Day 1 of the Election Campaign
Daily sticky post, updated sporadically throughout the day.
More liveblogging at IsraellyCool and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/muqata Keyword #GazaWar
9:44 PM Muqata political analysis: As Hamas is rounding up and torturing Fatah loyalists in Gaza, Fatah needs to prove that they are just as anti-Israel as Hamas, and will begin perpetrating a wave of terror in response. This explains the Fatah announcement earlier as well as this latest surge in West Bank attacks since the cease fire.
9:32 PM UPDATE ON ATTACK: Drive by was near Kochav Hashachar against Jewish motorist from other settlement. IAF medivac taking him to Ein Kerem hospital. Driver unconscious and in serious condition.
9:29 PM Terrorist NOT in the Yishuv. It was a drive-by shooting.
9:07 PM Terrorism Attack right now in Kochav Hashachar.
9:06 PM Other reports coming in of Hamas members rounding up Fatah members and torturing them. Fatah claims 100 of their men have been killed or tortured so far by Hamas.
Will Israel be blamed for another Sabra and Shatilla?
8:32 PM Fatah (you know, the "moderate" Palestinians under the rule of now former PA President Mahmoud Abbas) claims that they participated in the war against Israel in Gaza alongside Hamas, shooting 102 Rockets, 35 mortars, their snipers hitting 3 soldiers, exploding 5 IEDs, and one of their top commanders took one for the team when he got caught firing a rocket. Well, good for them.
5:24 PM Hundreds of complaint emails, letters and faxes flood Channel 10 TV in Israel, as angry Israelis ask why during wartime, Channel 10 decided to give airtime to Hamas apologist Dr. Ayash, whose 3 daughters were killed in Gaza. As Channel 1 TV reported last night, it appears the munitions that killed his daughters were Gazan rockets, and not IDF in origin. (NRG)
4:14 PM Thanks Obama: Prof. Ingrid Mattson, who heads a Muslim organization which federal prosecutors in the United States say has ties to a Hamas fund, has been invited to take part in a prayer service which will be held in Washington as part of US President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration, and at his presence. (ynet)
2:49 PM More Political Cartoons from around the world, supporting Israel:
2:28 PM NY Times on Israel's "Disproportionate Response" -- even using our ubiquitous Hebrew term, "Baal Habayit Hishtageya" (explanation follows)
The Israeli theory of what it tried to do here is summed up in a Hebrew phrase heard across Israel and throughout the military in the past weeks: “baal habayit hishtageya,” or “the boss has lost it.” It evokes the image of a madman who cannot be controlled.
“This phrase means that if our civilians are attacked by you, we are not going to respond in proportion but will use all means we have to cause you such damage that you will think twice in the future,” said Giora Eiland, a former national security adviser.
It is a calculated rage. The phrase comes from business and refers to a decision by a shop owner to cut prices so drastically that he appears crazy to the consumer even though he knows he has actually made a shrewd business decision.
The Palestinians in Gaza got the message on the first day when Israeli warplanes struck numerous targets simultaneously in the middle of a Saturday morning. Some 200 were killed instantly, shocking Hamas and indeed all of Gaza, especially because Israel’s antirocket attacks in previous years had been more measured.
When Hamas’s prime minister, Ismail Haniya, appeared on Hamas television from his hiding spot last Monday, he picked up on the Israeli archetype, referring in Arabic to the battle under way as “el harb el majnouna,” the mad or crazy war.
For most, of course, feeling abused like this has created deep rage at Israel.
“If you want to make peace with the Palestinians, they are tired of bombs, drones and planes,” said Mohammad Abu Muhaisin, a 35-year-old resident of the southern city of Rafah who is affiliated with Fatah, the rival to Hamas that rules in the West Bank and was ejected from Gaza in June 2007. “But a guy whose child has just been killed doesn’t want peace. He wants war.”
There are, however, limited indications that the people of Gaza felt such pain from this war that they will seek to rein in Hamas.
Halima Dardouna, 37, from the northern city of Jabaliya, whose house was destroyed by an Israeli shell, said both Fatah and Hamas were to blame because of their rivalry, “and we are the victims.”
She added, “I will never vote for Hamas. They are not able to protect the people, and if they are going to bring this on us, why should they be in power? If I thought they could liberate Jerusalem, I would be patient. But instead they bring this.”
And that, was one of the primary reasons for the war.
Disproportional Response Works.
2:14 PM Hamas "announces" the following (I wonder who they are trying to impress?) Hamas Spokesman (smokesman?) claims they killed 74 IDF soliders, captured 2 IDF soldiers alive, downed 3 IAF helicopters and one IAF drone (source)
They should continue smoking whatever it is they're on.
