Arutz Sheva Daily Israel Report Thursday, Nov. 15 ’12, Kislev 1, 5773

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Thursday, Nov. 15 ’12, Kislev 1, 5773

 

 

 

HEADLINES:

1. TERROR’S TOLL: THREE KILLED, INFANTS AND CHILDREN INJURED 2. HESDER STUDENTS GET RESERVE CALLUP 3. OBAMA TO PM: GREEN LIGHT, BUT WATCH OUT FOR CIVILIANS 4. WITNESS THE CARNAGE: DAMAGED HOME IN KIRYAT MALACHI 5. HAMAS CLAIMS IT FIRED MISSILE AT TEL AVIV 6. TERROR’S TOLL: THREE KILLED, INFANTS AND CHILDREN INJURED 7. MORE THAN 100 ROCKETS FIRED AT SOUTHERN ISRAEL 8. IDF KILLS HAMAS’S ‘CHIEF OF STAFF’, LAUNCHES MAJOR OPERATION

 

 

1. TERROR’S TOLL: THREE KILLED, INFANTS AND CHILDREN INJURED by David Lev

 

Three people were killed as a result of the Grad rocket attack on Kiryat Malachi Thursday morning. The three were killed during or within minutes of the attack, after efforts to save them failed.

 

Six others were injured, including two infants, one of them eight months old. An additional victim, a four year old boy, was taken to Tel Hashomer hospital in central Israel for treatment. along with his father. The boy was in serious condition, and the father in moderate condition. Altogether, seven people were injured in the Kiryat Malachi attack. Six others were treated for shock in the attack.

 

The three killed were a married couple in their 30s, and an individual in his 20s.

 

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Video: Hezki Ezra, Arutz Sheva

 

The victims were killed and injured when a Grad rocket hit an apartment building in Kiryat Malachi. The dead were among a large group that had taken refuge in an old building that suffered a direct hit from a Grad rocket. Rescue teams were trying to remove victims of the attack from the rubble, and were preparing for the possibility of more casualties, Magen David Adom officials said.

 

At around noon, several rockets were fired at Sderot, with one scoring a direct hit on a home. Miraculously, no one was injured in that attack, but that house sustained heavy danger. At least one rocket fell near a large gas installation. Rockets hit homes in Kiryat Gat and Ashdod. One person was lightly injured in the Ashdod attack. Also in Ashdod, a rocket destroyed two containers at Ashdod Port.

 

Another Grad rocket was fired at Kiryat Malachi at about 10:30 AM Israel time. Reports said that an Iron Dome missile blasted the rocket in the air above the city, before it could land and explode. Police urged residents to remain indoors and under cover, even in the event that an Iron Dome missile prevents an attack, because shrapnel from the destroyed missile falling to the ground could still injure people. At least one person in Ashdod was injured when they were struck by shrapnel from a rocket that was destroyed by an Iron Dome missile.

 

A heavy barrage of Grad and Katyusha rockets was fired at the main population centers in southern Israel Thursday morning. Red Alert warnings were heard in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kiryat Malachi, Beersheva, and Ofakim. Speaking live from Beersheva at around 8:00 AM Israel time, Israel Radio’s correspondent counted at least a dozen missiles hitting in the area of the city. The IDF said that several of the rockets fired at Ashdod and Ashkelon were intercepted by the Iron Dome rocket interception system.

 

IDF officials expected the barrage to continue throughout Thursday morning, as Gazans prepare to bury Ahmed Jaabari, commander of Hamas’s “military” terror wing, who was eliminated Wednesday night, takes place. The IDF was on alert throughout the country, saying that terror activity was likely to increase, with possible rioting by Arabs in PA controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, and a strong likelihood that terrorists would attempt to kidnap IDF soldiers or Israeli civilians. Speaking to Israel Radio, Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich said that the rocket fire would most likely get worse as the day went on, as the funeral for Jaabari progressed.

 

There was a very strong likelihood that Hamas would try to fire a missile at Tel Aviv or another city in the center of the country, security officials said, in order to score a decisive blow against Israel in revenge for the elimination of Jaabari.

 

The IDF eliminated three Hamas terrorists early Thursday, Israel Radio said, as Gaza Arab terrorists continued to hammer Israeli towns and villages with rockets. Several rockets were fired at the Be’ersheva and Ofakim areas on Thursday morning. The three were members of Hamas’ military wing, the IDF said. Since midnight Wednesday, about 30 rockets were fired at Israeli targets, for a total of over 110 since the beginning of the Pillar of Defense operation Wednesday night.

