers happy. Standing Together then began to cater to the different needs of soldiers, sending drinks, food, clothes, undergarments, and more to our soldiers in the field. Every Independence Day Standing Together arranges barbecues for over 1,500 soldiers who are on duty instead of celebrating with their families.
See their website, here
Advertisement Break for Siach
Now back to our regular programming schedule.
2:24 PM New tape from Osama Bin Ladin -- Calls for Jihad over IDF Gaza Operation (Reuters)
Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden called for jihad (holy struggle) over the Israeli offensive in Gaza in a new audio tape that appeared on Islamist websites on Wednesday. The Saudi-born militant said the global financial crisis had exposed the waning U.S. influence in world affairs and would in turn weaken its ally Israel.2:19 PM More Photos from today...
"Our brothers in Palestine, you have suffered a lot.... the Muslims sympathise with you in what they see and hear. We, the mujahideen, sympathise with you also..." bin Laden said in the tape entitled 'A Call for Jihad to Stop the Aggression against Gaza'. "We are with you and we will not let you down. Our fate is tied to yours in fighting the Crusader-Zionist coalition, in fighting until victory or martyrdom."
AFP Photo: Lebanese citizen holding part of a 122mm Katyusha rocket
launched at Israel this morning, but fell in the Al-Mari villiage in Lebanon.
2:09 PM Bnei Akiva Youth Movement Signs all over Israel:
2:03 PM Rockets landed in Ashkelon (from 1:45 PM). No Reports of Injuries
1:56 PM The Palestinian Stone Thrower who was allegedly shot by a Jewish motorist yesterday when his car came under attack did not die from gunshot. The Abu Kabir State pathology Institute released its findings that the Palestinian died from head trauma, probably resulting from running away from the gunfire (which was claimed to be aimed in the air), tripping, and hitting his head on a rock on the ground. As a result, the Israel Police has released the Jewish motorist. (HNN)
1:44 PM Air Raid Sirens in Ashkelon and Sderot.
1:38 PM Updated: A7 now claiming the explosion heard in the Beit Shemesh area had nothing to do with the Air Raid Sirens. Apparently the Sirens "malfunctioned" due to human error, resulting in sirens in Jerusalem, Gush Etzion and Beit Shemesh.
1:21 PM 6 Rockets were fired in total at Israel at 12:55 PM. No reports of Injuries.
Arutz Sheva reports that an "explosion" was heard right after the Air Raid siren went off in Beit Shemesh.
1:11 PM Reports of rockets landing (during Air Raid Sirens 10 minutes ago) in Ashkelon, Beer Sheva, Ofakim, Ashdod and Yavneh region.
1:06 PM As dozens of people call me and email -- Sirens were heard all over the locations below. Actual rocket strikes hit the Ashdod and Yavneh area...emergency units responding.
1:02 PM Announcement: The Air Raid Sirens heard in Jerusalem, Beitar, and Beit Shemes are ONLY a test!!! (or someone messed up big time) No Rocket Launches at Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh or Beitar.
1:01 PM Dozens of reports of Air Raid Sirens in Jerusalem...
12:58 PM Reports of Air Raid Sirens in parts of Jerusalem, Beitar, Beit Shemesh!
12:57 PM Rocket landings reported in Ashdod area, Yavneh area...emergency units responding.
12:55 PM Massive rocket launch at Israel: Air Raid Sirens in Ashdod, Yavneh, Ashkelon, Sderot, Ofakim, Be'er Sheva.
12:51 PM IDF soldiers kill another Hamas suicide bomber terrorist trying to attack them in Gaza. No injuries to IDF forces. 7 Rockets launched at Western Negev communties, no injuries, no damage. (source)
11:59 AM Rocket lands in open field. No Injuries, No Damage.
11:42 AM "Color Red" Rocket warning in Sderot.
11:40 AM NRG/Maariv Reports from Al-Jazeera; IDF fired 17 artillery shells at source of Katyusha rockets in South Lebanon. Beirut TV analysts believe that neither side wants to escalate the situation up North.
11:27 AM Updates from Lebanon:
10:23am Al-Jazeera: 17 artillery shells have landed in various parts of southern Lebanon.11:16 AM IDF (special Paratrooper unit) kills suicide bomber in North Gaza!
10:15am Al-Arabiya: Israel lodges a complaint with the U.N. over the rocket attack from Lebanon.
10:14am Al-Jazeera: Israeli artillery intermittently shelling Arqoub region in south Lebanon.
9:55am Al-Arabiya: Israel fired four rockets into the southern Lebanese border town of Khiam.
