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January 18, 2017 / 20 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Peter Lerner’

5 Arabs Injured as Israel Retaliates Hard Following Gaza Rocket in Sderot

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

On Sunday afternoon, a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip hit the city of Sderot in Israel, no injuries have been reported. In response to the attack, IAF aircraft immediately targeted Hamas positions in the northern Gaza Strip. This was the 14th rocket fired from the Gaza Strip at Israel since the beginning of 2016. But this time, the Israeli response was swift and refreshingly “disproportionate.”

IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement: ”The IDF remains committed to the stability of the region and operated in order to bring quiet to the people of southern Israel. When terrorists in Hamas’ Gaza Strip, driven by a radical agenda based on hatred, attack people in the middle of the summer vacation, their intentions are clear- to inflict pain, cause fear and to terrorize.”

According to Ma’an, the IDF fired missiles into the northern Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun on Sunday afternoon and evening, injuring at least five Arabs. Reports of an air raid over Beit Hanoun emerged at around 10:30 PM, with IAF shelling. Earlier in the day, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health in the Gaza Strip announced that a young Arab man in his twenties was injured as a result of an Israeli artillery shelling targeting a military training ground in Beit Hanoun near the Erez crossing. Local sources later told Ma’an that two other Arabs were also injured, though the details remained unclear.

An Israel air force plane was used to strike the first target, while an Israeli army tank was used to attack the second.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that a rocket fired by an Israeli drone hit a water reservoir and another shell landed in an open area in Beit Hanoun. The Hamas “Palestinian Information Center” reported that a “Palestinian citizen was injured in the face” by shrapnel of an artillery shell. The report quoted local sources as saying that Israeli tanks fired three shells at an agricultural land in the al-Masriyyin neighborhood in Beit Hanoun. Furthermore, the report said Israeli artillery shells landed in the Filistin training ground which Hamas fighters use for military training.

All of the above were signals from Israel’s new Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) that the old “proportionate” retaliation policy whereby a volley of rockets from Gaza that fall mostly in empty fields in Israel is met with a lazy IAF attack, several hours later, against terrorist facilities that had been cleared of their inhabitants well in advance — all that is over.

Liberman is changing the rules in Gaza, and it appears that from now on, a provocation, no matter how small, will be met with a fierce and destructive reaction—last night’s attacks hit some 50 targets—that might change the calculus on the other side as well.

One side benefit of the IAF and tank attacks Sunday was that Abu Obeida, the spokesman for Hamas’ military wing who was supposed to give a watershed announcement on his group’s policy, canceled his planned speech for security reasons.

JNi.Media

CoP Leaders Hear About Media Coverage of Israel, Strategic Challenges, and from Rivlin

Friday, February 19th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin welcomed the more than 100 American Jewish leader delegates of the 42nd annual Conference of Presidents’ Leadership Mission to Israel at his official residence, Beit HaNasi, on Thursday, Feb. 18.

Rivlin told them that he hoped that Israel would not become a divisive topic in this election season. “Support for Israel has never been and must not become a partisan issue,” he said.

Referring to the recent outbreak of violence in Israel, Rivlin said, “The wave of terror does not discriminate against right and left, or between Jews and Arabs. We continue to pay a heavy price for our independence. We appreciate your support very much during these difficult times, and we know that we have you as partners because we are the same people.”

The President said that the real problem is with extremists who believe that incitement brings them power.

The delegation had an off-the-record discussion with U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro and then observed experts engage in two panel discussions.

The first panel focused on media coverage of Israel in the foreign press.

David Horovitz, Founding Editor, Times of Israel, moderated the media panel with the participation of Barbara Opall-Rome, Israel Bureau Chief, Defense News; Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesperson, Head of Foreign Press Branch; Udi Segal, Diplomatic correspondent for Israeli television’s Channel 2; and Josef Federman, Israel Bureau Chief, Associated Press.

Panel on Media Coverage of Israel in the Foreign Press during COP's 2016 Leadership Mission to Israel. l to r : David Horovitz, Founding Editor, Times of Israel, Josef Federman, Israel Bureau Chief, Associated Press. Barbara Opall-Rome, Israel Bureau Chief, Defense News; Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, IDF Spokesperson, Head of Foreign Press Branch; Udi Segal, Diplomatic correspondent, Israeli television’s Channel 2.

Panel on Media Coverage of Israel in the Foreign Press during COP’s 2016 Leadership Mission to Israel. l to r : David Horovitz, Josef Federman, Barbara Opall-Rome, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, Udi Segal.

