Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cease Fire Continues - Saturday Night, Jan 31, 2009

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

Shavua Tov and Welcome Back.

11:00 PM Rock throwing earlier near Kedumim. 4 cars hit.

8:50 PM IT'S RAINING. THANK GOD.

8:40 PM
One of the mortars shot at Israel today "misfired" and landed in Hamas controlled Gaza. No injuries or wounded in Israel (source)

8:34 PM
The shooting attack was on an bus near Beit El (close than to Ofra). No injuries, there was damage caused to the armored bus.

8:08 PM
Shooting attack near Ofra. No injuries.

7:25 PM
Reports of 2 Grad missiles hitting Ashkelon this morning at 7AM and 9AM.
Strikes have been unacknowledged by the government.
Siren did not go off for one strike, and was very low in the other.

Shooting attack at Itamar in the the Shomron. No injuries reported.

Major accident this today between Palestinian bus and Palestinian truck. MDA called out. Injured evacuated by MDA helicopter. I (Jameel) am unsure if a medivac helicopter was used -- I know one was ordered... The accident took place at the Ariel junction around noon today.

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

365 Acts of Kindness

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(Regular post below)

It's always nice when we have an unusual advertiser on the Muqata.

Right now (apparently viewable in the US only) we are displaying an ad for Areyvut - or more specifically Areyvut's "A Kindness a Day" calendar.


Areyvut is a non-profit Jewish organization in the US that reaches out to Jewish kids to teach them chesed (kindness), tzedakah (charity) and tikkun olam (social action) - in meaningful and practical ways.

Areyvut has published a very nice desk calendar. Every day it gives you a new idea for a different act of kindness you can perform that day. That's 365 acts of kindness in total.

It's certainly a very nice/meaningful gift and a great way of helping support the work of Areyvut (and directly getting something back in exchange - now that's win-win).

And for people who read blogs in the WebAds network, you can now get 20% off the price.

You can't beat that.

So now, go out and buy a few dozen desk calendars for your next Shul, Simcha (Wedding, Bar/Bat Mitzvah giveaways), or school event.

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

Friday, January 30, 2009

Israel today, Friday Jan 30, 2009

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

1:35 PM Israeli Chief Rabbinate Declares Next Shabbat, "Parashat BiShalach" -- a day of praise and thanksgiving over the successful IDF "Cast-Lead" operation. (PDF)



1:12 PM Turkish PM's wife says Shimon Peres lied in Davos, bursts into tears.
“Everything (Israeli President Simon) Peres said was lie,” Emine Erdogan told reporters in Davos after she burst into tears.

Tayyip Erdogan stormed out of an angry debate on the Gaza war with Peres at the Davos forum on Thursday. Erdogan said his reaction targeted the moderator of the session not Peres or the Israeli people.

Emine Erdogan organized earlier this month an Istanbul meeting entitled "Women for peace in Palestine” in which first ladies from Muslim countries condemned the Israeli offensive on Gaza and called on the international community to end the suffering of women and children there. (source)



12:01 PM JoeSettler here updating again:
The Enemy Within.
Ha'aretz is reporting that Leftists in Israel are compiling "blacklists" consisting of photos and id lists of IDF officers who participated in defending Israel. As in the past, these compiled lists will presumably be given to various Leftist (former Israeli) lawyers in European countries so they can begin filing legal suits against individual soldiers when they travel overseas.

Following in that vein, Haaretz is joining the protest against the appointment of Col. Pnina Sharvit-Baruch, head of the international law division (ILD) in the Military Advocate General's office to a post in faculty of the Law Department in Tel Aviv University - essentially because of their claim of her involvement in
alleged IDF "war crimes" and that would prevent the University from "exposing" IDF actions during the war - which is also what they want TAU to do too.



11:40 AM
Jameel here: Was very busy this morning meeting with the IDF for local area security matters.

In the meantime, here's a great collection:
























(source)

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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ignoring the Ceasefire; Jan 29 2009

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

Jan 30: Treppenwitz has a post up with a video of Muslims marching in London, abusing the London police (violently) who are seen running away afraid, and in general acting like we've come to expect from the Muslim population in European countries.

My response is: Jews come home to Israel.

12:22 PM Sorry Jameel, but I'm busy working right now. Hopefully nothing will happen that will require a special update (in which case I will update it).

