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August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza City’

Ya’alon Promises to Bring Soldier’s Body Home from Hamas

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Defense Minister Moshe ‘Boogie’ Ya’alon put an end to conflicting media reports and confirmed Sunday night that Hamas is holding the body – or parts of the body – of IDF soldier Oron Shaul.

A tweet from a Ha’aretz journalist quoted Ya’alon as saying that Shaul’s body was being held by Hamas in Gaza. A similar report in Egyptian media claimed Israel had negotiated with Hamas for the return of body parts belonging to Shaul, and for fallen IDF soldier Hadar Goldin, in exchange for releasing Hamas terrorists captured by the IDF during Operation Protective Edge. Likewise, Israel’s Channel 2 television reported similar negotiations, saying that Israel offered to trade eight bodies and 15 Hamas captives in exchange for the IDF body parts.

By then, Israeli officials were trying to douse the fire, and subsequently were quoted as denying the reports. Instead, they warned they were being used as psychological warfare to manipulate the grief of the Israeli public over the soldiers’ deaths.

But Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon put an end to the media speculation and delivered the sad news in his typical forthright style.

Ya’alon told journalists late Sunday evening that Israel is attempting to work through diplomatic channels to retrieve Shaul’s body, which he had already verified was being held by Hamas. He had shared that painful news in a visit with the soldier’s family, and promised them that Israel will bring him back.

“We are committed to bringing Oron home to be laid to rest here in Israel,” Ya’alon reportedly told the family. “We will not rest until this is done, and we are dealing with the issue. We will keep you posted on every development and my door will always be open to you for any question you might have.”

Shaul was killed together with six other soldiers when his armored personnel carrier was blown up by an anti-tank missile in a heavy firefight in the Shejaiyya section of Gaza City. During that battle, other IDF soldiers were able to recover the bodies of his six comrades but were unable to find the body of Oron Shaul. Initially it was believed that Shaul was kidnapped alive, but closer investigation of the site revealed enough evidence for the IDF Chief Military Rabbi to conclude the soldier had fallen in combat.

Goldin, a Givati officer, was killed when a suicide bomber emerged from a tunnel nearby and detonated his explosives belt right next to his unit, killing him and two other soldiers. Other terrorists then dragged parts of Goldin’s body into a tunnel, according to an exclusive report posted on Breitbart News. Goldin’s men chased the terrorists but didn’t catch them. They did, however find some of Goldin’s personal items – enough to bring back for a determination of his death as well.

May God and the IDF avenge their blood.

IDF Ratchets Up Operation Protective Edge, 80 Targets Destroyed Overnight

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

IDF soldiers again were battling Hamas guerrilla fighters in the Gaza City section of Sejaiyya Wednesday morning following Israeli government approval to widen the scope of Operation Protective Edge. Israeli forces armed with cannons and machine guns were backed up by IAF Apache attack helicopters in the skies.

Nevertheless, rocket and missile attacks have continued unabated. Qassam rocket fire rained down on communities along the Gaza Belt area in the Eshkol, Sdot Negev and Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council districts for most of the morning, forcing farmers and other residents to remain in their bomb shelters.

The neighborhood has served as a locus for terrorist activity, with weapons being mass produced and stored, and missiles fired from various launchers in courtyards of private homes, school yards, and cemeteries and even from concealed launchers next to hospitals and mosques.

For days, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terrorists have been lurking between buildings and alleyways, firing anti-tank missiles, rocket-propelled grenades and other ammunition at Israeli forces who are doing their best to avoid harming civilians behind whom the enemy is hiding.

In southern Gaza, two Israeli soldiers were wounded Wednesday morning when their armored vehicle was hit by an anti-tank missile. They were evacuated to hospital.

At least 29 IDF soldiers were injured during a battle in the overnight hours; eight were listed in serious condition and the rest in good condition. All were evacuated to Barzilai Medical Center in the coastal city of Ashkelon. Seven Gaza civilians were also injured during the operation, sources said; they too were evacuated to Barzilai for treatment.

In the past 24 hours, IDF infantry and engineering forces have detonated three tunnel routes within Gaza, destroying them completely.

Since midnight, IDF soldiers have struck at least 80 terror sites in Gaza, out of some 4,100 targets since the start of the operation. The IAF struck five mosques being used as lookout posts, to hide weapons and house tunnel access shafts. In addition, the IDF targeted a facility being used by a senior Hamas terrorist who is in charge of the Hamas cyber division. IDF soldiers also destroyed a facility being used by a senior Hamas commander in the Hamas military wing.

According to the IDF, 1,566 of the targets have been linked with rocket launching capabilities, 167 were weapon storage units and factories, and 746 were command and control centers.

Since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge, more than 2,670 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at Israeli civilians.

“IDF forces are continuing with the efforts to degrade the tunnel network in Gaza, eliminate rocket-launching capabilities, and demolish terror elements operating from within the Gaza Strip, in order to guarantee security and safety to Israeli civilians,” the IDF Spokesperson said.

As Hamas Threatens Families and Journalists, Who Blew Out the Lights in Gaza?

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

The lights are out again in Gaza, and as usual the Palestinian Authority is blaming Israel. But making spurious claims is not stopping families from starting to get the point: it’s time to think about staying alive. And journalists are beginning to document what’s really happening in Gaza.

But because of the fog of battle, it is not yet clear whose missile, mortar, rocket or grenade hit the fuel storage tank that knocked out the lights.

There is no confirmation from the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit that Israel is to blame for the incident; a spokesperson is “checking the report.”

According to Gaza power company spokesperson Jamal Dardasawi, one of three fuel storage tanks in the plant compound was hit by the shelling — and of course it must have been a shell from an IDF tank. Two, in fact.

Maybe it was. Right now it’s impossible to know anything.

But Gaza’s power plant has been working at reduced capacity for months due to a vastly inadequate supply of fuel and the fact that the plant was already hit last week. To this point, it has been working at about 20 percent capacity, providing about four hours a day of electricity to the region’s residents.

For years, Hamas refused to pay for the fuel it needs to power the plant. It preferred to insist that it had the right to receive the supply either free, or at nearly free prices. If not from Israel, then from Egypt. If not from Egypt, then from anyone else. Egypt finally closed the spigot.

It’s not a lack of money that is the problem either – Hamas is perfectly willing to invest millions in weaponry, and construction of terrorist tunnels with which to attack Israel. That much has become abundantly clear from the photographs taken by IDF soldiers prior to destruction of the tunnels they have conquered.

The intricate network of bunkers and underground infrastructure that exists in the multi-layered subterranean city the IDF has only now just begun to uncover literally stretches from one end of Gaza to the other – a matter of miles, and billions of dollars of investment.

Meanwhile, Iron Dome anti-missile system operators were kept busy Tuesday morning while IDF warriors battled tunnel terrorists in the Gaza City neighborhood of Sejaiyya.

Telephone operators at IDF headquarters warned Gaza residents in eastern Khan Younis at midday Tuesday to evacuate their homes immediately — for their own safety — and move to the central part of the city in advance of an IDF attack in the area. Flyers were also dropped over the city and SMS text messages were transmitted to cell phones to ensure that residents got the message.

There have been numerous reports of Hamas terrorists trying to prevent those residents who actually want to leave from quitting their homes and the combat zones, in order to keep them as human shields. One journalist who was seen photographing such events was threatened by the terrorists, and his equipment confiscated. All three incidents are outright war crimes, of course.

Gaza terrorists still were somehow managing to fire rocket attacks at Israeli civilians from concealed launchers among their own population in the region. Israelis in the coastal city spent hours in their bomb shelters as repeated missile attacks were sent whizzing towards their homes. At least two of the missiles were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system. Two others exploded in the Ashkelon coastal region, in open areas.

Residents of the dozens of communities along the Gaza border have spent hours and days in their bomb shelters, and Tuesday was no exception. Shelling and Qassam rocket attacks by midday were flying thick and fast, at one point landing every few minutes. Unperturbed, residents discussed the attacks with Israeli radio interviewers, noting they’d been through it all before. They said they were willing to wait it would for as long as it would take, just as long as the IDF would deal with it “once and for all this time.”

Was Desperate Gaza Man, Ready to Sell His Daughter, Once My Boss?

Friday, October 18th, 2013

This story happened today, Thursday, but it goes back 30 years, when this writer was a greenhorn in Israel, trying to learn the Israeli culture.

A Gaza man was reported on Thursday to be prepared to sell his six-year-old daughter because he is so desperately poor.

“Hani al-Hadidi, 33, a construction worker from Gaza’s al-Shajaiya neighborhood, says he is struggling to provide for his wife and five children,” the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported. “No one dares to sell his children, but the hard situation we live in has forced me to make such a decision.”

The news site, closely affiliated with the Palestinian Authority, naturally followed this description of al-Hadidi’s dire state with the comment that Gaza “has been under a under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt since 2007.”

Now let’s go back 30 years to my greenhorn years, when I was trying to get the hang of Israeli culture after parachuting into Israel from planet America in October 1983.

By December, I was volunteering on the Jewish community of Atzmona in Gush Katif, which at that time was located a few hundred feet away from Rafiah. Even back then, Atzmona residents told me it was a drug smuggling capital.

I worked building greenhouses for a Jewish farmer named Chaim, but my foreman was Ahmed. That’s right, “Ahmed,” from Khan Yunis in central Gaza.

He had six children and told me life was good, he was making a decent living working for Chaim and that he could care less about politics.

Gaza’s few thousand Jews shopped in Khan Yunis and Gaza City for cheap vegetables and clothes. The Egged bus I took, when traveling north, rolled peacefully along the main drag through Gaza City.

Tens of thousands of Gaza Arabs worked in Gush Katif farming communities and in construction in the rest of Israel. Gaza was under Israeli control, but municipalities were run by Arabs, who – pardon the expression – never had it so good.

The unemployment rate in 1984, as seen in the chart below, was a miniscule 0.9 percent while it was four times that number for Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

I left Gush Katif in 1984 to learn more about other parts of Israel.

Three years later, an Arab in Gaza City stabbed an Israeli to death while he was shopping there. The following day, after four Arabs were killed in a traffic accident in Gaza, unfounded rumors spread the libel that Israelis had killed them as an act of revenge.

Arab blood was boiling, and the violence spun out of control, with a firebombing of an IDF patrol, mass rioting, blocked roads and tire burnings.

The Intifada was born and the unemployment rate began to rise.

In 1986, it was only 1.5 percent. By 1988, it climbed to 2.3 percent and then 3.8 percent in 1990.

Jews were thinking twice about employing Arabs because of terrorist attacks. In 1992, the jobless rate soared to 12 percent.

In the early 2000s, when Arabs were murdering Jews left and right, Arabs found themselves out of work not only in Gush Katif but also in the rest of Israel.  The unemployment rate soared to 50 percent  by 2003 and is estimated at more than 30 percent today.

Thirty years have passed since I worked for Ahmed in Khan Yunis.

I do not know Hanai al-Hadidi, the man who is ready to sell his daughter so she can eat and the family can have some income.

Maybe he is Ahmed’s son. Maybe not.

One can argue that money is not everything and that Arabs were deprived of their political rights, but the other half of the truth is that they had even less rights under Egyptian rule. The difference is that under Israeli rule, they can blame the Jews. If they had blamed Egypt, their lot would have been worse and they would not have gotten any sympathy from the anti-Zionist world, especially UNRWA, which has built up an empire than keeps more than half of Gaza’s population in bondage.

The facts are there, as they always have been there, but they are not facts that John Kerry want to see.

Is there anyone out there who can connect the dots between Ahmed and Hanai al-Hadidi?

Accidental Explosion in Gaza Car Terminates One Terrorist Career Prematurely, Puts Two More on Hold

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

http://thisongoingwar.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/1-aug-12-accidental-explosion-in-gaza.html

The English-language Palestinian news service Maan is reporting that a car exploded in Gaza City’s Tal al-Hawa neighborhood before dawn on Wednesday. Here are the details it provides:

Ashraf al-Qidra, spokesman of the ministry of health in the Hamas-run government in Gaza, said 22-year-old Ayman al-Sharafa sustained deadly wounds in the incident and was pronounced dead later. Two other men sustained injuries, he confirmed. The cause of the blast was not immediately clear.

The cause of the blast may not be immediately clear in Bethlehem and is likely to remain unclear based on past performance. But it is evidently somewhat clearer in Gaza. There the Arabic-language daily Al-Quds is now saying ["Report: Man killed in Gaza was Hamas operative"] that the “military wing” (their term) of the terrorist organization (not their term) Hamas is mourning what it calls

the death of one of its elements in an internal explosion in Gaza City. Explained in a statement, that the martyr is Ayman al-Yahya Shurafa from the Sabra neighborhood in Gaza City [who] died at dawn today in explosion on a car by mistake during training. Reported our correspondent in Gaza, that the citizen was killed and two others wounded when a mysterious occurred in a jeep in Gaza City… The blast took place near a mosque… south of Gaza City… The blast was caused by the explosion of an explosive device… inside the “pocket”… All of the inside are members of the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of the movement Hamas.

Terrorists inside cars, frequently young men with explosives stuffed into their clothing, are a fixture in streets controlled by Hamas and other like-minded terrorist groups. There’s an understandable reticence on the part of the Palestinian Arab terror organizations to own up to the way they place their own communities and neighbours at mortal risk, using them in effect as human shields. When, as happens often, the young men explode and go to their 72 virgins, their media conceal this by referring to “mysterious explosions” as Maan does today. For its part, the Israeli media term these events “work accidents” without much sympathy.

So it’s a little refreshing when the terrorist thugs come right out and call it what it is, as Al-Quds is doing – though in Arabic only.

Postcards from Hell – The Face of Gaza’s Humanitarian Crisis

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

“Gaza is the largest Palestinian city, roughly 500,000 in the metro area, out of 850.000 altogether in the province of Gaza. In 2009 the total population of the Gaza Strip was estimated in 2009 at 1,600,000.”

We Google-translated the above from رحلة سياحية لغزة (Tourist Trip to Gaza), which is part of the Tourism section of a website belonging to a radio station named “Sun.” The section on Gaza encourages tourism to the city which has been associated in popular public opinion with images of starving refugees huddled in shacks under daily Zionist air raids.

Sun is a regular radio broadcast of the Arab minority in Israel since 2003. Its slogan is: “Free Radio, modern Radio.” It says it represents the generation that no longer accepts being second class citizens in Israel. It is open to liberals who dare to break all political or social taboos. It also works to challenge the institution of the state and at the same time to build bridges of understanding and co-existence between Jews and Arabs.

The “Visit Gaza” section is current, and offers stunning images of Gaza City, a beautiful and vivacious place that could easily compete with many Israeli beach towns, including my own gorgeous city of Netanya.

So, all we have left to do is to take you on a tour of Gaza, and for the fun of it, we’ll add to these fabulous images quotes from two sources about conditions in this lovely city by the sea, UNRWA and the PA. In the end there’s a video you don’t want to miss. Enjoy!


As the Gaza blockade moves into its fifth year, a new report by the UN’s agency for Palestine refugees, UNRWA, says broad unemployment in the second half of 2010 reached 45.2 per cent, one of the highest in the world. The report released today, finds that real wages continued to decline under the weight of persistently high unemployment, falling 34.5 per cent since the first half of 2006. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)


The report concludes that 90% of Gaza water is unfit to drink. The reasons behind this deteriorating situation, the writer of the report believes, are the racist policies of occupation, the latest war on Gaza , the siege, and the division and its impact on society and education, which resulted in 45% of unemployed graduates. (Gaza Under Attack, Refugees Deteriorating Conditions)


The Refugees’ Affairs Department of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) published a report detailing the conditions of Palestinian refugees, living in the Gaza Strip. The report compares the conditions of refugees in 2012 and 2006. The report writer, Ala’a Abu-Diaa, states that refugees’ conditions are deteriorating, in relation to housing and lands’ price, which doubled in the last five years. The rate of exports decreased 80% compared to the pre-siege period. Gazans found refuge, the report continues, in tunnels linking Gaza with Egypt. (Gaza Under Attack, Refugees Deteriorating Conditions)


The UNRWA report finds that the private sector was particularly badly hit compared to the government sector.
In the second half of 2010 businesses shed over 8,000 jobs, a decline in employment of nearly 8 per cent relative to the first half of the year. By contrast, the Hamas-dominated public sector grew by nearly 3 per cent during the same period. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)


Human rights activists have criticized the international community for its silence on the flagging Gaza economy that has been shattered by the siege and the 22-day Israeli assault on the Gazans at the turn of 2009. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)


“These are disturbing trends,” said UNRWA spokesman Chris Gunness, “and the refugees, which make up two-thirds of Gaza’s 1.5 million population were the worst hit in the period covered in this report. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)


“Over a million refugees in Gaza live in hard conditions in several camps across the strip and are dependent on assistance provided by the UNRWA,” the report said. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)


The UN agency needs to build 100 schools and 10,000 housing units in addition to a number of health centers but these have been severely hampered by Israeli siege of the strip. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)


Successive UN human rights chiefs have slammed Israel’s illegal settlement plans, its Gaza blockade and the building of an apartheid wall across Palestinian territories in the occupied West Bank among other things. (UNRWA)

Refugees are still going through endless crisis, beginning with electricity and including fuel, which affect all walks of life in the besieged coastal enclave. The newly published report states that over 70% of refugees depend mainly on aid delivered by UNRWA.

And Now, for a Video We Like to Call:

Gazans who have been under Israeli blockade for several years have been largely dependent on food supplies, goods and fuel brought in via the tunnel. (UNRWA: Gaza blockade anniversary report)

3 Injured in Family Brawl in Gaza

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

Three people were injured Thursday in a family brawl south of Gaza City, witnesses told the Ma’an news agency.

One of those injured is in critical condition, witnesses said, adding that all three were hospitalized after the fight in the Zaitoun neighborhood.

No IAF drones were involved in the event.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/3-injured-in-family-brawl-in-gaza/2012/07/05/

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