Tuesday, July 29, 2014

More Rockets Fired At Tel Aviv, Heavy Air Strikes By Israel

Day 23: Heavy Israeli Air Strikes On Gaza After Rockets Fired At Tel Aviv

The Times of Israel is liveblogging events as they unfold through Wednesday, the 23rd day of Operation Protective Edge. After another day of heavy Israeli strikes on Gaza, and Hamas rocket fire aimed at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, among other towns and villages nationwide, Israel and Hamas were both reported to be considering ceasefire moves. But there were no formal confirmations that an end to the conflict was near. The Israeli security cabinet is set to meet Wednesday to discuss whether to expand the ground offensive or halt it, after some in the IDF say most of the Hamas cross-border tunnels have been found and are being demolished.

Fifty-three Israeli soldiers, two civilians and a foreign worker have been confirmed killed in three weeks of fighting, while Gazan health officials put the death toll there at over 1,200. Israel says hundreds of those are Hamas fighters. (Tuesday’s liveblog is here.)

Israel said to strike dozens of Gaza targets

The Israeli air force is striking dozens of targets across the Gaza Strip at this time, Ynet reports.
Earlier, officials in Hamas-run Gaza said at least 13 Palestinians were killed by Israeli shelling on Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip.

That Obama-Netanyahu phone call. Or not

Oren Nahari is sticking by his story. The story he broadcast — on state-owned Channel 1 TV Tuesday — purporting to quote from Sunday’s Obama-Netanyahu phone call.
It ostensibly shows a very hostile president giving a very unhappy prime minister firm orders to halt the fighting in Gaza, and do it now. Quite a big deal.
Except that both Israel and the US deny that the transcript is accurate.
And they deny it adamantly.
In almost the exact same language.

UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees said Tuesday that a stockpile of Hamas rockets was found in one of UNRWA’s Gaza schools — for the third time since the onset of Operation Protective Edge.

The incident, however, was not publicized by UNRWA on its website or official Twitter feed, or that of its spokesperson.
In its press release, UNRWA’s spokesperson said that the discovery was made during a routine inspection of the school, “which was closed for the summer and not being used as a shelter.”

Despite announcing the discovery, UNRWA could not send a UN munitions expert to disarm and remove the weapons “because of fighting in the vicinity,” it said in a statement. “But we hope to do as soon as the security conditions allow.”
It was not clear from the statement where the school was, how many rockets Hamas or one of the other Palestinian terror groups stored at the UN facility, or where the weapons are now.
Tuesday’s incident was the third instance in which Palestinian armaments were found in UN facilities in the Gaza Strip. On July 22, theUN agency found rockets stockpiled in another school which “is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.”

That nine of the 10 Israeli servicemen who died in the counter-terror operation against Hamas Monday, July 28, were killed on Israeli soil was a wake-up call for Israel’s war leaders. It meant that Hamas had used the 22 days of combat to carry the contest from its own home ground into Israel by grabbing the tactical advantage of surprise.
The Nahal Oz encounter was a tragic microcosm of the current face of Operation Defensive Edge.

The tunnel, from which a band of Hamas infiltrators jumped out – and about whose existence the IDF admits to have known – ran app. 150 meters from Shejaiya in Gaza to the military pillbox guarding Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Between five and seven terrorist nonetheless were allowed to reach their destination armed to the teeth with automatic and anti-tank and explosives.

Second, while the IDF and government officials issue upbeat communiqu├ęs claiming that the entire tunnel problem will be disposed of in a matter of days – one officer asserted that the IDF is in control of all the terror tunnels – the Nahal Oz episode told a different story.
 Israel will never be rid of Hamas’ multi-branched underground empire and its threat of surprise raids for murder and kidnaps, without first physically demolishing the war rooms hidden in the deeply buried branches forking off from the main passages. Even then, some of those passages may remain undiscovered.
A senior IDF officer commented Tuesday: “We were surprised to find an elaborate system which connected the tunnels with Hamas’ chain of command.”

Some officers are saying that too much focus may have been placed by official spokesmen on the tunnel problem, possibly in order to distract attention from the extent to which the heads of government have held the armed forces back from gaining any serious advantages in the war on Hamas – or even terminating its rocket blitz. 


Mrs.C said...

"Hamas invites Hezbollah to join in fighting against Israel"

"Khaled Mashaal’s top deputy told Russian media that the organization hoped that the Lebanese Shi’ite group would engage Israel from the north."


"Iran: We’ll send arms for West Bank war"


Scott said...

Both of those articles significant - thanks - I may put these up on todays update