Updates – 10:30 PM Israel time

Received by email:
Today 12 reserve soldiers died next to Kibbutz Kfar Giladi. They moved their meeting to [deleted] believing it to be safe but were out in the open, unprotected, during a bombardment of Katyushas. Ironically they died next to the cemetery of Kfar Giladi where Joseph Trumpeldor, one of the greatest soldiers for Eretz Yisrael, is buried.


Yesterday was a Shabbat without Shalom 4 more people died in another flurry of Katyusha missiles.

I believe the Hezb-Allah are cornered and dangerous and are letting fly with everything they have in their weapons arsenal. This will be a hard week of fierce fighting but I pray that we are nearing the end of this horrific period. The long range arsenal has been severely depleted by the IDF and short range missiles are fired with a desperate and wild ferocity which suggests recognition that the end is nigh and they want to take as many casualties as they can while they are still active.

One of the kidnappers of Ehud Goldwasser and Elad Regev was captured yesterday in a raid on a Hezb-Allah cell in Lebanon. His interrogation is underway.

Gili is a very lucky young man. This evening he was interviewed from his wheelchair in Rambam hospital in Haifa. Gili was carried on a stretcher by his fellow IDF troops 100 metres under heavy fire after he was shot in the leg. Thanks to the quick thinking of the other soldiers who put a tourniquet on his leg to stop the bleeding he is doing well. He commented that it was almost worth the suffering to experience the incredible loyalty of his friends who chose to save him at the risk of their own lives. As Gili’s mother Yael hugged her son Zvi recognised the wheelchair Gili was sitting in as one of the 500 given by a group of Mormons friends of Israel to the New Jerusalem Foundation for distribution to Yad Sarah. The wheelchairs all have distinctive red frames.

Some things are just not fair. Dr Michael Kafka, head of the B’nai Zion Medical Centre Emergency Room in Haifa who has given himself over to saving lives is in the unfortunate position of disproving the saying that lightening does not strike twice. The good doctor’s home has been struck twice by Katyushas.

Mayor of Jerusalem Uri Lupuliansky, who is also the founder of Yad Sarah, spoke with Zvi today and told him that this weekend he hosted a family from Tiberias in his home. As the siren which heralds the arrival of the Sabbath rang over Jerusalem the children in the family ran to their father in terror desperate to find the bomb shelter. They thought the Katyushas had reached Jerusalem. The Mayor is considering changing the siren to something less threatening.

David Frankfurter sends this site

The Washington Post perpetuated the erroneous story that 50+ people died in the Israeli raid on Qana using a photograph to illustrate their claim. Click on the link and wait for it to load then use the arrows and magnification facility to focus on the last “body” in the line. No-one told him the “photo-op” was still in progress and he decided to sit up! Reuters also made some tactical changes to their news photos as seen in this report.

Ben is a political analyst, formerly on the far left of the political spectrum. He was a close friend of Dr Ahmed Tibi, member of Knesset and protagonist of the Arab cause. Last week as Defence Minister Amir Peretz was speaking in the Knesset stating that whereas Israel mourns the loss of civilian life amongst her enemies Hezb-Allah rejoices Israeli deaths, Tibi called out from the Knesset floor “Child murderer”. The next day in Ma’ariv Ben suggested that Tibi would miss Peretz when he is under the rule of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh. The clear implication from his former friend is that Tibi, by championing Israel’s enemies, is not only undeserving of his place in the Knesset but of Israeli citizenship. It is probably relevant here to mention that Dr Tibi is a former advisor to the late Yasser Arafat! There are some of the Arab members of Israel’s legislature who consort with the enemy on a regular basis against Israel’s interests, safe in the fact that they are unlikely to suffer the consequences because Israel affords them immunity as Members of Knesset. Democracy is democracy and treason is treason.

Last night Zvi and I collected our friend Yossi and drove to Sderot where our friends Eli and Liran had organised a concert with a galaxy of stars for the residents of this beleaguered town which has suffered rocket attacks from Gaza for the last five years. I would lie if I claimed it was not without some trepidation but we really wanted them to know that they are not forgotten in the very dramatic barrages on the north. Before the concert began we sat in the coffee bar of the Sderot Cinemateque talking to people who came to the show, Mazal and her husband Zfania. Zfania is the sole wage-earner in the family since Mazal was sacked for taking too much time off to attend a psychologist with her daughters all of them are suffering from trauma. Mazal told Zvi that the other night she and Zfania went out for a rare night’s entertainment together and arrived home at midnight. The warning sirens went off at 02:00 ; at 03:30; 05:30 and at 06:30. Zfania had to set off for work by 07:00 in the nearby “Tapuchips” factory production line. Mazal has done everything she knows to draw attention to the economic and emotional plight of Sderot, including a hunger strike. Sderot residents have been travelling to the North, going from bomb shelter to bomb shelter to show solidarity. The concert was somewhat surreal for me since it was based upon Broadway and West End Musicals translated to Hebrew by the late Ehud Manor. Somehow hearing “Hair” “Les Miserables” and “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in Hebrew while outside, in Sderot there was a Kassam rocket raid, yes there was “Shachar Adom” while we were there, was outside my normal range of experience!


PS We just got back from town and heard on the radio that Haifa had a terrible night with 180 injured from the Katyushas. Zvi’s cousin Dvorah told us that the booms were soul-destroying, much louder than previous ones. She told us that most of them fell on the old part of town where Arabs and Jews live together in harmony.

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