‘That doesn’t sound like the Shabbat siren’ (Jerusalem gets rockets)

on 9 Comments
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Israeli anti-riot policeman arrest a Palestinian men during a protest in solidarity with Gaza, outside the Old City, Jerusalem, November 16, 2012. (Photo: Oren Ziv/Activestills)

It was dusk in East Jerusalem today when the sirens went off. A friend went to the window and said, “That doesn’t sound like the Shabbat siren.” We turned on Al Jazeera, and the phone started ringing. There were reports that rockets from Gaza had landed in the Gush Etzion bloc of settlements, and in the Giv’at Ze’ev, a settlement north and west of the city.  

That was at 4:40. Later I rode through the occupied city from Beit Hanina toward the Old City.  The streets were eerily quiet.  I guess people were glued to their televisions, not keen on going out. 

The television was on at my Scottish friend’s house in Sheikh Jarrah. She told me she had had the same response to the warnings: “That didn’t sound like the Sabbath hooter.” She ran out on the roof to see what was going on. But you couldn’t see any rockets in East Jerusalem. 

I’ve seen a bunch of friends tonight, and they’re all doing the same thing:  surfing the internet on television monitors, from Al Jazeera to the BBC, hearing Abu Mazen’s call for national unity and a renewal of his pledge to go to the U.N. in two weeks to seek observer state status, hearing Ismail Haniya’s pledge to resist. And hearing rumors that Hamas is about to hold a live press conference to announce that it has captured a downed Israeli airman.

In Jerusalem: anticipation, dread, quiet. No one knows what will happen next.


Afternoon demonstrations outside Damascus Gate were chaotic today. Soldiers on horses mashing old women up against barricades. Older men hanging back but shouting Fuck Israel.

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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9 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    November 16, 2012, 2:31 pm

    Somebody sure thinks violence and destruction is too much fun to wait for the Sabbath. Have an army and not use it? Are you nuts? A jubilee year without Israeli violence? Fugeddabowdit.

    I think N-hu welcomes the rockets, even to T-A and Jerusalem. He doesn’t care about Israeli lives, but welcomes excuses for worse and worse Israeli violence. Call it “defense” by IDF.

    Phil: Do any Israelis you’ve met see a way out? Or want to? Or do they basically love it, or think it inevitable. A progression of the LiveByTheSword, LiveByTheSword, LiveByTheSword, LiveByTheSword, until ??

  2. crone
    November 16, 2012, 2:55 pm

    Gaza: Fiction And Facts

    Wall Street Journal
    Israel Mobilizes Troops as Hostilities Escalate
    After nearly four years of calm along the Gaza border, Palestinian militants have slowly stepped up their mortar and rocket attacks on Israel in recent months.
    Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)
    31 OCTOBER – 6 NOVEMBER 2012 – Gaza Strip
    Palestinian casualties by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip:
    Killed this week: 1
    Killed in 2012: 71
    Killed in 2011: 108
    Injured this week: 1
    Injured in 2012: 291
    Injured in 2011: 468
    Israeli casualties by Palestinian fire from Gaza
    Injured this week: 3
    Injured in 2012: 19


  3. Kathleen
    November 16, 2012, 3:19 pm

    “soldiers on horse masing old women up against barricades” can you get pictures? or will they hammer you? Take care Phil. Watch your back. We know you are watching out for others. Democracy Now had a relatively good report yesterday. One thing they reported on her show that I had not heard or read anywhere else is that allegedly Jabiri had just received a draft of some new peace agreement that they were going to put forward. Killed just several hours after he had received the draft.

    Many of us are wondering whether Chris Hayes who has busted out of the envelope more than any other MSNBCer other than Dylan Ratigan about whether his show will deal with this latest conflict accurately. I am betting that he does not. Let’s hope I am wrong. Stay safe Phil and thank you for these up close reports

    • Elliot
      November 17, 2012, 10:05 am

      Kathleen – this ties into the mechanics of how Israel knew for sure that Jabiri was in that car. The surveillance video of the assassination that the IDF Spokesman put out is quite grainy.
      In the past, (famously, the assassination of “The Engineer”, although the killing device in that case was different) Israel calls up the target on his cellphone, makes sure it’s him and then pulls the trigger. If Israel was in constant contact with Jabiri over this peace accord, they could have accomplished that verification, without suspicion, as a routine phone call.

  4. Kathleen
    November 16, 2012, 3:31 pm

    This story back up on the top of the USA Today of Blogs Huff Po. Only stayed up there for two hours the other day. Think they take it down when they start getting what they think are too many comments or some other odd reason.

  5. Kathleen
    November 16, 2012, 3:32 pm

    The whole world is literally watching Israel committing these crimes. Phil do you think Israel’s provocations have to do with the vote at the UN coming up?

  6. seafoid
    November 16, 2012, 7:30 pm

    Some smug Israeli officer tweeted that Hamas chose this but they didn’t.

    It looks like Israel took on too much and now nobody knows what will happen.

    The rocket that hit Efrat seems to have come from Egypt and could be a total game changer.

    Keep up the good work, Phil, and stay safe.

  7. Elliot
    November 17, 2012, 10:11 am

    Thanks for the reports, Phil.
    During the first Gulf War, the streets of Jerusalem were deserted. I remember sitting in a bus watching squads of heavily armed Border Policemen roughing up individual Palestinians. It’s what they do the whole time on the West Bank. War just brings that stuff home to the cities.

    On another note, this attack on Jerusalem is surprising. Supposedly they were targeting the Israeli parliament and missed. What if they had missed in the other direction and landed the rocket on Al -Aqsa and the Haram el-Sharif?
    Going forward, the Egyptians will likely tell the Gazans to keep Jerusalem out of it. They’ve shown they can reach Jerusalem. Mission accomplished.

  8. chinese box
    November 17, 2012, 12:24 pm

    That doesn’t sound like the Shabbat siren…

    Reality intrudes on a world filled with empty religious ritual.

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