Wednesday, June 20

Israeli aid to Gaza: by the numbers (Thursday update)

The IDF just released stats on food, medicine and other aid Israel's trying to pass over to Palestinians through the Erez crossing point with the Gaza Strip. That is, while Hamas' shooters aren't firing at them - or into the backs of terrified Palestinians fleeing into Israel...

  • Over 400 tons of food products were transferred via the Kerem Shalom crossing: 130 tons flour, 49 tons rice, 49 tons sugar, 5 tons tea, 8 tons milk powder, 33 tons crushed lentils, 19.7 tons lentils, 30 tons margarine, 18.5 tons barley, 34 tons macaroni, 20 tons beans, 15 tons humus and 2 tons soup.
  • 7 tons of disinfectants were also transferred through the crossing.
  • 160,000 liters of diesel fuel, 40,000 liters of gasoline and 40 tons of gas were transferred via the Nahal Oz fuel terminal.
  • 8 injured Palestinians were transferred from Gaza hospitals to Israeli hospitals for medical treatment.
  • Overnight, Palestinians at the Erez crossing interested in crossing over to Egypt were assisted to do so.
  • Approximately 100 Palestinians with dual citizenships crossed into Israel through the Erez crossing.
  • 2 Red Cross surgeons passed into the Gaza Strip through Erez in order to assist hospitals in the region.
C'mon, go on and guess how appreciative Palestinians responded to the humanitarian gesture...
Three people were lightly wounded and at least seven others reported in shock after a barrage of five Kassam rockets hit the western Negev on Wednesday evening, bringing the day's total rocket hits to eight.
More about previous Israeli attempts to aid Gazan Palestinians is here, in a report I prepared almost exactly one year ago about the Karni crossing point (including an exclusive podcast on the scene with Foreign Ministry spokesman Mark Regev).

Cargo waiting to cross from Israel into Gaza at
the Karni crossing point, June, 2006.
Ongoing Palestinian terror attacks against troops
and civilian personnel forced the facility's closure.
(Photo: Dave Bender)
More on the current situation in Gaza, as of Wednesday night is here.

Batter up! Israel swings into 1st-ever pro baseball season (UPDATED)

"Holy Land hardball: it only took 5,767 years"

From Ynet News:
The Israel Baseball League is to double the seating capacity of the Yarkon Field on Sunday night to accommodate the expected 2,000 spectators for the league's Opening Night.

“Ticket requests have been awesome,” said IBL’s business operations director Bob Ruxin in a press release. “Israeli communities, youth teams and companies are organizing group outings, droves of North Americans have scheduled visit to Israel to coincide with the Opener, and we even have a fan coming in from India just to catch the first game,” Ruxin continued.
ESPN notes that Israel has drafted legend Sandy Koufax:
Forty-one years after he retired from baseball, Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax was the final player chosen in the draft to stock the six teams for the inaugural season of the Israel Baseball League.
Koufax, 71, was picked by the Modi'in Miracle in the draft conducted by former major league general manager Dan Duquette, who heads baseball operations for the league.
Former US ambassador to Israel, Daniel Kurtzer, the future commissioner of the country’s first baseball league agrees, saying that “Israel is ready for a third major sport”. More Israel B-ball stats and background here.
...and this just in: proof positive that baseball is clearly referred to numerous times in the Bible (Hey - it even starts off, "In the Big Inning").

Israel Baseball League
WNET New York will air the inaugural game, on Sunday, July 1st.

And closer to home -- umm, depending where you're standing -- American Jewish Life editor Benyamin Cohen just sent me this:

To say Eric Holtz is a baseball fanatic is like saying Michaelangelo could paint. That's why the 41-year-old father of three id leaving his successful clothing manufacturing business in upstate New York this summer to join the first-ever Israeli baseball league and live out his lifelong dream on a baseball diamond in the Holy Land.


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