Harriet Sherwood on today’s Palestinian rocket attack: An error & an improvement

Earlier today Palestinian terrorists in Gaza fired four Kassam rockets at Israel, triggering red alert sirens throughout the south.  One rocket landed in a residential courtyard in Sderot, seen here:

rocketAt 10:26 GMT, the Guardian’s Live Blog on President Obama’s visit to Israel included the following dispatch by Harriet Sherwood.

Two rockets fired from Gaza landed in Sderot, an Israeli city in southern Israel, this morning. It was the first time that militants in Gaza have fired rockets since a truce ended the eight-day mini-war, Operation Pillar of Defence, in November.

According to Israel’s Army Radio, one of the rockets exploded in the yard of the Haziza family. The mother of the family, Sara, said: “Let Obama come and see how people live, we build houses and villas but we live inside a cage, in a protected room. Nothing is worth it for us. Let Obama come and see how an eight-year old girl has to run to a protected room that is completely open, and how I can’t close the door of the protected room.”

Obama referred to the southern Israel city, which he visited before becoming president, in his short speech on arrival in Israel, saying: “I’ve stood in Sderot, and met with children who simply want to grow up free from fear.”

There were no casualties, and no immediate claim of responsibility. [emphasis added]

First, it is important to note that Sherwood’s brief post represents an improvement in comparison to how the Guardian typically covers news of such terrorist attacks. She personalized the Israeli victims, noting the name of the family whose home was nearly hit, and even included a quote by the mother of the family.  (For additional posts on Sherwood’s improvement in covering the region, see here and here.)

However, Sherwood made an error. Today’s rocket attacks were not the first since the end of ‘Pillar of Defense’.

On Dec. 23, 2012, Palestinians in Gaza fired a rocket aimed at Israel (but which didn’t reach the Israeli side of the border).  

Additionally, on Feb. 26, 2013, Palestinians fired an M-75 rocket at the city of Ashkelon.  (The rocket fell on a road south of the city.) Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, the terrorist group associated with the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Fatah, claimed responsibility for the attack.  The group reportedly stated that the attack was a response to the death of Al Aqsa Brigades member Arafat Jaradat while in Israeli custody. 

Of further interest in the context of Sherwood’s omission, the the Guardian’s  actually reported the Feb 26 rocket attack on Ashkelon, on that day’s edition of their ongoing Middle East ‘Live Blog’.

20 replies »

  1. What are the chances that the Islamist Guardian allows a resident of Sderot to explain the terror they have to deal with missiles being fired at them.
    What sickens the Jew haters is that Jews now can fight back against Palestinian fascists.

  2. From Israelnationalnews today.

    Rocket Victim: We’re ‘Victims of Obama,’ And Nobody Cares
    Whatever the reason for Hamas’ rocket attack on Israel Thursday, says the attack’s victim, Israel needs to prevent any future rocket attacks
    David Lev

    Here’s what stood out.
    You will never see Yossi Haziza on the BBC or Guardian writing an editorial.

    In an interview on Israel Radio, Yossi Haziza, whose house was damaged in Thursday’s attack, said that while physical damage – to houses and people – could be repaired, the real damage by attacks like these was to the psyche of the victims. Haziza’s wife and child were sleeping at the time of the attack, and the shock of the attack caused them a great deal of fear that he was unsure they would ever be able to ovecome.

    “I don’t know how we are going to deal with this,” he said. “The terrorists fire whenever they want and however they want and we seem unable to stop them. Apparently we did not do a proper job in stopping them in Operation Pillar of Defense.

    “It could be that Hamas is doing this in ‘honor’ of Obama, sending him a message before he goes to Ramallah that he had better not forget about them,” Haziza continued. “But so what? Because they want to send a message to the president we have to suffer? Are our children supposed to be sitting ducks for diplomatic reasons? Now they have to grow up with these negative experiences. Who knows what the damage will be later on? We need to be properly defended, regardless of diplomatic issues.”

  3. That is correct Barry.
    There is one more damage that not many speak of.
    The amount of Israelis that have had enough and simply started hating the Palestinians has grown.
    I guess it is the same on the other side, but since 2000 the hate just getting worst and worst.
    It is evident that the spiral since Araffat launched the 2nd Intifada is out of control and the hopes normal Israelis and Palestinians had back than are all but gone.
    This is the real damage and the obvious sign that both people have truely lost to the radicals.

