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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

Hamas Negotiator Attacked, Both Legs Broken

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

It’s tough to be a Hamas negotiator. If your coworkers and friends are unsatisfied, you can get fired, literally.

Amad Al-Almi, a senior Hamas official who represented Gaza in Cairo during the negotiations with Israel, returned to Gaza, to what seems to be some unsatisfied friends and coworkers.

Al-Almi’s fellow Hamas terrorists and other attacked him and broke both his legs, according to Channel 2′s Ehud Ya’ari.

Al-Almi is believed to also be the Iranian representative within Hamas.

The reason why Al-Almi was attacked is still not known, but we can guess. Yesterday Hamas kingpin Khaled Mashaal told the Hamas leadership that the ceasefire agreement is a loss for Hamas.

Hmmm.

Hamas’s Ismail Haniyeh Hospitalized

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

It’s rather ironic that after spending 50 days hiding in a reinforced bunker underneath Shifa hispital, and just after coming out to celebrate “victory” with his fellow Gazans, Hamas terror chieftain Ismail Haniyeh had to return to Shifa hospital, but this time as a patient.

Israel Channel 2′s Ehud Ya’ari reports that Haniyeh went to the hospital last night after not feeling well.

It’s now believed that the Hamas terror chief had a heart attack.

Heniyeh’s son denies the reports that Haniyeh is ill, and says his father went to the hospital to visit those injured in the war against Israel.

Sure.

Feel free to leave your comments below…

Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gave a miserable sales pitch to the Israeli people Wednesday night in a weak effort to turn around public opinion that is unhappy, if not disgusted, with his agreeing to the cease-fire announced by Hamas and its new war partner, Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

The Prime Minister, followed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantzת repeated over and over Israel’s achievements in the war

Netanyahu claimed that Israel achieved the goals it set from the beginning, mainly to restore quiet to Israel and to destroy terror tunnels.

He also rewrote his promise earlier this month that there will no cease-fire without disarming Hamas. Magically, that now has become a “long-term” goal.

He buried that promise among the insistence that “Hamas did not get one demand” that it made before the cease-fire.

Netanyahu listed Hamas’ demands as a deep-sea port, an airport, freeing terrorists who were released in the delay of the return of Gilad Shalit and then were re-arrested for returning to terror, mediation of Turkey and Qatar in cease-fire talks.

And what happened to his position that Israel would not negotiate under fire?

Technically, Netanyahu kept its word. Israel negotiators were recalled from Cairo every time Hamas broke a cease-fire and resume rocket fire on Israel.

But negotiations do not require face-to face discussions. Does Netanyahu want everyone to believe that Israel was not updated on the Egyptian-brokered plan and Hamas’s reactions?

Does he really want everyone to believe that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority announced the cease-fire without knowing that Israel would accept it?

And if indeed that is what happened and the cease-fire simply fell on Israel out of the blue, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s acceptance only shows how destructively passive he was, failing to seize the last days of the war to make demands.

More likely, the United States was involved. U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki said yesterday that Kerry and his point man in the Middle East, Frank Lowenstein, were in constant contact with Netanyahu.

She said the United States was not an active participant in the talks but was part of the action, in one way or the other.

Netanyahu hammered away at all of the achievements that are well-known – the destruction of terror tunnels, the relentless attacks on hundreds of Hamas command centers, rocket launchers and weapons factories and storerooms.

Approximately 1,000 terrorists were killed in the war.

Israel’s successes in the war cannot be pooh-poohed. Hamas indeed was dealt a crippling blow. Hamas knows very well that the days are over when it can lob mortar shells and launching rockets at the Gaza Belt without a fierce retaliation.

However, the Israeli public, including the influential center and center-left in Tel Aviv, no longer trusts agreements with Arabs and does not trust the Israeli government, no matter who is charge, to walk out of diplomatic negotiations without opened up the chicken barn for the foxes.

“Hamas is isolated politically, and we received legitimacy in the international community,” Netanyahu insisted. He said that Israel won solid backing in the international community, and that is true – today. And maybe tomorrow.

By next week, it will have evaporated into thin air, and once again there will be international demands that Israel make peace by diplomatic suicide.

One of the most disturbing statements at the press conference was made by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who boasted that it will take Hamas 10 years to re-build.

So what do we have? A 10-year respite before the next war?

