Gaza Conflict Day 2: Hamas Escalates Rocket Fire

Today’s Top Stories

1. Escalation marked the second day of Operation Protective Edge. Hamas fired a Syrian-made M302 rocket at Hadera. Later in the day, rockets reached Zichron Yaakov, a coastal town about 120 km away from Gaza and just south of Haifa, representing the longest Palestinian rocket strike on Israel yet.

According to Israeli media reports, Hamas extended the range of the Zichron Yaakov rockets by removing their explosives. Israeli officials say Hamas has dozens more long-range missiles.

2. Iron Dome intercepted rockets heading towards Ben Gurion Airport. As a precaution, incoming and outgoing flights are being diverted to runways on B-G’s northern and eastern sides. More at the Jerusalem Post. Despite the red alert and related hassles, no flights were cancelled.

United Hatzolah


3. Fatah goons fire rockets at Israel? Say it ain’t so!

Fatah has several hundred militiamen in the Gaza Strip who belong to various armed groups. Some, according to sources in the Gaza Strip, are former members of the Palestinian Authority security forces, who continue to receive their salaries from the Western-funded Palestinian government in Ramallah . . .


That is why Abbas finds it difficult to condemn the rocket attacks on Israel. Such a move would put him on a collision course not only with Hamas, but also with Fatah, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Movement and at least 10 other jihadi cells operating in the Gaza Strip.


Moreover, Abbas seems to be concerned that if the world hears about the role of Fatah in the rocket attacks, the news will affect Western financial aid to his Palestinian Authority, dominated by Fatah.

Palestinian Media Watch rounds up the Fatah trash talk Abbas has to explain.


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4. New York Times Drops the Ball on Human Shields: Why does The Gray Lady disparage IDF measures to minimize civilian casualties?

5. BBC Bias in Gaza: Missing context depicts malevolent Israelis and sanitizes terror.

6. Hundreds of Hamas Rockets Go Missing for Australian Broadcaster: ABC News omits  the most important statistic of all.

7. Comments and the Roar of the Crowd: Lost in Translation? The perils of multi-lingual media monitoring as the name “Operation Protective Edge” doesn’t literally translate to the mission’s Hebrew name.

8. Times of London Corrects Lieberman Error: HonestReporting gets the record corrected.


Blankfeld Award


Israel and the Palestinians

• The army killed four terrorists trying to infiltrate Israel from the sea. The group came ashore at Zikim, where a kibbutz and army base are located between Gaza and Ashkelon.

• Since Saturday, rocket fire has so far caused Israel NIS 10 million in damage to property and shuttered businesses.

• Palestinian press losing media war in current crisis

So far, quick reporting and live interviews on the ground have prevailed over published materials. Amid a lack of deep analyses of the events, a scarcity of information and an absence of expectations, many news agencies and newspapers are relying on Israeli sources, and are thus failing to articulate an alternative narrative of the events.


The absence of the human story, the reliance on statistics of deaths and injuries, the dissemination of photos of bodies and the limited number of officials who can be reached for comment, either in the West Bank or Gaza Strip, affect the issuance of a complete Palestinian side of the story . . .


Palestinian coverage has also been hampered by the politicized tit for tat between Hamas and Fatah-affiliated media outlets. For example, on July 4, the victims of the clashes between Egyptian security forces and the Muslim Brotherhood was front-page news, despite the current volatile situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

• Mahmoud Abbas spots an opportunity: At a PA leadership meeting which was due to begin at 3:30, Abbas is  “expected to sign the necessary documents for joining international organizations. Inter alia, he has requested to join the International Criminal Court in The Hague, a senior official told Haaretz.”

• The New York Times explains the Israeli counter-terror philosophy known as “cutting the grass,” and what it means for the IDF’s current activity. From the viewpoint of “cutting the grass,” (which I’ve sometimes heard referred to “mowing the lawn”), Operation Protective Edge is about managing the conflict, not wiping out Hamas.


• A Wall St. Journal staff-ed (click via Google News) blasts Iran’s hidden hand fueling the Gaza conflict.

In March, Israeli naval commandos interdicted a Panamanian-flagged ship, the Klos C, off the Sudanese coast in the Red Sea. The ship’s cargo contained 40 M-302 surface-to-surface rockets, 181 mortar shells and some 400,000 rounds of 7.62 caliber ammunition—all concealed under bags of Iranian cement. The weapons were almost certainly intended for Iran’s terrorist clients in Gaza.


Tehran denies any role in the shipment. But a recent classified report from the U.N. Security Council’s Sanctions Committee effectively confirms it, and we’ve seen the pertinent portions.

• After reading Linda Todd’s first-hand account of being an unwitting and unwilling human shield for Hamas at IsraellyCool, I confess I didn’t really appreciate the extent the terror group deliberately embeds its arms caches, command centers, and other infrastructure among civilians. Todd describes terror sites across from her apartme