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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Hamas’

Another Hamas Ceasefire Cemented in Future War

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Amid a shaky and uncertain ceasefire with Hamas, Israelis did not celebrate in the streets as Hamas and the people in the Gaza Strip did with fireworks and rifles shot in the air. As long as the force behind the rocket fire and a massive underground tunnel terror network remains in power and is backed by Qatari funds, Israelis remain wary.

An article published in the Institute for Palestine Studies two years ago by The Economist reporter, Nicolas Pelham, thoroughly examines the development of Gaza’s tunnel phenomenon over the past 10 years – a network described as “an underground city,” according to an Israeli military spokesman, Capt. Eytan Buchman in July.

“Much to the misfortune of the people of Gaza, Hamas has invested far more resources in “underground Gaza” than in “upper Gaza” wrote Shlomi Eldar in an article for news source Al-Monitor. “The change and reform that Hamas offered its voters was invested in its tunnels at the expense of the people of Gaza.”

While Hamas’s tunnel infrastructure was once utilized exclusively for smuggling weapons, funds, good and terrorists into the Gaza Strip, Operation Protective Edge revealed that Hamas has expanded its extensive tunnel network into Israel – to attack and kill IDF soldiers and Israeli civilians living in communities on the border.

The IDF estimates that today Hamas invests more than $1- $10 million into the excavation and maintenance of every tunnel, which equals 350 truckloads of building supplies. It goes without saying, that with those materials, Hamas could have invested into the welfare of its own people, using that money to build medical clinics, homes, mosques and schools. Instead, with Israel discovering and demolishing 36 tunnels during the war, Hamas wasted over $90 million with its underground terrorist infrastructure.

Indeed, Hamas has been engaged in the tunnel industry for the past 14 years since its rise to power in 2007. Prior to Operation Cast Lead, the Islamist movement of Hamas oversaw a sophisticated and complex underground tunnel program, utilizing Google Earth to map routes and to stay on course. Each tunnel dug cost anywhere from $80,000 to $200,000 to build. According to Pelham’s published report in 2012, mosque preachers praised the commercial tunnel ventures as “resistance” activity and hailed workers killed on the job as “martyrs.”

“Private investors, including Hamas members who raised capital through their mosque networks, partnered with families straddling the border. Lawyers drafted contracts for cooperatives to build and operate commercial tunnels, which detailed the number of partners, the value of respective shares and the way to distribute shareholder profits,” wrote Pelham.

These ‘partners’ comprised of all sectors of Palestinian society. Pelham cites Abu Ahmad, a taxi driver who invested $20,000 of his wife’s jewelry to partner with nine others in a tunnel ‘venture.’ Within a month, a trade tunnel under joint-partnership could generate revenue to cover its initial construction costs, with Gazan and Egyptian partners and owners splitting earnings equally.

From a few dozen factional tunnels in mid-2005, Hamas’s takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007 ensured that by December of 2008 during Operation Cast Lead, the tunnels now numbered to at least 500. According to Penham’s article, the tunnel trade revenue in 2005 stood at an average of $30 million per year. But after Hamas entered the picture, the tunnel revenue increased to $36 million per month. Meanwhile, the Gaza Strip has remained in poverty with the per capita income in 2011 listed at $1,165.

The Hamas Interior Ministry even established the Tunnel Affairs Commission (TAC) in 2009 following Operation Cast Lead to oversee and regulate tunnel activities as well as ensuring safe working conditions, particularly when 160 children used by Hamas as child laborers, were killed digging underground tunnels.

Iran: “We Will Rearm the West Bank”

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Iran vowed on Monday to “accelerate” its rearming of PA Arabs in Judea and Samaria, one day after it claimed that it shot down an Israeli spy drone over its airspace. “We will accelerate the arming of the West Bank and we reserve the right to give any response,” said General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh in a statement on Sepah News, the official website of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

Hajizadeh, the elite unit’s commander of aerial forces, issued the statement in response to the alleged violation of Iranian airspace by the drone, which Iran claims it shot down near its Natanz nuclear site. Following the incident, the Guards said that the drone was an Israeli-made Hermes 450, a model whose flight range would have allowed it to reach the area. Video of the wreckage was broadcast on Iranian television, and the Foreign Ministry condemned what it saw as a “flagrant violation” of its territorial integrity.

