Israel came under fire today from Lebanon. Somewhere between three and seven missiles were fired injuring somewhere between two or five people, not seriously. Hezbollah is not claiming responsibility and the Lebanese government said it was not them. The most likely culperate is Hamas operatives or supporters in Lebanon trying to draw Israel into a second front (read more at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1231167307373&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull). For Hezbollah not to claim credit is a clear indication that they do not want to go to war with Israel at present. The same goes for Lebanon with their comments. It is hard to imagine that the rockets were not fired with a least their implicit consent, but it could also be a face saving measure. Now they can say that they tried to help the people of Gaza. Israel returned fire, but the exchange was short lived.
The Pope has declared Gaza a "big concentration camp" (read more at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article5473588.ece). The implication of course is that Israel is acting as the Nazis did. This comment may jeopardize a planed trip of the Pope visiting the Holy Land. No official date for the trip had been planned, and it is not clear that this will actually prevent such a trip. It is another conflict between the Israeli government and the current Pope. The other is possible beatification of Pius XII. Pius XII was the Pope during the Holocaust and is criticized for remaining silent on the plight of the Jews during the Nazi Holocaust. The beatification is a step on the road to sainthood.
IDF paratroopers discovered and captured a map that showed Hamas' booby traps in the al-Atatra neighborhood. The map shows Hamas using civilian areas and using dolls to try to kill or capture IDF soldiers (read more at http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3653059,00.html).
Their is now word that Obama is willing to talk directly with Hamas. This is according to The Guardian who has spoken to three people that have knowledge of the discussions (read more at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/08/barack-obama-gaza-hamas).
Some protesters in New Zealand gave the Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer a difficult time saying she should drop out of the tournament. The protesters were yelling slogans and waving anti-Israeli posters.
CNN posted what appears to be a fake video where a camera man supposedly captures the death of his younger brother on film along with the failed resuscitation at a hospital. The controversy started when a doctor viewing the tape noticed that the chest compressions, along with the whole attempted resuscitation scene, was a poor act. They further reasoned that the doctor knew the child was alive and did not want to hurt him. The chest compressions looked more like they were just shaking the kid a bit. It also turns out that the person that shot the video is a well know Hamas supporter. CNN has since taken down the video, but it is available elsewhere. Hat tip to Little Green Footballs (http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/32393_A_Staged_Scene_in_a_Gaza_Hospital_-_Update-_CNN_Yanks_Video) for the video.
Video embedded below.
Keith Ellison, the first Muslim to be elected to the United States Congress, was interviewed by Al Jazeera. He is Pro Palestinian in the interview. Hat tip once again to Little Green Footballs (http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/32392_Video-_Keith_Ellison_on_JihadTV) for the video.
Video embedded below.
The UN has announced that it will stop sending aid into Gaza after one of its members was killed. They blame an Israeli tank shell for the death. Israel has not commented, but their are some reports that blame Hamas for the death. It is not entirely clear that the UN will actually stop aiding the residents of Gaza, as their are some indications that the aid is continuing. This is a developing story, and should be clearer exactly what happened and the consequences tomorrow.
Qassam Count, a pro Israeli group, has launched a feature that keeps count of the rockets fired into Israel. People can donate their Facebook status to be updated with the current rocket count. To donate your status go to http://apps.facebook.com/qassamcount. You can also keep track through their Twitter page at http://twitter.com/QassamCount
Lastly, a webpage has been set up to commemorate or honor some of the fallen Israelis. You can see it at http://frgdr.com/blog/articles/fallen-cast-lead. It is hard to tell (because I do not understand Hebrew) but I believe the people with a Jewish star under their picture are fallen IDF and the star links to an official government site. The people without stars I believe are civilians, or at least people without their government site set up yet (though I am leaning toward the first option). The blue box with a white "f" in it links to the person’s facebook account or facebook group set up as a memorial for them.