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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

IDF Bulldozers Level Land Along Southern Gaza Strip Border in Search of Tunnels

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

A team of IDF bulldozers entered inside the southern Gaza Strip on Thursday morning and proceeded to raze the lands past the border fence, Arab media reported. The Ma’an news agency cited local witnesses who said that five Israeli military bulldozers came through the Sufa crossing and entered about 50 yards into the strip, east of the city of Rafah.

They reported that the bulldozers were leveling the lands along the border fence.

The IDF has been crossing the Gaza Strip buffer zone frequently, with heavy machinery, since the 2014 war, in search of newly dug terror tunnels that lead underground into Israeli territory.

Arabs who work near the buffer zone on occasion attempt to attack, even fire on the machinery and are repelled with fire.

Ma’an complained that the practice has “destroyed much of the agricultural sector of the blockaded coastal enclave,” a loss that could be prevented by not digging any more tunnels into Israel.

And while Israel’s buffer zone defending its civilians against Gazan terrorists is quite narrow, Egypt has demolished more than 3,255 homes and other buildings on Gaza’s Egyptian border, to create its own buffer zone and eliminate smuggling tunnels, after a surge in attacks by Islamist terrorists. The Egyptian military destroyed nearly all buildings and farmland within about half a mile from the Gaza border, using uncontrolled explosives and earth-moving equipment.

In comparison, the incursions of IDF D9 bulldozers into Gaza are described even by local media as “limited.”

JNi.Media

Update: Rocket Hits Near Gaza Border Community

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

A rocket alert went off in a community near the Gaza border at 2:26 PM.

Local residents are reporting they heard a rocket hit in an open area, outside their community.

The Eshkol Regional Council reports that it appears that the rocket landed in an open area outside one of the communities. The IDF confirmed their report.

No one was injured in the strike.

Yesterday, a rocket hit inside the city of Sderot. It is believed to have been launched by one of the Salafi groups.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Update: Flotilla Vessel Arrives in Ashdod Port, Accompanied by Israeli Naval Forces

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The Zaytoun-Oliva Women’s Flotilla Boat to Gaza arrived after midnight Wednesday night in Ashdod Port, accompanied by Israeli Naval forces, the IDF told JewishPress.com.

“The members on board were transferred to the appropriate authorities for further processing,” an IDF spokesperson said in a statement.

The Israeli Navy seized control over the Women’s Flotilla to Gaza late Wednesday afternoon and began redirecting the Zaytouna-Oliva ship to Ashdod Port.

An all-female IDF Naval unit was used for the first time to seize control of the vessel.

“In accordance with government directives and after exhausting all diplomatic channels, the Israeli Navy redirected the vessel in order to prevent breach of the lawful maritime blockade,” said the IDF.

“The visit and search of the vessel was uneventful. In accordance with international law, the Israeli Navy advised the vessel numerous times to change course prior to the action. Following their refusal the Navy visited and searched the vessel in international waters in order to prevent their intended breach of the lawful maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.”

No injuries were reported in the operation, which involved a unit of female Israeli Naval commandos who seized the vessel when it was just a few dozen kilometers from a beach in southern Israel.

By afternoon ranting had already begun on the Twitter social networking site, starting with a litany of red “SOS” signs sent by one user who signed off in Greek letters. A second wrote in despair, “this is sickeningly sad” … A third was so graphic that even the Twitter management was finally pushed to delete it — “This Tweet is unavailable” showed in blank grey space.

The ‘Women’s Boat to Gaza’ group pleaded, meanwhile, “Pls contact your Govt to demand their release and an end to the illegal blockade!”

Equally vocal were supporters of Israel.

Sussex Friends of Israel noted in a tweet, “According to @GazaFFlotilla they’ve been ‘captured!’ What-like if you sailed a boat into UK waters without authorization? (#expletive)

“@GazaFFlotilla complete waste of time and energy,” wrote another. “Want to help #Gaza? teach them #hate is not the answer.”