From somewhere in the hills of Judea,

JoeSettler

11:57 PM
Good night people - I'm off to bed. Tomorrow morning, blogging will be lighter than usual due to an IDF local region security meeting I need to attend to. (Maybe JoeSettler will pick up the slack?)

From somewhere in the hills of Samaria,

Jameel


11:55 PM
Channel 1 TV reports that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (Kadima) will be interrogated by Israel's police tomorrow (Friday) for the 12th time since he became Prime Minister of Israel, on suspicious of corruption, etc.

11:41 PM
Turkish PM storms out of Davos' Gaza session, slams moderator, Peres, Israel, etc.

"My reaction here was towards the moderator. Such moderation will cast a shadow over peace efforts," Erdogan told reporters, adding the moderator gave each speaker around 12-15 minutes to speak but he allowed Peres to talk for 25 minutes.

Read more of the nonsense here. (or see the video of it for yourself, here)

11:25 PM Every night, Israel has the wonderful custom (and law) which allows for all electoral parties to get airtime on TV and radio. Pollsters have already proven that the effectiveness of these campaigns are limited (most of the time, it's usually people who already have made up their minds saying, "See, we really nailed that party with our commercial!")

Even parties like ultra-Orthodox Aguda/Yahadut Hatorah have TV commercials, despite that their constituency are not even supposed to own TVs!

Tonight, perhaps one of the strangest commercial's aired tonight, for one of the strangest parties. I'm embarrassed that such a commercial even exists, but I thought it prudent to show you want a thriving democracy Israel is, that such a commercial and party can even exist.

(Keep in mind, at Tel Aviv University's straw poll the other day, this party received 5 seats).



hat-tip: here, via R' Tzvi the nameless

10:56 PM Iranian Pirate Ship -- you know, the one the US was unable to confiscate the weapons aboard for "legal" reasons? The one headed to Hamas in Gaza, or Hizbollah in Lebanon?

Well, here's the update: Haaretz reports that Cyrpus successfully detained the ship tonight.
Cypriot authorities on Thursday detained an Iranian arms ship en route to Syria, a European diplomatic source said.

The move apparently came after Israel and the United States requested that Cyprus stop the ship. It is carrying a large amount of weaponry, including artillery rounds and rockets that Israel believes are destined for either Hezbollah or Hamas.

The vessel left the Persian Gulf a few weeks ago and reached about 60 miles from Cyprus' port city of limassol on Wednesday.

Since the ship was flying Cyprus' flag, the Cypriot authorities were the only ones authorized to confiscate its cargo.

According to the diplomat, Cypriot customs officials had contacted the Iranian boat and demanded that it sail to limassol to be checked.

The U.S. navy had earlier detained the ship in the Red Sea, but was forced to release it Tuesday when it became apparent that there was no legal basis for holding it.

More here.
8:45 PM When I'm not war-blogging, one of the frequent discussions on this blog is about the highly popular "Srugim" TV show, which follows the challenging lives of religious Jewish singles in the Jerusalem "Katamon swamp".

Srugim's director (and personal friend) Laizy Shapiro sent me the following email today about the showing of a documentary of his, aired tomorrow on Channel 10 TV in Israel. Totally worth it, if you have the chance. (The show is only 18 minutes, so it won't kill your whole pre-Shabbat schedule :)

Dear Friends, this Friday on channel 10 at 2pm there will be a screening of my short documentary film "Saving Private Finklestein". Please pass this message among your friends in Israel. Enclosed is some information about the film.
Take care
Laizy


"Saving Private Finklestein", Documentary, 18 minutes

The bite of a small, chubby, mongrel dog led to a series of events that resulted in uncovering the story, identity and family of a British soldier killed in the First World War. Although Jewish, he had mistakenly been buried under a tombstone marked with a cross in a British war cemetery thousands of miles from England.

Who was Private Finklestein? How was he killed? And why was he buried under a cross?

The director of this film, together with his father, undertook a search for the answers to these questions – a search that lasted ten years and ranged over three continents. No stone was left unturned until they solved this seventy-year-old riddle.

Photographer: Moshe Huri
Editor: Boaz Shahak
Producer/Director: Eliezer Shapiro


8:05 PM Contrasted: Arabs and Israel.

After the Disengagement from Gaza, Palestinian mobs burned, ransacked and destroyed all the Jewish holy sites which Israel left behind. The picture at left shows the Netzarim Synagogue burning after the IDF left Gaza.

