Asara B'Tevet 10th of Tevet. Hope you all have an easy and meaningful fast.
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Please say a prayer for the safety of our soldiers.
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.
12:04 PM This was Chaled Me'uma, a Hamas sniper who was shooting at IDF forces. The IDF took him out this afternoon in Gaza.
11:42 PM Today, Ronit Ashkenazi, wife of the IDF Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, went to Seroka hospital in Be'er Sheva and visited wounded IDF soldiers. All very quietly...no one from the media even knew she was there. No photo ops, nothing. Just a personal visit to express her solidarity with the soldiers.
11:11 PM The Ultimate in Hypocrisy: UN's Secretary General: IDF defending itself from Hamas mortar fire "totally unacceptable"
New York - Israeli attacks on three schools run by the United Nations in the Gaza Strip in the last 24 hours, including one that killed more than 46 civilians on Tuesday, were "totally unacceptable and must not be repeated," UN Secretary General Ban Ki- moon said. The three schools were operated by the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in Gaza. The UN said about 15,000 Palestinians, who fled the fighting between Israel and Hamas, had found refuge in these schools as well as in more than 20 other schools in the territory.The Muqata finds the UN's views on Israel, "totally unacceptable" as well.
Ban said in a statement that the locations of the schools had been given to the Israeli army and Israel was warned that its operations were endangering UN compounds.
"I am deeply dismayed that despite these repeated efforts, today's tragedies have ensued," Ban said. "These attacks by Israeli military forces which endanger UN facilities acting as places of refuge are totally unacceptable and must not be repeated." (source)
10:59 PM (IsraelNN.com) An Arab woman tried to stab a soldier in Hevron Tuesday. The incident occurred near the Cave of the Patriarchs. The soldier was not injured and the woman was arrested. Earlier in the day an Arab was arrested in the same spot for hiding a knife in a Hamas flag.
9:51 PM Nothing to update right now. Stay tuned.
8:37 PM Schools being used to hide armaments. (source in Hebrew)
8:22 PM IDF kills a suicide bomber/fighter in Gaza.
8: 15 PM Here's a weird one. The electric company is sending technicians to Gaza to fix their electric network which has crashed. They can't send anyone to Gush Etzion though.
7:34 PM The Truth Comes Out: IDF Spox - Mortar Fire at IDF soldiers was coming from UN School in Gaza. (Ch 10, Israel TV)
7:30 PM What IDF Troops see on their way to battle in Gaza. The pass through Ashkelon and see these home-made signs on buildings:
7:27 PM More photos from the front in Gaza. (Courtesy IDF Spox, Channel 10)
7:09 PM Israeli News Site NANA quotes a Reuters report from US White House today:
"Not all the facts are available yet about the explosion that transpired at the [UN] school [in Gaza today]. One should not jump to conclusions."
Now that's an honest statement! (of course, this news report is almost impossible to find in English...)
7:05 PM Channel 10 Israel TV, Nachman Shai: IDF has captured over 178 Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
6:49 PM United Nations Demand to find out: Who is responsible for the Gaza UN school explosion?
The JPost correctly reports:
At least thirty people were reported killed in an explosion in a UN-run school in the refugee camp of Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip, according to Palestinians. There were reportedly also scores of wounded on the scene. The Israeli military said it was looking into the reports and was probing to find out the source of the explosion.So far so good. The JPost is reporting as accurately as possible.
The United Nations said hundreds of people from a Gaza City refugee camp had gone to seek shelter in the school from Israel's 11-day offensive against the Hamas terror group.
Then the Arab Press jumps in:
"The AP, however, carried a report saying that an IDF missile landed in the school's courtyard late Monday, also damaging the building."Lets wait and see what the IDF finds out. With all the Hamas munition bunkers in mosques, schools and hospitals in Gaza, it wouldn't surprise me in the least if this UN school blew up by a Hamas "work accident".
Just a few days ago, (Friday, Jan 2, Day 7 of the war, 12:14 PM) I posted a video clip of Hamas rockets being launched from the courtyard of UN schools in Gaza.
