Hamas is lobbing mortars, the rest of the world condemns them while NZ remains silent

Hamas is lobbing mortar shells at civilian areas, even hitting a kindergarten and as a result Israel is striking back against Hamas.

While the rest of the world is condemning Hamas for escalating the conflict, New Zealand has remained silent. Quite the contrast from Jacinda Ardern rushing to make a public statement on 50 Hamas operatives getting smoked while pretending to be “peaceful protesters”.

Meanwhile it has been revealed that Israel has improved their Iron Dome technology to be able to intercept mortars: Quote:

The Iron Dome missile defense system succeeded on Tuesday where it had been entirely ineffective during the 2014 Gaza war, in shooting down incoming mortar shells that are in the air for just 15 seconds.

?The Iron Dome has been quite effective,? IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus told reporters. ?It?s probably something [Gazan terrorist groups] didn?t take into account.?

This was not the first time that the Iron Dome intercepted mortar fire, but Tuesday represented a significant test for the system, which the military believes it passed.

Over the course of Tuesday, scores of mortar shells, and some rockets, were fired at southern Israel by the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.

Conricus said the shells, fired by the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad, appeared to be an Iranian-made variety that had been smuggled into the coastal enclave.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, Iron Dome batteries succeeded in shooting down at least 25 incoming projectiles over the course of the day, most of them mortar rounds. Though the army said it had yet to calculate a final tally.

Mortar fire by terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip killed several Israelis during the 2014 Gaza war, including four-year-old Daniel Tragerman from Kibbutz Nahal Oz.

In the interim four years, Israel has worked continuously to improve the system to counter this threat. This included technological improvements and efforts to streamline the methods of the the soldiers operating the system.

The Walla news site reported that the army also changed the way in which the batteries were deployed along the Gaza border on Wednesday in order to give them a better chance of intercepting the dozens of mortar shells fired at southern Israel.

The Iron Dome system was initially designed to shoot down incoming rockets and missiles, which it did effectively during the 2014 conflict, known in Israel as Operation Protective Edge.

Over the years, the system has been upgraded to also be able to intercept drones and mortar rounds.

The Iron Dome?s first reported interception?of mortar fire occurred in September 2016, when a battery in northern Israel shot down two incoming errant shells fired from Syria that were heading toward the Golan Heights, in an apparent case of spillover fire from the civil war there.

Mortar shells present a far greater challenge for the Iron Dome than rockets, owing to the shells? shorter range ? normally no more than four kilometers (2.5 miles).

In order for the Iron Dome to intercept an incoming projectile, the system must first spot it, determine based on its trajectory if it is heading toward a populated area and, if so, launch an interceptor missile to shoot it down.

Rockets and missiles remain in the air for far longer as they travel toward their target, which gives the Iron Dome?s automated systems and the soldiers that operate it more time to carry out these steps.

Mortar shells, on the other hand, are in the air for far less time. Residents of the Israeli communities closest to the Gaza border have 15 seconds to reach a bomb shelter once a mortar shell is fired.

Tuesday showed that the Iron Dome is capable of shooting down mortar shells in this amount of time, though military officials repeatedly stressed that the system was not perfect.

?Nothing is hermetic, nothing is 100 percent,? IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis told Israel Radio on Tuesday afternoon. End quote.

In 2014 when I visited Israel I was lucky enough to visit an Iron Dome battery in a field outside of Ashkelon. I also witnessed on numerous occasions the interception of Hamas rockets, and while in Sderot, just 800 yards from the Gaza border we came under attack from rockets. That was when I discovered that you can’t make it to a shelter in the 20 seconds you have to get there. This video was filmed by a Taiwanese film crew who were with us. The bus we were on stopped suddenly when sirens went off and we were ordered off the bus and told to shelter as rockets were coming in.

We were also scheduled to visit a border town but were prevented at that time because of mortar fire, which Iron Dome could not intercept. That has now changed.

Israel has said that if Hamas halts firing, then they will too. Fat chance of that I reckon. Quote:

A senior defense official said Wednesday that Israel was prepared to refrain from further attacks on Gaza if terror factions in the Strip also kept the peace, indicating that an informal ceasefire has taken hold after a restive day.

The Israeli Air Force bombed dozens of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad facilities across the Gaza Strip in two rounds of air raids, on Tuesday afternoon and predawn Wednesday, amid the largest exchange between Israel and Gazan terrorist groups since the 2014 war.

Over the course of 22 hours, from 7 a.m. Tuesday to 5:17 a.m. Wednesday, sirens were triggered at least 166 times in southern Israel, according to the IDF Home Front Command, by mortar fire, rockets or, in some cases, heavy machine gun fire.

A reported Egyptian-brokered informal ceasefire between Palestinian terror groups and Israel appeared to be holding on Wednesday morning, with both sides blaming the other for the flareup.

Israel denied that it had reached an agreement, but a senior defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, indicated to reporters that an understanding had been reached under which Israel would not conduct additional strikes in Gaza so long as no more rockets or mortar shells were fired.

?If the launches are renewed, the attacks against Hamas will be intensified,? the official said.

As of Wednesday morning, the military had yet to release a final tally for the number of projectiles fired at southern Israel from Gaza, but it is likely to approach 200. End quote.

So, New Zealand condemns Israel when Hamas operatives masquerading as protesters are killed, but says absolutely nothing despite 200 rocket attacks from Hamas into civilian areas. It sickens me how our government continues to fail to support the only democratic country in the Middle East.

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