During the second Intifada, Palestinian mobs destroyed Joseph's Tomb in Shechem (Nablus) -- here's a video of my return there last year so you can see for yourself the before and after photos.

Palestinians routinely deface and damage the Jewish holy articles in Hebron's Me'arat HaMachpela (Tomb of the Patriachs).

Jordanians destroyed the Mount of Olives ancient Jewish cemetery, using headstones to pave roads and for public bathrooms.

Contrast that to today: Israel bends over backwards, at it's own expense, to keep Muslim cemetery intact, in the heart of Tel Aviv.

A solution was found to a 35-year court battle over a Muslim cemetery in Jaffa Thursday. According to the plan, yet to be approved by the Israeli Land Administration (ILA), the entrepreneur who owns the land on which the cemetery is situated will receive rights to an adjacent plot, leaving the cemetery untouched.

The entrepreneur purchased the land 35 years ago in a transaction approved by the Board of Trustees, the organization responsible for Muslim property in Jaffa.

Since then, every attempt to build on the legally purchased land has been prevented by the Muslim Council, which waged lengthy court battles against the construction. Recently, Muslim residents of the city led a public campaign against the cemetery's destruction.

Now the Tel Aviv Jaffa Municipality has offered a possible solution to the stalemate, according to which the entrepreneur will receive the rights to a plot of land adjacent to the cemetery, which belongs to the ILA. Thus the cemetery will remain untouched, the entrepreneur will be able to build, and the ILA will retain its property rights. (ynetnews)

Shove that in the face of anti-Israel activists.

7:13 PM Pallywood Continues

ABALYA, GAZA STRIP — Most people remember the headlines: Massacre Of Innocents As UN School Is Shelled; Israeli Strike Kills Dozens At UN School.

They heralded the tragic news of Jan. 6, when mortar shells fired by advancing Israeli forces killed 43 civilians in the Jabalya refugee camp in the Gaza Strip. The victims, it was reported, had taken refuge inside the Ibn Rushd Preparatory School for Boys, a facility run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

The news shocked the world and was compared to the 1996 Israeli attack on a UN compound in Qana, Lebanon, in which more than 100 people seeking refuge were killed. It was certain to hasten the end of Israel's attack on Gaza, and would undoubtedly lead the list of allegations of war crimes committed by Israel.

There was just one problem: The story, as etched in people's minds, was not quite accurate. (see it all here)

hat-tip: Aussie Dave @ IsraellyCool

6:54 PM Russian Jews Demonstrate in Moscow on behalf of Israel.

As someone who used to participate in SSSJ rallies on behalf of Soviet Jewry, (even got arrested once with my shiur from Yeshiva College), and who attended Natan Sharansky's arrival in Israel, I find these pictures very significant.












Video:



Source via rotter

5:54 PM Important Update: Our personal hero, the critically newlywed IDF combat soldier and officer Aharon Karov, was able to walk today. With the help of a walker, Aharon was able to start taking steps around his room. With the help of his father, he was also able to put on tefillin as well.

Wishing him a continued full and speedy recovery. Please continue your prayers and positive thoughts for Aharaon Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana.

(source)

5:53 PM How to make a Hamas Hero



5:43 PM Rocket fell in an open area near Kibbutz Kfar Azza. No injuries or damage reported.

5:33 PM
Color Red Alert of incoming Missile Launch at Western Negev Gaza community. Details to follow.

3:50 PM FM Tzippi Livni; I make the decisions, not the coffee. Really.
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said in a meeting with students at the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Academic College, "In the decision room, I make decisions, not coffee." (Attila Somfalvi) . (ynetnews)
Thanks for the clarification.







3:26 PM Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition...or do they?

The Foreign Ministry has instructed a number of Israeli officials not to visit Spain after an international arrest warrant was issued against them on suspicion of committing war crimes.

A Spanish human rights organization, believed to be representing a Palestinian group, filed a lawsuit last week against Israeli officials involved in the assassination of senior Hamas member Salah Shehade six years ago. Sixteen Palestinians were killed in the airstrike in the heart of Gaza.

