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August 27, 2016 / 23 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

Putin, Netanyahu, Talk Peace Process on Phone

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke on the phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, the Kremlin press service reported, adding that the conversation was initiated by Israel.

“The leaders exchanged opinions on Middle East settlement issues and topical aspects of the general situation in the region. They agreed to continue active Russian-Israeli contacts at different levels,” the report said.

On Wednesday August 17, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, Putin’s Special Representative for the Middle East and Africa, discussed prospects for advancing Palestinian-Israeli peace talks with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Amman. Bogdanov also delivered a personal message from Putin to Abbas.

The Russian Foreign Ministry later issued a statement saying “the talks were meaningful and trustful. The sides considered prospects for advancing the Palestinian-Israeli settlement in strict compliance with the principles of international law. They also discussed the restoration of Palestinian national unity along the PLO’s political platform designed to create an independent Palestinian state, which would live in peace and security with its neighbors, including Israel.”

To be clear, in its current situation, the PA only has two neighbors: Israel and Jordan, so it’s a relief to read that it plans to live in peace with both. This considering the fact that Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, also has only two neighbors, Israel and Egypt, and it is maintaining a perpetual state of war with both.

JNi.Media

UN Outraged over ‘Extrajudicial Execution’ by PA Cops

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

The United Nations and apparently all the PA Arab factions have reacted with outrage to a report of PA security officers who arrested Ahmad Izz Halaweh, the main suspect in a shooting that killed two policemen, and beat him to death in prison Tuesday morning. The UN denounced the killing as an “apparent extrajudicial execution.” Hamas said the killing marked a new height in the PA security forces’ collaboration with Israel. The PLO, for its part, accused Hamas of making political hay out of the incident, in order to “mislead the Palestinian people.”

According to Arab media reports, Halaweh was arrested in predawn raids in the Old City of Shechem, Samaria, on Tuesday and hauled to the Juneid security compound, where he was attacked and severely beaten by security officers. Akram Rujoub, the Governor of Shechem, later reported his death. At that point, a very graphic photo of Halaweh after being attacked, showing his seriously damaged face, neck, and shoulders, was shared on social media.

Halaweh, the most senior leader of the PLO’s militia Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in the Shechem area, was the third civilian to be killed by PA security in retaliation for Thursday’s shooting, Arab media reported. Two other civilians were shot dead on Friday during raids in the Old City, three more were arrested on Sunday, and five remain in hiding.

James Heenan, head of the UN Human Rights Office in Judea and Samaria, released a statement Tuesday afternoon saying the UN is “extremely concerned about the apparent extrajudicial execution,” and welcomes “the prompt announcement of an investigation into the killing by Prime Minister Hamdallah, and urge the Palestinian authorities to hold independent investigations into the string of events since last week that have now seen five people lose their lives.”

Heenan wants the security officers involved in the “unlawful killings” to be “brought to justice and be suspended, pending the completion of the investigation.” He noted firmly that “there is no place for such acts in a State of Palestine that seeks to abide by international human rights law,” and warned that “Our Office will follow this case closely.”

According to Jack Khoury, writing for Ha’aretz, the much-anticipated October 8 municipal elections, in which Hamas is likely to participate and score a significant victory, have inflamed the already contentious Arab cities in the PA. The latest eruption of violence in Shechem is getting intense coverage in the Arab media inside and outside the PA, because of its high death toll (for this part of the Middle East — elsewhere the death of five Arab civilians might be considered a lull in the violence). However, Khoury suggests that, regardless of the upcoming vote, armed gangs and the PA security services have been fighting each other in Shechem for some time.

It turns out that the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades in Shechem have evolved into criminal gangs, and are fighting police over control of the casbah and other profitable city neighborhoods.

Armed warfare is spreading across the PA, Khoury writes, with gangland shootings in several Arab towns and the refugee camps, leading to the conclusion that PA security forces have long since lost control of the situation. In other words, as Shechem residents cited by Khoury are saying, what is being presented as an ideological warfare between political factions in the PA, is, in fact, turf war between criminal enterprises.

JNi.Media

Catch 22: Letting Hamas Partake in PA Free Elections Could Topple the PA

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

According to Israeli security apparatus estimates, there’s a significant chance that Hamas will win the municipal elections in Judea and Samaria and in Gaza by a landslide, severely weakening the PLO dominated Palestinian Authority and compromising Israeli security. The municipal elections are set to take place on October 8, in close proximity to the international peace conference in Europe, which means Israel is less likely to step in to block the vote, even if it wanted to. Also, doing so would thwart the only back to back democratic event to have ever existed in the territories Israel conceded in the Oslo Accord — that the 2012 municipal elections be followed in an orderly and legal fashion by the 2016 municipal elections.

