Guardian pretends they’re not sure whether Israel or Hamas violated ceasefire

On Monday, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators agreed to extend a temporary ceasefire in Gaza by 24 hours so they could continue to conduct more talks on a long-term truce. The five-day ceasefire was set to expire at midnight Israeli time.

On Tuesday, at roughly 15:45 Israeli time (less than 16 hours into the 24 hour extension), terrorists in Gaza violated the ceasefire when they fired three rockets at Israel, causing large explosions near Beersheva. (This represents the eleventh cease-fire that Hamas either violated or rejected since the war began.)

Forty-five minutes later, at 16:30, there were reports of further Gaza rocket attacks on Ashdod and Ashkelon.

At 16:34, the IDF began retaliating in response to the Palestinian rocket barrage.

The timeline is not in dispute, as US officials made clear last night.

However, here’s the Guardian misinformation that we were all anticipating:

Print edition headline and strap line:

printHere’s the online edition:

onlineHere are the relevant opening passages:

Israeli negotiators withdrew from peace talks in Cairo aimed at forging a durable ceasefire in the six-week war in Gaza on Tuesday night as rocket fire and air strikes resumed hours before the latest truce was due to expire.

Israel accused Hamas of violating the latest of a series of temporary ceasefires after rockets were launched from Gaza, triggering a swift military and political response

Israeli officials said 10 rockets were fired from Gaza, the first of which were launched about eight hours before the truce was due to end at midnight

Then, we learn what the head of the Palestinian negotiating team claimed:

Palestinian negotiators blamed the collapse of the Gaza ceasefire on Israel’s failure to take Cairo-based negotiations seriously. Azzam al-Ahmad, the head of the Palestinian delegation, claimed that Israel had always intended to break the truce, and had used the firing of three rockets from Gaza on Tuesday afternoon as an excuse for an already-made decision to sabotage the talks.

So, according to Al-Ahmad, Hamas may have technically violated the ceasefire, but the rocket attacks from Gaza were cynically exploited by Israel, who had already made the decision to “sabotage the talks”.

Then, we learn what Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri claimed about the ceasefire.

The Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, denied knowledge of the rocket fire which Israel said had breached the truce.We don’t have any information about firing rockets from Gaza. The Israeli raids are intended to sabotage the negotiations in Cairo,” he told reporters. 

Whilst the Palestinian lead negotiator tacitly admitted that his side violated the ceasefire, all the official Hamas spokesman could muster was a denial of ‘knowledge’ concerning Palestinian rocket fire.

So, despite the timeline of events clearly indicating that Hamas violated the ceasefire, and one implicit acknowledgement by a Hamas negotiator that they indeed broke the ceasefire, the Guardian still isn’t willing to blame the Islamist terror group.

Guardian obfuscation at its finest. 

What the Guardian didn’t mention about their Palestinian ‘prisoner of the day’

H/T Al-Gharqad

While we often post in response to Israel related news stories and commentary at the Guardian and ‘Comment is Free’ which are biased, misleading or inaccurate in some manner, often a Guardian ‘photo of the day’ can similarly serve as a vehicle for propaganda due to the emotive strength of the image, along with a paucity of relevant context.

The following was included in the Feb. 11th edition of the Guardian’s ‘Best Photos of the Day’.

Mideast Israel Palestinians

Here’s the Guardian caption:

Palestinian women hold pictures of prisoners jailed in Israel during a rally calling for their release in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Photograph: Nasser Shiyoukhi/AP

Now, here’s what a Guardian reader casually glancing at the Palestinian “prisoner” wouldn’t have known.

A friend who’s fluent in Arabic read the poster and identified the ‘prisoner’ as Ayman Ismail Al-Sharawna. 

Al-Sharawna was jailed in Israel because of his involvement in a terrorist attack in in May 2002, in which two Palestinians placed an explosive device near a group of civilians in Beersheba and fled the scene. Eighteen Israelis were injured in the attack. (A technical fault prevented the bomb from exploding fully.)

