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May 25, 2016 / 17 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

ISIS Declares ‘State of Emergency in Raqqa’ But Reasons Are Unclear

Monday, May 16th, 2016

The Da’esh (ISIS) terror organization has reportedly declared a “state of emergency” in its de facto capital in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa but its reasons are not clear.

Although the U.S.-led coalition forces believe that recent battles have caused the group’s anxiety, it’s more likely the prospect of the arrival of the Mother Ship that has worried the leadership.

A coalition spokesperson said the “declaration of state of emergency is a response to recent military progress by Syrian government forces in the area. “We have seen this declaration of emergency in Raqqa, we know this enemy feels threatened, as they should,” U.S.-led coalition spokesperson Col Steve Warren told CNN. “They see the Syrian Democratic Forces, along with the Syrian Arab Coalition, maneuver both to their east and to their west. We’ve had reports of ISIL (Da’esh/ISIS) repositioning both their combat capabilities, and we’ve seen reports of them repositioning personnel … either within the city of even out of the city.”

The report followed news that Da’esh had killed at least 35 soldiers from the Syrian armed forces, losing 24 fighters in the process, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

But social media and news reports that Da’esh believes it may soon come under siege in Raqqa, its self-declared capital, may not have much to do with the months-long strikes by coalition forces at all.

It turns out that after a decade of CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, Al Qaeda appears to have decided to relocate its headquarters to Syria. According to a report quoting unnamed U.S. and European intelligence and counter terror sources in Sunday’s edition of the New York Times, Al Qaeda recently sent a delegation of its top veterans to Syria to start the process of creating a new headquarters for the terror group.

The Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al Nusra (Al Nusra Front) terrorist organization broke its cooperative agreement with Da’esh in 2013. The group led radical Islamists in splitting from moderate opposition forces and was involved in the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad from the start of the civil war.

Since that time, various groups have begun to set up independent emirates – small sovereign states – within the geographic area that once was referred to as Syria.

Senior Al Qaeda operatives have also now been told to lay the groundwork for establishing an emirate there, possibly through Al Nusra, which has yet to formally declare one.

Al Qaeda supreme leader Ayman al-Zawahri released his first audio statement in months about two weeks ago, giving his blessing to the venture.

The presence of a consolidated Al Qaeda headquarters in Syria would, of course, mean a bloody battle indeed between the group and Da’esh, which broke off as a splinter group from Al Qaeda.

It would also mean a massive infusion of new blood for Al Qaeda from a region bursting with passionate youths looking for something to do and somewhere to go, other than school and the prospect of a “regular life.” It would provide an alternative for those who are filled with Islamic fundamentalism, hatred and bloodthirsty excitement, but who just can’t deal with the mindless brutality of Da’esh — which has been the only option up to now.

Such a headquarters, strategically located in the heart of the Middle East near the borders of Turkey, Iran and Russia between Europe, Africa and North America, spells the start of a brand new nightmare for the next American president, regardless of who it is.

For Israel, it means unrelenting vigilance along the northern and southern borders.

Da’esh is already ensconsed in the Sinai Peninsula, where its affiliate, the former Ansar Beyt al-Maqdis, now known as “Sinai Province,” has firmed up its bond with Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization. Since the start of this month, the IDF has already uncovered two Hamas cross-border terror attack tunnels leading from Gaza into Israeli territory. Each time, the military engineers were forced to carry out their search under mortar fire directed at them by terrorists from Gaza.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF AquaShield™ Blocking Hamas’ ‘Blue Tunnel’

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Alongside the efforts to discover and destroy the Hamas terror tunnels leading into Israel, the IDF has been following the terrorist organization’s efforts to improve its ability to attack Israel using commando divers, Army Radio reported Sunday. According to the report, during the 2014 Gaza conflict, Hamas underwater special forces managed to reach Israeli shore at Zikim beach, between Ashkelon and the northern Gaza Strip, and engaged IDF forces in a battle.

