Israel and Gaza, Day 6, November 19th

I decided today to write down all the “Color Red” sirens during the afternoon, as they were reported live on the Galgalatz radio station. This is a list of all the sirens sounded today between 14:30-18:00 (I may have missed one or two):

14:57- Siren in Ashdod, Ad Halom, Netiv Ha’asara (and 4 others places which I did not have time to write down)

14:57 – Siren in Hof Ashkelon

15:25- Siren in Nir Oz

15:34- Siren in Nirim and Ein Hashlosha

15:51 – Siren in Kisufim, Nirim, and Ein Hashlosha

16:19- Siren in Be’eri, Kfar Maimon, Tushiya, Sha’ar Hanegev regional council, Kfar Aza and Sa’ad

16:20- Siren in Kfar Maimon, Shokeda and Tushiya

16:39- Siren in Beit Hagadi, Netivot, Kfar Maimon, Tushiya, Shibolim and Sha’ar Hanegev regional council

16:45- Siren in Nir Am, Sderot and Mefalsim

16:46- Siren in Sderot

17:02- Siren in Be’er Sheva and Eshel Hanasi

17:03- Siren in Bnei Shimon regional council

17:08- Siren in Holit, Bnei Netzarim, Nave and Eshkol regional council

17:19- Siren in Erez, Or Haner, Yad Mordechai and Netiv Ha’asara

17:54- Siren in Hof Ashkelon, Ashkelon industrial zone, Yad Mordechai, Netiv Ha’asara

So, as you can see, today was similar to yesterday: rockets continued to be fired all over the south, “Iron Dome” intercepted some of them and the IDF continued to strike at terrorist positions in Gaza. This evening, four Islamic Jihad activists were killed in an IDF strike.


 Yesterday, a story was circulated on Facebook about Friday’s siren in the Jerusalem area. Here it is in full:

Surreal story from Eli Birnbaum in Tekoa:
Erev Shabbat [= Friday. WoIL] in Tekoa (like most places) is a contradiction of tension and relief. This time the arrival of Shabbat was accompanied by warning sirens for a missile attack. Surprise and unbelief “Missiles here in the Judean desert?” Before we can really grasp what was happening, there came the resounding boom of an explosion echoing in the hills

Reflecting the shock in our faces. The security van careens through the streets calling people to find shelter. Within minutes another siren warning. This time prayers are halted. “Quickly under the shul,” someone commands. Within the confusion we grab our children and grandchildren in our arms and climb down to the open area under the synagogue which affords more protection. We all move quickly in the darkening evening finding space on the floor. I hold one of my grandchildren talking to him softly. He thinks it is a great game. We begin to sing and wait for the next boom.

It was at that moment that my son Pinny’s cell phone rings. As a member of a search and rescue team it is not uncommon for him to get calls even on Shabbat. But this call was different “Shabbat Shalom”. It is a familiar voice with a very distinct accent. “Pinny, its Muhammad, what do I do? What’s happening? I heard your sirens”. There is real panic in his voice.
At first this may not appear to be an abnormal situation, but Muhammad is an acquaintance/friend who happens to live in the Arab village of Tuqua which the army will only enter in large numbers. Pinny quietly explains that we were being rocketed from Gaza and the best thing he could do is to remain in doors and stay away from windows. Muhammad thanks Pinny profusely apologizes for calling on Shabbat “Shabbat Shalom Pinny – B’Emet todah!” [I truly thank you. WoIL]. So this Friday night, a “Palestinian Arab” called a “Jewish Settler” for help regarding a rocket attack from Gaza – Surreal!

 I have seen many foreign writers criticizing Israel over Operation Pillar of Defense, saying that the reason Hamas is firing rockets is because of the “occupation”. Well, there is no occupation in Gaza. And yet the rockets keep coming. On the other hand, Israel does control Tekoa, where this story took place, and the rest of Judea and Samaria (I am deliberately not calling this an occupation. I realize I have not discussed the issue in my blog yet, and promise to go into the matter in detail after the current crisis is over). And yet, in Judea and Samaria, Jews and Arabs have managed to create understandings and cooperation on the basic interpersonal level, as this story illustrates. And, of course, there’s this minor detail: no rockets have ever been fired out of Judea and Samaria, only Gaza.

 I will let my readers dwell on this story, and I hope to get back to it in the future.


Meanwhile, on the internet:

A few interesting links I’ve seen today-


A short but well-made video titled: “How does the IDF minimize harm to Palestinian civilians in Gaza?” (44 seconds)

Screenshot from the video.


In contrast, Hamas has made quite a catchy song about how they want to kill Israeli civilians and strike at Tel Aviv (3:04 minutes, with subtitles). This song is the entertainment in Gaza this week. Don’t let the catchy rhythm fool you!


Back to Israel: A letter originally published in January 2009 (during Israel’s previous operation in Gaza- Operation Cast Lead) by an Israeli reserve soldier. It is addressed to the Palestinian family whose home the soldier occupied for a number of days. It’s approximately 2-3 pages long, but definitely worth the read.


And the last link: video footage of an Israeli pilot delaying strikes in Gaza due to civilians in the area (51 seconds, with subtitles).

 My bottom line for today is this: Israel views the loss of civilians on the Palestinian side as a failure. Hamas views loss of civilians on the Israeli side as success. That’s the difference between us.


Read all the updates on Operation Defensive Pillar:

Israel and Gaza- Operation Pillar of Defense- What is it all about?

Update- November 15th

Update- November 17th: Living under fire- I’m in range!

Operation Defensive Pillar- Update November 18th

One game of scrabble, five rocket attacks (guest post)

Operation Defensive Pillar- Day 7- November 20th


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  1. at least in Beer Sheva you missed one at 15:02 then again at 15:06(while we were stiil in the bomb shelter from the previous one

    1. Thank you Dovi! There also may have been sirens that were not reported on the radio.

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