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November 28, 2014 / 6 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Gaza’

US Secy of State John Kerry Returns to Region

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to return to the region by the end of the week.

Kerry will participate in a conference focused on “rebuilding Gaza,” to be held in Cairo on October 12, according to State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki.

Last Thursday the Palestinian Authority unity government called on world leaders to provide $4 billion to rebuild the enclave.

Many areas were battered by Israeli air strikes targeting weapons factories and hidden rocket launchers – deliberately placed by Hamas and other terror groups among Gaza civilian residential population centers.

Israel launched its counter terror Operation Protective Edge in July to stop the constant rocket fire from Gaza terrorists who aimed their missiles and other ordnance at civilians in southern Israeli towns and cities.

The United States last month said it would boost the rehabilitation effort in Gaza with an additional $71 million in emergency aid to the region, bringing its total funding since the start of the war to more than $118 million.

But although the PA unity government claims that $1.9 billion is needed for public and private infrastructure repais, and $1.2 billion is needed for “reactivating economic productivity,” these figures need to be scrutinized.

First of all, there is still a highly complex network of smuggler tunnels that lies beneath the ground level of Gaza. Much of the construction material previously allowed in to the region for the purpose of building “infrastructure” — as well as houses, hospitals and other badly needed structures — obviously was instead instantly diverted to military use. Billions of dollars gone astray there.

Ditto for other “dual use” supplies such as metal piping and other materials redirected instead towards the manufacture of missiles, rockets and mortar shells.

Endless funds have been poured into the enclave by the United States, European nations and other well-meaning, wealthy donors – only to leave Gaza residents as poor as ever, forever dependent upon the self-perpetuating United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

“Basic necessities like food, clean water and fuel remain in short supply throughout the territory,” the State Department warned in a statement last month. But legitimate desalination plants and sewage treatment plants were not built in Gaza because the materials with which to build them were always being stolen by the ruling Hamas terrorist organization for use in building up its military structure.

Fuel, food and clean water has been shipped in on a weekly basis throughout the entire summer and right up to the current day, via the overland crossings from Israel, even at times under rocket and mortar fire. Each was documented by the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT). So basics are not the issue. Perhaps the State Department should question Hamas.

When the shipments do not go through, it is because the ruling Hamas terror group chooses to block the transfer. When they do go through, they “sometimes” never make it to the warehouse — or when they make it to the warehouse, they are sometimes “redistributed” elsewhere rather than to their intended target families.

Hamas is known to steal supplies and keep its own fighters fed, first and foremost. It has no problem starving its citizens for the purpose of winning a pitiful international “photo op.”

That, without a single murmur from Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority unity government that partners with Hamas and whose own Fatah military wing, the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, joined in with the rocket fire aimed at Israel from Gaza during this summer’s war.

By the way, the first meeting of the PA unity government is set to be held this Thursday in Gaza.

PA Unity Govt Cabinet to Meet in Gaza

Monday, October 6th, 2014

Months after having formed, the Palestinian Authority unity government is about to hold its first Cabinet meeting in Gaza.

A senior PA official in Ramallah, Deputy Prime Minister Mohamed Mustafa, made the announcement Monday, saying the Cabinet will meet on Thursday for the first time.

The meeting is strategically scheduled to be held just three days prior to an international donors’ conference.

The PA is hoping to raise $4 billion for development in Gaza, which lost many of its buildings this summer during Israel’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge.

Israel was forced to bomb numerous residential and commercial neighborhoods due to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad policy of hiding among Gaza’s civilian population in order to use the residents as human shields when

The Disappointing 4+6 Abbas Anniversary

Monday, October 6th, 2014

October 1, 2014 began the 100 day-countdown to a peculiar anniversary on the world stage. January 10, 2015, is the tenth anniversary of Mahmoud Abbas winning a four-year term as President – and then never leaving.

Abbas’s first four years (while actually sitting and ruling) watched him lose all control of the territories he was supposed to govern:

One year after his election, in 2006, his Fatah party was trounced in governmental elections. The rival Hamas party took 58% of the 132 seats in parliament. A year later, in 2007, Hamas evicted Fatah from the Gaza Strip. Abbas and Fatah have had virtually no presence there since then. Abbas showed no ability and/or willingness to stop missile attacks from Gaza into Israel (1777, 2807 and 3716 projectiles in 2006, 2007 and 2008, respectively). Those rockets killed 12 people and injured 1500. In 2008, Israel finally took action. Abbas complained about Israel’s action even though he was then elected leader of the territories that did nothing to halt the attacks.

No matter. The world seemed to love this “moderate” leader. After his term expired in January 2009, no new elections were held.