916 Navy Squadron Commander Lieutenant Colonel Liav Silverman, told Army Radio about the “blue tunnel” threat, as those attempts to enter Israel from the sea are referred to. “The blue tunnel, this ‘underwater tunnel,’ is extremely challenging defensively,” he said. “Any attempt by the enemy to develop the capacity for diving and sailing, is challenging above and under water.”

Following Operation Protective Edge and the terrorist encroachment at Zikim Beach, the IDF has invested in strengthening the communication and cooperation between the Navy and the Infantry Gaza Division. Deputy Commander of the Northern Brigade, Lieutenant Colonel Asaf Hamami told Army Radio, “We want civilians to be able to come here. We don’t want to disturb the civilians, as far as we’re concerned they should continue with their lives. When we see tourists and swimmers here, in Banana Beach, it means I fulfilled my mission. We’re not influenced by fear, we will know how to protect them, our forces are in the area.”

Hamami says you can see the Hamas seals training, and the size of the unit has increased significantly since the summer of 2014. “We see them in training, their entire range of training, including diving and shooting.”

Both officers believe in the military’s ability to come up with a technological response to the challenge from the sea. The IDF has developed a system called AquaShield™, comprised of numerous sensor systems on the bottom of the sea across the water border with Gaza. Silverman expects these systems to provide a reliable alert “as soon as the enemy dives down and even earlier, when it is just getting organized to go diving.” He notes that this includes “an enormous investment in weapons on our vessels, which enable me to reach and deal with any situation involving divers or swimmers.”

In September 2014, DSIT Solutions, a subsidiary of Acorn Energy, announced today that “a leading Mediterranean navy” has placed an order for its AquaShield™ Diver Detection Sonar (DDS) system, which guards the underwater perimeter of strategic coastal assets.

DSIT’s Shield family of underwater security systems includes three main types of diver detection solutions: the AquaShield ER™ SDV Detection Sonar (SDS), the AquaShield™ Diver Detection Sonar (DDS) and the PointShield™ Portable Diver Detection Sonar (PDDS). All of the systems support fully automatic operation with high probability of detection and low false-alarm rate.

JNi.Media

Those Poor, Confused Palestinians

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Those poor, confused Palestinians!

A new poll shows that most Palestinian Arabs say the Palestinian Authority (which rules over them) is to blame for their troubles, and not Israel (which stopped occupying them more than twenty years ago).

For some reason, the Palestinians refuse to toe the party line that New York Times reporters and American Jewish radicals keep feeding them.

Those reporters and radicals seem to have swallowed the myth that the Palestinians are still “occupied” by Israel, and that the Israeli “occupation” is the source of all their problems.

But those poor, confused Palestinians look around and don’t see any Israeli soldiers and therefore refuse to go along with everyone else and pretend the Israelis are still there.

The new poll was conducted by the Palestinian organization AWRAD among 1,200 Palestinian Arabs in late April. It has a margin of error of three percent.

Residents of Judea/Samaria were asked: “How do you view the overall situation in the West Bank since the appointment of the Hamdallah government in 2013?” That’s Rami Hamdallah, who became prime minister of the Palestinian Authority under chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Some 44 percent responded that things have “worsened.” So they were asked a follow-up question: “If worsened, who do you believe is responsible?”

The possible answers were “Israel,” “the Palestinian Authority,” “Hamas,” “International donors,” or “Don’t know.”

Now, if these Palestinians had been paying close attention to what their American supporters were telling them, they would have known that the “correct” answer is Israel.

Diaa Haddid, the Times’s new correspondent in Jerusalem, and Thomas Friedman, its longtime foreign affairs columnist, are constantly claiming that Israel is “occupying the Palestinians” and that Israel is responsible for whatever goes wrong in the territories.

J Street and the S. Daniel Abraham Center push the same line. And just last week, a group of American novelists, led by Michael Chabon, an outspoken Jewish critic of Israel, toured parts of Judea/Samaria in preparation for their forthcoming book on the “50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation” – you know, the occupation that Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin ended in 1995.

