More than half of Israel under Hamas rocket attack – from Beersheba up to Greater Tel Aviv. No casualties. Hamas tries smuggling terrorists in by tunnels and sea

First Hamas rockets were fired or intercepted Tuesday night, July 8, over Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Rishon Lezion, Givatayim, Raanana, Caesaria and Yavne, as well as southern Israeli cities. No casualties but a house was hit in North Jerusalem. Beyond shooting dozens of rockets, Hamas also made several attempts Tuesday, July 8, to smuggle terrorists into Israel for attacks. A Hamas naval commando which tried in the afternoon to land from the sea near Ashkelon’s Zikkim beach was repelled by an IDF coast guard. Later, another group of terrorists tried to creep into Israel through a tunnel running under the Kerem Shalom crossing. This was discovered when a tunnel exploded there under an Israeli military post. A large IDF force backed by tanks raked the entire area with fire in case of a network of hidden tunnels was serving Hamas to secretly transport terrorists to civilian locations in Israel. The people living there were told to stay at home and lock their doors.
A wide-ranging search continues in the Ashkelon coastal area in case Hamas terrorists made it through to land. Local roads are blocked.
During the day, the first Hamas rocket over Tel Aviv was blown up in mid-air by an Iron Dome battery after volley after volley hit southern and central Israel. .
In readiness for attack, public shelters were earlier opened in Tel Aviv, the beaches along the Mediterranean coast from the south to Netanyahu further north were cleared of bathers and Sdei Dov airport was been closed. Arrivals and departures of flights at Ben Gurion international and Eilat airports were thrown off schedule by Israeli Air Force sorties against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The IDF called up another 40,000 reservists Tuesday, July 8, after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered Operation Solid Rock expanded against mounting Palestinian rocket assaults – 100 by mid-afternoon. This was after Israel carried out dozens of air strikes Monday night, culminating during the day in raids that killed five leading Hamas operatives: Hamas Naval Commando chief Mahmoud Shaaban, 24, and three passengers were killed when their car was hit from the air. Another airborne raid bombed the Rafah home of Abdul Rahman Juda which served as a command and control center. Thirty Palestinians were injured.

Magen David Adom has treated nine people for minor injuries and anxiety attacks from emergency call centers in the southern and central Israeli regions under rocket attack.
The high-intensity rocket offensive from Gaza, now in its fourth week, has seriously disrupted normal life for millions of Israelis in the rocket-blasted regions – especially within a 40km radius from Gaza. Ashdod port has stopped working, major transport routes like the Ashkelon-Sderot railway halted, end-of-term exams in colleges postponed, children sent home from summer camps and social events called off.

DEBKAfile reported earlier Tuesday: Israeli finally launched its military operation Solid Rock against Hamas Monday night, July 7, after the Palestinians directed a steady stream of 100 rockets from Gaza to expanded targets as far as Rehovot, 50 km away. Most of the 50 IDF strikes were conducted from the air and two from the sea. Ten destroyed Hamas infrastructure facilities plus 4 private buildings which, according to the Palestinians, included the homes of the Hamas commander and a Democratic Front operative in Khan Younes, after Israel gave them advance warning. Hamas reported 17 injured – but kept on shooting rockets through the night and early Tuesday, threatening to further expand the range of their rocket fire.

The government and the IDF have billed the operation as a long-term, staged offensive to destroy Hamas’ logistical and strategic infrastructure, to be escalated stage by stage as needed, up to a limited ground incursion, which would require additional reserve call-ups, as well targeted assassinations. This progression will be adjusted to the enemy’s response and how quickly “quiet is restored to the South.”

The population has been forewarned that the contest may be protracted and asked to refrain from public events within a 40km radius from Gaza.

Iron Dome batteries are in place.

Israel’s security cabinet and the IDF command are counting on the prospect of losing its infrastructure deterring Hamas and persuading it to halt its rocket war on Israel.

But Hamas has its own game book and is unlikely to play by the rules dictated by Israel.

Both sides have therefore entered a dark corridor in which the two adversaries will try and outdo each other in damage. Israel began by limiting itself to air strikes. Hamas hit back with a mighty barrage of 100 missiles and expanding its range of targets.
The rules of Operation Solid Rock now require Israel to scale its response up to the next stage, in response to which Hamas will no doubt go for Tel Aviv. No one seems to know how this tit-for-tat duel will end.

