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Operation Cast Lead Sat Jan 17th, 2009

For other liveblogging, see The Muqata

Well, it looks like my team of Israellycool contributors were not able to pick up the slack while I was celebrating the Jewish Sabbath, so I’ll briefly summarize what I missed these past 25 or so hours.

  • In another possible friendly fire incident, 4 IDF soldiers from the Paratroopers Brigade, two of them officers, were seriously wounded early this morning.
  • Terrorists fired at least another 15 rockets and 4 mortar shells, including one which hit an empty synagogue
  • Egypt is pressuring Israel to an unconditional ceasefire including a unilateral withdrawal from Gaza (since that worked out so well last time)
  • Israel is to vote tonight on whether to unilaterally end Operation Cast Lead
  • Hamas indicated its determination to continue fighting (while its leaders continue hiding underground, no doubt)

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

Click Refresh to show latest updates.

01:53AM (Brian of London): Well its almost two minutes to midnight (in my present time-zone) and Muqata is reporting that the IAF is getting their last few strikes of this round in. Doubtless they’ll be back in action after Hamas’s first salvo of morning kindergarten time rockets, but for now they’re just taking care of business no doubt.

Muqata is staying up just to see what kind of fireworks display Hamas have set up for 2am.

11:41PM: Meanwhile, the palestinians are still firing rockets into Israel, with sirens just sounding in Be’er Sheva.

Sheesh.

On that note, I am going to bed. Yeah, I know I am leaving you on a bit of a cliffhanger, but I am exhausted.

As usual, 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 donate here:

Aussie Dave, signing out.

11:37PM: While we declared a unilateral ceasefire,  we left open remaining in Gaza until the rockets and smuggling stops. The ball is in Hamas’ court, and if they continue to fire rockets at Israel after 2:00AM, I expect Israel will continue to operate against them.

11:33PM: Barak is now talking in English, but the Israeli television anchors are discussing the announcement.

11:29PM: Barak has repeated what Olmert said. We will do everything to bring Gilad Shalit back home healthy.

11:24PM: He’s now mentioning the Israeli civilians and soldiers who were killed. Each a world destroyed.

11:22PM: Hamas hit hard. Blah blah blah. He’s repeating Olmert’s speech.

11:20PM: Barak says we achieved our goals, but will renew our operations if required.

11:18PM: Defense Minister Barak now speaking. As if he will add anything we will like hearing.

11:09PM: Olmert said that we will continue to work to free Gilad Shalit. He then continued to apologize to the citizens of Gaza who have suffered, and said if Hamas stop firing on us, we will leave Gaza. If not, we will continue to operate against them.

He then finished by giving thanks to many, including the Defense Minister Barak, and the IDF.

11:04PM: It’s official: there will be a unilateral ceasefire from 2AM.

11:02PM: Olmert: We are not fighting the people of Gaza.

11:00PM: Olmert mentions Hamas as the proxy of Iran.

10:57PM: Olmert said Home Front command proved it learned from our mistakes in Lebanon.

10:53PM: Olmert talking now. “Hamas was hit hard.”

10:51PM: Here he is with Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

10:50PM: The press are in position. Waiting for Olmert to enter the room. The suspense is killing me.

10:46PM: Olmert to speak in a matter of minutes.

10:45PM: Correction to my 10:36PM update. It seems no one was hurt by the rocket strike in Ashdod, but it did cause a power outage.

10:40PM: Israeli television reports that the cabinet is expected to decide on a unilateral ceasefire.

10:36PM: Reports of injured in Ashdod after a rocket struck near a house.

9:38PM: A high-level Iranian cleric has reportedly called for the shooting of Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. No word yet on whether it is because she is Israel’s Foreign Minister, or because she is a woman.

9:28PM: Great Fox News interview with an Israeli Air Force Lt. Colonel:

9:20PM: Channel 1 reports that the Israeli cabinet has decided that the release of Gilad Shalit is not included in the objectives of ending Operation Cast Lead.

8:58PM: Following from my previous update, Dr al-Aish held a press conference today and was interrupted by a mother of three soldiers who objected to what he was saying.

I’ve managed to locate the video, albeit from Al Jizz.

8:52PM: The IDF has stated sniper fire had come from the home of Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish, who lost 3 of his daughters after the IDF returned fire. Jameel also noticed that Dr al-Aish asked on Channel 2 “Why didn’t the soldiers fire only on the upper room of the house?,” implicitly acknowledging that sniper fire did come from his house.

Of course, this relevant fact is currently not being reported by the likes of Ha’aretz.

Another relevant fact: Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish happens to be a palestinian who works as a doctor in Be’er Sheva’s Soroka hospital, a major hospital in the apartheid state of Israel.

8:38PM: Fox reports that PM Olmert is scheduled to announce a conditional cease-fire at 3:00PM EST (10:00PM Israel time). Meanwhile, Channel reported that the press conference will be without questions.

8:30PM: Juan Cole, the despicable anti-US/anti-Israel blogger who finished above me in the recent Weblog Awards, wants Israel to declare a unilateral ceasefire…so the US can enjoy Obama’s inauguration (http://www.juancole.com/2009/01/israel-should-stop-war-and-let-us-enjoy.html)

There are rumors that the Israeli government may declare a unilateral cease fire Saturday. They had better. Because if they ruin the Obama inauguration by splashing the bloody bodies of dead Palestinian children all over the press during the next few days, no Americans, even the most pro-Israeli, are going to forgive them.

(hat tip: Patrick)

8:15PM: Reserve soldiers in Gaza are saying they want to be allowed to finish the operation – only after the end of the rockets and with Gilad Shalit. Sounds like a good plan to me.

8:10PM: Channel 10 reports that the IDF Chief of Staff has recommended ending Operation Cast Lead.

7:58PM: Besides the 4 paratroopers seriously wounded today, another 4 IDF soldiers were wounded in fighting.

7:50PM: Staged photo of the day: Brought to you by Getty Images and the New York Times.

Notice the brightly-colored child’s shoe lies alone in the middle of the charred floor? It seems kind of weird that it is all, you know, brightly colored. And alone. I am no military or weapons expect, but I would imagine that the bomb that hit the school would have likely at least blackened the shoe if that is what it did to the floor. And how likely would it be that a solitary shoe would be just lying there?

So, yeah, I say it is almost certainly staged.

Besides noticing this, blogger William Jacobson has gone one step further, and looked at the prior work of photographer Abid Katib. And guess what theme recurs? Shoes. Lots and lots of them.

I would call this a smoking gun shoe case of fauxtography.

7:18PM: Continuing our terrible track record in genocide, injured palestinians from Gaza will be transferred to Israeli hospitals, based on their medical condition.

7:15PM: Channel 2 reports that PM Olmert intends to announce a “test period” and not a ceasefire.

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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