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Ed Webb

'Gaza Is a Tomb' | Foreign Policy - 1 views

    Blood and fire
Ed Webb

Gaza militants' rockets: Fewer, less accurate than last Hamas-Israel conflict - CSMonit... - 0 views

  • A popular narrative about the current face-off between Hamas and other Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip and Israel is that the Israelis, confronted with withering volleys of rocket fire, have had no choice but to respond with overwhelming force and that the failure of the rockets to do much damage has largely been thanks to the country's US-funded Iron Dome missile defense system. 

    But it turns out that compared to the last major escalation between the two sides, the Palestinians in 2014 are firing fewer rockets than in the past, and those rockets they are firing are proving less accurate.

  • When the shooting started this time, after a major Israeli roundup of hundreds of Hamas activists in the West Bank in response to the murder of three teens, Israeli officials asserted that the rocket stockpile in Gaza had grown more powerful and accurate. Based on the evidence of the past few weeks, "more accurate" does not seem an apt description.
  • There are only half as many hits on urban areas per day. This is because the rockets are less numerous and less accurate, while the interception rate is steady
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  • That Iron Dome is overwhelmingly effective has become an article of faith for many Israelis and the programs backers in Congress. But Theodore Postol at MIT disagrees. An earlier piece in the MIT Technology Review quoting Dr. Postol saying Iron Dome has been largely ineffective led to a flood of furious complaints, prompting the piece he released last night. Reaction "was so negative, and angered so many people, particularly Israelis, that we asked Professor Postol to explain how he came to his conclusions and to show his data," the publication's editors wrote. 
  • rather than Iron Dome, the explanation for low Israeli casualties is the small size of the explosives in the rockets and an excellent Israeli early warning system and network of bomb shelters. The argument is of more than academic interest. The US has spent $721 million on the system for Israel since 2011 and yesterday a Senate subcommittee voted to roughly double spending on the program to $350 million in the next fiscal year. Postol argues this is wasted money, since the payloads of Gaza rockets are so small (from 1-2 pounds up to about 30 pounds of explosives against 1,000 pounds or more in Israel's bombs) they can't harm bunkers (bunkers would be much less effective against serious artillery such as is in Israel's arsenal).
Ed Webb

Censure for reporter over Gaza tweet sparks BBC rethink over social media - TV & Radio ... - 0 views

    If you report on Israel/Palestine and are not getting attacked by people on both "sides," you are almost certainly not doing your job as a journalist.
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