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Liveblogging the Latest – Saturday January 19th – Sunday January 20th


(Saturday Jan 19): It seems like it has been a relatively quiet day today, with only a handful of rockets being fired into Israel so far. Yeah, I know, that sounded ridiculous, but I’m talking after around 150+ rockets hit Israel the past 4 days.

Menawhile, an IAF strike turned at least 2 Hamas terrorists into worm food, while our troops killed a Tanzim terrorist and captured 4 more after a long gunfight.

On the palestinian side, talks of a Fatah-Hamas lovefest following the expressions of condolences heaped on Mahmoud “the Wart” al-Zahar may have been about as premature as a “work accident.” Hamas accused Fatah of plotting to assassinate Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, while Fatah/palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas accused Hamas of “destroying the dreams and trying to destroy the future and our national aspirations.”

In other news, Ban Ki and Coy implored Israel to reverse its decision to protect itself, there were more stone-throwing antics, and Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah claimed his group had the “heads” and “body parts” of Israeli soldiers, as well as “a nearly intact cadaver”.

Updates (Israel time)

Saturday Jan 19th

8:00PM: From the Ha’aretz news ticker:

Abducted IDF soldier`s wife refuses to respond to Nasrallah speech

I cannot even begin to imagine how she is feeling.

8:12PM: From

The world’s biggest pan-Islamic body condemned Israel’s attacks on Gaza, urging the United Nations to intervene to stop the bloodshed in the impoverished Palestinian territory.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanogulu, secretary general of the 57-nation Organisation of the Islamic Conference, accused the Israeli military of “committing successive massacres in the Gaza Strip, in which civilians were killed.”

Mr Ihsanogulu called upon the United Nations and its Security Council to “assume their responsibilities and work to end the ongoing aggression against the Palestinian people and to end the arbitrary blockade of the Gaza Strip.”

In other news, someone named their kid Ekmeleddin Ihsanogulu. I wonder what his nickname is.

11:00PM: IDF response to Nasrallah’s speech: he’s “trampling the basic ethical code of human respect”, “Hizbullah’s actions are against basic codes held dearly by various religions, including Islam,” and speech was an indication of the pressure he was under to complete a prisoner swap with Israel.

Sunday Jan 20th

8:45AM: Since my last update, IDF soldiers have come under fire in the Kabatiya refugee camp, south of Jenin, and senior military officials have confirmed that Hezbollah does have the remains of IDF soldiers who died in last year’s Second Lebanon War.

9:30AM: And let the Qassam’s begin. That’s another 2 for the tally.

12:50PM: A number of cabinet ministers have called for the assassination of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah. I vote in favor.

1:45PM: A Qassam rocket fired at Israel landed on the palestinian side of the Erez Crossing. No doubt if it killed one of their own, the palestinians would claim Israel was responsible for their death.

3:25PM: From the Department of Not Bloody Likely (But Likely Bloody):

A senior Saudi royal has offered Israel a vision of broad cooperation with the Arab world and people-to-people contacts if it signs a peace treaty and withdraws from all occupied Arab territories.

In an interview with Reuters, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former ambassador to the United States and Britain and adviser to King Abdullah, said Israel and the Arabs could cooperate in many areas including water, agriculture, science and education.

Asked what message he wanted to send to the Israeli public, he said:

“The Arab world, by the Arab peace initiative, has crossed the Rubicon from hostility towards Israel to peace with Israel and has extended the hand of peace to Israel, and we await the Israelis picking up our hand and joining us in what inevitably will be beneficial for Israel and for the Arab world.”

Yeah, about that hand picking..

4:00PM: Gaza’s main power plant has shut down one of its two turbines because of a fuel shortage following Israel’s closing of the territory’s border crossings in response to the Qassam attacks. It’s apparently easier to begin shutting down the power plant than – G-d forbid – stop firing rockets into Israel.

5:27PM: Palestinian sources have reportedly told the Palestine Press Agency that Hamas has stopped launching Qassams into the western Negev “out of fear of Israeli attacks against its institutions and leaders and to signal to Israel that it is willing to uphold a ceasefire.”

6:03PM: Israel Radio reports that a Qassam has struck the western Negev. That’s the 4th rocket today.

6:42PM: Another Qassam. And to show how versatile they are, they also pelted a car with rocks. No projectile too large, no projectile too small.

6:50PM: The IDF has arrested 4 Arabs and seized their arms cache, which include 3 hunting rifles, 3 handguns, an improvised hunting gun, an improvised pistol, ammunition and two knives with 15 cm. blades.

8:30PM:Palestinian sources claim an IAF strike targeting a group of terrorists firing Qassams killed at least one palestinian and critically wounded another in the northern Gaza Strip. The IDF is looking into the report.

8:35PM: The Dutch Foreign Minister has arrived in Israel, and a visit to Sderot is on his agenda.

8:50PM: The Popular Resistance Committees has said that “if the Rafah crossing is not opened, palestinian organizations will use force to open it soon.” But we know they’ll say anything to remain popular.

8:55PM: Following my 4:00PM update, the Jerusalem Post reports on the Gaza power plant shut down.

Gaza City was plunged into darkness after nightfall Sunday when Hamas officials shut down the territory’s only electricity plant, following a cutoff of fuel from Israel.

Israel blockaded Gaza Thursday as a pressure tactic against militants who have been firing rockets at Israel every day. The stricken power plant generates about one third of Gaza’s electricity. The rest, which comes from Israel, was not affected by the blockade, Israeli officials said.

But Shlomo Dror, a spokesman for Israel’s defense ministry, said Gaza has enough fuel to run the plant, and accused Palestinian officials of trying to create the impression of a crisis that did not exist.

And we all know palestinian officials are great at creating things that don’t really exist. Such as palestinian officials.

Meanwhile, here’s one of them in seethe mode:

Omar Kittaneh, the head of the Palestine Energy Authority in Ramallah, confirmed that by tonight, the one remaining operating turbine will be powered down, and the Gaza power plant will no longer be generating any electricity at all.

“We have asked the Israeli government to reverse its decision and to supply fuel to operate the power plant”, Dr. Kittaneh said. “We have talked to the Israeli humanitarian coordination in their Ministry of Energy [National Infrastructure]. We say this is totally Israel’s responsibility, and that reducing the fuel supplies until the plant had to shut down will affect not only the electrical system but the water supply, and the entire infrastructure in Gaza – everything.”

9:13PM: Former U.S. ambassador to the UN, John Bolton, has rejected Prime Minister Olmert’s account of incidents preceding the last IDF ground operation of the Second Lebanon War. According to Bolton and contrary to Olmert’s claims, the final IDF operation did not factor into the discussions finalizing UN Security Council Resolution 1701.

Hmm..Bolton vs Olmert. Who do I trust? Clue: the one with more hair on his upper lip than the other one has on his entire head.

By the way, Bolton is here at the Herzliya Conference, which I could have attended had I not been so busy at work. And had I been invited.

10:17PM: The Gaza power plant may have shut down, but the palestinian propaganda plant is still open for business.

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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