Israel’s Blitz Survivors Dodge Rockets Again

(Photo: National Archives)

(Photo: National Archives)

Throughout World War II, London suffered through – and withstood – Nazi Germany’s Blitz. From 1940 to 1941, Hitler’s Luftwaffe bombed England’s largest city, destroying over a million homes and killing tens of thousands. Later, the Nazis unleashed “vengeance weapons” – V-1 flying bombs and V-2 rockets – that wreaked greater havoc. Many British residents who lived through the prolonged attacks were Jewish, and many of these Jews made aliyah (immigrated to Israel) after the war. The Times of Israel’s Lazar Berman takes this fascinating look at four now-elderly survivors of the Blitz who once again face a constant barrage of terror from an evil enemy:

Those who stayed in London, or returned from their host families in the country, spent a lot of time in bomb shelters. There were bombings almost every night during the Blitz. “At the beginning of the Blitz,” said Wertheim, “we went into the coal cellar. Later, we were allotted beds on a Tube station platform … ”

Initially, it wasn’t rockets that Londoners faced, but German bombers. For eight months from September 1940, Luftwaffe planes struck London 71 times, killing over 40,000 people while losing 3,300 pilots. They would drop incendiary bombs in an attempt to burn entire neighborhoods. As frightening as that sounds, the men didn’t seem especially scarred by the experience. “If the firebombs were treated early enough,” said Vecht,”you just threw sandbags on them and it stopped. Water would make it worse.”

The Germans tried to sow panic in various ways, including putting sirens on Stuka dive bombers. “I don’t know how other children reacted but I was bloody scared,” Wertheim said, “especially as the bombs had a screaming device as they fell, added for that purpose … “

The bombing of England moved into a new phase in June 1944 with the advent of the Luftwaffe’s V-1 Flying Bomb, which British soldiers nicknamed the Doodlebug. The V-1 was a predecessor of the cruise missile, complete with an autopilot guidance…

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 10:53 AM  | Stand for Israel

Daniel Tragerman’s War

(Photo: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

(Photo: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

On Friday we told you about the killing of a four-year-old Israeli boy by a terrorist rocket launched from Gaza, and yesterday Rabbi Eckstein asked that we pray for Daniel Tragerman’s family and for peace in Israel. In The Times of Israel, David Horovitz writes that this tragedy is the symbol of a battle between one side that longs for peace and safety and the other that only wants bloodshed:

His heartbroken mother Gila said, as she leant on his small-child’s coffin for support at his funeral on Sunday, that Daniel had “iron discipline” when it came to the rocket alerts. He was resolute and mature about taking shelter, because he knew that his little, loving family — parents Gila and Doron, younger sister Yuval and baby brother Uri – would be safe only once they reached that protected room.

There’s symbolism there, too, of course — in a nation reestablished too late to offer safe refuge to the Jews of Europe, and adamant about ensuring safe refuge for subsequent generations. Because when all is said and done, that’s all we want here: safe refuge. Peace and security in our historic national homeland, alongside, not instead of, the Arab peoples around us.

That’s all we want. That’s what was denied to four-year-old Daniel Tragerman. “We were the happiest family in the world,” said Gila Tragerman. Until Friday.

Hamas has its victory picture, and is drawing further delight in Israelis’ temporary abandonment of the kibbutzim and moshavim close to the treacherous border with its Gaza terror state. Israel stopped or evaded most of its thousands of rockets; Israel smashed most of its terror tunnels; so now it batters the south with barrages of shorter-range rockets and mortar shells — anything, everything, in the cause of our destruction …

Let no one forget, either, that Hamas killed its own Palestinian people in seizing Gaza seven years ago, plotted the violent ouster of the Palestinians’ own Mahmoud Abbas-run leadership…

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 8:33 AM  | Stand for Israel

Over 120 Rockets Fired at Israel from Gaza Strip

(Photo: Ziv Koren)

(Photo: Ziv Koren)

Terrorist rocket fire continued to hammer Israel this weekend into today. Yediot Achronot reports that not only have more than 120 rockets from Gaza targeted southern Israel, but fire from Syria and Lebanon struck northern Israel, as well:

Some 126 rockets were fired on Sunday since midnight from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory.

In a heavy barrage around midnight, four rockets were intercepted over Kiryat Malachi. Earlier Sunday night, the rocket alert siren was sounded in the area surrounding Jerusalem. One rocket was intercepted over the Jerusalem mountains. Two other rockets were intercepted over Ashkelon, while three hit open areas.

