Intense rocket fire on southern Israel

Earlier, I took part in a briefing with Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich of the IDF Spokesman’s unit regarding the intensified rocket fire upon the south of Israel over the past few hours, which –at the time of writing – the Guardian has not yet seen fit to report 

Lt. Col. Leibovich reported that 68 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip in the past twelve hours. Two foreign nationals – farm workers from the Kissufim area – were critically wounded by rocket fire and three or four additional civilians are suffering from lighter injuries. Several homes have been damaged. 

Scene of the rocket attack which critically injured two farm workers. Photo credit: IDF blog, 24/10/2012

Lt. Col. Leibovich also gave details of the IDF’s responses to the rocket attacks:

At midnight last night the IDF targeted a rocket-launching squad comprising three Hamas terrorists.

At 5 a.m. this morning the IDF targeted another squad which had just launched a rocket. 

At 7 a.m. the IDF targeted a rocket launching site: one of the pits dug by the terrorists in which the rocket-launcher is placed.

At 8:20 a.m. the IDF targeted a weapons smuggling tunnel and other sites in the northern Gaza Strip.

Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defence system has successfully intercepted 7 additional rockets.

The Home Front Command has ordered all civilians in the region to stay near their air-raid shelters and safe rooms as, due to their proximity to the Gaza Strip, they have only 15 seconds in which to find cover. All schools and kindergartens in the area are closed. 

Lt. Col. Leibovich stressed that all the targets of today’s rocket fire were, once again, civilian targets including small agricultural communities. She also noted that the majority of the rocket fire took place – as is frequently the case – during the early morning when children are on their way to school and adults travelling to work.

I asked Lt. Col. Leibovich for her view of the claim frequently appearing in the Western media that Hamas is not interested in an escalation of the conflict. She described it as “not a reliable statement”.


Categories: Guardian

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55 replies »

  1. Just a reminder that Jon Snow of Channel 4 News claimed on air once that “nobody gets injured” by Hamas rockets.

    He refused to apologise or correct this when he was shown that people get injured and killed by these rockets.

    • Jon Snow desctibes himself as being ‘hungry for info’ in his twitter bio. His interests include ‘the abroad’

      I tweeted your comment about him to my followers. Information is can be useful.

    • Absolutely Chas. Well remembered! He called the rockets “pathetic”.
      A disgrace to which there is no answer other than contempt.

    • What do you expect?

      He frequently chairs meetings of such groups like Jews for Justice for Palestinians, Independent Jewish Voices etc.
      I’ve often watched him in action at these.
      He loves, to the point of orgasmic highs, watching vicious Jews attack Israel/other Jews.
      When he gives the mike to someone from the floor who has the cogent facts and turns out to defend Israel effectively, he tries to cut them short.
      A thoroughly nasty and dishonest piece of work,
      An antisemite in the truest sense of the word.

    • Please can you tell us how many people have been killed or injured by rockets so far?

      How come we are never given any figure for the casualties?

      • I meant: How come we are never given any figure for the total number of casualties?

        Why don’t you tell us the total number of Israelis who have been killed and injured by rockets in the past five years for instance?

    • Pretz,
      If you think that G. article is preposterous try reading some of the comments BTL. Yuk. A bunch of people giving themselves awards for their complete ignorance of history and reality.

      • The one-state solution is the one promoted by settlers, Jeff. They’re the ones who refuse to move back to Israel and who want to annex the palestinian Territory. They’re the ones who promote a bi-national state where Jews will be a minority.

    • Meanwhile the Guardian posts a preposterous article singing the praises of the “one-state

      Guardianistas wet dream Pretz.

      Another one is the Soviet Union rising like a Phoenix out of the ashes and defeating the United States of America led by The Obama.

    • Good point. After all, any other country would just have let the “militants” shoot whatever rockets they like at their citizens. Those damned Israelis, thinking they have the right to attack someone, just because they’re trying to kill Israelis.

      I’m sure it’s against International Law to take away the Palestinians’ human right to kill Jews (and people who are standing too close to Jews).

      • Cba, no other country but Israel occupies the territory of its neighbor and builds settlements in violation of international law all over it.

        • Really? So Kurdish lands are not occupied by Turkey, Iraq, Iran etc? Tibet is not occupied by China? Or are you saying, perhaps, that these people are not entitled to their self-determination, too.

          There is a history of Welsh nationalists who firebomb properties bought by English people (sttlers, you might say). Funny enough, when they do these things, they are (if caught) prosecuted as criminals.

          “All over it”. 0.99% equates to “all over it” does it? So you won’t mind if I say that civilians “all over” Israel live in fear of rockets from Gaza. Great. Just so as we are clear.

