Monday, December 29, 2008

Day 3, 8th of Chanuka, Monday 12-29-08

Day 3 of the Gaza war -- Daily sticky post -- constantly updated.

More liveblogging at

Tuesday's (Day 4) News can be found here
Wednesday's (Day 5) News can be found here

11:47 PM Good night. This concludes today's liveblogging coverage from the Muqata staff. Sending condolecnes to the families of those who died today, and a speedy recovery to Israel's wounded civilians.

Wishing success and safety to our IDF soldiers, and hoping that the outcome of this war is a safer Israel.


Jameel & Crew.
The Muqata Blog.

Hoping to return to liveblogging early Tuesday morning.

11:45 PM Another rocket falls in the vicinity of Netivot. No reports of injuries or damage.

11:43 PM An IDF Soldier's mother collects her thoughts on her son serving in the war. I echo her sentiments, precisely.

11:39 PM Color Red warning in Sederot.

Belz and Gur Hasidic Yeshivas relocate their students from Ashdod to the center of Israel due to the ongoing rocket strikes in Ashdod.

11:34 PM Two Israelis wounded (1 light, 1 moderate) in Ofakim from 3 rocket strikes.

11:22 PM IDF concerned that Katyusha are getting closer to Rechovot (having already hit Ashdod, and northwards in the Yavneh vicinity)

11:19 PM Israel Government Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) scrambles to the ground for cover during Ashdod rocekt attack this evening.

11:06 PM Two Rockets fall in the vicinity of Yavneh, reports of a rocket in Kiryat Gat area as well.

11:01 PM AirRaid Sirens in Ashdod and Ashkelon.

11:00 PM Updated status on casualties (10:48 report) 3 Israelis killed today by Gaza rockets.

10:53 PM IAF launches fresh air assault on Gaza targets.

10:48 PM Channel 1 Israel TV reports that 3 people were killed in from Katyusha attacks against Israel today. 1 in Ashdod, 1 in Ashkelon, 1 in Nachal Oz.

10:38 PM Additional Katyusha (Grad) rocket lands in Ashdod. (Channel 10 Israel TV reporting)
10:26 PM No reports of rockets in the second Ashdod alert tonight.

10:24 PM 6 wounded, 1 killed by rocket attack in the Nachal Oz area.

10:19 PM Air Raid sirens again in Ashdod. Color Red Warning system in Sederot. Molotov Cocktail thrown at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem. No injuries or damage in the firebomb attack.

9:42 PM Additional 2-3 wounded in Ashkelon rocket attack.

9:36 PM Reports of 2 seriously wounded in Ashdod rocket attack, and 15 with minor injuries.

9:35 PM MDA transporting 1 wounded person from a stabbing terror attack in Kedumim.

9:33 PM Reports of a barrage of Rockets to the Ashkelon to Ashdod region

9:30 PM Initial reports of 2 wounded in Ashdod rocket attack.

9:28 PM Reports of Rockets landing in Ashdod. Updates as they become available. Additional reports of a terrorist on the loose in the Kedumim settlement in the Shomron (West Bank)

9:05 PM Disappointing. PM Olmert's representatives announce that the goal of the IDF operation in Gaza does not include toppling Gaza's Hamas government. (source)

9:03 PM Israel's Channel 10 TV reports a massive explosion in Northern Gaza.

9:02 PM IDF decides it wasn't gunfire at their jeep, but rock throwing.

8:38 PM Shooting at IDF jeep in the Shomron (West Bank) between Revava and Ariel. No injuries.

8:22 PM Al-Jazeera reports that since Saturday, IDF forces have killed over 350 Palestinians in Gaza, and wounded 1600. Today alone, 35 were killed and 250 wounded.

8:18 PM In a rather odd broadcast, Israel's channel 10 TV news discloses that the 2 brigades scheduled to fight in Gaza are Givati and Tzanchanim (paratrooper).

8:16 PM Hamas TV once again off-air. Only a black screen can be seen in their broadcast.

