Hamas unleashes largest ever one-day rocket barrage, as speculation swirls over terror chief air strike


Gaza-based Palestinian fighters set a new record on Wednesday by launching at least 168 rockets at Israeli civilians over the course of the day - the previous mark had been 154 rockets in a single 24 hour period - amid extensive speculation that Israel had targeted and perhaps eliminated Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif the day before. Tuesday morning had seen the Palestinian terror group shatter an ongoing ceasefire, triggering harsh American condemnation and a series of Israeli actions. Hamas held a press conference Wednesday afternoon announcing that among those actions had been a targeted strike against Deif, and that he had escaped. The veteran terrorist is charged with commanding Hamas's military assets, and had over the course of 20 years orchestrated a series of terror campaigns ranging from early kidnappings to mass bombing attacks throughout the 1990s. A profile in the Washington Post described Deif as having been "instrumental... in developing Hamas’s capabilities, especially in the fields of rockets and bombs." Deif had also recently emerged as a key leader inside the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip blocking ceasefire efforts and extending the current hot conflict. The Post conveyed an assessment from Gen. Giora Eiland, a former Israeli national security adviser, describing Deif as "the decision-maker in Hamas" and as "against the cease-fire because he believes every day they continue to fight is another achievement for them." Deif had days earlier personally committed, via a prerecorded message, to extending the war until all of Hamas's demands were met. Those demands were and continue to be broadly thought of as nonstarters. Asked at a press conference whether the Israelis had successfully liquidated Deif, the country's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to give any response beyond noting that Jerusalem considers Hamas's leaders to be legitimate targets.


CEO David Fattal: ‘Ashdod has one of the most beautiful coastal strips in Israel and in a time of peace can become, like Ashkelon, the southern Riviera.’ The tourism industry may have taken a hit this summer with persistent rocket attacks from Gaza but David Fattal, CEO of the 32-strong Fattal hotel chain, says he’s going ahead with plans to open the new Ashdod Leonardo because he believes in Israel as a top travel destination. In a report by Globes, Fattal was quoted as saying the hard-hit city of Ashdod could become the ‘southern Riviera’ in times of peace. “We believe in Israeli tourism and we will continue to invest here and bring tourists from Israel and abroad to the southern region. Ashdod has one of the most beautiful coastal strips in Israel and in a time of peace can become, like Ashkelon, the southern Riviera,” Fattal told Globes. The Fattal chain invested $1.4 million in renovation costs of the 183-room hotel and plans to open the new place in time for Rosh Hashana. The hotel also includes a gourmet restaurant, swimming pool, business lobby, children’s club, spa and treatment room, banquet hall for 500, and three meeting rooms. (via Israel21c)

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