However, according to Israeli media, many in the PLO leadership are leaning on PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to postpone or cancel the municipal elections, fearing a repeat of the 2006 parliamentary elections in which Hamas defeated the PLO and a year later forcibly exiled Abbas and his PA from Gaza.

It should be noted that the Oslo Accords forbid the participation of terror organizations in PA elections, but Hamas has already set a precedence in 2006, and today’s PA is even weaker and less popular than it was ten years ago. Abbas may not be able to push the date, much less cancel the vote, because such a move could result in riots across the PA.

The city of Shechem is a clear example of the PA Chairman’s loss of control over the security situation in much of the area under his authority. According to Israeli media, the PA no longer rules in Shechem, which is mired in anarchy that could spread to other cities, most likely to Hebron, already considered a bastion of Hamas. Shechem today is being ruled by about 100 armed gangsters, belonging to both political and criminal groups. This month there have been bloody confrontations between PA security forces and the armed locals, resulting in four dead, two of them police.

Senior PLO sources have told Israeli media that Mahmoud Abbas has lost interest in local security issues under his care, and the man in charge is his chief aide, Tayeb Abdel-Rahim, who also controls the intelligence reports reaching Abbas’ desk.

Hamas has recently published a propaganda video showing the Gaza Strip as a kind of Paradise, with large parks, luxury buildings, a sassy nightlife, and shopping areas. It also features Gaza residents holding up signs saying, “Thank you, Hamas.” Will PA voters fall for this propaganda? Probably not. They will not vote for Hamas because they are unaware of the poverty and destruction that permeate the Gaza Strip, they’ll vote for Hamas because they perceive it as more anti-Israel and less corrupt than the PLO.

Israeli pundits believe the big winners from a Hamas win in the PA would be Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) and Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi), who would benefit from the decisions of alarmed Israeli voters. Which is why Prime Minister Netanyahu should be invested in making it harder for Hamas candidates to win in the PA. Mass arrests of Hamas activists could be the way to go — risking international condemnation, naturally, but too much might be at stake for the Israeli PM to care.

JNi.Media

Iron Dome Anti-Missile Defense System Deployed in Sderot

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

The IDF has deployed Israel’s short to mid-range Iron Dome anti-missile defense system in Israel’s “deep south” in the wake of Sunday’s attack on Israel from Gaza. The move could signal concerns over a possible uptick in attacks from the south.

An Iron Dome anti-rocket battery was set up Monday in the city of Sderot, located less than a mile from the Gaza border.

The moves follow the latest rocket attack against Israel by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization. A short-range Qassam rocket landed Sunday in a residential section of the city, between two houses.

Miraculously, no one was physically injured in the attack.

Israeli Air Force fighter pilots immediately retaliated in response to the attack, bombing terrorist targets within the enclave and wounding at least five operatives in the process.

Hana Levi Julian

As IDF Resumes Attacks On Hamas in Gaza, Israel and Hamas Trade Barbs

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

The IDF resumed targeting Hamas infrastructure on Sunday night, striking approximately 50 targets in the northern Gaza Strip, after a rocket was fired from Gaza yesterday and landed in a backyard in the nearby Israeli town of Sderot.

“The attack on this terrorist infrastructure is in response to ballistic rocket attacks carried out on the city of Sderot earlier today, which constitutes a threat to the security of Israeli citizens and harms the sovereignty of the State of Israel,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said in a statement late last night.

Although a rival Salafist organization operating in the Gaza Strip assumed responsibility for yesterday’s rocket attack, the IDF continued to hold Hamas fully responsible for any rockets launched from Gaza towards Israeli communities.

“The Hamas terrorist organization is the sovereign power in Gaza and it shall be responsible for any terrorist incident perpetrated from there,” the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit added.

Meanwhile, the Hamas terrorist organization held Israel responsible for escalating tensions.

“We hold Israel fully responsible for the escalation in Gaza,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. “Israel wants to create a new balance of power in the Gaza Strip.”

An IDF official adamantly denied Zuhri’s charge and told reporters that “we have no intention of escalating tensions, and 1,000 aid trucks are entering the Gaza Strip just today alone.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

5 Arabs Injured as Israel Retaliates Hard Following Gaza Rocket in Sderot

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

On Sunday afternoon, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit the city of Sderot in Israel, no injuries have been reported. In response to the attack, IAF aircraft immediately targeted Hamas positions in the northern Gaza Strip. This was the 14th rocket fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel since the beginning of 2016. But this time, the Israeli response was swift and refreshingly “disproportionate.”

IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement: ”The IDF remains committed to the stability of the region and operated in order to bring quiet to the people of southern Israel. When terrorists in Hamas’ Gaza Strip, driven by a radical agenda based on hatred, attack people in the middle of the summer vacation, their intentions are clear- to inflict pain, cause fear and to terrorize.”