8:14 PM Rocks thrown on Modi'in-Jerusalem highway, 443 by Atarot industrial park. Police officially advising motorists for now to avoid #443 near Atarot. (this warning is a shout out to my friends and relatives in Modi'in)

8:12 PM Photos from last night at the Gaza Border crossing, as Chabad-Lubavitch representatives bring jelly donuts to soldiers and light Chanuka candles.

(source, Chabad On Line)

8:04 PM At 7:48, Gaza launches rockets toward Sederot. Shells misfire and land in Hamas-controlled Gaza. Channel 2 Israel TV reports that in their opinion, the ground assault will begin tonight.

7:41 PM IDF Spokesperson officially denies the report about Shifa hospital. I don't think we've heard the last of this.

7:32 PM Interesting. Apparently, IDF Intellignce believes (based on the sources I've gleaned) that the largest Hamas Grad Missile bunker in Gaza is located...directly beneath the Gaza Shifa Hospital. Israel's Channel 1 TV reports that the IDF has demanded the hospital be evacuated. Hamas, with its own "win-win" agenda is parading out the patients and dead (from the hospital's morgue). From their standpoint, a bombed out hospital is just as much a PR victory, as shooting dozens of grad missiles at Israel. We'll see how this plays out. (developing story)

6:15PM Pictures from Jabalyiah and Rafiach in Gaza (in Hebrew)

6:13 PM
IAF destorys truck carrying Grad rockets in the Strip.

6:11 PM
Arab claim that a strike on Beit Chanon kills 12 terrorists.

5:22 PM
Hamas in the Gaza Strip is denying reports that the group has contacted Senegal and spoken about a cease fire.

5:16 PM
A tunnel between Gaza and Israel was collapsed earlier in the day, trapping and killing 3-4 terrorists making their way to Israel to attempt a terror attack.

5:11 PM
Sirens once more in Ashkalon.

5:07 PM
Reports of 6 killed in attack on Northern Gaza Strip. The target was the house of Maier Zakut, a commander of the Iz-Adeem Al Kassam brigade.

5:03 PM
Rocket hits empty house in S'derot. At least 70 rockets so far today.

4:40 PM
5 rockets fall in Sha'ar HaNegev, S'dot Negev and Chof Ashkalon region. No injuries reported.

4:38 PM
Israeli Navy once more in action, with gunboats firing rockets on coastal positions. Arab sources claim several killed and wounded including terrorists hiding in a mosque.

4:37 PM
Wide spread power outages in the Eshkol region near Gaza.

4:27 PM Rockets land in Sederot region. No injuries.

4:17 PM No reports of missiles launched or landed in Lachish region.

4:06 PM Air-raid sirens in Lachish Region (North-East of Gaza)

4:02 PM Carmel hospital in Haifa goes on alert status. (NRG) Despite Hizbollah's claim that they would not attack Israel in this war, Pro-Palestinian groups in South Lebanon might try to do so.

3:53 PM Two Israeli Arabs arrested for arson of trees in a Jerusalem area forest near Nabi Samuel.

3:48 PM IAF has once more attacked the Islamic University in Gaza. Additionally 2 rockets have fallen in the Eshkol region, no injuries or damage.

3:41 PM
Reports that IDF has implemented a total closure on all Palestinian villages in the West Bank.

3:39 PM Reports coming in that Hamas 2nd in command Muhammad Abu Tir has been killed (source: Army Radio). CORRECTION: Ziad Abu Tir, one of the commander in the Islamic Jihad and not Muhammad Abu Tir.

3:35 PM
Another rocket has landed in the Sha'ar HaNegev region, no injuries reported.

3:33 PM
Targets in the North end of the Gaza strip are currently being hit by IDF fire.

3:25 PM
400,000 protest against Israel in Beirut.

3:24 PM
German leader, Angela Merkel has also lain the blame at the feet of Hamas for the current crisis.

3:04 PM Photos -- Fresh from the front at Gaza. (source)

3:02 PM SMS messages fly throughout Israel stating that the ground offensive has started, including requests to pray for the safety and welfare of IDF soldiers. There is no corroborating evidence from Israeli sources, though Arab press reports that special units have been operating in Israel since the morning.

