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Today in Sderot [VIDEO + IMAGES]

Entry to Sderot    Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

Entry to Sderot Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

WARNING: This might look like a travel blog post, until you see the video.

You will hear people moaning about the children in the conflict with Gaza and you will hear them moan about civilians and the effect on them.

Yesterday I visited Sderot, a small town of 25,000 near the Gaza border. When I say near…the closest part of Sderot to Gaza is 840m.

Every bus stop – approximately 200m apart, sometimes more is actually a bomb shelter as well. Whether you make it there is another matter as I will demonstrate shortly.

As you drive around you notice that every house also has a bomb shelter attached or is integral to the apartment blocks. This is the investment the people of Sderot and the government makes to protect children and the civilian population.

There is also an Iron Dome protecting Sderot, but due to the proximity to Gaza you only get 15 seconds warning…if that.

We had just finished a visit at the Police station where they have piles of expended Hamas rockets they have collected and I was crossing the road towards the van when an alert was issued. My phone buzzed and over the loud speakers that are everywhere in Sderot came the Hebrew words for Red Alert.

I was walking towards this bus shelter where there were people waiting and IDF Captain Roni Kaplan, who I was with, grabbed me and pushed me towards the shelter. The rest of the group were a fair bit behind and they returned quickly to the shelter at the Police station.

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Bus stop and Bomb shelter, Sderot Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

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Lord Richard Attenborough 1923-2014

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A giant Totara has fallen

 

Lesbians don’t need to be fat hairy legged sheilas with BO

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Spain’s national beauty queen winner has revealed that she is in a lesbian relationship, posting a photograph of her and her lover in bed on the social media website Instagram.

Patricia Yurena, who was crowned Miss Spain in 2008 and again in 2013 and came runner up in last year’s Miss Universe competition, is the first openly homosexual national winner.

“I don’t regret what I did and I did it because I am happy about what’s going on in my life,” said the 24-year old from Tenerife.

The photograph showed Miss Spain and her girlfriend, Vanesa Cortes, a singer and DJ on the Spanish House circuit, lying together on a bed with the caption “Romeo and Juliet”.

Her decision to go public about her sexuality won her widespread support across social media sites.

Why is this a story, really?   Read more »

Journalist, trained and skilled, mistakes ear plugs for rubber bullets

Sometimes you really do have to wonder about the state of some journalists.

Like Huffington Post journalist Ryan J. Reilly.

ryan-reilly-twitter Read more »

RED: How Israel warns it’s citizens from Hamas terrorism

Yesterday I mentioned the app that is available to push alerts of rocket strikes to your smart phone.

It is called RED and is available for iPhone and Android.

I have it installed on my phone and at dinner last night a flurry of alerts came in reminding me to share with you what it looks like.

When you login you have two possible screens.

The latest alerts and and a Map showing the latest alerts. It uses GPS and cell towers to know where you are.

Here is the Map screen showing the flurry of rocket attacks against Ashdod and Askelon and the general vicinity at around 6:45pm last night.

Screenshot_2014-08-23-19-07-15 Read more »

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Hamas kills 4 year old civilian in mortar attack

Hamas, on top of killing 18 alleged collaborators, have mortared a town in near Gaza and killed a 4 year old at a kindergarten.

A 4-year-old child was killed Friday evening after being critically wounded in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council by mortar fire during a large barrage of rocket fire from Gaza that also reached central Israel.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the fire on central Israel, saying that they had aimed for Ben Gurion International Airport. Iron Dome intercepted one rocket over Tel Aviv during the barrage.

At least 80 rockets were fired at Israel on Friday, with one landing a direct hit on synagogue in Ashdod, lightly wounding two and putting one woman in moderate condtion. Ten were treated for anxiety on the scene.

Earlier rockets fell near a preschool in Be’er Sheva, wounding a man while another landed meters from another preschool in the south, after a quiet night gave residents a much needed rest from renewed fighting which have seen a record number of rockets slam into Israel.

In the late afternoon hours, an apartment in Sderot also suffered a direct hit by a rocket from Gaza. Initial reports from the scene indicated that nobody had been injured in the attack.  

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What does it feel like to be under attack?

Haaretz breaking news page

Haaretz breaking news page

I was watching television in my room, shortly before 6pm last night.

I was about to go to dinner, but a siren started sounding. At the same time a txt message arrived on my cellphone and a push message on the app I downloaded.

This is the IDF’s early warning system at work. Hamas had launched a rocket at Tel Aviv and my hotel was in the calculated landing zone.

The Iron Dome detects the speed, trajectory and makes a calculation then sends out broadcast messages to anyone within about 500m of the calculated target zone. It takes 7 seconds for this to happen.

When you can hear sirens, you are in trouble.

About the time I got up from the bed the intercom system in the hotel announced that sirens and warnings were in effect and for all guests to move to the shelter.    Read more »

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Face of the day

arab

Elinor Joseph The First Female Arab Combat Soldier in the IDF

Cpl. Elinor Joseph is the first female Arab combat soldier in the IDF. She is proud to serve Israel.

Elinor Joseph was born to an Arab Christian family. She identifies herself as “Arab, Christian, and Israeli.”

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Politics as Combat

Andrew C. McCarthy writes at National Review Online about politics as combat.

It has come to this after six years of Barack Obama’s Chicago-style community-organizer governance: The hard Left no longer believes it necessary to pretend that the rule of law matters. It is politics as combat. The devolution can be measured from the trumped-up indictment of Tom DeLay to the trumped-up indictment of Rick Perry.

Back in 2005, the idea of exploiting prosecutorial power to criminalize one’s political opposition was still sufficiently noxious that Democrat apparatchiks in Austin understood the need for camouflage. Tom DeLay of Texas was among the GOP’s most effective leaders and fundraisers, having risen to congressional leadership not long after he helped Newt Gingrich lead the 1994 GOP takeover of the House. Democrats decided he had to be sidelined. They also knew they had the raw power to make it happen: a political operative ensconced as the chief prosecutor in a reliably Democratic county. In politics as combat, raw power is all you need — just cause has nothing to do with it.

But nine years ago, it was still unacceptable for the rub-out to look too much like a rub-out. It was not possible to charge DeLay with the non-crime of raising money for Republican candidates — his real offense as far as his adversaries were concerned. So he was indicted for a convoluted money-laundering scheme.

You may have noticed that the political left is using similar tactics here…legal challenges by Graham McCready exclusively against right wing politicians…and now dirty, illegal hacking against the voices that speak against their politics.    Read more »

Protecting Israel’s civilian population with the Iron Dome

Me with the Iron Dome    Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

Me with the Iron Dome Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

As you may have heard Hamas has broken the ceasefire and launched rockets again at Israel.

Israel is firing back and they won’t ever stop until Hamas gives it up.

Today I went to an Iron Dome battery in the South of Israel near Ashdod. Now you might think I shouldn’t say where it is, but Israelis and media can drive up and park and watch them in operation. They have to stay back 300m, and media can get within 150m.

We were able to get a little closer but had to remain behind the launchers. Still after a few shots we were asked to go back to 150m.

Before we started we were briefed on procedures should an alert be issued. That would require us to shelter behind a small hillock on the leeside from the direction towards Gaza. The rockets in this location fly low and fast and so the hillock would cop it not us.

Fortunately this battery didn’t fire while we were there. The one near Askelon did though. The battery we were at had engaged 4 rockets during the day out of 80 fired from Hamas. Read more »