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June 30, 2016 / 24 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

The Four-State Solution

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

No one who claims to be an advocate of a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict is really being honest about it.

If they were, they’d admit that a Palestinian state already exists, more than one in fact.

75% of Mandatory Palestine, which was promised for the Jewish state, was ripped away and given to the Hashemite invaders, eventually being renamed Jordan.

Some 80% of Jordan’s citizens self-identify as Palestinian.

So despite the Hashemite occupation and dictatorship, there already exists a fully-functioning Jew-free Palestinian state with a self-identified Palestinian majority.

But put Jordan aside, then there’s Gaza.

100% Arab ruled. 100% self-identified Palestinian population. Zero Jews.

Under blockade? True, but only because of their ongoing terrorism. The blockade would end tomorrow if they stopped trying to destroy Israel today.

So Gaza is the second Palestinian state currently in existence.

But for the two-staters, those two existing Jew-free Palestinian states just aren’t enough.

They want Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to be the third Palestinian state.

The autonomous Palestinian Authority, with zero Jews, already acts as a State in those areas it controls, but the two-staters want it bigger, much bigger. They also want the Jewish People’s holiest sites to be included in this third Palestinian state.

And then finally, there’s little Israel, with it’s 20% Arab population, into which some two-staters want to import/flood with even more self-identified Palestinians, to eventually outnumber the Jews, creating a fourth Palestinian state.

So enough with the two-state solution, because we already have more than that.

It’s time you two-staters admit that what you really want is a four-state solution, or maybe not even that – perhaps all you really want is no-Jewish state solution.

JoeSettler

The Definition of Insanity

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

The photo above is of Gazan trucks loaded with bags of cement after they entered Gaza from Israel at the Kerem Shalom crossing, on May 23, 2016.

On May 22, Israel lifted a temporary ban imposed last month on private imports of cement to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, just around the time the latest terror tunnels were found. Those terror tunnels were built with cement sent into Gaza and diverted by Hamas.

Israel accused Imad al-Baz, the deputy director of the Hamas economic ministry of the latest diversion of supplies.

What’s going to stop these cement shipments from being diverted?

The answer is unclear.

Photo of the Day

Hamas Exploits Easing of Gaza Blockade to Smuggle More Weapons

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Palestinian terrorist groups continue to exploit Israel’s relaxation of Gaza’s naval blockade to smuggle weapons meant to strike the Jewish state, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, said in a Times of Israel report.

Israel’s Navy detained a Hamas-affiliated operative last month, accused of smuggling weapons and outlawed building materials into the Gaza Strip. Under interrogation, Salim Jamal Hassan Naman admitted that he helped smuggle in “materials used in the production of rockets, like fiberglass resin,” Shin Bet said.

In April, Israel allowed Gaza’s boats to operate up to nine nautical miles from the shores, extending the permitted distance from six miles. Naman was detained after deviating beyond the new threshold. Though the operative is most closely aligned with Hamas, he acknowledged that the smuggling operation involved supplying weapons to various Palestinian terrorist organizations.

Naman also revealed Hamas’ plans to exploit Gazan fisherman as a “camouflage” for the group’s terrorist operations.

“The information revealed in this interrogation, along with the interrogations of the other Hamas terror operatives who have been arrested recently, reveal another aspect of the numerous efforts made by Hamas in order to prepare itself for advancing its violent terrorist actions. This time, it’s through taking advantage of the relief provided by Israel for the population of Gazan fisherman,” the Shin Bet said.

Hamas continues to focus its efforts on enhancing its terrorist capabilities to confront Israel militarily and terrorize its population. Instead of utilizing the extra nautical miles off the coast to the benefit of Gazan fisherman, Hamas squanders the opportunity to improve the Strip’s economic situation. Whether by rebuilding its underground tunnel infrastructure or exploiting naval smuggling opportunities, Hamas clearly prioritizes its violent Jihad against Israel over the well-being of its citizens

IPT-Investigative Project on Terrorism

In New US – PA Talks on Recovering Debt Ridden Economy, Fingers Point at Israel

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Palestinian Authority Economy Minister Abeer Odeh and US Assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs Charles Rivkin will meet Sunday in Ramallah for talks on developing the PA’s economy. At this point, the PA simply cannot pay its bills and is facing serious problems paying its government employees, from teachers to security forces. According to Trading Economics, in 2014 the PA recorded a Government Debt to GDP rate of 17.30% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Government Debt to GDP in the PA has averaged 18.92% from 1995 until 2014, reaching an all time high of 26.36% in 2007 and a record low of 2.93% in 1995.

