The weather is beautiful in the region around Israel this weekend. Most women and children are taking advantage of their vacation to get in some leisure time on the beach or at nature reserves, national parks or summer camps with their friends.
But in the Hamas-ruled Gaza region, summer camps for Arab children are run a little differently, particularly in the camps run by the Hamas terror organization.
Hamas ‘camp counselor’ hands a gun to a child in Gaza.
This weekend, for example, young campers learned the proper way to stab a Jew, complete with all the technical details explained by the children’s camp counselors.
Campers rehearse techniques in how to stab Jews in Hamas-run summer camp in Gaza.
They first demonstrated with the appropriate instruments. Children were then invited to practice (carefully) on each other, with their proud counselors standing by.
Hamas summer camp counselors teach various hand-to-hand attack methods to Gaza children.
Nor were young mommies forgotten: On Sunday, Arab women were brought to a firing range and taught how aim and fire a gun at the top half of a human target drawn in red on white paper posted high enough for the young ladies to be able to stand up straight to shoot.
All were appropriately garbed in their thobes (long-sleeved, long robes) and wearing local veils around the face, or hijab (hair covering).
Young women in Gaza are taught by a Hamas terrorist in a summer session to shoot guns at a firing range in Khan Younis.
The young ladies were coached by at least one older Hamas operative who clearly knew what he was doing — he stayed far enough to the side to be able to shout instructions without himself becoming an accidental target.
The makers of a Gaza TV candid camera show in honor of the month of Ramadan were wondering how would rank and file Gazans respond if they realized that there are a couple of Israelis standing and walking in their midst. The concept was funny enough, and the two actors, Chouikh and Abu Zubaydah, depicting the hapless Zionists were equipped with a visual aid, just in case their subjects didn’t get the idea from their mix of broken English and Arabic — they each had an unmistakable, blue and white Israeli flag printed on their shirts. And so, with the hidden camera rolling, the two brave actors showed up in different parts of Gaza City, in front of a variety of astonished local men of all ages.
The funniest reactions were those of irate Gazans who grabbed the provocative Israeli before them and started beating him up, and the canned laughter loved those scenes. Some of the violent responses immediately followed the appearance of the blue Star and David between two parallel lines; others emerged following an exchange with the actors, in a clothing store, on a soccer field, on the street in front of a warehouse. Each time, the actor under attack, occasionally under a mob attack, would start yelling, “It’s a hidden camera” and urged the crew members to save his life.
But there were less violent, and more introspective reactions, too, when the subject would enter a lengthy argument with the two actors over their proposal that he become Israeli, for instance, because Israel is a mighty superpower. Unaware of being on camera, several subjects stood up to declare their fealty to their nation and their faith, expressing their anger at the provocation.
In one exchange, early on, one of the actors tries to speak Hebrew to a subject, who is older and therefore versatile in the language. What develops is a strange dialogue between a faux Israeli who can barely finish a sentence in Hebrew, and a Gazan who speaks fluent Hebrew. The actor asks, “Ma shlomekh,” how are you, except in the wrong declension, using the female form. His subject forgives the mistake, answering, “Barukh Hashem,” as many Israelis would.
Despite the obvious rage many in the video, especially the younger ones, unleash at the mere sight of an Israeli avatars, it is clear that Israel, Israelis and their own identity in relation to the Jewish State are central to the culture and the communal psyche in Gaza. The fact that the video makers manage to treat the tension over the subject matter with humor, albeit lowbrow humor, suggests there may be more under the shallow surface of hatred and denunciations, including a longing for a time when the sound of Hebrew in the streets also represented prosperity, more personal safety and probably more humor.
It’s a hidden camera, I’m telling you. Hidden camera!
It’s a hidden camera, I’m telling you. Hidden camera!
Several hours later another force reported a blast nearby.
Shortly before 3 p.m. a similar mortar attack was reported by an IDF force near Nahal Oz, along the northern Gaza border.
A fourth attack was launched at IDF forces later in the afternoon, after a joint statement by Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorist organization was released claiming responsibility for all of the attacks.