  2. pretzelberg, Shabi thinks 22 countries isn’t enough for the Arabs.
    Shabia just cant accept the fact Israel will not be ruled by the fascist Arabs and that Jerusalem has been the capital of only Israel.

    • Ed, your reasoning stinks.

      The Palestinians, the Syrians, the Jordanians, the Egyptians… all these are different peoples who are entitled to live in peace in their own state, rather than under the rule of settlers.

      What do you think would happen if you chased the Italians from their country, telling them they cannot complain since they’re Europeans and can move to any other European country?

  3. If Rachel Shabi wants a 1 state solution, she’s free to move to Gaza under Hamas, or she can move to Syria in the Sunni section and lets see her criticize Assad.

    • If the settlers want to live in illegal settlements and to keep imposing the occupation on another people, they’re free to move to the moon.

      • Ah, so now we see your true desire. Everyone is entitled to live in their own homeland, except the Jews, who will have to f#*@ off to the moon.

          • The West Bank is part of Israel. The question, if you are asking it, is whehther Israel should give land to the Arabs in return for peace? Without peace no one is going to give up anything and as a result there will be no state. Bottom line: it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, the Arabs have to compromise, before anything moves.

                  • OK Pretz I’m kidding myself. San Remo does not confer rights. Perhaps instead, you can tell me the basis upon which the foundations and boundaries of the State of Israel originate from in modern international law and why you say the West Bank belongs to another sovereign entity. Perhaps you can also tell me what that other entity is and the legal basis upon which that other entity is set out, the documents and agreements reached and the clauses to which Israel is excluded. Perhaps Jerusalem doesn’t belong to Israel either?

                    Please go ahead….

              • And what part of the West Bank is not part of the Palestinian territory Nat? Can you define the boundaries please? Can you give me the signatories to the agreement(s) setting up those boundaries, the obligations of the parties, the dates and place, when they were signed? Can you give references to the UN Charter that secures those rights in internatiional law or any Chapter Vll UN Security Resolution that has any binding legal effect ?

                Good bye Nat

        • Israelis have the right to live in Israel.

          However Israeli settlers do not have the right to live in settlements built in contravention of international law in the Palestinian territory.

          Everyone is entitled to live in their own homeland, so why do settlers refuse to live in the Jewish homeland and live in the Palestinian homeland instead?

    • So you’re in favour of annexing the West Bank but keeping the Palestinians vote-less? That would be apartheid.

      • Pretz, you pick up the word “apartheid” and drop it into the discussion, as if this is a home truth about Israel . It clearly isn’t the case.And to be honest, you are not the only one who does this.Many Israelis have felt compassion for Arabs and have hoped that with all that was previously on offer, and remains so – they will take up statehood and a new soverign state might come about.That’s just not happened and the 2 positions are: The Arabs do not really want a state unless israel disappears and therefore Israel is in exactly the same position as it was in 1948 – ideoligically that is. And Israel does not want to absorb 4 million Arabs as it will mean the end of Israel.

        It’s so important to remember the positions immediately before the 1967 War, and after. Territories, previously held by Jordan from 1949-67 did not bring about a change of status for its residents. They did not get Jordanian citizenship, nor for that matter were they after “Palestinian” statehood. They, like the refugees were left in limbo, to be used instrumentally to put excessive pressure on Israel – to make Israel give up all its lands. Arafat later was prepared to allow Jews who arrived pre-1880 to remain, but was intent on expelling (or destroying the Jewish State).The refugees – all of them would be allowed to return.

        After 1967, the door was left open to negotiate a return of territories to the Arabs, firmly rejected by the Arabs at Khartoum. So what was Israel to do? The dilemma of acquiring and annexing territory would have meant having to absorb Arabs, many of whom did not want, nor do want to be governed by Israel.The legal issues were resolved in a manner that has led to huge confusion. Israel, did not adhere to the San Remo position, but introduced and applied legal codes based on Ottoman, Jordanian and Mandate Laws. The architect was Shamgar.

        At the moment the territory is divided into zones. Arabs have their autonomy. Oslo was supposed to lead to a state. As soon as it was almost there, the Arabs pulled out. No state (yet).

        The failure to recognise Israel has created a very serious security threat to its existance. Psychologically and physicaslly, the Arabs hope to wear Israel out, to make it give up and surrender, never agree, speak ambiguously, pay lip service to Western sensitivities by using “democracy” towards its own ends.There has been very little concession over time.

        So what’s this got to do with Apartheid Pretz!? Those are the stark issues and israel has had to live with it for many years.

        • Ed Frias seems to be in favour of a Greater Israel, with Palestinians presumably second-class citizens.