For six years, the world has continued to pretend that Abbas had any legitimacy as an elected leader. For six years, the world ignored the will of the Palestinian people who had repeatedly shown in every poll, their preference to elect Hamas, a rabidly anti-Semitic rival party to Abbas’s Fatah party. The world has been complicit in holding up elections which would confirm that there is no possibility for peace at this time. For six years Abbas did nothing to deliver peace. Rocket fire from Gaza only slowed down because of Israel’s 2008 Operation Cast Lead (858, 365 and 680 projectiles fired from Gaza at Israel in 2009, 2010 and 2011, respectively). When missiles jumped to 2273 in 2012, Israel needed to step in for Abbas’s failure, with Operation Pillar of Defense. Rocket fire dropped 95% in 2013 after the Israeli action. However, missile fire, the murders of teenagers and terror tunnels into Israel brought Israel to “quiet” the situation with Operation Protective Edge in 2014 – again, due to Abbas’s either failure or unwillingness to provide security for Israel and Gaza. For six years, the world has pushed Israel to sit and negotiate with Abbas, the straw man with neither legitimacy nor power to deliver peace. The United Nations gave Abbas the main podium to address the General Assembly, even though he was simply an acting-President for a non-country. He used those opportunities to repeatedly lie about Israel, lie about Jews in the Holy Land and lie about his performance. And why not? The world actively engaged in the charade.

Perhaps the United Nations would like to produce a 10th anniversary stamp to honor the accomplishment of holding onto a four-year presidential title for so many years, in the face of a public that does not want him. Perhaps a fitting image would be a combination of the UN’s 1981 Palestinian stamp, together with a scarecrow: the inalienable right to be a Palestinian President.
scarecrow-stamppalestine-stamp

No Promotion for IDF’s Inspiring Givati Commander

Monday, October 6th, 2014

One of the most inspiring IDF army commanders to have led his troops into battle against the terrorist enemy during Operation Protective Edge this summer is being left off the list to be promoted, according to the Hebrew-language NRG news website.

Givati Brigade Commander Col. Ofer Winter was in line to be promoted to the rank of Brigadier General, but it is apparently not to be, according to the report — at least, not this year — due to two controversial incidents that took place during his wartime leadership this summer.

One cause of the holdup is rumored to be a letter of inspiration he wrote to the men under his command on July 9, just prior to entering Gaza.

The other is allegedly his involvement with the implementation of the Hannibal protocol in Rafah in response to the murder-abduction of Lt. Hadar Goldin by Hamas terrorists during a supposed cease-fire in Gaza.

Hamas is still holding the body parts of Goldin’s corpse it captured during the attack, for some ghoulish ransom, such as the exchange of who knows how many live Palestinian Authority terrorist prisoners held in Israeli jails. Or perhaps in trade for a huge number of dead Muslim terrorist bodies. After the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah returned the bodies of two kidnapped and murdered IDF reservists to Israel in exchange for both.

The letter of inspiration Winter wrote for his soldiers during Operation Protective Edge this past summer contained Biblical references, making it a controversial item for secularist groups but one that was lauded by others.

Deputy Religious Services Minister Eli Ben-Dahan praised the commander for the letter of encouragement sent to soldiers under his command. Winter wrote of their ‘great merit’ to be at the forefront of the battle against “the terrorist enemy that dares to curse, blaspheme and scorn the God of Israel.”

Summing up his trust in his men, his commanders and in his Creator, the Givati Brigade commander wrote, “In the name of the fighters of the IDF and in particular the Brigade and the commanders, may the verse be fulfilled for us that ‘the Lord your God goes with you to fight for you with your enemies to save you,’ and we will say ‘Amen.’ Together – and only together – we will win.”

Winter’s letter stirred and inspired many by its deep and abiding faith but was slammed by at least two secularist groups who insisted Israel can not mix religion with military affairs.

Nevertheless, the vast majority of lawmakers spoke out in support of the commander, saying his call for Divine aid in time of battle against an implacable enemy was entirely appropriate.

As far as his implementation of the Hannibal protocol, that issue is being considered separately along with all other such matters by the IDF investigating committee.

Netanyahu: Talking to Hamas Means How Israel Should Commit Suicide

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared that negotiating with Hamas means nothing except how to commit suicide, and Hamas proved his point this morning with another “cease-fire” rocket explosion that was heard by Gaza Belt residents but denied by the IDF.

He said in an interview to be aired Sunday by CNN, “As long as Hamas remains committed to our destruction, what’s there to negotiate with? The method of my suicide or what?”

The Jewish Press reported here earlier this morning that a rocket was launched but did not land in Israel, prompting the IDF to declare it was a “false alarm” and leading the public to think that there was no rocket launch. IDF spokesmen insisted there was no rocket fire, but residents in the Gaza Belt reported they heard an explosion.

