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10;58 PM I'm off to bed. Maybe additional Muqata staffbloggers will post later.
Regards from the hilltops,
10:47 PM Foreign Minister Tzippy Livni: I will not sit in a black and orange government led by Netanyahu. (Good riddance) [said minutes ago on Channel 2 TV, while continuing to say she is going to be the next Prime Minister of Israel]
10:30 PM Foreign Minister Tzippy Livni keeps repeating in a mantra-like state to Nissim Mishal on Channel 2 TV, "I will be the next Prime Minister of Israel". She has repeated this over 20 times in the past 5 minutes, despite the polls which clearly show Kadima's weekly downfall in the polls.
10:26 PM Tel Aviv University (not representative of Israel) pre-election poll today:
Meretz (radical left wing): 27
Yisrael Beiteynu: 12
Note: The Meretz party list doesn't even have 27 people on their list.
Additional Note: If the voting had to take place during a "Color Red" rocket attack, Meretz would probably have received lower numbers...
10:23 PM Channel 2, Mishal Cham Show releases latest pre-election polls. (breaking news) -- seats in the Knesset (out of of 120)
Yisrael Beiteinu 16
Right Wing: 70 seats
Left Wing: 50 seats
9:50 PM Hamas kinpin Khaled Mashal rejects ceasefire, says Israel's demands that they will only open the Gaza border crossings for non-Humanitarian aid after IDF soldier Gilad Shalit is released -- unreasonable.
9:33 PM IDF Homefront positively identifies rocket launch at Western Negev communities. No injuries or damage. (source)
8:35 PM El-Arabiya reports that IDF tanks and armored bulldozers are still in the Gaza strip as a result of yesterday's terror attack against IDF forces.
8:27 PM Too good not to post.
While I haven't seen Mad Magazine in years, it was always a favorite growing up (no, I never had a subscription, but had to borrow copies from my "cooler" friends).
Time Magazine in 1952, described "Mad" as 'a short lived, satirical pulp'.
"Mad" reprints this quote every time they print one hundred issues.
OK, sorry about the brief interlude from Israel...getting back on it.
(credit and sources)
8:20 PM Channel 2 Israel TV reports that Israel's Mossad spy agency foiled a large scale Hizbollah attack on a Jewish target in a European country.
5:17 PM Channel 10 TV (Tzvi Yechezkeli) shows video footage of Qassam rocket launched earlier today at Western Negev community from Gaza. (via rotter) [obviously yet another false alarm]
4:15 PM IDF Radio (Galei Tzhal) announced that a Color Red alert took place minutes ago in the Western Negev. No rocket launches detected.
3:46 PM The IDF Hannibal Protocol.
The following article appeared on the NRG website this past Monday in Hebrew. I translated it into English because of it's importance.
From the eyewitness accounts of IDF combat soldiers who took part in the Cast-Lead operation in Gaza, it seems that in order to prevent the kidnapping of an IDF soldier, an order was given during a gun battle to shoot artillery shells at a house which contained terrorists, because of the serious possibility that within that house or next to it, was the body of an IDF soldier.Jameel adds: Since the Jibril deal, no kidnapped IDF soldier has ever been released alive, excluding of course, kidnapped drug dealing scum, Elchanan Tannenbaum.
This difficult testimony, whose implications were the elimination of any chance of successfully rescuing the soldier alive, was expressed by soldiers that participated in that bloody battle in one of the most crowded neighborhoods in Gaza.
One fact is for certain; One IDF soldier was killed in that battle.
The solider and his friends went to search out a house in Gaza, during the ground invasion phase of Cast Lead. “The troops which were searching homes entered a house and encountered the enemy from short range,” the unit commander stated emotionally, “the soldier was hit during the first shots fired. During the exchange of gunfire, we took care of [eliminated] the terrorist [that shot at us], and an additional terrorist with him…”
Soldiers at the scene gave additional, new details about what happened, and the prevention of [Hamas] taking the body of the soldier. “The event started with searching the house, to make sure it was not booby-trapped, at the entrance to the house, the troops encountered a terrorist who opened fire from close range. The IDF soldier was wounded from the fire, because he was at the head of the formation. During the shooting, the unit commander saw something flashing on the floor, assumed it to be an explosive device, and he shouted at everyone to immediately exit the building.
While exiting the building, the wounded soldier was left inside, because the officers’ assessment was that the solider was already dead as this stage, and the troops exited the house. 3 artillery shells were then fired at the house, a different IDF unit entered the building, found another terrorist still alive, and they killed in a quick gun battle.
Since the 1980’s the IDF activates the “Hanibal protocol” whose design is to prevent the enemy from kidnapping soldiers. From the second the protocol is activated, IDF soldiers must prevent the kidnapping of IDF soldiers, or stop the kidnapping if in progress. The protocol gained publicity during the Jibril Deal in May 1985, between the State of Israel and the Head of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, Ahmed Jibril, during which 1,150 Palestinian terrorists were exchanged for 3 captured IDF soldiers, Chezi Shai, Nisim Salem, and Yosef Gruf that were captured in Lebanon.
According to the protocol directive, soldiers must open fire on the kidnapper’s vehicle that has the kidnapped IDF soldier in it, in order to foil the kidnapping. This protocol has been the source of many heated discussions within Israel’s security community, with the primary question of the morality of the protocol. Security officials have said that the kidnapping of soldiers is strategic, not tactical, and carries a very heavy price tag for Israel pay.
