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April 28, 2015 / 9 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

ISIS Joins Hamas, Palestinian Authority in Silencing Journalists

Friday, February 6th, 2015

Terrorists from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) operating in Gaza have united with Hamas and the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah faction to silence Palestinian journalists, Arab affairs journalist Khaled Abu Toameh writes in an article for the Gatestone Institute.

Over the past few days, a number of Palestinian journalists have received death threats from the “Gaza branch” of ISIS and were accused of publishing “lies” about ISIS in particular and about Islam in general.

The threats were sent via social media and messages to the journalists’ mobile phones.

“Islamic State warns the journalist and media people against their continued and constant attacks on us,” reads the text of one message sent. “We in Islamic State affirm that we will execute the rule of the Shari’a [Islamic law] against these apostates, who are sowing discord among Muslims.”

Many Palestinian journalists were already being targeted by Hamas in Gaza and the PA in Judea and Samaria. Those threats were reported last summer and confirmed by international journalists after they once they escaped from Gaza and reached their home countries, where they were free from the danger of being killed by Hamas and its terrorist allies.

The latest threats have only ratcheted up the pressure on these reporters, who are taking the threats seriously and are increasing their vigilance and their self-censorship.

“Of course we are afraid,” a veteran journalist in Gaza told Toameh. “You never know who is hiding behind the mask. It could be someone from ISIS or Hamas or Islamic Jihad or even Fatah. It is not safe to be a journalist living in the West Bank or Gaza.”

“The threats against Palestinian journalists are important because this is no longer a ‘local’ issue or an internal Palestinian affair,” Toameh writes. “Those who are seeking to silence the Palestinian journalists are also trying to prevent the international media from learning about what is really happening in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

“A Palestinian journalist working with international news agencies and newspapers is not going to report truthfully and honestly, when he or she is facing daily threats from so many parties. The only stories these journalists are going to offer the international media are ones that depict Israel in a negative manner. The Palestinian journalists know that at the end of the day they need to go back to their families in Ramallah and Gaza without having to worry about masked men knocking on their doors at night.

“The threats against Palestinian journalists are worrying, and should be exposed and brought to the attention of human rights groups around the world. More disturbing is that many of the international journalists operating in the region are willing to turn a blind eye to the dangers facing their Palestinian colleagues and employees. The international media outlets and their representatives are prepared to take almost any story offered to them by Palestinian reporters, especially if the story consists of anti-Israel statements,” Toameh writes.

The above is especially important to consider in light of the current investigation into last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, being carried out by the United Nations Human Rights Council. As they did with depositions taken for the notorious and inaccurate Goldstone Report, the investigators are taking at face value anything said to them by Gaza residents they interview. They fail to understand the nature of the threat under which the average citizen lives his or her life in Gaza – nor do most “outsiders” realize how many so-called “civilians” are ancillary members or supporters of terror groups as well.

As a result, the evidence gathered is skewed from the start, though the investigators are wholly unaware of it, or worse, could care less.

International media by and large relies on news reports that have been self-censored by on-the-scene Palestinian stringers who are frankly afraid for their lives.
Threats by ISIS will now only raise the heat in the area.

What Will Schabas Do for $1300?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Mirabelle writing at Israellycool has pointed out something very important.

Mirabelle points out that Schabas claims he had no real financial gain from his work for the PLO, and therefore the charges of bias and conflict of interest are incorrect:

In his continuing effort to claim that he is just a victim of the Zionist cabal, Schabas points out that he received only $1300 in compensation for the work he did for the PLO. Therefore, he claims, he had no real financial motive for bias. This argument, however, reveals more about him that what he intends.

Mirabelle then provides a description of the work was that Schabas did for the PLO:

His description of the work that he did for the PLO is a seven-page legal opinion on issues involving Palestinian statehood and the International Criminal Court. This would likely involve hours of research on obscure issues about which Schabas had a rare expertise. If Schabas had charged a fair price for such work, the bill could have easily been ten times the amount charged, or more. He basically did the work for the PLO close to free of charge.

How many lawyers do you know would only charge $1300 for a 7 page brief in an incredibly esoteric area of legal expertise?

None that I can think of, unless they have personal interest or sympathy for the client or the cause.

A trial lawyer Schabas won’t be with holes in his argument so wide you can launch an entire battery of Hamas rockets through it.

It’s bad enough Schabas did work for the PLO and didn’t disclose that information, which is certainly enough reason to have disqualified him in the first place, but by not taking fair compensation for his efforts, he confirmed where his sympathies and bias lies – which means his entire “investigation” is tainted with that bias, as will be the final report, whether his name is on it or not.

Out of curiosity, what else Schabas will do for a mere $1300?

