Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Israel under attack!

In the early-morning darkness of November 12, 2019, Israel's IDF (Israel Defense Force), along with Israel's Security Agency (Shin Bet), attacked a home in Gaza (here). Killed in that attack was a man named, Baha Abu Al Ata. This is a name you have probably never heard before.

Al Ata was no ordinary man. He was a Senior leader of the terror group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, one of the  most aggressive anti-Israel organizations trying to destroy the Jewish state. They appear to be based in Gaza. He is considered to have been responsible for most of this organization's recent anti-Israel terror activities in Gaza. He led and personally participated in attacks against Israeli civilians (ibid). He is considered to have been responsible for  most of the terror attacks against Israel from from Gaza over the past year (ibid).

He was no saint. He lived to commit violence against Israel. He died an appropriately violent death.

Less than an hour after Al Ata died, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad threatened revenge. "We will" it declared, "Shake the Zionist entity" (newsbrief, arutzsheva, 0543, November 12, 2019). 

This is exactly what Israel experiences this morning. At 0553 today, just ten minutes after that threat of 'revenge', air raid sirens in Southern Israel (near the Gaza-Israel border) began to sound. It is now 1050 in the morning here in Israel, November 12, 2019. In the slightly more than 4 hours since that threat, at least 100 rockets have been reported to have been fired into Israel, some 28 just between the two minutes, 1003-1005, alone. That adds up to one rocket every 4.5 seconds.

This barrage continued through 1008. The intensity remained the same, app one rocket every 4-5 seconds.

In Israel's South, near the Gaza border, at least 17 small communities have had air raid sirens sounded. Everyone runs for a shelter. At least two children are reported to have 'collapsed' trying to get into a shelter.

Right now, I'd say the two main target areas for these rockets have been, first, the southern coast of  Israel, including the cities of Sderot and Ashkelon. My guess also is that the second main target has been Tel Aviv.

It's hard to tell. Tel Aviv is my guess because these rockets from Gaza are not guided missiles. They aren't precise. Tel Aviv seems to me be a target area because so many rockets have landed in communities 4-6 miles south of Tel Aviv--or closer.

I have a son and daughter, both married, living in the Northern portion of Tel Aviv, inside city lines. At app 0800 this morning, my daughter 'whatsapped' us to say she had just heard three explosions. My son talked to me at about 1000 this morning. He lives not far from his sister. He reported that, so far, as of 1000, he'd heard 5 explosions. Three of them seemed farther away from his apartment in center-city, two closer. 

Israel is truly under siege. Schools in these areas above are closed. Businesses are closed. People are being told not to go out. My Tel Aviv son-in-law has been told not to go to work today, but to stay home and work from home. It's as close to a 'lock-down' as you can find.

Public transportation has been disrupted.  Train service has been disrupted in these areas. Emergency Medical Services are out in force treating people. So far, these injuries seem to be mostly shock and 'injury'. Public shelters have been opened. An emergency 'situation room' to monitor health services and damage report services have been opened.  

The IAF (Israel Air Force) has begun to bomb Gaza. No reports as yet--but in the past, most targets for the IAF in Gaza have been empty buildings and warehouses. Will we see more of the same?

Today, a Tuesday, is the day new Defense Minister Naftali Bennett is to start his first day as Defense Minister. In the past, he has been a critic of 'soft' Israeli responses to these rocket attacks. Will his response to this new rocket assault be more severe?

Stay tuned.

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