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May 27, 2016 / 19 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

Gaza Fisherman Arrested, Reveals Hamas Used Him to Smuggle Weapons

Monday, May 16th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Gaza Border (TPS) – A Gazan fisherman involved in weapons smuggling into Gaza was arrested in April and has revealed detailed information on Hamas’ attempts to utilize fishermen for military purposes, the Shin Bet announced on Monday.

Salim Gamal Hasan Na’aman, 39 years old from the Shati Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip, worked as a fisherman and was arrested by IDF naval forces after exiting the permitted fishing area.

In his interrogation, Na’aman revealed that he has long been involved in the smuggling of weapons and arms meant for Hamas and other terror organizations in Gaza. His sea-smuggling operation moved ammunition into Gaza, including liquid fiberglass used to produce rockets, the Shin Bet said.

Na’aman also revealed details of Hamas operational maritime plans “to utilize fishermen to conceal its activities,” the Shin Bet said. Additional information revealed by Na’aman pertained to maritime routes used to smuggle goods from Egypt into Gaza, and to the use made of fishermen and smugglers along the routes.

“The information discovered in this investigation, as well as in the investigations of additional Hamas terror operatives recently arrested, reveals another small part of the many efforts by Hamas to advance its violent terror actions,” said a statement by the Shin Bet. “This time, the Hamas efforts exploit the fact that Israel has eased the restrictions on the Gaza fishermen.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

ISIS Declares ‘State of Emergency in Raqqa’ But Reasons Are Unclear

Monday, May 16th, 2016

The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization has reportedly declared a “state of emergency” in its de facto capital in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa but its reasons are not clear.

Although the U.S.-led coalition forces believe that recent battles have caused the group’s anxiety, it’s more likely the prospect of the arrival of the Mother Ship that has worried the leadership.

A coalition spokesperson said the “declaration of state of emergency is a response to recent military progress by Syrian government forces in the area. “We have seen this declaration of emergency in Raqqa, we know this enemy feels threatened, as they should,” U.S.-led coalition spokesperson Col Steve Warren told CNN. “They see the Syrian Democratic Forces, along with the Syrian Arab Coalition, maneuver both to their east and to their west. We’ve had reports of ISIL (Da’esh/ISIS) repositioning both their combat capabilities, and we’ve seen reports of them repositioning personnel … either within the city of even out of the city.”

The report followed news that Da’esh had killed at least 35 soldiers from the Syrian armed forces, losing 24 fighters in the process, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

But social media and news reports that Da’esh believes it may soon come under siege in Raqqa, its self-declared capital, may not have much to do with the months-long strikes by coalition forces at all.

It turns out that after a decade of CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, Al Qaeda appears to have decided to relocate its headquarters to Syria. According to a report quoting unnamed U.S. and European intelligence and counter terror sources in Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, Al Qaeda recently sent a delegation of its top veterans to Syria to start the process of creating a new headquarters for the terror group.

The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organization broke its cooperative agreement with Da’esh in 2013. The group led radical Islamists in splitting from moderate opposition forces and was involved in the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad from the start of the civil war.

Since that time, various groups have begun to set up independent emirates – small sovereign states – within the geographic area that once was referred to as Syria.

Senior Al Qaeda operatives have also now been told to lay the groundwork for establishing an emirate there, possibly through Al Nusra, which has yet to formally declare one.

Al Qaeda supreme leader Ayman al-Zawahri released his first audio statement in months about two weeks ago, giving his blessing to the venture.

The presence of a consolidated Al Qaeda headquarters in Syria would, of course, mean a bloody battle indeed between the group and Da’esh, which broke off as a splinter group from Al Qaeda.

It would also mean a massive infusion of new blood for Al Qaeda from a region bursting with passionate youths looking for something to do and somewhere to go, other than school and the prospect of a “regular life.” It would provide an alternative for those who are filled with Islamic fundamentalism, hatred and bloodthirsty excitement, but who just can’t deal with the mindless brutality of Da’esh — which has been the only option up to now.

Such a headquarters, strategically located in the heart of the Middle East near the borders of Turkey, Iran and Russia between Europe, Africa and North America, spells the start of a brand new nightmare for the next American president, regardless of who it is.

