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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza Strip’

How to End the Israel-Hamas War

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

A lot of people have asked the purpose of Israel’s defensive war against Hamas. Some, including those supposedly expert on the region, have been mystified. They cannot seem to figure out what is going on or what the goal of this Israeli operation could be.

The answer is simple. Given the premise that Hamas is in a permanent state of war with Israel and will attack Israel whenever it can get away with it, Israel needs to do three things.

First, show Hamas that it cannot daily attack Israel and Israeli civilians without a cost.

Second, show Hamas that the cost is unsustainable and that it needs to keep the peace or suffer massive losses to its governmental, economic, and military infrastructure. This includes a personal cost to those who have taken the lead in attacking Israel and especially to those who have organized terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians.

Third, remove from Hamas the means of making war by destroying its rockets, missiles, and other weaponry. Of course, they will rebuild but it is better to have an enemy that must start over again from near-zero than one that is adding thousands of weapons onto the thousands it already possesses, including the addition of more advanced arms and especially longer-range missiles.

Ending the current fighting in the Gaza Strip is also simple. There are two requirements: an international willingness to do it and an important decision from the new Egyptian government.

Ideally, the world would help overthrow the illegal Hamas regime that represses people in the Gaza Strip and repeatedly drags them into costly and losing wars with their stronger neighbor. But that’s not going to happen. So the next best-thing is a ceasefire that will last several years at least. While Hamas still has ties with Iran, and some factions are closer to Tehran, the Gaza regime’s real patron is Egypt. Both places are ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood.

We have been constantly told that the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt is really moderate. The Obama Administration helped put that government into power. Yes, it won elections but from January 2011 onward, Washington basically backed the Brotherhood in a number of ways. The U.S. government has constantly defended the Brotherhood as being moderate and criticized the Egyptian military when it tried to keep that group out of power.

So the Egypt government supposedly wants to focus on domestic affairs and doesn’t want to be dragged into war with Israel. It is being given huge amounts of goodies without any apparent conditions. This includes a staggering $6.4 billion in loans from the European Union; $4.5 billion from the International Monetary Fund, and $450 million from the United States, plus another $1 billion plus in U.S. military aid.

Perhaps Egypt can do something in exchange for all of this political support and money, including loans that will never be repaid. Let Cairo make clear to its Hamas clients that it wants a real ceasefire and does not accept Hamas periodically firing large numbers of rockets, missiles, and mortars, plus cross-border attacks, on Israel. Egypt wants quiet in order to deal with its tremendous problems of poverty, pending bankruptcy, and also the regime’s program to turn Egypt into an Islamist state.

I could add cynically—but accurately—that it also wants time to lower the status of women, install ever-larger amounts of Sharia law, and intimidate Christians into servitude. But these things apparently don’t really bother the West so they are going to happen any way without real leverage being applied.

Egypt can let all the food and goods anyone wants to enter the Gaza Strip across their mutual border. It can at the same time prevent the crossing of weapons, including motors for rockets and Iranian-made missiles. The Cairo government can help Hamas raise the living standards in the Gaza Strip as high as it wants without helping it destroy them by going to war. The truth is that the Egyptian government may issue statements to a credible Western media from time to time that it’s cracking down on the smuggling of arms into the Gaza Strip but that regime actually needs to do something real.

The same applies to permissiveness toward cross-border raids from Egyptian territory into Israel. Again, there have been lots of Western media items about how much Egypt is doing to stop such attacks or arrest those involved. The problem is that these efforts have been token ones mainly directed at ensuring the terrorists don’t attack the Egyptian military and don’t launch operations too often.

There has been a lot of talk in ruling circles in Egypt about revising the peace treaty with Israel. Well, Israel is open to negotiating an increase in the level of Egyptian military presence in the eastern Sinai as long as the additional soldiers are stopping smuggling into the Gaza Strip and the use of Egyptian territory to attack Israel instead of taking bribes and looking the other way, or even helping the terrorists.

