A7News: Rockets Strike near Tel Aviv

Kislev 2, 5773 / Friday, Nov. 16 ’12


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  1. 1.      Rockets Strike near Tel Aviv
  2. 2.      Commanders Prepare Troops for Ground Invasion
  3. 3.      Opinion: London 1940-Tel Aviv 2012. What’s the Difference?
  4. 4.      Legal Forum: Don’t Make Israelis Pay Gaza’s Electric Bill
  5. 5.      Jewish Home Candidates Run for Shelter in Be’er Sheva
  6. 6.      Children of Slain Chabad Woman in Better Condition
  7. 7.      IDF Has Struck More than 300 Targets in Gaza
  8. 8.      University of Haifa Denounces Students who Mourned Jabari


1. Rockets Strike near Tel Aviv

by Maayana Miskin

A rocket alert siren sounded in Tel Aviv on Friday afternoon, and residents reported hearing a loud blast a short time later.

Security services are searching for the impact site. According to initial reports, at least one rocket hit an open area in the Gush Dan region.

No injuries have been reported.

Hamas has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

The cities of Be’er Sheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon and Ofakim repeatedly came under attack Friday. The Iron Dome defense system shot down several rockets.

One rocket hit and demolished a home in a community near Gaza, but did not cause injury as the residents were not at home.

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2. Commanders Prepare Troops for Ground Invasion

by Maayana Miskin

IDF commanders began Friday morning to brief their troops in advance of a possible ground operation in Gaza. Thousands of reservists have been called up for duty, and a total of at least 16,000 will be summoned for service.


While troops gathered outside Gaza, terrorists in the area continued their attacks on civilian communities in southern Israel. More than 40 rockets have been fired since Friday morning.

At least two rockets were fired at the city of Be’er Sheva. The Iron Dome system successfully shot them down.

Four rockets were fired at Ashdod shortly before 11 a.m. They, too, were shot down by Iron Dome. Earlier in the morning terrorists fired a rocket that hit next to a residential building in the city, causing damage and sending four people into shock.

A short time later, terrorists hit a broadcast truck with an anti-tank missile. The truck went up in flames, but nobody was injured.

A kibbutz in the region lost 5,000 chickens when a rocket attack took out the town’s electricity, causing temperatures in the chicken coop to drop dangerously low.

The IAF has hit 250 targets in Gaza, most in pinpoint strikes that did not cause injury.


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3. Opinion: London 1940-Tel Aviv 2012. What’s the Difference?

by Giulio Meotti, Italy

There is only one precedent of a modern democracy besieged under rocket attacks.

During the afternoon of September 7, 1940, 348 Nazi bombers appeared over London’s skies. For the next two months, London was bombed day and night. Fires consumed many portions of the city. Residents sought shelter wherever they could find it – many fleeing to the underground station that sheltered as many as 177,000 people during the night.

Little is said or written about the incredible courage being shown by the civilian population of Israel, but it is reminiscent of events 70 years ago in Europe.

Like the Londoners, who endured the blitz stoically, with British aplomb and quiet courage, the people of Israel are equally valiant, going about their daily lives knowing that killers might explode a bomb or rocket in any public place at any time. Since the year of the founding of the state, more than 60,000 rockets have fallen on Israel.

Unlike those who believe in a peaceful and political solution to the “Palestinian” question, the Hamas’ Covenant proclaims: “There is no solution for the Palestinian question, except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.”

Israel is like Guernica, the Basque town that in 1937 was the premature victim of the savage and merciless Nazi Blitzkrieg that was to sweep Europe.

But there is a big difference between the two historic situations.

The Allies during the war didn’t hesitate to impose a collective punishment on the German people, while today we like to believe that the State of Israel is facing just individual murderers and isolated fanatics, and must pardon the society that nurtures them.

The Arab population of Judea, Samaria and Gaza is responsible for Hamas’ terrorism. Collective punishment of that population by Israel is – when administered in proportion to the evils it is meant to combat – justified and required. The Palestinian Arab population is responsible for Hamas and the PLO.

An enemy society is exactly what the Jewish State is confronting. And in Kiryat Malachi, three residents, killed by Islamic terrorists, are just the latest victims in the war between Israel and that society.

Israel lost the battle during the first Intifada, when Jewish civilians on the roads were routinely assaulted with rocks and firebombs by Arab gangs, because it didn’t combat the attacks with the force that may have prevented them from evolving into the terror of today that comes from Gaza.

Palestinian Arabs rock-throwers were met with a vehicle that sprayed them with pebbles. Soldiers were armed with rubber bullets and given orders not to attack when not under attack themselves.

The Jewish “settlers” at that time called on the government to take punitive action against the villages from where the attacks were launched, but the Jewish residents were demonized themselves and were answered with self-righteous hypocrisy decrying the immorality of “collective punishment”.