The inherent weakness of the thinking behind Israeli military operation is that it requires the IDF to catch up with and undo the damage caused by Israel’s passivity after the three boys, Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach, were kidnapped and murdered on July 12. The IDF’s campaign against its facilities on the West Bank left Hamas more confident than ever. In the space of a month, the Palestinian Islamists have maneuvered Israel into launching not one but two major operations – Brother’s Keeper to find the kidnapped boys and their abductors (who are still at large) and now Solid Rock – and they still hold the initiative against Israel, as well as the whip hand in the Palestinian movement.

They certainly owe their advantage in part to the atrocious murder by a handful of Israelis of the Palestinian boy Muhammad Abu Khdeir from Shuafat, Jerusalem. This was a gift which Hamas had never dreamed of. The Islamists have been able to assert control over and calibrate Palestinian fury across the board, in Gaza, the West Bank and the Israeli Arab community – a second front against Israel.
With all these cards stacked against Solid Rock, the IDF will have its work cut out to repair the damage and bring its operation to a successful conclusion.
On the diplomatic front, Israel suffered another letdown when Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi disappointed the hopes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had vested in him to intercede powerfully with Hamas for a ceasefire. El-Sisi decided that the Israeli-Hamas conflict was a minor episode in regional terms and no real threat to Egypt’s national interests and dropped his role as peace broker.

This was a bitter disappointment to Jerusalem. It left Israel facing the Palestinian aggressor alone, but for the Europeans. They are willing to assume this role, but they are seeking the restoration of the short-lived Palestinian reconciliation and a unity government, which is the direct opposite of Netanyahu’s most fervent objective.

More than 80 rockets in steady stream from Gaza to expanded targets. Sirens in Modiin, Rehovot.

More than 80 rockets in steady stream from Gaza to expanded targets. Sirens in Modiin, Rehovot
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 7, 2014, 9:25 PM (IDT)
IDF's attack on Gaza.

IDF’s attack on Gaza.

Hamas broadened its massive rocket blitz Monday night, July 7 – edging further north and east to locales hitherto unscathed, after warning that its response to the deaths of seven operatives in Israeli air strikes would be “unprecedented.”

Iron Dome intercepted at least 10 of the scores of rockets aimed at new urban areas – Lachish, Gan Yavneh, Kiryat Malachi, Beer Tuvia and Ashdod. Eleven rockets hit Gan Yavneh alone. The last rocket targeted Rehovot. Sirens sounded in the towns of Modiin, Ness Ziona, Gedera, Beit Shemes and Abu Ghosh indicating the approach of rockets. There was one casualty – a man in Ashdod injured by shrapnel.

The IDF Homeland Command has ordered towns and villages up to 40-km from Gaza to open public shelters, including Beersheba and Ashkelon. Closer to the border, dozens of events have been cancelled and summer schools shut down for the emergency.

The IDF mobilized another 1,500 reservists Monday, July 7, in readiness for a broad operation to curb the escalating rocket fire. A troop buildup at the Gaza border is about to be backed by intensified air strikes against Palestinian rocket launchers. The Palestinians have also redoubled their missile blitz against Israel from day to day these last three weeks. By Monday sundown, 40 rockets had been slammed into Israel, causing damage in several locales – both near the Gaza border and further away up to the outskirts of Beersheba. The IDF is getting set to counter Hamas’ plans to bring its rocket offensive as far north as central Israel. Israel’s military planners have to take into consideration that, while the IDF is fighting in Gaza to knock out Hamas’ missile capability, the country’s heartland may well be beset by an upsurge of violent Palestinian and Israeli disturbances.

DEBKAfile reported Monday morning:

There is not the slightest chance of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas halting its three-week barrage of rockets against Israel in the foreseeable future,  high-placed sources in Cairo, Washington and the IDF told DEBKAfile’s military sources Sunday night, July 6. They all agreed that Israeli-Gaza border tensions would continue to escalate in the absence of serious Israeli military punishment for cutting Hamas down
Following this assessment, the Israeli Air Force went into its first serious action against terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip during Sunday night – not just bombing empty buildings, but hitting Hamas operatives. Seven were killed in Rafah and another two in Al Bureij.

The Hamas spokesman said that this was the biggest single Israeli hit against the Islamist group since the 2012 Pillar of Defense operation and “The enemy would pay dearly.”

