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August 23, 2014 / 27 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Obama’

US Condemns Israel for Bombing Terrorists near School

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

The U.S. State Dept. said Sunday it was “appalled” by an Israeli Air Force raid on terrorists near a school run by UNRWA and that Israel must “do more to meet its own standards and avoid civilian casualties.”

Hamas sources, which for some reason remain unquestioned by foreign and even Israeli media,  reported that 10 people were killed in the targeted strike on motorcycle terrorists near the school that was used to shelter approximately 3,000 Gazans.

“The IDF targeted three…Islamic Jihad…terrorists on board a motorcycle in the vicinity of an UNRWA school in Rafah,” the IDF announced.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was “outraged” at the attack on terrorists in a civilian area, as if there is a non-civilian area in Gaza where terrorists are located, called for those responsible for the “gross violation of international humanitarian law” to be held accountable. “This madness must stop,” he said , according to a spokesperson.

The harsh comments from Washington came one day after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu slobbered praise all over President Barack Obama and  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for their statements “regarding Israel’s right to defend itself against rockets and tunnels.”

The Geneva Convention clearly states in Article 51(7) of the 1977 Additional Protocol I, “The presence or movements of the civilian population or individual civilians shall not be used to render certain points or areas immune from military operations, in particular in attempts to shield military objectives from attacks or to shield, favor or impede military operations.”

U.S. State Dept. spokeswoman Jen Psaki, who says what she is told to say, stated Sunday, “The suspicion that militants are operating nearby does not justify strikes that put at risk the lives of so many innocent civilians.”

Suspicion?

Qatar, and Other American “Allies”, are Among the Villains in Gaza

Friday, August 1st, 2014

This article was first published in Gatestone Institute.

American allies, especially Qatar and Turkey, have been providing material support to Hamas, which the United States has listed as a foreign terrorist organization. This support includes financial, diplomatic, media and even the provision of weapons that deliberately target Israeli civilians from behind Palestinian civilians who are used as human shields. It also includes harboring war criminals, especially leaders of Hamas, who direct their followers from the safety of Doha. Without the support of Qatar and Turkey, Hamas would never have started this bloody war that has caused so much human suffering.

Qatar, which is more of a family-owned gas station than a real country, regards itself as untouchable because of its oil wealth. Its residents—they are not really citizens because there are no genuine elections or freedom of speech or religion—are the richest in the world. It can buy anything it wants, including the 2022 World Cup, several American university campuses, some of the world’s greatest art, Al Jazeera television and other luxuries. It can also buy terrorist groups such as Hamas. Indeed, after Iran, which is the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism, Qatar ranks near the top of this dishonor role of death.

Any individual who provides material support to a designated terrorist group such as Hamas commits a crime under the United States Penal law and the laws of several European countries. If Hamas were ever to be convicted of war crimes by the International Criminal Court, as it may well be, any individual who was an accessory to such crimes would be guilty as well. It is entirely fair, therefore, to describe Qatar as a criminal regime, guilty of accessory to mass murder.

In some ways Turkey is even worse. Its erratic prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has incited anti-Semitism, provoked conflict with Israel, provided material support to Hamas and undercut efforts to achieve a realistic end to the Gaza War. He has demanded that his Jewish subjects do his bidding, telling “our Jewish citizens’ leaders” that they must “adopt a firm stance and release a statement against the Israeli government.” He has suggested that if they fail to do so they will not be regarded as “good Turks,” thus raising the old canard of “dual loyalty.”

Erdogan also recently said of Israel that “they always curse Hitler, but they now even exceed him in barbarism.” And he responded to Americans who complain about the “comparisons with Hitler,” by saying “You’re American, what’s Hitler got to do with you,” forgetting that Hitler’s forces killed thousands of American soldiers and civilians. He also conveniently forgets that Turkey, which remained immorally “neutral” in the war against Nazism, provided Hitler with the playbook for his genocide, by its own genocide against Armenians. As Hitler asked rhetorically when planning his genocide: “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” So Hitler matters to America, as it should to Turkey, which still mendaciously denies that it committed genocide against the Armenians.