A third wrote, “you came to our home. You came to aid terrorists. Now you must be treated the same. Don’t mess with #Israel”

And another: “I’ll contact my government to make sure that people like you @GazaFFlotilla get #arrested and put on #trial for #terrorism #support.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Shelling Northern Gaza in Retaliation for Sderot Rocket

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

The IDF on Wednesday morning fired artillery shells at targets in Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip, Just one hour following a rocket that had been fired from the Gaza Strip and landed on a residential street near a school inside the city of Sderot, Arab media reported.

According to local witnesses, at least one artillery shell landed in a terrorist training ground in Beit Hanoun. It is not yet clear which terror group operates the facility. Israeli media sources reported the site was run by Hamas.

No injuries have been reported on the Israeli or Arab side.

Around 10:30 AM Wednesday, rocket sirens were heard in Sderot and nearby communities alongside the Gaza Strip, following which an exploded rocket was discovered. The IDF spokesperson’s office reported road damage as a result of the rocket.

Several Sderot residents were treated for shock.

The swift retaliation represents a continued new policy instituted by incoming Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), of hitting back inside Gaza as soon as someone on that side violates the 2014 ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

David Israel

Gaza Rocket Hits Near Sderot School, No Injuries

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

A rocket fell in the town of Sderot near the Gaza Strip border on Wednesday morning, just before 10:30 AM.

The rocket fell near a school on Mishol Homa Umigdal. Some damage to property was reported.

Police and a sapper unit closed off the street.

MDA is treating a number of people for shock, but no one was injured.

Arab sources say the IDF is attacking the Hamas launch site in Beit Hanoun.

David Israel

Israeli Navy Prepared to Escort Women’ Gaza Boats to Ashdod

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

As Zaytouna and Amal, two boats with about 30 Gaza-bound passengers, mostly women, are getting closer to Israel’s shores, the IDF navy has been preparing to exercise the routine protocol in such cases, namely to board the boats and escort the passengers, politely but firmly, to the harbor city of Ashdod.

The website Women Boat to Gaza has been billing the endeavor as a “flotilla,” but the term commonly describes a fleet of ships or boats, so, in this case, the term “boats” is probably more accurate.

Ashdod has been serving as a destination for aid supplies for Gaza, for most of the decade since Hamas has taken over control of the Strip. Israeli officials go through the cargo, remove the contraband weapons and explosives that routinely arrive in those shipments, and clear the goods for trucking to Gaza, a few miles southward. Presumably, whatever goods the one or two boats manage to bring in will end up in Ashdod for inspection, followed by shipping to Gaza.

Israel’s Channel 2 News has reported that naval gunships have been waiting in Ashdod harbor for the signal to intercept the two boats. The same report suggested that the women onboard the boats are planning to exercise civil disobedience, which could get splashy.

The Zaytouna Captain is US Army retired Colonel Ann Wright, who served in the State Dept. diplomatic corps. She resigned from the US government in 2003, over her objection to the Bush Administration’s foreign policy. Since then she has been active in every single attempt to break through the blockade on Gaza.

It should be noted that the Turkish government, which ended up in a six-year tiff with Israel over the tragic end of the largest and most memorable 2010 Gaza flotilla, has expressed its anger at the mostly Turkish activists in that endeavor, for forcing it into this quagmire. Since Turkey has settled its dispute with Israel, Turkish goods destined for Gaza have been arriving in Ashdod regularly and then shipped to their intended recipients.

It should also be noted that the reason Israel has imposed a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip is because the Hamas government has been declaring practically every day its intent to destroy Israel, and has been devoting most of its international aid money to military preparations to carry out this threat.

JNi.Media

Lessons from 5776, Optimism for 5777

Sunday, October 2nd, 2016

As we take our leave from 5776, I would sum it up as the year that Israel discovered the correct paradigm for dealing with her adversaries.

In previous years, many believed Israel’s military superiority allowed and even obliged her to take “risks for peace.” Others believed that propping up the economies of Israel’s neighbors until they were on par with her own, while giving up land, would bring peace.

But in 5776, Israel discovered that the secret for a relatively peaceful status quo comes not from creating economic parity, giving away land or taking risks, but rather by creating economic dependence, along with the application of Israel’s military superiority.