In the evening hours, rocket shrapnel hit two houses in Ashkelon and in the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council on Sunday evening, while two rockets were intercepted over Ashkelon …

On Saturday night, as many as five rockets fired from Syria exploded in the northern Golan Heights, with three falling next to a community. Earlier Saturday night, a rocket fired from Lebanon hit an empty house in the Western Galilee …

Some 100 rockets were fired at Israel on Saturday, with one of the rockets hitting a communal dining hall in Nahal Oz, the very same kibbutz in which 4-year-old Daniel Tregerman was killed from a mortar hit the day before …

The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said that the mortar that killed Tregerman was fired from a Palestinian Authority school that provides shelter for refugees in the Gaza Strip, and is close to an UNRWA facility.

Earlier Saturday, security officials stated that the mortar had been fired from within an UNRWA school in Gaza.

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Monday, August 25th, 2014 at 10:40 AM  | Stand for Israel

Four-Year-Old Israeli Boy Killed by Mortar Attack

(Photo: twitter/ IsraelHatzolah)

(Photo: twitter/ IsraelHatzolah)

As we reported earlier, a synagogue in southern Israel was hit by a terrorist rocket, one of dozens that have been launched today. Now The Times of Israel reports that a four-year-old Israeli boy has been killed by a mortar launched from Gaza:

A four-year-old boy was killed by a mortar launched from the Gaza Strip and which landed near the Sha’ar Hanegev Regional Council, bringing the death toll in Israel since Operation Protective Edge began to 68.

According to initial reports, the boy was critically wounded when the projectile made a direct hit in the car he he was in, and later died of his wounds.

Gaza-based terror groups have launched over 70 rockets into Israel since the morning hours on Friday.
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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 11:06 AM  | Stand For Israel

Breaking News: Rocket Scores Direct Hit on Israeli Synagogue

(Photo: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

(Photo: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

Arutz Sheva is reporting that a terrorist rocket fired from Gaza just struck a synagogue in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod:

A rocket fired by terrorists in Gaza has caused considerable damage to a synagogue in the southern Israeli city of Ashdod.

Paramedics from the United Hatzalah and Magen David Adom emergency organizations rushed to the scene, after a massive explosion was heard. Three people were injured and have been evacuated for further medical treatment after receiving first aid.

Medical sources described two of the victims as males, aged 25 and 26, who suffered shrapnel injuries to their extremities. They have been evacuated to the Kaplan Medical Center in Rehovot.

The third victim, a 40-year-old woman, suffered injuries to her torso, and has been evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon.

Several others were treated at the scene for shock.

The rocket strike in Ashdod is the latest in a barrage of some 40 rockets fired from Gaza Friday.

We pray for the recovery of those injured, and pray for God’s protection over all of Israel – especially the rocket-weary south – as terrorists continue their attacks.

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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 8:53 AM  | Stand for Israel

Hamas Terror Leaders’ Assassinations Infused Hope in Rocket-Battered Sderot

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

(Photo: Oren Nahshon)

From the time Hamas rockets began battering Israel, the southern part of the country has received the brunt of the attacks. The southern Israeli town of Sderot has been among the worst-hit in the area, and The Fellowship has done much to help its children, elderly, and other vulnerable citizens during this time of terror and violence. With the IDF targeting Hamas’ terror leaders this week, the mayor of Sderot says that there is hope that life in his city might return to normal:

“We have patience,” Sderot Mayor Alon Davidi said Thursday, of the IDF’s campaign to end rocket attacks against his struggling town … Davidi said that the IDF’s recent elimination of senior Hamas commanders brought him hope that the start of the school year in his city will be held as usual.

“My daughter asks every day, if we’re buying textbooks, if she’s going back to school soon,” he shared …

“Hamas failed, both in hostilities, and in negotiations, and so it tries to scare us in a psychological war. New families who come to settle in the city prove that it is failing,” Davidi boasted.

“Headlines that are appearing in the media the last few days make us hopeful that we can get back to normal soon, and that it will be a ‘real normalcy,’ and not an ‘ongoing emergency normalcy,’ like we’ve had over the years,” Davidi said, hopefully.

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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 8:35 AM  | Stand for Israel

Following Truce Breakdown, Rockets Fired at Tel Aviv, Southern Israel

Rocket lands on road in Tel Aviv

Rocket lands on road in Tel Aviv

Hours after the most recent cease-fire between Israel and Gaza was shattered, rocket fire was heard as far north as Tel Aviv and across southern and central Israel:

Three loud explosions were heard over Tel Aviv, shortly before 11 p.m., for the first time in over a week.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the rocket attacks. It also said it launched a J-80 rocket at the Ben Gurion Airport, though there were no reported strikes near the airport.

Rocket alert sirens were heard all over southern communities, Beersheba, central Israel and as far as Beit Shemesh – which borders the nation’s capital.

