Rockets Continue Amid Hints of Ceasefire

EVENING UPDATE

Defence officials are said to be pressing Benjamin Netanyahu to bring the fighting against Hamas to an end, having achieved the objectives they had set. But the Prime Minister has said to Hamas that “it is not over yet.”

Earlier today the Israelis prompted widespread rebukes by demolishing a high-rise building in Gaza that housed offices of the Associated Press and Al Jazeera. A one-hour warning was given, so that the building was evacuated successfully. But in an official statement, the US Press Secretary reminded the Israelis of their responsibility towards the Press in Gaza.

The IDF explained that the building was being used by Hamas military intelligence as well as members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

British Ambassador, Neil Wigan, tweeted his condolences to the family of an Israeli man who was killed by a Hamas rocket just a couple of streets away from the ambassador’s own home.

In Europe

Police used tear gas and water cannons in Paris this afternoon in attempts to disperse a pro-Palestinian rally held despite it being banned by the authorities. They were concerned about a potential outbreak of antisemitic violence.

And in Berlin, an Israeli news reporter was attacked with a firecracker by pro-Palestinian demonstrators. The nearby crew of another news agency caught the incident on camera.

 

MORNING REPORT

The IDF reports that 200 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza in a 12 hour period overnight. Some 30 of them fell back into the Gaza Strip endangering their own civilians. One rocket scored a direct hit on a home in Sderot, near the Gaza border, causing extensive damage to neighbouring properties as well, but there were no injuries reported. Other rockets hit houses and damaged a shop.

Damaged apartment in SderotA damaged apartment in Sderot

This all happened while Hamas says it is prepared for a ceasefire if the international community forces Israel to suppress “military actions” on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. So they are ‘playing’ to the international Muslim community again and the importance of the Al Aqsa Mosque.

Israel is said to have rejected current ceasefire efforts mediated by the United Nations and Egypt, clearly concerned that Hamas will simply restart its rocket fire in the near future.

Israeli Action

The IDF says it struck dozens of terror targets in Gaza overnight, including the long-range launchers used in Monday’s provocative salvo towards Jerusalem. Several terror cells were struck on their way to launch rockets, as was a group with an anti-tank missile launcher.

Other targets hit included a tunnel shaft at a beachside hotel, ‘operational apartments’ of Hamas naval forces, and the ‘homes’ of Hamas commanders being used as weapons stores.

Gaza medics say a family of ten were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a three-story building in the Shati refugee camp, which caused the building to collapse. As usual the medics emphasised claims of women and children killed, but their reports have proven unreliable. They are controlled by Hamas.

Al Jazeera claims that at least 137 Palestinians have died, including 36 children, and 920 have been wounded since the conflict started on Monday.

But the Israelis are convinced that Hamas are grossly understating terrorist casualties and seeking to portray large numbers of civilian deaths, as is usual in these conflicts.

Incursion from Lebanon

Meanwhile, the IDF repelled an infiltration from the north on Friday, forcing several terrorists to retreat back into Lebanon. Tanks fired warning shots towards the group who had sabotaged the border fence and set a fire inside Israeli territory.

PA Appeal for Support

In another development, as trouble spreads in the Palestinian Authority area, the Times of Israel reports Fatah’s Secretary-General, Jibril Rajoub, as complaining that no Arab leaders have contacted President Abbas with support in the current situation.

According to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, Rajoub appealed on Palestinian TV for support from Arab leaders, saying:

“This is an Islamic-Christian battle that defends your dignity … the Palestinian people
are in the first line of defence for your dignity, your oil and your security.”

That is an extraordinary, possibly desperate, claim by Rajoub, apparently seeking to stir up a holy war, or Jihad.

Bias in the Media

As usual, many reports in the main media exhibit bias against Israel. A few pieces of important information that are often missed can be found in this short video.