Posts Tagged ‘Palestinian Authority’

Summary of Rockets Fired Into Israel, July 2012

August 2, 2012

Last July (of 2011) was the first time I posted a monthly track of how many rockets are fired into Israel (actually, the number represents the number of rockets that landed in Israel. More have been fired).

Since then – meaning Since August 1st 2011 to July 31st 2012 – 778 rockets and mortars shells have landed in Israel. 778 in the span of one year. 778 and in 365 days (give or take a day because a leap year).

July was a “calm” month – “only” 14 rockets and mortar shells landed in Israel.

Rockets and mortar shells fired / landed in Israel, July 2012

In addition, on July 9th two rockets were fired and landed inside the Gaza Strip area. The Third rocket fired landed in an agriculatural field in Israel.

Also on July 9th, a sniper shot at a stop station on the road near the border. The stop station has a restaurant. Cars parked outside were damaged severely and it seems if anyone were outside at the time, he would have been hit for sure.

Also, in the past week the Egyptian-Israeli border hasn’t been very quiet. Shots have been fired from inside the Sinai Peninsula several times – once directly at an Israeli patrol on the border. Another time, an Israeli army bus was hit in a crossfire between Egyptian soldiers and Beduin Egyptian smugglers trying to smuggle drugs and Efrican refugees into Israel. No one was harmed on the Israeli side in those accidents.

On July 28th, a woman was injured while running to find shelter when a “Red Color” alarm was heard, warning of a rocket that was fired. Due to the proximity and short-range of the rockets, the “Color Red” alarm gives only a 15 seconds warning at most to find cover for a rocket that’s been fired!

And also in July – The terror attack in Burgas.

A few days ago, India’s police officially accused Iran for the bombing in New-Delhi last March against an Israeli convoy.

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Summary of Rockets Fired Into Israel, June 2012

July 5, 2012

June has been a very bad month!

On June 1st, a terrorist from the Gaza Strip, Ahmed Nassir, inflitrated Israel and opened fire on soldiers, killing 21 years old Staff-Sergent Netanel Moshiashvili. Terrorist was later killed.

Two weeks later, a sniper of the Islamic Jihad began shooting from Gaza into Israel, towards Israeli farmers. One farmer was wounded, in one of the shootings.

That weekend, rockets were fired from the Sinai Peninsula at Israel.

Two days later, on June 18th, terrorists inflitrated the Israeli-Egyptian border and ambushed construction workers on the border (building a security fence). A contractor, 35 years old Said Fashapshe, was killed.

Along with Israeli airstrikes that killed the sniper from the previous week, this led to a round of escalation.

When i reported earlier that the escalation seems to be dying out, I was proven wrong. Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip forced the people of Gaza (as well as the people of Israel) to live in war and amplified danger for a few more days. Hamas, as usual, did not manage to enforce any kind of truce or governance on these terror groups.

In fact, even after a cease-fire has been declared, almost a dozen more rockets were fired. 4 were intercepted by the Iron Dome security system, before they hit residentail communities.

Overall, In June of 2012, 218 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel (216 from the Gaza Strip) !!!!!!

Rockets and Mortar shells fired into Israel in June 2012

Notice the peak of escalation. The other areas of the graph, where citizens of Israel are being shot at, is what the world calls “calm”.

(Note: Last month I reported of 3 mortar shells being fired upon on June 1st. I was relying on current news which soon [but after I’ve posted] changed to acknowledge only one landed inside Israel, as you can see in the graph above. My apologies).

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Summary of rockets fired into Israel, May 2012

June 1, 2012

A new month, a new summary. Still, the number is not zero!

Just like last month, after a period of escalation, the numbers of rockets have subsided (March’s escalation was especially harsh on the terror organizations who lost many men that were mostly unable to hide behind citizens as human sheilds).

Overall, 5 rockets and mortar shells landed in Israel in May 2012.

Rockets landed in Israel, May 2012

Rockets landed in Israel, May 2012

As i’m posting this, 3 mortar shells have been fired today as of now, alone. June is off to a bad start.

Earlier today, a terrorist of the Islamic Jihad (who officialy took responsibility) fired from the Gaza Strip onto Israel. He hit an Israeli squad, and killed an Israeli soldier. He was later killed. Israel retaliated and has killed 4 more terrorists in Gaza. The terrorists “retaliated” with firing of mortar shells onto civilians.