One is free to look at such a solution in two ways. If you want, you can believe that Egypt really is ruled by moderates who put peace and prosperity over jihad in their priorities’ list or, alternatively, it is equally okay to think that the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt is quite radical but that its interests dictate restoring calm and avoiding war for several years to come even though they would prefer otherwise.

What makes the difference is Israeli credibility, willingness to defend itself, and ability to do so effectively.

It is now the job of the United States, whose president has spoken and acted as if the government in Egypt is his client, and all the vaunted leverage that the U.S. government says it has gained in the Arabic-speaking world through various actions over the last four years. America and Europe need to use the aid and backing they have given to Egypt as a way to get something in return.

Israel is refraining from a ground attack at the urging of Western countries, and especially the United States, if it eventually gets something in return.

So far, Hamas has been turning down the efforts by Egypt and Qatar to broker a ceasefire, making huge and ridiculous demands. Hamas is banking on the idea that the suffering of Gaza’s people–a suffering that it adds to and fictionalizes–will bring enough Western sympathy to force Israel to stop fighting without conditions. It is not in anyone else’s interests to let this happen.

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

Overnight Air Strikes Hit 80 Terror Sites in Gaza, Kill 17, Injure 30

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Overnight, the IDF targeted approximately 80 terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip, including underground rocket launching sites, terror tunnels, and training bases, inflicting severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of terror organizations operating out of the Gaza Strip.

The IDF targeted buildings owned by senior terrorist operatives, used as command posts and weapon storage facilities. IAF aircraft, with the support of Israeli Navy soldiers, targeted several Hamas police headquarters throughout the Gaza Strip. The IDF also targeted several Hamas-affiliated terrorist squads as they prepared to fire rockets towards Israel, including the squad responsible for firing rockets towards the community of Nahal Oz earlier this morning.

The sites that were targeted have been positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of months.

Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF has targeted 1,350 terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip.

The Ma’an news agency reported at 8:42 Monday morning that overnight multiple IAF air strikes killed fourteen people and injured at least 70 as Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip entered its sixth day.

Israeli aircraft targeted a car in the central Gaza Strip on Monday morning, killing three, eyewitnesses said. Tamer Bashir, Amin al-Bashir and Salah Bashir were killed when the vehicle they were traveling in was hit in the refugee camp of Deir al-Balah.

Earlier, Abu Zour, 19, Ahed Al-Qatati, 38, and Sahar Abu Zour were killed, along with a 4-year-old child, after air strikes hit a house in the al-Zaitoun neighborhood of Gaza City.

Muhammad Salameh Jundi, 31, was killed in the al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood, Imad Abu Hamda, 30, was killed in al-Shati refugee camp, and Jalal Nasr, 35, died from wounds sustained in a strike on Jabalia, north of Gaza. An infant was killed there as well.

Thirty other people were wounded in the attacks and reporters in Gaza City said a massive blast at 2 AM damaged a police station.

In Rafah, three people were killed in two air strikes targeting the city. One person was reported injured.

Altogether, Ma’an reported 88 Arabs killed and hundreds injured in the attacks so far.

Netanyahu OKs Fortified Daycare Centers Near Gaza

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

The Cabinet on Sunday unanimously approved an allocation of NIS 7.6 million in order to complete the financing of building protected daycare centers in communities with 0-7 kilometers from the Gaza Strip.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Our advance preparations and the speed with which we are meeting citizens’ needs have proven themselves time and again. This decision is the continuation of previous Government decisions in the framework of which billions of shekels have been allocated to protecting residences and educational institutions and to strengthening the resilience of citizens in the area adjacent to the Gaza Strip.”

Hamas Detaining Foreign Citizens in the Gaza Strip

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

The Israeli Foreign Ministry reports that Hamas is not allowing at least 22 foreign nationals who wish to exit the Gaza Strip for Israel to do so. Among the foreigners being detained are nine Italian citizens, one Canadian, one South Korean, a French national and six journalists from Japan. In addition, two Turkish Red Crescent members have been refused exit.

