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September 19, 2014 / 24 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

UPDATE: Gaza Rocket Alert (12:04pm)

Monday, September 15th, 2014

12:04pm IDF says there was no rocket launch at Israel from Gaza.

Gazan sources say a rocket misfired and landed inside Gaza.

No explosions or rocket landings were heard inside Israel.

Conclusion: It’s more likely that no rocket was launched and it was a false alarm.

We will update this article, if we learn something new.

11:44am Initial report: Rocket launched from Gaza at 11:28am fell short. Landed inside Gaza, near the border.

11:39 am (Unrelated) Rocket Siren heard in Karnei Shomron (in the Shomron) - Unannounced siren test – really bad timing.

11:28am So we’re all sitting here, working and minding our own business, when that familiar sounds rings out.

11:28am Rocket Alert – Ashkelon Coast.

 

 

 

 

‘Thanks But No Thanks’ – Gaza Landlords Refuse to Rent to Hamas

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Gaza landlords are learning at last, and so are would-be neighbors.

Egypt-based Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk let it slip to media on Sunday that Hamas renters are having a hard time finding places to live in Gaza.

“The phenomenon of refusing to rent out homes to families of resistance fighters is a dangerous one,” Abu Marzouk wrote on his Facebook page,” according to a report by prominent Arab affairs reporter Khaled Abu Toameh, who writes for numerous publications.

“The landlords are punishing the resistance fighters and their families… This is what the occupation wants by targeting the homes of the resistance fighters,” he added.

Three major skyscrapers in Gaza City that contained residential apartments, as well as offices used by Hamas, were targeted during Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge this summer; the Italian Complex, Al-Basha and Al-Zafer 4.

All three were leveled by Israeli air strikes.

The lesson was apparently well learned: this month the tenants of the Daoud Tower high-rise in Gaza City demanded that Hamas remove its Interior Ministry offices from their building, lest they be targeted next.

UNRWA at WAR: UNRWA statements and actions during the Israeli-Hamas battle of Summer 20

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

{*Edited and researched by Arlene Kushner} At a time when nations of the world seek a neutral entity that can manage the funds for the rehab of Gaza, some people have suggested that UNRWA be considered as that entity.

However, before appointing UNRWA it would be best to examine UNRWA statements and actions during the Israeli-Hamas conflict of 2014

June 27 through August 23

As UNRWA statements and actions are reviewed, certain factors become readily evident:

• UNRWA, which has a mandate to function as a humanitarian relief organization, consistently and inappropriately politicizes its positions.

• That politicization is expressed via a virulently anti-Israel stance.

• UNRWA is controlled by or allows itself to be used by Hamas. Its representatives studiously avoid mention of Hamas behavior that is egregiously destructive to the civilians of Gaza.

• UNRWA statements are frequently tendentious. They include distortions of fact, and blatant misrepresentations.

Hamas

UNRWA’s relationship to Hamas is at the core of this review.

An examination of UNRWA press releases and public statements by UNRWA representatives for the time period of this report reveals that Hamas is almost never mentioned by name.

On July 11, for example, Robert Turner, Director of UNRWA Operations in Gaza, exhibiting a rare attempt to be (to seem) even-handed, said:

“The United Nations has condemned indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza on civilian areas in Israel and I do so again now.”

“Rocket fire from Gaza…” Perhaps the rockets fire themselves. There is no mention that Hamas is doing the bulk of the launching. And as to the fire being “indiscriminate… Does he suggest that there is a discriminating way to fire rockets at civilians?

►Not once during this time period was there a complaint or accusation voiced publicly by an UNRWA representative with regard to the Hamas practice of launching rockets and firing mortars from or near civilian sites — most particularly in this context, UNRWA installations.

Were one to form an impression of the war based solely on statements emanating from UNRWA, one would not know that such a practice – involving extensive utilization of civilians as human shields, which is blatantly in defiance of international law – had been taking place.

The failure of UNRWA personnel to refer to Hamas’s use of human shields is particularly disturbing because UNRWA’s mandate is humanitarian: the agency’s first obligation is to the wellbeing of the Palestinian Arabs, referred to as refugees, for whom it maintains responsibility.

An UNRWA document declares explicitly that:

“UNRWA has a very clear mandate for protection…[which includes] obtaining full respect for the rights of the individual in accordance with the letter and spirit of the relevant bodies of law (that is, human rights law, international humanitarian law…)”

http://www.unrwa.org/userfiles/201006109246.pdf

At the very same time, article 28 of the Forth Geneva Convention states that:

“The presence of a protected person may not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations.”

Similarly the 1998 ICC Statute declares that:

“Utilizing the presence of a civilian or other protected person to render certain points, areas or military forces immune from military operations” constitutes a war crime.

It is not remotely within the realm of the possible that UNRWA, an international humanitarian agency, is unaware of these legal prohibitions.

Nor does it withstand the test of credibility that UNRWA staff might have been unaware of Hamas’s practice in this regard. Hamas even put out a video encouraging it:

http://www.idfblog.com/blog/2014/07/08/hamas-uses-human-shields/

What we are seeing is a willful readiness to ignore these Hamas practices – in spite of the obligation of UNRWA to respond to them. In this sense, UNRWA has most grievously failed those individuals for whom it has responsibility.

US State Dept Attacks Its Ally, Israel Over UNRWA Human Shields

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

The U.S. State Department has attacked its ally, Israel, for returning fire in combat when Hamas and allied terrorists shelled its soldiers or fired rockets at Israeli civilians from within and around UNWRA facilities.