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The Truths Left in the Shadows: Palestinian Governments are Serial Human Rights Violators

May 24, 2012

Israel oftenly receives harsh criticism and is accused of systematically violating the Palestinians’ rights and general human rights as well. Now, I’m not saying that everything’s perfect (then again, look at what we know that most modern, western and free countries around the world are doing at the same time), that these claims are 100 percent false (nor am I saying they’re 100 percent right), but as Israel receives less than proportionate global focus, condemnation and criticism, I’d like to take this opportunity to talk about something that is oftenly kept in the dark – the incredible human rights violations committed by the Palestinian governments.

You see, unlike many nations and people under opression throughout the world (and of course in the Middle East region, as we’ve come to see in the past year and a half), the Palestinians have active governments. Two, in fact. Because of the Palestinian fued, de-facto there are two seperate Palestinian governments in power. One in the West Bank (the Fatah government) and one in the Gaza Strip (the Hamas government).

Many people who enjoy (this is my verb of choice and I am sticking to it!) criticising Israel, like to quote from Amnesty reports. And while the report clearly shows that there are millions of people around the world who need international help and support and get ingnored while the Palestinians receives ho so many spotlight, and there are much harsher human rights violations going ignored by most of the world’s attention everyday, the people who like to quote Amnesty reports, neglect to account for the Palestinians own violations.

Personally, I have mixed feelings regarding these reports. But for those who quote them, you might as well quote them in full!

Anyway, when Amnesty released their annual report today, I found it important to remind these people that they are advocating not for the relief of the suffering of the Palestinians, but for them to stay under constant rules that systematically violates thier human rights.

What are the Palestinians violations, according to Amnesty? Well, for instance –

  • The Palestinian governments don’t allow freedom of assembly, freedom of press, freedom of speech.
  • Journalists, bloggers and other critics of the Palestinian governments are prosecuted and sentenced to jail.
  • The Palestinian factions make arbitrary political arrests of the other party’s people (according to the report, the number of arbitrary arrests is roughly 1,700).
  • Palestinian people trialed in Palestinian courts are only put to trial in military courts with judges that have poor to no understanding of the law.
  • They have no seperation of power. The justice system has no justice in it.
  • Many prisoners are tortured and abused. Among the tortures mentioned in the report are savage beatings, hanging by the wrists and ankles, forced to stand in painful positions for long periods of times and so on.

And there’s more. The report cites four deaths in Gaza prisons the organization find to be suspicious. The previous annual report of Amnesty, by the way, also details 8 journalists who were tortured in Palestinian prisons.

So for those who blame Israel and only Israel for the suffering of the Palestinians, there’s another truth out there. Another villian.

If you truly want to help the Palestinians, you should aim your work for the benefit of the Palestinian people, rather than against Israel.

Because even though it’s extremely hard for some to acknowledge this, Israel is not the only problem and the only side in this conflict. It simply isn’t. There’s another side. Who is refusing to enter any kind of negotiations for more than two years now. A side that tortures its’ people. Forcing them to live in war. Taking away their freedoms. And that side ain’t Israel.

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Israeli Prime Minister Forms Unity Government, Reminds me of the Non-Unity of the Palestinians

May 8, 2012

Israel has been buzzing the past few weeks with the speculations regarding the intent to disperse the current Israeli Knesset and hold early elections in the coming September (rather than allowing the Knesset and government to stay in tact for one more year, bringing its’ term to a total of four years). Since Sunday, it was official and a bill to for dispersing the Knesset was in motion, as well as several “no confidence” votes, which weren’t successful.

Then, late into last night, the elections which seemed so close (set for September 4th), now seem much further away, maybe even in their scheduled date of October 2013.

Israeli leading government party, Likud, has formed a unity government with the leading opposition party, Kadima. Together, they hold 55 of the total 120 seats of the Knesset. Kadima has joined the current Israeli coalition (in power since the 2009 elections), making it the widest coalition Israel has ever had.

The chairwoman of the Labor party, Shelly Yachimovich, is expected to be nominated the new opposition leader, now that she’s the chairwoman of the biggest opposition party (after Kadima’s entrance to the government).

The unity was formed with several key issues in store, and whether or not it will hold remains to be seen.

Israeli unity government - Netanyahu and Mofaz

Israeli prime minister and Likud party chairman, Benjamin Netanyahu, [left] and former Israeli opposition leader and Kadima party chairman [and now Vice Prime Minister], Shaul Mofaz, [right] at a press conference declaring their coalition agreement, today at noon.

Why am I even writing a post about this and why should you care?

