Monday, December 29, 2008

On the Israeli Homefront

While Operation Cast Lead continues on, I thought I would present a round up on the war in the Israeli homefront. The Jerusalem Post:

In an apparent sign of Palestinian violence spreading beyond Gaza and the South, four people were wounded Monday morning, one of them seriously, in a stabbing attack carried out by a Palestinian terrorist in the town of Modi'in Illit (Kiryat Sefer). The terrorist was shot by Kobi Rosenstein, a Magen David Adom volunteer who came to treat wounded. MDA said the medic's bravery prevented additional casualties.

At 8.05 a.m., MDA's Ayalon branch received an alert about shooting and stabbing in the haredi settlement's Rehov Yehuda Hanassi. Two regular ambulances and two more sophisticated ones were dispatched. When the rescue teams arrived, they found someone they knew well - MDA volunteer medical Arye Deutsch, lying on the floor bleeding heavily. The apartment owner, who was herself lightly wounded, said the Arab attacker - the head of a renovation team in her flat, seriously wounded his contractor employer, stabbed her and her husband and fled.

Deutsch was rushed to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer, where he was in critical condition with wounds to his head. Five others were also hospitalized there, one serious and four lightly injured. The terrorist was seriously hurt by Rosenstein's bullet and hospitalized in Sheba as well. Security forces believe that a second man may have been involved in the attack, and were conducting searches in the area.
What day would be complete without a baby stoning? Arutz Sheva:
( Arab stoning attacks are on the increase, in light of Israel's counter-terrorism offensive in Gaza: An eight-month old baby from the Gush Etzion area, traveling in her family car on Sunday afternoon, is listed in moderate condition in a Jerusalem hospital. She was hurt by Arab-thrown rocks north-east of Hevron. Shortly before that, a 1-year-old baby boy was lightly wounded by glass shards in a similar stoning attack. He was taken to Kiryat Arba for treatment.
While Hamas and Egypt clash over the Rafah border Israel treats Gaza’s wounded under rocket fire:
( Dozens of Gaza Arabs are being treated in Ashkelon's Barzilai Hospital at the same time terrorists are bombarding the city. The medical facility, the largest on the southern coast, is in the line of rocket fire, and medical staff often have to stop caring for patients and run for cover during air rain warnings.
The 500-bed Barzilai Hospital has close ties with Gaza City's Shifa Hospital, Barzilai deputy director Dr. Ron Lobel told the Associated Press. "It might seem completely absurd, but we have the privilege to be doctors. Our medical ethics do not distinguish between patients. We treat whoever needs to be treated," he said.
I am sure there are those of who will sneer but Israeli humanitarian efforts don’t end with treating the wounded. Arutz Sheva:
( Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the IDF to open the Kerem Shalom Crossing Sunday morning in order to enable international humanitarian agencies to deliver supplies into Gaza.Thirty trucks bearing medical supplies, basic food commodities and other humanitarian goods made their way through the crossing beginning at 11:00 a.m. and continued for several hours.

"As the prime minister said yesterday, we are not at war with the Palestinian people, but with the Hamas terrorists, and therefore we are bringing in the goods for the Palestinian people," noted IDF Major Peter Lerner, Defense Ministry Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories.

Three humanitarian aid agencies are sending goods into the Gaza war zone: UNWRA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency), WFA (World Food Agency) and the ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross). All three agencies were notified Saturday evening that they would be allowed to send as many truckloads of supplies into the region as they could muster, Lerner told Israel National News. "We didn't place any limit on the number of trucks," he said. "There are only thirty truckloads because that was what they were able to get ready for today. That's what they have in their warehouses at the moment." The Erez Crossing, which is almost always open for the passage of medical patients into Israel, has been closed to all traffic in the wake of specific terror alerts.
And what internal round up would be complete without student protests on campus – far from the theatre of war. Ynet News:
Hundreds of Haifa University students took part in hot tempered demonstrations in the middle of the campus Monday. On the one hand, Jewish and Arab students belonging to a leftist movement called for an end to the IDF's Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, and under the slogan "Diplomatic Terror" yelled out nationalistic chants and "Barak is a murderer".

On the other hand, Jewish students gathered to support the Israeli operation and called out "Death to terrorists" and "Ismail (Haniyeh) is next". Large police and university security forces separated the two groups, which occasionally got into heated arguments with each other, and objects were even thrown from one side to another. During the protests, an argument broke out between left-wing lecturers and IDF officers studying at the university, who were dressed in uniform and carrying their weapons.

During the demonstrations, that were held with the University's permission, students associated with Balad, Hadash and the Islamic Movement waved PLO flags, red flags and posters denouncing the operation. "In spirit and in blood we will save Palestine", "The defense minister is a child killer", and "Fascism lives on" are just some of the slogans shouted out by the students.

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