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October 28, 2016 / 26 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

Hamas ‘Returns’ Arafat’s Nobel Peace Prize Medal … to Ramallah

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

A nephew of PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat who himself appears to be in the running to “someday” succeed Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas says Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization has sent Arafat’s 1994 Nobel Peace Prize medal to Ramallah.

Arafat was awarded the prize with then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres for their roles in agreeing on the 1993 Oslo Accords. All three men are now deceased.

The medal is to be exhibited among dozens of the PLO chairman’s belongings at a museum scheduled to open in Ramallah on November 9.

The chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) spent most of his time at the Muqata, his headquarters in the Samaria capital city of Ramallah. But he also had a separate headquarters in Gaza, and when he died in Paris in 2004, many of his possession were there as well. Many of those went missing after the Hamas terrorist organization ousted the rival Fatah faction and seized control over Gaza in 2007.

Arafat’s nephew and president of the “Arafat Institute,” Nasser al-Kidwa, said Tuesday that the Nobel Peace Prize medal awarded to his uncle was the sole missing item returned to Ramallah by Hamas.

Al-Kidwa, a diplomat and politician in his own right, has been mentioned more than once by political analysts as a potential candidate to succeed Mahmoud Abbas as the leader of the Palestinian Authority. Arafat’s nephew is a member of the Fatah Central Committee, has served as a former foreign minister and has been a representative for the PLO at the United Nations.

He has also been an Arab League envoy to Libya, according to the Al-Monitor website, which noted that Al-Kidwa has ties to Mohammed Dahlan, the former head of the Gaza-based PA Preventive Security Force. Dahlan had a falling-out with Abbas and has since made his home in the United Arab Emirates.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel and Turkey Delay Reconciliation, Ambassador Exchange

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

Israel and Turkey have both postponed meetings to appoint new ambassadors to each other’s countries.

The appointments were to be set at meetings scheduled for October 27, but those meetings have been cancelled in both nations, and according to a report on Israel’s Channel 2 television news, neither country has set a new date.

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas was in Ankara Tuesday for a meeting with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has long been a firm supporter of the Hamas rulers of Gaza, opponents of the PA’s leading Fatah faction headed by Abbas.

The PA leader is in Turkey for a three-day visit, according to the country’s Hurriyet Daily News, which pointed out that the visit comes “as Turkey and Israel are preparing to appoint ambassadors to each other’s capitals in a final step in the reconciliation of bilateral ties.”

The hold-up may also be due to the fact that Foreign Ministry director-general Dore Gold resigned suddenly earlier this month. Although Yuval Rotem has been appointed to take his place, Rotem’s appointment has yet to be approved by the government and until that’s done, the ministry’s appointment committee can do nothing further.

The normalization process on the Turkish side also ran into a road block last week when a Turkish court suddenly refused to dismiss the legal case against members of the Israeli military who participated in the 2010 operation to redirect an illegal flotilla to Ashdod port, and away from Gaza.

The dismissal of the case constituted Turkey’s part of the reconciliation deal signed last summer with Israel. The Jewish State has already made good on its part by expressing its regret for the incident and paying $20 million in compensation to the families of the armed “activists” on the vessel who died after attacking IDF commandos. A number of the Israeli commandos were also seriously injured in the clash, some permanently.

Turkey and Israel came to an agreement together on allowing Ankara to bring humanitarian supplies to Gaza, and to plan construction of a hospital in the region.

But when it came time last week for the Turkish court to dismiss the case against Israel’s military commandos and other IDF officials, the court apparently refused to comply with the agreement. It’s not clear what measures are being taken to deal with the situation, and there is no mention of the diplomatic faux pas in the English-language Turkish media, which reported earlier in the month that Kemal Okem had been selected to become Ankara’s ambassador to Israel. Okem is a close associate of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Israel has yet to choose its new ambassador.

Hana Levi Julian

Arabs Reject Liberman Promise to Build Gaza Harbor, Airport, if Hamas Stops Shooting

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

In a rare interview to the Arab daily Al-Quds, published in eastern Jerusalem, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned on Monday that “the next war in Gaza will be the last one.” However, in the same interview, Liberman said he supports the two state solution, and, “If Hamas stops digging the tunnels and shooting rockets, Israel would be the first country to aid in constructing a harbor and an airport in Gaza.” He did note that this promise is only his own vision and not official Israeli government policy.

Liberman insisted Israel has no plans to retake the Gaza Strip, or build new settlements there. But he criticized Hamas for its designs against Israel, saying they spend about $26 million every month on their military activities.

Speaking to journalist Mohammed Abu Hadir, Liberman accused the Palestinian leadership of being an obstacle to peace. He said PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was not seeking peace, and said he incited violence rather than work against it. “We need someone other than Abu Mazen (Abbas’s nom de guerre) to sign a final agreement,” Liberman said, accusing the chairman of stubbornly resisting peace.

Liberman noted that Jewish communities take up only 1.4% of Judea and Samaria and as such are not an obstacle to the peace process. He also noted that the Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria are under attack every day, and he believes the two sides would be better off separated. However, he insisted, without mutual trust there cannot be peace negotiations.