9:20am Future News TV: Israeli helicopters fly low over Haibariyeh
9:57 AM 2 more armed terrorists killed in Rafiach.
9:54 AM IDF pounding launch area in South Lebanon.
8:53 AM IDF Radio reports that 3 (not 2) Katyushas landed in the Upper Gallil.
8:46 AM IDF Radio reporting that no injuries or damage reported...smoke rising from rocket hits in Upper Gallil apparently open areas.
8:43 AM 2 Katyusha rockets struck North of Kiryat Shmona minutes ago, along with a few mortars. (Channel 10 TV, Channel 2 TV)
8:39 AM Air Raid Sirens in Kiryat Shmona (Northern Israel) and 2 explosions heard. Unknown source of explosions -- IDF Radio
8:25 AM UN: Cash shortage in Gaza...no money for the poor...yet Hamas has plenty of money to pay its terrorists. (UN Press Conference)
He [John Ging, Director of Gaza Operations for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA)] said that, while assistance was getting through some of the crossings from Israel, with 90 trucks passing today, another major challenge was the lack of cash being allowed in the blockaded Strip. That shortage had meant that UNRWA's 94,000 special hardship cases -- "the poorest of the poor" -– had not received any aid since 18 November. At the same time, Mr. Ging said his own staff had been paid only half of their December salaries and nothing since then. He had to "take it on the chin" when he found out today that Hamas had paid its staff, while he had not been able to pay his.
And here as well: (More questions on UNRWA from Inner City Press)
UNITED NATIONS, January 13 -- The UN cannot get cash into Gaza, despite protests from its Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, and therefore cannot pay its staff members. Meanwhile, the UN's John Ging told the Press from Gaza on Tuesday, Hamas is meeting its payroll in the Gaza Strip. Ging called this embarrassing, but has declined to answer Inner City Press' question about any steps being taken by the UN to get cash into the Strip.8:25 AM 3 IDF soldiers wounded last night in continuing Gaza fighting. IDF Radio reports that a few Hamas terrorists were killed.
Inner City Press asked about reports that UNRWA is paying taxes to Israel, despite what are called its privileges and immunities. Yes, Ms. AbuZayd said, we pay, to use the port and taxes, to make claims, hoping to be paid back. Video here, from Minute 49:31. Afterwards, Inner City Press asked Ms. AbuZayd if she or Ban have pushed this tax issue. No, she said.
For the past days, Ging has provided video-link briefings and responded to questions. Inner City Press asked him to respond to claims by Israeli diplomats and newspapers, that his agency UNRWA has been "taken over by Hamas," and that Hamas has looted aid trucks at the Karem Shalom crossing. Ging has denounced these as distractions, emphasizing that he has been provided with no proof. Why is only one trucking company being used? How does UNRWA decide from whom, and at what prices, to buy non-emergency goods in Gaza? These questions have not been answered.
8:02 AM With less than a month to elections and not much time left to campaign, Barak and Livni have begun calls for a unilateral ("humanitarian") cease fire (which will only be observed by Israel). Olmert says no.
7:35 AM Reports that Hamas have adopted a Hezbollah technique and are shooting Kassams by remote control from the safety of their bunkers (under the hospital?)
7:32 AM 5 soldiers transferred to hospital with light injuries overnight. Since the beginning of the war some 30 soldiers are still being treated in the hospital.
12:52 AM Gaza Beachfront Hotel loses coveted 5 star rating after IAF airstrike. Before the airstrike...
And after the airstrike...
I'd give them a 3 star rating now -- Whaddaya think?
12:41 AM Firebomb thrown at Israeli vehicle on Emmanuel-Yakir Road in Shomron/West Bank. No injuries. Damage to vehicle.
12:36 AM Israel re-routing civilian flights far away from Gaza. (source)
TEL AVIV — Israel has revised the flight paths of civilian aircraft to avoid missile strikes from the Gaza Strip. Officials said the Israel Air Force has ordered the distancing, having determined that the Hamas regime has acquired anti-aircraft missiles that could knock out low-flying passenger and other aircraft.12:27 AM It's a new day!
Officials said the air force has determined that Hamas has acquired up to 150 SA-7 and other surface-to-air missiles. They said the SA-7s would not endanger fixed-wing aircraft deployed by the air force.
The air force has already revised combat helicopter missions over the Gaza Strip to prevent SA-7 strikes. Officials said such U.S.-origin helicopters as the Apache and Cobra attack helicopters have been ordered to fly higher to avoid being struck by SAMs.
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