Nearly all heads of the defense establishment at the time of the assassination are included in the list of defendants: Former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, former IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General (Res.) Moshe Yaalon, former Shin Bet Director Avi Dichter, former Israel Air Force Commander Dan Halutz, former head of the IDF Operation Branch Major-General (Res.) Giora Eiland, and former Southern Command Chief Doron Almog. (ynetnews)
2:38 PM Hamas thug Ismael Haniya announces on Al Manr TV that Israel has broken the cease fire by attacking Gazan targets. (source)

I guess if you repeat the same lie often enough, and ignore the fact that your people are shooting rockets DAILY at Israel, then enough people like Jimmy Carter will eventually believe you.




(hat-tip: IsraellyCool -- who's liveblogging as well)

2:01 PM False Alarm Sirens in Petach Tikva -- only heard in a few parts of the city. These are false alarms -- do not be alarmed! :-)

12:05 PM Some things never change (note the date at the bottom of this political cartoon -- click to see the cartoon in full screen.)

Courtesy of David Eisen.

11:58 AM Channel B /Reshet Bet Radio reports 8 Gazans wounded in IAF attack on targets in Khan Younis.

11:29 AM
IAF striking multiple targets in Khan Younis (Gaza).

10:13 AM Terror alert (reported earlier) now focusing on Tel Aviv, as intelligence reports of a terrorist in the city. IDF and police responding accordingly. (source)

9:58 AM
Apropos the rocket launches....someone did a good job with this wake-up warning video. (10:04 AM Update; This film was made by students at the Sapir college in Sderot...a message with a warning not only to the Israeli government, but to the people in Tel Aviv...like the student body of Tel Aviv University)



9:55 AM
Rocket launched minutes ago located in open field. No injures, no damage, no reason for the IDF to retaliate...

9:52 AM Ooops Department;
Secret US State Department documents sold at Israel auction

The US State Department today announced a formal investigation into how its consulate in Jerusalem sold a filing cabinet - containing hundreds of sensitive or secret documents - at a local auction.

It is reported that for more than three years no one noticed the files, listing private details of Marines and State Department staff stationed in Israel, were missing.

The documents, including a report labelled "secret" that described an encounter between a Marine and an Israeli woman at a bar in Jerusalem, were eventually returned after police threatened the recipient with prosecution.

Robert Wood, a spokesman for the State Department, said: "There is an investigation under way. I believe the components of the file cabinets have been returned. I believe they were purchased from - this was an auction that the consulate in Jerusalem held in December of 2005. We're reviewing them and investigating."

More here on FOX as well.

9:40 AM
Rocket launches detected -- Air Raid Sirens in Western Negev communities.

9:33 AM
Professor Shalom Rosenberg from the Hebrew University replied in an interview about the "proportionality" between the few killed IDF soldiers and the hundreds of Gazans:

Hamas themselves defined the [dis-] proportionality, if Hamas demands [the release] of 1000 jailed terrorists for the return of only one Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, then Hamas themselves have defined that the life of an Israeli is equal to that of 1000 Gazans. If so, the rule of proportions state that to defend the life of one Israeli, we need to attack terrorists even at the risk of killing hundreds of civilians.

How can Gazans be not totally embarrassed that Hamas is demanding the release of a thousand terrorists in exchange for only 1 IDF soldier?

9:07 AM Israel's IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi saved a man's life in a sauna this past Friday. NRG reports: Trying to relax after the IDF cast-lead operation, Israel's Number 1 soldier went to the Kfar Saba country club and while in the sauna, saw an elderly man slump forward, unconcious. Ashkenazi grabbed the man from the steamy room, dragged him out, called for help, and started to administer first aid to the man. The man regained consciouness soon after.

9:00 AM
Terror alert in Israel: Israel security forces receive intelligence reports of threat of terror attack; Police and IDF setting up roadblocks in major cities. (source)

8:55 AM
In retaliation for yesterday's ongoing Gaza rocket attacks against Israel, last night Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak ordered a strike on a Hamas rocket warehouse in Rafiah. No reports of Palestinian injuries. (NRG)

8:20 AM
Channel 2 Israel TV reports (much to the dismay of the Israeli government, apparently) that at least 3 rockets were launched this morning at Israel, with one hitting the city center of Sderot.

Looks like we're going to need a new government to deal with the rocket problems from Gaza, since the current one lacks resolve, determination, and backbone.

Israeli elections coming soon...


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

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wednesday, Jan 28th Ceasefire Over Israel

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

10;58 PM I'm off to bed. Maybe additional Muqata staffbloggers will post later.