The letter sent by Israel to the UNHRC: Letter to UN on Schabas

Schabas Resignation: What Else Has Not Been Disclosed?

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

Reposted from NGO Monitor

JERUSALEM – The appointment and resignation of William Schabas from the UN Human Rights Council’s Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict is a symptom of corruption and immorality in the United Nations and other platforms for anti-Israel demonization, warned Jerusalem-based research institute NGO Monitor. The United Nations should suspend its investigation into Israel and immediately investigate the disturbing revelations of its own incompetence and bias.

“The damage has been done. William Schabas, whose bias against Israel was well established, should never have been appointed in the first place,” said Prof. Gerald Steinberg, president of NGO Monitor. “Since the Commission has completed its fact-finding stage, the final report will be tainted by Schabas’ leadership until this point.”

The revelation that Schabas previously did legal work for the PLO raises numerous questions, which should be publicly and transparently addressed by the UNHRC.

  • What other conflicts of interest did Schabas not disclose?
  • What connections and consultancies did Schabas have with politicized NGOs such as Amnesty International and what role did these NGOs have in the UN “investigation”?
  • How did the UN’s vetting process fail? According to news reports, Schabas “was not asked to detail his consultancy work when he was appointed.”
  • If UN officials were previously aware of Schabas’ connections to the PLO, why was this information not disclosed earlier?

Journalists also have a responsibility to pursue these avenues of inquiry.

“Before there is further embarrassment, the Commission should disband immediately,” continued Prof. Steinberg. “From the beginning, the Commission’s mandate was part of the campaign to single out of Israel through the exploitation of human rights and international law. The Human Rights Council failed to learn the lessons from Judge Goldstone’s denunciation of his own pseudo-investigation in 2009.” As shown in NGO Monitor’s detailed submission to the Schabas Commission, NGO statements on armed conflict in general, and concerning the 2014 Gaza War in particular, are unreliable and were a primary reason the Goldstone Report was so thoroughly flawed.


For more information on William Schabas’ conflicts of interest and obvious unsuitability for an investigation concerning Israel, see:

  1. NGO Monitor, “William Schabas – Head of New UN Gaza Commission – and the Anti-Israel NGO Network,” August 13, 2014
  2. Hana Levi Julian, “Anti-Israel UN Investigator Prof. William Schabas ‘Can’t Say’ If Hamas is Terrorist Entity,” JewishPress.com, August 13, 2014
  3. Click here to read NGO Monitor’s Submission to the UN Human Rights Council Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza Conflict

Arab Reporter Lobbies State Dept. for ‘More Aid to PA and Gaza’

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Said Arikat is the Washington, D.C.-based reporter for the Palestinian Arab Al-Quds newspaper. So what? Well, it matters because Arikat has found an amazing pulpit from which he ensures that the Palestinian Arab viewpoint of just about every major event is heard.

Arikat is thus able to have a grossly disproportionate impact on the huge media outlets who are represented in those press briefings, as well as on U.S. officials who staff and monitor them.

How does Arikat do that? He is part of the Washington press corps and a permanent, and extremely voluble fixture in the U.S. State Department daily press briefings.

From that perch, Arikat patiently, painstakingly, day in and day out articulates the Palestinian Authority’s agenda in the guise of questions about the Middle East conflict, shamelessly couched in advocate’s terms, not those of an objective journalist.

The State Department spokespeople typically respond to Arikat as if he were a lovable, goofy child, one they try to humor. But Arikat is ready with his agenda at each session, and he likes to make sure that the points that matter for his purposes are discussed over and over again, sometimes for days at a time. The State Department almost always obliges.

Here’s just one example from a briefing that took place last Thursday.

During the session, Arikat raised an issue that had been discussed earlier in the week: whether Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer had acted inappropriately by not mentioning Sen. John Boehner’s invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to speak before a joint session of Congress when Dermer had a meeting with Secretary of State Kerry.

Arikat was following up a series of questions that had already been raised and put completely to rest by Matt Lee, of the Associated Press. Lee acknowledged that the spat over the invitation to Netanyahu had been exhaustively discussed earlier, but he asked about a New York Times article published that day, quoting anonymous sources criticizing Dermer.

Psaki pointed out that she had no idea who the anonymous source was, but assured Lee and everyone else in the room that only official, non-anonymous sources could speak for the State Department’s position. Case closed? Not for Arikat.

This is how that portion of Arikat’s “questioning” went:

ARIKAT: I have a couple question on Israel, but I wanted to ask you about the ambassador. You do believe that what he did was actually breach diplomatic protocol? Did he?

MS. PSAKI: I think we spoke about this pretty extensively last week, Said.