 

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2. HESDER STUDENTS GET RESERVE CALLUP

by David Lev

 

With the cabinet set to discuss a wider call-up of reserves Thursday afternoon, specialists and fighters with special units have already been placed on active duty – with dozens of students in Hesder yeshivas getting emergency call-up notices.

 

Most of those called up are in reserve units that generally serve in the south. Many other Hesder students who are not in the current reserve rotation have volunteered to help out as well. Students who are on active duty as part of their Hesder-IDF service are remaining with their units.

 

The students, and other reservists, are being called up both to ensure that the IDF has enough personnel to handle emergencies that might come up, as well as to prepare in the event that the government decides to send the IDF Into Gaza. No such decision has been made yet, but government officials said that there was a strong likelihood that such a move might be necessary if Hamas did not halt its attacks on southern Israel.

 

The Organization of Hesder Yeshivot said that it was coordinating the call-up activity with the IDF. Eitan Ezra, director of the group, said that he himself was called up for reserve service. “Hesder Yeshiva students are ready to help in whatever way they can,” he said. “We are giving encouragement to IDF troops and residents of the south. May G-d gives us strength and bless the nation with peace,” he said.

 

 

3. OBAMA TO PM: GREEN LIGHT, BUT WATCH OUT FOR CIVILIANS by David Lev

 

So far, the world’s leaders seem to be backing Israel’s defensive action in Gaza. U.S. President Barack H. Obama and EU Foreign Policy chief Katherine Ashton both expressed understanding, if not support, for Israel’s situation, and for the need to break the back of Hamas and other Gaza terror groups that have rained thousands of rockets over the heads of Israelis in the Negev for the past decade.

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke to Obama early Thursday, in which “the President reiterated to Prime Minister Netanyahu the United States’ support for Israel’s right to self defense in light of the barrage of rocket attacks being launched from Gaza against Israeli civilians,” a White House statement said. “The President urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties.”

 

The statement said Obama and Netanyahu agreed that Hamas needed to stop attacks on Israel to “allow the situation to de-escalate.” Obama and Netanyahu spoke after the Israeli leader, who has had a rocky relationship with the current US administration, briefed Vice President Joe Biden on the latest events in Gaza.

 

Obama also spoke with Egyptian leader Mohammed Morsi, stressing Egyp’s “central role in preserving regional security,” the White House said. “In their conversation, President Obama condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and reiterated Israel’s right to self-defense,” the White House statement said.

 

The UN Security Council, at an emergency closed session, discussed the situation in Gaza without coming to any decisions. But during the meeting, U.S. Ambassador to the UN strongly defended Israel, saying that said there was no justification for the violence that “Hamas and other terrorist organizations” are aiming at Israel.

 

“We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately,” Rice said, adding that the rocket attacks were harming efforts to end the Middle East conflict and create a PA state. “Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that does nothing but set back the Palestinian cause,” said the US ambassador, who is considered a frontrunner to become the next US secretary of state. “Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza nor to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination and independence,” Rice said.

 

 

4. WITNESS THE CARNAGE: DAMAGED HOME IN KIRYAT MALACHI by Hezki Ezra

 

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5. HAMAS CLAIMS IT FIRED MISSILE AT TEL AVIV by David Lev

 

Hamas claimed Thursday morning that it had fired a Fajr missile at Tel Aviv. There were no reports in Israel of a missile hitting the Tel Aviv area, officials said.

 

While Israel is carrying out Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas has its own name for its ongoing terror campaign against southern Israel – “Sing’il Rock” – a reference to heavenly rocks that, according to Muslim tradition, Allah rained down on the heads of unbelievers.

 

On Thursday morning, Hamas released a statement saying that it had fired the missile at Tel Aviv, one of some 150 that have been fired since the IDF eliminated top Hamas terrorist Ahmed Jaabari, commander of Hamas’s “military” terror wing, onWednesday night. A government spokesperson said that there had been no evidence of such an event, and no witnesses have stepped forward to confirm the attack, although the story was given wide coverage in Israeli media.

 

Nevertheless, the possibility of such an attack existed, and was probably even likely, said security officials. There was a very strong likelihood that Hamas would try to fire a missile at Tel Aviv or another city in the center of the country, the officials said, in order to score a decisive blow against Israel in revenge for the elimination of Jaabari.

 

IDF officials expected the barrage to continue throughout Thursday, as Gazans buried Jaabari. The IDF was on alert throughout the country, saying that terror activity was likely to increase, with possible rioting by Arabs in PA controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, and a strong likelihood that terrorists would attempt to kidnap IDF soldiers or Israeli civilians. Speaking to Israel Radio, Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich said that the rocket fire would most likely get worse as the day went on, as the funeral for Jaabari progressed.