The defense minister was highly critical of Arab society, saying that in the absolute majority of cases, violence there is the result of internal conflicts in the Muslim society rather than clashes with Israel. Needless to say, the interview was not received well by the readership, and many in Arab social media accused Al-Quds of normalizing and thus legitimizing Liberman’s views.

One of Liberman’s ideas that most upset Arabs on either side of the green line was his suggestion that a future peace deal will see a swapping of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria for Israeli Arab towns in the Arab triangle in central Israel. MK Ayman Odeh, Chairman of the Joint Arab List, told Israeli Radio Tuesday that Liberman’s suggestion is unacceptable, since the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria are illegal. He did not mention that, despite his well expressed Palestinian patriotism, he and his voters have no intention of substituting life in a third world Palestinian State for their lives in democratic Israel.

The Palestinian Authority for its part applied pressure on Al Quds not to run the Liberman interview, according to Arab media sources, accusing the paper of becoming a propaganda lap dog for the enemy. Abu Hadir rejected the insults, saying he submitted fifteen tough questions to Liberman and did his job well, as he has been doing for 30 years, during which he interviewed many Israeli leaders, including Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres.

Hamas rejected Liberman’s offer to help construct a Gaza harbor and airport depending on the organization’s putting an end to tunnel building, weapons smuggling and rocket shooting. Hazem Kassem, a spokesman for Hamas in Gaza, said the Palestinian people are entitled to having a harbor and an airport without being blackmailed. “A people under occupation have the right to possess means of power, including military ones, so as to be able to defend themselves against continuous Israeli assaults,” Qasim said, adding that this right was “not debatable.”

In other words, let the final war begin…


IDF Retaliates for Gaza’s Holiday Rocket Attack on Southern Israel

Monday, October 24th, 2016

IDF fighter pilots attacked a Hamas military post in northern Gaza Monday evening in response to a rocket attack launched against southern Israel on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, earlier in the day.

Despite the fact that no projectile managed to reach Israeli territory, IDF radar picked up the launch and its trajectory in the direction of southern Israel.

The launch triggered activation of the Red Alert incoming rocket alert air raid siren in Gaza Belt communities in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council district, where the rocket was apparently headed.

The siren sent residents scrambling for cover, since communities living in those areas have only a 15-second window of time within which to reach to reach a safe space before any projectile launched from Gaza explodes within their area.

The military threat and disruption of community life in Israel – not for the first time and likely not for the last – is what prompted the retaliation by the IDF.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told the Al Quds newspaper in the Palestinian Authority that although Israel has no interest in re-taking Gaza, nor does the Jewish State want another war, if necessary, Israel will do what it must if necessary.

“We would destroy them,” Liberman told Al Quds. He added that Hamas is engaging in self-destructive behavior that is to the detriment of its own people.

“In recent years, Hamas has spent at least half a billion dollars on military infrastructure in Gaza,” Liberman noted.

If the terrorist entity were to stop its rocket attacks, arms smuggling and construction of terrorist tunnels – all activities geared towards another war with Israel – the Israeli government would be the first to lift the blockade and assist with building a seaport, airport and industrial zones in the region.

But to rebuild that trust, Liberman said, “there must be three years without Israeli victims.”

Hana Levi Julian

Test Rocket Fired From Gaza [video]

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

A video of a rocket being launched from Gaza on Friday was caught by Rotter.net citizen reporter Reshet HaDarom and filmed from Netiv Ha’asara, an Israeli community near the Gaza border.

The rocket was launched from northern Gaza towards the sea, and is apparently part of Hamas training exercises and attempts to improve their rockets’ accuracy ahead of the next war.

Video by Reshet Darom / Rotter.net (Posted to YNet)

Jewish Press News Briefs

Closures Imposed on PA Crossings for Jewish Holiday of Simchat Torah

Sunday, October 23rd, 2016

In accordance with standard security procedures, Israel has closed the entry and exit crossings with the Palestinian Authority in advance of the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, which begins Sunday evening at sunset.

Effective midnight Saturday night, Arabs from the Palestinian Authority are blocked from entering pre-1967 Israel for the next 48 hours.

As with every Jewish holiday, there will be exceptions made for humanitarian cases and medical emergencies, pending approval from the IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT).

The crossings and checkpoints are expected to reopen Monday night at midnight after the end of the holiday, pending a ‘situational assessment,’ the IDF said in a statement.

Hana Levi Julian

Gaza Digger Dies in Hamas Tunnel Collapse

Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Another Gaza digger has died while working on a tunnel for the ruling Hamas terrorist organization. Hamas terrorist Anas Abu Lashin, 22, was identified as the worker who gave his life for military wing of the terrorist group, the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades, according to the WAFA news agency.

Abu Lashin was reportedly working on the tunnel in the al-Maghazi area in central Gaza at the time it collapsed, burying him alive.

More than a dozen Arab diggers have been killed in such cave-ins since the beginning of this year.

Terrorist tunnels honeycomb the entire region and have also been used to infiltrate under the borders of both Egypt and Israel for use in attacks, and to ferry arms, drugs and terrorists in and out of the territories.

Both Egypt and Israel have been working on various means to detect the subterranean infiltration efforts as well as come up with new ways to permanently block future tunnels.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gaza-digger-dies-in-hamas-tunnel-collapse/2016/10/22/

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