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Tag: Grad Rockets

Palestinian Unity Government

A unity government is being formed between Hamas and Fatah representatives. It is to be headed by Palestinian Authority Prime Minister, Salam Fayyad, and will include members from both factions, as well as independents.

Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, along with a number of Hamas leaders, have acquiesced the new plans. Under the conditions for the unity government, Hamas may continue ruling in the Gaza Strip, so long as it abstains from the use of violence.

Previously, Hamas approached the offer with suspicion. One of the group’s leaders, Salah al-Bardawil said “Fayyad does not represent the Palestinian leadership” and that due to his lack of legitimacy, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority is “not authorized to speak about public affairs.

However, in recent days, the ice has begun to melt. Mahmoud a-Zahar, a Hamas leader in Gaza says he is open to the deal; and according to Israel Radio, Fayad says he is willing to go to Gaza to discuss further, the unity deal with Hamas. Also, Nabil Shaath, a top official in the Fatah Party, told The Associated Press that he would go to Gaza soon to negotiate with Hamas leaders to work out the terms for a unity deal.

Meanwhile, two Grad-model Katyusha rockets hit the southern Israeli town Beersheba for the first time since Operation Cast Lead. The rockets fell in a residential Beersheba neighborhood; one rocket landing in the yard of a home, causing large damage. No physical injuries were reported but five people were treated for shock.

Last Wednesday afternoon, an explosive device detonated while IDF soldiers passed near the Gaza security fence during a routine operation and a mortar shell was fired at the force. No one was injured and no damage was reported.

Along with the border skirmish, five mortar shells fired from Gaza landed in the Sedot Negev Regional Council area on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a strange flipflop for American President Obama, was instructing the U.S. representative to the United Nations to veto the Security Council resolution, last Friday, that would have condemned Israel’s West Bank settlements as illegal.

Tohu Bohu in the Middle East

Who’s up for a game of Middle East Twister?

Monday night, residents of Gaza shot a volley of powerful mortar shells and Grad rockets at the western Negev. One rocket hit Ofakim and one landed in Netivot, almost hitting a Jewish wedding celebration, where a “Color Red” rocket alert system sounded. Four were treated for shock and one vehicle was damaged.

The Eshkol Regional Council reported a mortar attack originating from Gaza – the shell, thank God, landed in an open area.

protestor holds up Mubarak's face with Star of David painted on his foreheadThis attack on Israel is impressive given the fact that Hamas police were busy trying to prevent their own from demonstrating in solidarity with the Egyptian pandemonium.

Gazan activist, Asma al-Ghoul, said she and a small group of protesters gathered in central Gaza City Tuesday when police stopped their peace demonstration. Police detained and beat some demonstrators. Al-Ghoul was accused by female police of being a “bad Muslim” because she did not cover her hair.

The New York-based Human Rights watch called on Hamas to “stop arbitrarily interfering with peaceful demonstrations about Egypt or anything else.”

Gaza MilitantsThe PA in the West Bank also put the lid on a protest to buttress the chaotic civilian-operation to oust Mubarak. The police out-numbered the Palestinian civilians, 3-to-1. Protesters were shoved and were threatened with clubs. Police, in classic Fatah fashion, prevented journalists from filming or photographing the action.

Mahmoud Abbas canceled local elections in 2009 when it appeared Fatah would lose to independents.

The Palestinian Authority has not actually held elections since 2006; PM Salam Fayyad, however, said he will set the date for a vote next week.

Jordan’s King Abdullah after weeks of opposition protests inspired by regime ouster in Tunisia and turmoil in Egypt, names his former ex-military advisor Marouf Bakhit as new prime minister with orders to carry out ‘true political reforms.

Biden Tell it like it IS:

Gaza – The Information War

The war in Gaza and its surrounding Israeli cities is waging still, with no clear end in sight. Yet in this age of abundant technology and streaming information, there is also a propaganda war simultaneously going on via television networks, personal blogs, and YouTube videos. One enthusiastic even programmed a simple video game to demonstrate the war tactics, as he sees it.

This is a brief collection of home-made videos, news briefings, and the aforementioned notorious game.

Danny Gillerman, Israel’s former ambassador to the UN speaks about the war, 12/28/08:

“Raid Gaza” Flash Game – Gain Extra Points for Bombing a Hospital:

Annie Lennox on the Humanitarian perspective:

Qassams on Europe, a fictional cartoon:

2 Qassams are launched while CNN’s Paula Hancocks reports from the border:

When the alarm goes off, people in Sderot have 15 seconds to find cover:

Life in Beer Sheva

It’s a terrifying sound. I remember hearing it during the first Gulf War. You close yourself in a room, and pray the alarm ends without a shocking boom. Complete helplessness.

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