These American advocates of Palestinian statehood don’t seem to know that the Israelis withdrew in 1995 from the cities where 98 percent of the Palestinians live. But the Palestinians know it because they actually live there, and they know the Israelis are gone. They know there are no Israelis left in Ramallah. Or Bethlehem. Or Nablus (Shechem). The list goes on and on.

And because the Palestinians know they are occupied by the Palestinian Authority, most of them find it impossible to rail (to the pollster) against Israel’s nonexistent occupation.

Only 28 percent of the poll’s respondents answered that Israel is mostly to blame for their troubles. Fully 59 percent said the PA is to blame. (Five percent blamed the donors; 7 percent had no opinion.)

Oops!

Those politically incorrect poll results were particularly inconvenient for the Chabon-led gang of traveling novelists. Just last week, Chabon, a self-appointed “expert” on the situation after returning from a few days in the territories, was telling anyone who would listen about that awful Israeli “occupation” which he imagines he saw.

“The occupation [is] the most grievous injustice I have ever seen in my life,” he announced.

AWRAD, the aforementioned pollsters responsible for the survey, should be receiving an angry letter from Chabon’s publicist any day now. After all, if AWRAD keeps asking Palestinians simple, logical questions, there is a real danger the respondents might continue telling the truth about the Palestinian Authority occupation regime. And if they do that, sales of Chabon’s “Israeli occupation” book are likely to be meager indeed.

Michael Chabon might even be compelled to return to writing fiction – although some might say he never stopped.

Stephen M. Flatow

Bill Clinton: ‘I Killed Myself to Give Palestinians a State’ [video]

Saturday, May 14th, 2016

Campaigning on Friday for his wife, Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, in Ewing Township, NJ, former president Bill Clinton told his audience “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state,” Politico reported.

When a person in the audience yelled, “What about Gaza?” Clinton responded, “She and the Muslim Brotherhood president of Egypt stopped the shooting war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.”

“She said neutrality is not an option,” the person in the crowd yelled back, meaning the US would always be on israel’s side.

“Depends on whether you care what happens to the Palestinians, as opposed to the Hamas government and the people with guided missiles,” Clinton said.

“They were human beings in Gaza,” the same audience member said.

“Yes, they were,” Clinton replied. “And Hamas is really smart. When they decide to rocket Israel, they insinuate themselves in the hospitals, in the schools, in the highly populous areas, and they are smart. They said they try to put Israelis in a position of either not defending themselves or killing innocents. They’re good at it. They’re smart. They’ve been doing this a long time.”

The audience responded with cheers to the Clinton comeback.

Then Bill Clinton said, “I killed myself to give the Palestinians a state. I had a deal they turned down that would have given them all of Gaza.”

And then some.

David Israel

Netanyahu: ‘On This Day, All Israel Feels the Agony’

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Wednesday morning at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl military cemetery, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told families who lost their loved ones defending the nation lf Israel, “on this day all of the People of Israel feel this agony with you.”

In Israel, he said, “The boys and girls who defend our nation along with their families should feel pride” for their sacrifice to their country.

But he also said, “We members of the bereaved families do not need Memorial Day to remember our loved ones who fell… on this day the entire nation is with us in an embrace and with love.”

Netanyahu himself has lost more than one person who was dear to him. His older brother Yoni was killed in the line of duty while on a mission rescuing hostages at Entebbe airport. He also told those gathered at Mount Herzl about two comrades killed in action: Zohar Ben Linik and David Ben Hamo.

The prime minister said his memory of his friend David dying of his wounds as he held him in his arms will never leave him. Decades later, when he went to visit David’s family in Be’er Sheva, he saw how his mother had left his friend’s room exactly as it had been on the day he died, he added.

Netanyahu also spoke about a more recent encounter with twin girls whose father fell in battle. When asked what they remembered of their father, they broke down crying, unable even to speak. “We cried with them,” he said.

“Throughout my years as prime minister, whenever I get the news of a soldier who falls, my heart breaks with the family,” he said. Netanyahu vowed to do “everything possible” to bring home the remains of Israel’s two lost soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin. The bodies of both are being held hostage by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization.

