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The Day In Israel: Sunday July 25th, 2010

Israel does not intend to cooperate with the United Nations Human Rights Council’s investigation into our flotilla raid since  this would only confer legitimacy upon the UNHRC, which has consistently acted against Israel.

“This is an unnecessary committee,” the official said, “which is the product of an obsession with Israel.”

Meanwhile, Israel does intend to cooperate with a separate flotilla committee acting on behalf UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

No obsession here. Move along.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

10:10PM: Meanwhile, about half an hour from where I live..

Thousands of homes in Jerusalem have been evacuated as a massive blaze tears through a forest near a hospital on the outskirts of the Holy City.

At least 20 fire engines rushed to the scene of the blaze which broke out on Sunday in woodlands near Hadassa hospital, just above the village of Ein Kerem, believed to be the biblical home of John the Baptist.

‘The fire is huge,’ police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told AFP.

‘We have evacuated the whole population of Moshav Ora and Aminadav, as well as Even Sapir,’ he said, referring to three collective villages in the hills of southwest Jerusalem which are home to more than 2000 people.

Police were conducting house-to-house searches to ensure no-one was left behind, he said. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Two planes and a firefighting helicopter were flying over the area in a bid to douse the flames with water and fire retardant.

Several vehicles in the hospital car park had gone up in flames, he said, adding that the emergency vehicles had quickly secured the area around the hospital.

Huge clouds of smoke were billowing into the air, obscuring much of the view across the sprawling valley, local witnesses said.

Many roads leading to the area were closed to allow speedier access for emergency vehicles trying to reach the scene, they said.

7:35PM: A Haitian double amputee has received prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation in Israel.

5:56PM: Bachelor party: Not quite the makings of a Tom Hanks movie.

A Bedouin died Saturday of wounds sustained a night before his wedding, when guests and relatives opened celebratory gunfire in the air to mark the occasion.

The 22-year-old groom sustained several gunshot wounds to his upper body at the bachelor party in the southern Negev town of Al-Kseifa and was evacuated to the Soroko Hospital in Beersheba for treatment. He was pronounced dead after several medical procedures.

In the Middle East, it is customary for men to fire gunshots into the air to celebrate wedding parties and other significant events. But the custom has turned several weddings into tragedies across the region.

4:20PM: Navy SEAL vs Israeli commando: preview.

3:32PM: Israel is dispatching a police team to Haiti to assist the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINHUSTAH) in upholding public order and stabilizing the situation following the severe earthquake that struck there this past January.

That, and to plunder the organs of the unsuspecting.

3:10PM: Still on the subject of bouncing balls.

1:00PM: I wonder how many meals can be bought for the cost of 7000+ basketballs.

11:15AM: Yet another example of Gazans’ freedom being restricted.

De facto government detectives in the Gaza Strip seized inventory from several shops and vendors on Saturday, which a police report said displayed “immoral words.”

The clothing, manufactured in Gaza City, was mostly cotton shirts with the words “Porn Man Clothing” written on them in bold letters.

Detectives said the clothing was uncovered during a routine inspection tour, and was traced back to a manufacturer in the Ash-Shuja’iyyah neighborhood of Gaza City, where a report said two merchants and a printer worked to create and supply the goods to vendors.

Police said the supplies and the merchandise were confiscated and the individuals involved in making the clothing brought in for questioning.

Investigators said charges would likely be laid.

Which is more than can be said for the vendors.

11:00AM: And now for some positive news from Sweden.

Sweden often gives the impression that it is blinded by hatred of Israel. However in the last couple of weeks following the Ship to Gaza event, some signs of hope have appeared showing that not everybody refuses to see both sides of the story.

In a public statement, the student union of the ruling Moderate party (Fria Moderaternas Studentforbund) writes “We can unload the ships”.

The statement refers to the boycott that the Swedish Dockworkers Union currently is imposing on Israeli cargo arriving to Sweden as well as Swedish cargo destined for Israel. In response to the Dockworkers Union’s boycott, the young Moderates offered to offload and load those ships which the dockworkers refuse to handle.

Their statement reads:

“Today, the Swedish Dockworkers Union has initiated a blockade of goods to and from Israel. The reason is that Israel did not let through a number of ships which were aiming to break their naval blockade of Hamas. To so clearly take a stance for Hamas and their unlimited naval access to accept all the goods they wish, including weapons, is a manifestation of hate towards Israel, not a support for the suffering population. Those who really want to have peace in the Middle East should instead take a stance against the terror group Hamas and the horrible suffering which it has caused Gaza’s population. It is Hamas’s fault that people are suffering in Gaza, not Israel’s.”

As a sign of their support of Israel the students have consequently decided to act in order to break the Swedish blockade against Israel and load and unload those ships which the dockworkers refuse to handle.

Anyone in Sweden interested in helping the Moderate Student Union can contact chairman Gustav Dymov for further information and contact details:

Email: [email protected]

6:12AM: Caption of the day:

palestinian graduates
AP Photo/Nasser Ishtayeh

Palestinian students are seen during their graduation ceremony in Al Quds University in the West Bank city of Nablus, Sunday, July 24, 2010

5:58AM: Yesterday, our projectile-friendly neighbors fired a total of four rockets and two mortar shells at Israel, including one manufactured using professional means, most likely outside of Gaza.

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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