ARIKAT: To hear it again, he did breach diplomatic –

MS. PSAKI: I don’t think we need to repeat it. I think we can point to the –

ARIKAT: Okay. All right. Let me ask you –

MS. PSAKI: — twenty times I said it last week. Go ahead.

Arikat was able to extend a “discussion” regarding a very sore point between the U.S. and Israeli governments, by asking the State Department to comment on accusations against Israel that had already, numerous times, been discussed and dismissed.

Arikat’s technique is simple but quite effective: he keeps circling back to get across his points. As in this example, he is not really asking a question, which is all that reporters are supposed to do in these government press briefings. And yet he gets this prime airtime nearly every single day.

In this particular briefing, however, Arikat did something which should have set off virtual alarm bells even at Foggy Bottom. It says a lot that no one even flinched, because it was Arikat who has gotten away with so much for so long, that it’s simply expected.

Arikat actually lobbied the State Department to increase its funding of the Palestinian Authority. He’s a journalist, remember, not a diplomat. And he’s making his demand for money at a press briefing!

A press briefing is where the government department providing the briefing is supposed to be putting out information on what it is doing and what its positions are – not receiving requests for goodies from supplicants (through their advocates) around the world. Yet no one batted an eyelash.

Here’s the bulk of the conversation, to see the complete exchange, please check the transcript.

ARIKAT: — some Israeli issues. The Israelis today cut off electricity or reduced the electricity to the Palestinian Authority areas, saying that they owe them about $450 million or something to that effect accumulated over the last few years, that of course coming at a time when the Palestinians claim that you have reduced their aid to them by a huge amount, more than 50 percent. Is there anything that you can do perhaps –

MS. PSAKI: Well, first of all, Said, on the second piece, I think I’ve spoken to this several times in here about the fact that reports or claims that we have reduced our aid or changed our aid are not accurate. Our aid is continuing.

On the first piece, I have not seen those reports. I don’t have confirmation of them. I’m happy to talk to our team about it.

ARIKAT: Well, the Israelis, I mean, they announced that the Palestinian Authority said yes, it’s true, they reduced their electricity. Is there something that you can do in this case, perhaps infuse the Palestinian Authority with some emergency funds to deal with this issue?

MS. PSAKI: Well, as you know, we provide a range of funds to the Palestinians. That’s continued. I’ll talk to our team and see if this is an issue that we’re closely tracking.

[Emphasis added.]

Really? That is what a journalist is doing? And the State Department’s response? Oh, we’ll look right into that and see what we can do.

Finally Arikat, ever the advocate, mournfully explains that the Secretary of the Arab League and the Secretary General of the United Nations had both mentioned that day that the situation in Gaza was deteriorating.

Arikat tied those comments to a recent discussion about donor nations not having yet fulfilled their pledges to Gaza. He also suggested that the U.S. had decreased its funding, a point Psaki rejected when she was able to get in a word edgewise. Nonetheless, Arikat essentially pleads the case for additional Gaza funding because – and here he puts on a sad face –  “the new school semester is starting.”

There is not another member of the Washington press corps who wields his position in the briefing room as an advocacy tool. Oftentimes reporters are dogged in their efforts to extract information the State Department spokesperson is choosing not to address head-on, but no reporter consistently advocates a particular nationalistic viewpoint as Arikat does.

And so The Jewish Press plans to have as a semi-regular news feature about Said Arikat and his lobbying from the State Department Press Briefing Room. It will be called “Said Says.” Watch for it.

Hamas ‘War Crimes Camp’ Graduates Trains 17,000 Teens for Terror

Friday, January 30th, 2015

Hamas, a member of the Palestinian Unity Government, has published photo proof of the terrorist organization committing war crimes by training thousands of teenagers in “military youth camps.”The Hamas version of the Boy Scouts dresses the children in military uniforms, preaches sermons of hate against Israel and for the “love of death,” and teaches skills they will need to lead them there, such as using assault weapons

The United Nations Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (OPAC) specifically prohibits soldiers under the age of 18.

The Palestinian Authority has signed the Protocol, but it also has signed a bunch of other agreements, such as the Oslo Accords, that are as meaningful as pledges by its terrorists who signed on the dotted line on Israeli documents that they would not return to terror after being released.

Hamas does not have money to build homes for Gazans but there is plenty of cash to help the younger generation learn how to throw grenades and use Kalashnikov rifles.

A Hamas officer told The Washington Post the camps help keep the children off the streets..

“The camps are designed to answer the demands of the youth — to do something.” like training to annihilate Israel.

Hamas allowed one of the newspaper’s reporter into the camp for the graduation ceremonies.

Ahmed Ismail, 16, was quoted as saying:

I have received training on using weapons, especially rifles, and climbing on ropes, marching, shooting, rocket-propelled grenades and mortars. We also had practical training and got to shoot the Kalashnikovs.