One explosion in open territory in the greater Tel Aviv area was so far confirmed. Two rockets exploded in open areas of Sha’ar HaNegev. A rocket directed at the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council shortly before the latest salvo of rockets landed near a shopping center in the area. No injuries were reported but damage was caused to a building. …

The Home Front Command has instructed all cities within 80 kilometers of the Gaza Strip to open public bomb shelters.

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Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 4:00 PM  | Stand For Israel

Breaking News: IAF Strikes Gaza in Response to Rocket Fire

(Photo: USAF)

(Photo: USAF)

Despite the ceasefire still in place, rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza. Arutz Sheva reports that the Israeli Air Force has struck targets in Gaza in response to the rocket attacks:

The Israeli Air Force has struck terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip in response to rocket fire this afternoon, following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s order to strike back hard against the perpetrators.

An IDF spokesman said: “The IDF was prepared for this possibility and is determined to protect the security of the residents of the State of Israel.

IDF sources say the rocket fire came from the Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya, where some of the fiercest fighting between the IDF and Islamist terrorists has taken place during Operation Protective Edge.

In an even more explosive development, an unnamed security source told Walla! news site the rocket attack was ordered directly by Hamas’s Qatar-based head Khaled Meshaal. The source claimed Meshaal had bypassed Hamas’s official “military wing”, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, and ordered a specially-assigned unit of Hamas operatives answerable directly to him to launch the attack.

The source claimed Meshaal was aiming to sabotage negotiations for a long-term truce in Cairo, which were not going his way.

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Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 9:02 AM  | Stand For Israel

App Offers Real-Time Updates About Rocket Attacks on Israel

(Photo: itunes)

(Photo: itunes)

The Yo! app was originally created as an April Fool’s joke, but now it’s being used for deadly serious purposes – to alert people worldwide whenever a rocket is fired at Israel.

Developed by an Israeli team, Yo! is now partnering with the Red Alert: Israel app that became popular during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012, sounding a warning whenever a rocket was fired at Israel:

Now, in 2014, with the Israeli military (IDF) embarking on what could be a long-term campaign against Hamas, missiles and rockets are likely to continue falling on Israel’s south, and perhaps center, as well — and Red Alert: Israel has gained renewed popularity, not only among residents of the south, said Sprung [Red Alert co-creator], but among supporters of Israel abroad.

In an effort to get the information about what is going on in Israel to even more people, said Sprung, he and Snir [Sprung’s partner] have teamed up with the people at Yo!, the “joke app” that made headlines a few weeks ago when it raised a million dollars from investors. In an example of how “socially redeeming” Yo! can be, users of the app who subscribe to updates from Red Alert: Israel will get a “Yo!” every time a warning is sounded anywhere in Israel, said Sprung.

The Red Alert: Israel platform (for iOS and Android) “has turned into a way for people throughout Israel and around the world to show their empathy for Israel,” Sprung told The Times of Israel. “People who have relatives and friends in the affected areas who want real-time updates on what is happening have been downloading the app, as have many people around the world. Our servers have been overloaded with download requests over the past several days.”

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Thursday, August 14th, 2014 at 1:23 PM  | Stand For Israel

Breaking News: Sirens Sound in Southern Israel, at Least One Rocket Strikes

Gaza missiles being fired at Israel(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

Gaza missiles being fired at Israel(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

With more than two hours remaining on the current ceasefire, Arutz Sheva reports that the truce has been broken by a barrage of rockets fired into Israel:

Sirens sounded in southern Israel after 9:00 p.m. and at least one rocket that was fired from Gaza exploded harmlessly in the Hof Ashkelon area. Sirens were reported in Hof Ashkelon, Lachish, and the Eshkol regions, as Hamas terrorists broke the truce with Israel more than two hours before it was scheduled to end.

Thousands of IDF reservists were deployed to the Gaza front Wednesday, reported Israel Hayom, which said that the deployment is in preparation for a possible resumption of hostilities …

The Israeli delegation to the talks flew home Wednesday evening. The Palestinian team is scheduled to hold a press conference at 9:30 p.m. local time.

Some Palestinian and Egyptian sources said Hamas had toughened its positions, apparently on the instructions of its kingpin Khaled Meshaal. Israeli sources said that the talks are “stuck” and estimated that Israel is preparing for a resumption of fighting.

Please pray for God’s protection over those in danger as these terrorist attacks begin again.

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Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 at 2:36 PM  | Stand For Israel

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Rabbi’s Commentary
A Light unto the Nations

As we continue to pray for the people of Nepal, who have suffered so greatly from the massive earthquake that rocked their nation last Saturday…

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