He was sentenced to 38 years in prison, but released on October 18, 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange deal.

On January 31, 2012, the IDF re-arrested Al-Sharawna, resident of a Palestinian town near Hebron, on suspicion of having returned to terror planning with a Hamas cell in the West Bank.  He recently began a hunger strike.

Al-Sharawna is a “prisoner” because he tried to murder innocent Israelis, and, after his release, is evidently determined to try to murder again.

Will the Guardian report rockets fired by Gaza terrorists which destroyed a house in Israel?

The life of Pini Azoulay, of the southern Israeli town of Netivot, 14 km from the Gaza border, was saved when, having awoken (at around 2AM this morning) to the sound of the air raid siren, he ran towards the bathroom which was protected by a concrete ceiling.

The explosion caused by the grad rocket caused severe damage to the house.

Home in Netivot destroyed, this morning, by Palestinian rocket fire

A second rocket landed in an open area in Beersheba, prompting the city’s mayor, Mayor Ruvik Danilovich, to cancel school for more than 40,000 children.

The rocket attacks on Israel today by Palestinians in Gaza resulted in seven injuries; three were hurt while running to bomb shelters after hearing the sirens, while another four suffered shock.

No terror group claimed responsibility for the attack, but reports suggest that terrorists associated with the Global Jihad network were to blame.

So far in 2012, more than 455 rockets fired from Gaza have hit Israel.

This constant barrage of Palestinian terror attacks (by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Popular Resistance Committees, Global Jihadists, and others) has been characterized – when reported at all – by the Guardian’s Jerusalem correspondent, Harriet Sherwood, as “sporadic“.

The blog ‘This Ongoing War does a stellar job reporting the details of this grossly under-reported campaign of terror against Israeli civilians.   

AKUS’ postcard from Israel, Day 1: The Joe Alon Center for Bedouin Culture

A guest post by AKUS

[CiF Watch regular contributor 'AKUS' recently visited Israel and will be filing a few blog 'postcards' from his trip over the next few days. This is his first installment. - A.L.] 

Who killed Joe Alon?

A few minutes before 1 A.M. on Sunday, July 1, 1973, Col.Yosef (Joe ) Alon and his wife Dvora returned to their home in a quiet Washington, D.C., suburb. Alon, the air attache at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, had been at a farewell party for an Israeli diplomat. They parked the car. Dvora went into the house and then heard five gunshots. 

Joe Alon was one of the founders of the Israel Air Force, with Ezer Weizman and Moti Hod. His murder has never been solved.

While training and commanding air force units in the Negev, Joe Alon became familiar with the local Bedouin and the special character of the Negev. The Joe Alon Center near Kibbutz Lahav, not far from Beersheva, focuses on the life and culture of the desert tribes and is dedicated to this man who respected his fellow desert dwellers and their way of life.

Ouda Abu Kahud from the Bedouin township of Hura near Beersheba is a well-known guide in the area, and guides visitors from Israel and abroad around the two-storey Joe Alon Center exhibits depicting the daily life of the Negev Bedouin and their counterparts in Sinai.

 

Ouda Abu Kahud talking to group of policeman touring the area to learn more about Bedouin culture and life about typical Bedouin customs and life and how they differ among the various tribes.  His talk is punctuated by jokes about the Bedouin themselves, and their interactions with the wider world around them, adding his dry humor to the learning experience.

He is standing  in front of a model of an encampment of Bedouin of the Negev. Particularly interesting was the section on the Jebalyia tribe (Jebal/Jabal -= mountain). Ouda Abu Kahud explained that the tribe is descended from Christian slaves s brought from Romania by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD to serve and protect the Santa Caterina monastery on the presumed Mount Sinai. Over the centuries they intermarried with the local tribes, and are now Muslim.

Some of the many exhibits:

Full-scale models illustrating the lifestyles of different Bedouin tribes

Old Bedouin farming utensils, now superseded by modern tools

Woven and embroidered patchwork quilt made by Bedouin women to illustrate their communities and to express their dreams for their lives and the lives of their children.