A senior US intelligence official familiar with the sector offered the view that, so long as Israel did not show it was serious about a military reprisal – like for instance positioning two whole IDF armored divisions right up to the Gaza border – Hamas would not feel pressured enough to stop firing rockets and accept a truce. Every passing day without real punishment for kidnapping and murdering the Israeli teenagers, Gil-Ad Shear, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrach, leaves the Islamists certain they have got away with it and in no mood to talk terms.

The source reported that, as far as he knew, Cairo had given up on its earlier effort at brokering a Gaza ceasefire. Cairo sources confirmed that Hamas had made unacceptable demands of the Egyptian government as its price for halting rocket attacks on Israel. The list was presented to Gen. Mohammed Farid el-Tohamy, head of Egyptian intelligence, who had been acting as the intermediary between Hamas and Israel in the truce effort.
One of those demands was for Egypt to reverse its six-month crackdown for reducing Hamas’ aggressive capabilities for terror in and from Sinai, including the reopening of the smuggling tunnels Sinai which long furnished the Hamas regime with arms, smuggled goods and revenue.

Cairo lashed out against Hamas as a terrorist group harmful to Egyptian security and a helpful offshoot of the proscribed Muslim Brotherhood.

There is no sign that President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has any intention of meeting Hamas demands.

Indeed, all the parties following the conflict agree that the ball is now in Israel’s court and not, as it is presented by Israeli officials, up to Hamas to take the initiative. The Islamist group has already made its decision, which is to continue shooting rockets, in line with its unswerving commitment to fight Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz must decide if and how to fight back.

Contrary to Israeli media reports, the chief of staff and the high IDF command have clearly informed the government that they are fully prepared to undertake any military operation without delay if so ordered. The elimination of seven Hamas members of its fighting army Sunday night may be the first step.

Six Jewish males under arrest in connection with murder of Palestinian youth. They deny the charge.

Israeli Police announced Sunday, July 6, the arrest of six Jewish men from Beit Shemesh and Adam near Jerusalem and the city itself in connection with the murder of the Palestinian 16-year old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, whose charred body was found in the Jerusalem Forest on July 2. The motive is believed to be “nationalistic revenge” for the three Israel teenage boys kidnapped and slain by Hamas activists who are still at large.
Police have also identified the vehicle used by three of the suspects who are alleged to have kidnapped the Palestinian boy from Sheafat, northwest Jerusalem on July 1, the day before his body was found. Police suspect that they struck him on the head, drove off with him to the Jerusalem Forest and then burned his body to erase forensic evidence.
The suspects admit they were in the vicinity of the crime but deny having committed the murder.
A gag order has been issued on the publication of details of the inquiry except for police statements.

An autopsy was conducted on the boy’s body in the presence of a Palestinian forensic specialist. Palestinian sources said that soot found in the boy’s respiratory canal and lungs indicated that he was burned to death and suffered burns on “90 percent of his body.” This was not confirmed by Israeli investigators.

The discovery of Abu Khdeir’s body sparked a three-day frenzy of Palestinian and Israeli Arab rioting in Jerusalem, where 10 Jews were injured by firebombs, and northern Israel, where Jewish drivers were beaten up by Israeli Arabs.
The top-notch Jerusalem Police Central Unit has been assigned to lead the investigation. Senior officers have promised that every possible effort will be made to solve this murder. President Shimon Peres stated that those responsible will be tried and punished. Israeli leaders have widely condemned the killing of the Palestinian youth, whoever was responsible, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed those responsible would be brought to justice.

In a separate incident, Abu Khdeir’s 15-year-old cousin Tariq, a US citizen was beaten by police during clashes in Jerusalem on Thursday. Tariq’s parents, Suha and Salah, said he was detained but had been treated at an Israeli hospital. They released photos showing his face swollen and badly bruised. An Israeli police spokeswoman said Tariq Abu Khdeir had resisted arrest and attacked police officers. He was detained with a slingshot in his possession, along with six other protesters, including some armed with knives, she said, adding that several officers were hurt. Tariq’s father said he witnessed his son’s arrest and that the boy was not involved in the violence.

Sunday, after a court hearing, he was released to nine days house arrest and told reporters he had been treated well.


You may have seen this. Not a good day for the future of manned aircraft.The pilot is on the endangered list it seems. This little 4 minute Boeing video is really something…. a first for a full size jet airplane. Thousands of planes that were grave yard bound, with costs in the hundreds of millions, now can be used as never before. These F-16 aircraft have been in the bone yard at Davis-Monahan for 15 years and are now being used as drones!




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