Yet it was Qatar and Turkey to which Secretary of State John Kerry turned in his efforts to get Israel and Hamas to agree to a cease fire. This not only infuriated Israel, which considers these two countries as accessories to Hamas’ war crimes, but also Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority, which also see Qatar and Turkey as allies of Hamas and enemies of moderate Arab states.

The time has come for the United States and the international community to reassess the status of Qatar and Turkey. These two countries have become part of the problem, rather than part of the solution. A nation that hosts Hamas leaders and finances their terrorism should not also host the World Cup. Nor should American universities send their faculty and students to a nation complicit in terrorism that has taken the lives of many Americans as well as Israelis.

Elkin: Last Time We Listened to the US, Hamas Took Over

Monday, July 28th, 2014

MK Ze’ev Elkin, the head of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said in a YNet interview,

“The international pressure is starting. Last time we listened to the Americans, and we let Hamas participate in the elections. [Then] Hamas took over all of Gaza, and we got terrorism in return. Hamas is a terror organization, just like Al-Qaida, and therefore there is nothing to talk about regarding negotiations.”

Elkin added, “That Hamas is still firing means they aren’t yet deterred, and they haven’t yet reached their breaking point.”

Report: FAA Backed Down After Israeli Threat to Ramp Up

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Israel reportedly told the United States that it understands the rules and the reasoning behind the FAA ban on US flights to Israel, according to Arad Nir of Israel Channel 2.

Israel reportedly told the US that this situation (of the FAA ban) can’t continue, so in order to resolve it, Israel will need to significantly and disproportionately ramp up its attack on Gaza, and put an immediate stop to all the rocket attacks, thus allowing US flight to Israel to resume.

Nir claims the message was understood and the FAA ban was rescinded.

Siren Interrupts Obama-Bibi Convo, As Bibi Does Int’l Rounds

Sunday, July 20th, 2014

JERUSALEM – Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is continuing his extensive efforts to maintain the international support for Israel’s operation against Hamas. Netanyahu met last night (Jul. 19) with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and told him at the start of their meeting: “I don’t think the international community should create any kind of symmetry between a democracy legitimately acting in its own self-defense trying to avoid civilian casualties and a terrorist organization that deliberately targets millions of innocent civilians. I know it’s not the position of France and I think it shouldn’t be the position of anyone in the international community.”

French-led efforts to reach a deal failed to yield results. Fabius, who flew to Israel after talks in Egypt and Jordan, told reporters after meeting with Netanyahu: “Sadly I can say that the call for a ceasefire has not been heard, and on the contrary, there’s a risk of more civilian casualties that worries us.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu also spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and told him about the missiles that were found at a UN school in Gaza. Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Hamas is hiding rockets in schools and firing them at Israeli schools and noted that Hamas is using schools, residences, mosques and hospitals in order to launch rockets at Israeli civilians. He added that since Hamas is using innocent civilians as human shields for its terrorist activities, it is responsible if civilians are inadvertently hit.

Earlier on during Friday Netanyahu spoke with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and asked him to publish photographs showing the munitions that were hidden in a UN school in Gaza and which were discovered yesterday. Netanyahu added that Hamas conceals ammunition in schools and fires it at schools in Israel. Netanyahu stressed again that there is no symmetry between a murderous terrorist organization and a moral and democratic state that is under attack by missiles and tunnels. He said that Israel regrets any inadvertent strike on Palestinian civilians, whereas Hamas intentionally fires at millions of Israeli civilians. Qatar will host a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today in an attempt to reach a ceasefire agreement.

