Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 20 of the War, Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day 20 of the Gaza War, Thursday, January 15, 2009
Daily sticky post, constantly updated.

More liveblogging at IsraellyCool and on Twitter at 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.

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.

12:05 AM Good night people -- I'm off to bed. 20 straight days of live blogging is enough to make anyone exhausted.

Thanks again (as always) to Litvshe, JoeSettler, the rest of the Muqata Exhausted Crew (and our families for putting up with us).

Wishing everyone a quiet and safe evening.

Regards from Israel,


11:55 PM Senior Hamas terrorist Salach Abu Sharach, also killed today when IAF targeted (and killed) Hamas Minister of the Interior.

Looks like we got the last smile...


11:51 PM Maybe you should take the safety announcements about life vests on airplanes a little more seriously. They saved a lot of lives today in NYC. Everyone on the plane (150 people) rescued.

11:47 PM The public has been asked to say a prayer for the 7 year old boy hurt in a Grad rocket attack on Be'er Sheva earlier today, now in critical condition; Ar'el ben Angela.

11:40 PM Good News from Israel! Natural Gas found off of Haifa coast -- new drilling analysis finds that initial estimates of 109 billion cubic meters...were low, and it appears there is much more. The market value of 109 Billions cubic meters of natural gas is approximately 15 Billion dollars. (source, "Calcalist" Financial Website in Hebrew)

11:28 PM Italy Demonstrates for Israel (from a Senior Italian Goverment Minister, Fiamma Nirenstein)

Dear friends,

We didn’t expect what you see now in the picture. This is the square of the Italian Parliament in Rome, Piazza Montecitorio: you can see the Palace on top of the square, and in front a lot of Israeli flags.That was yesterday night from 6,30 to 9,30 pm. What you cannot see here, is the extraordinary number and variety of members of the Parliament, about 100 from all political sides, that took the stage during our marathon: for about three hours we have been speaking about the role of Israel, its right to self defense, its moral height, its fight in name of all of us, of our civilization and values, against the wild hate of the Islamic jihad represented by hamas. It seems to me that for the first time in the too long history of the arab Israeli conflict, apart from a minority of crazy leftists and fascists that took the street on anti-Semitic slogans, we have obtained a huge consensus about one critical point: this is not an episode of a local conflict, there is nothing in it that reminds the land for peace theme that has characterized the Palestinian issue. This is an episode of the attack agains the western world, and Iran has a lot to do with it.

The change of attitude is great: the dictatorial religious nature of Hamas and the democratic, civilized nature of Israel are seen face to face for what they are al least by the European elite at large, dead and wounded notwithstanding, and there rises an identification with Israel against a regime that uses human shields and promises slaughters of jews in its chart.

hat-tip: B. Rubin.

11:22 PM Breaking News: YNET reports that Palestinians claim a 2 week cease fire has been reached -- to take effect within the next 72 hours. During the cease fire, talks will continue about the issues of border crossings and weapons smuggling tunnels. (Only in Hebrew so far)

11:15 PM
IDF Spox photos of IDF Paratrooper Units operating in Gaza. (via Omedia)

11:14 PM
Channel B Israel Radio reports that the IDF just shot an additional rocket shell at a hospital in Gaza.

11:05 PM
Survivors have gotten safely off the plane -- (Survivor speaking: We took off from La Guardia Airport in NY going to Charlotte, USAir flight 1549....we heard a loud bang, the plane shook, smoke filled the cabin, plane started turning as if they were turning back....captain announces "brace for impact"...and then we hit the water. The plane stayed afloat and some of us got into a raft. Survivor claims everyone got off the plane safely.

10:59 PM
Developing Story: In NYC, an A320 aircraft lands in the Hudson River. The fuselage in sticking out of the 40 degree water, and its unknown if the 135 people aboard are able to get out (or survived). Helicopters have dropped live preserves to the crash site in the water in the hope that survivors can use them. (I'm watching this live on CNN)

10:57 PM
Due to massive IDF jamming in Gaza (cellphones, SA-7 anti-aircraft counter measures, etc.) simple remotes for car alarms have stopped working in the Israeli communities around Gaza. For those who understand Hebrew, here's a TV report from Channel 2 about the issue...

10:54 PM
Updates coming shortly. 7 Year old boy seriously hurt in Rocket attack in Be'er Sheva, is now unfortunately in critical condition.

