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July 24, 2014 / 26 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

Day 16 of Operation ‘Protective Edge’ – CoS Gantz: “We Are in The Right Direction”

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The IDF is continuing its mission to destroy Hamas’ terror infrastructure. Some 200 terror targets were attacked yesterday, 1833 since the beginning of the ground operation.

Hamas continues to use civilian buildings as fortifications. Rockets were fired at tanks yesterday from a mosque in Khan-Yunis. Staff Sgt. Evyatar Turegeman was killed from these rockets. Only after making a clear identification of the source did the IAF retaliate. Later on, more anti-tank rockets were fired in Khan-Yunis. Four terrorists were killed in that battle. A massive weapons cache was exposed by a Special Forces unit in the center of the Strip. The cache included heavy machine guns and anti-tank rockets. IDF Spokesman Motti Almoz announced this morning that the IDF has gained control of most the terror tunnels in Gaza. 28 attack tunnels have been exposed so far.

Two IDF soldiers were killed last night on the battlefield. Capt. Dmitri Levitas, 26, of the Armored Corps, was shot by a sniper. First Lieutenant Natan Cohen, 23, also of the Armored Corps also died in combat. 29 soldiers have fallen during Operation ‘Protective Edge’.

A situational assessment took place yesterday as part of Operation ‘Protective Edge’ with President Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz and the members of General Staff. As part of the assessment President Peres was briefed by GOC Intelligence Maj-Gen. Aviv Kochavi, GOC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sammy Turgeman and GOC Operations Maj.-Gen. Yoav Har-Even.

Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gantz stated that, “This is an operation which proves our combined work; every person sitting around this table is a full partner to this ongoing battle. We are pained by the losses but have no doubt that we are in the right direction to achieve the objectives set by the political leadership and we are committed to continuing in our mission to bring quiet and security to the citizens of Israel.” Gantz saluted President Peres for his role in establishing Israel’s security apparatus. Defense Minister Ya’alon added, “The soldiers and officers who we are meeting are professional and committed. Our forces are fighting an enemy which disappears between civilians.”

Following the briefing President Peres said, “Supporting the bereaved families at this time gives me strength. We are meeting a young generation, unfortunately after they fell in battle, and learning how wonderful they are. I don’t remember a period of such solidarity between citizens and soldiers, between soldiers and parents. This is our victory of humanity. I am concluding my service but beginning my reserve duty. From my experience I can say that I don’t recall a military command that instilled such faith in the people. I leave here with great pride. As a citizen of Israel I thank you from the depths of my heart.”

Depite the heavy fighting and continued terror attacks Israel continued to provide the Gaza Strip with the supplies and the field hospital established for them is still running. 57 trucks entered Gaza yesterday, carrying 216,000 liters of petrol and 44 tons of gas. In total, 778 provision trucks have entered Gaza since the beginning of the operation.

For the second time in less than a week, UNRWA has said that it found rockets in one of its schools in Gaza. “UNRWA strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law,” the agency stated. UNRWA claims it will launch a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident.

Over the past 24 hours 90 rockets were fired at Israel form Gaza, including at the Tel Aviv area, where people were wounded. One of hit an empty kindergarten in southern Israel.18 of the rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-rocket system. The Iron Dome shot down its 1000th rocket yesterday.

UNRWA School Shelters Rockets (Again!) and Residents in Gaza

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

The United Nations is meddling again in Gaza, ‘helping the cause’ of the downtrodden Palestinian Arabs. Stashing their ammo, that is. And helping them hide it when international inspectors find out.

Wow, this all sounds so familiar, right?  This latest statement was posted Tuesday, July 22 on the website of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

More missiles were found in one of the agency’s schools in Gaza – surprise! – but this time the agency’s spokesperson was smarter and gave even fewer details about the incident. It is impossible, due to international regulations, to prevent the inspections mandated by the agency’s funding. But one can at least gloss over the findings when issuing a statement about what is found and how it is dealt with. Damage control in war time.

“Today, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip. As soon as the rockets were discovered, UNRWA staff were withdrawn from the premises, and so we are unable to confirm the precise number of rockets. The school is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.”

Were there so many missiles it was impossible to count them? Whoa. And how does the school’s location between two refuge spots relate to this issue? There are launchers planted in nearly every home.