IDF soldiers returned tank fire at the source, several outposts of the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organizations. One of the outposts was destroyed completely by IDF tank fire. All were located in the Shujaya neighborhood of Gaza City, the site of one of the toughest battles during the counter terror war of 2014, Operation Protective Edge.
A fifth mortar shell was fired at southern Israel on Wednesday evening, at around 7 pm. No injuries were reported in the attack.
“It’s nearly two years since Operation Protective Edge” and it’s the quietest it’s ever been since Hamas took control of the region in 2007, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told troops Tuesday during an unannounced visit with IDF soldiers stationed along the northern Gaza border.
Netanyahu had gone with top defense officials to inspect the site of a large terror tunnel leading from Gaza into Israel that was discovered last month. It was intended for use by Hamas’s elite Nukhba commandos during a strategic attack on Israeli communities by the border.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspects a terror tunnel leading from Gaza under the border deep into Israeli territory.
“Tomorrow is Holocaust Remembrance Day; 70 years ago, we were like a leaf in the wind with no defense force, helpless as they massacred us, slaughtered us. Today we have a country and we have an army – we have the ability to defend ourselves,” Netanyahu said. “What motivates me is to secure the future of Israel in its land, because for the Jewish People there is no future without our land.”
He pointed out that elsewhere in the region things are not nearly as calm. “We are in the eye of the storm, I want you to know this,” he said. “ A half million people have been murdered around us in Syria, which is collapsing. Iraq has collapsed, neither of them – actually – still exist. Yemen collapsed, Libya collapsed.”
Israel is an “island of stability,” he said.
But a few hours after the prime minister left the area, Gaza terrorists opened fire at IDF soldiers and vehicles operating near the Gaza Belt community of Nahal Oz, close to the security fence along Gaza’s northern border. No soldiers were injured in the attack; however, at least one military vehicle was damaged.
According to the IDF Spokesperson, soldiers from the Engineering Corps were doing routine maintenance on the security fence at the time of the attack. They were working on a section of the fence near the Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaya – the location of one of the toughest battles fought by the IDF against Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.
Just a few hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded a visit to the troops in the area, terrorists opened fire at IDF soldiers and vehicles operating near the Gaza Belt community of Nahal Oz, close to the security fence along Gaza’s northern border.
No soldiers were injured in the attack, but at least one military vehicle was damaged.
According to the IDF Spokesperson, soldiers from the Engineering Corps were doing routine maintenance on the security fence at the time of the attack.
The soldiers were working on a section of the fence near the Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaya – the location of one of the toughest battles fought by the IDF against Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.
Islamic State (ISIS) supporters have claimed responsibility for the Grad rocket attack north of Be’er Sheva last week and have issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Hamas to halt its crackdown against them.
The Islamic Jihad originally said it was behind the missile attack, the first beyond the Gaza Belt area since the war against Hamas last summer.
It is not known if the ISIS cells in Gaza are directly linked to the parent organization, but the fact that they have claimed responsibility for the rocket attack indicates they are active are staging a propaganda campaign to attract more recruits.
They have not said what they will do if Hamas does not “withdraw the attacks” against them” in two days, but Hamas clearly is worried.
It has set up checkpoints within Gaza City the past month following several explosions that have been attributed to ISIS cells.
Jihadists blame Hamas for being “soft” on Israel and for not imposing Islamic law on Gaza.
Hamas finally has found an enemy it fears. The terrorist organization always has been able to draw Israel into wars and then escape with its life. No matter how much damage Israel causes to its infrastructure, Hamas always springs back to life.
Its corruption has kept civilians at their mercy, creating exactly the conditions that make an organization like ISIS even more appealing than Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups that simply are a re-make of Hamas.
The Islamic State is different. It operates out of fear, and anyone who does not have the will to fight back becomes its slave. Whoever does fight back has to be willing to be beheaded.
There is nothing more that ISIS would like than to behead an Israeli, and an Arab probably would be preferred in order to scare other Arabs into fighting Israel.
Egypt has banished Hamas, but one Israel security official told a Births newspaper that the presence of the ISIS in Gaza may force Cairo, as well as Israel, to carry out back-door cooperation with Hamas to squash ISIS.