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Liveblogging the Latest – Tuesday January 22nd

child-koran-gun.jpgWith some in the Arab media reportedly blaming Hamas for the current crisis, and reports that some Hamas leaders had instructed all palestinian terrorist groups to stop firing rockets and mortars at Israel, one could be forgiven for believing the Qassams would stop.

One would be wrong.

As at the time of this post, the palestinians have already fired 4 Qassams at Israel today. In fact, after a relatively quiet day in which less than a handful of Qassams had been fired, Defense Minister Barak’s announcement that he had agreed to allow minimal shipments of diesel fuel and medical supples into the Gaza Strip seemed to encourage the terrorists, with 9 Qassams and 13 mortar shells following.

Meanwhile, the UN Security Council is set to meet in an emergency session today, “amid a growing international outcry at what the European Union termed the ‘collective punishment’ of Gaza’s 1.5 million residents.” Apparently, the ‘collective punishment’ of Sderot residents doesn’t register on the UN Security Council’s outrage-a-meter.

In other news, the IDF arrested 16 wanted palestinian terror suspects in the West Bank, terrorists opened fire at IDF troops operating in Qabatiya, and the visiting Dutch Foreign Minister said the singling out of Israel for criticism in international forums was unfair.

Updates (Israel time)

9:00AM: Israel has begun its first shipment into Gaza since it imposed the blockade, pumping cooking oil and fuel for Gaza’s power plant through the Nahal Oz crossing.

10:26AM: Palestinians have fired at IDF forces near the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip, as well as at farmers near the place where a palestinian sniper killed an Ecuadorian volunteer last week.

10:50AM: Looks like one less scumbag is walking the earth.

12:00PM: The “palestinian parliament” has convened in Gaza and called on the UN to denounce the “siege” and call for its lifting. I am assuming they found the time to convene in between organizing rocket strikes.

FYI: Ynet reports that “The parliament was holding its meeting by candlelight, in view of the power outage in Gaza.” Is that the stench of propaganda I smell?

1:15PM: Palestinians have fired 2 more Qassams at Israel, damaging some crops.

1:45PM: Via the Foreign Ministry Spokesman:

The Director-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Aaron Abramovich, has directed Israel’s UN delegation to oppose any resolution in the Security Council regarding Gaza, while emphasizing the damage and suffering caused by the incessant firing of Kassam rockets at Sderot and other cities and communities nearby, and the fact that Israel is acting in self-defense. “A situation in which the Security Council debates the plight of the residents of Gaza, while completely ignoring the situation of Israelis living under the constant threat of Kassam rockets, is totally unacceptable,” Mr. Abramovich said.

2:50PM: Some pictures from Sderot.

3:13PM: 3 more Qassams have been fired at Sderot, with no injuries nor damage being reported.

5:40PM: The Jerusalem Post reports that about 60 have been hurt after Egyptian troops fired into the air and used clubs and water cannons to drive back hundreds of palestinian women who surged across the border from Gaza. The protesters were demanding that Egypt back their demands for the border to be opened for shipments of food and essential provisions.

According to the Ha’aretz report, it does not sound like the protesters were just women, with mention of “Palestinian gunmen” who “fired briefly in the air,” as well as the fact it was a “Hamas-organized protest.”

6:00PM: According to this report, 6 Qassams have been fired at Israel today. So something is a little off with my counting.

6:05PM: From the Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No, it’s a Freakin’ Pig Department:

Franco Frattini, the European Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, told reporters at the Herzliya Conference that he did not believe the sanctions against Gaza constitute a war crime and criticized the incessant Qassam rocket fire on Israeli civilian population centers.

6:45PM: Ha’aretz reports that the UN Security Council won’t approve a resolution condemning Israel over the closure of the Gaza Strip, due to pressure applied by the United States.

6:50PM: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak received a call today:

“Allo, who is it?”

[click for response]

“How can I help you, Mahmoud?”

8:27PM: A PA court in Hebron has sentenced two PA employees to 15 years in jail for last month’s shooting deaths of 2 hiking IDF soldiers on leave. Don’t let the revolving door hit you on the way out.

8:35PM: More on Franco Frattini’s comments (6:05PM update):

In a lecture sponsored by the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, Frattini also issued a massive mea culpa to the State of Israel on behalf of the European community for its treatment of Israel during the second Intifada.

“There has been a large misunderstanding in recent years between Europe and Israel. And Israel is justified in its concerns. For too long, Europe has put too much blame on Israel for lack of peace with the Palestinians. We, as Europeans, should have understood Israel’s concerns sooner,” said Frattini.

The European official also noted that “as friends, it was our duty to criticize when we felt criticism was needed, but we did it too often and unfairly. We asked you to take risks and often we didn’t provide you with assurances that you wouldn’t stand alone if things went badly.”

Frattini continued to say that, “Europe’s attitude towards Israel is changing, and today, Europe better understands the complexities of the Middle East landscape.”


8:40PM: Former US ambassador to the US, John Bolton, has made it clear that it will be up to Israel to stop Iran. He also had this to say about Israel’s recent strike on Syria.

“Why wouldn’t the government of Israel want to take the credit for a stunningly successful military strike..Our governments … know the details and I wonder if that censorship and classification of information is necessary.

I, for one, am not bound by any of the Israeli laws of censorship, while the American first amendment stays with me.

I don’t understand the reason for strong Israeli censorship in the news. The Syrian and North Korea governments know the whole truth and the USA and Israeli Governments know part of the truth. It’s the citizens of all four countries who don’t.

Due to its government censorship the people of Israel can know what it feels like to be a citizen of north Korea.”

8:48PM: 2 more Qassams, bringing today’s tally to 20.

8:55PM: Introducing a new Israeli stunner, with more brainpower than Bar Rafaeli.

10:28PM: Hamas chief Khaled Meshal is apparently a slow learner.

10:40PM: Roi Mandel of Ynet: Why Israel’s PR efforts failed again

10:55PM: Some more media bias from Reuters:


Palestinians who were disabled by Israeli air strikes attend a protest in front of the gate of the Rafah border crossing, calling Egypt to open the border January 22, 2008. Hundreds of Palestinian protesters stormed the Rafah border crossing with Egypt from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday to protest against an Israeli blockade, and an Egyptian police officer was shot, security and border sources said. Israel has no presence at Rafah although a U.S.-brokered deal between the Jewish state and the Palestinians says the crossing cannot be opened without Israeli consent. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA)

Notice how the Reuters caption writer states with certainty that the palestinians were disabled by Israeli air strikes – despite the fact he or she could not have known this. These could be palestinians born disabled, disabled in “work accidents”, or not disabled at all. This bias is made even starker when compared to another claim mentioned in the caption: that an Egyptian police officer was shot. In this latter case, the caption writer adds the words “security and border sources said”, making it clear it is a claim, and not necessarily a fact.

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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