2:58 PM East Jerusalem Israeli Arabs riot and express support for Gaza terrorists. (Israel Channel 10 TV)

2:53 PM Sirens in Eshkol Region. Explosions heard (while posting this). No injuries or damage [they landed in an empty field]

2:52 PM Remains of the Islamic University in Gaza. (hat-tip)

2:32 PM IDF Home front command (pikud HaOref) starting to evacuate Israeli elderly and sick from the Gaza vicinity area, as it appears that the ground offensive is imminent. The IDF is concerned the ground offensive will lead to an increase in rocket attacks (there have already been twice as many today as yesterday, over 40 so far) (Walla News)

Volunteer United Hatzala EMT in serious condition after this morning's terror attack in Kiryat Sefer. As Jameel is an EMT in the same organization, he notes there is going to be a nationwide prayer service for his fellow medic at 3:30 PM, Israel time. Please add Aryeh ben Varda to your prayers (as well as for the safety and security of IDF soldiers, going into battle in Gaza). Donations can be made to United Hatzala here.

2:01 PM Rockets land in fields near S'dot Negev.

2:00 PM
Fights breaking out at universities across the country between those supporting and those opposing the action in Gaza.

1:57 PM
Reports in the Arab press that IDF ground troops are already active in Gaza.

1:29 PM
Grad rocket hit the Municipal Stadium in Ashkalon.

1:15 PM
Rocket launching teams in Gaza targeted by IAF. Hamas operative killed in Beit Hanoun.

12:52 PM
Rocks thrown on the 443 road near Bir Naballah.

12:46 PM Video of rocket damage in Ashkalon.

12:44 PM
Palestinians reported to be killing suspected collaborators.

12:15 PM
Rockets currently falling in S'derot. Direct hit on yard in front of house. Massive damage done to house, no injuries, people suffering from shock. (Thanks to for the pictures)

12:09 AM
Constant rocket fire on Ashkalon and S'derot over the last hour and half. A total of 20 rockets.

12:05 PM
Palestinians claim bombs fall on hospital in Gaza. IDF denies aiming near hospital. Group that fired the Grad rocket that fell in Ashkalon hit by IDF fire.

11:53 AM
Sirens in Ashkalon and S'derot. Rockets fall about 10 minutes ago in the Sha'ar HaNegev region.

11:51 AM
Report of attack in Kiryat Sefer, a child was lightly injured from rocks thrown at him. The police forces in the area have lowered their readiness level.

11:48 AM
Reports that Khalid Mesha'al, leader of Hamas in Damascus is requesting a cease fire.

11:44 AM
Unconfirmed reports of another stabbing victim in Kiryat Sefer. Large forces of police are active in the area. Reports of an attack in a kindergarten have been proven to be false at this point.

11:40 AM
Road 232 in the south has been closed by military order. Only army and local residents allowed to travel.

11:31 AM
Jameel reports from an undisclosed location: constant sirens and rocket attacks ongoing in Ashkalon and S'derot. Rockets fall in Industrial Area and South Ashkalon. No injuries reported.

11:26 AM
Defense Minister Barak now addressing the Knesset. M.K. A'sana ejected.

11:24 AM The worker killed in Ashkalon, a Bedouin from Rahat.

11:23 AM
More reports of rockets fired at Ashkalon.

11:18 AM
One of the Kasam rockets in Ashkalon has started a fire in the area.

11:09 AM 3 rockets land in Ashkalon in the last minute. Landed in open areas in the industrial area.

11:07 AM
Another siren in Ashkalon. Reports of explosions in Mosques in Jibalya, with wounded.
11:04 AM 6 rockets in S'derot one on a house, several people being treated for shock.

10:58 AM
Pipe bomb thrown at Rachel's Tomb, rioting in the area. About 100 Palestinians are taking part, throwing rocks, Molotov Cocktails and at least one explosive device.

10:57 AM
3 rockets have just fallen in S'derot. More information as it comes in.

10:56 AM The border crossings at Kerem Shalom have been opened and 80 trucks of humanitarian aid have passed through.

10:49 AM Element of surprise and how it was guarded.

10:45 AM
Total of 8 rockets have fallen in the area around Gaza mostly in open areas, 3 near Netivot, excluding the 4 in Ashkalon.