According to Ma’an, the IDF fired missiles into the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun on Sunday afternoon and evening, injuring at least five Arabs. Reports of an air raid over Beit Hanoun emerged at around 10:30 PM, with IAF shelling. Earlier in the day, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip announced that a young Arab man in his twenties was injured as a result of an Israeli artillery shelling targeting a military training ground in Beit Hanoun near the Erez crossing. Local sources later told Ma’an that two other Arabs were also injured, though the details remained unclear.

An Israel air force plane was used to strike the first target, while an Israeli army tank was used to attack the second.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that a rocket fired by an Israeli drone hit a water reservoir and another shell landed in an open area in Beit Hanoun. The Hamas “Palestinian Information Center” reported that a “Palestinian citizen was injured in the face” by shrapnel of an artillery shell. The report quoted local sources as saying that Israeli tanks fired three shells at an agricultural land in the al-Masriyyin neighborhood in Beit Hanoun. Furthermore, the report said Israeli artillery shells landed in the Filistin training ground which Hamas fighters use for military training.

All of the above were signals from Israel’s new Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) that the old “proportionate” retaliation policy whereby a volley of rockets from Gaza that fall mostly in empty fields in Israel is met with a lazy IAF attack, several hours later, against terrorist facilities that had been cleared of their inhabitants well in advance — all that is over.

Liberman is changing the rules in Gaza, and it appears that from now on, a provocation, no matter how small, will be met with a fierce and destructive reaction—last night’s attacks hit some 50 targets—that might change the calculus on the other side as well.

One side benefit of the IAF and tank attacks Sunday was that Abu Obeida, the spokesman for Hamas’ military wing who was supposed to give a watershed announcement on his group’s policy, canceled his planned speech for security reasons.

JNi.Media

Despite Possible Diversion of Charitable Funds to Hamas, Guardian Writer Slams Israel.

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s eponymous blog}

If something bad happens to Jews or the Jewish state there are some, inexplicably, in British media or politics who cannot pass up the opportunity to use it against the former.

Ex-Liberal Democrat MP felt that the Jews hadn’t learned from the Holocaust. When an Egyptian judoka lost to his Israeli opponent in Rio and promptly refused to shake his hand The Economist used the opportunity to attack Israel as being an “apartheid” state.

Now, after the arrest of World Vision’s Gaza director Mohammad Halabi on allegations of diverting tens of millions of dollars to Hamas Dr Dhananjayan Sriskandarajah, secretary general and CEO of CIVICAS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation, uses the arrest as an opportunity to attack Israel’s new transparency law.

This new law obligates NGOs that receive more than 50% of their funding from foreign governments or organisations to report where the funding derives from. It doesn’t restrict their activities at all.

In an age of calls for more transparency this can hardly be classed as controversial especially when there are NGOs whose main objective for operating within the Jewish state is merely to destroy it.

But for Sriskandarajah it seems it is controversial. He sees the recent arrests of Halabi and Waheed al Borsh, a UN worker accused of diverting aid resources to help building a jetty for Hamas, as part “of systematic efforts by Israeli authorities to intimidate and undermine civil society”.

As you can see the link Sriskandarajah provides as evidence of such “systematic efforts” is to an article for Al Jazeera by arch anti-Zionist activist Ben White who once wrote “I do not consider myself an anti-Semite, yet I can also understand why some are”.

One would think that Sriskandarajah would welcome the investigation into and possible long-term incarceration of anyone convicted of such a heinous crime as diverting funds away from mentally ill and physically disabled patients in Gaza to help the Hamas terror organisation build tunnels into Israel from which to murder innocent Jewish Israelis.

Instead, Sriskandarajah merely sees it as “yet another example of states cracking down on civic space.”

World Vision is one of the DEC charities. DEC advertised widely in the UK for aid for Gazans after Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas. Therefore, the British public has possibly been inadvertently duped out of their hard-earned money in to supporting a terror group instead.

However, The Guardian’s headline to Sriskandarajah’s article “Human rights activists are being portrayed as terrorists and foreign puppets” and using a photo of activists claiming Halabi is “a man of humanity” (see above) suggests total innocence on Halabi’s part.

It is, however, very noble of Sriskandarajah to state that “Israeli government has the right to hold to account any individual or organisation found guilty of corruption.” Halabi and al Borsh will have a chance to state their cases and employ lawyers to defend themselves against the allegations.

We await the outcome of these important criminal investigations, and any more that might arise, with interest and so should Sriskandarajah.

Richard Millett

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/guest-blog/despite-possible-diversion-of-charitable-funds-to-hamas-guardian-writer-slams-israel/2016/08/22/

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