“UNRWA strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law,” the statement continues.

“The Agency immediately informed the relevant parties,” — the local ruling Hamas terrorist government, that is — “and is pursuing all possible measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school. UNRWA will launch a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident.

“UNRWA has reinforced and continues to implement its robust procedures to maintain the neutrality of all its premises, including a strict no-weapons policy and regular inspections of its installations, to ensre they are only used for humanitarian purposes.

“Palestinian civilians in Gaza rely on UNRWA to provide humanitarian assistance and shelter. At all times, and especially during escalations of violence, the sanctity and integrity of UN installations must be respected.”

This is the second time such an incident has occurred, and this time UNRWA did not even bother to publicize the number of missiles it found – which obviously it is well aware of.

The last time, it turned the ordnance right over to the Hamas terrorists who placed the missiles there in the first place – a double war crime, sheltering lethal ammunition in a so-called international neutral zone for children, and then handing that dangerous material over to the terrorists firing the ammunition at civilians, who have been proved to be launching the missiles from civilian sites in the neighborhood.

Thus the agency is guilty of being an accessory to a terrorist organization’s attack on Israel, hardly a ‘robust procedure to maintain neutrality.’ It’s certainly not legal.

But since UNRWA is a United Nations agency, however, to whom can Israel appeal the issue?

A sad international joke that increasingly brings into focus the array of enemies around us.

UN’s Ban on the Moon with ‘Stop Fighting, Start Talking’ Message

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon flew from Egypt to Israel on Tuesday to babble the mantra that ”Israel has a right to defend itself” but instead should stop fighting and talk peace with Hamas, with the obvious consequence of a much worse war.

Ban did Israel the big favor of wagging the finger at Hamas for the war.

“We condemn strongly the rocket attacks, and these must stop immediately,” he said in a strong statement that will have the same impact as similar condemnations against violence in the Ukraine, Syria, Egypt, Libya, the Central African Republic, and against women around the world.

His solution to the war between Hamas and Israel is very simple and straight forward. Ban, who arrived in Israel as part of his effort and that of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry,to broker a ceasefire, said at a press conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that the UN position was clear: “Stop fighting, start talking, and take on the root causes of the conflict so we are not back in the same situation in another six months or a year.”

And what is Ban’s understanding of the “root cause?” According to him, it is “mutual recognition, occupation, despair and denial of dignity.”

Of course, he “fully shares” the view that Israel has the right to defend itself. Is there a member of the United Nations that does not have that right and needs to be reminded of it?

“Yes, Israel, defend yourself, but”, he adds, “make sure you ‘exercise maximum restraint.’”

The war could have been over in one day if Israel had blitzed Gaza like any normal country does to enemies in war. A couple of thousand or so of Gaza civilians would have been killed, approximately 133,000 less than the number killed In Hiroshima and Nagasaki when the United States dropped Atomic bombs on the cities.

The would-be Gaza death toll, even if it were 4,000, still would be about 300,000 less than those killed in the bombing of cities in Nazi Germany in World War II, when approximately 7.5 million people were left homeless. In the Korean War, the U.S. killed 374,000 civilians.

Israel chose restraint, sacrificed the lives of 27 IDF soldiers, and still counting, but Ban is sure that Israel has “such a tremendous capacity for generosity and good” that it could reduce civilian casualties in Gaza if it and Hamas simply would stop shooting and start talking.

The man forgets that several previous “ceasefires” have resulted in more civilian casualties – in Israel, where nearly one million people have been under rocket attacks for a decade. That number now has grown to 4 million, give or take a few, but that only makes it more imperative to talk about the “two-state solution,” according to Ban because it is a “fundamental truth [that] you share one future.”

Hamas has the declared policy of destroying Israel and Ban says Hamas and Israel share “one future”?

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Secretary-General of Hamas, “They don’t want a two state solution. They don’t want any solution.”

But Ban insists, “Military actions will not increase Israel’s stability in the longer term.”

It is lack of military action that has increased Israel’s instability, whether it be against Hezbollah in 2006 or Palestinian Authority terrorists since Yasser Arafat, born in Egypt, made a career out of terror and won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Before leaving Egypt, Ban said, “The Palestinian people deserve freedom, a future, peace and justice.” Truer words were never spoken, and if he would return to the moon and let Israel get on with the job, that might happen.