          • It doesn’t matter what anyone is in favour of Pretz. The facts at the moment are, there is no peace , recognition or any serious negotiations being undertaken by anyone at the moment. The Arabs (and other minorities of Israel) remain citizens with civic and religious freedoms guarenteed under the Israeli constitution and law – in other words as equal citizens, but a minority, but a significant one. In the territories, it is different. The Golan was annexed under Begin. Some Druze refused to take up citizenship preferring to be Syrian, but they are now applying for israeli citizenship, because of the uncertainties in Syria at the moment.The Arabs on the West Bank have a different statust to those in east Jerusalem. They are under the Palestinian Authority. And Gaza is under Hamas.

            With regard to “Greater” Israel (and these are just terms), the legal position has been painfully clarified in recent times. What it shows is that the Jewish People have had to give up so much and have had to do so under so much duress, land that it is legally theirs. Jerusalem is regularly denied to be the capital. Western Governments, including the US have had a great part in leaving the position in this mess and the Arabs are not “vegetarians”, as one can witness clearly in today’s ME.That is the reality.

            • Not sure what that last paragraph is intending to say – that the West Bank legally belongs to Israel?

              Thanks for your civil responses anyway.

              • At whatever point Israel has existed it has always been said (wrongly) by Israel’s enemies, that it either should not exist, or it is too big. The legal position on Israel’s legal borders ,is clear. The San Remo position on territory trumps all other pseudo-law and arguments on law that have been raised, as to what its sovereign territory comprises of. When one follows the history, it is easy to see why this had become obscured over time.The UN partition plan 1947 was accepted by the Jews under some considerable duress at the time. There were over a hundred thousand refugees from Germany that needed urgent settlement.The Jewish Agency was prepared to accept less – much less- to accomodate a humanitarian issue. But it was conditional on the Arabs accepting it, which they did not, and they went to war, as we all know.

                Since then the Green Line, which was a ceasefire became a de facto boundary, but that did not stop aggression to destroy Israel. That aggression has not ceased. There were Fedayeen attacks in the 1950s. There was a war in 1967. Whatever size Israel had become, it was simply unacceptable and “illegal” And so on…

                When you factor all these ponts, it was hard to see how you(and others) can raise an issue of an Apartheid state, which is the basis upon which I have taken strong issue. Yes there is a seperateness, but that stems mainly from security issues. Put it another way: I have no problem with any ethnic or religious groups if they accept my right to exist and respect boundaries of decency. I would not however , want to live under a terrorist threat. An Israeli on a walk through an Arab town on the WB risks his/her life. Not the same for an Arab in Tel-Aviv. The dilemma to absorb Arabs into a one-state is not about so much, Israel not wanting to live with Arabs, but the other way round. The pretexts are always raised to suggest that one the grievance has been addressed, the Arabs will calm down. The opposite occured in Gaza affter withdrawal, and that lesson has had to be learned.

                It’s difficult. Essentially it is not Jewish racism and bigotry that creates the problems.

      • What? Eh? I don’t necessarily agree with Ed, but I see nothing here that even remotely suggests such a thing.

        In short, although I can’t speak for Ed, I think the answer is…


  4. The 1 state solution was tried by a Kurd named Saladin. Saladin won the wars but opposed a state for his people the Kurds, cause he wanted a 1 state solution with the Arabs, Turks and Iranians. How did that work out for the Kurds?

    There is a play written by a Kurdish writer called “The Trial of Saladin.” In it Saladin is brought back from death to appear in a Kurdish court. Realising what the Arabs, Turks and Persians did to his people, he apologises to the Kurdish nation and commits suicide knowing he was responsible for all the Kurdish suffering by opposing a Kurdish state.
    I guess you can say the 1 state solution didn’t turn out to good for the Kurds?
    Are you listening Shabi?

      • The delusional left’s repetative attempts to gain acceptance of the one state solution are laughable. The only news organisations promoting this are the Guardian and the Independent. Even the BBC seems to think that it is somehow a joke.

  5. Currently in England, I have been watching Channel 4 TV News most evenings. Only a few days ago C4 News was reporting — without criticism — that Turkey had carried out air attacks on Syria in retaliation for Syria attacking targets just over the Turkish border (which Syria claimed were accidental).
    Had Israel been placed in the position of Turkey and retaliated in exactly the same fashion, C4 News would not have reported it in the neutral way it did.

  6. The Palestinians usually fire from a school or a home ?
    Hamas and Fatah send children to pick up the rocket launchers knowing full well that return fire is on the way.
    Then they can use the dead and wounded children for the media, instead of protecting them. What we like to call Pallywood.
    Even animals defend their young.

    • Ed, can you provide us with EVIDENCE?

      EVIDENCE please, EVIDENCE. And from a credible source, not from the website of some far rightist nutcase.

      it’s not the first time that you are being asked to provide EVIDENCE and that you prefer to disappear.