 

[youtube:127185]

 

 

6. TERROR’S TOLL: THREE KILLED, INFANTS AND CHILDREN INJURED by David Lev

 

Three people were killed as a result of the Grad rocket attack on Kiryat Malachi Thursday morning. The three were killed during or within minutes of the attack, after efforts to save them failed.

 

Six others were injured, including two infants, one of them eight months old. An additional victim, a four year old boy, was taken to Tel Hashomer hospital in central Israel for treatment. along with his father. The boy was in serious condition, and the father in moderate condition. Altogether, seven people were injured in the Kiryat Malachi attack. Six others were treated for shock in the attack.

 

The three killed were a married couple in their 30s, and an individual in his 20s.

 

[youtube:127183]

Video: Hezki Ezra, Arutz Sheva

 

The victims were killed and injured when a Grad rocket hit an apartment building in Kiryat Malachi. The dead were among a large group that had taken refuge in an old building that suffered a direct hit from a Grad rocket. Rescue teams were trying to remove victims of the attack from the rubble, and were preparing for the possibility of more casualties, Magen David Adom officials said.

 

At around noon, several rockets were fired at Sderot, with one scoring a direct hit on a home. Miraculously, no one was injured in that attack, but that house sustained heavy danger. At least one rocket fell near a large gas installation. Rockets hit homes in Kiryat Gat and Ashdod. One person was lightly injured in the Ashdod attack. Also in Ashdod, a rocket destroyed two containers at Ashdod Port.

 

Another Grad rocket was fired at Kiryat Malachi at about 10:30 AM Israel time. Reports said that an Iron Dome missile blasted the rocket in the air above the city, before it could land and explode. Police urged residents to remain indoors and under cover, even in the event that an Iron Dome missile prevents an attack, because shrapnel from the destroyed missile falling to the ground could still injure people. At least one person in Ashdod was injured when they were struck by shrapnel from a rocket that was destroyed by an Iron Dome missile.

 

A heavy barrage of Grad and Katyusha rockets was fired at the main population centers in southern Israel Thursday morning. Red Alert warnings were heard in Ashdod, Ashkelon, Kiryat Malachi, Beersheva, and Ofakim. Speaking live from Beersheva at around 8:00 AM Israel time, Israel Radio’s correspondent counted at least a dozen missiles hitting in the area of the city. The IDF said that several of the rockets fired at Ashdod and Ashkelon were intercepted by the Iron Dome rocket interception system.

 

IDF officials expected the barrage to continue throughout Thursday morning, as Gazans prepare to bury Ahmed Jaabari, commander of Hamas’s “military” terror wing, who was eliminated Wednesday night, takes place. The IDF was on alert throughout the country, saying that terror activity was likely to increase, with possible rioting by Arabs in PA controlled areas of Judea and Samaria, and a strong likelihood that terrorists would attempt to kidnap IDF soldiers or Israeli civilians. Speaking to Israel Radio, Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich said that the rocket fire would most likely get worse as the day went on, as the funeral for Jaabari progressed.

 

There was a very strong likelihood that Hamas would try to fire a missile at Tel Aviv or another city in the center of the country, security officials said, in order to score a decisive blow against Israel in revenge for the elimination of Jaabari.

 

The IDF eliminated three Hamas terrorists early Thursday, Israel Radio said, as Gaza Arab terrorists continued to hammer Israeli towns and villages with rockets. Several rockets were fired at the Be’ersheva and Ofakim areas on Thursday morning. The three were members of Hamas’ military wing, the IDF said. Since midnight Wednesday, about 30 rockets were fired at Israeli targets, for a total of over 110 since the beginning of the Pillar of Defense operation Wednesday night.

 

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7. MORE THAN 100 ROCKETS FIRED AT SOUTHERN ISRAEL by Elad Benari

 

Gaza-based terrorists fired more than 100 rockets at southern Israel”s communities from Wednesday evening until Thursday morning.

 

Israeli police reported that 104 rockets were counted as of 6:40 a.m. (local time) Thursday morning.

 

The “Red Alert” siren was heard in Be’er Sheva shortly after 2:30 a.m. Two Grad missiles were then fired at the city. One of them was intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system and another exploded in an open area. There were no physical injuries.

 

Shortly before 3:00 a.m., another missile was fired at Be’er Sheva. It was intercepted by the Iron Dome system.

 

Two additional rockets were fired at Be’er Sheva after 6:00 a.m. Iron Dome intercepted them.

 

Five Qassam rockets were fired towards the Eshkol Regional Council throughout the night. They exploded in open areas, causing no physical injuries or damages.

