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July 28, 2016 / 22 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

Bennett Rebukes Netanyahu on Misrepresenting Terror Tunnel Record

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Education Minister and Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett on Tuesday morning tweeted a response to the statement by Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu Monday night, that the security cabinet discussed the Gaza terror tunnels before the 2014 Protective Edge Operation. Bennett said Netanyahu should accept responsibility for the ramifications of his decisions, not try to conceal them.

“Any company commander in the army learns his lessons at the end of an exercise, to avoid making future mistakes, and what’s true for an infantry company is doubly true for the political and security leadership of the State of Israel,” Bennett tweeted. “In preparation for the next war, we must learn from the mistakes of the past and not deny them. Drawing real lessons is a sign of strength and self-confidence. He who does not learn from the mistakes of the past is doomed to repeat them,” Bennett concluded.

Netanyahu has been saying in closed sessions that the IDF had been seeking operational solutions to the terror tunnels since 2013, and the security apparatus had dealt with it numerous times. The PM was responding to the harsh attacks on his administration’s conduct of the 2014 Gaza War.

On Sunday, 32 bereaved families of fallen IDF soldiers in Gaza demanded in a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liberman that a state commission headed by a judge investigate the government’s decision-making process throughout the war.

Bennett stood out during the war weeks as the most stubborn advocate of sending the IDF in to demolish the Hamas terror tunnels, and was behind the popular notion that the Netanyahu security cabinet was unaware of the tunnel threat. But Walla, which in recent years has emerged as Netanyahu’s other favorite media outlet, reported on Tuesday that the cabinet held at least eight debates on the tunnels, and hosted 20 professional discussions with IDF and Intelligence officials to examine ways to locate and demolish the tunnels.

JNi.Media

2014 Gaza War Parents Demand Investigation of Operation’s Conduct, High Losses

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Two years after Operation Protective Edge, in which 66 IDF soldiers and five civilians were killed, the bereaved families of the fallen are demanding an independent committee to examine the preparations for the war, the way it was conducted, and the lessons to be learned.

The 32 families on Sunday demanded in a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liberman that a state commission headed by a judge investigate the government’s decision-making process throughout the war.

In their letter, the families mentioned the fact that the Knesset Foreign and Security Committee had been asked to examine the events of the 2014 war and has yet to issue a report. One report that had been produced by the committee was shelved because of the 2015 elections. Referring to the same committee’s publicized intent to renew its investigation, the families argued it made no sense to “reconvene a committee that has already investigated the events and opted not to publish its conclusions.”

“Even if the decision to shelve the conclusions was made by a different person than the current committee head, it would be inappropriate to renew the discussion after such a long period of time, and it could appear as a lack of transparency or exterior pressures which do not belong in an investigation of this scope,” the families wrote.

On the evening of June 12, 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and later murdered in Judea and Samaria by Hamas operatives. Their bodies were discovered on June 30. Israel retaliated with air strikes on Gaza in which 3 Arabs were killed and a dozen injured. Hamas retaliated with rockets that were fired at Israeli civilian centers wounding three people. On July 7, 80 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, and the Netanyahu security cabinet decided to launch a counter-terrorist operation. The IDF bombarded targets in the Gaza Strip with artillery and airstrikes, and Hamas continued to fire rockets and mortar shells into Israel. A cease-fire proposal was announced by the Egyptian government and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on July 14, and the Israeli government accepted it and stopped the attacks on the morning of July 15. But Hamas rejected the ceasefire and the war was renewed. By July 16 the death toll in Gaza had reached 200.

On July 16, Hamas and Islamic Jihad offered a 10-year truce with ten conditions, including lifting of the Gaza blockade and the release of prisoners who were re-arrested after being released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. Israel refused those terms. On July 17, a five-hour humanitarian ceasefire, proposed by the UN, took place. But a few hours before the ceasefire was to start, 13 armed Hamas terrorists emerging from a tunnel on the Israeli side of the Gaza border. The IDF destroyed the tunnel’s exit, ending the incursion.

After the ceasefire, the IDF launched a ground offensive on the Gaza Strip, aimed at destroying the terror tunnels crossing under the Israeli border. On July 20, the IDF entered Shuja’iyya in Gaza City and encountered heavy resistance. Thirteen IDF soldiers were killed, including two Americans serving in Israel. Seven of the IDF soldiers were killed as their armored vehicle was hit by an anti-tank rocket or an improvised explosive device, and three were killed in clashes with terrorists. Three IDF soldiers were trapped in a burning house. In the next 24 hours, three more IDF soldiers were killed in Shuja’iyya.

