Operation Cast Lead Mon Jan 5th, 2009

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Sticky post. Please scroll down for new posts and updates.

For other liveblogging, see The Muqata.

After a day of fighting in which an IDF soldier was killed and more than 40 were injured, soldiers began searching for weapon caches, terrorist infrastructure and terrorists, clashing with terrorists firing mortar shells and grenade launchers at IDF tanks. The IAF provided air support as fighting concentrated around Beit Hanoun and Beit Lahiya, striking 30 targets overnight.

This phase of the operation comes after forces yesterday reached their target destinations, with forces deep in the Gaza Strip along two axes: between the Karni crossing and the beachfront highway, and in the area of Morag, between Khan Yunis and Rafah, effectively cutting the strip in three. Because forces had been deployed on the edge of residential areas, Hamas resistance has so far been limited. They prefer to fight in densely residential areas where they have set booby traps, have a tactical advantage, and know that for every civilian killed, Israel will face pressure from the international community.



From the palestinian side, they last fired rockets at Israel just before midnight, thankfully causing no injury or damage, and bringing the tally for yesterday to over 45.

In other news, Staff Sergeant Dvir Emmanueloff  was laid to rest, Hamas have claimed they are using PA arms (i.e. provided by your taxpayer dollars), and an Egyptian film star has blamed Hamas for the fighting.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

Tuesday Jan 6th – for latest updates, see here.

Tues 3:13AM: I wish it didn’t fall to me to publish this but I should. Our deepest sympathy goes out to the families of all these:

Ynet: Cleared for publication: Three soldiers were killed and 20 others were injured, three seriously, in a friendly fire incident in northern Gaza.

The IDF said a tank accidentally fired a live round at a building where the troops were staying. (Hanan Greenberg)

– Brian of London

11:55PM:  Ok, that does it for me today, although I have asked Brian of London to blog in my absence if he finds the time.

As usual, I ask that you please keep the brave soldiers and citizens of Israel in your prayers. And if you have appreciated my blogging and would like to contribute, please feel free to donate here:

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In addition Shire Network News, hosted by Brian of London is also in the running for an award, you might like to vote for that too!

11:58PM: Yet more proof of Hamas’ cynical use of civilian areas.

11:43PM: French President Nicolas Sarkozy has told President Shimon Peres that our operation does not strengthen palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

How do you say “So what?” in French?

11:30PM: A Hamashole terrorist captured by the IDF is receiving treatment at Soroka Hospital in Beersheba. Oh, the inhumanity!

The IDF has reportedly captured dozens of terrorists since the ground operation began.

10:07PM: Brian of London informs me that Shire Network News has just released its first new episode of the year which is a Gaza special. They have contributions from Tom Paine, Meryl Yourish, Laurence Simon and the show is hosted by Brian of London. The special guest this week is Professor Barry Rubin, Director, Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center.

This is a special show and gives you news and views on the conflict wrapped up in Shire Network News’s special brand of satire. Listen. You might just learn something.

 

9:34PM: Another interview with Middle East expert Annie Lennox.

My favorite part is about 3 minutes in, when the interviewer asks “How do you get through to a terrorist organization?” Lennox’s response? “I don’t have the solutions. I am not a politician.”

9:16PM: 70,000 Iranian suicide bombers are ready to fight Israel Little Satan. Or roughly 1,000 for every virgin raisin.

9:12PM: Just a reminder to vote in the Best Separated at Births of 2008 Poll if you haven’t already.

9:10PM: More fauxtography?

8:57PM: The reporter (who was not Iranian but was an East Jerusalem resident working for Iranian TV) was arrested for “violating censorship orders according to the emergency ordinance, transmitting confidential information, and violating a standing order.”

In other news, we have residents of Israel working for the television station of an enemy state.

8:46PM: Ha’aretz reports that we have arrested an Iranian TV journalist for reporting on our entry into Gaza.

8:28PM: Channel 2 reports that 100 armed terrorists were killed in gunbattles today. Annie Lennox was not available for comment.

8:24PM: Earlier this evening, 2 Israelis were injured after a mortar shell landed in the western Negev.