For Israel, it means unrelenting vigilance along the northern and southern borders.

Da’esh is already ensconsed in the Sinai Peninsula, where its affiliate, the former Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis, now known as “Sinai Province,” has firmed up its bond with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization. Since the start of this month, the IDF has already uncovered two Hamas cross-border terror attack tunnels leading from Gaza into Israeli territory. Each time, the military engineers were forced to carry out their search under mortar fire directed at them by terrorists from Gaza.

Hana Levi Julian

Gazan Arab Tries to Enter Be’er Sheva Central Bus Station

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

An Arab resident of Gaza was arrested midday Sunday at the central bus station in Be’er Sheva after arriving at the entrance to the transit hub.

Security personnel who were guarding the bus station – the largest in the southern region – became suspicious of the Arab man and asked to see his identification.

He reluctantly pulled out a worn red-colored ID card that was not readable; the security personnel held him at the gate until Be’er Sheva police arrived.

“The suspect’s activities in Be’er Sheva and his reasons for coming to the central bus station are being investigated,” a police source told the Hebrew-language 0404 website.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu: ‘On This Day, All Israel Feels the Agony’

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Wednesday morning at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl military cemetery, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told families who lost their loved ones defending the nation lf Israel, “on this day all of the People of Israel feel this agony with you.”

In Israel, he said, “The boys and girls who defend our nation along with their families should feel pride” for their sacrifice to their country.

But he also said, “We members of the bereaved families do not need Memorial Day to remember our loved ones who fell… on this day the entire nation is with us in an embrace and with love.”

Netanyahu himself has lost more than one person who was dear to him. His older brother Yoni was killed in the line of duty while on a mission rescuing hostages at Entebbe airport. He also told those gathered at Mount Herzl about two comrades killed in action: Zohar Ben Linik and David Ben Hamo.

The prime minister said his memory of his friend David dying of his wounds as he held him in his arms will never leave him. Decades later, when he went to visit David’s family in Be’er Sheva, he saw how his mother had left his friend’s room exactly as it had been on the day he died, he added.

Netanyahu also spoke about a more recent encounter with twin girls whose father fell in battle. When asked what they remembered of their father, they broke down crying, unable even to speak. “We cried with them,” he said.

“Throughout my years as prime minister, whenever I get the news of a soldier who falls, my heart breaks with the family,” he said. Netanyahu vowed to do “everything possible” to bring home the remains of Israel’s two lost soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin. The bodies of both are being held hostage by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization.

Hana Levi Julian

Drop in a Bucket: US Giving Gaza $50 Million in Aid Over 5 Years

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

The United States on Monday announced a $50 million aid program for the Gaza Strip, AP reported. The money, distributed by the US Agency for International Development in partnership with Catholic Relief Services over five years, will be used for humanitarian assistance and jobs creation. Unemployment in Gaza is estimated at more than 40%.

Donald A. Blome, the US consul general in Jerusalem, said the money will help pay for “the dire needs that are obvious in Gaza.”

No one in the State Dept. on this occasion addressed the green elephant in the tent, namely the fact that Hamas has squandered millions of its assets on war preparations against Israel, while Gaza has become today’s metaphor for poverty and neglect.

According to the World Bank’s fact sheet, economic activity in Gaza remains volatile and almost entirely dependent on aid and remittances, with growth rates determined by (i) the level of aid inflows and (ii) the degree of trade restrictions. Gaza’s final consumption is 1.6 times larger than its GDP, and its investment a mere 5 percent of GDP, predominantly in housing. Estimated exports are very low at less than five percent of GDP. Gaza’s GDP per capita is half of that in the PA, and its poverty rate is roughly twice as high as those in the PA.

According to the PA Ministry of National Economy, Gaza has sustained damages of roughly $3 billion since initiation of the 2014 conflict with Israel.

The Palestinian Food Industries Union estimates that Gaza’s food industry has suffered damages estimated at around $150 million, with many factories in inoperable condition. The largest factories that used to provide up to 70% of local market needs were destroyed and will face a slow rebuilding process, as access to construction materials will likely be limited.

Data collected by the PA’s Gaza Coastal Municipal Water Utility (CMWU) and Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) indicates a significant shortage of water services and a severe public health threat to the population of Gaza.