Shortly after the battle, twenty civilians from Shuja’iyya were shot for protesting against Hamas. Hamas said it had executed Israeli spies.

On August 3, the IDF pulled most of its ground forces out of the Gaza Strip after completing the destruction of 32 terror tunnels. On August 5 Israel announced that it had arrested Hossam Kawasmeh, suspected of having organized the killing of the three teenagers. According to court documents, Kawasmeh stated that Hamas members in Gaza financed the recruitment and arming of the killers.

JNi.Media

Hamas ‘Uprising Jerusalem’ Terror Training Camps for Women & Kids

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hamas women learn to shoot in Khan Younis - Hadash Hahamot

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.

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.

Hana Levi Julian

10 Years after Takeover Hamas Promises New Elections

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

January 25, 2006 was the last time Gazans voted for their ruling government, and the Hamas movement won it, with Ismail Haniyeh nominated for Prime Minister. Hamas then established a national unity government with the PLO, which collapsed shortly thereafter when Hamas violently removed the PLO from the Strip. Things remained the same for a decade, through three violent confrontations with Israel, until, last week, Hamas surprised everyone by declaring free municipal elections in the Gaza Strip, to coincide with the next round of municipal elections in the PA, scheduled for October 8.

Hamas says it is planning to run a national slate made up of technocrats (who just happen to all be Hamas members). Representatives of different parties in Gaza swore an oath last week, to abide by the elections rules and to respect the candidates and the deals that they make, and, most important, abide by the election results and by the decisions of the central elections committee.

The last time the Palestinian Authority held municipal elections was in 2012. Now a PA delegation has met with Haniyeh to discuss extending the municipal vote to the Gaza Strip as well.

According to Ynet, the reason Hamas may be prepared to open up the Gaza municipalities to PLO representatives is that Hamas is hoping to capitalize on its popularity in the PA, where the public has had enough of the corrupt PLO leadership. Hamas has won the student union elections in key PA universities such as Bir Zeit and the Hebron Politechnic. The Hamas leadership is convinced they have the momentum in the PA, and the municipal elections could serve as their trial balloon. Their aim, is, of course, for the PA to be forced to declare national elections, where the chances would be high that a Hamas candidate, most likely Ismail Haniyeh, would win the Chairmanship.

Voter registration opened on Saturday, including registration online. Eligible voters will have five days to join the reported 2 million voters who have already registered, constituting, according to the Palestinian Authority Central Elections Commission, 78.5% of the eligible voters in Judea and Samaria (including eastern Jerusalem) and in Gaza.

In 2006, there were 1,341,671 registered voters and 1,042,424 votes cast, according the Palestinian Authority Central Elections Commission.

In 2013, voter registration the Palestinian Authority suddenly jumped by 300,000 voters in the span of around 6 months. That massive influx of newly registered voters primarily originated from Gaza.

For comparison’s sake, in Israel’s 2015 elections, there were 5,881,696 registered Israeli voters and 4,254,738 votes case.

While back in 2006, Israel had 5,014,622 registered voters.

JNi.Media

Gaza Arab Infiltrates Israel’s Southern Border

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

A Gaza citizen infiltrated through Israel’s southern border Tuesday night, near Jewish communities in the Gaza Belt area.

He was spotted by Israeli military forces heading towards a location in the Eshkol Regional Council district.

The forces took him into custody and transferred the suspect to security personnel for questioning. His identity is not known, and his motives for leaving the Hamas-ruled region and entering Israel were not clear.

Less than two weeks ago an Arab man crossed into Israel through the border with Jordan and threw a rock at an Israeli woman driving along Route 90, south of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee), causing the car to crash into a rail on the side of the road.

The Jordanian then tried to force the driver out of the car but failed when the woman fought back. He ultimately gave up and tried the same strategy with another vehicle that stopped to help, but failed again and then fled the scene. A third car arrived and called police.

A guard at Kibbutz Degania Bet later saw the man wandering around, but when he ignored a directive to stop, the guard shot and disabled him. He was later arrested by Israel Police. IDF officials subsequently identified the Jordanian as a “mentally ill individual.”

