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July 31, 2016 / 25 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Operation Protective Edge’

2014 Gaza War Parents Demand Investigation of Operation’s Conduct, High Losses

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Two years after Operation Protective Edge, in which 66 IDF soldiers and five civilians were killed, the bereaved families of the fallen are demanding an independent committee to examine the preparations for the war, the way it was conducted, and the lessons to be learned.

The 32 families on Sunday demanded in a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liberman that a state commission headed by a judge investigate the government’s decision-making process throughout the war.

In their letter, the families mentioned the fact that the Knesset Foreign and Security Committee had been asked to examine the events of the 2014 war and has yet to issue a report. One report that had been produced by the committee was shelved because of the 2015 elections. Referring to the same committee’s publicized intent to renew its investigation, the families argued it made no sense to “reconvene a committee that has already investigated the events and opted not to publish its conclusions.”

“Even if the decision to shelve the conclusions was made by a different person than the current committee head, it would be inappropriate to renew the discussion after such a long period of time, and it could appear as a lack of transparency or exterior pressures which do not belong in an investigation of this scope,” the families wrote.

On the evening of June 12, 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and later murdered in Judea and Samaria by Hamas operatives. Their bodies were discovered on June 30. Israel retaliated with air strikes on Gaza in which 3 Arabs were killed and a dozen injured. Hamas retaliated with rockets that were fired at Israeli civilian centers wounding three people. On July 7, 80 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, and the Netanyahu security cabinet decided to launch a counter-terrorist operation. The IDF bombarded targets in the Gaza Strip with artillery and airstrikes, and Hamas continued to fire rockets and mortar shells into Israel. A cease-fire proposal was announced by the Egyptian government and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on July 14, and the Israeli government accepted it and stopped the attacks on the morning of July 15. But Hamas rejected the ceasefire and the war was renewed. By July 16 the death toll in Gaza had reached 200.

On July 16, Hamas and Islamic Jihad offered a 10-year truce with ten conditions, including lifting of the Gaza blockade and the release of prisoners who were re-arrested after being released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. Israel refused those terms. On July 17, a five-hour humanitarian ceasefire, proposed by the UN, took place. But a few hours before the ceasefire was to start, 13 armed Hamas terrorists emerging from a tunnel on the Israeli side of the Gaza border. The IDF destroyed the tunnel’s exit, ending the incursion.

After the ceasefire, the IDF launched a ground offensive on the Gaza Strip, aimed at destroying the terror tunnels crossing under the Israeli border. On July 20, the IDF entered Shuja’iyya in Gaza City and encountered heavy resistance. Thirteen IDF soldiers were killed, including two Americans serving in Israel. Seven of the IDF soldiers were killed as their armored vehicle was hit by an anti-tank rocket or an improvised explosive device, and three were killed in clashes with terrorists. Three IDF soldiers were trapped in a burning house. In the next 24 hours, three more IDF soldiers were killed in Shuja’iyya.

Shortly after the battle, twenty civilians from Shuja’iyya were shot for protesting against Hamas. Hamas said it had executed Israeli spies.

On August 3, the IDF pulled most of its ground forces out of the Gaza Strip after completing the destruction of 32 terror tunnels. On August 5 Israel announced that it had arrested Hossam Kawasmeh, suspected of having organized the killing of the three teenagers. According to court documents, Kawasmeh stated that Hamas members in Gaza financed the recruitment and arming of the killers.

JNi.Media

Terror Continues 2 Yrs After Hamas Kidnapping & Murders of Naftali, Eyal and Gilad

Monday, June 13th, 2016

Sunday, June 12, 2016 was the second anniversary of the kidnapping and murders of three yeshiva teens in Gush Etzion.

The anniversary follows barely a couple of days after the latest shocking terror attack in Tel Aviv, where three illegal Palestinian Authority Arabs managed to infiltrate and carry out a shooting at the upscale Sarona market center. Four people died and at least four others were seriously wounded.

And then for good measure, in the wee hours of Sunday morning a homegrown American-born Afghan-ancestry terrorist in the United States, 29-year-old Omar Sadiqque Mateen, carried out the worst mass shooting in American history at the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida — killing 50 and wounded 53 more. He held early 30 people hostage till 5 am till a SWAT team finally managed to storm the building, free the hostages and kill the attacker, who had pledged allegiance to Islamic State prior to launching his attack.

But things were not quite this exciting when Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Sha’er and Naftali Frenkel were standing at a hitchhiking post and bus stop not far from their yeshiva when they were picked up by a car driven by Hamas terrorists from Hebron.

Within minutes they realized they were being kidnapped. Gilad managed to call Israel police and frantically whispered into the phone, “we are being kidnaped. Help us.” But as soon as his captors caught on to his actions, the next sounds heard by the dispatcher were curses and yells in Arabic, and then gunshots – most likely the final moments of the boys’ lives.

Their bodies were subsequently found nearly three weeks later, buried in a shallow grave in a field in Halhul, a town about five minutes north of Hebron. The car in which they had been kidnapped was also found, incinerated in a field south of Hebron.

The attack proved to be the start of what ultimately developed into Operation Protective Edge – Israel’s 2014 counter terror war with Hamas in Gaza — and the launch of an era in which one might say the proverbial “no holds barred” has ruled the world of terror since.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Israel ‘Engaging’ With International Criminal Court Over Operation Protective Edge

Saturday, June 4th, 2016

Israel is “engaging” with the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague, according to a report Saturday by the Reuters news agency.

The discussions are a change from the standard Israeli policy of ignoring ICC inquiries or investigations into war crimes claims by the Palestinian Authority against the Jewish State.

This time the claims refer to the conflict with Israel dating back to the summer of 2014, ignited by the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli yeshiva teens by Hamas terrorists.

