Wednesday, July 23, 2014
The War Against Hamas, Day 15
The IDF continues to strike back at Hamas.
There were several reports of a 'humanitarian ceasefire' in the making that was scheduled to begin at 10 AM local time, but Hamas made so many ridiculous demands that if never came off.
There was also some apprehension that Hamas may have captured an Israeli soldier, but Sergeant Oron Shaul, a combat soldier of the Golani brigade, 21 years old from Poria has now been accounted for as a KIA (HY"D). Apparently Hamas merely recovered some of his documents.
The UN's pro Hamas/Fatah Secretary General Ban ki-Moon met with PM Netanyahu today to whine about Hamas civiian casualties while saying nothing about his Hamas friends violating the Geneva Accord they just joined with Ban's help by using civilians as human shields, storing armaments in UNRWA facilities, and targeting civilians in Israel. PM Netanyahu had a few things to say to him, after showing Ban the steps the IDF ( unlike Hamas) is taking to avoid civilian casualties (emphasis mine):
Mr. Secretary, I appreciate the fact that you came here and that you took time to see what we’ve just shown you. I think it’s clear that Israel is doing what any country would do if terrorists rained down rockets on its cities and towns – hundreds of rockets, day after day, week after week. In addition, as I’ve shown you, Hamas has dug terrorist tunnels under hospitals, mosques, schools, homes, to penetrate our territory, to kidnap and kill Israelis.
Now, in the face of such wanton terrorism, no country could sit idly by. It would exercise its right, inherent and legitimate right of self-defense as we are doing, and act decisively to end the threat to its citizens. This is what Israel is doing. We did not seek this escalation, Mr. Secretary. We accepted the Egyptian ceasefire proposal. I don’t need to remind you it was a proposal that was supported by the UN, by the Arab League, by the United States, by Europe. Hamas rejected it. We accepted the humanitarian ceasefire proposal that the UN proposed afterward. Hamas rejected that. We accepted the ceasefire proposal of the Red Cross in Shejaia. Hamas rejected that, twice. I think the international community must take a clear stand; it must hold Hamas accountable for consistently rejecting the ceasefire proposals and for starting and prolonging this conflict. The international community must hold Hamas accountable for its increasing and indiscriminate attacks on Israeli civilians. And the international community must hold Hamas accountable for using Palestinian civilians as human shields deliberately putting them in harm’s way, deliberately keeping them in harm’s way.
Mr. Secretary, we have made every effort and will continue to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. We are targeting Hamas terrorist targets. We’ve just shown you these targets, embedded in civilian areas, embedded in mosques, embedded in hospitals, embedded in agricultural schools. Hamas is embedded in there in order to sustain civilian casualties, because they know that we will have to protect our citizens; that we have to act against their targets. So they are committing a double war crime: both targeting our civilians and hiding behind their civilians. And they want, I repeat: They want more civilian casualties, whereas we want no civilian casualties at all, and we’re taking the utmost pain to minimize that. I think the people of Gaza, and that’s become absolutely clear to the world, are the victims of the brutal Hamas regime. They are holding them hostage and they are hiding behind them.
You know, Mr. Secretary, the international community has pressed us to give cement to Gaza to build schools, hospitals, homes. And now we see what has happened to those deliveries of cement. They have been used to dig tunnels next to a kindergarten, not to build a kindergarten but to build a tunnel that penetrates our territory so that Hamas can blow up our kindergartens and murder our children. They’ve used for a long time our willingness to try to keep civilians at a minimum. They’ve been using them to keep on firing at us. We have even opened up a field hospital, Mr. Secretary, to help Hamas civilians, and Hamas is preventing civilians of Gaza from going to our hospital. I believe that you understand this. I believe that you understand that it is the right of every state to defend itself. And Israel will continue to do what it needs to do to defend its people.
Mr. Secretary, this is not only our right; this is our duty.
So far, Bibi Netanyahu is standing up to cretins like Ban. Let's hope it continues.
Here's the IDF's own summary of today's events:
Since the beginning of the ground phase of the operation, the IDF has targeted over 1,800 terror sites. Over the course of the day the IDF has targeted approximately 260 terror activity sites in Gaza. Among the targets were military posts, concealed rocket launchers, weapon manufacturing facilities and military command centers. IDF soldiers uncovered thus far approximately 30 offensive tunnels and 66 access points.
2,160 rockets have been fired at Israel since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, 420 of them were intercepted and some 1,700 hit Israel. Today, 87 rockets were fired at Israel, 18 of them intercepted and 67 hit Israel.
This morning, militants fired anti-tank missiles from within a mosque at IDF soldiers in Khan-Yunis. In response, IAF aircraft targeted the mosque, identifying a hit. Staff Sergeant Avitar Moshe Torjamin was killed and several soldiers were wounded in this incident.
In a separate incident, terrorists fired anti-tank missiles at IDF soldiers in Khan-Yunis. The soldiers responded with fire and killed 4 terrorists.
Around noon, IDF soldiers uncovered 3 tunnel access points in the northern Gaza Strip.
Later today, elite unit soldiers uncovered a cache of ammunition in the central Gaza Strip. The ammunition included anti-tank missiles, heavy machine guns and AK- 47 assault rifles.
Recently, 2 terrorists opened fire at IDF soldiers who responded to the threat and killed them.
The IDF thus far has lost 29 of its soldiers in the war against Hamas. The Hamas toll is well over 600,and contrary to what you're hearing the majority of those deaths are combatants.
Today was also the day the U.S. and a number of EU carriers suspended service to Israel after a Hamas rocket damaged a house a mile from Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport. As I wrote earlier this is sheer nonsense that gives Hamas a prize for attacking Israel, just like the $47 million President Obama and Secretary John Kerry have pledged to gift them with. They're not pledging any finds for rebuilding anything in Israel hit by Hamas rockets, of course.
One can only wonder what the reaction of Hamas/Fatah would be if President Obama said flat out that if they launched any more rockets at Israeli civilians, U.S. financial support would rend immediately. Of course, we don't have that kind of president in the White House, although the Canadians certainly have that kind of PM in Ottawa.
Of all people, former NY mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg slammed the FAA ban on U.S carriers flying to Israel and is on his way there via El Al. You have to give him credit.
And speaking of real heroes...The commander of the IDF’s Golani Brigade, Raslan Alian, was wounded on Saturday night. He's the highest ranking Druze in the IDF. He insisted on returning to his men in Gaza on Tuesday to finish the mission, with the scars of battle still evident on his face:
The motto of the Tzahal commanders? 'Follow me.'
In other tidbits, more Hamas rockets were found stored in UNRWA facilities, which of course UNRWA claims to know nothing about. Just like the last batch that was found, UNRWA will hand the latest batch to Hamas to fire against Israeli civilians.
Such people do not even merit contempt. They're simply cockroaches in human form.
Here's hoping that when this is all over, Israel expels UNRWA, never to return.