8:23PM: IDF soldiers are currently engaged in heavy exchanges of fire with terrorists, as they move  deeper into the Gaza Strip, towards urban centers. Meanwhile, the IAF has struck dozens more smuggling tunnels. The artillery fire mentioned in the previous update is providing cover.

6:48PM: The IDF is pounding targets in Gaza with heavy artillery fire.

6:45PM:Regarding the 5.05PM update, Israellycool contributor Brian of London created the below montage to demonstrate this is the same child (in case you were in doubt)

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS

So what, you might ask. Couldn’t it be that the child was passed to a different person as part of the normal flow of events? Of course, this is possible, but I  doubt it, given my past experience with Pallywood. I concur with Brian in the comments:

The clear intention of photographing the kid with two different adults and in two states of undress is to create two different “events” in the eyes of the viewers. That is the drip drip drip of steady lying that the main stream media sucks up and passes on uncritically. The CNN headline says it all:

Doctor in Gaza: Patients ‘lying everywhere’

Lawhawk also says it well:

The same child is being paraded around by different men. If the kid is truly injured, why all the photos since that would be getting in the way of the kid’s medical care. Instead, they’re parading the kid for the cameras.

6:15PM: Exiled Hamashole Moussa Abu Marzouk says Hamas is open to a truce. And by truce, he no doubt means a period of relative calm during which Hamas will once again stockpile weapons, replenish their supplies, and recruit more fighters for the next phase of fighting.

6:00PM: About 20 minutes ago, two Qassams struck near Sderot, with no injuries or damage reported.

5:16PM: 19 people are being treated for shock after a rocket exploded in Ashdod.

5:05PM: Shy Guy alerts me to these two pictures that seem to show the same child being paraded around by different men.

Getty Images

A Palestinian father carries his wounded baby daughter into a hospital in Gaza City Sunday.

MIDEAST ISRAEL PALESTINIANS

A Palestinian carries a child into the Shifa hospital in Gaza City, wounded during the Israeli army operation in Gaza, Sunday Jan. 4, 2009.

This looks like the same child to me. Besides the facial features, look at the (burn?) mark on her forehead, as well as the green and orange clothing.

Which begs the question. Why would there be two different pictures of the same child being carried in to hospital by different men?

Could it be that the palestinians are (once again) milking the situation for all it’s worth?

4:48PM: Wow, the camera really does add on 10 pounds…at least.

3:43PM: A grad missile hit an empty kindergarten in Ashdod a short time ago.

3:26PM: Every time I see this clown, he reminds me of Mr Bean.

3:10PM: A short time ago, the 27th rocket of the day landed in Ashkelon.

2:50PM: Bad dye job of the day.

2:40PM: Here is more on what Hamas terrorist Mahmoud Al Zahar actually said, from the palestinian Ma’an News:

They began killing their children when they killed ours. They began bombarding their hospitals when they bombarded ours. They began demolishing their synagogues when they demolished our mosques. You kicked off the means for your termination with your very own hands,” he said.

In other words, he is threatening to deliberately kill children and go after synagogues and hospitals. Which is, by the way, what they have been trying to do up until now, and the reason Operation Cast Lead was needed in the first place.

2:27PM: Free Gaza, Annie Lennox and company, this is who you are supporting:

Gaza’s Hamas strongman has urged Hamas fighters to “crush” Israeli forces who have invaded the territory. He also hinted at greater efforts to attack Israeli civilians.

The Hamas leader, Mahmoud al-Zahar, spoke on Hamas’ al-Aqsa TV on Monday. It was not clear whether the speech was taped.

Hamas leaders have been in hiding since Israel’s assault on the Islamic militants began December 27. Al-Zahar is seen as the mastermind of Hamas’ violent takeover of Gaza in June 2007.

He praised Hamas fighters and urged them to “crush your enemy.”

He also hinted that the militants would try to target more Israeli civilians and Israeli targets elsewhere. He said Israelis “legitimized the killing of their people all over the world when they killed our people.”

The only thing this despicable terrorist should be crushing is that hideous wart.

2:13PM: UNIFIL and the Lebanese Army are reportedly on high alert to make sure Hizbullah does not launch rockets at Israel. I cannot tell you how much safer that makes me feel.

