IDF briefing on intense rocket fire on southern Israel

Earlier, I took part in a briefing with Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich of the IDF Spokesman’s unit regarding the intensified rocket fire upon the south of Israel over the past few hours, which the BBC has reported under the headline “Militants killed in Gaza strikes”. 

Lt. Col. Leibovich reported that 68 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip in the past twelve hours. Two foreign nationals – farm workers from the Kissufim area – were critically wounded by rocket fire and three or four additional civilians are suffering from lighter injuries. Several homes have been damaged. 

Scene of the rocket attack which critically injured two farm workers. Photo credit: IDF blog, 24/10/2012

Lt. Col. Leibovich also gave details of the IDF’s responses to the rocket attacks:

At midnight last night the IDF targeted a rocket-launching squad comprised of three Hamas terrorists.

At 5 a.m. this morning the IDF targeted another squad which had just launched a rocket.

At 7 a.m. the IDF targeted a rocket launching site – one of the pits dug by the terrorists in which the rocket-launcher is placed.

At 8:20 a.m. the IDF targeted a weapons smuggling tunnel and other sites in the northern Gaza Strip. 

Israel’s “Iron Dome” missile defence system has successfully intercepted 7 additional rockets.

The Home Front Command has ordered all civilians in the region to stay near their air-raid shelters and safe rooms as, due to their proximity to the Gaza Strip, they have only 15 seconds in which to find cover. All schools and kindergartens in the area are closed. 

Lt. Col. Leibovich stressed that all the targets of today’s rocket fire were, once again, civilian targets including small agricultural communities. She also noted that the majority of the rocket fire took place – as is frequently the case – during the early morning when children are on their way to school and adults travelling to work.

I asked Lt. Col. Leibovich for her view of the claim frequently made by members of the Western media that Hamas is not interested in an escalation of the conflict. She described it as “not a reliable statement”.


12 comments on “IDF briefing on intense rocket fire on southern Israel

  1. Well done, Hadar

    Of course, given its woeful performance/cover up in the Jimmy Saville scandal it’s highly unlikely that the BBC would ever admit that its reporting is dishonest or skewed, but nevertheless have you sent this to the Fat Controller there?

    This morning I heard on Radio 4 news that the IDF had fired on “militants” in Gaza, but not a peep about why, or about the rockets you mention.

  2. All I’ve been hearing all day in relation to the Savile paedophile scandal, is that the BBC is enormously concerned that its reputation for trusted and honest reporting is not damaged by the way the issue has been mismanaged by the corporation and its staff and management.

    Presumably, they are entirely unconcerned by their reputation for Middle East reporting or as in this case, non reporting.

    The brand new Director General has shown himself to be unequal to the task, having studiously averted his gaze from the various Savile programmes, so, he says, not to be seen to be influencing any outcomes. The man has shown himself to be a tick box manager, with no ability to think outside his remit. He’s been at the BBC for many years and is obviously a product of the BBC management culture, which would explain a great deal about its inability to think for itself.

    John Simpson, the veteran BBC World News correspondent has said that he cannot remember a worse situation for the BBC and its reputation, and the chairman of the BBC Trustees, Chris Patten – a great friend to the Palestinians and no friend whatever to Israel, has been very aggressive towards government ministers who have complained about the Savile scandal.

    All in all, I suspect a number of heads are going to roll, and al Beeb is going to have some very hard questions to ask itself. Hopefully one of those heads will be Patten.

    The establishment of BBC Watch at moment in this time was meant to be.

  3. cityca, precisely. The BBC lost its credibility amongst most Jewish citizens a long time ago. Since when did they cate about that?

  4. Could I just suggest one small change – that the date of each article be specified under the headline and name, so that readers know immediately that it’s topical?


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