Because Israel is in focus in worldview on two issues: Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And while some speculate what this may mean regarding Israel’s stance over Iran’s nuclear program, and will this spark new negotiations with the Palestinians (the Palestinians themselves seem very unimpressed. Kadima was the ruling party in government before this current government and has conducted the offensive in Gaza. Its’ former chairman, Ehud Olmert, made the Palestinians the most advance offers ever made by Israel in order to reach peace!).

Shelly Yachimovich, Labor party chairwoman

Labor party chairwoman, Shelly Yachimovich, is expected to be nominated the new opposition leader.

I want to focus on the second – the Palestinian issue. And on their own so-called Unity.

You see, it just so happens to be that not only are we in May, but that last May (of 2011), the Palestinian factions of Fatah (in control over the Palestinian Authority and the West Bank) and Hamas (controling the Gaza Strip since a violent and bloody coup in Summer of 2007), have stood together in Cairo, and later in Doha, and announced they’re putting their “differences” aside, neverminding the fact Hamas was gunning down and punishing by amputations and torture any Fatah member in the Gaza Strip. They announced a unity.

Well, we’re one year past it and no unity in sight.

  1. They were supposed to make mutual releases of prisoners. Barely happened. All they can agree upon is that Israel should release all Palestinian prisoners (including the “heros” involved in terror and murders). Nothing about the prisoners they each have of the other faction.
  2. Elections – what elections? The so-called “democracy” of the Palestinians (as PA President Mahmoud Abbas described it in his op-ed article in The New York Times on May 16th, 2011) hasn’t held elections since 2006. The unity was supposed to bring forth elections in September of 2011 – did not happen. Moreover, since the last round of election were unaccepted in full by both large parties and led to the violent coup, who’s to say even if such elections were held they would succeed?
  3. Hamas was supposed to join the PLO, a supposed body formed in early 1960s in Jordan, to represent all Palestinians (this is the body officialy holding a seat in UNESCO and the UN, although it’s the Fatah and PA that de-facto controls it). It did not happen (which is good, the PLO recieves international recognition while Hamas refuses to follow basic international demands made by the Quartet).

And the list can go on. It seems the only thing the Palestinian factions can agree upon is hating Israel and de-legitimizing it. Each in their own way, of course.

But what do you except? Since Hamas leader Khaled Mashal said in December (in order to enter the PLO) that Hamas will abandon it’s ways of terror, over 300 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel. Now true, Hamas wasn’t the one shooting these rockets at Israeli citizens. It was the other 15 terror organizations in Gaza, being armed daily by the Ayatollah regime in Iran. But, and this is a huge but, Hamas made sure to not enforce its’ governace it so claims to have and did nothing to stop these shootings, until Egypt intervened to broker a truce.

Now there’s a lot of reasons why the Palestinians won’t hold any negotiations with Israel regarding peace and ending the conflict (even after this unity government). The non-unity of Hamas is just one of them.

But here’s a key issue –

If Israel’s unity government will fail, Israel will hold fair, honest and open elections as it has done in the past 64 years. Even if the unity will succeed, Israel will hold elections in due time as set by law.

If the Palestinian unity will fail, elections can never be held. The de-facto situation of two states with two people (West Bank and Gaza) will remain. Even if elections could be held, the prior ones clearly show no party is really truly obligated to honor the results. Each faction interpreted the results as was most convient and thus a violent coup, a bloody tear, ensued.

There are many reasons why this conflict continues to exist. Israel is the not the sole, nor necessarily the main, reason!!

Summary of rockets fired into Israel, April 2012

May 1, 2012

As usual, here’s a summary of the rockets fired at Israel over the last month.

And as usual after a period of escalation, the numbers of rockets have subsided. And as usual they still exist.

Yes, Cathrine Ashton, Ban Ki-Moon, Hilary Clinton and everyone who calls this “calm” – I dare you to live with this kind of calm on your citizens!

Overall, 12 rockets and mortar shells landed in Israel in April 2012.

Rockets landed in Israel, April 2012

Rockets landed in Israel, April 2012

On April 4th, a total of 3 rockets were fired into Israel from Egypt to the resort city of Eilat.

On April 7th, Israeli airforce gunned down militants preparing to launch a rocket.

On April 14th, a rocket was fired but didn’t make it past the strip region. According to Ma’an Palestinian News Agency, the rocket was fired by a military branch of Fatah (The fraction declared “moderate” throughout the world and in control over the Palestinian Authority).

And May is going to be a troublesome month, with Nakba coming in two weeks (I’ll write a post on it, surely).