“The Armed Forces, including the IRGC and the Army, are fully prepared to trace and intercept [hostile flying objects] and if such moves are repeated, the aggressors will receive our crushing response,” warned Hajizadeh in Monday’s statement. “We will accelerate the arming of the West Bank, and we think we are entitled to give any response [to the recent aggression] which we deem appropriate,” he added.

Iran has long been seen as a major weapons supplier to Hamas. Numerous medium- and long-range rockets from Syria and Iran have found their way into Gaza, where the terror group has launched some them at Israeli civilians. These include Iranian-made Fajr rockets, as well as several dozen Syrian-produced M-302 rockets, based on Iranian technology, which have the range to strike deep inside Israel. In July one such rocket flew over 100 kilometers to impact in Hadera, a town near the northern city of Haifa, during Hamas’s latest terror war against Israel.

Earlier this year Israeli forces intercepted the Klos C, a vessel from Iran carrying a shipment of 40 M-302 rockets, as well as 141 mortars and some 400,000 rounds of assault rifle ammunition, that it believed was headed for Gaza.

No News Is Bad News in Search for Yeshiva Student Aaron Sofer

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Fears for the life of U.S. yeshiva student Aaron Sofer, have grown along with the number of theories of what happened to the 23-year-old man, last seen hiking with a friend before they became separated near Jerusalem.

Police have not ruled out any motive, but there are at least two signs that he was not kidnapped by Arab terrorists.

ZAKA rescue official Chaim Weingarten told the Kikar Shabbat website, “If he was abducted we would expect to find eyeglasses or an article of clothing but this is not the case.” Earlier reports that searchers found some personal items of Sofer have not been confirmed.

In addition, no terrorist group has claimed responsibility for kidnapping or, God forbid, murdering Sofer, although that does not eliminate the possibility.

His hiking partner, whose identity has not been revealed, reported on Friday that Sofer was missing after they were walking in a heavily wooded area of the Jerusalem Hills, not far from Jerusalem’s western neighborhoods of Givat Shaul and Ein Kerem.

The two yeshiva students were hiking during the traditional three-week break from Torah studies, between Tisha B’Av and Rosh Chodesh Elul, which began Tuesday and Wednesday. The most likely possibilities behind Sofer’s disappearance are that he fell into a ravine, and another theory is that he might have been the victim of a hit-and-run driver.

The annual three-week vacation is often marked with tragic news of those yeshiva students who are not experienced swimmers of hikers. Many of them have become drowning victims, and others frequently get lost, resulting in widespread searches that often require the police or the IDF to call in helicopters to find and rescue them.

The search for Sofer is complicated by the dozens of paths and trails in the forest and by the thick vegetation. Sofer’s family clings to hope that the yeshiva student will be found alive.

“Please bring him back,” said Sofer’s brother-in-law, Yaakov Wicentowsky.

Muslim Extremism; An Open Letter to World Leaders

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Dear World Leaders,

All of you, except for Egypt, and probably France, and the US Republicans, seem to think that this present Middle East war is just that. A war in the Middle East, yet again, between the State of Israel and the Arabs.

This war, in my opinion, is a different war. It is time that European and Western countries realized that Israel is fighting the fight that none of you have the ability or courage to realize might, in the not too distant future, have to be fought in your own countries, against a Muslim population growing exponentially, and breeding, as British, or US or Scandinavian etc. citizens, more and more fanatics and extremists, who wish to take over their countries (yours too) and make the whole world Muslim. Just listen to their polemic about the Jews: that the Jews wish to conquer the world and then what? force everyone (as the Muslims wish) to convert to Judaism? It is the Muslims who desire to attain total control, not only of this region, but also of Europe and the West. We are already seeing this. But Jewish people are not missionaries. They do not believe that the whole world must convert to Judaism for their salvation, or for the salvation of the world. In fact, the whole process of conversion for someone who makes the choice to convert is inordinately hard.

What I wish to convey to these world leaders who think it is not their fight: look to your own Muslim populations. Be careful, for Muslim extremists are not born extreme, they are trained in the art, and you do not know how to prevent it. You ignore them, and ignore the Middle East Hamas extremists at your own peril. I believe that many of you world leaders are paralyzed with fear of a Muslim uprising in your own countries, even more so if the Hamas is not appeased. This terror disables any rational thinking. But you cannot appease ad infinitum. Appeasing just puts out fires, putting out fires delays an inevitable greater conflagration, certainly in the Middle East, and possibly in your own countries. I believe that if you cater to Hamas, you are catering to their desire to annihilate Israel, and in the end you are likely to lose control of your own Muslim extremists, who can only be strengthened by their ability to manipulate world leaders into appeasement.