The military’s definition of a “false alarm” is a bit fuzzy.

Spokesman told The Jewish Press Sunday, “The term means that an alarm was activated, though without any launch from Gaza.  It is important for me to emphasize that each incident is a case of its own and any more information about a ‘false alarm’ is not connected to the use of the term itself.”

In clearer language, “false alarm” means there was no rocket launch – unless there was a rocket launch.

Nearly half a dozen rockets have been launched since the end of the recent cease-fire, and all of them fell in Gaza or in the sea. Several times, the IDF confirmed the launch along with stating that the Color Red siren was a”false alarm.” It appears the IDF spokesmen’s response depends on the political atmosphere.

The last cease-fire may or may remain the last one in a war that was escalated in 2005, immediately after the Sharon government expelled all Jews and withdrew all IDF personnel from to ensure safety for southern Israel.

In return, Hamas placed all of Israel within range of missile attacks until the temporary “cease-fire” two months ago that was to be followed by negotiations for a long-term halt in violence.

No one, except for perhaps Catherine Ashton and John Kerry, believes that will ever happen. Israel’s demand that Hamas dis arm makes great headlines for the vast majority of Israeli who are fed up with Hamas’ countless cease-fires that have proven to be nothing more than an opportunity for its terrorists to prepare to attack deeper into Israel in the next round.

Whether Hamas is testing rockets or simply is trying to prove its point that it can attack Israel if it wants, Sunday morning’s launch is a reminder that the cease-fire will last only as Hamas does not see any political, diplomatic or military gain in attacking again and suffering a devastating response from the IDF.

A stronger but less vocal reminder is Hamas’ continued attempts to smuggle by sea material for manufacturing weapons.

The Israeli Navy has foiled several maritime smuggling attempts in August, according to a Navy commander quoted by The Jerusalem Post Sunday. He told the newspaper, “We continue to see attempts to smuggle weapons or material to build them. The sea is a very convenient platform for smuggling. The terrorists still have one big smuggling tunnel, and it’s called the Mediterranean.”

An IDF Intelligence Unit Lieutenant Colonel told the Times of Israel, “Hamas will not relinquish its military capabilities or its military wing. The demand that it subordinate its military wing to the PA is unrealizable. For now, the talk of ‘one weapon,’ or ‘one authority’ is just talk.”

Update: Gaza Rocket Test Sets Off Red Alert in Israel

Sunday, October 5th, 2014

At 8:25am Sunday morning the Red Alert siren went off for Israeli communities along the Gaza border, indicating a possible rocket launch from Gaza.

Some residents in the area report hearing an explosion.

Channel 2 reported that the Gazans were testing a new rocket. They launched it and it landed within the Gazan borders.

The IDF spokesperson says it was a False Alarm, which appears to mean the siren went off because of the launch, but the siren shouldn’t have gone off, because it wasn’t going to hit in Israel.

At 8:54am An initial JewishPress.com inquiry with the IDF as to their exact definition of “False Alarm” in this case received the answer, the matter is “under investigation”.

9:14am The IDF verbally told JewishPress.com that “False Alarm” means the rocket was not going to hit an area in Israel that needed a siren, and therefore the siren should not have gone off. It does not mean that the IDF is confirming or denying whether or not there was a rocket launch within Gaza.

10:12am JewishPress.com received a written, updated definition of “False Alarm” from the army:

The term means that an alarm was activated, though without any launch from Gaza. It is important for me to emphasize that each incident is a case of its own and any more information about a ‘false alarm’ is not connected to the use of the term itself.

—-

8:38am Initial report: Rocket launched from Gaza, landed in Gaza. Possibly training or testing on their part.

Channel 2 reports that the Gazans were testing a rocket.

8:32am Still waiting for confirmation one way or another from the army.

8:25am Rocket Alert – Kissufim x2

The Red Alert rocket alarm just went off twice, for Kissufim, Nirim, Ein HaShlosha along the Gaza border.

No update yet if it is real or a false alarm.

Egypt Kills Commander in Ansar Beit al-Maqdis Terror Group

Thursday, October 2nd, 2014

Egyptian soldiers have killed a field commander in the most dangerous terrorist group in the country, the Al Qaeda-linked Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.

Egyptian army personnel confiscated two tons of explosives from a tunnel connecting Sinai to Gaza during the battle in which Mohammed Abu Shatiyeh was killed. Shatiyeh was behind the abduction of seven Egyptian soldiers last year.

The shootout took place just south of Rafah, along the Egyptian border with Gaza.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egypt-kills-commander-in-ansar-beit-al-maqdis-terror-group/2014/10/02/

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