Hana Levi Julian

Hamas Goons Beat Gaza Families During Demolition of their Homes [video]

Monday, July 18th, 2016

Avi Mayer, the international media spokesman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, tweeted a video showing Hamas henchmen attacking Arab families in Gaza who stood in their way and were trying to prevent the demolition of their homes.

According to Mayer, Hamas claimed the homes had to be demolished “to expand the street,” but local residents, who demand market value compensations for their property, accused Hamas of using double standards when it came to home demolitions — bad when Israel does it, highly acceptable when the Hamas government is doing it.

Meyer cited Arab media reports saying that many Arab civilians, including children and the elderly, were beaten and injured by Hamas thugs.

The video, titled Security in Gaza Assaulting Civilians, was posted by Alquds.

David Israel

Finally: Congress Asking UNRWA for Real Number of Palestinian Refugees

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Both houses of Congress are at work to modify funding bills for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), as part of an effort to investigate the very legitimacy of the decades-old agency, Michael Wilner reported in the Jerusalem Post Friday. Both the House and the Senate want the State Department to, once and for all, define the term “Palestinian refugee,” and while they’re at it, reveal how many are receiving aid from UNRWA.

UNRWA was established in 1948 to assist the 750,000 Palestinians who had left Israel. Since then UNRWA has been a promoter of the Palestinian cause, funding as many as 5 million “refugees,” the majority of whom never left the homes where they were born in the Gaza Strip, the “West Bank,” eastern Jerusalem, or other Arab countries, to the tune of $1.23 billion annually, $250 million of which is donated by US taxpayers.

Many in Congress have been saying, since about 2012, that the majority of Palestinians are permanently settled, and should not be under the jurisdiction of a refugee agency.

Needless to say, Wilner points out, “such a finding would fundamentally change the narrative of the decades-old conflict.”

The first Palestinian census was completed 15 years ago, and the head of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) admitted then that the census was, in effect, “a civil intifada” rather than a scientific survey. In 2011 the Bureau attempted to correct that blatant misrepresentation, claiming that 2.6 million Palestinian Arabs inhabit Judea and Samaria.

But Israeli demographer Yoram Ettinger challenged those numbers, claiming they overstated the real number of Arabs there by as much as 66%. He explained that the PCBS’s total counts 400,000 Palestinians living overseas, and double-counts 240,000 Jerusalem Arabs. It also undercounted Palestinian emigration.

In 2014, UNRWA came up with the figure of 5 million Palestinian refugees living in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and the US responded by providing hundreds of millions of dollars for UNRWA’s health, education, and social service programs.

“UNRWA is sort of becoming an entitlement program of the Middle East, and the desire is to increase transparency on who actually are refugees relevant to that conflict,” a senior Senate aide familiar with the language told Wilner, suggesting the new bill “goes to the heart of the debate over UNRWA funding.”

Republicans in both houses have launched parallel efforts to compel the State Department to go on the record with who qualifies as a “Palestinian refugee,” and the combined version of the law, once passed, will compel the secretary of state to provide “a justification of why it is in the national interest of the United States to provide funds to UNRWA.”

The bill’s language continues: “Such justification shall include an analysis of the current definition of Palestinian refugees that is used by UNRWA, how that definition corresponds with, or differs from, that used by UNHCR, other UN agencies, and the United States Government, and whether such definition furthers the prospects for lasting peace in the region.”

And, naturally, “the committee directs that such report be posted on the publicly available website of the Department of State.”

Finally, it should be noted that there are two distinct definitions of the term “refugee” in international law.

A refugee, according to the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, is a person who is outside their country of citizenship because they have well-founded grounds for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and is unable to obtain sanctuary from their home country or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country; or in the case of not having a nationality and being outside their country of former habitual residence as a result of such event, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to their country of former habitual residence.

It is rare for a refugee status to extend beyond the lifetime of the original refugee, because normally it is expected that their offspring will have settled someplace else.

Not so regarding Palestinian refugees, according to UNRWA’s definition of the term, which includes the patrilineal descendants of the original “Palestinian refugees,” limited to persons residing in UNRWA’s areas of operation in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/finally-congress-asking-unrwa-for-real-number-of-palestinian-refugees/2016/07/15/

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