9:16 PM
IAF jets successfully take out Grad rocket launcher which shot the rocket at Be'er Sheva today.

8:49 PM
MUQATA EXCLUSIVE: IDF soldiers concerned about acne epidemic. Soldiers report that Israel and its supporters around the world have sent the soldiers so much chocolate that in some locations there is more chocolate bars than ammunition. Furthermore, supermarkets around Israel are offering half price on items being delivered to IDF troops.

DoubleTapper reports that some people must have gotten their donations mixed up because his troops received several size 3 (toddler) girl's dresses. Regardless Israel and its supporters generosity is extremely appreciated.

We are waiting for the pictures of DoubleTapper in his new outfit.

8:47 PM
7 year old boy (not girl as previously reported) in very serious condition after shrapnel hit his head from Grad rocket attack in Be'er Sheva. Boy's mother shielded him with her own body as rocket hit. The boy is going into emergency neurosurgery right now at Seroka hospital.

8:46 PM
IAF pilots killed Hamas Interior Minister Siad Siyam and his brother, Ayad, in an air strike on the latter's Gaza City home Thursday afternoon.

7:46 PM Channel 10 reports that the IDF is operating in the middle of Gaza City.

7:15 PM
Officer and 2 soldiers lightly injured in Gaza

6:55 PM
Oldie, but a goodie. Whats the best possible use of a Hamas Terrorist? To use him a human shield, to protect yourself from a Hamas grenade. See the video and transcript here.

Note, this video is about a year and a half old, but as Aussie Dave says, [this is an IDF example of] "Bravery and Brains"

6:36 PM
Israeli Meta-Forum website Graphics Group asked its members to design Pro-Israel bumper stickers. (All rights reserved to and sticker artists)

The stunning results are here:

Cast Lead - We will never lose hope
by "Shahar A"

Cast Lead - Let the IDF be victorious over the Qassam
by "Zippo"

IDF -- In all our hearts
by "Crow"

Cast Lead - IDF will beat the enemy through intelligence, not strength
By "BomBast"

Painting Hamas in RED
by "PlayB0y"

Cast Lead - To be a Free people in our land
by "long"

Cast Lead - end of the stress
by "MiTMan"

by "John Doe"

With G-d's help we will win - Operation Cast Lead
(remove the apostrophe, and it reads, "In Gaza, we will win"
By "Eljazira"

Cast Lead - With G-d's help we will win
by "X-SLash"

Cast Lead - Because it is ours.
By "SilverArt"

Because it's time to change the headlines
(Jewish star is made up of words:"Rocket Strikes, Qassms, Wounded, etc)
Cast Lead - Because there are things worth fighting for.
By "WestCast"

Cast Lead - Time to put an end to it [the rocket strikes on Israel]
by "ThugLife"

Cast Lead - I came, I saw, I won
By "Admin2000"

6:04 PM "Rabbis for Human Rights" call for immediate ceasefire.
"In a letter issued Monday, the rabbis wrote, "We, dozens of male and female rabbis who are members of the Rabbis for Human Rights organization, would like to express our shock over the bloodshed on both sides, and grieve the death of hundreds of people – half of them civilians – and the injury of thousands in the Gaza Strip and in Israel. " (ynet)
Other calls from "Rabbis for Human Rights" include the immediate cessation of Israeli archeologists from excavating ancient Jewish sites around the Old City of Jerusalem, and its leaders have been detained by the police for attacking Israel's archeologists.

6:01 PM
Hamas Minister of Interior Saeed Siad, the 3rd highest ranking member of Hamas...eliminated by IDF. (Channel 10 TV)

5:56 PM
Gazan Palestinian who fled Gaza to Israel and converted to Judaism: "Gazans voted for Hamas, and they should live with the consequences. I was there and I know -- they do not want peace."

I don't have time to translate the article from Hebrew -- but the link is to the article and interview is here.

5:36 PM
Roundup of wounded in Be'er Sheva GRAD rocket strike earlier:
2 serious, 2 moderate, 2 light -- and one of the seriously wounded is a 7 year old girl, currently undergoing emergency surgery at Soroka hospital in Be'er Sheva.

Reminder: Hamas is targeting civilians with these rocket attacks. The IDF is targetting Hamas terrorists, and there may be collateral damage since Hamas are shooting from civilian locations. There's no moral comparison.