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Israeli Military Cheif of Staff Dismisses Officer Caught in Violent Episode

April 18, 2012

Last Saturday, a group of activists went on a bike ride in Jordan Valley in protests of [their accusation of] Israel’s withdrawal of water from Palestinians in the territory (a complete and absurd distortion, as I’ll explain later in the post).

According to Israeli military, when they spotted the ride [approved as a legal and valid demonstration in advance with the Israeli army] was drifting off its’ course and about to block a major route and disturb the public order, they approched the activists with the attempt to block their provacation.

While many things are in dispute, one isn’t – there was a clash between the activists and Israeli soldiers. During which, one of the officers – Lieutenant colonel Shalom Eisner – was filmed by the activists hitting a Danish activist in the face with his gun.

The activists did not file a complaint against the officer or the event, they simply used the footage in the psychological warfare against Israel, in the de-legitimization process of demonizing it. They uploaded the video onto the internet.

As soon as Israeli media got a hold of the footage, it broadcasted it and brought it to the attention of both the public and the military’s higher ranks of command.

On Sunday, every major news broadcast agency (both TV and Internet, and later on on Monday morning in print) reported it first thing (first page news!).

On Sunday, The officer in question was called for questioning in his commander’s officer. His explanations were found unsatisfactory and was put on immediate leave. A military police investigation has been opened against both him and the other officers and soldiers present at the scene who failed to report it.

On Monday, The event was strongly condemned by many, including: Israeli President, Shimon Peres; Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu; Israeli Military Cheif of Staff, Beni Gantz.

On Tuesday, A preliminary report of the event and the investigation was wired to the Cheif of Staff, who requested immediate clariffications about some of its’ parts.

On Wednesday, less than 72 hours since the matter has been brought to his attention, Israeli military Cheif of Staff, Beni Gantz, dismissed Lieutenant colonel Eisner and denied him the much-coveted position he was to enter in two months.

Both Gantz and Eisner’s direct commander found that though the activists were causing a provacation, it did not justify use of force, and that Eisner acted not according to protocol (who demanded he let the police handle the attempt to disturbt public order, rather than directly engage the activists).  Eisner himself claimed violence was used against both him and the other soldiers, and claims two of his fingers were broken shortly before his own violence (and has filed medical reports of his injury’s treatment from Saturday night). However, the investigation concludes that even if that were true (the Army’s own footage of the event could not prove of disprove his version due to a technical failure), the footage clearly shows he was not in danger (even if for merely a couple of seconds), when he assaulted the Danish activist.

Lieutenant colonel Shalom Eisner, a few days after the incident.
Photographed By: Omer Miron

Once again, I would like to mention that the activists in play chose to not file the any complaint (it was the military police who asked the Danish activist to do so. I am unaware if he actually did) and only use the footage against Israel as a whole! I suppose it stems from their own bias anti-Israeli belief (the same one who made them take part in the bike ride in the first place) and their unrealistic view of both the situation and the forces at play (including who they percieve to be “evil“). But the truth is different! While the reality of the territory is much more complex, Israeli military has a harsh penalty system that trials and investigates many matters [such as that and much lighter]. In fact, when the Danish government approched Israel on the matter on Monday (due to media reports), Israel’s Prime Minister has already condemned the event and the officer in question was already under investigation.

It should be said time and time again until these people get it – Israel is in a complex situation (not unlike a fairy tale one full of dichotomies), and its’ military has an etheical and legal code that all its’ members must honor or face the consequences. It is based on the British model and has evolved since and is today very similiar the one in various military around the world including Britian, France, Spain, United States, Australia and so on. Is every case brought to full justice? Not necessarily (but that’s also true for the non-military conflicts in any democratic and open society). But just like not every incident in a NATO operation is investigated to the full extent of the law as we’d like (and Wikileaks documents show major cover-ups of operations, especially in Iraq but also in Afganistan), and those photographed have a much higher chance for immediate response (like the infamous case of the American soldiers violenting Afgan bodies), the truth of the matter is Israel’s army is not different than those of most European, North American and South Down Under regions armies. Including in matters such as this.

Click here to read a few appendices to this post

Summary of Rockets Fired at Israel, March 2012

April 2, 2012

March of 2012 was a very bad month. An escalation round with fanatic terrorists from the Gaza Strip put over 1.5 million of Israel’s citizens in peril, caused over 200,000 Israeli school kids to stay home for several days and once again took the population of Gaza hostage.