6:38 PM Senior Golani Commander, Avi Peled who was also wounded yesterday evening, has already returned from hospitalization, and is back with his troops in Northern Gaza. He has resumed full operational command for Golani, and is continuing to lead the ground offensive, side by side with his troops.
6:30 PM An IDF Officer was seriously wounded in battle yesterday, Magad (Golani Division 13 commander) Oren Cohen's shoulder and arm were laced with shrapnel, and he lost a finger. Despite that, he is insistent that he get back to the front as quickly as possible; "I may have lost a finger, but I can still shoot".
That's a Golani soldier for you. 115% motivation. Note: Current IDF Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi is also from the famed Golani battalion.
6:28 PM Name released of IDF solider killed in action today: Alexander Moshivitsky, age 21, from Be'er Sheva.
6:20 PM Sorry for the sporadic coverage - had to get something to eat.
Newly released photos from inside the Gaza strip - IDF spox photos in Northern Gaza today.
5:32 PM IDF releases additional information. Another IDF solider was killed in action today in Gaza, and 4 more wounded in Northern Gaza. Families have been notified.
4:56 PM Additional warning of rocket launch in the coming seconds/minutes to longer-range Western Negev communities (Kiryat Gat/Kiryat Melachi)
4:51 PM A senior IDF officer in the Gaza Strip said, "Many houses in the area are booby-trapped and underground tunnels were built under them meant to enable the kidnapping of soldiers."
According to the officer, forces discovered a booby-trapped mosque, and among the weaponsm, found motorcycles meant to be used for kidnapping soldiers. (YNET)
4:35 PM Rocks thrown at Jewish motorists on highway 55, near Azzoun. Windshield smashed, no injuries.
4:32 PM Immediate warning for long range rockets to be fired towards Beer Sheva.
4:31 PM Earlier today, a Hamas terrorist entered a building in Gaza where many IDF soldiers were stationed. The terrorist opened fire at IDF troops -- they returned fire, killing him within seconds of starting to shoot. No injuries to IDF troops (Nir Devori, Channel 2 Israel TV)
4:28 PM Israeli Arabs throwing rocks at Jewish motorists on North Israel highway 85 at the Western entrance to Carmiel. No known injuries reported.
4:14 PM Israeli hospitals - Tel HaShomer, Beilinson and Ichilov -- emergency preparedness status raised to "Ongoing Conflict", (to be able to accept wounded IDF soldiers, in case of need)
4:07 PM Rocket launched at Western Negev.
4:06 PM From the IDF Spox:
The name of the Paratrooper Brigade officer, who was killed Monday night (Jan. 5) during fighting in the northern Gaza Strip, was released for publication: Captain Yehonatan Netanel, 27, from the Keddumim community. He died after sustaining injuries from IDF artillery shell that was misfired.
In a different incident, late Monday evening, three Golani Brigade combat soldiers were killed while fighting in northern Gaza when an IDF artillery shell fired erroneously and hit the structure where the soldiers were located. Another soldier was critically wounded, three others were severely wounded and 20 other soldiers were lightly to moderately injured in the incident. The injured soldiers received initial medical treatment in the field before being evacuated by helicopter and vehicles to hospitals in Israel. Heavy IDF artillery fire provided cover for the evacuation. The bereaved families have been notified.
The Golani Brigade Commander, Colonel Avi Peled, who sustained light injuries in the incident, oversaw the evacuation in the field and directed the artillery and aerial cover via communication systems. Only after all the injured soldiers were evacuated did the brigade commander seek medical attention for himself.
In a joint IDF and ISA operation, Monday night in Jabaliya the house of a senior Hamas operative was struck. Iman Siam, the head of the Hamas rocket launching program was present in the house. Siam is one of the senior Hamas terror operative in the Gaza Strip. Siam established Hamas's rocket launching program, and he is also head of Hamas' artillery program throughout the Gaza Strip.4:03 PM A young Ethiopian immigrant to Israel stands in a bomb shelter in the southern city of Beersheba January 5, 2009.
3:01 PM Kiryat Gat/Kiryat Melachi/Lachish Region on alert for Gaza Rocket launch
2:50 PM Reports of very heavy fighting in Northern Gaza between IDF troops and Hamas.
2:43 PM Air Raid Sirens in Ashkelon.