Horovitz framed the discussion by saying that the root of the legitimate grievance directed at the foreign media’s Israel coverage is lack of context and perspective, and that the wider challenges facing Israel are underestimated.

Udi Segal said, “Israel should not be complaining about unfairness in the media,” arguing that foreign journalists should be given more access to the information they need.

Lerner said the media is essentially professional, “but sometimes lack time, accuracy, context, and professional ethics. Professional journalists should investigate what incitement really means; there needs to be a fuller story, it’s not a simple story.”

Opall-Rome argued that the word “terrorism” is loaded and often misused; she defined it as “an act of violence against unarmed civilians.”

Consistent with her definition, Opall-Rome said, the attack on Gilad Shalit’s tank and his subsequent kidnapping could not be considered terrorism, but the recent murder of the mother of six, Dafna Meir, could, albeit with the proviso that she be identified in the press as a settler. Why that identification would be necessary for reasons other than to delegitimize the victim is hard to understand.

Federman said “it has become very unpleasant to be a journalist in this country.” He also said that the more than 400 journalists in the Foreign Press Association were not monolithic, adding: “There is very little intentional distortion, errors are usually due to haste or carelessness, and are generally corrected quickly.” In response, Ms. Opall-Rome cited a Dubai-based journalist for Defense News who repeatedly referred to the IDF as the IOF – the Israeli Occupation Forces in his reporting, but her outlet would not permit the use of that term.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

IDF Responds to Rocket Attack From Gaza

Monday, November 9th, 2015

On Sunday, Nov. 9, a rocket was launched from Hamas-controlled Gaza into southern Israel. Despite the murderous intentions of those who shot the rocket, no one in Israel was physically harmed.

Several hours after the rocket was launched from Gaza, the Israeli Defense Forces responded by targeting a Hamas position in Gaza. “Hits were confirmed,” according to the IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Israel Concludes 4 Youths Killed on the Beach in Gaza Were in Terrorists’ Compound

Friday, June 12th, 2015

The Israel Defense Forces’ Military Advocate General announced today, June 12, his conclusions regarding a tragic incident from last summer’s Operation Protective Edge, in Gaza:

While the deaths of four young men from the same extended family was a tragic result, it was not the result of negligence or any other criminal action on the part of the Israel Defense Forces. The boys were located in an area that was used exclusively by Hamas terrorists, and specifically where Hamas naval commandos gathered to prepare attacks against Israel; those figures seen via aerial surveillance were reasonably understood to be militants preparing to attack Israel.

In that incident, on July 16, four Gazan boys died as the result of an air force strike on the Gaza Beach. The four boys, Ahed Atef Bakr, Zarakiya Ahed Bakr, Mohammad Ramiz Bakr and Ismail Mahmoud Bakr, had allegedly been playing hide and seek on the beach when it was struck by IAF rockets.

The Israeli military police carried out an extensive criminal investigation into the incident.

As was explained by IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, testimony and other evidence was gathered and extensively examined:

Testimonies were collected from a large number of IDF soldiers and officers who were involved in the planning and execution of the attack. Additionally, an extensive number of documents relating to the attack were reviewed, along with video footage documenting the attack in real time, as well as media images and video footage which documented parts of the incident. Efforts were made to collect the testimonies of Gaza Strip residents who were, allegedly, witnesses to the incident. In this context, the collection of testimony from three witnesses was coordinated. Regretfully, despite the prior coordination, the witnesses eventually declined to meet the investigators, and instead provided affidavits in regard to the incident.

The investigators learned, through analysis the collected evidence, that the very place where the Bakr victims were struck is an “area that had long been known” as a Hamas’s Naval Police and Naval commandos’ Compound which was “utilized exclusively by militants.”

In addition, the area in which the Israeli rockets hit was “closed off by a fence and clearly separated from the beach serving the civilian population.” In addition, through affidavits provided by Palestinian Arab witnesses, amongst other sources, the compound “was known to the residents of the Gaza Strip as a compound which was used exclusively by Hamas’s Naval Police.”

A number of IAF attacks on the compound had taken place prior to July 16, during which a shipping container used to store military supplies and as a Hamas “command and control center” was hit. The Israeli intelligence determined that “operatives from Hamas’s Naval Forces would gather in the militaTry compound in order to prepare for military activity against the IDF.”