Netanyahu noted that Israel has allegedly enjoyed peace and quiet in the north since the cease-fire that ended the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

Another Hamas Ceasefire Cemented in Future War

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Amid a shaky and uncertain ceasefire with Hamas, Israelis did not celebrate in the streets as Hamas and the people in the Gaza Strip did with fireworks and rifles shot in the air. As long as the force behind the rocket fire and a massive underground tunnel terror network remains in power and is backed by Qatari funds, Israelis remain wary.

An article published in the Institute for Palestine Studies two years ago by The Economist reporter, Nicolas Pelham, thoroughly examines the development of Gaza’s tunnel phenomenon over the past 10 years – a network described as “an underground city,” according to an Israeli military spokesman, Capt. Eytan Buchman in July.

“Much to the misfortune of the people of Gaza, Hamas has invested far more resources in “underground Gaza” than in “upper Gaza” wrote Shlomi Eldar in an article for news source Al-Monitor. “The change and reform that Hamas offered its voters was invested in its tunnels at the expense of the people of Gaza.”

While Hamas’s tunnel infrastructure was once utilized exclusively for smuggling weapons, funds, good and terrorists into the Gaza Strip, Operation Protective Edge revealed that Hamas has expanded its extensive tunnel network into Israel – to attack and kill IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians living in communities on the border.

The IDF estimates that today Hamas invests more than $1- $10 million into the excavation and maintenance of every tunnel, which equals 350 truckloads of building supplies. It goes without saying, that with those materials, Hamas could have invested into the welfare of its own people, using that money to build medical clinics, homes, mosques and schools. Instead, with Israel discovering and demolishing 36 tunnels during the war, Hamas wasted over $90 million with its underground terrorist infrastructure.

Indeed, Hamas has been engaged in the tunnel industry for the past 14 years since its rise to power in 2007. Prior to Operation Cast Lead, the Islamist movement of Hamas oversaw a sophisticated and complex underground tunnel program, utilizing Google Earth to map routes and to stay on course. Each tunnel dug cost anywhere from $80,000 to $200,000 to build. According to Pelham’s published report in 2012, mosque preachers praised the commercial tunnel ventures as “resistance” activity and hailed workers killed on the job as “martyrs.”

“Private investors, including Hamas members who raised capital through their mosque networks, partnered with families straddling the border. Lawyers drafted contracts for cooperatives to build and operate commercial tunnels, which detailed the number of partners, the value of respective shares and the way to distribute shareholder profits,” wrote Pelham.

These ‘partners’ comprised of all sectors of Palestinian society. Pelham cites Abu Ahmad, a taxi driver who invested $20,000 of his wife’s jewelry to partner with nine others in a tunnel ‘venture.’ Within a month, a trade tunnel under joint-partnership could generate revenue to cover its initial construction costs, with Gazan and Egyptian partners and owners splitting earnings equally.

From a few dozen factional tunnels in mid-2005, Hamas’s takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007 ensured that by December of 2008 during Operation Cast Lead, the tunnels now numbered to at least 500. According to Penham’s article, the tunnel trade revenue in 2005 stood at an average of $30 million per year. But after Hamas entered the picture, the tunnel revenue increased to $36 million per month. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip has remained in poverty with the per capita income in 2011 listed at $1,165.

The Hamas Interior Ministry even established the Tunnel Affairs Commission (TAC) in 2009 following Operation Cast Lead to oversee and regulate tunnel activities as well as ensuring safe working conditions, particularly when 160 children used by Hamas as child laborers, were killed digging underground tunnels.

Iran: “We Will Rearm the West Bank”

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Iran vowed on Monday to “accelerate” its rearming of PA Arabs in Judea and Samaria, one day after it claimed that it shot down an Israeli spy drone over its airspace. “We will accelerate the arming of the West Bank and we reserve the right to give any response,” said General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh in a statement on Sepah News, the official website of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Hajizadeh, the elite unit’s commander of aerial forces, issued the statement in response to the alleged violation of Iranian airspace by the drone, which Iran claims it shot down near its Natanz nuclear site. Following the incident, the Guards said that the drone was an Israeli-made Hermes 450, a model whose flight range would have allowed it to reach the area. Video of the wreckage was broadcast on Iranian television, and the Foreign Ministry condemned what it saw as a “flagrant violation” of its territorial integrity.

