Did the Famed ‘Jerusalem Rocket’ Really Hit Jerusalem?
Amid Israel’s ongoing pounding of Gaza today, social networking sites were ablaze with feverish chatter both congratulating and condemning Hamas for supposedly hitting Jerusalem with one of its rockets.
On top of this, pro-Israel media outlets have wasted no time in capitalising on the opportunity. Right-wing Israeli outlet Ynet News carries the headline,(1) ‘Hamas fires first rockets at Jerusalem‘.
The ultra-Zionist BBC follows suit:(2) ‘Gaza conflict: Militant rocket targets Jerusalem‘.
Neither of them matches The Times of Israel though, which boasts,(3) ‘‘Surprise’ rocket fire at Jerusalem shows Hamas flailing but still seeking to escalate the conflict’. The very deceptive opening sentence reads ‘Jerusalem hasn’t been hit with rocket fire since 1970, when two Katyushas were fired from the Palestinian village of Batir.‘
The Times of Israel even goes on to say, ‘The rockets proved that Hamas is willing to fire at a city holy to Islam and at an area where many Muslims live…‘.
Al Jazeera reports(4) via Twitter, ‘A two-year-old boy among those killed on Friday in #Gaza as #Hamas rockets reach #Jerusalem‘.
Well let us just be clear about exactly where the rocket did and didn’t land. The rocket did not hit Jerusalem, in fact it landed nowhere near the Holy City at all. Nor in fact, did the rocket land in the Jerusalem area, as I will explain.
The rocket landed near the illegal Jewish settlement of Kfar Etzion, which is part of the Gush Etzion illegal settlement bloc in the West Bank. Kfar Etzion is located roughly halfway between Jerusalem and Hebron (and is marked ‘A’ on the map I’ve uploaded here – click on the map to see an enlarged version).
When Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem in 1967, it redefined the municipality’s boundaries from approximately 5 square kilometres, to over 70 – in order to steal yet more land from the native Palestinians.
So not only did the rocket land nowhere near the city itself, but what is referred to as the ‘Jerusalem area’ by the occupiers is actually an illegally expanded geographical area and in reality does not constitute Jerusalem at all.
Therefore all claims that the Hamas rocket ‘hit Jerusalem’ or even ‘landed in the Jerusalem area’, are misleading, inaccurate, and should not be repeated.
(1) ‘Hamas fires first rockets at Jerusalem’ – Ynet News, 16 November 2012
(2) ‘Gaza conflict: Militant rocket targets Jerusalem’ – BBC News, 16 November 2012
(3) ‘‘Surprise’ rocket fire at Jerusalem shows Hamas flailing but still seeking to escalate the conflict’ – The Times of Israel, 16 November 2012
(4) Tweet by Al Jazeera English @AJELive 11:06 PM Jerusalem time – 16 Nov 12 – https://twitter.com/AJELive/status/269546935524925441