5:15 PM
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert apologizes for the damage to UNRWA compound in Gaza by IDF shelling, yet justifies the IDF shelling at Hamas terrorists shooting from the UNRWA compound.

5:14 PM
(catching up on some news) In the 4:45 rocket launching at Beer Sheva, 2 rockets landed. At one location there are 2 wounded seriously, 1 light, and at the second location there are 3 lightly-moderately wounded.

5:11 PM
Thanks to all those who noted that the picture below from Turkey is not a recent photo, but is an example of antisemitism in Turkey from 3 years ago (source)

5:09 PM
Grad rocket lands in Beer Sheva

4:45 PM
Sirens sounding in Be'er Sheva, Netivot and Ashdod at this moment. Rocket lands in open area in Sha'ar HaNegev region.

4:26 PM
Army refuses to apologize for strike on UNWRA HQ and Al-Quds hospital.

4:18 PM
I'm not an expert on the provenance of this clip, but it is supposedly footage of Hamas terrorist firing from UN compound in Gaza.

4:02 PM
Major bombing raid going on at this moment.

3:59 PM
It has been pointed out that the UNWRA compound is in the middle of Gaza city, the army is reporting that the Givati unit was about a kilometer away when it came under fire. Additionally, there were armed Hamas terrorists in the building where the Reuter's office is located and Isreal returned fire when it's forces were attacked.

3:52 PM
Arab sources reporting that IDF forces have surrounded the house of Hamas commander Muhammed A-Zahar.

Givati units, in action in middle of Gaza City, were under fire from the UNRWA compound by RPG, Mortar and small arms fire and called in an artillery strike on the source of the attack. More news as it breaks. (Source Channel 10 News from Army Sources)

3:35 PM
Not only the men are going out to combat. Major Dana Mishali-Binishu is in the Armored Corps. Out with her support unit. What makes it interesting is, she's 5 months pregnant. Her husband is a fighter pilot and has also been called up. Her only request? A bigger set of overalls. She says "If you're going to take on a job, you better be prepared to finish it. There are no excuses, I'm tired, it hurts, it's that time of the month, you just do it" (source in Hebrew Ynet)

3:19 PM
IDF sending in 6 Israeli Firetrucks to help Gazan firefighters extinguish blaze at UNRWA compound in Gaza. Blaze a result of IDF shelling. (Unsure why UN compound was shelled)

3:09 PM
Why Blogs Matter: Yesterday (Wednesday) The Jerusalem Post featured a story "German Police Take Down Israeli Flags"

During an anti-Israeli demonstration organized by the radical Islamic group, Milli Görüs, which attracted 10,000 protesters last Saturday in Duisburg, two police officers stormed the apartment of a 25-year-old student and his 26-year-old girlfriend and seized Israeli flags hanging on the balcony and inside a window.

People following the Muqata blog got the same story from a first hand account 4 days earlier, at 1:17 AM on Sunday morning with an exclusive photo and first hand account from the students mentioned above.

We may not be as classy as the Jerusalem Post, but we report the the news as quickly as possible (and we didn't even get a hat-tip from the JPost, like we give everyone else...)

[hat-tip; DF, who mailed us the JPost link]

3:08 PM
Reports that IAF aircraft pounding Gaza City

12:17 PM
Palestinians Report of 3 IDF tank divisions approaching Gaza city.

12:12 PM
Italian reporter, one of the first members of the foreign press allowed into Gaza claims that there is no real humanitarian crisis in the strip and, surprisingly enough, reports in the Arab media are greatly exaggerated. This is in line with G.S.S. Yuval Diskin's statement for a couple weeks ago. (source in Hebrew)

11:48 AM
Swedish blogger fired for expressing support for Israel.

11:44 AM
Photo from Israel's friends in Turkey.

11:27 AM
Pics from the front.

10:16 AM Video of Breslevers reaching Gaza to encourage the soldiers.

10:11 AM
In a few hours Jameel will be posting a story about a fireman down south.

10:08 AM
Due to exhaustion we'll be blogging slightly lighter today - but still posting (unless something major happens and then we'll be back in full force regardless of how tired we all are). Jameel will be back later and tell you more. We appreciate your understanding. We tried to hold it off until Shabbat.

Rockets hit in the south. Fell in open area.