That attack eventually led to Operation Protective Edge, the 50-day war with Hamas and its associated terrorist allies – Iranian-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Fatah-linked Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades – in Gaza.

ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda told Reuters in a visit at a UN office in Geneva Thursday, “Israel has agreed to engage with my office and we are exchanging information… If a visit to the region is required, or when it’s required, we will also be making that request to visit,” she said.

Israel was accused of committing war crimes because it fired at sites from which Hamas launched rockets at Israeli civilians and soldiers.

But Hamas planted its rocket and mortar launchers among civilians – within the courtyards of schools and hospitals – and stored its ammunition in UNRWA schools.

The United Nations itself was shown the concrete evidence that its own school buildings and medical clinics were being used as weapons storage facilities by Hamas – but that did not stop the international body from accusing Israel of committing war crimes when the IDF attempted to destroy the source of the attacks on Israeli civilians.

Hana Levi Julian

Yet Another Hamas Terror Tunnel Opening in Israel Discovered

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

IDF operations in recent days along and inside the southern Gaza Strip have revealed yet another tunnel, quite spacious, that had been dug by Hamas and leads into Israel, the IDF Spokesperson’s office said in a statement Thursday.

According to the statement, the discovery of the tunnel was the result of extensive, high quality prevention and protection efforts of many different forces led by the IDF Southern Command and the Gaza Division since the end of the 2014 Israel–Gaza war, also known as Operation Protective Edge. The efforts are undertaken on a daily basis to guarantee the peace and safety of Israeli civilians in border communities.

According to the IDF, the tunnel was dug by Hamas in order to carry out terror attacks inside Israel, against Israeli civilians and soldiers.

The process of locating the tunnel was interrupted for two consecutive days by Hamas gunmen who shot at IDF forces in attempt to slow down and frustrate the search effort. The Israeli Air Force last night responded by attacking several Hamas terror targets.

The IDF views the Hamas terror activities as an affront to Israeli sovereignty and a threat against Israeli citizens, and assigns complete responsibility for these violations to Hamas. The IDF plans to proceed with its program of discovering and destroying Hamas tunnels.

David Israel

Netanyahu Tells Soldiers Israel is ‘Island of Stability’ in Middle East

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

“It’s nearly two years since Operation Protective Edge” and it’s the quietest it’s ever been since Hamas took control of the region in 2007, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told troops Tuesday during an unannounced visit with IDF soldiers stationed along the northern Gaza border.

Netanyahu had gone with top defense officials to inspect the site of a large terror tunnel leading from Gaza into Israel that was discovered last month. It was intended for use by Hamas’s elite Nukhba commandos during a strategic attack on Israeli communities by the border.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspects a terror tunnel leading from Gaza under the border deep into Israeli territory.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inspects a terror tunnel leading from Gaza under the border deep into Israeli territory.

“Tomorrow is Holocaust Remembrance Day; 70 years ago, we were like a leaf in the wind with no defense force, helpless as they massacred us, slaughtered us. Today we have a country and we have an army – we have the ability to defend ourselves,” Netanyahu said. “What motivates me is to secure the future of Israel in its land, because for the Jewish People there is no future without our land.”

He pointed out that elsewhere in the region things are not nearly as calm. “We are in the eye of the storm, I want you to know this,” he said. “ A half million people have been murdered around us in Syria, which is collapsing. Iraq has collapsed, neither of them – actually – still exist. Yemen collapsed, Libya collapsed.”

Israel is an “island of stability,” he said.

But a few hours after the prime minister left the area, Gaza terrorists opened fire at IDF soldiers and vehicles operating near the Gaza Belt community of Nahal Oz, close to the security fence along Gaza’s northern border. No soldiers were injured in the attack; however, at least one military vehicle was damaged.

According to the IDF Spokesperson, soldiers from the Engineering Corps were doing routine maintenance on the security fence at the time of the attack. They were working on a section of the fence near the Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaya – the location of one of the toughest battles fought by the IDF against Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.

Hana Levi Julian

IDF Vehicle Damaged in Terror Attack Along Northern Gaza Border

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Just a few hours after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded a visit to the troops in the area, terrorists opened fire at IDF soldiers and vehicles operating near the Gaza Belt community of Nahal Oz, close to the security fence along Gaza’s northern border.

No soldiers were injured in the attack, but at least one military vehicle was damaged.

According to the IDF Spokesperson, soldiers from the Engineering Corps were doing routine maintenance on the security fence at the time of the attack.

The soldiers were working on a section of the fence near the Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaya – the location of one of the toughest battles fought by the IDF against Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.

Hana Levi Julian

Military Miracle of a Terror Tunnel That Ended at Nir Am

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

IDF Southern OC Commander Col. Dudu Bar Khalifa described an unusual incident that he said had taken place during Operation Protective Edge in 2014, while lighting Chanukah candles this week with bereaved families of the brigade.

The video may take a minute to load:

The officer said during Monday night’s candle-lighting ceremony that the tunnel out of which terrorists emerged during the 2014 summer and which nearly succeeded in their attempt to attack Nir Am, was not their original goal. Hamas originally planned to send 60 terrorists into Sderot.

In a related story, Egyptian forces found a tunnel network from Rafah into Sinai built with 40 cm thick iron walls, dug 10 meters underground, according to Ynet.

Egypt says the Hamas-built tunnels were paid for by Qatar.

When the sea water pumped by Egypt along the Gaza-Sinai border, designed to sink the tunnels, didn’t subside in all areas, they realized something must be blocking it. At which point they dug down and discovered a Hamas network of 17 underground iron-walled tunnels.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/military-miracle-of-a-terror-tunnel-that-ended-at-nir-am/2015/12/08/

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