Wounded Soldiers Show Improvement

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Six IDF soldiers wounded in Gaza have showed significant improvement at Soroka Hospital in Beer Sheva, Israel Radio reported. Three soldiers have been downgraded from “serious” condition to “moderate,” and three additional soldiers are now listed as “lightly injured.”

One hundred fourteen soldiers are currently hospitalised as the result of the fighting.

Wanted: Ally for Israel in Cairo Talks

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Israel needs an ally as it faces an array of representatives who hope to bring about a premature cease fire with Hamas terrorists intent on wiping out the Jewish State.

Hamas has no qualms about using any form of human or other innnocent creature as a shield for its weapons in attacking Israeli civilians and soldiers. Nor has its ability to launch a constant barrage of short and medium-range rocket and missile fire been significantly impaired thus far — a lethal threat to the millions of Israeli men, women and children who are spending more time in their bomb shelters than outside of them this summer.

Nevertheless, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived Monday in Cairo with the announced intent to help world leaders re-establish the November 2012 truce between Israel and Hamas terrorists.

Noah Pollack’s Emergency Committee for Israel (ECI) explained the issue: “Israel does not need a mediator. Israel needs an ally. Pressuring Israel to agree to a cease fire that rescues Hamas from defeat and leaves it in possession of its missiles, tunnels, and terror infrastructure is foolish and wrong. If President [Barack] Obama and Secretary [John} Kerry want to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East, they should support Israel and its campaign to end the terror threat from Gaza.”

But instead, shortly after heading into a meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Kerry announced the U.S. will send $47 million in ‘humanitarian aid’ to Gaza, of which $15 million is earmarked for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) there.

UNRWA, incidentally, which purports to be scrupulously neutral in its dealings in Gaza, “discovered” 20 missiles at one of its schools in the town of Rafah, located on the border of Gaza and Egypt a few days ago during a routine inspection by international staff. The missiles were quietly handed over to the Hamas terrorist organization.

Kerry’s aides added a statement warning that it would be “difficult” to achieve an immediate and lasting cease fire – but that he hopes to make progress in the next few days to reach a temporary pause.

Israel agreed to two humanitarian cease fires since the start of Operation Protective Edge, including one requested by the International Committee for the Red Cross on behalf of Hamas itself. Hamas violated them both, firing mortar shells and rockets at Israeli civilians during the “pause” each time. Israel held its fire nevertheless; but should it now?

What kind of ally aids an enemy to reach a cease fire in which it can attack a friend?

Meanwhile, Hamas is insisting that Qatar and Turkey be allowed at the table to represent its interests in talks with Egypt, which is mediating the negotiations.

Qatar – a generous fiscal patron of Hamas — recently purchased $11 billion in military weapons and hardware from the Obama administration. In whose hands will those weapons eventually land?

In the first week of June, Qatar pledged $60 million to help pay the salaries of Gaza workers in the Palestinian Authority unity government. The money was to be transferred to the PUG offices in Ramallah in three monthly payments of $20 million each, according to Qatari government spokesperson Ihab Bseiso. The Qatari government has sent funds to Hamas before, even via charitable organizations in the United States. The Al Jazeera television network has also been described in a February 2006 State Department cable leaked by Wiki Leaks as a “big friend of Hamas.” Hamas political chief Khaled Mashaal maintains an office in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

Turkey is also no friend of Israel at this point and appears to be coordinating its moves with Qatar, and possibly with Iran as well, with whom it has strong ties.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, himself a sympathizer with radical Islamists, is closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood and a longtime supporter of Hamas in Gaza. He has brought Turkey much closer to Tehran and successfully sabotaged diplomatic ties with Israel in the years he has served as prime minister, but now faces a fight to stay in his job. Turkey goes to the polls on August 10 to elect a president who will lead the nation alone, instead of the current dual ‘prime minister-president’ system. Erdogan needs a reason to ‘wow’ his constituents and firm up his AKP electoral base, comprised of Islamist voters. There are two competitors for the presidency; one a secularist, the other a moderate Muslim.

The Lone Survivor of the Golani 13

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

IDF soldier Shiloh Hadad is the lone survivor of the Golani 13, a combat team of fierce Israeli warriors who saved two kibbutzim from a massacre by Hamas terrorists just after dawn on Monday.