Regards from the hilltops,

Jameel

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
Kadima: 25
Likud: 20
Labor: 19
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)

Likud 34
Kadima 22
Yisrael Beiteinu 16
Labor 13
Shas 10

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.

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.
Jameel adds: Since the Jibril deal, no kidnapped IDF soldier has ever been released alive, excluding of course, kidnapped drug dealing scum, Elchanan Tannenbaum.

2:18 PM
UNRWA (which gets 75% of its budget from the United States) proudly declares; Increase in Gazans eligible for aid.

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)
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)

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.

[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)

"Determination" like this doesn't bode well.

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.


TIME via rotter

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.

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)
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 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

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.
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 pricetag 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.
Jameel adds: Since the Jibril deal, no kidnapped IDF soldier has ever been released alive, excluding of course, kidnapped drug dealing scum, Elchanan Tannenbaum.

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

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

IDF Operation "Cast Lead" Index

The Official IDF Cast Lead Operation
Muqata Coverage Index

Day 1 Saturday, December 27, 2008 and here
Day 2 Sunday, December 28, 2008
Day 3 Monday, December 29, 2008
Day 4 Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Day 5 Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Day 6 Thursday, January 01, 2009
Day 7 Friday, January 02, 2009
Day 8 Saturday, January 03, 2009
Day 9 Sunday, January 04, 2009
Day 10 Monday, January 05, 2009
Day 11 Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Day 12 Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Day 13 Thursday, January 08, 2009
Day 14 Friday, January 09, 2009
Day 15 Saturday, January 10, 2009
Day 16 Sunday, January 11, 2009
Day 17 Monday, January 12, 2009
Day 18 Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Day 19 Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Day 20 Thursday, January 15, 2009
Day 21 Friday, January 16, 2009
Day 22 Saturday, January 17, 2009
Day 23 Sunday, January 18, 2009
Day 24 Monday, January 19, 2009 and here
Day 25 Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Day 26 Wednesday, January 21, 2009 and here

IDF Hannibal Protocol


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

Tuesday, The CeaseFire Continues

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

11:27 PM
Now that Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has announced that the IDF response to today's Hamas terror attack, "is going to come", I'm going to sleep.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said, "The IDF's response today was an operational one," Olmert said. "This is not a response to an incident in which an IDF soldier was killed and three injured. The Israeli response to this incident will come." (ynetnews)
G'night all.

Jameel @ The Muqata

11:07 PM PA President and Published Holocaust-Denier Mahmoud Abbas announces that he plans on telling US Middle East envoy, George Mitchell that Israel's Gaza offensive proved it was not intent on peacemaking.
"We will do all we can to prove Israel committed crimes that would make your skin crawl," Abbas said, referring to the Geneva Conventions. "We want the world to give us justice for once." (YNET)
And this is who Mitchell and President Obama want to strengthen?
There are no plans for the US negotiators to meet with any Hamas leaders. Rather their emphasis will be on the immediate relief of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and strengthening the position of the Palestinian Authorities Chairman Mahmoud Abbas [Abu Mazen]. (sourced today,"George Mitchell: US Envoy Champions Abbas")

10:39 PM
Polish Website compares IDF actions in Gaza to that of Nazis (along with "Palestinian Holocaust" banner for donations). Wow. Poland, can you believe it? Of all countries on the planet?

10:08 AM
Taking bets on the name of the next IDF operation against Gaza. I think it could be called "Blooming Almond" (Shaked Pore'ach), in honor of the upcoming Tu Bishvat holiday.

Additional Bets: Tomorrow, there is a very good chance of continuing rocket fire at Israel. If Hamas gets lucky and hits something, then the IDF will respond seriously. Otherwise, it will be more of the same, "False Alarms" and zero response.

10:00 PM
Additional reports of gunfire at IDF troops this evening at the Kissufim area. No injuries to IDF troops.

9:53 PM
IDF Homefront command receives reports that rocket attacks may commence at any time from Gaza.

8:22 PM
Death before Capture: JPost reports:
The IDF does not plan to bring disciplinary charges against a battalion commander from the Golani Brigade who told his soldiers that they needed to do everything possible to prevent being kidnapped during the recent operation in Gaza including blowing themselves up with a grenade.