Hana Levi Julian

Drop in a Bucket: US Giving Gaza $50 Million in Aid Over 5 Years

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

The United States on Monday announced a $50 million aid program for the Gaza Strip, AP reported. The money, distributed by the US Agency for International Development in partnership with Catholic Relief Services over five years, will be used for humanitarian assistance and jobs creation. Unemployment in Gaza is estimated at more than 40%.

Donald A. Blome, the US consul general in Jerusalem, said the money will help pay for “the dire needs that are obvious in Gaza.”

No one in the State Dept. on this occasion addressed the green elephant in the tent, namely the fact that Hamas has squandered millions of its assets on war preparations against Israel, while Gaza has become today’s metaphor for poverty and neglect.

According to the World Bank’s fact sheet, economic activity in Gaza remains volatile and almost entirely dependent on aid and remittances, with growth rates determined by (i) the level of aid inflows and (ii) the degree of trade restrictions. Gaza’s final consumption is 1.6 times larger than its GDP, and its investment a mere 5 percent of GDP, predominantly in housing. Estimated exports are very low at less than five percent of GDP. Gaza’s GDP per capita is half of that in the PA, and its poverty rate is roughly twice as high as those in the PA.

According to the PA Ministry of National Economy, Gaza has sustained damages of roughly $3 billion since initiation of the 2014 conflict with Israel.

The Palestinian Food Industries Union estimates that Gaza’s food industry has suffered damages estimated at around $150 million, with many factories in inoperable condition. The largest factories that used to provide up to 70% of local market needs were destroyed and will face a slow rebuilding process, as access to construction materials will likely be limited.

Data collected by the PA’s Gaza Coastal Municipal Water Utility (CMWU) and Palestinian Water Authority (PWA) indicates a significant shortage of water services and a severe public health threat to the population of Gaza.

The energy crisis in Gaza has been identified as a primary constraint to economic development even prior to the current conflict. The capacity of Gaza’s only power plant (GPP) was restricted by limited fuel availability due to the trade restrictions and a poor distribution network. The GPP remains inoperable to date and power outages of up to 18 hours a day continue in most areas across Gaza. This has exacerbated the already challenging electricity sector situation in Gaza. Electricity network damage of an estimated $42.5 million has been sustained.

So the $50 million over 5 years from the US should work miracles.

David Israel

Shin Bet Reports Indicted Terrorist Gave Detailed Info on Hamas, Gaza Tunnels

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

A Gaza terrorist with the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigades was indicted Tuesday in Be’er Sheva District court, the Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency revealed in a statement cleared for release at midday.

The terrorist was arrested on April 6 after infiltrating into Israel, some two years after operating as a member of the military wing of Hamas.

During the investigation he revealed detailed information about the terror group’s continued efforts to develop its intricate tunnel network from Gaza.

The operative was recruited shortly before Israel’s counter terror war with Hamas in the summer of 2014, according to the statement released by the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet). He told interrogators he underwent military training, dug tunnels and participated in ambushes against Israeli soldiers.

According to the Shin Bet, most of the operative’s training was focused on infiltration, entering buildings and detonating explosives, as “part of the expectation that the next war would take place inside Israeli territory.”

In particular the terrorist shared detailed information with his interrogators about Hamas attack tunnels, including the locations of shafts inside Gaza and the escape routes to be used by the terror group’s elite during emergencies.

Details of the techniques, tools and work procedures of the tunnel diggers were also revealed. “For example, they are not permitted to exit the tunnel in their work attire or before they shower and change their clothes inside the tunnel in an attempt to camouflage their activity,” the statement said.

The operative had stored explosives at his own home in Jabaliya, and participated in planting explosives in and around tunnels to ambush Israeli soldiers in case of enemy infiltration.

The Shin Bet added in its release that the terrorist is only one of several currently being questioned about the Gaza tunnel system and the operating procedures of Hamas.

Michael Bachner of TPS contributed to this report.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shin-bet-reports-terrorist-in-custody-provided-detailed-info-on-hamas-gaza-tunnels/2016/05/10/

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