This violation of the human rights of neutral foreigners is yet another example of Hamas’ attempts to manipulate and pressure the press.

For its part, Israel is keeping the Erez crossing into Gaza open, allowing passage to the foreign press, diplomats and humanitarian workers.

The Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza was also kept open today, enabling the passage of food and medication from Israel into the Gaza Strip.

Saturday Night Updates: IDF Pounding Gaza, Shooting Attack from Syria

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

1:02 AM (Sunday) IDF Radio reports that for the past hour, the IDF has been pounding away at terror targets in Gaza. The past few hours have been quieter than usual…and only a few rockets fired at Israel.

12:52 AM This evening, IDF Homefront command installed additional sirens in Herziliya due to the escalation down south.

12:39 AM Shooting attack at IDF forces from Syria in the Golan Heights near Tel-Chazeka. No injuries to IDF forces, which returned fire.

9:15 PM 4 rockets shot down over Netivot and Ofakim.

Arabs threw firebombs at Jewish owned cars in Hevron. 1 car was hit and damaged. The driver is OK.

9:07 PM Sirens now going off in Netivot and Ofakim.

8:30 PM Reports of a targeted strike on a car carrying terrorists in the Gaza strip. More news as it comes out. Earlier the IAF took out Hamas commander Muhamed Galab.

8:22 PM Israeli government in the process of giving out special beepers to hearing impaired to inform them of incoming rocket fire.

8:21 PM Sirens now going off again in the Ashkelon Beach region following rockets landing there about 15 minutes ago.

7:37 PM: A Rocket fell in an open area in the Regional Council Ashkelon Coast.

7:30 PM: Since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense, 492 rockets fired from Gaza have struck Israel. In addition, the Iron Dome Active Missile Defense System has intercepted 245 rockets, preventing them from striking populated areas.

7:10 PM: GOC Southern Command Maj. Gen. Tal Russo addressed the media regarding Operation Pillar of Defense. “In recent days, we have continued with our orderly plans against terror in the Gaza Strip,” he said. “I praise Israel’s civilians on the courage that they have shown and its soldiers on their determination. This is a joint operation of the branches and security forces. We have not yet finished the operation, but we have hit most of the arsenal of weapons that are directed against our citizens.”

“We have begun the operation because it was impossible to maintain normalcy in southern Israel,” he continued. “We will continue this operation until we reach the goals that we have set for ourselves – normalcy for the residents of the south and damage to the arsenal of weapons of the terror organizations. We are operated precisely against the terror organizations, as Hamas continues to operate against our civilians. Most of the weaponry of the terror organizations is stored in residential houses, from which they launch the missiles and the rockets against Israel.”

6:30 PM: Over the course of the day, IAF aircraft continued to target dozens of terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip, including terror tunnels, rocket launching sites and several squads that were involved in launching rockets at Israel.

A short while ago in a joint IDF-ISA activity, a senior Hamas operative in charge of the terror organization’s smuggling operations, and who was actively involved in its armament build-up was targeted in the southern Gaza Strip. Additionally, this morning, the senior member of Hamas’ Air Defense Unit, Mohammed Kaleb, was targeted in the southern Gaza Strip. In addition, a major Hamas base in the southern Gaza Strip was targeted.

The sites that were targeted have been positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of several months.

Since the beginning of the operation, more than 400 rockets have hit Israeli territory. Today, 5 civilians and 4 IDF soldiers were injured by rocket fire.

The Iron Dome Active Missile Defense System has intercepted a long-range rocket above the greater Tel Aviv area, adding to more than 240 interceptions since the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense.

