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July 1, 2015 / 14 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Operation Protective Edge’

Lapid: The UN has Lost Its Mind

Monday, June 15th, 2015

The United Nations is “obsessed” with criticizing Israel, and “always assumes the Jews are to blame,” Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid has accused. His comments from a Yesh Atid party gathering were reported by the Hebrew-language site NRG.

The UN is expected to release a report in the upcoming days criticizing Israel over the 2014 Protective Edge operation in Gaza.

Lapid noted that the UN had chosen not to investigate the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teens at the hands of Hamas immediately prior to the operation. “If that’s not hypocrisy, I don’t know what is,” he said.

Overall, the report “is yet another example that the UN has lost its mind,” Lapid declared. Instead of investigating Israel, he continued, the UN should investigate itself. “How did it lose its honesty, its moral standards, the basic values of fairness for which it was created?” he asked.

He noted that Israel took extensive measures to protect Gaza civilians, including giving advance warning of military operations to allow civilians to leave affected areas and setting up a field hospital near Gaza.

Operation Protective Edge was launched in response to the Hamas terrorist group’s use of tunnels from Gaza to Israel to attack Israeli communities, and to near-constant rocket attacks. During the operation Hamas repeatedly attacked IDF troops in Gaza, leading to heavy fighting at several points near the Gaza border.

Following the operation Hamas accused Israel of war crimes, and claimed that nearly all of the dead were civilians – a claim repeated in the international media, despite strong evidence that at least half of those killed were combatants.

Two recent reports on the conflict have found that Hamas committed war crimes against both Israel and the civilian population of Gaza, and that Israel went above and beyond the law in its attempts to prevent civilian casualties.

IDF Took More Precautions in Conflict than NATO Member Armies

Monday, June 15th, 2015

By Zack Pyzer

A group international military experts submitted a report to the UN Friday, concluding their analysis of Israeli and Palestinian actions during the 2014 Gaza conflict. The group of eleven independent experts are experienced authorities on military conflict, as well as the laws of armed conflict. Among the investigators were ex-chiefs of staff and generals of NATO member states, as well as politicians from the US, Italy and Spain.

Col. Richard Kemp, the UK’s former commander of forces in Afghanistan, spoke to the Tazpit News Agency on Sunday.

He reflected on the main argument of the report, which stated that the IDF went to great lengths to keep to the rules of conflict, and in some instances went beyond the call of duty.

“The members of the group know of no other army that takes such great steps to avoid civilian casualties, including their own,” Kemp told Tazpit, saying that only a small number of the panel were familiar with Israel before the investigation.
Kemp, who has himself been to Israel numerous times in recent years, explained his colleagues were in general surprised at what they found. “Israel actually goes further than most to stick to international law and protect non-involved civilians,” he contended.
Expanding on previous criticism of the organization, Kemp said that many of the misconceptions among the experts were due to misinformation coming from the UN itself.
Kemp’s also hoped that the UN’s forthcoming publication of a report on last summer’s 50-day conflict would take the group’s report into account.
The UN’s controversial Human Right’s Council (HRC) is set to release its report on the conflict at the end of the month. The HRC have often been described, including by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon, as disproportionately focused on putting Israel under the spotlight.
More vocal critics have denounced the HRC, who have had Saudi Arabia, Russia and China on its council in recent years, as completely biased against Israel.
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also published its detailed report into the conflict on Sunday, presenting their findings to the Prime Minster, Benjamin Netanyahu.
The report claims that Gazan victims of the 50-day conflict were roughly 50 percent armed combatants, at current estimations.
The ratio puts Israel at the forefront of minimizing civilian casualties in urban warfare, ahead of coalition forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and other western armies.
Regarding the MFA report, Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting, “Israel and the IDF are committed to the rules of international law even when fighting terrorist organizations that intentionally violated those rules.”

Smuggled Diving Suits Intercepted on their Way to Gaza

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

On Monday, the Shin Bet, Israel’s security service, aka the Shabak, intercepted an attempt to smuggle diving suits into Gaza.

It was part of a series of attempts to smuggle weapons and equipment into Gaza.

In last summer’s war with Gaza, Hamas terrorists attempted to infiltrate into Kibbutz Zikim by sea. The IDF intercepted the terrorists (see videos below).

The diving suits were part of Hamas’s attempt to build up it’s naval terror unit.

In April, security officials found hidden welding electrodes hidden in marble slabs, and materials used for making metal weapons hidden in dry food packages.

The could be used for making rockets and other weapons.

Hamas is not the only smuggler of terror paraphanalia.

Earlier this week customs officials at Ben Gurion Airport intercepted a shipment of silver rings with ISIS slogans on them on their way to Ramallah.

Amnesty Intl Charges ‘Palestinian Armed Groups’ With War Crimes

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

In a 62-page report released today (March 26, 2015), Amnesty International accused Palestinian terror groups of committing war crimes against Israelis and Gazans.

