20-Dec-07: Thursday morning attacksWe report these attacks though they make for repetitive reporting and don't allow for that much analysis. But what can you do? We've discovered that there are very few places anywhere in the media world where a person can learn about the endless attacks on Israel and on the Jewish communities that live here. So to this morning's update:
Two more Qassam rockets fired from north Gaza (entirely controlled by the Hamas regime) landed in open fields in southern Israel, not far from the western Negev city of Sderot. Another landed a bit earlier just south of Ashkelon. No injuries and no damage. But that's not the intention of the perpetrators. They're single-mindedly interested in any damage, any loss of life, any outcome that will express their foaming hatred of everything and everyone on our side of the fence. What does this have to do with them asserting their right to a peaceful life and creating a better, healthier society for themselves and their families? Not much. Terrorism doesn't actually have any redeeming virtues.
20-Dec-07: Attacking school-yardsDaily rocket attacks on southern Israel are a routine part of this ongoing war. The terror groups, operating right out in the open and with the full knowledge and co-operation of the 'government' in the area (meaning the Hamas regime) try their luck several times each day, as often as they can.
Very occasionally the Israeli forces eliminate them while they're in the act (about 3% of the time, and here's an example of what happens when they do) but mostly they get away with it. There's no guidance system on their primitive explosives so when they fire them off, they have no control over what's going to be hit. Sometimes it's desert sands. Sometimes it's their own houses and families. And sometimes they strike it lucky and manage to hit a house, a store, a school, a car. Their goal, as we keep writing here in this blog, is to cause harm, damage, injury, loss of life - whatever. Their strategy is as simple as that. This is why they're correctly termed terrorists.
Thursday morning, four of their mortar shells struck south of the Kissufim border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, to add to the three Qassam rockets that landed during breakfast - see our blog entry of this morning. No injuries were reported in these incidents. Then around 11 AM today (Thursday), they came perilously close to having themselves a real payday when one of their Qassam rockets crashed into Israeli territory (not disputed, not military, not 'occupied') and injured ten children in the playground of Gil Elementary School in the beleagured city of Sderot. 8 others were treated for the effects of trauma. The attack occured around 11 AM. The school's psychological and counseling team is said to be getting reinforcements right now from other schools and nearby cities.
This is the scenario Israelis constantly fear: that the thugs of Gaza, with their endless supplies of explosive materials, their constantly renewed and frenzied hatred, and their disregard for human lives whether ours, our children's or their own children's, will strike it lucky. The odds are against us. These people can and do send hundreds of rockets into our homes month after month. It's so common that almost no one outside this country pays any attention. And when they do, it's frequently to under-report the damage and losses (UPI's bulletin in the past half-hour, for instance, ignores the Israeli children injured and rushed to emergency care) or to make sickening equivalences based on body counts. "So few Israelis are dead", it's said. "What's the big deal?".
Or as Ed O'Loughlin, who writes for two of Australia's best newspapers from here, put it recently:
"Since peace talks were abandoned in 2000, 12 Israelis, including three minors, have been killed by Palestinian missiles in a deadly game of tit for tat across the border between Israel and Gaza. Hundreds of Palestinian civilians and militants, including five children in the past fortnight, have been killed by artillery, tank and air strikes, which Israel says target only terrorists."Conveying the picture in this sadly distorted way makes O'Loughlin far from unusual among his agenda-driven peers in the scribbling profession. They too routinely ignore the 2,380+ rockets (the IDF's number - others put it higher) that have been fired into Israel's western Negev in the last six years (165 Qassams and mortar shells this month alone - an average of eight rockets or shells per day), killing 10 people and sending some 1,600 others to get treatment for shock. In other words, the context. It would be interesting to know what he makes of the fact that Honest Reporting yesterday bestowed him with its less-than-coveted Worst Moral Equivalence Award for 2007. Great work, Ed.
23-Dec-07: Sunday updateWithin the last hour (it's Sunday mid-afternoon here), yet another Qassam rocket despatched from the northern Gaza Strip crashed into Israel and exploded. This time, it hit an unnamed kibbutz described by YNet as being "within the Sha’ar Hanegev regional council". That's an area that encompasses 10 kibbutzim, one moshav, one privately-owned farm and a village for immigrants – a total of 6,000 citizens. Fortunately no reports of injuries or property damage, but that's not the intention of the terrorists.
UPDATE 6:30PM Sunday: YNet says a Palestinian-Arab Qassam rocket fired this afternoon (Sunday) from the Gaza Strip landed near a factory in an industrial park south of the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon. The paper published the picture of a Carlsberg factory on its website (reproduced above), with a caption reading "Factory Hit". If so, this is not the first time the same plant has been hit by incoming Qassams - see this report from February 2006. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack, declaring: "We fired an improved Al-Quds rocket."
UPDATE 10:30PM Sunday: JPost says the day's tally of Qassams that were fired into southern Israel by the Gazan terrorists gangs reached five with the latest landing near a building in the center of Sderot. It evidently failed to explode. This was not the intention of the terrorists.
And there you have it. A few day's snapshot from an area where almost 200,000 Israeli civilians are within rocket range of the terrorists whose leader is going around announcing a unilateral cease-fire. Whose leader can be trusted as much as ... well, a Dishonest Reporting award winner ...