Finally, in a full-size example of a Bedouin tent, Ouda Abu Kahud prepares coffee for his guests while he explains the complexities of Bedouin hospitality and the coffee ritual.

If you are in the Beersheva area on your next trip to Israel, make a small detour and spend a few hours at the Joe Alon Center – it’s well worth it!

Photos the Guardian won’t publish: Israeli communities under siege from Gaza rocket fire

In the eight stories (and one commentary) the Guardian published about last week’s terrorist violence from Gaza, all but one accompanying photo depicted Palestinian suffering, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of those killed in Gaza were Islamic Jihad or Popular Resistance Committee terrorists (and all of those targeted by Gaza terrorists were Israeli civilians).

So, here are some photos depicting the real life consequences (of terrorist violence which began on March 9) on Israeli communities within range of Gaza rocket attacks – images of towns under siege not seen at the Guardian.

Gaza terrorist assaults on communities injured over a dozen Israeli civilians, forced hundreds of thousands into bomb shelters, and closed schools for up to a week.

South of Ashdod, children take cover in a concrete pipe/shelter as incoming Palestinian rockets seek their targets.

Iranian made Grad rocket hits Netivot, March 14

Young Israeli girl takes cover in Beer Sheba after rocket siren sounds

The Reuters caption reads: "An Israeli girl looks for steel ball bearings on a wall of a school in the southern city of Beersheba, after it was damaged by a rocket fired by Palestinian militants in Gaza March 11, 2012. "

A woman and child in Ofakim, Israel covers to protect against Gaza rockets

Israeli teens in Nitzana taking shelter in a sewage pipe

An Israeli man looks out of a window after a rocket attack from Gaza, March 12

Ashdod, Israel - March12: Israeli woman evacuated after rocket attack from Gaza

Ashdod, Israel, March 12: Israeli schoolgirls take cover next to bus during a rocket attack

Thai worker, injured when rockets fired from Gaza into Israel hit the area of Eshkol, is brought into the Soroka hospital March 9

Also, here’s a short compilation of rocket attacks on Israeli communities, filmed by civilians during the first few days of hostilities.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Islamic Jihad has claimed victory, per this official PIJ poster: (H/T Challah Hu Akbar)

On life and death in an Israeli town under fire

H/T AKUS

This was written by Victor Yagoda

My daughter gave birth on Friday, three weeks earlier than expected. The little baby still does not have a name and she is not even 48 hours old. My wife and I live in the Galil, my daughter with her husband and 2 year old grandchild live near Beersheva.

Last night, Saturday, we were all visiting her when the warning alarm that an incoming Grad Mission from Gaza was targeting the region. The drill is that everybody has to move within not more than 15 seconds from their Maternity room which has windows, to the closest corridor that has fewer windows (15 seconds do not permit to go any further to an underground shelter).

So my wife and I helped my daughter get off the bed, put on her slippers and begin to push the cart where the newborn baby was sleeping and we walked out of the room… Believe it or not, it was not easy due to the traffic in the corridor, all the mothers, almost like dressed in uniform, were pushing their carts in the same direction. Most of them were alone, because it was shortly after Shabbat and after the Ramadan fast period ended, so they were valiantly doing this on their own, a few hours after a very, if not one of the most significant and meaningful moment in their life. Some of the women were Arab, others were Bedouins, Russian Olim, Ethiopian Olim, other people in the corridor were hospital staff, security, doctors and visitors… Oh yes, some were just veteran Israelis like my daughter, who is a 7 generation Israeli, pushing an eight generation baby that was not yet given a name…

My reflection while this was all happening was: Here we are in Beersheva where 4000 years ago, Abraham made a wise and generous truce to avoid rivalry and conflict; yes 4000 years ago… and here we are being given 15 seconds to try and avoid danger caused by rivalry and conflict… I am sure that many books can be written by tapping into the minds of all of us gathered in a crowded corridor in the hospital.