10:42 AM
Hamas also takes responsibility for Grad attack on Ashkalon. Also call for Arabs to leave population centers due to impending attacks.

10:35 AM
Continuing sirens in Ashkalon heard at this moment. No injuries reported.

10:34 AM
Update from Kiryat Sefer. 2 workers who were doing home improvements attacked the head of the household they were working on, attacking him with work tools. The critically wounded individual is a paramedic from the Ichud Hatzalah unit. Donations can be made at their site.

10:30 AM
The Popular Front terrorist group has taken responsibility for the rocket attack in Ashkalon.

10:28 AM The area around Gaza has been declared a Closed Army Area and it is forbidden for civilians to enter the area.

10:27 AM Molotov Cocktail thrown on Road #6.

10:22 AM
Pictures from rocket site in Ashkalon:

10:18 AM Total of 8 rockets in Ashkalon during the last 30 minutes. Reports of one wounded, but currently unconfirmed.

10:10 AM Update: Total 12-15 wounded in Ashkalon. Reports of rockets falling in Ashkalon and Sderot. No injuries. Rockets fell in open areas, though one was in a residential neighborhood.

10:07 AM More pictures from Kiryat Sefer including the weapon used in the attack. Screen shots from Channel 10 news.

10:03 AM Sirens in Ashkalon once more. 2 explosions heard.

9:51 AM
Killed and injured in Ashkalon were workers from Kfar Manda.

9:50 AM
Pictures from attack in Kiryat Sefer (source)

9:45 AM Report from the field: Jamaal calls in to report seeing large numbers of tanks being transported South.

9:30 AM Reports of rocket hit at building site in Ashkalon. 8 wounded, 1 killed. Update from IDF Radio: 1 Dead, 4 serious, 3 Medium, 4 Lightly wounded. Apparently a GRAD missle, destroying a building with a heavy roof.

9:27 AM Terror Attack Update Another victim located. Totals : 2 serious, 2 medium, 1 light. The attack took place in the Brachtfeld neighborhood. From two seperate attacks. One terrorist shot by the rapid response team and in custody. The second terrorist still at large.

9:24 AM Color Red sirens have gone of in Ashkalon, 2 rockets fall.

9:05 AM France 24 has reported that Israel has destroyed 50% of Hamas rocket arsenal.

9:02 AM The Navy has joined the fighting, shelling Hamas positions.

9:01 AM 4 rockets have fallen in the last hour in the Sha'ar HaNegev region. One mortar in the Nachal Oz area. No injuries.

8:54 AM Massive explosion seen in Gaza city. Exact target not yet known. UPDATE: Seems to be the Foreign Ministry building, though this is not confirmed.

8:48 AM Reports that terrorists have opened fire at IDF positions near the Kisufim crossing.

8:42 AM One terrorist shot and apprehended. Reports of an additional terrorist in the neighborhood of Kiryat Sefer. Large IDF, Police and CTU forces are combing the streets and buildings. Residents are urged to lock their doors and report anything suspicous to to Police (Phone number: 100)

8:35 AM More reactions from around the world. Canada lays the blame directly at the feet of the Hamas, while calling for calm. "The fact that Hamas is striking at civilian population centers in Israel, in a premeditated and continuing fashion is THE reason for the current situation." (translated from the Hebrew source.) Even the Arab press, while certainly condemning Israel in very strong terms, comes out very strongly against Hamas saying they should bear the responsibility for the situation and Israel's reaction. (source)

8:34 AM Terror Attack Roundup: 2 seriously wounded from Rasbi St. (men who just finished morning prayers). 1 moderately wounded on Yehuda HaNasi St. Shooting attack on Road leading to Kiryat Sefer from Carfeld neighborhood. Additional report of another person stabbed in a home on Yehuda HaNasi St. Ongoing confusion.

8:32 AM: Terror Attack Update: The terrorist is Palestinian Arab -- Air Conditioning technician and the wounded were just finishing their morning prayers.

8:29 AM: Terror Attack Update: The stabbing attack took place on Rashbi St.One of the wounded is in serious condition, both are in transport to the hospital. Sirens can be heard everywhere. Reports of shots fired at the terrorist a block away on Hillel and Shamai Street.

