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The Day in Israel: Tues Jan 27th, 2009

  • French efforts to lift the boycott of Hamas have been stymied. And the French would have gotten away with it too, had it not been for those meddling yids.
  • New US envoy George Mitchell plans to give Hamas the cold shoulder, instead cozying up to the PA’s terrorists in suits.
  • Kadima has kicked of its election campaign with a threat to kill Hamas leaders. Good start, but I still wouldn’t vote for them.
  • After praising Hamas’ “victory” over Israel and saying Israel only understands the language of force, Syrian President Bashar “Dorktator” Assad has then gone on to talk about a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Golan.
  • The Egyptians have so far prevented an Iranian ship believed to be carrying arms for Hamas from passing through the Suez Canal.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

Click refresh to see new updates during the day.

10:55PM: Some things in life are certain. Such as death, taxes, and Jerusalem Post caption cock-ups.

10:20PM: Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee Yasser Abd Rabbo accuses Hamas of new atrocities against Fatahniks in Gaza (Aired on Al-Jazeera TV Qatar,  January 16-22)

10:03PM: Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has said that our response to this morning’s bomb blast is yet to come.

9:30PM: Support the IDF!

(hat tip: Israeli government, who asked that I include it on here if I find it suitable, which I do).

9:15PM: The IDF soldier killed today was a Bedouin tracker from Rahat, whose name is being withheld at the request of his family.

Meanwhile, the IDF believes that the ‘Jihad and Tawhid Brigades’ who claimed responsibility for the attack is a pro-Iranian group which is to the right of Hamas (as if that is possible), but is connected to Hamas and got the green light to attack.

9:05PM: An Al-Qaeda affiliated group called the the ‘Jihad and Tawhid Brigades’ has claimed responsibility for today’s attack.

8:55PM: A short time ago, terrorists opened fire on IDF forces near Kissufim.

8:48PM: My irony sensors are working overtime after seeing this on Ha’aretz: UN Chief: We must examine why world failed to prevent Holocaust

Why go back that far? How about examining while the world now won’t do anything to prevent a new Holocaust, and is in fact siding with the “Nazis” of our times (the Islamic terrorists for those a bit slow on the uptake).

8:20PM: Today’s events get the BBC treatment.

Gotto “love” the palestinian “witness” who talks of the IDF firing at buildings in his town and then feels the need to add “places where civilians live.”

7:57PM: Mrs Aussie Dave reports hearing loud “explosions” today, possibly sonic booms from the IAF jets.

6:08PM: How good is our intelligence? This good.

Security sources said Tuesday that the Palestinian who was hurt in the IAF strike on the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Younis, was involved in this morning’s attack on the Kissufim crossing.

5:53PM: Spot the difference.

Reuters report in TradeArabia (from this morning, Israel time):

Israeli soldier killed, breaching truce

An Israeli soldier was reported killed close to the border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday in what Palestinians said appeared to have been an attack by gunmen in breach of ceasefire declarations made over a week ago.

Reuters report on Reuters website (current version):

Israeli soldier killed, Gaza truce breached

An Israeli soldier was killed by a bomb on the border with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday and troops then killed a Palestinian, in violence that strained a ceasefire and left people in Gaza fearing further Israeli attacks.

If I didn’t know any better, Reuters had a change of heart and decided they sounded too..ehh..truthful.

5:25PM: The terrorist in critical condition is Hamas commander Hami Hussein.

5:05PM: Fascinating article on Head Hamashole Ismail Haniyeh and his former life as a plasterer and friend of the Jews! (hat tip: Elder of Ziyon)

Danny Mahlouf, a 70-year-old Israeli plasterer from Ashkelon, has a message for Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, and it’s personal. “Tell Ismail Haniyeh to lose the beard, and stop making trouble!”

They go way back. In the late ‘80s, Haniyeh worked for five years as a plasterer in Ashkelon and Mahlouf was his boss. “We were close friends but we lost contact,” Mahlouf said. “Then one day my son was watching TV and suddenly he shouted, Dad, come quickly, Ismail’s on TV. He’s prime minister!”

Their story tells much about the ties between Jews and Arabs that have been lost in the violence. The relationships between Israelis and Palestinians weren’t always full of the tension and hatred that often characterize them today, and that raises the possibility that one day, somehow, it could go back to the more peaceful days.

Old friends
I met Mahlouf in a café in Ashkelon, while waiting for Grad rockets to fall, fired by Haniyeh’s men in Gaza. My new friends in the café, where I went every day during the recent three-week war, told me Mahlouf’s story and said I must meet him. Then one day he came in, and we talked for an hour.

He’s a tough old guy who still works a six-day week. He stood up, blew out his chest, patted his firm stomach and boomed, “Guess how old I am! Ismail would recognize me right away!”