It should be made clear that a peaceful status quo is a separate discussion from what Israel’s long term vision for the region should be — whether that solution be Israel applying phased or full sovereignty over all of Israel’s territories, a confederation with Jordan, or some other ideas not yet tested or considered.

It’s been repeatedly noted that only one of the terror attacks by PA Arabs in this recent terror wave was executed by an individual with an Israeli work permit.

Israelis have learned that no matter how much their neighbors may hate them (and by the way, not all of Israel’s neighbors close and far hate Israel), or how much incitement they absorb from Palestinian Authority TV and the Islamic preachers, their families and villages depend on the money they make from Israelis, and all of them, save one, would not dare risk that.

Which is why the Palestinian Authority tried its best to force these Arab workers to stop working in the settlements, and why it failed. (PA Arabs make three times more working for Israelis than they do working in the Palestinian Authority.)

Incidentally, Israel would probably help the future stability of Judea and Samaria by announcing it will guarantee PA police salaries should the Palestinian Authority collapse under the weight of its own incompetence and corruption or Abbas’ retirement or death.

There’s very little that creates more loyalty than a paycheck paid on time.

Despite the roadblocks set up by Israel’s High Court, 5776 concluded with Jordan signing a $10 billion gas deal with Israel, which a Jordanian official said will save Jordan $600 million a year. It’s a deal that might very well tie Jordan’s economic stability to Israel for the next 15 years, along with the fresh water that Israel provides them.

Besides natural gas, Turkey, Greece, various Arab countries, some African states, India, Russia and China are looking to purchase or enter business partnerships with Israel, to acquire Israeli technology, military experience and equipment, fresh water solutions, solar energy, agricultural know-how or simply gain access to Israeli projects.

As these countries and others become more reliant on what Israel has to offer, there will be a gradual, visible change in their public attitudes, voting in international forums, and policies towards Israel, as Prime Minister Netanyahu pointed out in his speech last month before the UN General Assembly.

On the military side, this past year, the IDF finally resumed its function in actively preventing terrorism, rather than restricting itself to a reactive mode. IDF soldiers have been raiding the hornet nests in the Palestinian Authority every night, to confiscate illegal weapons and ammunition, uncover weapons factories and erode the terror networks of Hamas, the PLO, and the various Islamic Jihadi groups which expanded operations under former defense ministers Ehud Barak and Moshe Ya’alon. And, surprisingly, these IDF actions hardly provoke any international condemnation, save for criticism from Haaretz.

It was also the year Israel has actively taken on BDS, and began to beat it down, state after US state.

Obviously, all was not rosy this past year.

Thanks to the Iran deal, a revitalized Islamic Iran has been expanding its terror operations. But as Iran and their client Hezbollah try to establish terror bases on Israel’s Golan Heights’ border, Syrian Rebels are fighting those Iranian and Hezbollah terrorists on the Golan — the same rebels who are reportedly receiving much-needed medical aid from Israel.

There has been an upswing in Israeli Arabs participating in terror attacks and joining ISIS due to Islamic radicalization, incitement and propaganda, but Israel is already learning how to deal with them.

Hamas is still destroying Gaza as it continues to prepare for another round of fighting with Israel.

In the spring of 5777, Israel will celebrate 50 years since the liberation of our ancient lands of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem from the illegal Jordanian occupation. Expect the usual NGOs (under new names and old) and Israel haters to foment their venomous propaganda, and also expect fewer and fewer people, everywhere in the world, to pay attention.

There’s concern over Obama’s anticipated November surprise at the UN.

And, of course, there will be the new challenges that either candidate for US president will present to Israel.

At the JewishPress.com we believe we have reason to be optimistic.

Israel has made significant positive changes this past year, with strategic, long term ideas being implemented, already with noticeable results. 5777 will bring challenges, even difficult ones, but we believe Israel is ready for them.

Shana Tova – Have a sweet new year.

Stephen Leavitt

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/lessons-from-5776-optimism-for-5777/2016/10/02/

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