This is how evil has grown to surround Israel.

Even Israel’s supporters in the West like to believe that the Jewish State, granting de-facto immunity to the society that sponsors terrorist savagery, committed itself to a higher ethical standard. We like to discern the IDF’s “purity of weapons”. But preferring an illusion of peace to retaliating with the full force at Israel’s disposal against the terrorists’ home base – their communities and their ideological supporters, who bear collective responsibility for the terror – is a Jewish crime, not a Jewish virtue.

Terror is a collective punishment, the answer to it must include collective punishment.

Twenty years after the first Gulf War, Israel remains the only “bunkered” democracy in the world and is now even more relentlessly demonized and ghettoized.

Israel is a small country. This is not to say that it’s destined for extinction; only that it can be.

Moreover, in its vulnerability to extinction, Israel is not just any small country. It is the only country whose neighbors declare its very existence an affront to God and make its destruction a paramount national goal.

But if in 1991, Israel responded with understatement and quiet civil courage, let’s hope that today it will react differently to genocidal terrorism. Because, as Joe McCain wrote few years ago, “the Jews will not go quietly again.”

And there is another big difference between London in 1940 and Tel Aviv in 2012: while the West backed the British resistance against the Nazi monster, Israel is alone in fighting a battle for all of us.

As Israelis are heading to shelters these days, the questions in their minds are two: Will the West come to our aid? How many friends can the Jewish State really count on these days?

Take a step forward and say that you are one of those friends. I did.

The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book “A New Shoah”, that researched the personal stories of Israel’s terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing, often the Arutz Sheva op-eds, appears in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He is at work on a book about the Vatican and Israel.

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4. Legal Forum: Don’t Make Israelis Pay Gaza’s Electric Bill

by Maayana Miskin

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel has demanded that Israel stop transferring funds to the Palestinian Authority (PA) in order to put an end to the situation in which Israelis pay for electricity for the very terrorists who are attempting to murder them.

The Finance Ministry is funding a 3 billion shekel guarantee for the Israel Electric Company in order to avoid a financial crisis.

At the same time, the PA owes the electric company 700 million shekels in unpaid electric bills – which continue to amass despite Israel collecting 400-500 million in tax money on behalf of the PA every month and transferring the sum to the PA.

“Even when the residents of the south Israel are living in a reality of ‘Code Red’, under a barrage of missiles and rockets, the Israeli Electric Company continues to provide free electricity to the shooters and terrorists,” the Legal Forum stated in a letter to Finance Ministry CEO Doron Cohen.

“Reason, justice and morality require immediate action before providing huge guarantees to the Electric Company at the expense of the citizens of Israel, when it has not yet collected the funds of the murderers of Gaza,” the group argued.

If Israel continues transferring funds to the PA that are used for Gaza, it will be funding terrorism against its own citizens, the Legal Forum concluded.

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5. Jewish Home Candidates Run for Shelter in Be’er Sheva

by Maayana Miskin

The Habayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) Knesset candidates visited the city of Be’er Sheva on Thursday as Gaza terrorists continued a large-scale assault on southern Israel. During their stay in the city they were forced to run for shelter when the Color Red rocket alert sounded.

Party head Naftali Bennett explained why they had come despite the danger. “It’s very healthy for us to feel what you here have been going through for years,” he told Mayor Ruvik Danilovich and senior city officials.

“We’re all with you, and ready to act,” he declared. “On the Home Front or the battle front, and the minute we get call-up orders we’ll happily report for duty.”

Danilovich explained why he supports Operation Pillar of Defense. “It’s impossible to just take it and take it and take it,” he said. “No sovereign state could live like this.”

“The state of Israel must restore deterrence,” he added.

He voiced opposition to attempts to portray residents of southern Israel and of central Israel in adversarial terms, due to the latter’s freedom from Gaza rocket attacks until Thursday night. “Our brothers in Gush Dan [in central Israel] were hit by suicide bombings in the 90s. That’s how it works here, we give each other strength, that’s our shared fate,” he said. “We embrace our brothers in Gush Dan and hope no more missiles reach them.”

Jewish Home candidate Avi Wortzman, Deputy Mayor of Be’er Sheva, said, “We’ve reached a point where we can’t take it anymore. Sderot has been hit for 12 years.”

After meeting with city officials and Home Front Command officers, the candidates went through the city visiting with residents and expressing their solidarity and encouragement.

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6. Children of Slain Chabad Woman in Better Condition

by Maayana Miskin

The husband and children of Mirah Scharf are in better condition Friday after being wounded Thursday morning in a rocket attack on Kiryat Malachi.

