Additionally, the media – including those belonging directly to the parties to the conflict – are not legitimate military targets, even if they are used to disseminate propaganda.
I think that a terror group’s units – including its communications networks – are very much a legitimate target for how else would they be able to direct their terror campaign, and that includes general programming because it is used to recruit and mobilize.
Journalists are not protected against deliberate attacks if and for as long as they take a direct part in hostilities
and as to what the law refers to
the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions (AP I) deals specifically with journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict
“Professional” means not a terrorist.
As civilians, journalists and their crew must under no circumstances be the object of a direct attack. Parties to an armed conflict have the obligation to take all feasible precautions to ensure that attacks are only directed at military objectives.
Al-Aqsa TV and others are not civilians and are not professional journalists.
Ramallah- 21 November 2012: Israeli occupation forces committed a new crime against the Palestinian journalists when they killed Al-Aqsa TV cameramen Mahmoud Al-Komi (30 years) and Hossam Salameh (30) years at about six o’clock in this evening, after their car was targeted In Gaza City, by a Missile fired from an Israeli warplane, which led to their deaths immediately.
MADA lawyer Karem Nashwan said that Salamah and Al-Komi were travelling in Al-Aqsa TV car, with press sign, but the occupation forces targeted it. The crime took place in Alnaser (Victory) Street near alshifa Tower near Alshifa Hospital, and it seems they had intended to go to cover the martyrs and the wounded in the hospital, where occupation forces have escalated from its bombardment of the Gaza frantically through the last few hours, where about twenty martyrs fell. Al-Komi and Salamah were married and each of them has four children.
And by the way:
the French government instructed its broadcasting authority to take Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV off the air. The satellite channel was broadcast on Eutelsat, a French satellite company headquartered in Paris. French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said that the instruction was given when France received a warning from the European Commission that the channel repeatedly violated European laws by showing programs which incited hatred or violence for reasons of religion or nationality, mostly against Israel and Judaism (AFP, June 7).
On March 18, 2010, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions against two Hamas-linked organizations in Gaza – Al-Aqsa TV and the Islamic National Bank (INB). The actions, taken pursuant to Executive Order 13224, freeze any assets that Al-Aqsa TV or INB hold under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with them. The targets of the sanctions include terrorists and terrorist organizations, among others. The Treasury Department stated that Al-Aqsa TV is financed and controlled by Hamas, serving as a primary Hamas media outlet that airs programs “designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood.”
P.S. I am beginning to wonder in whose service is B’tselem?
…investigation indicates that several Al-Quds TV employees were present in their offices in Shawwa-Husari Building at the time of the attack, as they were under the assumption that the Israeli military would not bomb it.
They report that after the attack on the Shawwa- Husari Building, they removed some of their equipment from their building’s top floors, out of concern that the Israeli army would strike that building as well, because of the location of Al-Aqsa TV’s offices on its 15th floor.
In other words, B’tselem fail to mention the presence of the Islamic Jihad fighters in the Al Sharouk tower.
11:13 PM AnIsraeli was injured in rock attack near Kiryat Arba. He was transported to Hadassah Hospital, unconscious with a severe head injury.
The number of rock and firebomb attacks in Judea and Samaria has been very high on Sunday.
9:03 PM In response to increasing tensions in the Middle East, New York police increase security on Synagogues in the city. 8:50 PM El-Al giving major discounts to Israelis overseas who receive emergency call up orders.
7:25 PM Iron Dome systems knock down missiles over Gush Dan/Tel Aviv area. Sirens send residents running to shelters.
6:20 PM: Hamas operator killed along with his family by Israeli rocket. This brings the overall death toll in Gaza since the start of Pillar of defense to 66.
6:12 PM Ben Gurion university in Be’er Sheva will remain closed tomorrow.
6:10 PM IDF has hit 50 terror infrastructure spots in the Gaza strip today.
5:39 PM: Gaza City is in partial darkness this evening. There’s no telling whether the electric power was cut by the Hamas or by Israel.
5:25 PM: Over the course of the day, the IDF has targeted over 50 terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip, including under-ground rocket launching sites and terror tunnels, inflicting severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, the IDF targeted Hamas’ operational communication infrastructures in the northern Gaza Strip, which are used for issuing orders to operatives as well as the spreading of propaganda. In addition, the IDF targeted a launching site, from which a rocket was fired towards the city of Tel Aviv, as well as several Hamas-affiliated terrorist squads. (IDF)
5:20 PM: IDF artillery fire hitting the Gaza Strip
5:00 PM Air raid siren in S’dot Negev.
4:56 PM 4 rockets land in Eshkol region, no reports of injuries.
4:46 PM Once more, Israeli press talking about representatives going to Cairo to discuss a cease fire. UPDATE: Both Defense Minister Barak and Foreign Minister Liberman say there will be no talking while rockets falling.
4:44 PM Rockets fired at S’derot and Sha’ar HaNegev. 4:29 PM Preliminary reports: 4 wounded, one seriously, one moderately in the Ofakim region. UPDATE: 2 seriously wounded. Rocket hit next to car.
UPDATE: 5 wounded, 2 adults and 2 year old daughter were in a car and two passersby.
4:18 PM Sirens going off in S’dot Negev and Sha’ar HaNegev. 7 rockets fired. Most fall in open areas.
4:05 PM Channel 2 TV reports that a car near Ofakim was hit by a rocket, and there are 4 wounded; 2 moderately, 2 lightly.
4:04 PM US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Schapiro met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and reviewed the new Iron Dome (5th installation) protecting Greater Tel-Aviv and promised another 300 Million Dollars — for their to be a total of 13 Iron Dome installations. (source)
3:56 PM Reports of rocket strike in Negev area. MDA forces responding.
3:13 PM Air Raid sirens in Eshkol region 3:10 PM In a lightening fast operation, the IDF Homefront command fixed a number of sirens in Central Israel that were not working well over the past few days.
3:04 PM Air Raid Sirens in Eshkol region
2:46 PM Video of Iron Dome taking out GRAD rockets less than an hour ago.
2:45 PM Two GRAD rockets taken out by Iron Dome (fired at Ashdod area
2:21 PM Direct hit on a house in Ashkelon….no injuries.
2:15 PM Reports that the last barrage of rockets towards Ashdod and area was over 15 rockets in one shot.
2:10 PM Air Raid Sirens as another rocket barrage is headed for Ashkelon.
2:05 PM Another rocket hits Ashdod. Forces responding to 2 locations.
2:02 PM Iron Dome working overtime to take out Grad rocket strike on Ashdod and area….
2:01 PM Another Air Raid Siren in Ashdod….GRAD rocket lands in Ashdod…forces responding.
1:44 PM Notice to Ashdod residents. IDF sappers are going to explode a fallen rocket soon. If you hear a boom, its a controlled explosion.
1:40 PM 3 rockets land in Beer Sheva. No Injuries.
1:26 PM Air Raid Sirens in Beer Sheva area.
1:23 PM IDF dropping leaflets into Gaza: Important Message to Gaza Strip residents: Hamas is playing with fire and endangering your lives for naught. The IDF is proceeding to the next phase. For your own safety, we ask you to adhere to our instructions and distance yourselves from Hamas operatives and infrastructure. Sincerely, THE IDF.
1:21 PM Israeli Government meeting to decide on IDF ground incursion (Udi Segal, Channel 1 TV)
1:14 PM Reports of a direct hit in Sederot. Unconfirmed, as MDA and Homefront command responds.
1:04 PM Another barrage of rockets over Southern Israel for the past 15 minutes
12:26 PM IDFSPOX: Rocket fell in Ashkelon near a nursery school.
12:15 PM Siren in Ashdod.
12:08 PM Syria claims IDF killed 3 Syrian soldiers, after IDF shot back at Syrian army position that shot at them on Saturday night.
11:59 PM Ashkelon Beach
11:47 AM IDF takes out launch team that shot at Tel Aviv
11:34 AM Serious injury in Shaar Hanegev from Rocket
11:20 AM Sirens going off in S’derot
11:15 AM Two more rockets shot down over Ashdod.
11:13 AM Rocket fell a short time ago in Ashkelon causing minor damage to a building. More sirens sounding there now.
11:04 AM Sirens in Gan Yavne and Gadera. Also Nitzanim, Beni Aiyish, Chatzor, Ashdod, Iron Dome knocking down rockets.
11:01 AM Two wounded lightly after hit building courtyard in Ashkelon. Car damaged by rocket parts crashing down in Holon.
10:48 AM Warning sirens in Holon, Ashdod. Rocket lands in Ashdod, security forces on their way. 10:39 AM Air raid sirens in Rishon L’Tzion, Givatayim, Gan Raveh.
10:33 AM: Iron Dome intercepted two rockets fired at Tel Aviv.
10:32 AM: Sirens in Tel Aviv, Rishon L’Tzion, Givatayim and Ramat Gan.
10:31 AM: A volley of Rockets fired at Regional Counsil Eshkol, one lands inside a village.
10:30 AM: Iron Dome intercepted two rockets over Ashdod.
10:29 AM: Sirens in Ashdod and Ashkelon.
10:20 AM: Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Gaza Strip has opened and trucks carrying medicine and food are moving into into Gaza City.
10:29 AM Hamas: Using human shields is our policy.
10:26 AM Conflicting reports: High ranking Hamas member – Cease fire within a day or two. High ranking Israeli parliamentarian - We’re not stopping anytime soon.
10:18 AM IDF has, in principle, authorized plans for entry of ground troops into Gaza.
10:17 AM 3 rockets knocked down over Ashdod.
10:05 AM Siren in Ashdod
10:00 AM Most rockets from Northern Gaza.
A number of countries have expressed interest in buying Iron Dome systems.
Islamic Jihad #2 says, “From the first rocket to the last bullet, everything we have is from Iran.” (Galei Tzahal)
9:56 AM Mortar land inside community near Gaza. Shrapnel damage to building. No injuries.
9:55 AM Rocket fell in Be’er Tuvia region. Open area. No injuries.
9:51 AM ALL the rockets landed in open areas from the massive barrage!
New Alert in Shaar haNegev
9:45 AM 2 rockets taken out by Iron Dome over Ashdod.
9:42 AMMASSIVE rocket barrage on its way to southern Israel, all along Gaza region, over 40 areas listed. Iron Dome Responding
9:32 AM Eshkol Region Siren
8:38 AM: A Grad rocket hit a residential building in Ashkelon, one resident injured. A second missile hit a car in the city, and two rockets landed in open areas out of town.
8:02 AM: Two rockets fell and exploded in an open area in the Regional Council Eshkol.
7:08 AM: Overnight, IAF aircraft targeted dozens of underground rocket launchers, causing severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of Hamas and other terror organizations.
A short while ago, two sites in the northern Gaza Strip were targeted: Saraya – a Hamas primary training base and command center – and a communications antenna used by Hamas to carry out terror activity against the State of Israel. A number of training bases owned by Hamas were also targeted throughout the Gaza Strip. Additionally, Israeli Navy soldiers targeted terror sites on the northern Gaza shoreline.
The sites that were targeted were positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of months.
6:50 AM Sunday Morning Update
Shimon Ben-Hamu (23), a resident of Tekoa was killed on Saturday night when his car was hit by a large rock thrown at his car. Ben-Hamu lost control, the car overturned, and he was killed. (HNN)
After midnight, Israel saw a noticeably visible decrease in rockets shot from Gaza. While Israel continues to hit terrorist sites, some air attacks were called off due to the presence of too many civilians above the terror target sites (human shields). We are not yet speculating as to the reasons why Hamas fired less missiles overnight.
The Palestinian appealed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and asked him to stop the Israel attacks, saying Israel was in violation of the Geneva convention.
Gazans are reportedly terrified of an Israeli ground invasion, and many have picked up and moved to the center of Gaza.
There are unconfirmed reports that some of the journalists that Hamas took as Human Shields may have been injured in an IAF strike. This is still unconfirmed and will be updated as soon as we know more.
Rumors continue to fly about a possible Cease-Fire. Netanyahu denies the rumor is true.
12:39 AM (Sunday) Shooting attack at IDF forces from Syria in the Golan Heights near Tel-Chazeka. No injuries to IDF forces, which returned fire.
Last night Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he had decided to call early elections – that is, earlier than the scheduled date of October 2013. Though this was no shock as Israeli governments rarely finish their terms and there had been many reports in recent days that Netanyahu was considering early elections).
So for everyone who is trying to figure out what exactly is going on:
Date of Elections: January or February?
Netanyahu did not announce a specific date for the elections. The Knesset returns from its summer break on October 15th. By law there must be at least 90 days between the decision to disperse the Knesset and the date of elections.
At the end of his statement Netanyahu said it is preferable to have a “three month” campaign cycle than what would in practice be a year of campaigning until October 2013. Assuming that he would seek dissolution of the Knesset at the opening of the session — October 15th — that would put the elections at around or a little after January 15th.
However, Netanyahu also said at the beginning of his address that, “In a few months, we will finish the fourth year in office of the most stable government in recent decades.” Towards the end, he also said, “And therefore, after four years, we will go to elections.” Four years means elections after February 10th of next year, as that was the date the last elections were held in 2009. That meshes with earlier reports that Netanyahu desired a February 12th election in order to close a four year cycle.
According to Yisrael HaYom, negotiations between coalition partners began yesterday regarding the date of elections and sometime between January 15 and February 5th was discussed. According to the paper, which is considered friendly to Netanyahu, “the Prime Minister prefers the earliest possible date.”
The primary reason for the elections is the inability of the coalition to agree on a budget, or at least a responsible budget. Here’s what Netanyahu said:
Today, I finished a round of consultations with the heads of the coalition parties and I came to the conclusion that it is not possible at this time to pass a responsible budget. We are on the threshold of an election year, and to my regret, in an election year it is difficult for parties to place the national interest ahead of the party interest. The result of this is liable to be a budgetary breach and a massive increase in the deficit, which would very quickly put us in the situation of the crumbling economies of Europe. I will not allow this to happen here.
(The full text of Netanyahu’s statement can be found at PMO.gov.il.)
Why Early Elections: Maintaining the Lead
It is also surmised that early elections will ensure that the Likud maintains its current lead against all other parties. Two recent polls have given the Likud 28 mandates (Knesset seats) while it’s closest project rival, Labor, would receive 19 or 20 seats. Kadima which currently had 28 Knesset seats to the Likud’s 27, wouldn’t even break double digits.
Early elections mean surprises such as Ehud Olmert or other high profile figures joining parties like Kadima or Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid’s new party) and changing the political dynamic are less likely. It also gives other parties less time to put their campaigns together.
In what originally was supposed to be a slam dunk, US Senator Sherrod Brown’s race for reelection in Ohio against the youthful Republican Josh Mandell may instead be turning into a squeaker, and Brown is none too happy about it.
Brown originally had as much as a 17 percentage point lead, but according to a report in Bloomberg, several polls last month showed the race to be deadlocked. Mandell claims the race has become intense because Ohioans are increasingly turned off by the “ultra-liberal, hyper-partisan” Brown, while Brown claims that millions of dollars in negative ads have been run against him by “outside, undisclosed interest groups.”
One Ohioan found out just how testy this race has made Sherrod Brown. Following a talk he gave at the Dayton, Ohio Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, September 18, Senator Brown invited questions. There were a few tough questions put to the Senator by business owners opposed to President Obama’s healthcare legislation, and a softball question about how to contact the Senator’s office.
And then 32-year old Ohio native Joel Griffith stood up. Griffith said, “I’m a proud Jewish American and I’m concerned that the single biggest entity funding you is J Street. J Street has given you $60,000, and as you know, J Street is funded by an attorney for the Saudi Embassy and has also been funded by the producer of one of the most anti-Semitic films ever made …” but Griffith was not allowed to finish his question. The Senator’s first response was that Griffith’s was “clearly a political question.”
True, but the Senator is a politician who was engaging in politics. The political question doctrine only forecloses the judicial branch from addressing a particular issue. In fact, political questions are reserved exclusively to the legislative branch of which Senator Brown is hoping to remain a part.
But as Griffith sought to continue asking his question, and paused to ask whether it was okay if he filmed the exchange, Senator Brown cut him off and told Griffith to “talk to that man in the back of the room who is Jewish,” because that Jewish man supports Brown and “knows that I am pro-Israel.”
On his third attempt to get out his question, the frustrated Griffith began once again, saying, “What do you say to those Jewish Americans who are very concerned…” But again, Brown cut him off. The Senator instead told Griffith what he should do before Brown would answer him. Senator Brown told his constituent, “You find out where the $18 million came from that is funding ads against me,” and said Griffith could then come back and ask his question next year. The Senator then wrapped up that portion of the program.
Griffith waited patiently while the Senator remained in the room speaking informally to others who were present at the event. Just as Griffith was once again about to ask the senator about the J Street funding, a Chamber of Commerce official approached and told him he had to leave the premises because it was a “private event.” However, the event had been publicized, Griffith had informed the Chamber that he would be attending the event, and the Chamber had confirmed his response.
The Jewish Press caught up with Griffith the day after his failed efforts to draw out the Ohio Senator on his J Street funding. Griffith is a lawyer by training but is currently an investor with Avatar Securities.
The J Street funding issue was so important to him, Griffith said, because “J Street has been trying to promote policies that are inconsistent with Israel’s security and against America’s security, and yet politicians who work with them then claim they are pro-Israel because they are siding with a Jewish organization.”
Griffith pointed out that “J Street gives more money to Senator Brown than any other single entity, including Ohio State University,” which he thought was very odd, especially considering Brown’s complaint about outside money playing an outsized role in his opponent’s war chest.
Griffith is a political conservative and is very concerned about the role of anti-American and anti-Israel efforts on Capital Hill. Although Brown has never opposed the funding of aid to Israel, Griffith was particularly bothered by his refusal to sign a bi-partisan “Peace Principles” letter that was circulated in 2009 by AIPAC and which was signed by more than three quarters of all senate members.
UPDATE: Confirmed - One IDF soldier was killed, and 1 wounded seriously injured in the attack. The killed soldier, from an Artillery unit, was from the (religious) town of Nof Ayalon. The family has been notified. His name is Netanel Yahalomi.
IDF forces thwarted a terror attack on Friday, September 21, in which terrorists attempted to infiltrate from Egypt into Israel near. A number of terrorists opened fire on an IDF artillery force stationed along the border to protect the construction of the border fence. A force of the Caracal Battalion, which was stationed nearby, engaged the terrorist squad, injuring at least three terrorists.
One of the terrorists was equipped with an explosive device which exploded. According to initial findings, the IDF force successfully prevented a large-scale attack on Israeli civilians. No terrorists managed to infiltrate into Israel.
The Caracal Battalion is an IDF infantry combat battalion, composed of both male and female soldiers, of both Jewish and Arab descent. It is named after the Caracal, a small cat whose sexes appear the same. As of 2009, approximately 70% of the battalion was female. It is part of the 512th “Sagi” Brigade of Israel’s Southern territorial command.
In the coming hours, a situation assessment will be held, led by Chief of the General Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, in order to investigate the incident.
This July, terrorists opened fire on a bus carrying soldiers near the Israeli-Egyptian border. There were no injuries, but the bus was damaged. This June, a civilian was killed in a combined shooting and mortar attack while working on the border fence.
Roughly two months ago, while touring the border region, the Chief of Staff said, “Bases of terror are expanding in the Sinai region. We expect the Egyptians to exercise their sovereignty.”
“Over ten terror infrastructure in Sinai were revealed and dismantled over the past few months,” Head of the Military Intelligence Directorate, Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi, said roughly a month ago. “Sinai is a secondary priority on the Egyptian agenda, and the channels of the terror infrastructure are currently being monitored.”
Al Jazeera is reporting that the terrorists were Salafists from Egypt.
The Caracal Battalion is an infantry combat battalion of the Israel Defense Forces, composed of both male and female soldiers, of both Jewish and Arab descent. It is named after the Caracal, a small cat whose sexes appear the same. As of 2009, approximately 70% of the battalion was female. It is part of the 512th “Sagi” Brigade of Israel’s Southern territorial command.
UPDATE: 7/19/12 10:46PM Sources are indicating that the Swedish national that was held in Guantanamo is not the Burgas bomber. As soon as we know more, we’ll update the report.
Bulgarian TV has announced that Medi Muhammad Ghezali, the suicide bomber who killed seven people on Wednesday, five of them Israelis, was member of the International Jihad who spent a year in Guantanamo Bay prison.
This may mean that PM Netanyahu’s accusation that Iran was behind the attack could be wrong.
Ghezali was arrested in Pakistan in 2009 along with his wife and a group of foreigners, including seven Turks, according to NRG.
Bulgarian officials are currently denying that Ghezali was the bomber.
Seven Israelis were reported killed and 30 injured when an explosion blew up an Israeli tourist bus and caught two adjacent buses on fire at the Burgas airport on Wednesday, also the 18th anniversary of the Iran-sponsored attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Reports state that among the injured are at least 2 pregnant women and an 11 year old child. Six of the deceased were pronounced dead at the scene, and one died in hospital. At least two of the 27 injured are reported to be in serious condition.
The explosion occurred while the bus was still in the terminal, after the group arrived in country at 4:45pm.. Burgas, located on the Black Sea Coast, is a popular tourist spot for Israelis.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement in which he charged Iran with conducting the attack and warned the regime that Israel would respond forcefully.
“All the signs lead to Iran. Only in the past few months we have seen Iranian attempts to attack Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and other places,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said.
“This is an Iranian terror campaign that is spreading throughout the world,” Netanyahu said. “Israel will react powerfully against Iranian terror,”
Despite fierce political mudslinging in the wake of the angry withdrawal of the Kadima party from the coalition because of rancor over Haredi service in the IDF, politicians across the spectrum united to condemn the murders. Opposition leader Shelly Yechimovich said “there is no doubt that instability in the region is spawned by Iran aiming expressly for Israelis and Jews throughout the world,” expressed her condolences to the families of the terror victims, and expressed her confidence in Israeli security forces.
ZAKA and Magen David Adom rescue services have already begun making their way to Bulgaria and will attempt to evacuate some of the wounded for treatment in Israel.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called for an immediate meeting at the Foreign Ministry’s situation room. The Israeli embassy in Bulgaria is investigating the explosion. Initial reports indicated that a suicide bomber boarded the bus and detonated himself. Follow-up reports suggested that a bomb may have been planted in the luggage compartment of the bus and detonated by remote control.
Israel has also expressed concern that Hizbullah would target Israelis overseas in connection with the assassination of Hizbullah commander Imag Mughniyeh, which Hizbullah suspects was conducted by the Mossad.
In the meantime, Hizbullah has denied any connection to the attack. No organization has claimed responsibility.
Channel 1 quoted Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov as calling the explosion a terrorist attack.