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July 30, 2016 / 24 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza Strip’

IAF Attacks Hamas Targets in Gaza

Friday, May 6th, 2016

At 9:30 AM, the IDF announced that the Air Force attacked Hamas infrastructure targets in southern Gaza.

The attacks were in response to the multiple mortar attacks by Hamas against IDF forces uncovering Hamas terror tunnels along the Gaza border over the past few days.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Shin Bet Reveals: Arrested Hamas Member Gave Israel Information on Tunnels

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

A Hamas terrorist arrested by Israel at the beginning of April has revealed a significant amount of information on the efforts by Hamas to build tunnels into Israel, the Shin Bet released for publication on Thursday. This comes shortly after a second Hamas ‘terror tunnel’ was discovered by the IDF in the last few weeks.

The Hamas military wing member told interrogators many details about the routes of the tunnels in the northern Gaza Strip, about Hamas’s digging techniques, about the use of private and public buildings from which the tunnels originate, and about the technologies and materials used in the process.

Mahmoud Atauna, a 29-year-old resident of Jabaliya in Gaza, has been a member of the Hamas military wing for the last decade. He was arrested about a month ago after he crossed into Israel carrying two knives, the Shin Bet said in a statement. Atauna said under questioning that he had intended to stab and kill Israeli civilians or security force members inside Israel.

Atauna also revealed to his interrogators that he belongs to the Al-Qassam Brigades, part of Hamas’s military wing, and that he was involved in various Hamas operations such as the placing of explosives directed against IDF forces. However, the most valuable information he gave concerned his experience in the terror organization’s tunnel project in recent years.

According to the Shin Bet, Atauna pinpointed many digging focus points, including tunnel shafts meant to be used by Hamas elite units to conduct attacks against Israel. He said that the organization has constructed a branched network of tunnels in the Gaza Strip, which is used to transfer combatants and weapons. The tunnels are equipped with rooms in which the militants can rest, shower, and eat.

Atauna also revealed many names of militants who were in his Hamas unit and provided information on how Hamas uses private homes to store weapons. Many weapons were even kept in Atauna’s own home, including bombs, rifles and suicide belts that he was supposed to hand out in the case of a battle.

According to the Shin Bet, Atauna is just one of many Hamas combatants being interrogated and currently revealing inside information on the organization’s tunnel project. An indictment has been filed against him at the Beer Sheva District Court.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Jewish Human Rights Watch Suing 3 Councils in High Court over BDS

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Jewish Human Rights Watch (JHRW) has taken Swansea, Gwyneedd and Leicester councils to the High Court in London, alleging their boycott of Israeli goods is anti-Semitic and violates the 2010 Equality Act.

The group noted on their Facebook page: “We’re in the #‎HighCourt today and tomorrow about The Labour Party’s Leicester City Council & City and County of Swansea & Gwynedd Council’s #‎Antisemitic #‎Boycott motions. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we hear anything.”

Several local councils across the UK voted to boycott Israeli goods after 2009, when Israel refused to embrace the Hamas’ need to shoot rockets at its civilian population.

In 2010, Swansea council was seeking contracts with Veolia, a company connected to a project building a light railway in eastern Jerusalem. But then a motion was put before the council stating the project “not only contravenes UN demands but is in contravention of international law,” since the UN “has demanded that Israeli settlement activities and occupation should not be supported.”

Several council members called on the council to not do business with “any company in breach of international law or UN obligations or demands, so long as to do so would not be in breach of any relevant legislation.” The motion was approved.

Andrew Sharland, an attorney for Leicester’s council, which in 2014 approved a similar boycott of Israeli goods, said the JHRW is trying to “stifle criticisms of Israel.”

“What this challenge really concerns is criticism of the State of Israel, and the claimant’s desire to suppress it,” he said.