2:39 PM Israeli policeman lightly wounded by knife-wielding Palestinian in Hebron
2:29 PM Channel 2 Israel TV reports -- IDF Homefront Command to advise residents of Northern and Central Israel to clean out bomb shelters, despite there not being a threat of rockets hitting Central and Northern Israel from Gaza. Note: This order does not (yet?) appear on the Pikud HaOref/IDF HomeFront Command Website. (source)
2:22 PM Reports of Rockets landing in Ashkleon.
2:12 PM IDF arrests TV reporter from AL-ALAM TV for spying on behalf of the enemy.
(All photos are copyright to Krayot News - exclusive photos reprinted on the Muqata, with permission)
The following photos were taken by Shai Vaknin for Krayot News, this past Friday, Jan 2, 2009, of Israeli Arabs demonstrating against the IDF's counter-offensive operation in Gaza "Cast Lead", to stop rockets from being shot at Southern Israel communities.
note the three fingered Middle Eastern "flipping the bird"
Sign Reads: This won't stop till Israel is dismantled,
at the street corner of Tziyonut "Zionism" Street.
holds a sign: "Stop the butchery in Gaza"
(source, more photos)
1:35 PM Hamas reports that they shot down an unmanned IAF drone plane over Gaza.
1:34 PM Israel's Ministry of education released pamphlet to Israel's southern residents on how to deal with the current IDF operation, Cast Lead. (pamphlet in Hebrew)
1:31 PM Trucks carrying Humanitarian Aid to Gaza, being allowed through via the Kerem Shalom border.
Photos courtesy of IDF spox.
12:15 PM Nitai Stern's funeral at Har Herzl at 1:30 PM. HY"D
12:12 PM Dagan Vartman's funeral leaving the Har HaMor yeshiva at 2:15 PM to Mt. Herzl military cemetery. HY"D
11:57 AM The fourth soldier killed last night, Yussaf Mu'adi a Druze soldier from near Haifa.
11:29 AM A third name has been release. Nitai Stern from Jerusalem.
11:21 AM Reports that senior Hamas fighter, in charge of the rocket launching teams, has been killed by IDF fire.
11:20 AM The second name released of those killed last night, Major Dagan Vertman of Michmash. Both Dagan and Yoni Netanel were graduates of the Mercaz HaRav High School, Yeshiva L'Tzeirim. If you recall the school lost 5 students in the Mercaz HaRav terrorist massacre.
10:37 AM As reported at 10:21, that 4 soldiers were killed last night in Gaza, one of those was a Tznachanim, Paratrooper combat officer. (TJ, you are correct)
10:34 AM Rockets landing in Sderot and Western Negev Communities. Emergency crews going out.
10:29 AM Clarification: Currently, there are reports of only one GRAD rocket landing in the Gedera area this morning. Reshet Bet / Channel-B specifically report sirens going off (or heard) in Yad Binyamin, and explosion (or 2) being heard of a rocket strike. The baby wounded in Gedera was from the same rocket strike.
10:23 AM Rockets launched at Western Negev communities. No reports of injuires.
10:21 AM IDF reports that 4 soldiers (and not 3 as originally announced) were killed in action last night in the Northern Gaza Strip. Names to be published here as they become available.
9:44 PM IDF Reservists Ready to take on Hamas. This JPost article sums it up very accurately. Everyone is training now in Tzeilim down south, and ready to go. Morale is extremely high.
One reservist showed up a week after his wife gave birth to their firstborn son. Another is scheduled to get married next week and his friend took with him an orange flag which he hopes to be able to raise on the ruins of the Gush Katif settlement bloc.9:41 AM Benjamin Netanyahu met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and told him that Egypt is not doing enough to prevent weapon smuggling from Egypt into Gaza through Rafiach and the Philidelphi corridor tunnels. As reported on the Muqata yesterday, Israeli intellgence is concerned that Fajr-4 long range (70 kilomter) rockets have been smuggled in, which can hit Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem.
On Monday, tens of thousands of reservists were at the Tze'elim training base in the Negev training ahead of possible deployment in the Gaza Strip.
