Operation Cast Lead Tues Jan 13th, 2009

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For other liveblogging, see The Muqata

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert indicated that Israel would give Egyptian brokered cease-fire talks a chance before deciding to expand Operation Cast Lead. But he made clear that Israel will stop the operation only if Hamas rocket fire and smuggling stops.



Egypt reportedly exerted fierce pressure on Hamas to accept the ceasefire proposal, warning them that a refusal to do so would lead to Israel expanding its ground operation, in effect meaning an end to Hamas rule over Gaza. As of the writing of this post, there are no signs of a breakthrough in the negotiations.

Meanwhile, there are reports that IDF soldiers are advancing into Gaza’s suburbs.

In other news, 3 IDF soldiers were lightly injured in a shooting attack on their military vehicle near Hebron, and a US arms shipment to Israel was canceled due to the conflict.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

Wednesday Jan 14th – for latest updates, see here.

11:50PM: That’s it from me for tonight.

Brian of London and NeoZionoid may continue with the updates tonight/this morning if anything major arises.

As usual, please keep the brave soldiers and citizens of Israel in your prayers.

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And don’t forget to vote Israellycool for Best Middle East or Africa Blog over here (you are allowed to vote once every 24 hours).

Aussie Dave, signing out.

11:33PM: Touche!

11:20PM: Don’t bring a stone to a gunfight.

11:10PM: Telegraph: Stunning photos capture Israeli bombs falling on Gaza (hat tip: Pete)

More like Stunning photos capture the fact that there is food in Gaza.

10:40PM: Here’s a video report from the German television ARD, which provides evidence that palestinian terrorists are masquerading as civilians. As commenter PTWatch writes:

At 0:35 you can see 2 terrorists wearing civilian clothes, hiding their AK47 on a street in Gaza. The report said, the first pictures of civilian-clothed militants everyone is talking about without evidence.

10:30PM: Murder of the Candy Man.

10:25PM: A palestinian has reportedly been arrested for attacking a Berlin synagogue guard with an iron bar.

10:18PM: The International Red Cross has stated that while Israel has fired white phosphorus shells in its offensive in the Gaza Strip, there is no evidence to suggest it is being used improperly or illegally.

10:13PM: Interesting poll results (hat tip: Craig)

Two weeks of military action in the Gaza Strip has done nothing to move public opinion in America.

Today, 56% of voters nationwide say that the Palestinians are to blame for the current situation in Gaza while 13% say the Israelis are at fault. Two weeks ago, a nationwide survey of adults found that 55% placed the blame on the Palestinians and 13% pointed the finger at Israel.

Forty-five percent (45%) say Israel should have taken military action against the Palestinians, little changed from 44% two weeks ago. Thirty-eight percent (38%) say that the Jewish nation should have tried harder to find a diplomatic solution, down slightly from 41% in the earlier survey.

As in the earlier survey, Republicans strongly agree with Israel while Democrats wish there had been more efforts at diplomacy. Forty-seven percent (47%) of unaffiliated voters support Israel’s military action while 36% would like to have seen more diplomatic efforts.

Looking ahead, 50% say Israel should agree to a truce now while 26% disagree.

—-

Fifty-three percent (53%) are at least somewhat confident in Barack Obama’s ability to deal with the situation in Gaza, including 25% who are Very Confident in the President-elect.

In the earlier survey, 52% of Americans said it is possible for Israel and the Palestinians to live in peace, but just 35% thought Obama is likely to help end the conflict during his presidency.

—-

Eighty-two percent (82%) of voters say they have followed news stories about the fighting in Gaza at least somewhat closely, with 41% following Very Closely. Only four percent (4%) say they are not following news about it at all.

 

9:49PM: Some mind-blowing statistics:

  • Number of rockets fired into Israel since Dec 27: 565
  • Number of mortar shells fired into Israel since Dec 27: 200
  • Number of rockets fired into Israel since beginning 2005: 5700
  • Number of mortar shells fired into Israel since beginning 2005: 4000
  • Number of rockets fired into Israel in 2008: 2000+
  • Number of mortar shells fired into Israel in 2008: 1600+
  • Number of rockets fired into Israel during 6-month “truce”: 361
  • Number of mortar shells fired into Israel during 6-month “truce”: 303
  • Number of people killed by rockets and mortar shells since firing began in 2000: 37
  • Number of people wounded by rockets and mortar shells since beginning of Operation Cast Lead: 1272

9:20PM: Is that a canon in your mosque or are you just happy to kill me?

9:10PM: Ehud Olmert, you embarrass me.

9:00PM: Talking Turkey: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched a blistering verbal attack on Israel.

Speaking to the Turkish Parliament in Ankara in a session that was carried by local television, Erdogan said his words were “less harsh than the white phosphorous shells used by the Israeli army.”

“Whoever does not express resentment over the killing of civilians, including women and children, loses his self respect,” Erdogan was quoted by Israel Radio as saying.