The energy crisis in Gaza has been identified as a primary constraint to economic development even prior to the current conflict. The capacity of Gaza’s only power plant (GPP) was restricted by limited fuel availability due to the trade restrictions and a poor distribution network. The GPP remains inoperable to date and power outages of up to 18 hours a day continue in most areas across Gaza. This has exacerbated the already challenging electricity sector situation in Gaza. Electricity network damage of an estimated $42.5 million has been sustained.

So the $50 million over 5 years from the US should work miracles.

David Israel

Shin Bet Reports Indicted Terrorist Gave Detailed Info on Hamas, Gaza Tunnels

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

A Gaza terrorist with the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades was indicted Tuesday in Be’er Sheva District court, the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency revealed in a statement cleared for release at midday.

The terrorist was arrested on April 6 after infiltrating into Israel, some two years after operating as a member of the military wing of Hamas.

During the investigation he revealed detailed information about the terror group’s continued efforts to develop its intricate tunnel network from Gaza.

The operative was recruited shortly before Israel’s counter terror war with Hamas in the summer of 2014, according to the statement released by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet). He told interrogators he underwent military training, dug tunnels and participated in ambushes against Israeli soldiers.

According to the Shin Bet, most of the operative’s training was focused on infiltration, entering buildings and detonating explosives, as “part of the expectation that the next war would take place inside Israeli territory.”

In particular the terrorist shared detailed information with his interrogators about Hamas attack tunnels, including the locations of shafts inside Gaza and the escape routes to be used by the terror group’s elite during emergencies.

Details of the techniques, tools and work procedures of the tunnel diggers were also revealed. “For example, they are not permitted to exit the tunnel in their work attire or before they shower and change their clothes inside the tunnel in an attempt to camouflage their activity,” the statement said.

The operative had stored explosives at his own home in Jabaliya, and participated in planting explosives in and around tunnels to ambush Israeli soldiers in case of enemy infiltration.

The Shin Bet added in its release that the terrorist is only one of several currently being questioned about the Gaza tunnel system and the operating procedures of Hamas.

Michael Bachner of TPS contributed to this report.

Hana Levi Julian

Gazan Child Burned in Fire Treated at Israeli Hospital as Hamas and PA Trade Blame

Monday, May 9th, 2016

By Joshua B. Dermer/TPS

Ramat Gan (TPS) – A Gazan child with severe burns is being treated in an Israeli hospital after a devastating house fire in Gaza took the lives of his three young siblings on Saturday. The tragedy has shaken the Gaza Strip and spurred angry finger pointing among the two dominant terrorist factions, Hamas and the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah.

Ahmed Al-Hendi, 7, was taken to Sheba Medical Center at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan on Sunday evening, a spokeswoman for the hospital confirmed to Tazpit Press Service (TPS), following the fire caused by candles used during a local power shortage.

Ahmed was severely burned in the fire, which tragically claimed the lives of his three young siblings—three-year-old Yusra, two-year-old Rahaf, and two-month-old Nasir.

“We were at the beach and came home to find there was no electricity again,” Mohammed Al-Hendi, the children’s father, told Al Jazeera at the funeral. “They were sleeping, and I went out to bring dinner. When I came home, they told me my children were burned alive.”

Ahmed will have to undergo multiple therapies before making a full recovery, though he is no longer in critical condition, Sheba Medical Center Spokeswoman Adi Cohen told TPS.

At the funeral procession, Hamas leaders cited the energy crisis in the Gaza Strip and placed the blame on Israel as well as on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s administration. Hamas accused the Palestinian Authority of making the power outages worse by imposing taxes on fuel for Gaza’s power plant, which has caused Gaza residents to spend 18 hours a day without power.

A press release by Hamas Spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri accused Abbas and the Palestinian Authority of hoarding electricity for themselves. The PA, meanwhile, dismissed the Hamas charges as “false accusations.”

“Their guilt can only be erased when they exempt Gaza from fuel taxes and consent to new Israeli feeder lines,” Abu Zuhri said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gazan-child-burned-in-fire-treated-at-israeli-hospital-as-hamas-and-pa-trade-blame/2016/05/09/

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