The report followed a similar fiery document published late last year that accused Israel of committing similar crimes during its counter terror Operation Protective Edge against Gaza terror groups in summer 2014.

During that conflict, the agency says in its new report, “Palestinian armed groups fired thousands of rockets and mortars at Israel, in many cases directed towards Israeli civilians and civilian objects, in violation of international law… The conduct of Palestinian armed groups, including firing from residential areas and using indiscriminate munitions that cannot be accurately directed at a military target, also endangered civilians in Gaza.”

The report, “Unlawful and Deadly: Rocket and Mortar Attacks by Palestinian Armed Groups During the 2014 Gaza/Israel Conflict” can be accessed by clicking here.

The report “does not address the summary killings of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip by Hamas forces for alleged ‘collaboration’ with Israel during the July/August 2014 conflict, which will be the subject of a forthcoming report,” the author writes.

Ditto for “Israeli violations, including attacks that constituted war crimes.”

The report minimizes the damage inflicted by Hamas on its people during the seven years after the bloody militia war it started with its Palestinian Authority government “partner” and rival, the Fatah faction.

In fact, the report altogether ignores the fact that Hamas ignited the coup, seizing control of the region and murdering anyone it believed posed a threat to that authority.

Amnesty also ignores the trigger for the “seven years of Israeli blockade” – that is, the terror group’s cross-border kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, who was held captive in the enclave for more than five years.

The agency instead writes benignly that Hamas “took over Palestinian governmental institutions in the Gaza Strip” and how that blockade “had already inflicted a severe cumulative toll on infrastructure, health systems and all aspects of life in the territory. The 1.8 million Palestinians living in the Strip could not leave, as the borders were sealed” except for transfer of limited medical patients, the agency writes plaintively, “and no place inside the Strip was truly safe. There are no bomb shelters or warning systems to help protect civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

But why should they need them?

If Israel is not attacked, it has no reason to retaliate, and has no desire to waste expensive, hard-to replace ammunition. Why is no place inside Gaza “truly safe” ? Could it be that Gazans are not safe under the administration of the Hamas terror administration that they chose to elect as their leadership?

“Several UN schools sheltering displaced civilians came under attack,” the report notes.

It did not explain that each of those buildings either also housed a cache of missiles or was being used as a rocket launch site in order to prevent a response by IDF soldiers tasked with silencing the rocket fire on Israeli civilians.

The majority of Israel’s 8.3 million citizens – and all 2.8 million Palestinians living in the West Bank – are now within range of at least some of the rockets held by Palestinian armed groups in Gaza, the report noted.

“In each of the three major Gaza/Israel conflicts over the last six years … the circle of fear has widened and the number of civilians who have suffered disruption, displacement and trauma has increased.”

More than a million Jewish Israelis were displaced from their homes, and the entire quarter-million Bedouin population of the Negev was placed at terrifying risk. The former seemed to be of little concern to Amnesty, which pointed to “bomb shelters, advanced warning systems and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defence system” which helped limit civilian casualties.

Security Task Force Warns US to ‘Take Heed’ from 2014 Gaza War

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

A special U.S.-based task force created to study the 2014 Gaza War fought last summer by Israel against the enclave’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization is warning the United States to pay heed to the lessons learned in the conflict by the IDF.

Commissioned and supported by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the task force said in a new report the strategy employed by Hamas during the war is a new type of threat.

“The new face of war,” the report called the Hamas style of fighting last summer, saying it threatens to “undermine the effectiveness of conventional militaries, endangers civilians in irregular conflicts and distorts the international legal structure,” the report said.

“The 2014 Gaza War featured a hybrid non-state force – Hamas – that perhaps uniquely combined four elements: • Acting with reckless disregard for civilian safety, if not deliberately putting them in harm’s way; • Distorting internationally-recognized legal standards to exploit legal protections afforded civilians and the casualties caused by this exploitation; • Portraying its opponent, through an information operations campaign, as legally culpable for what were lawful, defensive responses to aggression; and • Securing advantageous pressure from the international community on its opponent to terminate legitimate defensive military action.”

“American policymakers and military leaders should take heed and act to avert the potentially serious consequences for U.S. national security,” the task force warned.

Clinton in Tough Spot Over Attending Bibi’s Speech

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

On Tuesday, Feb. 11, the Emergency Committee for Israel released a letter to Hillary Clinton, urging her to attend the Israeli Prime Minister’s speech to Congress, scheduled for March 3.  She may have to, given a new poll and pro-Israel competition from an unlikely source.

ECI, chaired by the Weekly Standard’s William Kristol, is a staunchly pro-Israel educational organization, which sees its goal as educating the public about “the serious challenges to Israel’s security and about what elected officials in this country are doing and should do in order to meet those challenges.”

Clinton is scheduled to be in Washington on March 3, the same date as Bibi’s speech, as ECI noted.