On the night of March 31st, terrorists were captured with knives, gun, ammuniation and a barbwire-cutter, trying to breach the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip. One was killed, the other managed to get away and run back to the strip, where Israel has no interest in entering by foot, unless the militants of Gaza would force its’ hand once again.

In the latest escalation round, the most active terror groups where Popular Resistance Committees and Islamic Jihad. Hamas set this round out, but did very little to impose its’ governance. These rockets were fired from Iranian dime who is still funding these organizations that are firing blindly at civilians – women, children and men alike – with the vicious hope of killing as many innocents as possible. In March, 55% of the rockets fired at Israel were long-range missiles!

The following numbers are of the lowest estimate found – over 40 rockets were interecepted by the Iron Dome defense system, meaning over 40 rockets were headed to populated areas!!!

And as you can see, before the escalation and after it, “calm” was restored.

Count of rockets fired at Israel daily from the Gaza Strip

A total of 208 of rockets and mortar shells (by the lowest estimate) were fired at Israel in March of 2012.

After a cease-fire has been declared, nearly a dozen rockets were fired at Israel in the span of 24 hours, one of them hitting a residential parking lot at 10 PM.

A dozen rockets and mortar shells have been fired in the “calm” since the end of the escalation round!

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Summary of rockets fired into Israel, February 2012

March 1, 2012

“Ten days, ten rockets and not one condemnation.”

At a week where various campuses and colleges are cynically used as the platform of one-sided hate-filled mostly blinded propaganda, it seems more than appropriate to quote this line from a letter Israel sent to the United Nations, two days ago.

The past month saw some tough weather in the area, which terrorists in Gaza took advantage of, hoping the bad weather would damange Israel’s detection systems capabilities.

Overall, in February 2012, 31 rockets and mortar shells were fired at civilian populations by terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

Count of rockets fired at Israel daily from the Gaza Strip
Count of rockets fired at Israel daily from the Gaza Strip

Among the incidents worth noting:

  • On February 10th, a rocket hit residential area between two private homes. Shrapnel hit a house with a family sitting in the living room. Thankfully, there were no injuries.
  • On February 18th and on February 26th, rockets fired from the strip landed inside the strip’s territory at Gazans’ homes.
  • On Febraury 24th, a rocket launch was thwarted during nighttime by Israel’s airforce.

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Summary of rocket fired into Israel, January 2012

February 1, 2012

Sorry I haven’t been uploading the blog this past month, life got busy and then some.

I’m even more sorry that I couldn’t find suffient time to write adequate posts about several issues, since January 2012 was far from a quiet month. Among the events taking place were:

  • Thwrated terror attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world, originating from Hezbollah and its’ “sugar daddy” Ayetollah regime in Iran – An explosive was found under an Israeli tourist bus in BulgariaAzerbaijan uncovered a plot to attack the Israeli ambassador and the jewish home of Chabad; Israeli and US intellegince forwarded information to  Thailand about terrorists planning to bomb a central market street populated with Israeli tourists. Two terrorists were captured and a third managed to escape. The captured led local police to a stash of enormous explosives and various materials used to create lethal bombs.
  • Two seperate attacks were thwarted at a military checkpost where a group of armed Palestinian carrying pipe bombs and explosives were captured. It is believed they were trying to commit a terror attack at the near-by army courthouse.
  • One of these incidents occured during the sentencing of one of the Fogel Family killers. Ten months after taking the lives of five family members (two parents and three children), Amjad Awad was sentenced to over 5 consecutive life sentences. During his trial and sentencing, he showed no remorse and continued kept a smile on his face.
  • Jordan is tightening its’ relations with Hamas, in an attempt to soothe its’ own Arab Spring that, just like in every other country, has more religious Islamic undemocratic aspects to it, than anything aspiring to true freedom. The attempt is due to the fact that the majority of Jordan’s tribal population are Palestinians who aline themselves with Hamas’ ideology.
  • Israel officialy appointed its’ first ambasasdor to newly formed South Sudan.
  • International pressure finally got the Palestinians to reach indirect peace talks with Israel. Just like in September 2010, they came to the table unwillingly with the sole purpose of leaving by the 26th. Again, wanting an international pressure that would force Israel to cave and them to make no real concessions on key and core issues, Palestinian Authority leaders walk away from the table without having disccused anything serious and given the chance for real peace.
  • 12 rockets and mortar shells were fired upon Israeli civilian population during January 2012. On January 1st, three mortar shells contained phosphorescent material. Here is the usual summary:

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