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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

NGO Monitor Reports: European Union Funding Dozens of BDS Groups

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

The European Union is funding dozens of projects that are dedicated to the destruction of Israel, according to a new report by the NGO Monitor.

The report, published Monday, says the European Union is the “single largest donor to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) active in the Arab-Israeli conflict, accounting for NIS 28.1 million in 2012-2014 to politicized Israeli NGOs alone.

“In contrast to the stated objectives, the EU funds a number of highly biased and politicized NGOs that exploit the rhetoric of human rights to promote anti-Israel BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) and lawfare campaigns, inflammatory rhetoric, and activities that oppose a two-state framework.”

One of the grants titled “Performing Arts: A Pathway Towards Self Expression and Democracy” amply demonstrates this situation. In 2014, during their participation in the EU’s Cultural Program, all twelve beneficiaries of this grant initiated a group statement calling for a cultural and academic boycott of Israel – in short, participation in BDS.

A total of 42 of the 180 grantees funded by the EU reportedly support the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) Movement, the NGO Monitor found in its latest research. Some have received more than one grant, in fact, a phenomenon known as “double dipping.”

Moreover, 29 out of 100 European Union grants administered through the organization’s regional funding programs that are designated for Israel, the “West Bank” and Gaza, direct funds to groups that actively promote BDS, the NGO Monitor reported.

Nine BDS-supporting organizations were the recipients of the EU’s Partnership for Peace Program – a program designated for joint projects involving Israeli as well as Palestinian Authority organizations, meant to “build trust and understanding between societies in the region.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Approves Reconstruction for 1,500 Homes in Gaza

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Israel has approved finalized plans for reconstruction of 1,500 family homes in Gaza, according to the Ministry of Public Works in the region.

The approval comes in accordance with the Robert Serry Plan, undersecretary of the ministry, Naji Sarhan, told the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency. Sarhan said the Palestinian Authority’s Civil Affairs Committee had been instrumental in facilitating the approval.

Israel recently increased delivery of concrete to Gaza via the Kerem Shalom Crossing to 4,000 tons per day, up from 3,000 tons per day.

Concrete – cement – is a dual purpose item that has also in the past been redirected and used by Gaza’s Hamas terrorist rulers for military purposes, primarily to build military infrastructure beneath the enclave, including hundreds of kilometers of terrorist tunnels at a cost of millions of shekels.

As of this past August, some 50 percent of the buildings that were destroyed during the 2014 counter terrorist Operation Protective Edge war against Hamas remained rubble, despite the millions of shekels of construction materials and supplies and other assistance that poured into the region from foreign nations.

Hana Levi Julian

First Arrow 3 Long-Range Missile Interceptor Battery Arrives in Israel

Friday, January 20th, 2017

Israel is now officially capable of shooting down ballistic missiles in space, and protecting its citizens from long-range missile threats with the use of an enhanced Aerial Defense Array.

The Israeli Air Force this week received its first battery of interceptors for operational use with the Arrow 3 long-range missile defense system. The new interceptors will initially operate in conjunction with lower-range Arrow-2 interceptors.

“Arrow-3 is the result of many years of development efforts, based on a solution designed by IAI which have today come to fruition,” said Boaz Levi, Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) vice president and general manager of the Systems, Missiles & Space Group. “This is a milestone for the Israel’s Defense Establishment, and for Israel’s defense industries.”

IAI manufactures the surface-to-air Arrow Weapon System, a joint program with the United States.

The system is capable of shooting down intercontinental ballistic missiles fired from thousands of miles away, neutralizing the threat outside of Earth’s atmosphere where it will harm no one.

With the Arrow 3, Iran’s vow to “wipe Israel off the map” has to a certain extent been de-fanged – at least, for the time being.

Medium-range missiles such as those fired by Hezbollah, north of Israel, and by Islamic State terrorists from the Sinai Peninsula, still pose a threat. ‘David’s Sling’ is the third prong of the system that is yet to be completed in the triple-deck missile defense system under development.

The Iron Dome missile defense system, which intercepts short-range rockets and missiles such as the Qassams and Grad Katyushas, has been in place and functioning since Israel’s 2014 mini-war with Gaza, Operation Protective Edge.