Later on Friday evening, Netanyahu spoke with US President Barack Obama. During their conversation a siren was heard as a result of missile fire from Gaza to Israel and the Prime Minister explained that this was the reality in which millions of Israelis have been living recently. Netanyahu told US President Obama that Hamas was using the residents of Gaza as human shields, as was seen yesterday when munitions were discovered in a UN school in Gaza, and added that, therefore, Hamas was responsible for injuries to the residents of Gaza. Netanyahu further thanked US President Obama for America’s support of Israel’s right to defend itself and for the partnership in developing the Iron Dome system.

Speaking to reporters after the conversation, Obama said, “We discussed Israel’s military operation in Gaza, including its efforts to stop the threat of terrorist infiltration through tunnels into Israel. I reaffirmed my strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself. No nation should accept rockets being fired into its borders or terrorists tunneling into its territory. In fact, while I was having the conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu, sirens went off in Tel Aviv.”

Obama also said expressed concern about “the loss of more innocent life. “And that’s why we’ve indicated although we support military efforts by the Israelis to make sure that rockets are not being fired into their territory, we also have said that our understanding is the current military ground operations are designed to deal with the tunnels,” he said. He noted that Secretary of State John Kerry “is working to support Egypt’s initiative to pursue that outcome. I told Prime Minister Netanyahu that John is prepared to travel to the region following additional consultations.”

In general, Israel is so far enjoying strong international support for its efforts to defend itself from Hamas terrorist aggression.

Israel Says ‘To Hell with PR’

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Foreign media already are running over  each other with unconfirmed Hamas claims of dead children and instant analyses that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to send ground troops into Gaza precludes bloodbath.

Israel has everything to lose and nothing to gain by standing pat and continuing to gamble that Hamas will not score a direct hit a crowded mall, school or factory while the terrorist regime’s policy of using human shields thwarts the Air Force’s ability to rid Gaza of terrorists and storerooms of thousands of rockets and missiles.

Hamas has nothing to gain from a ceasefire, which would strengthen the hand of its rival Fatah faction, headed by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“Operation Death Wish” is how The Jewish Press described Hamas large-scale attacks on virtually all of Israel, and by all accounts, Hamas has lived up to the name.

If it was counting on Netanyahu to be too afraid to order ground troops into Gaza, it again was mistaken.

If it was counting on the international community to stop Israel, it again was mistaken.

Israel will not win many compliments from foreign media and from supposedly friendly countries, with the possible exception of Canada.

President Barack Obama has been more or less quiet since Israel launched the Protective Edge counter-terror campaign 10 days ago.  He has opposed a ground operation, but Israel no longer considers him as its de facto Secretary of Defense.

Hamas’ decision to bomb try to explode rockets in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and even Haifa finally got the message across to the Israeli government to stop playing footisie.

After a decade of sustaining approximately 15,000 mortar shells, rocket and missile attacks and  after retaliating only enough to draw a ceasefire until the next round of attacks, the government now is ready to admit it is “kill or be killed.”

Hamas’ best weapon right now is the international media. After Wednesday’s raid of a Gaza beach used by terrorists but also crowded with children, several of whom were killed in the bombing, Hamas is reporting that children have been killed left and right.

Foreign media lap up the reports without verifying the facts.

However, one offsetting factor was an official announcement by Egypt late Thursday night, “It is all Hamas’ fault” for not accepting a ceasefire. Hamas in effect gave Israel the green light to hit back at Hamas as hard as it can.

Israel’s decision hold up its head and enter Gaza, even if it means a long-term operation and turns Israel into an “occupier,” puts the international media in its place. It can report deaths of women and children, but it cannot disguise the well-documented fact that Hamas is guilty of war crimes by using innocent civilians as shields for terrorists.

The discovery by UNWRA of a Hamas stockpile of weapons in one of its schools Thursday is only the tip of the iceberg.

Hamas will have a harder time ever in trying to win the war for PR, but if that is the only war it can win, it will be left with nothing.

Sympathy from The New York Times, CNN and the U.S. State Dept. is not going to buy Gazans a sack of potatoes.