 

Iron Dome was able to intercept 20 of the rockets that were fired at Israel. In at least two cases, rockets hit populated areas in Ashdod and Be”er Sheva. Damage was caused to a building in Ashdod and a parked vehicle in Be”er Sheva.

 

Magen David Adom paramedics treated 14 people, including two who suffered minor injuries from broken glass or from falling down stairs while rushing to shelters. 12 people were treated for shock.

 

Gaza terrorists also fired a rocket at Dimona, where Israel’s nuclear reactor is located. The rocket fell wide of its mark and caused no casualties or damage. Channel 2 said this was the first time a terror rocket was fired at the sensitive site.

 

Rockets also hit Sderot, Ofakim, and communities in the Gaza Belt.

 

The Home Front Command announced Wednesday that following the security situation in the south and the beginning of the military operation ‘Pillar of Defense’ in Gaza, there will be no school Thursday for all school districts within 7-40 kilometers of Gaza. Classes at the Ben Gurion University in Be’er Sheva will be cancelled as well.

 

In addition, for the safety of the population, a ban was placed on any large gatherings of 100 or more people. A ban was also placed on activities in shopping centers and all non-essential jobs will be closed.

 

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8. IDF KILLS HAMAS’S ‘CHIEF OF STAFF’, LAUNCHES MAJOR OPERATION by Gil Ronen

 

The IAF fired a missile at a car in Gaza Wednesday, killing the commander of Hamas’s “military” terror wing, Ahmed Jaabari. Israel’s TV Channel 2 says his son was also killed.

 

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There are reports that Raed al-Atar, Commander of Hamas’s southern division, has also been killed.

 

Hamas responded by saying that it was now in a state of “open war” with Israel with no date set for its end.

 

The IAF reportedly also struck targets in Khan Younes and Rafiah. Channel 2 said that the IAF has been striking launch silos for Hamas’s longer-range Fajr rockets, which can hit central Israel, in order to preclude their use. About 20 reinforced silos holding Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 silos were reportedly hit.

 

Nine people have been killed in Gaza, according to reports.

 

The IDF has begun a wide scale operation, which has been named “Amud Anan,” a phrase that refers to the column-shaped cloud that led the Israelites in Sinai during the Exodus from Egypt. The official English name is Pillar of Defense.

 

Terrorists fired at least 10 missiles at Be’er Sheva, after firing at Sderot and Ashkelon. There have been no reports of casualties. Iron Dome anti-missile batteries successfully intercepted most of the rockets fired at Be’er Sheva.

 

Terrorists also launched a rocket from Gaza at Dimona, where Israel operates a nuclear plant. The rocket landed in an open area. There are no reports of injuries.

 

Egypt’s response to the events is not yet known. Cairo denounced what it said was “Israeli aggression in Gaza” Wednesday evening and Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi held consultations with senior officials to decide on his course of action. Hamas has been calling upon Morsi to show that he is not like his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak. Hamas is saying that the “new Egypt” under Morsi must withdraw from the Camp David accords with Israel and expel Israel’s ambassador in Cairo.

 

Among other exploits, Ahmed Jaabari, 52, was personally responsible for the abduction and holding of IDF Sgt. Gilad Shalit. Raed al-Atar was in charge of Hamas’s smuggling tunnels. He was released from jail in Israeli in 1995.

 

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak appear to have purposely diverted attention away from Gaza by visiting northern Israel and publicly discussing the Syrian threat Wednesday, in order to make it easier to catch the Hamas off guard.

 

The IDF Spokesman, Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, announced on his Facebook page that “A harsh blow has landed upon Hamas’s command and control array, as the IDF hit Ahmed Jaabari, the head of the military wing of Hamas in Gaza, who headed the organization and dealt directly with carrying out terror attacks against Israel.

 

“We are at the beginning of a wide scale attack, in view of the unbearable situation of the residents of the South,” he added.

 

“While we are not talking about conquering all of Gaza,” Mordechai told Channel 2, “there is preparation for a ground operation as well, which will be undertaken if it is necessary. The required military units that need to be diverted for such an operation are at the ready,” he said.

 

“The occupation has opened the gates of hell on itself,” said a statement from Hamas’s Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which vowed its terrorists would “continue the path of resistance.”

 

The United States is closely watching developments in Gaza following the killing Wednesday of Hamas’ military chief in an Israeli air strike, a Pentagon spokesman said.

 

“We’re monitoring the situation closely. We stand by our Israeli partners in their right to defend themselves against terrorism,” Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Warren said.

 

President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Tom Donilon, met Monday with his Israeli counterpart, Yaakov Amidror, at the White House.

 

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