CLINTON COULD HAVE BEEN EXPECTED TO BEG OFF THE HIGHLY-POLITICIZED SPEECH

The former Secretary of State, New York Senator, and putative Democratic candidate for U.S. President, is being honored on March 3 by Emily’s List, a Washington-based advocacy group for pro-reproductive rights female Democratic candidates. It is the 30th anniversary event for the organization. Clinton will deliver the keynote address at the gala and will receive the “We are EMILY Award.”

Clinton’s Emily List event will be held at the Washington Hilton, just four miles from Capitol Hill. The gala program begins at 7:00 p.m. Netanyahu’s address to the joint session of Congress is likely to begin at 9:00 p.m., in order to reach the west coast after normal business hours.

Clinton is in a pickle.

Ordinarily she could have waved off the invitation by explaining the geographic confluence actually made it impossible for her to attend Netanyahu’s speech to the joint session of Congress – much as of course she would love to see her good friend Bibi. She could have said that the timing does not make it convenient, it makes it impossible, as both events are in the evening and after all, she can’t duck out of an event at which she is both being honored and is giving the keynote address.

She would be expected to beg off at least in part because the Netanyahu speech has become a hot potato. It became highly politicized by the White House rouse that it was “blindsided” and “slapped in the face” because Bibi had not “informed” them about his plans to visit – something we all learned later was exactly the opposite of the truth.

And now the Congressional Black Caucus has chosen to turn the speech into a racial issue, claiming Netanyahu coming to speak despite President Obama’s opposition is a form of racial “disrespect.”

But there is an additional factor. It’s called Elizabeth Warren.

Warren, the former Harvard Law Professor and current Democratic U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, has been promoted by the far left as the “only” real progressive Democrat. She’s pro-Occupy Wall Street and anti-banks. Warren is considered the darling of the populist movement, and she’s also the “other woman” Democratic candidate, which makes her a bit of a nightmare for Hillary Clinton.

Warren has denied she is running for president, but so did President Obama two years before his first run, and a brand-new poll shows Warren pulling ahead of Clinton.

ELIZABETH WARREN (D-MA) STRONGLY SUPPORTS ISRAEL’S SELF-DEFENSE

And, in what may come as a shock to many, Warren is very pro-Israel, and says so even in home state events when confronted by anti-Israel constituents.

One such event took place on Cape Cod several days before the  Aug. 26 ceasefire ending Israel’s 2014 Operation Protective Edge.

Everyone expected that local issues would dominate Warren’s “office hours” meeting at the colorful Barnstable Town Hall. But several times constituents sharply criticized Warren’s support for Israel.

Warren was asked to defend her vote in favor of  additional U.S. funding for the Israeli missile defense system known as Iron Dome, she was asked to condemn Israel for civilian casualties resulting from its operations in Gaza and she was asked to support cutting off funds to Israel if there is any more building in the “settlements.”

Biased Schabas Resigns, Must Scrap Tainted ‘Investigation’ and Report

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

It was announced late on Monday, Feb. 2, that the man named last year by the United Nations Human Rights Council to head an investigation and craft the official UN report on Israel’s conduct during last summer’s war has resigned due to repeated allegations of bias against Israel.

The investigation, however, is over and the report is due to be published next month; that means all of the substantive work is complete.

If the allegations against Schabas’s bias against Israel were so strong and enduring that he was forced to resign, then the entire investigation and report is tainted.

The investigation must begin anew, with an unbiased official overseeing the entire enterprise. That is the essence of the statement issued by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, following the resignation of William Schabas.

Here is Netanyahu’s statement:

After the resignation of the committee chairman who was biased against Israel, the report that was written at the behest of the UN Human Rights Council – an anti-Israel body, the decisions of which prove it has nothing to do with human rights – needs to be shelved. This is the same council that in 2014 made more decisions against Israel than against Iran, Syria and North Korea combined.

It is Hamas, the other terrorist organizations and the terrorist regimes around us that need to be investigated, not Israel, which this past summer acted in accordance with international law as it defended itself against the Hamas war criminals who used residents of Gaza as human shields to fire at Israeli citizens. Israel will continue to defend itself against the terrorism that is being directed against it on all fronts.

An excellent compilation of the many charges of bias against Israel by Schabas is available at the UN Watch site.

Schabas had said how eager he was to get the Israeli prime minister “in the dock” for human rights violations long before he was chosen to head the very team charged with conducting an impartial investigation.

What is less well known is that while a Ph.D. student and active member of the radical group SDS at the University of Toronto, he was charged and convicted with violating human rights and freedoms by physically obstructing a visiting Harvard professor from speaking on campus. Schabas was found guilty on four charges and was kicked out of the university for several years as the result of his actions.

So this human rights violator who is biased against Israel should not get off with only resigning from the investigations committee. He never should have been chosen in the first place, and the report concocted under his leadership must be scrapped. The entire process must begin anew.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/schabas-resigned-due-to-bias-so-report-tainted-start-over/2015/02/03/

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