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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

News Updates: Day 14

7:55 PM: A EU official today stated that Israel is violating humanitarian law with its attacks on Lebanese infrastructure. He stated that Israel has the right to defend itself but not to destroy infrastructure.

Several IDF soldiers were lightly wounded during heavy fighting between them and Hezbollah.

What can only be considered a miracle, one of the Katyusha rockets that landed in Aco very narrowly missed the city’s municipal offices where the Mayor was holding an emergency session with all of his members and staff.

Another miracle came earlier today when Katyusha rockets hit Haifa. One of them narrowly missed a bridge. It exploded and its shrapnel went flying into a bus that had reached the end of its line. There were no passengers, but the driver was moderately wounded.

Meretz Party Chairman, Yossi Beilin is appealing to the Israeli Supreme Court in order to force the PM Olmert to declare that the country is in a state of war. He is accusing Olmert of skirting the issue and avoiding calling the situation what it really is; war. He says that with this declaration, the population and business of the north will start to receive immediate compensation. In response, the Court has given the government 48 hours to explain why it has not declared a state of emergency in the north, and why it has not declared a state of war.

6:12 PM: Israeli DM Peretz has said that the IDF is reinstuting a security zone in southern Lebanon and will stay there until an international force comes to patrol the area.

During PM Olmert's meeting with US Secretary of State Rice, Olmert told Rice that Israel is also suffering from a humanitarian crisis. Rice told Olmert that Israel had to keep in mind the suffering of the Lebanese people at the hands of Hezbollah. The US has sent humanitarian aid to Beirut. In response, Olmert said that Israel is well aware of the humanitarian crisis facing Lebanon and Israel as a result of Hezbollah. He also pointed out that in northern Israel, "Life almost has stopped completely, and people are sitting in these small, packed shelters, without air-conditioning, in the heat of the summer. They are not working, are unable to meet the basic elementary needs of their lives. This is an intolerable situation."

4:40 PM: A HUGE BRUCHIM HABAIM to the 650 new Olim who arrived today from France. PM Olmert attended the ceremony at Ben-Gurion Airport. In his speech, he said that THEY, new immigrants, were Israel's secret weapon in fighting terrorism. WELCOME HOME!!!

Syria has, again, warned Israel to stay away from its border as the IDF and IAF fights Hezbollah forces all along Lebanon's northern border. This warning comes in light of the fact that the IDF has substantial evidence that Syria is still attempting to smuggle weapons and Katyushas to Hezbollah. Because of this, the IAF have bombed several cars and trucks near the Syrian border transporting weapons and Katyushas. Syria has stated that their security alert is at its highest level. The Israeli government has repeatedly stated that it has no interested in drawing Syria into the fight, but they will now allow new weapons and rockets to be transferred to Hezbollah. (*Looks like Syria's playing a dangerous game here.*)

Over the past hour, almost a dozen rockets landed in Maalot, injuring 11 people.

More rockets have landed in Tiberias. No reported injuries.

4:20 PM: Katyushas continue to fall. In the past hour, Katyushas have fallen in Misgav (Where my in-laws live), Rosh Pina, Tzfat, and Chatzur. No reported injuries.

Arab MK Achmed Tibi (Ram-Ta'al Party) said that Israel and the IDF have no moral justifications for the war in Lebanon. He said that this fighting was simply a result of a bruised ego in the IDF after 2 soldiers were kidnapped.

3:20 PM: The senior head of HAMAS, Machmoud Nazzal (second in command to Challad Nashal), just released a statement from his hiding place in Syria. He said that HAMAS and Hezbollah are willing to release their kidnapped soldiers in a joint effort of an exchange of prisoners with Israel. This comes after Nashal mentioned that HAMAS and Hezbollah was willing to cooperate with each-other and make a joint partnership to agree on a list of prisoners that they would be willing to accept in an exchange for the 3 kidnapped soldiers.

The family of kidnapped soldier, Ehud Goldwasser, just came out with a statement asking Hezbollah to show them some sort of sign that Ehud is still alive. They also asked that Hezbollah and HAMAS allow the International Red Cross to examine all 3 kidnapped soldiers, a law stipulated under international law for Prisoners of War, and allow them to report back to all 3 families to let them know of their condition.

3:05 PM: Maariv On-line is reporting that 4 people were lightly injured after Katyushas hit a house and factory in Nahariya, just moments ago.

Katyushas have also fallen in the Krayot towns. No reported injuries.

Police have arrested 4 Arab residents of Eastern Jerusalem, including 3 minors, who have admitted to throwing molotav cocktails at a synagogue in the neighborhood of Reches. The reason they gave for doing this: "We hate Jews".

This arrest comes right after another Eastern Jerusalem Arab resident was arrested. He is suspected of having stabbed a Yeshiva student last week.

A 91 year-old Haifa resident was pronounced dead almost an hour ago from a fatal heart attack when he heard the air raid sirens warning of an incoming Katyusha.

A 15 year-old girl has died from her injuries after a Katyusha hit the Druzi village of Kfar Ma'ar almost an hour ago. The boy who was initiallay seriously injured in the attack, his condition has been upgraded to moderate. 2 other people are still lightly injured, amongst 20 other people who suffered shock.

2:20 PM: Maariv On-line is reporting that one boy was seriously injured when a Katyusha rocket directly hit house in Kfar Ma'ar in the lower Galilee just a short time ago.

The IAF hit the Katyusha launch site from where Hezbollah was shooting rockets into Haifa.

Today's news so far:
Over a dozen rockets have been fired into Haifa over the course of the morning. At least 23 people have been injured; including 1 serious and 2 moderate injuries.

(*YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE BRITISH APOCALYPSE*) A poll taken by The Guardian newspaper in Britain shows that 66% of the British population feels that Israel's military response to the kidnappin of two soldiers and shelling of half of its population is "exaggerated and disproportionate." Only 22% feel that Israel's response is proportionate.

One person was injured after 2 Katyushas hit Maalot just a short while ago.

At least 2 rockets hit Aco half an hour ago. No reported injuries.

Towns that have been hit by more than 1 rocket so far today include Maalot, Aco, Nahariya, Haifa, and Tzfat.

The IAF and IDF continues heavy fighting along the border, and in southern Beirut. Along with targeting Hezbollah terrorists, they have been targeting and hitting amongst other things, 15 missile launch sites northeast of Tyre, 18 buildings used by Hizbullah in that region, six weapons storage facilities across Lebanon and two vehicles filled with Hizbullah operatives. The IAF also hit at least 36 Hezbollah launching sites over the cours of the night.

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