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Qassam Attack: May 18th, 2007

The attacks on Israel continue, starting off with a barrage of at least 3 rockets that landed in Sderot at around midnight. One of the rockets hit a synagogue just minutes after the end of a celebration, resulting in a number of people suffering from shock. Another of the rockets landed near a strategic facility in Ashkelon. Terrorists have since launched 4 more Qassams this morning.

Israel has hit back, striking a Hamas headquarters, and a rocket launching cell. So far, 5 terrorists have been killed.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

6:37PM:
Israel Radio has reported that 2 more Qassams hit Sderot. No casualties have been reported.

The Jewish Sabbath – day of rest – is soon upon us, and with it, I’ll be hanging up my blogging boots for the next 25 or so hours. I hope my fellow Israelis in the western Negev are also able to rest, but I somehow doubt the palestinian terrorists will afford them this “luxury.”

6:28PM:
Mystical Paths also has updates on the situation, including first hand reports from a friend in Sderot.

5:56PM: About half an hour ago, a Qassam landed near a school in Sderot. And for at least the third time in the past few days, the Red Dawn early warning system failed to sound.

Todays’s tally so far: 11 rockets.

3:00PM:
Palestinian “security officials” are claiming that the IAF fired two missiles at a Hamas installation in the central Gaza Strip.

2:35PM: Ha’aretz reports that the police are preparing for the possibility of long-range rockets in Ashkelon.

12:12PM: A big welcome to Jameel, who has joined the live warblogging fray, and drawn my attention to these pictures of IDF tanks returning to Gaza.

11:31AM: NeoZionoid provides an example of the wilful mainstream media underreporting of this latest war launched upon us.

11:28AM: It bears reminding that the palestinians are still killing themselves as we speak.

11:25AM: Random thought: During the Second Lebanon War last Summer, I spelt Qassam as “Kassam.” Now I’ve adopted this new spelling. Besides that, I feel like nothing much has changed.

11:22AM: 3 people lightly injured by shrapnel in the latest Qassam barrage.

11:15AM:
Given the relatively large amount of updates, I have reversed the order as I did during the last Lebanon War (to save you from having to scroll down each time).

10:55AM: Ha’aretz reports that Foreign

Minister Livni has told diplomats that Israel won’t stand for continued

attacks from Gaza. Of course, that message would have been clearer,

say, after day one of this latest chapter in the palestinian terrorist war on Israel.

10:25AM
: Ynet have a must-read article on how the attacks on Israel are largely going unreported by the mainstream media.

Qassam

attacks on Sderot have received very little coverage in world media,

despite the heavy barrages that have been going on for the past three

days.

Only when Israel began to respond to the attacks by aerial

bombings, cannons and tanks did this part of the world receive

attention from the American media.

The Iraq war has been

consuming most of the airtime on American news networks, which have

been rejecting Israeli representatives’ requests to appear and discuss

the Qassam problem.

American networks have also been reporting on the internal Gaza clashes, while only mentioning the Qassam attacks in passing.

Israel’s complaints to the United Nations Security Council were simply not reported.

In

Europe the issue also received very little coverage, especially

compared to the factional fighting that has been going on in the Gaza

Strip between.
 
The Europeans claim the reason for this is that

most of the airtime in the past few days has been dedicated to the

change of leadership in France, and the little airtime left was set

aside for the difficult images from Gaza, and not Sderot.

An

American television producer explained to Ynet, that as sad as it may

sound, Sderot is a story that has been going on for years, and is no

longer news.

The problem with that logic is that the networks have never taken an interest in the constant attacks on Sderot. So it was never a story.

The producer added that there are very few injuries in Sderot, and images of shock victims do not sell.

I guess he is lamenting the fact that there have (fortunately) been relatively few injuries in Sderot so far.

The moment that the Israel Defense Force began to retaliate, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict went back to making headlines.

Israeli

diplomats in the United States clarified that the lack of coverage was

not a result of a negative attitude toward Israel, but a difficulty to

get the Qassam attack into American public awareness, in a time when

the war in Iraq is combined with a heated race for presidency.

I think these diplomats are being too diplomatic.

Israeli

ambassador to the United States Salai Meridor, along with other

diplomats in Israel’s embassy in Washington, have begun appealing to

senior government sources in order to explain the severity of the

situation in Gaza vicinity communities, and have made it clear that

Israel would have to react firmly.

Meridor made it clear in

talks with White House officials that after demonstrating great

restraint as Qassams continued to fall for weeks, Israel was now forced

to respond in a periodic manner in order to prevent rocket attacks.

The

US government has shown complete understating of Israel’s position, as

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on Thursday that Israel

has the right to defend itself.

Yeah, but he also spoke

of the need for a palestinian state, which is, in my humble opinion, in

the poorest taste when between their terror attacks on Israel and their

own brutal infighting, they have shown they do not deserve their own

state (leaving aside, for a moment, all the other compelling arguments)

Israel’s

diplomatic campaign is meant to get the message across to local media

that Israel can no longer restrain itself, and that deterioration in

the situation would lead to an even harsher response, which Israel

wishes to avoid.

And they should know – as all of you

should know – that you can count on me to get the word out. But I need

your help. Let everyone know they can come here to Israellycool for the latest news and commentary.

10:10AM: A family home in Sderot also suffered a direct hit.

9:50AM: Why chutzpah is actually a palestinian word: PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has spoken

with American Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice, UN Secretary General

Ban Ki-Moon and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, asking

them to pressure Israel to

stop its Gaza air strikes. This after not lifting a finger to stop

Hamas from firing rockets at population centers in Israel.

Today’s rocket toll: 9

9:40AM: A rocket has hit a Sderot gas station.

9:05AM:
Ha’aretz reports that Hamas has threatened to execute anyone who interferes with rocket fire. That’s how determined they are to murder Israelis.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
Picture of David Lange

David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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