5:20 PM: The IDF recently released a video of a strike carried out on a top Hamas commander’s house this morning. When IAF aircraft targeted the house of Ahmed Randor – chief of Hamas’ northern command – a number of secondary explosions ensued, indicating that explosives were stored in the building. Click here to watch the video.

4:45 p.m.: Confirmed, the newly deployed Iron Dome battery in Gush Dan had its first succesful interception, intercepting a rocket bound for the Tel Aviv area. The rocket is responsible for the alarms that sounded in Tel Aviv minutes ago.

4:40 p.m.: Moments ago, rocket alarms sounded in Tel Aviv, details forthcoming.

3:30 p.m.: Commander of the Combat Engineering Corps has spoken about his unit’s preparations for a possible ground operation. In addition to the infantry forces gathering near Gaza, the Combat Engineering Corps expects to play a significant role in any potential ground operations, calling up a large number of reservists with years of experience.

In Operation Cast Lead, the Combat Engineering Corps often lead the way, searching for stockpiles of ammunition and underground explosives planted by Hamas. “In the case of a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, we will enter in full force. There are many plans and preparations for specific things, such as underground tunnels,” said Brig. Gen. Yossi Morali, the Commander of the Combat Engineering corps.

3:10 p.m.: Rockets launched from Gaza have continued to strike Israel throughout the day. As of this afternoon, 410 rockets fired from the Gaza Strip have struck Israel since November 14th, with 30 striking heavily populated areas. In addition, the Iron system has intercepted 230 rockets since the beginning of the conflict.

1:30 p.m.: Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz held a situation assessment at the Kirya, the IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv. After meeting with senior officers, the Chief of Staff instructed IDF forces to attack any military force operating in the Gaza Strip, and ordered an increased in the rate of attacks on terrorist targets.

11:00 a.m.: As a part of the effort to warn Gaza’s citizens and minimize civilian casualties, the IDF has dropped more than 200,000 leaflets over the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the operation. These leaflets warn the residents of the Gaza Strip to stay away from Hamas and other terror organizations’ operatives and facilities that pose a risk to their safety.

The leaflets stress that Hamas is dragging the region toward violence, and that the IDF is prepared to defend the residents of the State of Israel until quiet is restored to the region.

10:30 a.m.: A short a while ago, three IDF soldiers were lightly wounded in a rocket attack in southern Israel. Details forthcoming.

9:10 a.m.:The IDF’s Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Mordechai has released a statment further detailing last night’s strikes. Here is the statement in full:

“Since last night, the IDF has struck over 200 targets, including over 120 underground rocket launchers and more than 20 smuggling tunnels in Rafah. In addition, the IDF struck buildings belonging to the Hamas government. Ismail Haniyeh’s headquarters, which serve as the headquarters for the Hamas government, was destroyed in a strike. Additionally, the Hamas’ police headquarters and the homeland security headquarters in Gaza City were also targeted. Lastly, the house of Ahmed Randor, commander of Hamas’ northern command, was targeted as well.

Even now we are launching a wave of continuous strikes in attempt to curb the massive amount of rockets launched. We can see that relative to previous days, this morning’s rocket fire is already reduced. We are continuing to mass forces for a possible ground operation.”

8:55 a.m.: Overnight, the IDF targeted Hamas government buildings as well as several rocket launching squads that were involved in firing rockets toward Israel. As part of the IDF targeting of government buildings, Ismail Haniya’s headquarters, the Hamas Ministry of Interior, and the Hamas police compound, were targeted. An additional Hamas training facility was targeted in the northern Gaza Strip.

In addition, the IDF has continued targeting dozens of terror sites including tunnels, weapons storage facilities and medium-range rocket launching sites across the Gaza Strip, severely damaging rocket launching capabilities.

Hamas, the organization that controls the Gaza Strip, has turned it into a forward base for Iran, carrying out terror attacks and firing rockets at Israeli citizens forcing them to live in unbearable circumstances.

The IDF is determined to continue targeting sites that are used to carry out terror attacks against Israeli citizens.