Following the 2014 vote, JHRW issued a statement saying, “Leicester City Council has taken steps down an anti-Semitic path under the guise of helping community relations in Leicester. Frankly this amounts to a get-of-out-town order to Leicester Jews.”

In 2014, Gwynedd council also passed a motion calling for a trade embargo against Israel, condemning the “attacks by the Israeli state on the territory of the Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip.” Just to make sure they did not come across as anti-Semites, Gwynedd council added, “It must be made clear that the proposal condemned the Israeli state and not the Jewish religion.”

The British government earlier this year issued guidelines for public authorities which say these boycotts are “inappropriate” without formal legal sanctions or embargoes by the national government. In fact, the Cabinet Office has said these boycotts “undermine good community relations, poison and polarize debate, weaken integration and fuel anti-Semitism.”

But Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, whose party has been ridding itself of an industrial-size stash of anti-Semitic members in recent days, criticized the government’s warning against BDS as an “attack on local democracy.”

David Israel

Tensions Rising: 6 Mortar Attacks Fired at Israel From Gaza in 24 Hours

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Five mortar attacks were aimed at IDF forces near the Gaza border on Wednesday.

A mortar shell was fired Wednesday morning at an IDF force operating near the southern border of Gaza, according to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.

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.

The IDF declared the area around the Gaza Belt community of Nahal Oz to be a closed military zone, and officially launched a search for terror attack tunnels throughout the area and particularly near the security fence along the Gaza border.

Hamas has sent its senior commanders into hiding, a move made each time there is an escalation in tensions with Israel.

The exchange brings the total to five shooting incidents within 24 hours.

On Tuesday, just a few hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited troops in the area, terrorists opened fire at IDF soldiers and vehicles from the Engineering Corps working on the security fence along the northern Gaza border.

No soldiers were injured in the attack but at least one IDF vehicle was damaged. This attack also emanated from Shujaya.

No casualties were reported in any of the four attacks. However, it is important to note this is one of the most serious cross-border escalations by Gaza terrorists since 2014.

Michael Bachner of TPS contributed to this report.

Hana Levi Julian

Gunfire From Gaza Hits IDF Vehicle After Netanyahu’s Visit to Border

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

By Joshua B. Dermer/TPS

Nahal Oz (TPS) – An Israeli army vehicle was hit by gunfire from the Gaza Strip on Tuesday just hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited troops stationed on Gaza border and inspected a recently uncovered Hamas “terror tunnel” reaching into Israeli territory.

A military vehicle was struck near Nahal Oz, an Israeli community just beyond the security fence bordering the northern Gaza Strip, the IDF announced. The vehicle suffered damage but no one was injured in the incident.

Earlier in the day, Netanyahu toured the southern area of the Gazan border accompanied by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Col. Gadi Eizenkot and inspected the Hamas tunnel uncovered by IDF forces several weeks ago. Netanyahu and Ya’alon were briefed by Gen. Eyal Zamir, Director of the Southern Command, on the most up-to-date Gaza survey findings.

“Tomorrow is Holocaust Remembrance Day. Seventy years ago we were like a leaf in the wind, with no defense force and helpless. We were slaughtered,” Netanyahu told soldiers of the 51st battalion stationed at the border. “Today we have a country and we have an army. We have the ability to defend ourselves on all fronts, both near and remote. What drives me is to secure the future of Israel and its people.”

“We are in the eye of the storm,” Netanyahu continued. “You see what’s happening. Millions are fleeing for their lives to Europe, and we have ISIS in the Golan on the other side [of the border], and ISIS here on the other side,” he said, referring to extremist forces in the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Desert.

