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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Miracle in Ashkelon

Life is - unfortunately - back to normal in Ashkelon. Just after 7:00 this morning, a Grad-type Katyusha rocket struck the downtown area. Miraculously, despite the fact that it was a time when parents are going to work and kids are going to school, the rocket landed in an open area. The total effects (as of now - shock victims tend to show up later after this sort of thing) are three shock victims and some property damage. Simply a miracle.
Not for the first time since the "ceasefire" went into effect two weeks ago, Western Negev residents awoke at around 7:00 a.m. to the wail of the Color Red incoming missile alert siren.

Within seconds, a long-range Grad-type Katyusha rocket slammed into the center of Ashkelon.

One woman was lightly injured in the attack, and a number of people suffered severe emotional trauma. They were evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center in the city by Magen David Adom medics who raced to the scene. [Israel Radio reported three shock ('emotional trauma') victims. CiJ]

A city bus and several cars that were parked in the area were damaged in the attack.
But here's the real question: What do you do with your kids in this kind of situation. In Ashkelon, they've had it.
Initial reports that classes were cancelled for the morning in the city's schools were denied by city officials, according to Radio Darom (Southern Radio). However, a parent called in to the radio station to say that a group of parents had decided to keep their children home and that the Ashkelon Parents' Committee would meet Tuesday evening to determine "where we will go from here." He added that the current situation was a return to the reality that was in place prior to Operation Cast Lead.

"They can decide what they want, and they can open the schools and the nurseries," said the listener, "but that doesn't mean we have to send our children. A rocket falls 50 meters from a kindergarten... we are talking about the lives of our children here."
Here's betting that there aren't a whole lot of people in Ashkelon who will vote Kadima or Labor next Tuesday. Heh.


The Grad rocket this morning puts the lie to this claim, which is attributed here to military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin, but which I heard attributed to Defense Minister Ehud Barak yesterday:
Military Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin said Sunday that while Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip had indeed deterred Hamas, other radical groups in the coastal territory were still looking to escalate hostilities.

"Two weeks following the cease-fire, militants from groups other than Hamas are challenging it and carrying out attacks aimed at renewing escalation," Yadlin told cabinet ministers.

"Hamas is deterred and is respecting the cease-fire, but is not preventing the attacks of others. Hamas is internalizing the gravity of the blow it received," Yadlin said.

"The group has begun to evaluate its strategic mistakes and operational failures. Hamas is fighting for approval on the streets of Gaza and is trying to improve its image in the eyes of the public by stealing humanitarian aid and rehabilitation funds," he added.
Grad rockets are an expensive piece of weaponry that no one in Gaza other than Hamas has. So much for that theory.

An Israeli radio analyst argued a short while ago that Hamas is incapable of sticking to a 'cease fire' as we westerners would think of the term, because a true cease fire means putting jihad on ice and jihad is Hamas' raison d'etre. If that's the case, we shouldn't consider entering into 'cease fires' with them at all for any period of time. But then, we all knew that already. Too bad Barak, Livni and Olmert couldn't figure that out.


At 9:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Here's betting that there aren't a whole lot of people in Ashkelon who will vote Kadima or Labor next Tuesday."

Unfortuantely, many will cast their ballot for master faker Avigdor Lieberman.

At 2:20 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

People should be voting National Union/Jewish Home. But not even the most savage Arab attacks seems to stiffen the Jewish backbone.

Operation Cast Lead was fought for what? Israel's leaders had no intention of winning and preferred to trust Hamas. So we're right back to the point where all this began. Thanks for nothing for your "success" three jokers! They need to be shown the door next week and not a moment too soon.


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