    • Both people have truly lost to the radicals? so you calime that any right party is radical? Any right center party is also radical. Becuase that is what most israeli voted for. Funny how the majority of those radical Israelis still support 2 state solution.

    • By the way it wasn;t the Intifada that caused the mistrust of Israeli. It was the facts Israel left Gaza and so that nothing good came out of it. This was a turning point in Israeli society. This is the main reason the left in Israel became so small. People just wonder what will happan if we left the WB. They do support 2 states but need much more evidance that the WB won;t become another Gaza.

    March 21, 2013

    Hamas’ official position paper on the destruction of Israel
    Khaled Meshal, Hamas’ “political” leader who is touted as being more moderate than his colleagues in Gaza, has published a major position paper for Hamas to explain its political positions.

    It adds very little to what we already knew.

    The paper lists nineteen positions, which include:

    1. Palestine from the river to the sea, and from north to south, is a land of the Palestinian people and its homeland and its legitimate right, we may not a waiver an inch or any part thereof, no matter what the reasons and circumstances and pressures.

    2. Palestine – all of Palestine – is a land of Islamic and Arab affiliation, a blessed sacred land, that has a major portion in the heart of every Arab and Muslim

    3. No recognition of the legitimacy of the occupation whatever; this is a principled position, political and moral, and therefore do not recognize the legitimacy of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and recognition of “Israel” and the legitimacy of its presence on any part of Palestine no matter how long; nand it will not be long, God willing.

    4. Liberation of Palestine is a national duty; it is the responsibility of the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nation, it is also a humanitarian responsibility in accordance with the requirements of truth and justice.

    5. Jihad and the armed resistance is the right and real method for the liberation of Palestine, and the restoration of all the rights, together with, of course, all forms of political and diplomatic struggle including in the media, public and legal [spheres]; with the need to mobilize all the energies of the nation in the battle

    6. Resistance is a means and not an end, if we have another way without blood and painful sacrifices to liberate the land and ending the occupation and the restoration of rights we would take it, but history proves that there is no option to expel the occupiers and restore the land and rights without using all forms of resistance, led by armed resistance.

    7. We are not fighting Jews because they are Jews, but are fighting the Zionist Jews occupiers, the aggressors, and we will fight anyone who tries to attack us or usurp our rights or occupy our land, regardless of religion or affiliation, race or nationality.

    8. The Zionist project is a racist project based on murder and terrorism, and so it is the enemy of the Palestinian people and the nation, and is a real threat to them, and a huge threat to its security and interests, and it is not an exaggeration to say that it is a danger to the security of the humanitarian community and the interests and stability.

    9. Jerusalem is an Islamic and Christian [holy place], we many not give it up not relinquish any part of it, it is our right and our spirit, our history, our present and our future, which is the capital of Palestine, and dearest to the hearts of Arabs and Muslims…. Israel has no legitimacy and no right to to Jerusalem at all, nor any legitimacy nor right to all of Palestine. And all actions of Israel in Jerusalem to Judaize and settle and falsification of facts and attempts to fabricate history are void.

    10. Upholding the right of return of Palestinian refugees and displaced persons to their homes from which they were expelled, or were prevented from returning, both in the occupied territories in 1948 or 1967, to all of Palestine; we refuse to compromise in any way for this right. At the same time reject all settlement projects or alternative homelands…. [some detail on how people proposed Lebanon or Jordan or the Sinai as alternate homelands]

    11. The unity of the Palestinian land: The West Bank (including Jerusalem) and the Gaza Strip and the occupied land of 1948, one land with all its geography, it is one unit, not part separated from the other, which is a whole nation of the Palestinian people. The situation in Gaza now is exceptional and imposed on us, and not a natural situation, we can not accept that Gaza is separate…

    12. And the unity of the Palestinian people Muslims and Christians, and all its intellectual, political and ideological components, and with all the strength and factions, militant and political.

