Gaza Conflict Day 10: Rockets Found in UNRWA School

Today’s Top Stories

1. The UNRWA found 20 rockets in one of its Gaza schools. And they weren’t from the school’s science club either. Meanwhile, Patrick Martin of the Globe & Mail had a schoolyard lesson of his own  in Human Shields 101:

Heading toward the exit, we were overwhelmed by the jet-like sound of two rockets being launched from somewhere near the school. Hamas, or some or militant group, clearly is hoping the Israelis won’t strike at the launchers, which are kept underground until the moment of firing, because they’re close to the school and so many refugees.


As the Hamas-made missiles screamed off into the sky, leaving a white vapour trail, the kids all cheered.

2. A five-hour humanitarian ceasefire came and went. Meanwhile, Israel and Hamas deny reports (most notably BBC and Reuters) that a cease-fire will begin tomorrow.

Sheera Frenkel


3. The IDF foiled a Hamas tunnel attack. A group of13 terrorists emerged from a tunnel 250 meters inside Israel, near Kibbutz Sufa, where they were quickly spotted and attacked. The IDF posted footage online.

He said the military believed at least one militant was killed in the strike and that the remaining fighters appeared to have returned to Gaza through the tunnel.

Later in the day, there were reports of another Palestinian infiltration near Ein HaShlosha. The security alert was later lifted.


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4. Daily Mirror: It’s Not the Popcorn That’s Rotten: Hours after the publication of our critique, the contentious photo was removed.

5. New York Times Graphic Turns Conflict Into Game of Numbers: Numbers leave readers feeling crunched.

6. Minimizing Terror and Ridiculing Rockets: Columnist ridicules terror against Israelis during her distorted childhood.


Blankfeld Award


Israel and the Palestinians

• Operation Protective Edge moved to day 10. The Jerusalem Post, Haaretz, Times of Israel, and i24 News continued their liveblogging. Among the more notable developments:

• Yesterday, four Palestinian kids playing on the Gaza beach were killed by an Israeli shell. The incident happened near the Al Deira Hotel, where a lot of foreign reporters are staying. Correspondents like Ayman Mohyeldin of NBC News and The Guardian‘s Peter Beaumont jumped into action. Two snippets of coverage made my antennae twitch. The first is by Washington Post reporter William Booth:

It is not unusual for militants to launch rockets from sites near my hotel.

And AP reports:

A witness who identified himself only as Abu Ahmed said the boys were scavenging for scrap metal when a first shell hit a nearby shipping container used in the past by Hamas security forces.

• CNN‘s Wolf Blitzer got special access to Israel’s drone operations center. He talked to the officer in charge of making sure targets are clear of civilians ahead of airstrikes.


Israel seeks the ouster of UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness over his affinity for Dr. Mads Gilbert (a blast from the past).

In a letter to Pierre Krähenbühl, UNRWA’s Commissioner-General, Prosor said, “Gunness, yet again abused his position by calling on reporters to interview Dr. Mads Gilbert, an outspoken proponent of terrorist attacks against civilians. In September 2001, Dr. Gilbert explicitly supported the ‘moral right’ of Al-Qaeda to perpetrate the 9/11 terrorist attacks against thousands of American civilians.”


In the letter, seen by The Algemeiner, Prosor included the text of a recent Twitter post from Gunness encouraging reporters to speak to Gilbert: “Great interviewee @ Shifa Hosp Gaza right now Prof Mads Gilbert +4790878740 call him 4 fatality & cas figs and atoms RT.” The message has since been deleted.


“Rather than denouncing Hamas’s targeting of innocent civilians, Mr. Gunness is shamelessly promoting an individual who shares Hamas’s morally reprehensible convictions,” Prosor said in his letter.

“Killer Drone” is a lousy Hamas fake

• While visiting Ashkelon, Norway’s foreign minister, Borg Brende, was forced to take shelter during a rocket attack. Brende was having lunch with counterpart Avigdor Lieberman. Nobody was hurt. More at The Local.

• Jews continued to bear the unfortunate brunt of anti-war demonstrations in London. And police banned a Palestinian rally in Paris.

CNNAP, The Guardian,  New York Times, and BBC check out the Israeli public mood under fire.


gorilla thinking• South African-Israeli writer Benjamin Pogrund’s worth reading today:

Don’t accuse Israel of apartheid

• It’s insulting for Nicholas Kristof to say that responding to Palestinian rockets is only within the purview of Israeli “hardliners.” Every Zionist party in the Knesset would have done the same thing.

• Israeli diplomats continued their media blitz. Consul general Ido Aharoni weighed in at Newsmax and Bloomberg News. Ambassador Arthur Lenk discussed the crisis with the Johannesburg Star.  Ambassador Ron Dermer took questions on Twitter at #AskDermer. And Mark Regev handled himself quite well on Channel 4 against Jon Snow’s aggressive questions.

• A number of Arab commentators heap scorn on Hamas, including Ahmed Al-Jarallah, Dr. Azeem Ibrahim, and Abdulateef Al-Mulhim.

• For more commentary/analysis, see Khaled Abu Toameh (Why Hamas said no to Sisi), Alan Dershowitz (Hamas is real enemy of Palestinians), Maj. Gen. (ret.) Ed Fitch (Asymmetric war evolves in tragic directions), Lazar Berman (Who’s afraid of boots on the ground?), Brendan O’Neill (The line between anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism gets thinner), Jonathan D. Halevy (Similarities between Hamas and ISIS), Ihsan Yilmaz (Erdogan abuses Palestinian problem), and Pat Johnson (Pro-Palestinian activists make things worse for people they claim to support).

See also Clifford May, William Jacobson,  Bernard AvishaiBen Kamin, Seth LipskyPaul Whitefield, plus staff-eds in The Guardian, Christian Science Monitor, and Los Angeles Times.

On the other side, Daoud Kuttab got  Washington Post op-ed space to shill for Mahmoud Abbas’ legacy of peace. See also Mehdi HasanSeumas Milne, and Matt Hill.

Rest O’ the Roundup

• According to Kurdish media,  ISIS is now using chemical weapons against Syrian Kurdish forces. You can do that during Ramadan?


Featured image: CC BY-SA flickr/Garry Knight, gorilla CC flickr/Eric Kilby


For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook.


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