Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 18 of the War, Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day 18 of the Gaza War, Tuesday, January 13, 2009 -- Daily sticky post, constantly updated.

More liveblogging at IsraellyCool and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/muqata Keyword #GazaWar

Note: Using the "Refresh" (F5 key) command in your Web Browser will show you the latest updates -- Refresh on an Apple/Mac is apple+R.

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.

12:15 AM Don't forget to see Hamas Kingpin Ismael Haniyeh's Blog Movie. 'night.

12:01 AM
I'm off to bed. Good night people - thanks again to JoeSettler, Litvshe, and the Muqata crew for keeping the blog going. Believe me, I know it's difficult. See you all in the AM.

Regards from Israel, and Good Night.


11:59 PM
For those of you wishing an easier text format for this blog, for use in "Blackberrys", etc., try using our RSS feed: http://muqata.blogspot.com/atom.xml

11:54 PM
Red Cross: Israel's use of white phosphorus not illegal (JPost)

The International Red Cross said Tuesday that Israel has fired white phosphorus shells in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, but has no evidence to suggest it is being used improperly or illegally.

The comments came after a human rights organization accused the Jewish state of using the incendiary agent, which ignites when it strikes the skin and burns straight through or until it is cut off from oxygen. It can cause horrific injuries.

The International Committee of the Red Cross urged Israel to exercise "extreme caution" in using the incendiary agent, which is used to illuminate targets at night or create a smoke screen for day attacks, said Peter Herby, the head of the organization's mines-arms unit.

"In some of the strikes in Gaza it's pretty clear that phosphorus was used," Herby told The Associated Press. "But it's not very unusual to use phosphorus to create smoke or illuminate a target. We have no evidence to suggest it's being used in any other way."
11:41 PM From a high of 76 Gazan rockets fired at Israel...today only 19 were fired from Gaza. Like it or not, the IDF ground offensive is taking it's toll on the Gaza rocketeers.

11:37 PM Last photos for today:

11:10 PM (Reuters) U.S. says remarks on Olmert-Bush call "inaccurate" (What? Olmert not telling the truth?)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Tuesday denied that a telephone call from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to President George W. Bush forced Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to abstain in a U.N. vote on the Gaza war.

"Some of what we've seen is not accurate," White House spokesman Tony Fratto said.

"There are inaccuracies," he said about Olmert's remarks Monday night in a speech broadcast on Israeli television and widely reported in the media.

Olmert said he had demanded to talk to Bush with only 10 minutes to spare before a U.N. Security Council vote on a resolution opposed by Israel calling for an immediate ceasefire.

"He gave an order to the secretary of state and she did not vote in favor of it -- a resolution she cooked up, phrased, organized and maneuvered for. She was left pretty shamed and abstained on a resolution she arranged," Olmert said. [read the rest here]

10:48 PM "Yesh Gvul" [there is a border] radical left wing Israeli group places ads on leftist Haaretz newspaper website -- calling for "IDF soldiers, officers and IAF pilots to refuse to be part of warcrimes."

It continues (its a flash ad) "Participating in War Crimes is illegal under Israeli Law"

How they can get away with actively calling on soldiers during wartime to refuse orders is beyond me.

10:35 PM Jewish motorist from Beitar Elite in the Gush Etzion area, on the Hussan bypass road was targeted by rocks and firebombs. He fired in the air and was not injured. His car was damaged. IDF investigating.

10:29 PM
As expected, the Israeli police have arrested the Jewish motorist who was targeted by rocks and shot in self-defense. The motorist is from the Israeli settlement of Emmanuel.

10:29 PM
The column width of the "news" column on this blog is now almost as wide as it was before...

10:18 PM
More on the rock attack in the Shomron -- IDF sources say the rock thrower is not some innocent bystander, but has a long history of rock throwing, disturbances to motorists, and has previously been arrested. The IDF also states that their working analysis is that the Jewish motorist was in a life threatening situation which is why he shot. Israel's police are investigating. (ynet)

10:13 PM
Despite reports from Iranian Radio (as reported below at 6:49 PM), IDF Navy says "we did not intercept Iranian boat". The pirate ship's disappearance is still a mystery.

9:58 PM More photos...

From pro-Israel rally in San Francisco

Hamas targets in Rafiach.

9:39 PM
Pro-Hamas hackers target Israeli facebook groups, hack into "Gilad Shalit" group and deface it.