“We are basically in the eye of the storm, and relative to the area we are the most stable, tranquil, and safest country.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israel Intercepts 4 Tons Ammonium Chloride Smuggled by Hamas to Make Rocket Fuel

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Israeli customs agents in collaboration with Shabak foiled a Hamas attempt to smuggle four tons of ammonium chloride hidden in a shipment of salt before the Passover holiday, Israel announced on Tuesday. Ammonium chloride is used in hair shampoo, in the glue that bonds plywood, and in cleaning products, but as ammonium perchlorate composite propellant (APCP) it is typically used in aerospace propulsion applications, including in building rockets in Gaza intended hit civilian populations inside Israel. According to the announcement, the amount seized could be used to manufacture hundreds of long-range rockets.

About a week before the holiday, a special shipment of 40 tons of salt arrived at the Nitzana crossing which is used for moving goods from Egypt to Israel, the PA and the Gaza Strip.

The unusually large amount of salt being transferred raised a red flag.

A thorough examination by the Nitzana customs agents revealed that some of the bags of salt were actually ammonium chloride weighing 4 tons altogether. Ammonium chloride is a dual-use substance requiring an import license, because of its potential use by Hamas and the Islamic Jihad in manufacturing long-range rockets.

Recently, the Shabak has noted a vast increase in salt shipments to Gaza, and soon figured out it was being used to conceal smuggled illegal chemicals. In the reported case, Shabak believes the importer, a Gaza resident, was indeed seeking to provide the chemical to the Hamas, under the guise of merchandise intended for the civilian population and rehabilitation projects.

To date, the collaboration between the customs service and Shabak has led to the thwarting of dozens of smuggling attempts that included shipments of sulfuric acid, diving Suits, polyurethane propellant for rockets, sulfur rods, fiberglass rolls, and a special coal used to fuel iron furnaces for processing metals.

David Israel

Israel to Open Second Gaza Crossing to Transfer Goods

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Erez Crossing (TPS) – Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon decided on Monday to open a second border crossing for the transfer of goods into the Gaza Strip. The opening of the Erez Crossing for supplies entering Gaza will alleviate pressure on the existing passageway for the thousand trucks per day that are currently forced to drive along narrow roads and disrupt the lives of residents of nearby communities.

The Erez Crossing is located at the northern Gaza border and is used primarily to allow people enter and exit the strip. The only border crossing used thus far to transfer the large amount of supplies into Gaza was the Kerem Shalom Crossing, located at the southernmost end of Israel’s border with Gaza, near the Egyptian border.

MK Haim Yellin (Yesh Atid), who previously served as head of the Eshkol Regional Council which borders Gaza, praised Ya’alon’s decision.

“Around 1,000 trucks make their way every day along the entire Gaza border to get to the Kerem Shalom Crossing,” said Yellin. “Opening the Erez Crossing for the transfer of goods to Gaza will reduce the pressure at the Kerem Shalom Crossing. It will also significantly reduce the number of trucks driving on the narrow and dangerous road, which is currently a ticking bomb.”

The current head of the Eshkol Regional Council, Gadi Yarkoni, has waged a public battle for the opening of a second border crossing together with Shai Hajaj, head of the nearby Merhavim Local Council.

“We have been leading a determined struggle over the past months to open a second crossing for goods in the north, in order to decrease the incredible amount of trucks riding on roads in the area and endangering the residents’ safety,” said the two in a joint statement.

“The defense minister updated us on the opening of the Erez Crossing for goods, to divert some of the trucks,” they added. “This decision indicates his firm support of the local communities in the region.”

Meanwhile, reports have emerged in Israeli media that Israel will renew its supply of cement to Gaza for use in private civilian projects.

According to the report in the Israeli site Ynet, the cement is meant to reconstruct thousands of civilian structures damaged or destroyed during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014 and to be used in aid and welfare projects in the coastal strip.

Israel stopped supplying cement to the Gaza private sector last month, due to attempts by Hamas to use the cement for military purposes, such as its elaborate “terror tunnel” project. Several weeks ago Israel uncovered a mile-long tunnel leading into Israel from Gaza, ostensibly designed by Hamas to kill or abduct Israelis.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-to-open-second-gaza-crossing-to-transfer-goods/2016/05/02/

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