Israelis dodge rockets while the world media dodges the truth
By David E. Kaplan
Fun-loving, free-thinking, tolerant and vibrant, globally popular Tel Aviv is known as the “City that never sleeps”.
These days Tel Aviv retains that moniker but for a different reason.
Its citizens, like so much all around Israel, lie awake at night waiting for the shriek of the siren to pierce the air and get them scurrying off to their bomb shelters.
It’s a few minutes after midnight, and following the threat of Hamas to rain terror over Tel Aviv, they follow through on their promise and extend their range to the entire Dan region and so we are in our stairwell in Kfar Saba as there is no time to get to a bomb shelter – six floors below!
You can’t chance a lift and you can’t run down six flights. It’s a death defying dilemma!
We hear the inevitable, and a few minutes after the deafening “Boom-Booms” as Israel’s Iron Domes intercept Hamas’ rockets, I say, “I’m going back inside”, to which I’m wisely-wifely counseled:
“No, wait. There may be falling debris.”
The rockets from Gaza may be taken out by the Iron Dome but there remains the danger from falling debris that causes havoc on the ground.
Attesting to this, I then receive a text message from my son in Tel Aviv: “Massive debris just fallen on Florintin, near our apartment.”
Florintin, with its bohemian cafes, laid-back bars with craft beer and live bands and its vendors selling bureka filo pastries and falafel at the famed Levinsky Market, is none of that these days.
People are playing the Lottery of Life at home!
Further south and five kilometres east of Gaza lies kibbutz Kfar Aza, perennially on the frontlines in the wars with those calling the ‘shots’ in Gaza.
Located only one mile or 1.6 kilometers from the Gaza border, the residents of this farming and industrial community are typically bleary-eyed from waking up to air raid sirens, sending them RUNNING to bomb shelters. The meaning of ‘running’ was made clear when I turned on i24NEWS, and heard a young woman in her early twenties being interviewed. She said:
“For the last six days, all I’ve eaten is cereal.”
“How come?” asked the interviewer surprised.
“Because I don’t want to be caught cooking a meal when the siren goes and have to remember to turn off the gas.”
The interviewer, believing she has grasped the terrifying reality, replies:
“Yes, I understand you only have 15 seconds.”
“NO!” corrects the young kibbutz resident:
“We, at Kfar Aza have only 5 seconds!”
That is 5 seconds to reach safety. Not everyone on Kibbutz Aza over the years has made it in time and sadly rest today in the local cemetery!
Even more deadly than rockets over the short range are the mortars. Firing explosive shells, mortars are aimed at targets which are close thus evading radar detection. No threat to the Israel’s big cities because of their greater distances from Gaza, mortars are a menace to the communities within an 8-10 kilometer range of Gaza.
This Tuesday was just such a horrifying day!
The Menace of Mortars
With mortars, there is no warning, only death and injury if they strike a target. This happened this Tuesday afternoon, May 18, when a barrage of 50 mortars were fired from Gaza at the Eshkol Regional Council scoring a direct hit on a packing plant at Moshav Ohad resulted in the killing of two Thai workers and wounding ten others. That’s how indiscriminate these attacks are – their aim is to kill Jews and ends up killing Thais!
It can just as easily kill Arabs as it did a week earlier when it struck a moving vehicle outside of Lod killing Halil Awad, 52, and his 16-year-old daughter, Nadine.
Another of Tuesday’s mortgage barrage hit the Erez Crossing where it wounded a 19-year-old Israel soldier with shrapnel wounds to his upper body.
However, beyond the twisted remains of the mortar’s casting found on the killing ground was also revealed some twisted irony!
The injured Israeli soldier was part of a military unit assisting in transferring humanitarian aid in convoys into the Gaza Strip! Israel had earlier in the day, temporarily reopened both the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings into Gaza, allowing many truckloads of fuel, medical equipment and animal feed into the enclave, and it was while the crossings were opened – HELPING THE PEOPLE OF GAZA – that Hamas launched the large mortar barrage across the border, killing the two Thai workers, injuring eight and injuring the Israeli soldier helping the residents of Gaza.
And what should be most noted, especially the selective eyesight of the ICC (International Criminal Court) watchdog was that the Hamas terror cell firing these mortars, were doing so from inside a school in Gaza – a violation of the Rules of Armed Conflict and hence a War Crime.
There is an unspoken military policy in Israel “that quiet would be answered with quiet”, so if the world genuinely wants to help support bringing “quiet” to this war-torn region, stop equating Israel with the genocidal terrorists who ruin more than rule Gaza. Hamas, which is responsible for the nearly 4000 rockets fired so far, publicly and officially calls for the “extermination of Jews and Christians to the last” and teaches these destructive worldviews as early at kindergarten.
Hardly a calling to engender “quiet”.
In 2017, Yahya Sinwar – Hamas’ present leader in Gaza – reiterated once again that “Hamas will never recognize Israel”. He declared the terror organization will never disarm, adding:
“Gone is the time in which Hamas discussed recognition of Israel. The discussion now is about when we will wipe out Israel.”
Could he not be clearer as he was in word in 2017 as he is in deed in 2021?
Following this war, all future financial support to help Gaza recover, should not be spent underground for Hamas but above ground for the people.
The message is clear and it should be to the world and the United Nations:
Support the Gazan people by not supporting Hamas
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