The economies of the PA and Gaza strongly depend on their relationship with Israel, so that when the Israelis feel safe to permit documented (and many undocumented) Arab workers into their country, the Arab economy improves. And when there’s a war or an intifada, the Arabs go without.

The Palestine Monetary Authority (PMA) most recent report, from 2014, shows high and rising levels of unemployment, which continued to be one of the main challenges to the economy. In 2014, it rose to 26.9%, compared to 23.4% in 2013. A main contributor was an exceptionally expanding rate in Gaza Strip, where unemployment reached 43.9%, compared to 32.6 percent in 2013, while the same rate declined in the PA from 18.6% to 17.7% during the same period. This rise in unemployment did not stop nominal daily wages from rising across different regions. Yet contradictory inflation trends have created discrepancies in real wage growth, as while real average daily wage for workers in the PA, and Israel and the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria improved by 0.9% and 5.6% respectively, real wages in Gaza declined by 1.5% during 2014.

The PA Arabs’ dependence of Israel was made all too clear this past winter, when The Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) announced the PA and individual Arab municipalities have racked up a debt of close to half a billion dollars which the company could no longer absorb. The debt was split about $400 million to $80 million between the PA and the cities respectively.

In April, the IEC reached a temporary agreement with the PA to put an end to the temporary power cuts it had been imposing on a succession of municipalities, in exchange for paying off a small portion of the overall debt. Meanwhile, the Arab-run Jerusalem District Electricity Company, which owes the IEC $371 million out of the debt, sued the IEC in Israel’s High Court last April, saying the IEC’s behavior constituted “collective and disproportionate punishment” and showed “blatant and harmful disregard for a public that pays its electricity bills regularly.” It also suggested the IEC’s power cuts compromised basic consumer rights to access an essential resource.

“I don’t know of any company that would agree to do nothing about a 1.74 billion shekel ($450 million) debt owed by another company,” IEC chairman Yiftah Ron Tal said at the time. “We weren’t left with any choice. We’re limiting electricity in a proportionate way.”

But the High Court of Justice paid no attention to the complaints of the Israeli CEO, and issued an interim injunction on prohibiting service cuts to the eastern Jerusalem Arab power company.

IEC responded to the ruling with an angry statement: “The Israel Electric Corporation respects the High Court ruling but demands the issue over the growing debts of JDECO which reach 1.4 billion shekel ($360 million) be resolved quickly. JDECO debts continue to grow to an astronomic figure; like any other business, it is the legitimate right and the responsibility of IEC to take the necessary measures to resolve a problematic debt which has been a burden for all Israeli electricity consumers.”

Israel’s ambivalence about collecting the debt from the Arabs in both Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem and Gaza has produced a reluctant and ineffective method of getting the money from the taxes and VAT Israel collects on Arab wages and products. As a result, Israel was rebuked this month by the World Bank for ruining the PA economy by, essentially, withholding money Israel is rightfully due.

The new World Bank report estimates that the Palestinian Authority is losing $285 million in revenues annually under the current economic arrangements with the Government of Israel. The report states that these revenues could significantly ease the Authority’s fiscal stress. As was to be expected, there is no mention in the condemning report of the half billion dollars in free power Israel has poured into the PA.

“If revenue losses are mitigated, this can reduce the 2016 fiscal deficit to below $1 billion, and narrow the expected financing gap by more than 50 percent,” Steen Lau Jorgensen, World Bank Country Director for West Bank and Gaza said in a press statement.

In other words, if only Israel agreed to take the half billion dollars from Israeli power consumers and let the PA Arabs continue to receive free electricity, an Arab economic miracle would be just a matter of time.

The report also cites irregularities on Israel’s part in conducting revenues clearance, which have not been systematically implemented. The revenue sharing arrangements, outlined by the 1994 Paris Protocol, through which the Government of Israel collects VAT, import taxes and other revenues on behalf of the Palestinian Authority, and shares them on a monthly basis, have not been systematically implemented.