9:29 PM
It was only a matter of minutes...Haaretz reports the incident below as follows:
"21:12 Settler shoots, seriously wounds Palestinian in West Bank (Haaretz)"
. No mention in the slightest of the settler being targeted by rocks...just an unprovoked shooting.

He who has mercy on terrorists will end up being cruel to the Jews.

9:01 PM
Update: Palestinian was not shot by IDF forces. But by Jewish civilian who was under heavy attack by rocks. One Palestinian rock thrower was killed and 2 more were apprehended by IDF and the police. Civilian is currently being questioned by IDF and police.

8:48 PM
Finally I can report it. The terrorist throwing rocks at cars near Maaleh Shomron was shot by the IDF and lightly wounded (that was at 8:13 PM).

8:12 PM
Rock throwing on Highway 55 near Maaleh Shomron. Damage to car, no injuries. Pipe bomb thrown at car near Efrat.

7:40 PM
Only 1 comment about the new blog format? Either everyone likes it, everyone hates it, or its not important compared to the content...

7:35 PM
IDF uncovers another Hamas tunnel, going from Gaza to Israel (West to East), which was going to be used for a terror attack against Israel -- found in the Nachal Oz area. (Ohr Heller, Channel 10 Israel TV)

7:19 PM As promised, IDF Spox video of Anti Aircraft Cannon and additional munitions found in a (gasp) Gazan Mosque!

7:17 PM Watching IDF's operation in Gaza from Israel

7:12 PM
IDF Spox photos from today, Day 18 of the Cast-Lead operation in Gaza.

6:55 PM
IDF locates Anti Aircraft Gun, munitions in Gaza mosque. How shocking. Will provide IDF spox video footage soon.

6:49 PM
Finally - what happened to the Iranian ship?

Iran's state radio was quoted by Reuters, reporting on Tuesday:

"An Iranian ship that was carrying foodstuff and medicine was stopped by the Zionist regime's navy 20 miles off the coast of Gaza," the Iranian radio station reported, adding that the ship had left the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas 13 days earlier.

On Monday, a group of protesters, doctors and lawmakers from the Free Gaza movement abandoned a bid to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza and returned to Cyprus after their boat experienced engine trouble, a spokeswoman for the movement said. (JPost)

6:14 PM Reports of Anti-Israel demonstrations in Iran -- protesters burn photographs of USA President-elect Barak Obama. (ynet)

6:10 PM
IDF Chief of Staff, Gabi Ashkenazi reports of Hamas terrorists dressed in IDF uniforms that tried to unsuccessfully infiltrate IDF positions in Gaza (Haaretz)

6:01 PM
Walla news reports: Senior IDF Officer: "Because of Israel's politicians, we may lose another war." Harsh criticism against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzippi Livni, and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for taking too much time in deciing further moves for IDF.

According to Walla, IDF generals are furious with Israel's politicians and say that without a clear cut victory over Hamas by allowing the IDF to continue with the 3rd phase of the war, "we end up on the losing side of the war".

5:42 PM
Iron Dome Missile Defense System

For those of you who just can't wait for the Muqata to refresh, here's something else you can do while waiting. The Iron Dome web-based flash animation shows you how you can target Gazan rockets, making Israel safer from harm. (All in English, complete with information about rocket attacks on Israel)

Click here or on the image below to see what Israel has to deal with...

5:34 PM Channel 10, Israel TV, Alon Ben David reports that critically wounded IDF soldier has been improved to "serious" following emergency surgery.

Please continue to say prayers for Aharon Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana, married only 2 weeks ago -- he left Gaza for less than 24 hours to get married before returning to the frontlines.

More on the soldier, here (Jpost)

5:27 PM
Terrorist who tried snatching IDF soldier's weapon at Tarkumiya checkpoint -- dies. (He was shot in self defense by IDF soldiers) [ynet]

5:23 PM
Nir Dvori (Channel 10 TV Israel) reports that an IDF tank drive over a serious landmine. 3 IDF soldiers lightly wounded.

4:23 PM
Walla Reports that a rocket hit next to an educational complex in Ashkelon before...no injuries, but lots of damage. Total of 13 rockets hit Israel today (as of 4:23 PM)

4:21 PM
JoeSettler here. We're back. We hope you like the new look.

3:38 PM
Blog going offline for 20 minutes -- will resume at 4:00 PM for site upgrade. Be right back.

3:26 PM Critically wounded soldier fights for his life.

IDF Combat Officer, Aharon Karov (pictured right), at his wedding, hours after leaving the Gazan front, and returned back to fight the day after his wedding -- was critically wounded last night in Northern Gaza by a Hamas explosive.