"Everybody showed up for duty," said Maj. Ido, deputy commander of a battalion in the Negev Brigade which is designated to be one of the first reservist units to be sent into Gaza if the IDF decides to send reservists into the Strip. "There are concerns, but it's only natural and despite the concerns, everyone answered the emergency orders." (read the rest here)
9:38 AM Israel allowing 80 trucks of Humanitarin Aid to enter Gaza now through the Kerem Shalom crossing.
9:30 AM At least 10 of the Palestinians killed today were by Israeli Naval boats shelling Hamas targets in Dir Al Balach and the Al Bureij terror camp.
9:27 AM State to help fund treatment of pets hurt by rockets (YNETNEWS)
Last week a Qassam rocket hit a house in Sderot and killed the family's dog, which was at the building's yard during the attack. The dog was rushed to the veterinarian for treatment, but died due to severe shrapnel injuries and massive loss of blood.
Following this incident and in light of the fact that like their human owners, pets in Israel's south are also under the constant rocket threat, the Agriculture Ministry has decided it would help pay for the medical care of dogs and cats injured by rocket fire from Gaza
9:20 AM Palestinians report that 20 Gazans were killed this morning by IDF troops, mostly in the Al-Bureij terror camp. UN reports over 500 Gazans killed by IDF since start of the operation.
9:16 AM Additional name relased for publication: IDF solider Yehonatan Netanel, from the Kedumim community in the Shomron.
9:12 AM IDF soldiers report that they have come across Suicide Bomber Terrorists in Gaza; terrorists shooting at them with bombs strapped to their body, so that if they are wounded, and IDF soldiers approach, they intended to blow themselves up. IDF soldiers taking extreme precautions.
9:04 AM Grad missile which landed in Gedera, lightly wounded a 3 month old baby by shattered glass. MDA took to the baby to the hospital for treatment.
9:02 AM Air Raid Siren in Beer Sheva was a "false alarm" -- no rockets launched.
9:01 AM Video Clip of yesterday's IDF wounded arriving by ambualnce and helicopter to Seroka hospital in Beer Sheva.
8:55 AM Air Raid Sirens going off in Be'er Sheva.
8:48 AM Grad Missile confimred to land in Yad-Binyamin-Gedera area. No injuries reported.
8:46 AM Israel Radio's Nissim Keinan (and from people at the scene) report of Air Raid Sirens in Yad Binyamin community (next to Gedera and Kibbutz Chafetz Chaim). Two loud explosions heard...emergency units responding.
8:36 AM One of the names released for publication of IDF casualties from last night; Private Yosef Mu'adi
8:23 AM Officer in charge of last night's rescue mission, also rescued his son who was one of the injured. At the time, he was unaware that his son was in that group.
Conflicting stories from Toulouse France. Either firebomb or car bomb explode near synagogue. Update: Two cars filled with firebombs pushed into Toulouse, France Synagogue. Building caught fire. No injuries.
7:56 AM Rocket falls near Netivot. No injuries.
Via Chaim, this seems to sum up well the difference between us and them. (Wish there were more context to the video.)
3:34 I'm (JoeSettler) going back to sleep. Updates will continue again in a couple of hours unless something else major happens. Jameel will fill in the rest of the details in the morning including the background on Avi Peled, the senior Golani officer injured, and those killed.
Easy fast to all, and we should only have good news in the morning.
3:20 AM IDF announces 3 soldiers killed (2 officers, 1 soldier) one of the soldiers was a doctor, 20 soldiers injured of those 3 soldiers seriously in last night's operation in North Gaza. Golani senior commander also lightly injured.
Soldiers were in the house in the Jabalya refugee camp taking cover from the mortar and rocket fire they were under.
Massive cover fire from artillery and helicopters was laid down in order to retrieve the injured soldiers.
Refuah Shleimah ("Complete Healing") to those injured. Baruch Dayan Emet.
3:00 AM 3 soldiers killed by friendly fire after tank fires by accident. Unclear when or where this happened (probably sometime within the past 24 hours). (Reshet B).
2:07 AM Prime Minister Olmert's hearing on his double booking scandal ("Rishon Tours") delayed due to the war.
1: 49 AM Rumors flying all across Israel as to the nature of the operation this evening and its results. IDF and Government are still completely silent.
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