In a tape recording of a briefing the commander of Battalion 51 gave his soldiers before entering Gaza during Operation Cast Lead the senior officer was heard saying: "Hamas's strategic weapon is to kidnap a soldier and I don't have to tell you but no soldier from Battalion 51 gets kidnapped at any price and under any situation even if it means that he has to blow up his grenade together with those who are trying to kidnap him."
Jameel adds: I don't understand why any charges would be brought against the Golani commander. This has been the standing order for a few years now.

8:08 PM Palestinians claim that their Qassam Brigade commander killed on his motorcycle today by an IAF airstrike, was targeted by an IAF aerial unmanned drone.

note; JoeSettler wrote the comment below...I have no idea what I'm planning for tomorrow! (Joe, maybe give me a hint?)


7:55 PM
Why is Hamas attacking? (Why didn't they actually stop attacking during the "ceasefire"?) What do they have to gain from this? What happens next?

These questions and more will be answered in a special post by Jameel planned for tomorrow. Stay tuned.

7:37 PM IDF soldier killed in action today at Kissuim -- name not to be released at his family's request. As has been the case over the past few years, fallen Israeli Bedouin IDF soldier's names are not publicized at the request of their families due to the "dual loyalty" issues that many Bedouins face today. The fear is not from Israel, but from other Bedouin who are less than happy that Bedouin have chosen to fight in the IDF against other Arabs.

7:30 PM
Egypt to World: Don't send troops to prevent arms smuggling into Gaza.
Egypt warned European countries on Tuesday to think carefully before sending ships to patrol Gaza's coastal waters to prevent arms smuggling, saying such a move could have significant consequences on ties with Arab states. The warning by Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit came after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Britain, France and Germany had offered to send warships to monitor and prevent arms smuggling to Gaza and to help consolidate a shaky ceasefire.
7:27 PM IDF General (res) Giora Island states that Humanitarian Aid to Gaza should be only be allowed if the Red Cross can visit kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. There's no reason to open the gates of Gaza while Gilad Shalit is held prisoner. (NFC)

6:53 PM
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that Israel had a right to defend itself and that Palestinian rocket attacks on the Jewish territory could not go unanswered.

"We support Israel's right to self-defense. The (Palestinian) rocket barrages which are getting closer and closer to populated areas (in Israel) cannot go unanswered," Clinton said in her first news conference at the State Department.

"It is regrettable that the Hamas leadership apparently believes that it is in their interest to provoke the right of self-defense instead of building a better future for the people of Gaza," she added.

Now, if only George Mitchell felt the same way, Israel could sleep at night.

6:50 PM
BBC Arabic World Service reports of very heavy IDF tank shelling in Dir Al Balach region in Gaza.

6:37 PM
Reports that IDF tank columns are now operating in the Gaza strip in multiple locations.

6:31 PM
Photo of the Hamas Harley motorcycle, targeted by IAF rockets in retaliation for this morning's attack on IDF soldiers.

6:19 PM
Environmental Unease over Tungsten - not as inert as previously thought. However, I don't think Hamas shares our concern.

6:16 PM
Due to an area-wide power outage at the Muqata, we were unable to view the 6 PM Israeli election ads on Channel 10 Israel TV.

6:04 PM
Defense Officials believe that attack on IDF forces today at Kissufim was not carried out by the Hamas terrorists, but by Islamic Jihad terrorists.

What a lovely mosaic of terror we have in Gaza.

5:20 PM The New Gaza Beach Diet:
Tuesday, 27 Jan, 09: UK Woman in Gaza hunger strike pledge
A peace campaigner on hunger strike over the situation in Gaza vowed today to continue her protest indefinitely as she delivered a petition to Downing Street.

Maria Gallastegui, 50, is campaigning for Prime Minister Gordon Brown to speak out against Israel's blockade of the stricken region.

The full-time peace campaigner, who lives in a tent in Parliament Square, has been on hunger strike for 16 days and says she will go on indefinitely.
5:18 PM SKY News reports: Iran will have enough enriched uranium to make a single nuclear weapon later this year, the prestigious International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) predicts.

5:15 PM
Reports that Gazan terrorist Qassam Brigade Commander Hami Hussein was critically wounded by earlier IAF air strike.

5:10 PM
Walla reported as well; Islamic Jihad in Gaza announces that "the 7 day cease fire is over, and we will continue resistance if even one centimeter of Palestine is occupied"

5:04 PM
Walla reports that IDF tanks are headed to Dir Al Balach in Central Gaza.