Please include him in your prayers -
Aharon Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana

Story about him in Hebrew, here.

3:22 PM
Reports of wounded IDF soldiers in recent gun battle with Hamas terrorists. The IDF soldiers have been taken for medical treatment in Israel's hospitals.

3:03 PM
No injuries reported in rocket attack. One fell in Ashkelon...no injuries.

2:54 PM
2 rockets land in Western Negev, 2 in Sderot area. No status updates yet

2:51 PM
Air Raid Sirens in Ashkelon.

2:48 PM
Terrorist tries grabbing IDF soldier's weapon at Tarkumiya Checkpoint (near Hebron). IDF soldiers shoot terrorist in leg, and capture him. (source)

2:37 PM
In the news: Hamas is losing the psychological warfare battle, as "Hamas Censors" are imposing on Palestinian Websites that they must not reveal names or amounts of Hamas wounded and killed fighting IDF forces. (Walla)

2:35 PM Thankfully, the past hour and half were relatively quiet (in terms of rocket attacks on Israel).

1:24 PM
Daily Double Dose from DoubleTapper (give the guy a break, visit his blog...its the absolute least you can do for a drafted IDF reserve combat officer with a blog...who doesn't want his site traffic to disappear while he's defending Israel)

An Army travels on its stomach...the appetizing IDF meal on the left explains why he looks so thrilled on the right.

1:11 PM
IDF Chief of Staff, General Gabi Ashkenazi announced to the Knessent's Defense and Foreign affairs Committee, that Hamas is forcing Gazan schoolchildren to attend classes in booby-trapped classrooms and schools. He also denied reports that the army was using phosphorous bombs in the Strip, and said that "the IDF only uses weapons authorized by international law."


During the meeting, Ashkenazi expressed his gratitude for the support the IDF is getting.

"I would like to send my condolences to the bereaved families and wish those injured a speedy recovery and thank all of you and all the people of Israel for the support we are getting.

"This is a genuinely impressive display of unity, which truly contributes to the soldiers, their determination, and their faith in the rightness of this path."

12:59 PM
The Mishnah (Oral Law) States: In a war that is a mitzva (Bibilical commandment, such as a defensive war, like the current one), even a Groom leaves his room, and a Bride leaves her Chuppa [wedding canopy]. (source Mishna Sotah, Chapter 8, Mishna 7 in Hebrew)

This was the first thing that came to mind, regarding the report from below at 12:48 seriously wounded IDF combat officer Aharon Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana, was married only 2 weeks ago. He left his troops from the Gaza front a few hours before his wedding, got married, and the following morning was back at the front with his troops

12:55 PM
False Alarm in Ashkelon - no rockets launched

12:54 PM
Air Raid Sirens in Ashkelon

12:48 PM IDF Radio reports that seriously wounded IDF combat officer Aharon Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana, was married only 2 weeks ago. He left his troops from the Gaza front a few hours before his wedding, got married, and the following morning was back at the front with his troops. (more in a second, air raid sirens in Ashkelon)

11:44 AM Hamas reps in Cairo announce they will only consider a cease fire with Israel, after Israel removes all IDF troops from Gaza Strip. (NRG)

11:36 AM
Air Raid Siren in Ashkelon (now) - apparently a false alarm.

11:14 AM
Personal Request from Jameel: Please add to your prayers, a full recovery for the IDF soldier, Aharon Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana, who was very seriously wounded last night in Gaza.

11:07 AM
Gaza source, 10 Hamas dead and wounded in Khan Younis. Hamas, cease fire will only be considered if Israel withdraws.

10:38 AM
IDF finds two booby-trapped tunnels in Gaza and kills 30 armed terrorists.

10:37 AM
Chief of Staff: We have accomplished great deal of our goals, but we haven't completed them all.

10:35 AM
Total of 8 soldiers wounded overnight in Gaza fighting.

Gunfire from Jordanian watchtower at IDF/Border police patrol at the Rabin Crossing in the Arava. IDF returns fire. No injuries reported. IDF investigating. (source)

8:37 AM
IDF censor removes blackout; IDF tanks on their way to Gaza city -- entering Gaza City suburbs.

8:25 AM
"Rocket Launch" warnings to Sederot...

8:24 AM See this large collection of photos and videos from a bizarre Pro-Hamas rally in San Francisco. This protester (below) was led away from by Police as the crowd cheered his removal -- despite his obvious Pro-Palestinian sentiment. Just goes to show you what a bunch of pro-Terror wackos these San Francisco lunatics are, including the uber-liberal Jews of California.