“The Armed Forces, including the IRGC and the Army, are fully prepared to trace and intercept [hostile flying objects] and if such moves are repeated, the aggressors will receive our crushing response,” warned Hajizadeh in Monday’s statement. “We will accelerate the arming of the West Bank, and we think we are entitled to give any response [to the recent aggression] which we deem appropriate,” he added.

Iran has long been seen as a major weapons supplier to Hamas. Numerous medium- and long-range rockets from Syria and Iran have found their way into Gaza, where the terror group has launched some them at Israeli civilians. These include Iranian-made Fajr rockets, as well as several dozen Syrian-produced M-302 rockets, based on Iranian technology, which have the range to strike deep inside Israel. In July one such rocket flew over 100 kilometers to impact in Hadera, a town near the northern city of Haifa, during Hamas’s latest terror war against Israel.

Earlier this year Israeli forces intercepted the Klos C, a vessel from Iran carrying a shipment of 40 M-302 rockets, as well as 141 mortars and some 400,000 rounds of assault rifle ammunition, that it believed was headed for Gaza.

Mixed Reactions Among Leaders in Southern Israel to Ceasefire

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Details of the current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are being revealed, and the agreement obtained by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are generating mixed reactions among the leaders of the South. The majority of the reactions are against the truce, and all voiced skepticism about its viability. Itamar Shimoni, Mayor of Ashkelon, harshly condemned the ceasefire, calling it a surrender to terror: “The residents of the South wanted a decisive victory, but it seems they will not receive it,” said Shimoni, “We wanted to see Hamas begging for its life, while in fact we are witnessing Israel running to the negotiations table every chance it has to do so.” Shimoni further believes that objectives set for Operation ‘Protective Edge’ were not achieved: “We did not lose 64 soldiers and six citizens for this ‘achievement’. We sat in bomb shelters for two months and incurred heavy financial losses, but not for this ‘achievement’. we expected much more. Hamas made demands while using force, and it seems they will get what they demanded. the conclusion is the terror pays.” Shimoi believes that the current ceasefire with Hamas will not last long: “We have already begun to prepare of the next round of violence, and it will be more deadly and violent than what we have experienced up until now.”

Tamir Idan, Head of the Sdot Negev Regional Council, also believes that the current ceasefire is a surrender to terror. relating to the IDF’s refrain from responding to Hamas’ heavy fire on Israel hours before the ceasefire took effect, Idan stated: “The ceasefire is Israel’s agreement by silence that it is possible to fire relentlessly at Israel with no response just before the commencing of the ceasefire, and this is very grave. We demand that the State of Israel and the IDF stand by their vow to respond to every incident in a harsh and meaningful fashion.” Yair Farjun, Head of the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, believes the ceasefire has little credibility. “We cannot become indifferent and must remain vigilant, at least in the coming days. the government must stand fast and ensure that the terror organization does not achieve any meaningful objectives, while planning to bring down the Hamas regime if the fire is renewed.”

Alon Shuster, Head of the Sha’ar Ha’Negev Regional Council, is the only leader to voice support for the ceasefire. “The great pain caused by the bloody incidents in the past days emphasizes the need to stop the violence in our region. I support the ceasefire and the negotiations that are supposed to commence in its wake,” said Shuster. Despite his support for the ceasefire, Shuster too is skeptical about its practicability. “If the terror organizations renew their fire that will be the sign for Israel’s government to enter into a deep military campaign in the Gaza Strip that will uproot the Hamas regime. if the terror ceases its crimes and cooperates with a disarmament process, the rehabilitation of Gaza will be possible,” concluded Shuster.

Despite the ceasefire, the residents of the south are reportedly reluctant to return to their homes after fleeing them weeks ago. They have little faith that the truce will hold for long, basing their decision not to return on past experience. As the opening of the school year nears they will have make a final decision if to risk relying on the current truce.

Kibbutz Nirim Mortar Victims Identified

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Released for Publication: The first person killed by the 6pm Hamas mortar attack was Zeev Etzion (55) — the “Ravshatz” (IDF security coordinator) for the Eshkol community of Kibbutz Nirim.

The name of the second person killed by the 6pm Hamas mortar attack on Kibbutz Nirim in the Eshkol region yesterday evening is Kibbutz member Shachar Melamed (43). He is survived by hia parents, wife, and 3 children.

Another person remains in serious condition, one in moderate, and 2 were lightly wounded.

May the memories of Zeev Etzion and Shachar Melamed be a blessing.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kibbutz-nirim-mortar-victims-identified/2014/08/27/

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