11:59 PM President Bush, on his last day in office, does not pardon Jonathan Pollard.
11:53 PM 4 more mortars hit the Eshkol region down south a half hour ago. No injuries or damage. Unilateral Cease Fire holding strong. (Do we change the banner back or not?)
8:29 PM Some of you may recall that I said that some of the rocket strikes were a bit ironic. Now that there is a lull (tahidya) it's probably OK to tell you all. At least 3 of the rockets hit Yitzchak Rabin Street - but in 3 different cities.
In other news, 9 mortars and rockets hit Israel today, and the IAF attacked the Kassam rocket sources.
It was finally acknowledged that IDF troops were shot at today at the Kissufim junction in 2 separate incidents.
It is unlikely that Israel will respond in force to these attacks before elections.
5:30 PM Channel 10 Israel TV reports (Alon Ben David). Despite the 2 shooting incidents today against IDF troops by Hamas, (and at least one confirmed mortar launch) Israel will not retaliate until after the Israeli elections.
4:33 PM MDA recalls all emergency forces, (dozens of ambulances), as the report of an overturned hazmat truck (and over 50 wounded) appears to be the result of a "prank call."
Magen David Adom declares Mass Casualty Event -- Hazardous Material Truck overturns on Jerusalem-Maaleh Adumim highway.
4:05 PM I hear President Obama's new armored limo is shoe-proof as well. "Barack Obama will ride in an all-new Cadillac Presidential Limousine after his inauguration as the 44th President of the United States today.
He will use the vehicle, nicknamed the Beast, on the 1.7-mile journey from the Capitol along the parade route to the White House. It reportedly has armour eight inches thick, tear-gas cannons and Kevlar-reinforced tyres that resist attack. For security reasons, most of the details remain confidential." (source)
3:49 PM Haaretz reports that apparently, Hamas Grad rockets were fired from a Media building in Gaza. (Can you imagine if the IDF tried retaliating at a building full of reporters? Did the reporters care? They LAUGH about it!
See this video! (make sure to turn on "CC" for Close Captioned subtitles in English.
LGF reports it as well now...
3:26 PM Haaretz left-wing Reporter, Nadav Shragi asks forgiveness from Gush Katif Jews, demands that politicians, the media, the High Court, IDF, Police and Shin Bet should apologize as well.
You, too, who paid almost no attention to the hundreds of thousands who tried to stop the evil, who paid no attention to those who internalized the lessons of Oslo and warned that we should not give them land and guns again. You who paid no attention to those who warned of the Hamastan state, foresaw exactly the trajectories of the rockets, and understood that this was something we gave away for free, a further disintegration of our power of deterrence and an adrenaline shot for terror.Of course, arrogant people like Yair Lapid refuse to apologize, and will never admit they could possibly be wrong about the Disengagement (he writes about it today)
Now rise and ask for forgiveness from those who paid the highest price, with their bodies, souls and property for your close-mindedness, arrogance and wickedness. Ask for forgiveness from the Gush Katif expellees, the noble souls who did not steal land from anyone, who made the empty dunes bloom as ambassadors of the State of Israel and who turned into the south's security buffer and absorbed over 6,000 Qassams and mortar shells with their bodies and belongings in the last years of Gush Katif. (read it all at Haaretz)
3:23 PM Palestinian "Victory" Celebrations held in Gaza.
...and they only need 2 Billion dollars to rebuild. Sounds victorious.
2:41 PM Ynetnews Update: Bush leaves note for Obama in Oval Office
Continuing a White House ritual, President George W. Bush is leaving a note in the Oval Office for President-elect Barack Obama, wishing him well as he takes the reins of the executive branch. Bush wrote the note on Monday and left it in the top drawer of his desk. The White House is not providing the intimate details of the message the two-term Republican left for the incoming Democrat.
Reminds me of the joke:
A fellow had just been hired as the new CEO of a large high tech corporation. The CEO who was stepping down met with him privately and presented him with three numbered envelopes. "Open these if you run up against a problem you don't think you can solve," he said.2:35 PM Reports of more mortars landing in Israel's Western Negev. No injuries...no air raid sirens went off...no confirmation from IDF...
Well, things went along pretty smoothly, but six months later, sales took a downturn and he was really catching a lot of heat. About at his wits's end, he remembered the envelopes. He went to his drawer and took out the first envelope. The message read, "Blame your predecessor."
The new CEO called a press conference and tactfully laid the blame at the feet of the previous CEO. Satisfied with his comments, the press -- and Wall Street -- responded positively, sales began to pick up and the problem was soon behind him.
About a year later, the company was again experiencing a slight dip in sales, combined with serious product problems. Having learned from his previous experience, the CEO quickly opened the second envelope. The message read, "Reorganize." This he did, and the company quickly rebounded.
After several consecutive profitable quarters, the company once again fell on difficult times. The CEO went to his office, closed the door and opened the third envelope.
The message said, "Prepare three envelopes."
2:00 PM Hamas broadcasts "Gaza Victory" animation film.
Warning: not for children, though that's who Hamas made it for.
1:34 PM IDF Spox backtracks; Palestinians opened fire on IDF forces twice today in the Kissudim area. No injuries to IDF forces. No comment if IDF returned fire. (source)
12:59 PM IDF spokesman announces that no bullets were found in the the reported attack minutes ago at Kissufim, so they are discounting the report.
Concern is growing that serious attempts are being made to downplay (or censor) today's mortar launchings, alleged attacks, etc.
12:50 PM Hamas gunfire erupts at IDF troops near the Kissufim Israeli border checkpoint in Central Gaza. No injures reported among IDF troops. Unsure if IDF forces returned fire.
(JoeSettler, we may need to get that warbanner ready again...)
12:47 PM Gaza Humanitarian groups Hamas and Fatah fight it out who gets control of the international Humanitarian aid pouring into Gaza. Armed and peace-loving Hamas humanitarian workers fired shots at trucks coming into Gaza from Israel's Kerem Shalom border checkpoint, took control of the trucks, and removed all the aid into Hamas warehouses. As a result, UNWRA has requested not to allow more Humanitarian aid into Gaza. (NRG)
Where is the world's outrage at UNWRA preventing Humantarian Aid into Gaza?
12:40 PM I would say that at least 66% of Israelis agree with the Wall Street Journal's assessment of the Gaza war: Israel Scored a Tactical Victory, but it missed a chance to finish off Hamas.
12:27 PM [JoeSettler is wondering if he should restore the Muqata War Masthead]
12:18 PM IDF radio reports that earlier today a mortar shell was shot from Gaza at Israel and landed in Israel, yet did not explode.
I have a funny feeling that Israel will unfortunately, not respond.
12:15 PM Gaza reports that 2 Palestinian children were killed this morning by playing with an unexploded IDF object. IDF responds that it was not IDF munitions, but part of the explosives used by Hamas to boobytrap Palestinian civilian homes.
11:55 AM Actually, I stand corrected -- Air Raid sirens went off about an hour ago. There's a discussion going on whether a mortar shell was launched at Israel or not. Will update soon.
11:49 AM It's Tuesday, Jan 20th. and no rockets have been fired at Israel for over 36 hours.
However, IDF troops are on high alert around the Gaza strip, and the feeling is that even 1 rocket fired at Israel will result in a serious reprisal.
The person seriously wounded last night from Palestinian gunfire near the Kochav HaShachar village is in serious condition.
Today is Barack Obama's Presidential inauguration. Good Luck America. We hope that the Obama administration doesn't start turning thumbscrews on Israel to negotiate with Palestinian terror organizations like Hamas and Fatah.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד