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July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Rafah’

IDF Bombs 29 Terror Targets in Gaza

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Israeli ground and aerial attacks targeted 29 terror sites in Gaza in a quick and widespread retaliation Wednesday night, hours after Islamic Jihad said it was behind a massive missile and mortar shelling barrage of Jewish communities near Gaza.

The retaliation came two hours after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, “If there is no quiet in Israel, there will be noise in Gaza, and that is an understatement.”

The IDF said that direct hits were confirmed in the artillery and aerial fire. IDF Spokesman Peter Lerner said that the barrage from Gaza towards sunset Wednesday involved 41 rockers, five of which exploded in populated areas and three of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. No injuries were reported, and property damage was minimal.

It was the most serious retaliation for Gaza missile attacks since the Pillar of Defense counter terrorist camping in November 2012.

“This retaliation was precise and prompt. We targeted the infrastructure that serves the terrorists while they train, plan and implement their hideous attacks. They will not be permitted to conspire in the safety of their terrorist temples,” said Lt. Col. Lerner.

Islamic Jihad spokesman said that it unleashed the barrage in revenge for the Israeli Air Force’s bombing its terrorists, three of whom were killed in a strike on Tuesday following the shelling of Israeli soldiers on patrol near the Gaza security fence.

Regardless of whether the attacks were carried out with Hamas’ permission, it may help tighten the noose on Hamas.

The new Egyptian military regime has followed its ban of the Muslim Brotherhood bydeclaring an enemy.

The regime has destroyed hundreds of smuggling tunnels.

The Israeli Navy’s seizure last week of Iranian missiles destined for Gaza via Sudan exposed the Tehran-Gaza connection in capital letters.

Hamas has gone to the extreme to spit on the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah and on U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, whose peace plans, worthless anyway, are even more of a sick joke without Gaza.

The U.S. State Dept. not only stated on Wednesday that Israel has every right to retaliate to defend its citizens, it also did not come up with the usual nonsense of pleading for a “proportional response,” although a true proportional response would be to flatten Gaza.

The Egyptian siege on Gaza, which has included the frequent closure of the crossing at Rafiah, the southern Gaza smuggling capital that straddles the Egyptian-Gaza border, has taken the wind out of the sails of the anti-Israeli chorus that condemns an Israeli siege that does not exist, except on the seas. The Iranian arms ship was clear evidence and support for the maritime embargo.

Hamas has been losing control of Gaza for the past year or so. Rival terrorist organizations are competing with Hamas, whose weakness is symbolized by its public executions and imposition of Muslim law on residents. The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency added, “Three other Palestinian militant groups also claimed to have participated in the attacks on Israel, including the National Resistance Brigades, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, and the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade.”

After Wednesday’s attacks on Israel, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for invading Gaza and taking control.

That would be too good a solution for Gaza’s residents, whose younger generation does not even remember the days of economic prosperity and peace and quiet of the 1970s and early 1980s when Israel officially controlled Gaza but in fact gave local officials a free hand to run their own affairs.

Hamas has a lot more sweating to do before Israel saves Gaza from its Hamas executors.

Hamas Isolated as Egypt Razes Homes to Clear 500-Yard Wide Buffer

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

It has been going on for several months, but now it’s official, as reported by the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, Egyptian border forces destroyed 10 smuggling tunnels and seven homes in the Sinai on Saturday as part of their new campaign to create a 500 yard wide buffer zone (5 football fields) along the border with the Gaza Strip.

The campaign began with a military operation in the border town of Rafah, where tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip were targeted in border neighborhoods, an Egyptian security source told Ma’an.

The source added that the tunnels were destroyed and the homes they were located in were blown up. The move was part of a wider campaign to set up a buffer zone along the border with Gaza in Rafah that would extend 300 meters in populated areas and 500 meters in open areas.

If anyone was wondering what motivated the Egyptians to act so emphatically to separate themselves from the Hams governed Gaza Strip, the same source also told Ma’an that Egyptian army forces on Saturday successfully foiled three explosive devices placed in military vehicles and armored cars in Sheikh Zuwaid, including two that were placed near the Sheikh Zuweid Hospital and a third on the road to a nearby village south of Sheikh Zuewid.

They’ve had enough of the pesky Palestinian terrorists spreading death wherever they turn, so they cut them off. Let Turkey help them.

The source added that Egyptian army forces raided “militant strongholds” in the village of al-Kharuba south of Sheikh Zuweid and destroyed three homes and five “hideouts.” Oh, and this is rich: they also destroyed an olive grove that was reportedly used to hide terrorists following attacks taking place on the nearby road to Rafah International crossing.

Ma’an reminded readers that until July 2013 tunnels connecting Gaza to Egypt provided a vital lifeline for the territory which was facing a “crippling Israeli blockade” since 2006. But since the coup against Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood president Morsi in July, Egypt has strictly enforced a blockade of its own and caved in the tunnels.

Egyptian Maj. Gen. Ahmad Ibrahim said last October that nearly 800 tunnels had been destroyed since the Morsi toppling, an estimated 95 percent of previously existing tunnels. Last night 10 more went under.

A day before the Egyptian action, during a rally in Rafah, Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior spokesman for Hamas, rebuked Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to withdraw from negotiations with the U.S. and Israel, as the talks only serve to “terminate the question of Palestine and what is left of Palestinian rights and principles.”

In other words, by ostensibly reaching a resolution for the Palestinian’s plight the imagined peace deal would effectively end the struggle for a resolution to the Palestinian plight. Must be a chicken and egg thing.

“Nobody has authorized you (Abbas) to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people, or on behalf of Hamas or any other faction,” Abu Zuhri said. “Why don’t you tell the truth about what is going on in the secret negotiations? If you are honest, go out to your people and tell the truth and give them details.”

Back in 2006, Sami Abu Zuhri was trying to cross from Egypt into Gaza in Rafah, when he dropped a money belt with 900,000 euros in it. The law is one must declare any sum above $2,000. Abu Zuhri said it was all private donations. For the orphans.

Anyway, the Hamas spokesman also declared his movement would regard any international military presence within a future Palestinian state as “occupation” forces. So American and NATO troops are as bad as the IDF as far as Hamas is concerned.

Was Desperate Gaza Man, Ready to Sell His Daughter, Once My Boss?

Friday, October 18th, 2013

This story happened today, Thursday, but it goes back 30 years, when this writer was a greenhorn in Israel, trying to learn the Israeli culture.

A Gaza man was reported on Thursday to be prepared to sell his six-year-old daughter because he is so desperately poor.

“Hani al-Hadidi, 33, a construction worker from Gaza’s al-Shajaiya neighborhood, says he is struggling to provide for his wife and five children,” the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported. “No one dares to sell his children, but the hard situation we live in has forced me to make such a decision.”

The news site, closely affiliated with the Palestinian Authority, naturally followed this description of al-Hadidi’s dire state with the comment that Gaza “has been under a under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt since 2007.”

Now let’s go back 30 years to my greenhorn years, when I was trying to get the hang of Israeli culture after parachuting into Israel from planet America in October 1983.

By December, I was volunteering on the Jewish community of Atzmona in Gush Katif, which at that time was located a few hundred feet away from Rafiah. Even back then, Atzmona residents told me it was a drug smuggling capital.

I worked building greenhouses for a Jewish farmer named Chaim, but my foreman was Ahmed. That’s right, “Ahmed,” from Khan Yunis in central Gaza.

He had six children and told me life was good, he was making a decent living working for Chaim and that he could care less about politics.

Gaza’s few thousand Jews shopped in Khan Yunis and Gaza City for cheap vegetables and clothes. The Egged bus I took, when traveling north, rolled peacefully along the main drag through Gaza City.

Tens of thousands of Gaza Arabs worked in Gush Katif farming communities and in construction in the rest of Israel. Gaza was under Israeli control, but municipalities were run by Arabs, who – pardon the expression – never had it so good.

The unemployment rate in 1984, as seen in the chart below, was a miniscule 0.9 percent while it was four times that number for Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

I left Gush Katif in 1984 to learn more about other parts of Israel.

Three years later, an Arab in Gaza City stabbed an Israeli to death while he was shopping there. The following day, after four Arabs were killed in a traffic accident in Gaza, unfounded rumors spread the libel that Israelis had killed them as an act of revenge.

Arab blood was boiling, and the violence spun out of control, with a firebombing of an IDF patrol, mass rioting, blocked roads and tire burnings.

The Intifada was born and the unemployment rate began to rise.

In 1986, it was only 1.5 percent. By 1988, it climbed to 2.3 percent and then 3.8 percent in 1990.

Jews were thinking twice about employing Arabs because of terrorist attacks. In 1992, the jobless rate soared to 12 percent.

In the early 2000s, when Arabs were murdering Jews left and right, Arabs found themselves out of work not only in Gush Katif but also in the rest of Israel.  The unemployment rate soared to 50 percent  by 2003 and is estimated at more than 30 percent today.

Thirty years have passed since I worked for Ahmed in Khan Yunis.

I do not know Hanai al-Hadidi, the man who is ready to sell his daughter so she can eat and the family can have some income.

Maybe he is Ahmed’s son. Maybe not.

One can argue that money is not everything and that Arabs were deprived of their political rights, but the other half of the truth is that they had even less rights under Egyptian rule. The difference is that under Israeli rule, they can blame the Jews. If they had blamed Egypt, their lot would have been worse and they would not have gotten any sympathy from the anti-Zionist world, especially UNRWA, which has built up an empire than keeps more than half of Gaza’s population in bondage.

The facts are there, as they always have been there, but they are not facts that John Kerry want to see.

Is there anyone out there who can connect the dots between Ahmed and Hanai al-Hadidi?

Gaza Jihadist: Israel Killed Arafat for not Signing Agreement

Sunday, September 15th, 2013

Here is the latest jihadist history lesson: Israel killed Yasser Arafat because he refused to sign an agreement at Camp David in 2000.

Islamic Jihad leader Mohammed al-Hindi, speaking during a rally in Gaza City, claimed that Arafat was put under siege after returning from the summit, before being poisoned for his unyielding position, the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported Sunday.

Then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak had offered Arafat to create a Palestinian Authority state with approximately 97 percent of its territorial claims. Arafat refused and resume the Intifada, popularly known as the Second Intifada, and also called the Oslo War.

Arafat died in 2004. The Palestinian Authority still claims he was poisoned by Israel. If the Islamic Jihadist theory is correct, it took Israel four years to poison Arafat, who despite being under “siege” men aged to manage a terrorist campaign that killed hundreds of Israeli civilians and soldiers.

The need for the Islamic Jihad to try to invent history shows how desperate it is to survive. Egypt has carried out an aggressive offensive to wipe out Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist gangs operating in the Sinai and in Rafiah, which straddles the Egyptian-Gaza border.

Al Qaeda Suicide Bombers Kill 11 Egyptian Soldiers at Gaza Border

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

A double suicide bombing attack by Al Qaeda terrorists killed at least 11 Egyptian soldiers and civilians on Wednesday at its intelligence headquarters and a checkpoint in Rafiah, on the border with Gaza.

The terrorist attack came 24 hours after the Egyptian military carried out helicopter gunship raids on Al Qaeda-linked terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula. More than two dozen terrorists have been killed in the latest round of latest military attacks since Saturday.

In Wednesday’s suicide attacks, one bomber rammed his car into the intelligence headquarters, and second terrorist blew up his car bomb at an army checkpoint.

Armed Terrorists Kill 24 Egyptian Police in Sinai

Monday, August 19th, 2013

A terrorists’ ambush in the northern Sinai killed 24 Egyptian police who drove by in two vehicles, Kol Israel reported. The attack took place in a village near Rafah. 3 police were injured.

Egypt Blockades Gaza – Where Are the Flotillas?

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

Originally published at the Gatestone Institute.

Hamas has finally admitted that it is the Egyptians, and not Israel, who have turned the Gaza Strip into a “big prison.”

Ghazi Hamad, a senior official with the Hamas-controlled foreign ministry, was quoted this week as saying that the Gaza Strip has been turned into a “big prison as a result of the continued closure of the Rafah border crossing by the Egyptian authorities since June 30.”

Hamad said that since then, the number of Palestinian travelers at the Rafah terminal has dropped from 1,200 to 200 per day.

But this is a story that has not found its way to the pages of mainstream newspapers in the West because it does not in any way “implicate” Israel.

To make matters worse, the Egyptian authorities announced that the Rafah terminal would be completely closed during the four-day Muslim feast of Eid al-Fitr, which began on August 8.

Until recently, the charge that the Gaza Strip has been turned into a “big prison” had been made only against Israel, capturing the attention of the mainstream media and human rights organizations around the world.

But now that the charge is being made against Egypt, most international journalists, human rights organizations and even “pro-Palestine” groups, especially at university campuses in the US, Canada and Australia, have chosen to look the other way.

Residents of the Gaza Strip are asking these days: Where are all the foreign solidarity missions that used to visit the Gaza Strip to show support for Hamas and the Palestinian population? Where are all the press, human rights groups, activists?

In July, only two foreign delegations visited the Gaza Strip. By contrast, between January and June this year, about 180 delegations entered the Gaza Strip .

The “pro-Palestine” activists say they are unable to enter the Gaza Strip because of the strict security measures and travel restrictions imposed by the Egyptian authorities.

But why haven’t these activists tried to organize another flotilla aid convoy to the Gaza Strip to break the Egyptian blockade?

Why haven’t the “pro-Palestine” activists been sent to the Egyptian side of the Rafah border crossing to voice solidarity with the residents of the “big prison”?

The answer is obvious: First, the activists’ main goal is to condemn Israel and hold it solely responsible for the miseries of Palestinians.

The activists do not care about the Palestinians’ suffering as much as they are interested in advancing their anti-Israel agenda. They devote most of their energies and efforts to inciting against Israel and rarely have anything good to offer the Palestinians.

Second, the “pro-Palestine” activists know that it would be foolish of them to mess around with the Egyptian army and security forces. The last time foreign nationals tried to stage a peaceful protest on the Egyptian side of the Rafah terminal, the Egyptian authorities did not hesitate to assault and deport many of them from the country.

Similarly, there is a problem with the way the international media is handling the current crisis in the Gaza Strip.

While the Egyptian authorities are tightening the blockade on the Gaza Strip, dozens of trucks loaded with goods and construction material continue to enter the area through the Erez Terminal from Israel.

Just this week, more than 500 truckloads containing a variety of goods and 86 tons of cooking gas were delivered from to the residents of the Gaza Strip through the Erez Terminal.

In the last week of July, 1,378 trucks carrying 37,306 tons of goods entered the Gaza Strip from Israel and a total of 2,203 people crossed through the Erez Terminal.

Since the beginning of the year, nearly 34,000 trucks carrying more than 950,000 tons of goods entered the Gaza Strip through Israel.

The Egyptians, like most Arabs, do not care about the Palestinians. They want the Palestinians to be Israel’s problem and to continue relying on handouts from Western countries.

The Arabs do not care if the residents of the Gaza Strip starve to death as long as Israel will be blamed.

So why should any Arab country care at all if the international community and media continue to adopt an ostrich-like attitude toward Egypt’s responsibility for the aggravating humanitarian and economic crisis in the Gaza Strip?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/khaled-abu-toameh/egypt-blockades-gaza-where-are-the-flotillas/2013/08/11/

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