The following on the ground update is provided by our good friend Marc Kahlberg, CEO of M.K. International Security Consulting Ltd | MK I.S.C.:
In total almost 100 missiles and rockets have been fired into Israel in the last 24 hours.
(There are unconfirmed reports that the terrorists apparently have fired new Iranian made missiles for the first time – we will see what these rockets are made up of soon?)
Forty are the upgraded Grad rockets which have a long range and are very lethal if there are people in the surrounding area of say 40 to 50 meters. We always have to watch that there are no chemical or biological agents in the warheads as well. Damage to property is always great if directly hit.
We have 8 injuries (1 critical) over and above the shell shock and obvious mental and physical stress that people suffer in attacks like these.
Most of the missiles were fired during the course of Friday night and Saturday early morning. As you know Friday nights in Israel are where families get together for the Sabbath . All residents in the surrounding areas of Gaza were in bomb shelters anyway. All planned outdoor activities and certainly our Purim events in the area were canceled (again). We always get attacked on Purim or Passover as these Jewish holidays have very specific meaning of denial for the terrorists.
The bigger problem is the Cities of Ashdod and Beer Sheva where there are very large populations.
Essentially we have around One Million people inside bomb shelters right now and that is what is preventing more casualties on our side. We are prepared and resilient but it takes a toll eventually.
My Son was in the thick of things last night (he is a soldier doing his compulsory 3 year military service). He lives in Beer Sheva, not far from his base, and was caught out on the streets coming home from visiting a friend, where at least 8 grads exploded very close to where he was. He obviously heard the blast and saw the results. He was not injured as he was a block away from the area where they fell. He certainly was shaken up and is still very stressed. I just spoke to him again (all night I was on the phone to him).
The defensive Iron Dome is not always used as it is extremely expensive and there are calculations made by the IDF as to when to use it or not.
The IDF attacked and killed two terrorists yesterday as they were in the final stages of a planned terror attack targeting the civilian Purim festivities in the Eilat area, where there would have been large crowds of people. The only way to stop these terror attacks is to deal with them before they get into the cities of Israel. There is no other way to stop an imminent terror attack of this nature but to be pro active.
The IDF pinpointed them and killed them in a pro active defensive move. The one terrorist was just released in the Gilad Shalit exchange and was a convicted terrorist with much blood on his hands.
This obviously sparked all of the missile attacks and I am certain that if this carries on the IDF will probably have to take more defensive action as we cannot hold a population of One Million in bomb shelters. The effects are too great (mentally, physically, financially and morally).
The terrorists are using "human shield" tactics and forcing innocent civilians in Gaza to stand where the missile launching sites are. As a result there are civilian injuries as well in Gaza.
I am certain that this will pass as it always does and that the world media will blame Israel (again). (Tom has already send me a clip from the New York Times that I have just read and this backs up my thoughts on the credibility of the global media).
Where are the Jewish organizations in Australia, South Africa, Great Britain and especially in the USA when we need their voice and support?
I would have expected every synagogue and community to come out and deplore these missile attacks.
What don’t they understand about the fact that these missiles traumatizes a nation. People are never the same again after these constant attacks. What do they require in order to understand? Do they want to see 500 or 1000 casualties before they speak out and do something?
History will repeat itself if nothing pro active is done and the understanding of the situation from a ground level perspective is not acknowledged. Most decision makers and politicians know only what they are told not what they see.