2:10PM: Since the last update over an hour ago, rockets landed in Ashkelon and Be’er Sheva, lightly injuring 9 people,  damaging a building, and sending other people into shock. And the miracles continue:

One of the residents of the house hit in Ashkelon said, “We managed to get to the fortified room and there was a major explosion. All the windows were shattered. We only finished renovating the kitchen yesterday and sent our little boy to Jerusalem. We were lucky he wasn’t home.”

1:00PM: 18 rockets have been fired at Israel so far today, with no reports of injuries or damage but people sent into shock.

12:00PM: Would I lie to you? Renowned Middle East analyst Annie Lennox displays her awesome grasp of the situation in this BBC interview.

You know you’re in loony territory when the BBC interviewer seems to be more understanding of Israel’s situation than you.

In related news, the eighties don’t look like they have been too kind to Ms Lennox, who was once married to Israeli film-maker Uri Fruchtman.

11:53AM: Holy moral equivocation, Batman!

11:38AM: Ha’aretz reports that Egypt is to demand an immediate ceasefire … from Hamas.

11:08AM: Site loading times should be faster after I reduced the number of posts per page to two. Let me know if you feel a significant improvement.

11:02AM: The Head of IDF Military Intelligence has warned that Hizbullah may begin to fire Katusha rockets at northern Israel in response to our operation in Gaza.

Some of the IDF reservists recently called up will be dealing with this threat.

10:44AM: The IDF has announced that 80 terrorists have been killed in the ground operation in Gaza, with dozens more injured.

10:36AM: A short time ago, a grad missile landed near Yavne Regional Council, between Gedera and Ashdod.

10:22AM: Army radio reports that Israel has allowed 80 trucks carrying humanitarian aid  into Gaza.

9:28AM: The UN claim that the palestinian death toll in Gaza is now 517, with a quarter of them civilians. Even assuming these figures are not exaggerated (as UNRWA figures generally are), around 400 terrorists killed out of over 500 is a testament to the IDF’s efforts to minimize civilian casualties , despite Hamas’ efforts to use civilians as human shields.

9:12AM: Another report on the soldier who escaped a kidnapping attempt, which illustrates the bravery of our boys (hat tip: Shy Guy)

A Golani soldier managed to single handedly foil an attempt to kidnap him during nocturnal operations in the Gaza Strip Sunday overnight, Israel Radio reported.

Soldiers from the IDF’s Golani infantry brigade were fighting in the northern part of the Gaza Strip when they entered a house on which they had previous intelligence it was used as a Hamas command center.

Upon entering the house, the soldiers discovered entrances to several tunnels; the Hamas terrorists holed in the house used these to escape underground to neighboring houses and were shooting into the building where the unit entered.

One of the soldiers followed the gunmen into a tunnel and managed to contain several Hamas fighters in a firefight while underground inside the tunnel, before teaming up with his comrades again. Two IAF helicopters were scrambled to support the infantrymen, Israel Radio reported.

9:08AM: The IDF have posted this interview with soldiers as they prepared for a ground operation a few days ago.

9:02AM: Israel National News reports on a kidnapping attempt (hat tip: Shy Guy)

Golani troops and IAF helicopters foiled an attempt by Hamas to kidnap a solder in a tunnel near Gaza City Sunday morning. The IDF refused to comment on the report.

The incident was said to have occurred after Golani troops entered a Hamas command center in a house on the eastern outskirts of Gaza City and discovered smuggling tunnels underneath. A clash broke out between the troops and Hamas terrorists, who began to drag away one soldier, according to Israeli and foreign media.

Helicopter cover and efforts by his comrades forced the terrorists to release the solider. The IDF refused to discuss the incident, saying it would not comment on “rumors,” but its spokesmen on Sunday denied a Hamas claim to the media that it had kidnapped two soldiers. The denial was issued after Reuters published the report, and the source of the claim may have been the clash that was not reported until Monday morning.

9:00AM: The IDF arrested 25 palestinian terror suspects in West Bank operations overnight. The detainees were transferred for interrogation.

7:30AM: An IDF officer and 5 soldiers were lightly wounded in fighting overnight.

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