Hana Levi Julian

Egypt Demands Hamas Hand Over Terror Suspects

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

by Andrew Friedman

Egypt has presented Hamas with a list of conditions that must be met before talks in improving relations between the two parties can take place.

Egypt has given Hamas a list of 20 suspected Islamic State-affiliated (IS) terrorists it wants Hamas to hand over. Cairo has rejected Hamas’ offer to hand over 2-3 suspects, saying it insisted all of them be handed over to Egyptian authorities for questioning.

In addition, Egypt is also insisting Hamas agree to tighten control of the Sinai-Gaza border, especially the network of tunnels it has dug under the border.

Egypt has accused Hamas of allowing the gangs that operate the tunnels to work with Islamic State in northern Sinai. It says Islamic State uses the tunnels to smuggle activists into Gaza, and weapons from Gaza to Islamic State.

It is unclear whether Egypt has coordinated its position with Qatar, Hamas’ main supporter in the Arab world.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

ISIS Teams With Hamas, Starts Media Center in Gaza

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

The Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza have allowed the Islamic State (ISIS / Da’esh) terror organization to establish a media and propaganda center in the enclave, according to a report published this week by the U.S.-based Clarion Project, quoting the Times of Israel as its source.

Both Islamic State and Hamas in Gaza are coordinating their efforts to smuggle goods and contraband into the region via tunnels under the border with Egypt. Terror attacks carried out in the area of El Arish, in Sinai, were reportedly carried out using weaponry smuggled out of Gaza and into the hands of terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.

But that’s a phenomenon that is not new, since supplies and medical aid to wounded terrorists have been moving via smuggler tunnels in the other direction for nearly a year, perhaps longer, according to the Israel Defense Forces; and Hamas has received a generous amount of arms, equipment, training and funds from Iran for years.

The Islamic State branch in the Sinai Peninsula, known as “Sinai Province” and which was formerly the local terrorist group Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis, originally linked to Al Qaeda, is known to be working closely with Hamas, an affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood, which founded the Gaza-based terrorist group.

Both groups are committed to the ouster of the regime of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a former general of the Egyptian military who was elected in a democratic election that followed the a publicly backed, military overthrow of Muslim Brotherhood-backed President Mohammed Morsi after his first year in office.

Hana Levi Julian

Goodbye President Obama from the Settlers

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Dear President Obama,

I wanted to say goodbye and show you the respect due to a tenacious adversary. Many US Jews, and even a few here in Israel, thought you were a friend. But for us settlers, there was no question that you were a challenger, a formidable foe.

It was easy to determine.

Your Condemnations

You and your team condemned our homes and lives in the West Bank as “illegitimate,” and branded us “occupiers.” Now, it is one thing to theorize that Israel should rip up settlements and part with our ancestral lands for the sake of a compromise to end the conflict. But it is quite another to say that our presence in these areas is “illegitimate” or that Israel is an “occupation.”
For us “settlers,” the West Bank of the Jordan River — Judea and Samaria — is the Jewish historic heartland, where most of our people’s foundational stories took place. From our perspective, living here is key to giving the modern state of Israel its rooting in Jewish history and connecting it to the two previous Jewish commonwealths that existed on this very soil. If we weren’t here, the historic foundations of our connection to this land would be undermined. If we have no rights to ancient Hebron, we certainly won’t have them to modern Tel Aviv.

Our Security

Furthermore, it is a core settler belief that evacuation from Judea and Samaria — Israel’s mountainous highlands — would undermine Israel’s security. The 2005 Gaza evacuation and immediate takeover by Hamas proved us right. Today, three wars and more than 1,000 of our casualties later, more than half of our country agrees that, as jihad becomes prevalent in the region, the last thing Israel needs is Palestine looking down on us from the mountaintops.

So, while you obsessively condemned us in Paris, at the Security Council, and in your last interview, as illegitimate occupiers, we see ourselves as historically legitimate, having a deep connection with our land and on the front lines of the battle to defend our small country.