IDF General (res.) Giora Island that chaired the investigation committee into the kidnapping of [IDF soldier] Gilad Shalit found many flaws in the execution of the “Hannibal” protocol [when Shalit was kidnapped]. According to his report, too much time pass between the time Shalit’s tank was hit, until the protocol was activated, giving the kidnappers ample time to flee with Shalit.
The IDF spokesman comments: The IDF soldier was killed by terrorist fire against the troops. As in all difficult events, the IDF will investigate and arrive at conclusions.
2:18 PM UNRWA (which gets 75% of its budget from the United States) proudly declares; Increase in Gazans eligible for aid.
Why not do your part for the US economy, and ask President Obama to stop funding UNRWA which provides benefits for terrorists and criminals. (see below)
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency announced it has increased food aid to residents of the Gaza Strip and is also aiding Palestinian Authority workers who are not receiving their salaries.
UNRWA head in the Strip John Ging said some 900,000 Gazans are now eligible for direct aid from the agency, as opposed to 750,000 from before Operation Cast Lead. (AFP)
1:07 PM Report from ynetnews in English (followup from early this morning):
UNRWA pays terrorists
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees employs and provides benefits for terrorists and criminals, asserts a former legal adviser to UNRWA who left the organization in 2007. James Lindsay, now a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, served as an attorney with the US Justice Department for two decades before leaving to work for UNRWA in 2000.12:45 PM IDF: Reason for terror attack against IDF yesterday was to stop Humanitarian Aid from entering Gaza...which would result in the delegitimization of Israel.
Walla reports: IDF Commander Moshe Levy, responsible for the Erez Border crossing into Gaza "Despite that since the conclusion of the cast-lead operation, hundreds of trucks with Humanitarian Aid have entered Gaza, the terror organizations are attacking to derail Israel's efforts of providing aid and rebuilding support to Gazan civilians.
11:16 AM Nissim Keinan (Channel B radio) reports that a mortar was launched earlier at the Western Negev, and it landed in an open field. No injuries or damage reported.
11:10 AM About 30 minutes ago, the "Color Red" rocket warning system went off in Western Negev communities. No reports of rocket launches or landings.
7:59 AM USA: We did all we could by stopping the Iranian weapons boat headed to Gaza...but we had to let it free...with the weapons.
"Determination" like this doesn't bode well.
[Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike] Mullen confirmed that a Cypriot-flagged ship intercepted in the Red Sea last week was carrying Iranian arms and that U.S. authorities suspect that the shipment was ultimately bound for the Gaza Strip, where Hamas and Israel are observing a shaky truce after three weeks of fighting.
"The United States did as much as we could do legally," Mullen said, adding that he would like more authority to act in such cases. "We were not authorized to seize the weapons or do anything like that."
The Navy searched the ship with permission of the captain and found small munitions, military officials said.
The vessel was allowed to continue its voyage after the search, and Mullen said the ship was expected in port in Syria this week. (AP)
7:42 AM IDF Spox says this past evening, IAF warplanes bombed tunnels in the Philidephi corridor between Gaza and Egypt.
7:30 AM NRG reports that captured Hamas terrorists from Gaza admit they sold Humanitarian Aid and food that the IDF allowed into Gaza during the Cast Lead organization.
12:46 AM More Photos from Gaza.
12:41 AM Rotter quotes an Arabic news source that Israel has advised Egypt of intelligence reports indicating that there are shipping containers of weapons earmarked for Hamas, already in the Sinai Desert, awaiting immediate transport into Gaza.
The James Lindsay report that Jameel mentioned earlier is available via free download at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Money quote from his conclusion (page 65):
At the same time, UNRWA has gradually adopted a distinctive political viewpoint that favors the Palestinian and Arab narrative of events in the Middle East. In particular, it seems to favor the strain of Palestinian political thought espoused by those who are intent on a “return” to the land that is now Israel. UNRWA’s adoption of any political viewpoint is undesirable, but the one it has chosen to emphasize is especially regrettable. In addition to clashing with the objectives of the United States, this view has detracted from UNRWA’s humanitarian assistance, encouraged Palestinians who favor refighting long-lost wars, discouraged those who favor moving toward peace, and contributed to the scourge of conflicts that have been visited upon Palestinian refugees for decades. To a considerable extent, UNRWA’s donors—particularly the United States, its main source of funding for many years—share responsibility for the agency’s gradual adoption of such views. The United States could have put a stop to UNRWA’s politicization, but chose not to. As with most mistakes, the longer this one remains uncorrected, the more difficult they are to remedy.12:02 AM Cat Stevens records song to aid Gaza terrorist-funding organization.
The musician formerly known as Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) released a charity song on Monday to help the children of Gaza.
This jives interestingly with a report issued only an hour ago from James Lindsay, previous senior legal counsel to UNRWA for 7 seven years. In the report, Lindsay accuses UNRWA of employing terrorists, having become a political, non-neutral organization, and funding "unworthy" school books that encourage racism.
The United Nations said the London-born Yusuf Islam recorded a rendition of the George Harrison song "The Day the World Gets Round," along with the German bassist and former Beatles collaborator Klaus Voorman.All proceeds from the song will be donated to the UN agency in charge of Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, and to the nonprofit group Save the Children to be directed to aiding Gaza residents. (ynetnews)
The article about UNRWA is on ynet in Hebrew, and I'll provide the link in English (from any website) in the morning when it becomes available.
Now it all makes sense. Before Yusuf Islam was Cat Steves...maybe he really did used used to be Steven Katz.
Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד