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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza Strip’

Gaza Rockets Hit Israel, Lies of Gaza Supporters Spread Worldwide

Monday, June 24th, 2013

PLEASE SEE UPDATE AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE

At least 6 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards southern Israel very early Monday morning, June 24.  Two of the rockets were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.  The other rockets landed without causing any injuries.  The areas that were hit include Rahat, in the Bnei Shimon Regional Council, Be’er Sheva and the Lachish Regional Council. Three more rockets were fired toward the Ashkelon area.

The rocket fire followed a surprise drill run by the Israel Defense Forces on Sunday.

Within a short time after the rockets began landing in Southern Israel, there were those on the social media, Twitter, claiming that “Gaza was under attack.”  That’s right, Israel is being shelled by Gaza, and the pro-Arab Palestinian propaganda machine immediately began pumping out claims that Israel was attacking Gaza.

In the space of half an hour, dozens of twitter reports in several different languages were announcing that Israel was attacking various points in the Gaza Strip, even naming cities being hit – Khan Younis, Rafah City.  There were reports of Israeli gunboats firing on Gaza from the Mediterranean and Israeli f-16s firing across the strip, but there were no rockets or attacks from Israel, the rockets were coming from Gaza, towards Israel.

Israel may always be better prepared militarily than its enemies, and it will always have history and law on its side, but watching the Twitter feed fill with lies based on absolutely nothing other than a sociopathological raw hatred was more than a little alarming.  How is it possible to defeat hatred that spawns lies in complete contradiction of the truth, and that is so easily gobbled up and spewed forth endlessly?

UPDATE: Long after claims of Israeli “first strikes” were ricocheting through the Twittersphere, it was reported that Israel, in response to the six rockets that were fired from Gaza into Israel, struck back and hit two arms depots at the center of the Gaza Strip and a rocket launching site in the southern part of the Gaza Strip overnight.  Unlike the claims made for hours by supporters of those who struck first at Israel, Gaza was not “under attack.”

Roger Waters: ‘I Am Considering my Position’ on Anti-Israel Boycott

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd fame, told HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps this week that he is now rethinking his call for a boycott of Israel.

Recently, presumably because of the musician’s views, the New York City 92nd Street Y announced the cancellation of his scheduled April 30th appearance.

“I am considering my position,” Waters said of the boycott. “The letter asking my fellow musicians to boycott Israel has never appeared. I am thinking all of this through extremely carefully and I’m thinking it all through extremely carefully because I care more about the outcome, because I care about the people involved, than I do about the moment.”

That’s a lot of thinking for a rock musician, you must give him that.

Waters told HuffPost that he is being “very, very careful to avoid some kind of dramatic moment that could very easily blow up” and damage his ability influence things in the longer term.

“If you were to ask Susan Engel, who’s the director of lectures at 92Y, why she won’t speak to anybody about the cancellation of my talk…she won’t speak to you. She won’t speak to anyone,” Waters said. “I’ve asked and asked and asked, and in the end I just gave up.”

Maybe Susan Engel doesn’t want to damage her own ability to influence things in the longer term…

Still, Waters has not changed his views on who is right and who is evil in the Arab-Israeli conflict. No surprises there: “The occupation and the settlement building is an impregnable obstacle to peace,” Waters said. “There can never be peace unless the occupation ends and the settlement building ends.”

Of course, in the nearby Gaza Strip there’s no peace at all, in fact, there’s been a whole lot of extra war after the occupation and the settlements all ended. But you can’t confuse this Pink Floyd ace with the facts.

Waters said that the strategic goal for the region “should be a solution of the Palestinian refugee problem, an end to the occupation, security and the right to lead a decent life for all the citizens of Israel, both the Jewish citizens and the Palestinian citizens.”

“That’s the goal that those of us who actually care about people are attempting to encourage,” he said.

So brave. So unabashed. But only to a point. Seeing as his bookings around the civilized world, where 60s geezers – his only remaining audience – won’t buy tickets if he continues his anti-Israeli boycott drive, well, Roger is willing to compromise. Meaning, he’ll take it back.

Principled, but practical.

Hamas Condemning Western Espionage and UN Agency

Saturday, April 6th, 2013

Hamas is accusing Western as well as Arab spy agencies of running clandestine operations in the Gaza Strip, and even announced it had a list of collaborators, AFP reported.

“The Gaza Strip is swarming with Western intelligence agencies, such as the American, British, French and German services,” Mohammed Lafi, the Hamas internal security chief, stated on the interior ministry website.

“They all target Gaza and Hamas,” he said, including unspecified Arab intelligence services.

But Hamas is clashing with the UN as well. On Thursday, dozens of Gazans broke into the offices of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), because they were angry at it for stopping a monthly cash stipend for poor families. Israel Radio reported the stipends were suspended because of budget cuts.

The agency staff decided to react to the attack by going on strike, and UNRWA announced the suspension of food distribution.

“What happened today was completely unacceptable,” Robert Turner, the head of the agency’s Gaza operations, said on Thursday. “The situation could very easily have resulted in serious injuries to UNRWA staff and to the demonstrators. This escalation, apparently pre-planned, was unwarranted and unprecedented.”

Hams’s response was to condemn UNRWA for stopping food distribution, ignoring the fact that rioters had stormed the organization’s offices and the fact that the staff received no protection from the authorities.

Hamas spokesperson Sammi abu-Zuhari said UNRWA’s decision to suspend food distribution was “overblown and unjust,” and that “Palestinian refugees have a right to stage non-violent protests.”

Naturally, if, according to Haaretz’s Amira Hass, throwing Molotov cocktails at motorists is a form of national resistance, breaking and entering can be filed under non-violent protest.

As to the spies that seem to be converging on Gaza from all over the planet, security chief Lafi said his agency had “a list of collaborators who will be arrested once the time for them to repent has run out.”

A notably spiritual approach to espionage.

Lafi said some spies have already been arrested and “half of them have confessed to being collaborators.” He also warned Palestinian journalists not to feed information to foreign correspondents and institutions.

IDF to Protect Israeli Gas Fields

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Israel’s new offshore natural gas platforms can turn out to be an easy target for terrorist organizations and so according to Reuters, Israel’s navy, the IDF less frequently mentioned branch, will be seeing a boost in the range of its operations and in its future budgets.

Captain Ilan Lavi, head of the navy’s planning department, told Reuters: “We have to build an entire new defensive envelope. But you can’t have a defense system that costs more to build than the gas itself.”

The Tamar natural gas field, which became operational this week, is located 50 miles west of Haifa, in water that’s 5,600 ft. deep. It was the first large-scale hydrocarbon resource claimed by Israel.

The Leviathan gas field is a much larger field, located 8o miles west of Haifa, in water that’s 4,900 ft. deep. The discovery of that gas field has created the foundation for close collaboration between Israel, Cyprus and Greece.

Estimates are of close to a trillion cubic meters of gas underwater overall, with drilling costs coming to more than $2 billion. A defense system for the platforms (there will be as many as 20) will cost $700 million to build and $100 million to maintain each year, according to Lavi. “We can do it with less, but it means the system will be less adequate,” he said.

The fast patrol boats can reach the platform from Ashdod harbor in 40 minutes, carrying a squad of soldiers armed with M-16 rifles.

The Gaza Strip is at about an equal distance from there, and as the Reuters’ story notes, the same mid-range rockets that hit Tel Aviv last November could be trained on the drilling platforms.

Then there’s the Hezbollah in Lebanon, which sits on an estimated 50 thousand rockets, itching to be launched.

Oil platforms off Nigeria have been hit repeatedly, according to Reuters, and suicide bombers launched coordinated boat attacks on an Iraqi oil export terminal in 2004.

“These incidents illustrate that terrorist organizations have become aware of the potential damage that may be inflicted through attacks on the offshore oil and gas industry,” Assaf Harel, a legal adviser to Israel’s Military Advocate General’s Corps, wrote last year in a Harvard security journal.

The two Israeli gas platforms already employ private security teams, but the scope of their activity is obviously limited to the immediate area. And as the platforms start to be frequented by tankers, an entirely new kind of protection will be called for.

Using the Israeli navy will mean utilizing not just its swift boats, but the IDF intelligence and strategic capabilities as well. As Captain Lavi put it: “We have a response for every scenario.”

IDF Intelligence Chief: Terror Organizations on the Rise

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Head of the Military Intelligence Directorate Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi spoke at the 13th annual Herzliya Conference on Thursday, where he delivered a comprehensive review of the strategic changes currently shaping the Middle East and the threats that such changes pose to Israel’s national security. THE IRANIAN THREAT

Maj. Gen. Kochavi related to the Iranian nuclear program, and was explicit in describing the great threat that Iran poses to the security of the State of Israel, describing it as Israel’s “primary threat”.

“We estimate that they will continue to advance their nuclear program,” he said, explaining that “Iran does not see a high chance of a military attack by the international community on [their] nuclear facilities.”

Maj. Gen. Kochavi said that the Iranian government is in possession of the necessary infrastructure to procure nuclear weapons. “Right now [Iran] has ten thousand spinning centrifuges and another five thousand have been installed,” he said, adding that “should the [President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] decide to move forward towards a bomb, they already have enough material for five or six bombs.”

Despite the progress of Iran’s nuclear program, Maj. Gen. Kochavi said, the international community still has the power to stop them. “The [international] pressure on Iran is intensifying and the economic sanctions are influencing Iran in the most significant way,” he said, adding that such sanctions will become an ever-more influential factor in the decision making in Iran. CHANGING MIDDLE EAST

The intelligence chief stated the IDF’s Intelligence Directorate has identified three central pillars around which the most significant changes influencing the region revolve: the economic situation, social upheaval and Islamization.

“The social upheaval is here to stay,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said, referring to the massive political and social changes that have occurred throughout the Middle East in recent years. “It will continue to seethe and bubble and remain the central determining factor in the Middle East,” he said.

He explained that the social upheaval has removed many of the Middle East’s traditional power structures from authority, leaving room for radical Islam to take over. “[The upheaval] is becoming more violent every day, and it is creating a vacuum which is being filled with Islamist and Jihadist political factions,” he warned.

The Head of Military Intelligence said that while political turmoil abounds, governance has vanished and borders are being breached, leaving Israel surrounded by increasingly lawless areas. The lack of control, he says, is leading to the unfettered passage of weapons and munitions. “For the first time in decades Israel has four active borders which could open up from terror attacks,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said. THE RISE OF TERROR IN SYRIA

Maj. Gen. Kochavi related to the sustained political turmoil in Syria, saying that there too radical Islamism has risen up to fill the void left by political instability. “For some of the [new terror] organizations, Israel is not the focus, but the moment they accomplish their Plan A – the fall of Assad, for instance – they will turn their energy towards Israel,” he said.

Elaborating on the situation in Syria, Maj. Gen. Kochavi said that “it is necessary to think of Syria not as a complete state, but as Assad’s state and the rebels’ state – which includes two thirds of Syria’s populated area.” He added that there are rebel enclaves camped all along the border in the Golan Heights from where they lead the day to day fighting.

“11 of 17 crossings [from Syria into the demilitarized UNDOF zone] are in the hands of the rebels, which enables the passage of refugees, weapons and even Jihadist elements,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said.

The Head of Military Intelligence went on to say that Hezbollah, a traditional ally of Assad, is concerned that should he lose power, Iran may lose free passage through Syria to arm the Lebanese terror organization – a concern which has caused them to become involved in the conflict.

“Assad is intensifying cooperation with Hezbollah and Iran, which maintain a presence in Syria, and are the primary supports of his regime,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said. “The damage of Syria’s demise would be very grave for them. Iran would lose its only Arab ally which borders Israel and thus lose the capability to open fire on Israel from Syria,” Maj. Gen. Kochavi said.

Israel Capitulates, Reopens Gaza Crossing in Recognition of Hamas Rule

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Israeli forces on Tuesday reopened the Kerem Shalom commercial border crossing with Gaza, after a week-long closure, a Palestinian official told Ma’an.

Palestinian Authority official Raed Fattouh said that the crossing will operate regularly on Tuesday, with 390 truckloads of goods set to enter Gaza and one truck of flowers to leave.

Israel closed the commercial crossing last Tuesday after a rocket was fired from Gaza toward Ashkelon in southern Israel, but agreed to reopen it Monday.

A dispute between Hamas and the company operating the crossing further delayed its opening. When the dispute was over, the franchise for operating the Gaza side of the crossing was taken away from the company with an authorization from the Palestinian Authority and given over to a company beholden to Hamas. That removed the last vestige of the PA’s official presence in the Gaza Strip. And Israel, which until Tuesday could pretend to only be dealing with Hamas indirectly, through the PA – is now dealing directly with Hamas.

Officials in Gaza told Ma’an that the Hamas government dismissed the company in charge of the terminal after a dispute over the collection of customs revenue.

The officials told Ma’an that Hamas wants to keep the taxes, which are usually paid to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority in Judea and Samaria. Now everything will be going directly to the true rulers of Gaza, with Israel’s full support.

Truck drivers at Kerem Shalom told Ma’an that rivalries over control of the crossing were impeding their work. Now, thank God, peace is restored and the Hamas coffers will fill up again. Those coffers had gone bare recently, because the Egyptians are flooding the smuggling tunnels with sewer water, depriving Hamas of import fees on the smuggled goods

Tens of Thousands of Judea and Samaria Hamas Loyalists Have Launched the Third Intifada

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

By allowing Hamas to celebrate its 25th anniversary in Judea and Samaria, the Palestinian Authority leadership is paving the way for a third intifada against Israel.

In fact, in the past few days, the third intifada has already begun, as violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers have increased in various parts of Judea and Samaria.

Tens of thousands of Hamas supporters have taken to the streets of Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron and Tulkarem to celebrate the event, the first of its kind since the Islamist movement expelled the Palestinian Authority from the Gaza Strip in 2007.

Since then, in Judea and Samaria, the Palestinian Authority had been cracking down on Hamas, arresting hundreds of its supporters and members and closing down dozens of institutions belonging to the movement.

In recent weeks, however, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has apparently decided to endorse a new strategy towards Hamas. He now considers Hamas a political ally rather than an enemy.

The change came immediately after the Israeli military offensive against Hamas in mid-November.

The rapprochement between Abbas and Hamas reached its peak before and after the UN General Assembly vote in favor of upgrading the Palestinians’ status to non-member observer state in late November.

Both Abbas and Hamas see the two events — the war in the Gaza Strip and the UN vote — as “historic achievements” and military and political victories over Israel.

Emboldened by the “victories,” Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal recently reached a secret agreement on the need to launch a “popular intifada” against Israel in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources in Ramallah revealed.

The two men believe that such an intifada at this stage would further isolate Israel and earn the Palestinians even more sympathy in the international arena, the sources said.

Abbas and Mashaal are aware, the sources noted, that the Palestinians are now not ready for another military confrontation with Israel — neither in the West Bank nor in the Gaza Strip.

That is why the two men agreed that the best and only option facing the Palestinians these days is a “popular intifada” that would see Palestinian youths engage in daily confrontations with Israeli soldiers and settlers, especially in Judea and Samaria.

Abbas and Mashaal want an uprising similar to the first intifada, which erupted in 1987, when Palestinians mainly used stones and firebombs against soldiers and settlers, and refrained from launching terror attacks inside Israel.

Yet Abbas and Mashaal seem to disagree on the ultimate goal of the “popular intifada.”

While Abbas is hoping that daily clashes between Palestinian stone-throwers and Israeli soldiers will force Israel to withdraw to the pre-1967 lines, including east Jerusalem, Mashaal and his Hamas movement are hoping that the uprising would lead to the “liberation of all Palestine, from the Jordan river to the sea.”

Abbas and Hamas have decided for now to lay their differences aside and work towards escalating tensions on the ground, particularly in Judea and Samaria. Representatives of the two parties have been holding “reconciliation” talks in Cairo during the past few weeks in a bid to agree on a new strategy against Israel.

Their goal is to drag Israel into a confrontation with Palestinian civilians — one that would embarrass the Israelis among the international community and force them to capitulate.

This article was slightly edited and originally published at the Gatestone Institute

Supporting Hamas, Al-Jazeera Looking to Pin Arafat’s Murder on the PA

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

Even as Mahmoud Abbas’ minions were extracting the bones of Yasser Arafat from his grave, the Palestinian Authority upgraded its status at the United Nations to “Palestine” and was accepted as a non-member observer state by the UN General Assembly. The timing of the request for recognition by the UN and the grisly exhumation of the PA’s “president” were part of the contest between Hamas and the PLO for Palestinian leadership. The contest was won by Hamas.

There are Palestinians who claim that the Palestinian Authority, which was unceremoniously expelled by Hamas from the Gaza Strip in 2007, rules the West Bank only from nine to five — the day shift; the night shift is run by Israeli intelligence. Otherwise, they say, the Palestinian Authority would long since have collapsed.

For quite some time the leadership of the new Islamic world — the one that grew like a weed after the Arab Spring — has been of the opinion that the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas are no longer relevant and should depart.

Before and during Operation Pillar of Defense, Hamas received the support of the Emir of Qatar and was visited by senior officials from Turkey and Tunisia. Hamas received backing from Egypt and became the target of pilgrimages from Arab League representatives as well as a panoply of Islamic luminaries, who were all, like Shakespeare’s Brutus, “honorable men.”

They all gave Hamas a wind at its back, and, at the expense of the Palestinian Authority, supported it as the “victor” in the battle against Israel, despite the fact that Israel had just defeated Hamas in Operation Pillar of Defense — a retaliation by Israel for weeks of being bombarded by missiles and rockets from Gaza.

Meanwhile Al-Jazeera TV, owned by the Emir of Qatar, broadcasts that it suspects that the Palestinian Authority was involved in a plot to poison Arafat. Al-Jazeera TV in Arabic also accuses Israel of poisoning him, but hints that the deed itself was actually done by someone on the inside, one of Arafat’s loyal followers or bodyguards. That is why the Palestinian Authority gravediggers dug up Arafat’s bones with such serious, frozen faces. The skeleton in the closet is the Palestinian Authority, because Al-Jazeera wants to destroy the Palestinian Authority’s reputation by accusing its senior figures of complicity in Arafat’s death, and forcing an investigation into his “poisoning.” Al Jazeera’s objective is to bury the Palestinian Authority, such that gaining UN recognition for “Palestine” is the last act the PA will ever perform.

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/guest-blog/supporting-hamas-al-jazeera-looking-to-pin-arafats-murder-on-the-pa/2012/12/19/

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