It is standard military practice that American own troops have carried out thousands of times in Afghanistan, Mosul and elsewhere around the world without ever issuing even one leaflet of warning to the population, let alone a phone call requesting residents to leave.

The buildings under discussion are owned by the United Nations Works and Relief Agency (UNRWA) and were sheltering Gazans who were displaced by the combat initiated by Hamas. The situation made a very juicy, deliberate photo op for the terrorists, as noted in the terrorist training manual captured earlier in the summer by the IDF.

The terrorists were exploiting the United Nations facilities as rocket launching sites and in some cases, as weapons storage facilities, and were operating very close to the buildings where the Gaza civilians were staying, in a deliberate and cynical use of human shields. All this has been documented.

An UNRWA health center and attached distribution center in Jabaliya were exploited by Hamas terrorists for use as a rocket firing site from which to launch attacks against Israeli civilians. Satellite imagery documented the evidence.

An UNRWA health center and attached distribution center in Jabaliya were exploited by Hamas terrorists for use as a rocket firing site from which to launch attacks against Israeli civilians. Satellite imagery documented the evidence.

And all of which seemingly has been ignored by the State Department, which scored Israel for returning fire to the source of attacks on its civilians and soldiers.

State Department spokesperson Marie Harf told reporters at a briefing this past Thursday, “We were horrified by the strikes that hit UNWRA facilities.”

As a matter of fact, it is not at all clear that any Israeli shells actually hit UNRWA facilities while they were occupied. There is satellite imagery and video documentation that the buildings were empty at the time that a single Israeli shell struck an UNWRA building.

Other shells that struck around UNRWA buildings and in a courtyard and were aimed directly with surgical precision at the terrorists who were being targeted precisely because they were firing rockets at Israeli civilians, and at Israeli soldiers.

Synagogue in Ashdod destroyed by Hamas rocket fire launched from Gaza.

Synagogue in Ashdod destroyed by Hamas rocket fire launched from Gaza.

None of which apparently mattered to the United States, even though the use of human shields does not preclude the legal right to wage war against a legitimate military target in international law.

“The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians,” Harf said. “Israeli authorities say they’re investigating. We expect these to be investigated thoroughly and promptly, and we’ll continue pushing them to do so.”

A bit hostile for a representative of a nation that bills itself as Israel’s “greatest friend in the world,” no? She’s starting to sound a lot more like a few other leaders we could name, none of whom are friends of Israel these days.

Harf’s remarks followed a report issued earlier in the day by the Human Rights Watch organization, which has accused Israel of committing war crimes with “indiscriminate targeting of civilians” at three UNRWA schools — without offering evidence to back up its claims, of course.

Immoral Settlement Construction

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

United Arab Emirates delivered mobile homes to Gaza, for Gazan residents whose home were destroyed in Hamas’s war against Israel.

An internal Arab poll indicated that at least 70% of Gazans want to permanently leave the Gaza Strip.

The more moral act would have been to help these Gazan residents relocate to another country, outside the Middle East, where they could instead have a good life away from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the other terrorist groups who currently rule Gaza.

But instead, the UAE prefers to help perpetuate the Gazan’s misery.

Peace With Gaza Need Not Be Expensive

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

It’s estimated that the direct and indirect economic cost to Israel for the 51 day Gaza war was in the area of $3 billion dollars. It’s broken up between military costs, and economic damage.

I only mention that number because of an interesting article I read in Makor Rishon this weekend.

Assaf Gibor interviewed some young men (in their 20s and 30s) in Gaza who wanted to leave. They want to move to Europe, to start new lives and families there, away from Gaza, Hamas and war.

One man gave broke down the costs. He needed $12,000 to make a new life.

$5000 goes to pay the tunnel smugglers to get him out of Gaza and into the Sinai. Another thousand more to get him from the Sinai to Alexandria in Egypt. And two thousand dollars more to pay off a former Syrian woman named Um-Salim who helps Syrians (and now also Gazans) sneak into Europe via boat.

The boat goes out every Thursday with 300 people on it.

Once the boat reaches Italy, and the passengers reach shore (whether by docking or swimming), they head over to the local Red Cross office, they then get sent to jail for a short period of time, and soon after that, they are set free to go look for work and life in Europe.

At $12,000 a person, you could smuggle a million Gazans into Europe, and it would be far cheaper than what the European Union is going to waste in rebuilding Gaza, just so Hamas can get it all destroyed, when they attack Israel again. And the EU wouldn’t even notice the minuscule spike in new immigrants.

You’d need a lot more boats, but you get the idea.

When at least 70% of Arabs want to leave the Land of Israel (including Gaza), relocation is a concept seriously worth exploring.

There are financial solutions that would bring real peace. Just no one wants to talk about them.

Heniyeh: No Demilitarization for Gaza Reconstruction

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh stated on Saturday that Hamas would not agree to disarm Hamas in exchange for Gaza being rebuilt, according to a report in Middle East Monitor.

Hamas utilized civilian areas, including homes, mosques and schools to attack Israel, which then opened up those areas to Israeli retaliatory strikes.

Haniyeh also said that Hamas would not hold direct talks with Israel.

Khaled Abu Toameh reported on Friday that Gazan homeowners are now refusing to rent out their homes (or parts of their homes) to Hamas, out of fear that their homes would be targeted by Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/heniyeh-no-demilitarization-for-gaza-reconstruction/2014/09/14/

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