The Scorecard

However, your attack on Israel went beyond criticism of the settlements. If we were keeping a scorecard of the boxing match between you and Israel, I would say that you landed three big punches:

Iran — In your steadfast embrace of Iran, you dropped the sanctions and released millions of dollars into the coffers of the world’s number one terror exporter and a dangerous and determined hater of Israel. You legitimized the jihadists while delegitimizing the only light of liberty in the region, the Jewish state. Big point for you.

Jerusalem — In the Supreme Court case “Zivotofsky v. Kerry,” lawyers for your State Department successfully defended the idea that Congress cannot require the State Department to indicate in American passports that Jerusalem is part of Israel. In other words, you pushed hard to perpetuate the lie that Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel all the way up to America’s highest court, and won. Point for you.

Settlements — In your last days in office, you called for America’s abstention from an anti-Israel resolution at the UN, which derided the presence of Jews in Judea and Samaria and east Jerusalem in such famous Palestinian landmarks as… the Western Wall. You even supported a last-ditch delegitimization conference in Paris literally a week before you were no longer going to be a policy-maker in America — once again, to condemn Israelis as illegitimate occupiers on the world stage. Another big point for you.

However, the boxing match was not one-sided and you, President Obama, took a few punches as well:

The Middle East meltdown — You wanted the Arab world to rise during your presidency, but in fact, it plummeted into chaos. Without a strong American will and presence, the jihad turned on itself, killing half a million Syrians, with millions more displaced. The Arab Spring turned into a repressive blood-letting that we all lament. However, due to the infighting, many of our enemies have become weaker in the process. Point for us.

Donald Trump — Your policies, President Obama, which alienated the American people, allowed, in part, for the Trump phenomenon. The new president may be a wild card, but most indications show that he does not share your contempt for Israel, for Jerusalem and for the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. We are looking forward to the next four years. Point for us.

A stronger Israel — Strangely, we can thank you for the positive growth in Israel since you came into office. Inadvertently, you, President Obama, made Israel stronger. The average Israeli never bought into your charm and knew that you were an adversary. This helped Israel gain a new sense of self, a realization that though we have friends and allies, we cannot be a puppet state, and must act independently with our own best interests at heart. You helped bring about this healthy evolution in the Jewish state. Furthermore, your pro-Iran stance propelled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a player on the world stage and gained him, and Israel, popularity in the US and around the globe.

Moreover, with all the threats of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement damaging Israel, which you have tacitly supported, Israel’s economy is booming and the world can’t get enough of what we have to offer. Finally, in spite of your efforts, and probably to your great consternation, there are more Israelis in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem today than when you started. Indeed, Jewish communities are flourishing, and there is more political support for the Jews of Judea and Samaria then ever. Big point for us.

The Final Tally

On balance, given that you’re not living on Pennsylvania Avenue anymore, but we’re still living in Beit El, Efrat, Ma’ale Adumim and Shilo, I think Israel wins. But we have no doubt that you’re not down for the count. I hear that you are the first US President since Woodrow Wilson who will remain in Washington after his term, and I bet you will find a way to affect global affairs and spar with us once again. I assure you, though, that we here in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem intend on staying put, as well.

We wish the American people well, as they — and we — put your presidency behind us.

Until next time,

Yishai Fleisher

Yishai Fleisher

Hamas-Fatah Talks in Moscow Also Hope to Deter Trump From Moving US Embassy to Jerusalem

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Russian officials this week held unofficial reconciliation talks in Moscow between Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization and the Fatah faction that leads the Palestinian Authority government from Ramallah.

Moussa Abu Marzouk represented Hamas in Moscow at the talks.

Since Sunday the two sides discussed the possibility of forming – again – a national unity government prior to elections.

On Tuesday, Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad said in Arabic the two sides reached an agreement to, “within 48 hours” call on PA leader Mahmoud Abbas to launch “consultations on the creation of a [national unity] government.”

The two sides have made the same agreement several times before, and each time the “unity” falls apart when it comes to actually functioning as a unified government.

The two sides had no differences between them, however, when it came to asking Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to try to convince U.S. President-elect Donald Trump not to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“We sensed understanding on Mr. Lavrov’s part,” Ahmad said.

“It is crucial to find a new working mechanism for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he added.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hamas-fatah-talks-in-moscow-also-hope-to-deter-trump-from-moving-us-embassy-to-jerusalem/2017/01/18/

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