    13. The unity of the Palestinian political system and its institutions, and national unity of his authority through the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which needs to be rebuilt on valid grounds, to include all the Palestinian forces and components. …

    14. …The state is the real first fruit of liberation; there is no alternative to the establishment of a Palestinian state, with real sovereignty over the entire territory.

    15. [True] Palestinian national independence: a principle which is based on the non-dependence on any country or party in the world; friend or an ally or an enemy or opponent. But that does not mean that we …are weakening the Arab and Islamic role, Palestine was and will remain Arab and Islamic, but also a humanitarian issue.

    16. Institution-building and the Palestinian National authorities should always be on the basis of democracy, and in the forefront of free and fair elections, equal opportunities….

    17. Non-interference in the affairs of other countries, and not to engage in themes and conflicts and alignments between nations….

    18. The unity of the nation with all its components, ethnic and religious, we are one nation…

    19. Any position or a political programs or tactical initiatives or must be in line with the Palestinian national principle that we have mentioned….therefore we reject any draft agreements or settlements that diminish those principles, principles affecting Palestinian national rights.
    There’s more, including more about “resistance,” but the point is that these principles have been clearly communicated before – the utter rejection of Israel or Jewish rights to any land now and forever and the decision never to abandon terrorism.

    Yet Western analysts continue to believe that Hamas is moderating – because it says that if the Jews can be forced out of their land without blood, Hamas would happily allow them to leave.

    The amount of self-deception (or, sometimes, just deception) about Hamas in the West is unconscionable. Their policy is right here, multi-layered, in black and white, and it leaves no room for Jewish national rights.

    Anyone who says that Israel must make temporary accommodations with a Hamas that is sworn to utterly destroy Israel simply helps Hamas achieve its goal.

    There is one interesting omission here, though. In the past Hamas was more upfront about the ultimate goal – an Islamic caliphate that encompasses the entire Middle East. But in a manifesto meant to destroy Israel, emphasizing that goal would water down the message. Save that for phase 2 of the strategy.

    It is worth emphasizing that the Islamists think in terms of centuries, not election cycles. This is a true strategy, and they are patient. To them, the Crusades were a century-long blip, and the existence of Israel is even less permanent than that. This is why all concessions are welcomed by Hamas without their giving up anything – because every little bit adds up over time.

    • “It is worth emphasizing that the Islamists think in terms of centuries, not election cycles. This is a true strategy, and they are patient. To them, the Crusades were a century-long blip, and the existence of Israel is even less permanent than that.”

      Well, that’s what they SAY, and it’s part of terrorist strategy. In truth, Hamas didn’t live through the crusades, and if the crusaders came riding through again, Hamas would make haste to reach their bomb shelters and let the women and children fend for themselves. They’re a bunch of genocidal loving, ass-backward, Nazi retard terrorist punks. The world is a different place than it was in Islam’s heyday. A once great force spent. Last in the class.

    • “2. Palestine – all of Palestine – is a land of Islamic and Arab affiliation, a blessed sacred land, that has a major portion in the heart of every Arab and Muslim”

      I believe that the Koran (that is their holy book, isn’t it?) says something quite different.

  5. It makes a pleasant change these days to come across a Cifwatch thread that hasn’t degenerated into endless refutations of mendacity and sophistry by trolling covert anti-semites and pro-Arab, anti-Israel scribblers.

    I entirely agree with Barry Meridian’s words:
    ‘What are the chances that the Islamist Guardian allows a resident of Sderot to explain the terror they have to deal with missiles being fired at them.’

    Personally,Barry, I too would think a rather unlikely scenario. The Guardian obviously regards the anti-Zionist ‘left’ and its student and intellectual Muslim readership as more desirable than the decent old-fashioned liberal and left readership it used to regard as its natural constituency.

    However, all is not entirely lost. Thanks to hard work by Adam and the team, the Guardian is now aware that it is being ‘watched’ and that it can no longer always get away with the kind of blatant falsehoods and elisions it used to perpetrate with impunity. Every time Cifwatch records that the Guardian has corrected or clarified something that wouldn’t have been corrected but for Cifwatch, even if it tries to pretend it was something caused by ‘editorial oversight’, I feel grateful to Adam and all who back him.