All 10 Hamas terrorists were killed in the battle.

This is his story, as told to his parents, who were rewarded with a 15-minute visit and a hug to reassure them their son was still alive after hearing the news that seven of his comrades had died in the battle to protect Kibbutzim Erez and Nir Am, both located along the Gaza border.

Hadad was the eighth man in the APC (armored personnel carrier) that responded to a report of terrorists swarming from two tunnels at dawn’s light between the two kibbutzim.

His APC was ambushed by the terrorists – all wearing IDF uniforms, complete right down to the shoes. It was for that reason that Israeli Air Force pilots, who identified them from above, were reluctant to fire.

Instead, ground forces engaged the guerrillas, who fired a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) at the forces, killing seven in a heavy firefight that left two others seriously wounded. They also fired an anti-tank missile at the APC, setting it afire.

Hadad was left in the APC — a fluke that had saved his life in the battle to that point — but what kept him alive was his gut instinct to get out of the vehicle, somehow, at the very last second — just before the terrorists fired an anti-tank missile at it and set it ablaze.

After the battle, when parents were informed the APC had been ambushed, Shiloh’s parents learned their son was in the Golani unit that had fought the battle, its APC a flaming wreck.

But as soon as he could, Shiloh called his parents to let them know he was okay, telling them, “You do not understand what has just happened to me.” They immediately set out to find him. It took hours to track him down.

“They wouldn’t let him go once they had their arms around him,” his aunt, Batsheva, told Hebrew-language media. “They held him 10, 15 minutes. But then after telling them what he went through, and how he was feeling, he said, ‘I have to go back in to the front, back to my friends.’ And he was gone.”

His aunt added that it was not clear how Hadad had managed to remain alive. “After that, he managed to escape but it is not clear how, and they had no time to talk.” Apparently the APC was struck by the anti-tank missile literally seconds after he exited the vehicle, she said. His lightning decision to leave the APC when he did is what saved his life — a miracle.

“The fog of war still hangs over the incident, but it is likely that after the operation is over we will find out more details through the investigation into the incident,” she said. “But one thing is certain: Shiloh is a Golani warrior. He went through a really serious battle, but he insisted on going right back to Gaza.”

Five other IDF soldiers, all members of the Golani Brigade, also died in battle Monday fighting against Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Hadad’s father agreed with his son’s decision, as difficult as it must have been for him. “This campaign is intended to save Jewish blood,” his father said. “We all are waiting in safety for him to do his job and protect the homeland. That is the way we taught him, and it is the way our family believes. My brother is in the military, and we have in our family other officers and commanders as well.

1 MIA as IDF Names 6 Additional Members of the Golani 13

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

The IDF has released 6 additional names from the Golani 13, who were killed in Shejaiya on July 20.

As of now, 12 names have been released.

The newly released names are:

Sgt. Oren Simcha Noach, 22, from Hoshaya

Sgt. Ben Oanounou, 19, from Ashdod

Sgt. Sean Mondshein, 19, from Tel Aviv

Sgt. Daniel Pomerantz, 20, from Kfar Azar

Sgt. Shachar Taaseh, 20, from Pardasia

Sgt. Max Steinberg, 24, from Be’er Sheva (LA)

The previously released names are:

Major Tzafrir Bar-Or,32, from Holon

Captain Zvi Kaplan, 28, from Kedumim

Gilad Yaakovi, 21, from Kiryat Ono

Oz Mendelovitz, 21, from Avtalyon

Sean Carmeli, 21, from Raanana (Texas)

Moshe Malko, 20, from Jerusalem

One name still hasn’t been released, as the IDF has been unable to identify his body at this point. The IDF is still working to identify body parts.

It is believed that Hamas may have taken his body or parts of it, and the IDF does not believe the soldier could have survived the attack.

The family is being kept up to date.

Or Heller of Channel 10 reports that an IDF drone above the fight in Shejaiya saw Hamas trying to steal the dead bodies, but they did not succeed. Heller says, in most likelihood, the most Hamas has in its possession is a shoe or a dog tag.

HY”D

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/1-mia-as-idf-names-6-additional-members-of-the-golani-13/2014/07/22/

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