9:32 AM
Sirens in Kiryat Melachi

9:28 AM
(Joe Settler) I was just watching a video of the Gaza tunnel systems. Hamas are idiots. These guys could outsource their tunneling skills and turn Hamastan into one of the richest states in the world. Imagine what they could demand for digging and building a Subway system under Jerusalem - considered an almost impossible task technically and logistically. I have no doubt they could do it, and in far less time that the light rail is taking. And don't get me started on a Tel Aviv subway.

7:05 AM
11 soldiers lightly injured during operations last night. At least 10 terrorists killed and over 50 sites (tunnels, weapons depots, and launch sites) hit in and near Gaza City.

12:46 AM
Hamas has (supposedly) turned down the Egyptian cease fire offer. That was quick.

12:01 AM
It's a new day! Lot's of talk/rumors of a cease fire. IDF trying to do as much as they can now before it goes into play. Let's see what this day brings. Hamas is asking for conditional ceasefire (with ridiculous conditions of course).

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mnuez said...

I commented widely my lack of strong support for this war when it first began. I believed that it was likely to do more harm than good and I said the same things that I said at the start of the recent Lebanon War.

Wars of Attrition are worse than no war at all. Olmert and Co do not have the internal righteousness nor the tohar haneshek to be able to be gaon v'nadiv v'achzar. I do not support bloodletting for the sake of bloodletting with no realistic strategic goal. When faced by a mad dog you either retreat or you kill the dog. Israel's leadership does not have the gumption to end the war with its enemies once and for all and so they've chosen to engage in a 60 year long war of attrition where we occasionally kill a few of our foes so that we can feel "as if" we're doing something productive when in fact all that we're doing is simultaneously signalling our weakness and further maddening our foes (and creating more of them, including from among our own).

War for its own sake is not the answer. We need to take a long-term strategic look at the viability of the Zionistic enterprise and either choose to deal with the long-term dangers that we face intelligently, immediately and with overwhelming force and finality... or to retreat and sue for peace. This stupid, useless bloodletting has gone on long enough and is disgusting.


mnuez said...

The troll in the second comment is an Arab hawking nonsense. He is however nice enough to offer this awesome video on his site, reminding us of better days:

Humiliating Video

Anonymous said...

It's doesn't need to be a war of attrition. It could be a war of liberation. See my latest post on the subject:

Anonymous said...

a live copy of the bbc skit from yesterday after the original got removed

Anonymous said...

where is the article by the italian reporter?
We need to publicise this

Shoshana said...

I can't thank you all enough for taking the time to liveblog this war. Your coverage has been accurate, timely, and MUCH needed-- especially since the MSM in America has proven itself totally useless.

I just pray no ridiculous cease-fire will take place until Hamas is destroyed. Gilad MUST be at the top of any demands Israel makes. And, as Isaiah and Ezekiel remind us over and over again-- Egypt is NOT a negotiating partner worth trusting.

Again- a huge TODAH RABBAH for all you do-- may HaShem bless all the IDF, bloggers, and Israeli citizens, especially those in towns within rocket range, with strength and a complete restoration of body, mind, and spirit. You are fighting for all of us-- therefore all of you are our heroes.

Am Yisrael Chai!

amyrpk said...

I'm with Avi. Where's an English report with this Italian journalist's observations?

Anyone who finds one, please, link ...

Anonymous said...

Regarding you're recent observation about the importance of blogging, you're spot on!

The influence of mainstream media is no longer what it was. We have the greatest opportunity to set agendas and tell our stories to people and make a difference.

As you also mentioned, it's all about the hat tip - about being a mentsch. I've given you a nice blurb and recommendation over on my Squidoo lens on Hamas.

Kol hakavod to you all.


Anonymous said...

Even the italian version would be great cause we can use google translate

Anonymous said...

Forgive me for my old brain & distracted thinking......but, when I read your latest headline, about the "Rabbis for Human Rights", I stared at it for quite some time, trying to figure out what it could mean --for, my eyes read that first word as "Rabbits"......sorry...

Ma Sands

david's backyard said...


About the Turkish anti-semitizm :
There are new and fresh signs out there .
To see one of them please click and scroll down .
You will see a sign on a window of a cellular store in Istanbul .

the sabra said...

little me o'er here really appreciates all that you muqatians are doing to keep us up to date.

(i know that won't stifle any yawns nor smooth any wives glares but..)

Search the Muqata


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