It's always amazed me that bend-over-backwards liberalism eventually morphs into outright anti-Antisemitism and support for terror.

I would put more of the pictures up, but as BOTH said to me, this demonstration will just leave you scratching your head. See them all at the Zombie site.

(hat-tip: BOTH)

8:15 AM JNF / Rabbinic Solidarity Mission leaving to Israel (hat-tip, Steg)
New York) January 12, 2009 — As the world watches the People of Israel endure the hardships and anxiety of war, 19 Orthodox Rabbis from all over North America along with several lay leaders will lift off to study Torah with their brethren in the Yeshivah of Sderot adjacent to the Gaza Strip. Ten more American Rabbinic colleagues and 20 Israeli Tzohar Rabbis will join the group on the ground in Israel. Together, in addition to Sderot, they will be visiting Ashkelon, Be’er Sheva in Israel’s Negev region, and Jerusalem. They will visit wounded solders, bring clothing and supplies to school children, comfort grieving families and meet with Israeli political representatives. (more at Steg's)
8:10 AM Reuters: US Arms shipment to Israel cancelled due to Gaza war.

As I reported the other day, the US was planning sending 325 containers of ammunition to Israel. That shipment has now been "put on hold" or canceled. I don't know why they canceled it -- its not like this ammunition was headed to the Palestinians or Fatah (and then taken over by Hamas, as was the case last year)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. military plan to ship munitions from a Greek port to a U.S. stockpile in Israel has been canceled due to the conflict in the Gaza Strip, the Pentagon said on Monday.

The U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command issued a tender on December 31 for a ship to deliver 325 standard 20-foot containers of ammunition on two separate journeys from the Greek port of Astakos to the Israeli port of Ashdod in mid-to-late January.

Air Force Lt. Col. Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said the Greek port had been considered as a possible location from which to transfer ammunition from a larger ship coming from the United States.

But the request to shippers had now been canceled due to safety concerns at the final destination related to the conflict in Gaza, Ryder said. Israel's military offensive in the Gaza Strip seeks to halt rocket fire by Hamas militants aimed at southern Israel. (Reuters)

7:54 AM
Hamas has yet again abused the Humanitarian aid effort by trying to use trucks that Israel allows in with food and medicine for the Gazan residents, to smuggle in night vision and communications equipment. One entire truck of equipment was confiscated.

6:00 AM
5 Dead terrorists reported in heavy fighting in neighborhoods last night. 4 soldiers injured moderately to lightly.

(Map of fighting from Rotter)

2:57 AM
Heavy fighting is within a neighborhood. Possibly Zeitun.

2:52 AM
Heavy fighting continuing. No new details.

AM Breslevers sneak into Gaza earlier (or are they the special forces unit?) (Rotter)

2:45 AM
A lot of tanks reported on the move.

2:42 AM
Fighter jets overhead of the areas of fighting. Something serious going on.

2:37 AM
Loud explosions being heard throughout Gaza. Heavy fighting in Khan Younis, south of Jebaliyah and Beit Lehiye. Heavy artillery fire.

2:31 AM
Women in Green showed up in Nitzan earlier today to lighten up their sewer pipes bomb shelters. Pictures by Rivkah Riback (Omedia) (except for the first photo)

2:18 AM
Watch the war live! All the TV channels covering the war in one spot: http://www.communa.agrisupportonline.com/tv.htm

2:12 AM
A lot of shooting heard in North Gaza. No additional details yet.

2:02 AM 2 Israelis hurt in Kiryat Arba (Hebron) shooting attack earlier were soldiers in a lookout tower. They were lightly hurt by shrapnel from the bullets. Third soldier hurt when he fell from the tower and broke his shoulder.

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Anonymous said...

That's hilarious with the Breslevers. These guys will go anywhere. Sayeret Nachman.

Anonymous said...

"IDF finds two trapped tunnels in Gaza and kills 30 armed terrorists."

where were these poor tunnels trapped?

Mikeage said...

I always love the zombie reports...

Did you see the sign that proclaimed "דאי לקיבוש"?


Baila said...

Able to check in the middle of the day for a change. Keep up the great work.

Anonymous said...

new look is good, jusy needs getting used to

J. "יהוא בן יהושפט בן נמשי" Izrael said...

Great job there, keep up the good work.

From your anti-Zionist, Jewish life supporting friend.

Gee a Moron said...