I wish I could join Qassam Brigades now. I want to fight Israel. I want to kick them out of our land. I am ready now.

An Israeli officer briefed the reporter in Israel and said, “Hamas is making plenty of rockets” and will be armed to the teeth in a few months. staffed in a few months.

“On the military side, they’re ready to go today,” he added.

Hamas youth and Israel face the same future — war, unless  the new generation one day realizes their real enemies are the preachers of hate.

Gazans Attack UN Building with Hamas Advance Notice

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

Dozens of Gazans broke into a United Nations facility in Gaza on Wednesday and caused great damage to the building. The protesters jumped over the walls, smashed windows and burned tires. The Gazans were protesting the freeze in transfer of funds from the UN for rehabilitating their region. The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Robert Serry said in a statement that he was “outraged” by the incident.

Gaza’s ruling Hamas terror organization reportedly knew in advance about the “protest” and warned Tuesday the enclave was on the brink of chaos.

“The Special Coordinator is outraged by the assault on the UNSCO (United Nations Special Coordinator) compound in Gaza this morning,” Serry said in his statement Wednesday afternoon, Jan 28, 2015. “During a pre-announced demonstration, of which Hamas was well aware, a number of protestors climbed the perimeter wall and entered the compound causing damage to United Nations premises and property.

“Due to precautionary measures taken, United Nations personnel working in the compound were fortunately unharmed. The Special Coordinator notes with deep concern that, despite repeated assurances, the security forces in Gaza did not take the necessary and timely measures to protect UNSCO’s compound.

“Pending a full transfer of security responsibilities to the legitimate Palestinian Authority, we continue to hold Hamas fully responsible for the security and safety of all United Nations personnel and operations in Gaza. As this serious incident took place in the context of increasing incitement against the United Nations in Gaza, the Special Coordinator is conducting an urgent review of operations in Gaza.

“As reported to the Security Council, the situation in Gaza has become extremely volatile again and will continue to deteriorate unless a number of critical underlying issues are addressed with both determination and a heightened sense of urgency. We also continue to urge donors to support humanitarian operations and fulfill the commitments they have made in Cairo for the reconstruction of Gaza,” the statement said.

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) had announced earlier in the week that it has nearly run out of funds to help in rebuilding Gaza due to a huge shortfall in pledged contributions from donor nations.

“Virtually none” of the record $5.4 billion pledged by the international community for the rehabilitation of post-war Gaza months ago has managed to reach grassroots people in the region, Gaza’s UNRWA director Robert Turner said. “This is distressing and unacceptable,” he added, without specifying which countries had defaulted on their pledges or precisely how much was outstanding.

Infrastructure in the enclave was significantly damaged during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge because Hamas and other allied terrorists attacked Israel while embedded within Gaza civilian neighborhoods, using the residents as human shields.

Only $135 million of the promised donations to the UNRWA cash assistance program for 96,000 refugee families made homeless by the war was received, Turner told media. The program is intended to pay for repairs of homes and rent subsidies as well as help rebuild homes that were destroyed in the war.

“While some funds remain available to begin reconstruction of totally destroyed homes,” he said, there is no more money left for repairs and rent subsidies.

In addition, hundreds of Hamas civil service workers have been rioting off and on for weeks as well. Few if any have been paid over the past six months. Nor has the terrorist group received any money from its partner in the Palestinian Authority unity government, the rival Fatah faction based in Ramallah, Samaria.

The Fatah-ruled PA government in Ramallah pays generous monthly salaries to convicted terrorists incarcerated in Israeli prisons, however, some of which are higher than salaries paid to its own government workers.

Netanyahu Warns Northern Attackers, ‘Take a Look at Hamas in Gaza’

Wednesday, January 28th, 2015

“At this moment, the IDF is responding to events in the north,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Israelis at a cornerstone-laying ceremony for new apartments in the southern city of Sderot.

“I suggest that all those who are challenging us on our northern border, look at what happened in Gaza, not far from the city of Sderot.

“Hamas suffered the most serious blow since it was founded this past summer, and the IDF is prepared to act on every front.”

Netanyahu’s response followed a multi-site attack by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terror organization late Wednesday morning.

Two IDF vehicles were hit by rocket-propelled grenades and a home in the Druze village of Rajar caught fire after being struck by a rocket fired from Lebanon.

Hezbollah took responsibility for the attack, which military sources said may have been aimed at creating a distraction in order to attempt a cross-border abduction similar to that which launched the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

IDF troops are searching the area of Zarit for indications of a terrorist tunnel. There has been no information about an abduction thus far.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-warns-northern-attackers-take-a-look-at-hamas-in-gaza/2015/01/28/

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