I won’t get in the way of his words, for they tumbled out. But it’s Mahlouf’s explanation of why he believes Ismail Haniyeh changed from a humble worker to an Islamic militant, and what his old friend thinks about him:

“He was a good worker, he worked for me for five years on a salary. He went with my son to Netanya, all over, he came to my house and I went to his in Gaza.

“There was no border post then, we all just came and went. We went to him, I went to Jabaliya like going to my own home, we ate fish there, we lived together, no difference between Jews and Arabs. We ate together, they went to Tel Aviv in their cars, I went to his house, his old house, not the new one now! Gaza was like Tel Aviv for me.

“Weddings, funerals, we were friends. He came with his wife and two children to my daughter’s wedding. But one day his brother was killed and from that very day he became a Hamasnik.”

On May 20, 1990, an Israeli, Ami Popper, who had been dishonorably discharged from the army, lined up Arab workers in the road in Rishon-le-Zion, and killed seven. One of them was Haniyeh’s brother. Popper was sentenced to seven life terms for murder, one for each of the seven Palestinians he killed, but he could be paroled by 2023.

“I went to Ismail’s house for the funeral,” Mahlouf continued. “There were four men in masks. I thought, walla! I’m finished. I’m a dead man. Then one took off his mask and it was Ismail. He said, ‘I told you not to come. I’m finished. I’ll never come to Israel again.’ He came with me to the Erez border to make sure I was safe, and he never came back to work. I never saw him again.

“He wasn’t religious – only later when his brother died. Then I didn’t see him again till [I saw him on] TV, and he’s prime minister! But today, let him stay in the bunker.

“That day at the funeral, I told him, get better, you can’t kill the Jews, we are one state, you are many, you won’t beat us.

“What’s to talk about? They ate with us, worked with us, lived like kings. What happened? They want to get rid of us, what? Tough, we have our state, that’s it. Nothing they can do about it. There they kill each other, what did they get out of it?

“That’s it, if you see him, best wishes to Haniyeh. I say to him, Ismail, get better, stop making problems, it’s over. That’s my message to Ismail. And lose the beard. Tell him your boss, Danny the plasterer, Rachel’s husband, sends his best wishes and stop making all those problems. We all want peace.”

4:54PM: The IDF is investigating this morning’s attack at the Kissufim crossing, and so far estimate that the blast was designed as the first in a series, meant to inflict even greater harm.

4:44PM: Tank forces and the IAF are reportedly operating in the Strip. Palestinians reports also indicate that about 20 jeeps entered the Strip.

4:39PM: Hamas has confirmed that one of those wounded in the IAF attack was a terrorist.

4:08PM: According to Ynet, the IAF struck a motorcycle, critically wounding 2 people.

4:00PM: The IAF has reportedly struck a car in Khan Yunis.

3:45PM: The British Press are having a hard time dealing with the fact that Hamas clearly attacked IDF soldiers this morning, as their headlines demonstrate:

(hat tip: William Jacobson).

3:10PM: Home Front Command has said no rockets were fired in to Ashkelon.

3:02PM: According to Rotter, rockets have landed in Ashkelon. Story developing.

3:00PM: A powerful explosion has reportedly been heard in Ashkelon.

2:06PM: The brave men of Hamas are already running, fearing an IDF attack.

We can only hope that now Israel realizes it needs to finish the job it began during Operation Cast Lead.

1:26PM: Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has stated that Israel must respond immediately to the Gaza bomb attack.

12:55PM: Now Ha’aretz is reporting that an IDF soldier was killed, and 3 others wounded in this morning’s roadside bomb attack.

12:48PM: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has called the explosion near Kissufim crossing “a serious incident that cannot be accepted”, and promised “We will respond.”

12:32PM: Responding to the rumors that Head Hamashole Mahmoud “The Wart” Al Zahar was hurt in Operation Cast Lead, many people are stating he is in good health. That is many people not including Al Zahar himself, who has not been sighted recently.

12:10PM: According to this BBC report, the IDF has said a mine was detonated in the path of the patrol (as opposed to the RPG claim on Ma’an News I reported in the 11:24AM update).

12:07PM: Al Arabiya television has reportedly said that an IDF soldier was killed in the blast. Since it is being reported by the mainstream media, I will mention it here, with the understanding that it may just be propaganda.

11:52AM: The IDF has said that this morning’s explosion demonstrates Hamas’ intention not to include actions taken against IDF soldiers in any truce agreement.

Meanwhile, Hamas is blaming Israel.

11:24AM: The palestinian Ma’an News agency reports that palestinians fired an RPG at the Israeli patrol, and the IAF struck the area following the attack.

11:16AM: BREAKING NEWS: Earlier this morning, a bomb exploded near an IDF patrol near Kissufim crossing along the Gaza border, after which terrorists clashed with the IDF.

10:20AM: Hopey-change: US President Barack Obama has said that Israel and the palestinians should resume their peace negotiations. Here we go again..

9:53AM: Verb of the Day: ‘Putinize’

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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