After reading that Hamas has booby-trapped some of the houses: Is there some way that the IDF can turn this to their advantage e,g, somehow rearranging the neighborhood so that the Hamasnikim, when they eventually return, won't even know which houses they've booby-trapped?

Some simple ideas: removing all street signs (or posting them in Hebrew-only or encrypted so only the IDF can read them). Any other ideas?

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

I do NOT like the new format - too narrow, stuff gets squished together. But I suppose I will get used to it, like I have gotten used to other web-based travesties (I will not mention the application I'm thinking of but you KNOW what I mean, Jameel. And this is not as bad. At least your blog loads fast.)

Anonymous said...

Great, fantastic blog! My comment about the format is as follows: On my computer screen, I see two columns, each of equal width. The left column contains all the important stuff (i.e., THE NEWS) while the right side contains the typical junk that all blogs contain. I recommend making the right much, much narrower. Also, and this might just be me, why not make the pictures larger - much larger - such as huffinton post does, which is a great way to really bring out the pictures?

Thanks for a great read, and good luck!

Anonymous said...

This is the best blog I've seen. I like how frequently it's updated. Keep it up.

Most Swedish are on the "Palestine-side", but not me. I'm with you.

Karl said...

I always check the Muqata for the latest news - but was worried you'd been hacked when I saw it today. I don't like the new format - to much scrolling (columns too narrow) although it does all load fast which is a great plus.
Keep up the great work Jameel & friends.

Norm said...

I like the new layout, but I agree that the right side is too big.

Thank you for your blog; thank you for all your hard work; thank you for your efforts to keep the world up to date. All intelligent people are with the Israel and pray for the IDF.

Anonymous said...

The blog looks awesome, good job. The content and your delivery is extremely important and appreciated.
G-d Bless you and your crew.

Anonymous said...

The new layout is interesting but I think the right pane is too wide. Been following you since the beginning of the war, you have the best coverage.

Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

new layout is perfect.
it is much more pleasant to read on my HTC touch.

Also keep up the excellent blog.
Thanks from London, England (friends of Kasamba)

Anonymous said...

Another comment on the layout, something is using a lot of CPU. I am using Safari on a MacBook. Not sure what it is....

Lion of Zion said...

why tinker with something that works fine?
your main column with posts should be much wider or at least in the center.

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

Everyone else said it better than I did. It's the wide right column that is bothering me, because it makes the main, important column squished.

But the content, oh man, the CONTENT is the best stuff around. Keep it up guys!

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

The people have spoken!

OK, we'll make the news column wider and shrink the other 2...giving you MORE news!

Thanks for the feedback!

Jameel and the Muqata Crew.

nmf #7 said...

Thanks Jameel- although the new format does load faster!

Akiva said...

Hate the new format. Too narrow on the left column.

Akiva said...

But love the coverage - my main source for war news.

Anonymous said...

still works fine on my cell after the 2nd lot of changes.

Don't drive yourself mad Jameel. 2 jews, 3 opinions

Anonymous said...

I am having an issue loading the new format on my blackberry. I get a page too large error. Is there any way you could put up a sparse mobile version?

Gee a Moron said...

I would translate "Yesh Gvul" as "There is a limit"

Unknown said...

You are the best, thank you for your great job.

G-d bless Israel & our soldiers
A friend from Venezuela

Jacob Da Jew said...

That IDF guy in the very first photo reminds me of De Niro...

The back of the hill said...

He who has mercy on terrorists will end up being cruel to the Jews.

Chessed le umim chatas.

J. "יהוא בן יהושפט בן נמשי" Izrael said...

I saw somewhere you said "כל המרחם על מחבלים סופו מתאכזר למתנחלים" but it would be more true to say "רחמנות על מחבלים=תירוץ (או הצדקה) להתאכזרות על "מתנחלים" (יהודים)"

Any so called "mercy" and crocodile tears for 'Palestinian civilians' is but an excuse to justify hatred against Jews.

Anonymous said...

The siren just went off in Har Nof (the whole of Jerusalem? and what other places?) just a moment ago. It gave me quite a fright, especially since I realised I didn't know what I'm supposed to do, if anything, maybe it was just a test or a mistake. Jameel, can you find out what that was about?

Anonymous said...

from arutz 7

אזעקה עולה ויורדת נשמעה לפני זמן קצר גם בבית שמש, אזרחים טוענים כי נשמע קול פיצוץ מייד לאחר האזעקה.

Anonymous said...

Check out this video from Monday's Eretz Nehederet sketch show, laughing about BBC bias towards Israel.

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