4:41 PM
Reports of IAF attacks on Gaza, IDF tank columns enter Gaza strip.

4:40 PM Photo of IDF "Sufa" armored jeep which was targeted this morning by Hamas.

An IDF tracker was killed, an officer seriously wounded, and 2 soldiers lightly wounded, when shrapnel blew through the armored protection of the IDF jeep. (source)

4:26 PM
IDF: Disproportionate Response Needed.

As the IDF continues it's investigation into the attack this morning which left an IDF tracker dead, an officer seriously wounded, and 2 other soldiers lightly wounded, senior IDF officials say that a
disproportionate response against Hamas is needed. (ynet)

4:16 PM
Released for publication: All communities in Southern Israel within a 40 kilometer radius of Gaza have had their Air Raid sirens reconnected to the IDF rocket launch detection system. (source)

4:09 PM
Hamas Slams France...for sending small warship to help monitor against Hamas arms smuggling. YNET:
"We expected France, whose motto is 'liberty, equality, fraternity' to send hospital ships to treat the children burned by banned weapons or to set up a humanitarian bridge...rather than deploy a navy ship to reinforce the blockade," Haniyeh said in a statement.

The Germinal frigate has been deployed to international waters off Gaza to battle arms smuggling to the territory.

4:00 PM Initial reports of IAF hitting Hamas targets in Khan Jounis, Gaza, including Hamas casualties. (rotter)

3:47 PM
The Muqata blog received an official request from a representative of the Israeli government to post the following video on behalf of LIBI -- the fund to help IDF soldiers.

There isn't an IDF soldier around who does not appreciate the small perks that LIBI provides -- be it at the field going into Gaza (towels, hats, gloves, thermal underwear, and food), or even the care package that every IDF single IDF soldier receives upon induction into the IDF before Basic Training. (I still have my LIBI knapsack somewhere).


Anyway - here's the video...





3:40 PM Report on Rotter as follows:

This morning, an IDF tracker was killed and 3 soldiers were wounded.
Two mortars were launched at the Western Negev (no injuries or damage)
No rockets were fired at Ashkelon today, but the IDF is operating closeby (which would explain the sound of rocket/mortar fire).


3:32 PM
The wounded newlywed IDF soldier is currently in surgery to remove additional shrapnel from his head. His name is Aharon Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana.

3:29 PM
IDF Homefront command officially denies any rockets being shot at Israel today.

I assume they would have said the exact same thing about the attack on IDF soldiers by Kissufim, but unfortunately, you can't easily cover up a dead solider and 3 wounded.

3:13 PM
In what is swiftly becoming a sad joke, Hamas shot another rocket at Ashkelon around 3 PM, landing in the Southern Industrial District. Israel's recurring denials of such rocket attacks over the past week will only be to Israel's detriment, as George Mitchel planned arrival in the Middle East approaches.

Israel's failure to harshly retaliate for any of the rocket attacks (which have been hushed up), and the attack on IDF soldiers today in the Kissufim area which left one dead and 3 wounded, is first and foremost the failure of Israel's government. Ehud Olmert, Tzippi Livni, and Ehud Barak do not deserve to see the light of day -- their collective failure of non-response to continuing Hamas terror reduces the expensive deterrence purchased at the painful expense of the lives and blood of IDF soldiers during the Cast-Lead initiative.

Israel needs to strike back today and strike hard today. The cease-fire deniers will blame Israel regardless, so we must bolster our deterrence, and hit Hamas painfully.

Any other message will prove that terror pays and Israel does not deserve sovereignty as an Independent State.

The War Banner is back up -- let's hope Israel has enough sense to do the same.


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

More action in the South

While it hasn't been totally quiet on the Southern front since the cease-fire went into effect earlier today things were stepped up. An IDF patrol passing by the border fence with Gaza, near the Kisufim junction was attacked. Initially with an IED and then with RPG and small arms fire. Israeli forces responded with machine gun and tank fire. Unfortunately one soldier was killed and three wounded in the attack. Meanwhile the family has requested that his name not be released. Tzipi Livni has called for a response. Barak: This is a serious incident and we will respond. He also said that we should be ready for more terror attacks.
UPDATE:
1 killed, 2 seriously injured in attack.

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

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