The four remain hospitalized in Tel Hashomer. Father Shmuel, 29, is in moderate condition, four-year-old Yosef Yitzchak is in moderate to light condition, and young Hana (2) and Geula (8 months) are both in good condition.

The children have not yet been told that their mother was killed in the attack.

The Scharf family was in Israel temporarily, and normally lives in New Delhi, India, where they serve as Chabad emissaries and usually host 100 people for Sabbath meals.

They were intending to attend a memorial ceremony Thursday for Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg, the young Chabad couple murdered by terrorists four years ago in Mumbai, India.

Mirah Scharf was killed in the attack, as were Ahron Smadja, 49, and Yitzchak Amsallem, 24. Her funeral Thursday was attended by many of the Israeli backpackers who met her in India.

Her father-in-law, Rabbi Yehoshua Scharf, recalled her as devoted to her work. “In our generation everyone is looking for luxury, but they lived in minimalist conditions in a Chabad house that was open to the public 24 hours a day,” he said.

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7. IDF Has Struck More than 300 Targets in Gaza

by Elad Benari

Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF has struck more than 300 targets throughout Gaza, according to a statement released by the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit on Thursday.

The statement said that during the day on Thursday, the IDF continued to launch attacks on dozens of rocket launching sites in Gaza, causing them significant damages.

On Thursday evening, the IAF launched a second assault wave on Gaza, targeting 70 underground missile sites.

The IDF statement added that IAF aircraft struck several terrorist groups that were involved in carrying out rocket attacks.

In the afternoon, the IDF continued to attack terrorist targets in northern Gaza using its armored forces.

Navy ships fired at Hamas’ targets along the Gaza shoreline, said the statement.

“Gaza has become a frontal Iranian base and it places the citizens of Israel under unbearable rocket fire and terror. The IDF is determined and will continue to attack targets that are bases for terrorism against Israeli civilians,” concluded the IDF statement.

Since the start of the operation, some 250 rockets have been fired at Israel. The Iron Dome system has intercepted over 80 rockets, en route to cities in the south of the country.

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8. University of Haifa Denounces Students who Mourned Jabari

by Elad Benari

The University of Haifa on Thursday denounced a group of its students who mourned the loss of Ahmed Jabari, the Hamas arch-terrorist who was killed on Wednesday in an Israeli air strike that launched Operation Pillar of Defense.

At about 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, around 30 to 40 Arab students assembled on one of the lawns of the university and stood for a moment of silence in memory of Jabari.

The administration of the university later issued a statement in which it said, “The University of Haifa supports the IDF soldiers who are protecting the State of Israel and sends condolences to the families of those killed in Kiryat Malachi. The university administration has taken and will take every legal step at its disposal to prevent any provocation on its property.”

The university’s statement emphasized that the Arab students’ event was “a gathering that was held without the approval of the university. A handful of Arab students gathered, Jewish students gathered in front of them and it ended after a few minutes.”

The Arab students’ provocation was condemned by several people, including MK Danny Danon (Likud), who contacted the president of the university, Amos Shapira, demanding the suspension of those Arab students.

“Treacherous statements have no place in a state-funded academic institution,” Danon said, adding, “The Arab students are affected by MK Hanin Zoabi and her friends, and are one step away from cooperation with Hamas. They must be suspended immediately.”

Danon said the students’ actions constitute incitement which encourages violent protests against State institutions and against IDF soldiers.

“Instead of thanking the army which keeps them safe, these enemies of Israel chose to act in a treacherous way that has no place in Israel,” said Danon and added, “Students who conduct themselves in this manner have no right to study in an institution which is funded by the State.”

MK Alex Miller (Yisrael Beytenu) also strongly condemned the incident and said, “It is inconceivable that such events take place on the properties of institutions funded by the State of Israel. I intend to demand that the university contact the Israeli police and ask it investigate a suspicion of incitement, while disciplining the participants and expelling them immediately.”

Haifa Mayor Yona Yahav denounced the incident as well and sent a letter to university president Shapira, in which he expressed his shock and disgust at the shameful ceremony.

“This does not befit the spirit of Haifa, which strives for co-existence, tolerance and dialogue,” Yahav wrote. “In truth, it is good if educational institutions lead a policy of democracy and freedom of expression to different political attitudes. However, a cynical exploitation of this natural right to promote the teachings of terrorist groups, which sanctify the killing of children and innocent civilians, crosses boundaries.”

“The University of Haifa is a respected and appreciated academic institution, and we do not want it to have an image of a body which provides a platform for organizations which deny the existence of the State of Israel,” wrote Yahav. “I expect that the university administration will publish a harsh condemnation of the incident, and will use all available means to not allow extreme and negative elements to spread their malicious propaganda between the walls of the academic institution.”

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