Today is another day and I am writing my reflections after experiencing three more “Tzeva Adom” “Color Red” alarms, while holding my grandchild in my arms and he is only two years old, but old enough to ask: Ma zeh? What is this?

P.S. Oh yes, I forgot to share with you one more thing: Last night after the above description, visiting hours ended and we left the hospital with Ziv our grandchild home. While we were walking out of the Hospital building, Ziv began to play in the parking lot with a little Bedouin 1.5 years old, when suddenly again the siren went off and again we had 15 seconds to be ushered to the safe area.

This time we were all ushered into a corridor of the Delivery Ward of the Hospital. There were no babies in little carts. This time we found ourselves in between dozens of women who were about to give birth, one of them was sitting in a wheel chair experiencing very strong contractions… This time we heard the explosions very close to us, people were just counting 1,2,3… 7. Yes 7 grad missiles were targeted to Beersheva, four of them fell in an open area, two of them were hit by our anti grad missile system “Iron Dome” and one hit a building injuring 7 people and killing one man, Yossi Shushan, (38) who happened to be there to pick up his 9 month pregnant wife… He will not be in the delivery ward where I happened to be in, at the very same moment he was killed…

I can only commend the behavior and bravery of every single person (who will most likely meet again), with whom we shared a few minutes that will remain with us for a life time…

Beersheva, Israel, August 2011

Victor

Blogging from Beersheba in the aftermath of Saturday’s deadly Hamas rocket attack

The Gaza rocket on Saturday which destroyed a garage and part of the house on a small street in Beersheba, in southern Israel, and killed Yossi Shushan, 38, from the Israeli city of Ofakim, also ripped through the house next door, sending shrapnel and ball bearings through the wall and windows of the two-story home.

A hole in a chair of the kitchen, caused by shrapnel from the rocket which landed at a home next door, on a street in Beersheba

Shushan was on his way to pick up his wife, who is nine months pregnant, from her brother’s home in Beersheba, when the air raid siren sounded. He got out of his car, and, as he tried to run for cover, was hit by shrapnel from the exploding rocket. Shushan suffered a fatal injury to his head.

The home in Beersheba where the rocket landed

Further tragedy was averted when the IDF made the decision on Saturday night to cancel classes in all of the Negev city’s educational institutions on Sunday.  At 9AM this morning a Hamas Grad rocket a school for middle and high school students in Beersheba at 9 AM where 700 Israeli children were to attend an orientation, which would have begun at 8AM.

Palestinian terrorists pound Israel with over 80 rockets on Saturday: 1 killed, &11 injured

An Israeli man injured in a terrorist rocket attack is treated by paramedics

At least one Israeli was killed and several others sustained serious wounds, including a woman who’s now in serious condition, after more than 80 rockets were fired from Gaza into southern Israel on Saturday.

Earlier in the evening, a Grad rocket from Gaza landed on a home in Ofakim, starting a fire and sending shrapnel and debris flying that injured a four-month-old baby, a nine-year-old boy and a man in his early 20s.

An eight-year-old girl and a 20-year-old man were also hurt in the attack, officials said. 

Hamas, Popular Resistance Committees and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Early Saturday Hamas announced that it is no longer committed to a truce with Israel. 

Police have instructed residents of the south to remain in safe zones and to remain tuned in to instructions from the IDF Home Front Command.

The attacks come two days after a series of Palestinian terrorists attacks around Eilat killed 7 Israelis and wounded dozens.

50 mortars fired into Israel on Shabbat, 2 injured

Per the Jerusalem Post:

“Civilian areas in southern Israel were heavily shelled by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza on Saturday morning, when more than 50 mortars were fired at the regional councils of Sha’ar Hanegev, Eshkol and Sdot Hanegev.

Two Israelis sustained injuries by shrapnel and were transferred to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.

Hamas claimed responsibility for a dozen of the mortars fired.”