5:50 a.m.: Since midnight, the IDF has struck 85 targets in the Gaza Strip. According to IDF Spokesperson Brig. Gen. Yoav (Poly) Mordechai, who addressed the Israeli press last evening, most of the targets struck in the Gaza Strip are rocket launch sites.

Hamas Won’t Let Foreign Nationals Exit Gaza

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

The Israeli Foreign Ministry Reports:

Hamas is not allowing at least 22 foreign nationals who wish to exit the Gaza Strip for Israel to do so. Among the members of the foreign press being detained are nine Italian citizens, six citizens of Japan, one Canadian, one South Korean and a French national. In addition, two Turkish Red Crescent members have been refused exit.

This violation of the human rights of neutral foreigners is yet another example of Hamas’ attempts to manipulate and pressure the press.

For its part, Israel is keeping the Erez crossing into Gaza open, allowing passage to the foreign press, diplomats and humanitarian workers.

Suicide Squads Deployed Near the Border in Anticipation of IDF Invasion

Saturday, November 17th, 2012

The website Yoni Alper – Terror Watch reported tonight that sources within the terror organizations in Gaza are claiming that thousands of warriors have been deployed in the suburbs of Gaza and along the border with Israel, in anticipation of engaging IDF ground forces, should Israel decide to turn the Pillar of Defense operation into a full scale invasion. Those sorces are saying that suicide squads have been positioned in the area, as well as other “surprises.”

An SMS from the Islamic Jihad to several Israeli Journalists has warned that, should the IDF commit a “stupid mistake” and send ground troops into the Gaza Strip, it would become their graveyard. The SMS also promised to ignite Gaza in a hellfire.

The military arm of Hamas has announced that its forces have been deployed near the border with Israel, including suicide units, special units, observation units. The Hamas has promised a “tunnel war” against the armored vehicles, should those dare enter Gaza.

According the Terror Watch, the Islamic Jihad is convinced that the IDF is not planning to enter Gaza, and that the entire operation is merely a form of psychological warfare. They insist Israel is interested in bringing an end to the fighting.

Summary of Overnight Events

Friday, November 16th, 2012

Overnight, the IDF targeted approximately 150 medium range rocket launching sites as well as ammunition storage facilities across the Gaza Strip, causing severe damage to terror infrastructures.

As a result of the continuous IDF targeting rocket launching capabilities, rocket fire at Israel overnight was significantly decreased, with only a few hits landing in open areas.

Since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense, the Israeli Air Force has targeted over 450 terror activity sites in the Gaza Strip.

The aim of targeting these sites is to impair the rocket launching capability of terror organizations in the Gaza Strip and hamper their continuous build up.

In addition, IAF aircraft targeted a central terror activity site in the southern Gaza strip in order to harm the command and control posts of the Hamas terror organization.

The Iron Dome Active Missile Defense System has successfully intercepted over 130 rockets that launched from Gaza, aimed at Israel.

The Gaza strip has been turned into a frontal base for Iran, forcing Israeli citizens to live under unbearable circumstances.

The IDF will continue to target sites that are used to carry out terror attacks against Israeli citizens. Currently, over the course of a rapid and preplanned military strike, the IDF continues to target underground launch sites used to fire rockets at Israeli communities.

The sites that were targeted were positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of months.

Over the past few days, over 300 rockets were fired at Israeli communities. One rocket hit the central Israeli city Rishon Lezion, located approximately 60 km from the Gaza Strip.

Military sources report that overnight, a structure used to coordinate terror activity in Khan Yunes area was targeted. A significant explosion was identified during the targeting, implying that a substantial amount of ammunition was stored in the site.

An excessive amount of the weapon storage facilities has been deliberately located inside civilian residential buildings. This provides further evidence of the way Hamas cynically uses the Palestinian civilian population as a human shield.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/special-features/israel-at-war-operation-amud-anan/summary-of-overnight-events/2012/11/16/

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