12:41 PM A Personal message from Jameel @ The Muqata
Over 16 hours have passed since the last Gazan rocket hit Israel, and we're hoping that the residents of Southern (and South-Central) Israel can start returning their lives to some level of normalcy. IDF Radio reports that almost all IDF reserve forces have left Gaza, and the plan is for all IDF soldiers to be out, in time for US President-elect Obama's inaugural ceremony.
The past 3 weeks have been very difficult for Israel, it's citizens and the IDF. Under the myopic moral microscope of much of the world, the IDF ground operation was portrayed as unjust, unprovoked, and unfairly disproportionate. How dare Israel not have has many casualties as Gaza? Why aren't you sacrificing your troops' lives at the expense of the Gaza population? Hamas terrorist apologists conveniently ignored the past 8 years of ongoing rocket attacks against Israel's civilian population, the kidnapping of IDF solider Gilad Shalit from sovereign Israel, and Israel's total Disengagement from the Gaza strip, rendering the "Occupation" excuse in the wind.
Though normally dealing in the "mundane" issues of life in Israel, families raising kids in the day to day craziness of Israel, and the quagmire of Israeli politics, The Muqata Blog donned its camouflage banner and tried to present an accurate picture as possible of the war from Israel.
As we did 2 and a half years ago during the Second Lebanon War, The Muqata, out of a call to duty to fight Israel's war for the hearts and minds of public opinion, we invested tremendous efforts, resources, and time to present the war with the best in Web2.0 technology using photos, videos, and up to the minute postings -- while providing as often as possible, hyperlinked sources of our information.
A huge thank you is order to Litvshe, JoeSettler, and unnamed individuals who kept the Muqata blog running around the clock. An even bigger thank you goes out to our wives and families for putting up with our efforts, and long nights. Very special mention also goes to Aussie Dave from IsraellyCool who co-liveblogged the war along with us -- he thinks the war will flare up again...and we'll be monitoring the situation and restart live blogging if needed.
Now that the war seems to be over, we'll take down the camouflage banner and put it away, next to my dog tags, army boots and uniform which were next to my bed for the past 3 weeks (my unit was very close to being called up during the first few days of the war).
We thank you, our readership for your letters of support and encouragement (and paypal cash donations :-)
We thank you for supporting the blog's ad sponsors, many of whom are are on Israel's home-front lines every day, like United Hatzalah (of which I am an active EMT medic) that responds 24/7 to medical emergencies around Israel, Warm the Needy which helps provide heat for impoverished Israeli families, and to Nefesh B'Nefesh -- the one-stop-shop for aliya (moving to Israel) planning, implementation, and absorption into Israeli society.
We also thank those who linked to our blog, those who pushed the blog on Little Green Footballs, Gateway Pundit, GlobalVoices, The Volokh Conspiracy, Ace of Spades, Commentary Magazine and other important media sites, those that passed our web address on to their family and friends, and those who sent us news stories and photos from their neck of the woods for publication.
Wrapping this up, we'll still be posting every day, probably more sporadic (so you don't have to keep sitting at your keyboard pressing "Refresh" every 10 minutes), so a visit once or twice a day should be more than enough to keep you updated on what's going on here around Israel.
Wishing a full recovery for our brave IDF soldiers who were wounded in the war, and the homefront civilians wounded physically and psychologically traumatized by ongoing Hamas rocket strikes.
We extend our condolences to the families of the IDF soldiers who bravely fought on behalf of Israel's survival...and to the families of Israel's homefront civilians killed by Hamas terror.
To our readership - thank you for the opportunity to help get the word out; you are all emissaries of Israel in our battle for survival.
Please continue to keep in touch, visit our blog, and more importantly, support Israel.
muqata @ gmail . com
PS: In the coming days, I hope to have roundup available of the war and the previous one, so you can easily review it day by day with an easily accessable index.
7:30AM Welcome back. Just a quick recap if you want to catch up.
There is a unilateral cease fire in which the Israeli government has the IDF
Government wants IDF withdrawn ahead of Obama's inauguration as a "gesture".
Terrorists in the Shomron attacked various Jewish communities. Jameel was actively involved in the settlement defense (and that's all we can say right now).
IDF now reporting that it appears that the home of the Gazan doctor not only housed terrorists that were shooting at the IDF, but the shrapnel removed from his niece indicates that it was a Palestinian explosive device (bomb or rocket - they're both loaded with that kind of shrapnel) that killed his niece and possibly his daughters.
Hamas is now the legal authority that heads up the Palestinian Authority in both Gaza and the West Bank.
A bomb against a Florence (Italy) Synagogue failed to explode the other day.
Now you are caught up.
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