Do we have here shades of Britain and Neville Chamberlain, who thought he’d averted WWII by appeasing Adolf Hitler? I fervently hope not.

President Obama, I say to you especially, you are very vulnerable to Muslim manipulation. You are vulnerable because you have publicly denied your connection to Islam. They hate you even more because of that denial.

However much I understand your terror, I do not say to you “come to Israel and experience the missile attacks first hand, and then, perhaps you can give us advice.”  I say to you that the threat of Muslim extremists is in your own back yard. Realize how terrible is their hate, not only for Israel, but for moderate Muslims and any other religion except Islam. And realize too, what you are all gaining by Israel’s stand against the Hamas.

Mixed Reactions Among Leaders in Southern Israel to Ceasefire

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Details of the current ceasefire between Israel and Hamas are being revealed, and the agreement obtained by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are generating mixed reactions among the leaders of the South. The majority of the reactions are against the truce, and all voiced skepticism about its viability. Itamar Shimoni, Mayor of Ashkelon, harshly condemned the ceasefire, calling it a surrender to terror: “The residents of the South wanted a decisive victory, but it seems they will not receive it,” said Shimoni, “We wanted to see Hamas begging for its life, while in fact we are witnessing Israel running to the negotiations table every chance it has to do so.” Shimoni further believes that objectives set for Operation ‘Protective Edge’ were not achieved: “We did not lose 64 soldiers and six citizens for this ‘achievement’. We sat in bomb shelters for two months and incurred heavy financial losses, but not for this ‘achievement’. we expected much more. Hamas made demands while using force, and it seems they will get what they demanded. the conclusion is the terror pays.” Shimoi believes that the current ceasefire with Hamas will not last long: “We have already begun to prepare of the next round of violence, and it will be more deadly and violent than what we have experienced up until now.”

Tamir Idan, Head of the Sdot Negev Regional Council, also believes that the current ceasefire is a surrender to terror. relating to the IDF’s refrain from responding to Hamas’ heavy fire on Israel hours before the ceasefire took effect, Idan stated: “The ceasefire is Israel’s agreement by silence that it is possible to fire relentlessly at Israel with no response just before the commencing of the ceasefire, and this is very grave. We demand that the State of Israel and the IDF stand by their vow to respond to every incident in a harsh and meaningful fashion.” Yair Farjun, Head of the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council, believes the ceasefire has little credibility. “We cannot become indifferent and must remain vigilant, at least in the coming days. the government must stand fast and ensure that the terror organization does not achieve any meaningful objectives, while planning to bring down the Hamas regime if the fire is renewed.”

Alon Shuster, Head of the Sha’ar Ha’Negev Regional Council, is the only leader to voice support for the ceasefire. “The great pain caused by the bloody incidents in the past days emphasizes the need to stop the violence in our region. I support the ceasefire and the negotiations that are supposed to commence in its wake,” said Shuster. Despite his support for the ceasefire, Shuster too is skeptical about its practicability. “If the terror organizations renew their fire that will be the sign for Israel’s government to enter into a deep military campaign in the Gaza Strip that will uproot the Hamas regime. if the terror ceases its crimes and cooperates with a disarmament process, the rehabilitation of Gaza will be possible,” concluded Shuster.

Despite the ceasefire, the residents of the south are reportedly reluctant to return to their homes after fleeing them weeks ago. They have little faith that the truce will hold for long, basing their decision not to return on past experience. As the opening of the school year nears they will have make a final decision if to risk relying on the current truce.

Kibbutz Nirim Mortar Victims Identified

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Released for Publication: The first person killed by the 6pm Hamas mortar attack was Zeev Etzion (55) — the “Ravshatz” (IDF security coordinator) for the Eshkol community of Kibbutz Nirim.

The name of the second person killed by the 6pm Hamas mortar attack on Kibbutz Nirim in the Eshkol region yesterday evening is Kibbutz member Shachar Melamed (43). He is survived by hia parents, wife, and 3 children.

Another person remains in serious condition, one in moderate, and 2 were lightly wounded.

May the memories of Zeev Etzion and Shachar Melamed be a blessing.

DIY Rocket – Just Like Hamas

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Make and launch your own rocket at home, just like Hamas!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/video-picks/diy-rocket-just-like-hamas/2014/08/27/

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