The majority of the estimated fiscal loss results from tax leakages on bilateral trade with Israel, and undervaluation of PA imports from third countries. In other words, the Israelis have been running a messy tax and payment system, as well as a messy debt collection system.

JNi.Media

Turkey’s President Erdogan ‘Waiting for Israel’ to Respond on Gaza

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is waiting for Israel to grant permission for Turkey to construct energy and water transfer infrastructure in Gaza, according to a report published Saturday (May 21) in the Hurriyet Daily News, quoting an earlier broadcast.

“I expect that something will happen this month. It’s my wish that we’ll reach a conclusion in a short time,” Erdogan told a news broadcast by A Haber on May 19.

“In regards to [lifting] the embargo, they say, ‘We are open to allowing goods into Gaza through Turkey, but we are not open to those coming from places other than Turkey.’ But the problem is not only this. We have some other demands,” Erdogan said.

The Turkish leader said Ankara has demanded that Israel allow provision of continuous energy to Gaza, “as the enclave has only three to four hours of electricity per day,” Erdogan said.

He added that Turkey’s proposal to provide electricity to Gaza through a naval vessel was rejected by Israel.

“But they proposed something else: We told them that we are ready to construct all the infrastructure [of energy]. They viewed the proposal positively,” Erdogan said.

The second demand, he said, was that Turkey be allowed to provide water to Gaza either by desalinating the sea water or by drilling wells. “There are positive developments with regard to this issue as well,” he said.

Turkey’s third demand from Israel, said Erdogan, was regarding construction projects in Gaza.

“Our third offer is about building schools and hospitals. The construction of a hospital has been completed and necessary equipment is being provided. ‘These must be done,’ we told them. ‘If these would be done, then we’ll immediately appoint ambassadors and improve our relations in the right direction.’”

According to the report, Israeli and Turkish diplomats are expected to meet in the near future to finalize an agreement between the two countries.

But it’s impossible to know what the final outcome will be: Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party is set to meet at a nationwide Congress on May 22 to choose a new prime minister.

Incumbent Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, hand-picked by Erdogan, resigned his position earlier this month.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Seizes Thousands of Grenade Springs, Explosives, Weapons Headed for Gaza

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

by Michael Bachner

Israeli police have seized pipe bombs, ammunition, and thousands of springs for grenades and rockets in two separate raids over the past day, thwarting plans to attack Israelis both within Israel and from Gaza.

The suspected pipe bombs and ammunition were found during a search of a house in the Israeli-Arab town of Qalansuwa, located in central Israel, police announced Thursday. The objects were seized and the residents, a 25-year-old man and a 32-year-old woman, were arrested and were set to appear in court in Petach Tikva on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the police and Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency announced Wednesday that they thwarted an attempt to smuggle 60,000 spring kits for hand grenades, mortars, and rockets into Gaza. The springs were loaded onto a car by a man in his twenties from the Bedouin town of Rahat, after he fraudulently purchased them from an Israeli factory that works with the military. The materials were hidden in a warehouse in the community of Ami Oz, near Gaza.

According to the police, the man was planning to smuggle the springs into Gaza to be used by Hamas and other local terror organizations. He allegedly planned on smuggling 500,000 springs in total, police said. He has been arrested, along with two other suspects, and taken for questioning.

“Had the smuggling attempt succeeded, the springs would enable the terror organizations to produce 60,000 hand grenades, mortars, and rockets to be used against Israeli citizens,” said a police spokesperson. “Our activities against the attempts to smuggle weapon parts and materials into Gaza through the Erez and Kerem Shalom crossings are ongoing.”

“This is another blow to Hamas’s enormous efforts to produce weaponry while it abuses Israel’s humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza,” said Ofir Gendelman, the prime minister’s official spokesperson to the Arab media.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Update: Rocket Siren in Southern Israel ‘False Alarm’

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Residents of southern Israel were sent running to shelters Wednesday night when they heard the Red Alert air raid siren warning them of an incoming rocket attack in Gaza Belt region communities.

However, Israeli defense officials notified media within the hour that apparently the sirens that activated in numerous Gaza border communities had been triggered by mistake, and the alert was a “false alarm.”

Reportedly there were sounds of explosions on the other side of Israel’s southern border in the northern Sinai Peninsula, but it is not clear whether the two incidents were related.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rocket-attack-on-israels-southern-gaza-border/2016/05/18/

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