And so, when Israeli aerial surveillance identified a number of figures entering the compound at a running pace, and those figures “entered a shed adjoining the container which had been attacked the day prior,” the Israelis reasonably believed those figures “to be militants from Hamas’s Naval Forces, who had arrived at the compound in order to prepare” to attack the IDF.

The four figures “were not identified at any point during the incident, as children,” nor could they have been identified as such at any time, via aerial surveillance.

It was with this set of circumstances and information that “all the necessary authorizations for an attack had been obtained,” and the location was targeted.

When one of the identified figures entered into the remains of the container which had been attacked on the day prior to the incident, one missile was fired from the air towards the container and the adjoining shed. As a result of this attack, it appeared that one of the figures identified was hit. Following this attack, the rest of the figures began to run in the direction of the compound’s exit. Shortly before their exit from the compound, an additional missile was fired from the air towards them, which hit the figures in question after they had exited the compound.

There was no way to know at the time, nor was any such information revealed in the IDF statement today, why the four children had entered the Hamas terrorist compound.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Rocket Launched at Jerusalem, Fired From Gaza Schools Compound

Monday, August 25th, 2014

Rockets launched at Jerusalem on Sunday, Aug. 24, were “fired from a compound of three schools in Shejaiya” a neighborhood in Gaza, confirmed the IDF Spokesperson Lt. Col. Peter Lerner.

In response to the terrorists’ launch, the Israel Defense Force targeted the site and achieved a successful hit. The incoming rockets towards Jerusalem were intercepted by Israel’s missile defense system.

It appears the IDF has finally hit upon an effective way of communicating so that it is not always in a defensive role of after-the-fact explaining why it struck a particular target in an area in which civilians either reside or are sheltered, as has happened so many times during this and other conflicts. To wit: they immediately explain the basis for a particular site being targeted.

Now, when Said Arikat of Al Quds newspaper demands the State Department Spokesperson condemn Israel for targeting schools at tomorrow’s State Department press briefing, at least the information is already available as to why that site was struck. It may not deter Arikat or other pathological denouncers of Israel, but at least those willing to seek the facts will have them readily available.

HIGH VOLUME SUNDAY

More than 140 rockets or mortars were fired on Israel from Gaza on Sunday. The ones reaching near Jerusalem were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defense missile system, near the city’s northern suburbs of abu Ghosh and Beit Shemesh.

One rocket fired from Gaza on Sunday landed in central Tel Aviv. No injuries or damage was reported.

One location at which Gazan rockets did result in injuries and damage was at the Erez Crossing between Israel and Gaza. Three people were injured from that mortar, two seriously. The assault resulted in the Crossing being closed.  Keep that in mind when you hear about the audacity of Israel in preventing the free flow of goods into Gaza.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Massive Explosion When IDF Struck Explosives Laden Terror Tunnel

Monday, July 7th, 2014

The massive explosion in Gaza early Monday morning which resulted in the death of seven Hamas terrorists was caused both by the IDF and Hamas.

When the IDF targeted and hit one of the smuggling tunnels built by Hamas which connects underground to Israel,  it caught terrorists who were in the tunnel carrying and working with explosives which they had intended to use to murder Israeli civilians. Instead, the explosives detonated, causing the deaths and additional damage to the structure of the tunnel.

Because those explosives were destroyed, they could not be used to wreak terror and potential harm to Israeli citizens.

“Terror tunnels such as this one demonstrate Hamas’ constant attempts to violate Israel’s sovereignty and carry out complex attacks,” said IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Peter Lerner. “We are committed to fulfil our duty with preemptive precision and extensive intelligence in order to safeguard Israelis under threat. Gaza terrorists will not be free to scheme, plot and conspire. They will face the repercussions of their loathsome intentions.”

The rocket attacks which began escalating since the time when Palestinian Arabs kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers, terrorists in Gaza have launched more than 240 rockets at Israel.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

IDF Reporting Mortar Landed in the North

Monday, July 7th, 2014

The terrorists in Gaza have been shooting rockets at Israel for weeks, and in just the past twenty four hours alone twenty five rockets were launched from the Strip.

Tzeva Adom (Code Red), the Israeli warning system of incoming rockets, has been sounding around the clock and Israelis, young and old, are constantly running to bomb shelters.

But in an alarming turn, Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, the Spokesperson for the Israel Defense Forces, announced that a mortar landed in the Northern Galilee, in Israel, very late Sunday night. The IDF was responding to suspicious positions.

Also on Sunday, Israel targeted nine terror sites and concealed rocket launchers in Gaza.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-reporting-mortar-landed-in-the-north/2014/07/07/

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