8:19 AM Update on terror attack. 2 people have been wounded by a terrorist in Kiryat Sefer -- stab wounds to the neck. The terrorist is currently at large - Police, IDF and Counter Terror Units are searching for the terrorist, still at large. Residents of Kiryat Sefer are being told to stay indoors and lock their homes.

8:17 AM Terror Attack in Kiryat Sefer/Modi'in Elit. A terrorist is rampaging through the streets in Kiryat Sefer, stabbing people. Reports of 3 wounded so far.

8:10 AM Around 6:55 AM today, 2 Gaza launched rockets landed in the Negev, Eshkol region (east of Gaza). No injuries or damage was reported.

8:09 AM NRG (Maariv) reports that IAF jets bombed the Hamas Interior Ministryin Gaza this past evening. (sourced from NRG in Hebrew)

8:02 AM Egyptian and Hamas sources state that IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, kidnapped and held by Hamas in Gaza for over 900 days, was wounded by IAF attacks on Gaza. IDF sources report that news of this sort is psychological warfare against Israel and "manipulation of the news." (source in Hebrew)

5:35 AM During the night Israeli Air Force jets hit multiple sites in Gaza including rocket labs at the Islamic University and near the house of Ismail Hani'ah, the head of Hamas.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


Anonymous said...

cast iron? (from your labels) I believe it is cast lead.

Litvshe said...

Thanks. Fixed.

Olah Chadasha said...

I was all over the Galil and Golan yesterday. In the morning, we saw dozens of Army trucks and soldiers heading south with equipment, armaments, tanks, etc. in the morning. In the evening, we saw dozens of trucks coming back up north with their backs empty.

mnuez said...

Unbelievable. One question though: Much as I like being informed of the very very latest, isn't there some concern that the enemy might learn of an attack before it comes? If indeed the ground war began, the muqata is teh only site on the web where I've seen that news. I'm not saying that this information isn't widely available, but I haven't seen it. Any thoughts?


P.S. Hashem Yishmorcha V'kol Bais Yisrael Mikol Ra

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Mnuez: The reports are first from the Arab press, Israeli press and then here. I will NEVER be the first (or even second) to report sensitive information. Plus, I have refrained from giving specific locations (other than cities the size of Sederot or larger) of where Gazan missiles land.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to give you a heads up that your site showed up on Not sure if you have to adjust for increased bandwith or anything just thought you should know.

D.C. said...

Jameel, are you sure about this? I can't find it on any news Web site, and I just heard the 15:30 news bulletin on Reshet Bet, and not a word about a ground offensive.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

DC: YNET's report from over an hour ago was this.

"צה"ל צמצם מעט את התקיפות מהאוויר,
וכוחות הקרקע משלימים את ההכנות לכניסה"

And Arab reports stated that special forces are already in Gaza.

One of the links has been deleted.

If a major ground offensive hasn't already started (and I'm not in Gaza now, so I can't tell you), there ARE IDF soldiers already operating in the area...)

Anonymous said...

yochanan of LGF



Litvshe said...

We're trying to walk a line between keeping people informed but not giving away any unnecessary information. Any mention of troop movements mentioned here has already been widely reported in the Arab press and mentioned as such. If there are any specifics posts you think should be removed please email me litvshe-at-gmail-dot-com. We will be happy to remove it.

Anonymous said...

I'm not military strategist but I can't imagine it's such a good idea to line up tanks at the border as shown in the pictures. Seems like an easy target??

Litvshe said...

Those pictures are either stock PR shots or have been released by the Army. They're too close to be taken by non-army sources.

Anonymous said...

Fascinatingly informative. Thanks.

Jack Steiner said...

I am working on preparing a second round up. This will be included there.

Anonymous said...

Here's the link to the Chanuka Menora made from rocket shells-

Tzipporah said...

Thanks for the updates, Jameel. I hope you and your family get some rest. Hard to believe life is just going on as usual here (U.S.) while all this is happening there.

Anonymous said...

You, and all of Am Yisrael are in my thoughts and prayers. May the Living G-D watch over every step. Brachas v'ahavat Yisroel.
Yeshayahu ben Avraham Galluzzo

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