Prospects Of Peace In Gaza Strip Bleak

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

In his much-publicized latest telephonic conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  American President Barack Obama has reportedly “expressed concern about the risk of further escalation” in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the Gaza Strip  and emphasized the need for “all sides to do everything they can to protect the lives of civilians and restore calm.”  Reports are that  Obama has proposed  ”  to facilitate a cessation of hostilities, including a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement.” French and Russian Presidents Francois Hollande and Vladimir Putin have made similar ceasefire pleas . Earlier, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon had also urged Israel and Palestinian militants to exercise restraint, saying the Middle East could not afford “another full-blown war”.

One, however doubts if such well-meaning suggestions would lead to any positive outcome . Knowledgeable sources say the Palestinian militants’ charter is not for peace and non-violence . As for the Palestinian leadership , it has hardly been interested in a meaningful dialogue for a political solution in  the region. Ever since the Jewish state came into existence in 1948 the successive Israeli political leaderships have appreciated the value of political peace and social harmony and mooted various practical packages aimed at accomplishing the desired objectives . But the Palestinian leadership has invented one or the other reason to reject it . 

One expert observes  the Palestinian leaders have  “rejected several opportunities to establish a Palestinian state and develop Palestinian civil society.”   They fear that “accepting reconciliation would transform the Palestinians … from the world’s ultimate victim into an ordinary nation-state, terminating decades of unprecedented international indulgence;”  it would force them  “into responsibility, accountability and the daunting task of state building.”

Another expert says the Palestinian leaders often moot the partition of Jerusalem. They know it fully well that no Israeli government can ever accept it .  He says that Israel cannot agree to any such proposal for three essential reasons . First, Jerusalem as Israel’s capital holds a spiritual and religious significance to the Israelis.  Over two thirds of Israelis feel that Jerusalem should remain the united capital of Israel. They are opposed to the idea of Israel relinquishing its  control over the Temple Mount , their holiest place in the world.  

Second, Jerusalem  holds strategic importance in controlling the only highway from the coast of the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River Valley, along which Israeli military forces can move with little interference from Arab communities. Jerusalem is the linchpin for erecting a security zone along the Jordan Rift that Israel insists on. If Israel wants to maintain a defensible border in the East, it needs to secure the east-west axis from the coast to the Jordan Valley, via an undivided Jerusalem.

And third, Israel’s Arab minority too has shown its preference for living under Israeli rule.  Many Arabs have moved to the Israeli side of the security barrier being built around Jerusalem. A large majority of Jerusalem’s Arabs oppose being subject to Palestinian rule. Jerusalem under Israel offers the quality of life of a modern Western city while only a few kilometers away, a Third World standard of living and religious intolerance are the norm.”  

The sources say the lack of seriousness for peace in the mind of the Palestinian leadership can be discerned also in its approach towards the culture of hatred and violence promoted by certain extremist elements on its  side.  The Palestinian political leadership has done little to rein in such violent extremist elements. It has rather continued to encourage the incitement of hatred and violence against Israel even though the latter has provided it a lot aid , including security and intelligence , to make the idea of a Palestinian state a reality.

Palestinian Authority leaders have hailed some terrorists as heroes and named public squares after them. They have designed their school curriculum to make children emulate such terrorists.  Recently, Palestinian Authority  President Mohammed Abbas has forged a unity pact with Hamas. The whole world knows it is an offshoot of Muslim Brotherhood. It is a terror organization with a charter to kill all Jews.   Hamas members have made the life of Israelis living in the south miserable as they fire rockets at them.   
The sources add Israel has launched its current operation Protective Edge only after a surge in Hamas rocket fire amid a crackdown on their members (in the West Bank) suspected of having recently abducted and killed three Israeli teenagers . Israel’s targets in Gaza have been militant fighters and facilities alone. Civilian casualties, if any, in the operation have been a result of the Hamas recourse to employing human shield aimed at tarnishing the image of Israel.     line

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/prospects-of-peace-in-gaza-strip-bleak/2014/07/13/

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