Aussie Dave’s law of anti-Semitism #45: If anyone tells you they are not anti-Semitic but..then they are an anti-Semitic butt.

Erdogan said his criticism did not stem from anti-Semitism and emphasized that in the past he had termed anti-Semitism a crime against humanity.

But he then continued to say that “media outlets supported by Jews are disseminating false reports on what happens in Gaza, finding unfounded excuses to justify targeting of schools, mosques and hospitals.”

6:43PM: The IAF has bombed more than 30 weapons smuggling tunnels.

6:40PM: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: We respect the UN, but they can go jump.

6:24PM: With the anti-Israel crowd screaming genocide, it bears reminding what Israel means to those who escaped the real genocide in Darfur.

5:44PM: New feature: I have added a live feed from the Keren Shalom crossing in the right sidebar so you can directly see the aid trucks coming through (taken from this blog run by the Israeli embassy in London. Thanks to Shy Guy for pointing me to the blog).

5:39PM: Another Hamas tactic comes to light: Hamas gunmen have dressed as IDF soldiers in an attempt to penetrate IDF lines and blow themselves up next to our troops.

5:36PM: Apparently, not every European leader is a numbskull.

Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Tuesday condemned what he called unilateral criticism of Israel over the Gaza war, insisting that Hamas was responsible for the crisis. “It is Hamas that broke the ceasefire, that has attacked Israel with rockets,” he told reporters, blasting what he said was a global “tendency to unilateral criticism of Israel” since its bombing campaign in Gaza began on December 27.

4:57PM: From the Department of Sneaky:  Palestinians launched a YouTube channel in response to the IDF’s.

IDF channel: http://www.youtube.com/idfnadesk
Palestinian channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/idfnadesk1

Said palestinian channel has been suspended.

4:53PM: Palestinian medics have reported 18 gunmen and 3 civilians dead in IDF strikes today. Which means at least 18 terrorists killed.

4:00PM: UNRWA says Gaza is in dire straits.

Yeah, all that donor money for nothing but terrorism in return.

3:45PM: The IDF officer critically injured last night by a Hamas explosive in a booby-trapped building only just got married and returned to fight the very next day.

Please include him in your prayers. His Hebrew name is Aharon Yehoshua ben Chaya Shoshana.

3:35PM: The palestinian terrorist obsession with schools continues, with another Qassam landing near an Ashkelon school a short time ago. The palestinians will be sorry to hear that no injuries or damage were reported.

3:02PM: A palestinian in Hebron has learned the hard way that trying to snatch a weapon off an IDF soldier can be hazardous to one’s health.

1:48PM: IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi has spoken of Hamas’ cynical use of civilians, tactics that have included forcing students to stay in booby-trapped classrooms (link in Hebrew).

1:35PM: IDF Spokesperson Maj. Avital Leibowitz:

“Currently we don’t see the end in sight. We have destroyed 70% of the tunnels along the Philadelphi Corridor, but there are still more targets to hit.”

12:42PM: Ahead of Thursday’s Euroleague basketball game between Spain’s Malaga and Israel’s Maccabi Tel Aviv, Malaga officials have decided to cancel the opening ceremony (including playing of the Hatikvah) in light of security concerns surrounding events here in Israel (Hebrew link).

11:32AM: The Jerusalem Post has reported it was a Jordanian soldier who shot at our border police.

11:20AM: Jordan has denied reports that gunmen shot at an Israeli border police patrol.

11:10AM: Separated at Birth? A palestinian terrorist from the below video, and Silent Bob.

kevin-smith-palisilent-bob

10:48AM: Here’s a short film presenting visual evidence of the long-standing Hamashole tactic of exploiting civilians as human shields (hat tip: Shy Guy).

10:45AM: 10 palestinian terrorists have reportedly been killed so far this morning, in fighting with IDF soldiers (Hebrew link).

10:34AM: Sign the petition!

10:32AM: Revealed for publication: An IDF officer was critically wounded, and 2 others lightly to moderately wounded, in a building explosion last night.

10:30AM: They really don’t want this humanitarian lull, do they? 4 Qassams have struck near Ofakim.

10:03AM: Islamic Jihad has reported that 2 of its terrorists have been killed by the IAF (Hebrew link).

10:00AM: IDF troops are currently engaged in fierce fighting with terrorists on the outskirts of Gaza city.

9:45AM: The IDF reportedly killed 30 gunmen yesterday.

9:41AM: Today’s “humanitarian lull” started at 9:00, and will last 3 hours, during which time the IDF will hold its fire to allow essential goods and supplies through, and Hamas will continue firing rockets.

9:40AM: Gunmen have opened fire at an Israeli Border Police patrol along the Israel-Jordan border.

7:34AM: IDF troops reportedly arrested 16 wanted palestinians in the West Bank overnight.

 

6:00AM: Incredible footage showing how the IAF has gone out of its way to avoid hitting civilians (hat tip: Bobby)

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