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This video from the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry shows rockets being fired at the border crossing through which Israel delivers humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Because of the rocket attacks yesterday, the border was closed and deliveries of aid were stopped. Yet again, this shows that while Israel is trying to help the people of Gaza – even as the Jewish state defends its own people during this conflict – the terrorists of Hamas have no regard for the people who they claim to represent.Comments (4) »
Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 10:41 AM | Stand For Israel
As the current negotiations between Israel and Hamas continue, so does the latest 72-hour ceasefire that went into effect today. Writing at Israel Hayom, Dr. Daniel Pipes takes advantage of this lull to look at several insights gained during the conflict – the limited support for Hamas across the Middle East, the growing anti-Semitism around the world, and the difference between worldwide leaders’ responses to Israel’s actions and the response of the general public – coming to the conclusion that this is a war being fought as much in the arena of public opinion as it is on the battlefield:
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This leads to the bizarre situation in which Hamas seeks the destruction of Palestinian property, compels civilians to sustain injuries and death, inflates casualty figures, and may even intentionally attack its own territory – while the IDF takes gratuitous fatalities to spare harm to Palestinians. The Israeli government goes further, providing medical care and food and sending technicians into harm’s way to make sure that Gazans continue to enjoy free electricity.
It’s a curious war in which Hamas celebrates Palestinian misery and Israel does its best to keep life normal for its enemy. Strange, indeed, but this is the nature of modern warfare, where op-eds often carry more weight than bullets. In Clausewitzian terms, war’s center of gravity has moved from the battlefield to public relations.
In all, the civilized and moral forces of Israel came off well in this face-off with barbarism. But not well enough to forestall, for too long, yet another assault.
Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 8:35 AM | Stand For Israel
As Operation Protective Edge progressed, we have heard from many media outlets about Gaza being densely populated. In this piece for the Gatestone Institute, Alan Dershowitz indicts Hamas for the war crime of using civilians as human shields while also asking about Gaza’s empty spaces:
The fact that these sparsely populated areas exist in the Gaza Strip raises several important moral questions: First, why don’t the media show the relatively open areas of the Gaza Strip? Why do they only show the densely populated cities? There are several possible reasons. There is no fighting going on in the sparsely populated areas, so showing them would be boring. But that’s precisely the point—to show areas from which Hamas could be firing rockets and building tunnels but has chosen not to. Or perhaps the reason the media doesn’t show these areas is that Hamas won’t let them. That too would be a story worth reporting.
Second, why doesn’t Hamas use sparsely populated areas from which to launch its rockets and build its tunnels? Were it to do so, Palestinian civilian casualties would decrease dramatically, but the casualty rate among Hamas terrorists would increase dramatically.
That is precisely why Hamas selects the most densely populated areas from which to fire and dig …
The third moral question is why does the United Nations try to shelter Palestinian civilians right in the middle of the areas from which Hamas is firing? Hamas has decided not to use the less densely populated areas for rocket firing and tunnel digging. For that reason, the United Nations should use these sparsely populated areas as places of refuge …
But instead the UN is playing right into the hands of Hamas, by sheltering civilians right next to Hamas fighters, Hamas weapons and Hamas tunnels. Then the United Nations and the international community accuses Israel of doing precisely what Hamas intended Israel to do: namely fire at its terrorists and kill United Nations protected civilians in the process. It’s a cynical game…Read More » Comments (15) »
Thursday, August 7th, 2014 at 4:13 PM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday we reported on the deaths of 3 IDF soldiers who were killed when the building in which they had uncovered a terror tunnel exploded, having been booby trapped by Hamas. Now The Times of Israel‘s Mitch Ginsburg provides further details about the incident, including the fact that the structure was either a UNRWA clinic or a building disguised as one:
“And then we enter with our people, and they [the militants], from the very same terror tunnel, they blow up half the clinic on our troops.”“They blow [up] the UNRWA clinic on our troops.”
UNRWA did not immediately respond to a request for comment …
The three soldiers, members of the elite Maglan unit, were taking precautionary measures in efforts to limit damage to the structure before eliminating the tunnel, when the explosives detonated in the small building.
The soldiers had sent in sniffing dogs and a small tractor to minimize damage to the structure, but explosives rigged to the building detonated, toppling a section of the building on the soldiers.
Fifteen soldiers were injured. IDF soldiers evacuating the wounded came under fire from Palestinian fighters …
Edelstein used the alleged clinic as an illustration of the difficulty inherent in fighting an enemy willing to exploit both civilians and non-governmental organizations. “Once you enter such a clinic and you see the UNRWA sigh on it and you know there is a terror tunnel there, you know it’s a very very sensitive building, and you’re thinking of the not-terrorist Palestinians living there all around, and you’re trying not to harm this place,” Edelstein said.
Again, we pray that God comforts the loved ones of the three soldiers lost, and that He provides strength and healing to all those wounded.Comments (2) »
Thursday, July 31st, 2014 at 9:44 AM | Stand For Israel
The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff has long provided thoughtful, well-written journalism on Israel and the Middle East. Now he gives this gripping account of traveling with IDF paratroopers into Gaza, in search of the tunnels and traps Hamas has built:
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“The sheer destruction around us is devastating,” a battalion commander, Yoav, noted. “What’s most disturbing is that they operate from this urban environment, and the ones who suffer most are the civilians. I’d much rather manage all this in face-to-face combat against a real Hamas, one that is genuinely here.”
He elaborated: Late one evening, after the troops thought they had secured the area around another tunnel, he said, three Hamas fighters suddenly emerged from a tunnel shaft out of the ground, and almost managed to catch the soldiers off guard. Luckily, the officer said, the soldiers were alert and reacted quickly. “The second they saw us, the terrorists slipped back into the tunnel. They then popped out from another entrance,” he said …
This is indeed one of the most difficult problems for IDF forces fighting within the Strip. Hamas has worked tirelessly in recent years to build up the tunnel infrastructure, with multiple entrance-ways that enable its gunmen to move quickly and undetected between private homes and streets and alleyways. At any moment, a Hamas fighter might come out of the ground and open fire with machine guns and anti-tank missiles on the troops.
An additional challenge is Hamas’s almost unthinkable decision to rig the homes of many residents in the Strip with explosives, aiming to collapse the structures upon Israeli soldiers.
Thursday, July 31st, 2014 at 8:51 AM | Stand For Israel
In three separate incidents since the start of Operation Protective Edge, schools in Gaza being run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) were found to be stashing rockets – the very same rockets the IDF is trying to locate and destroy. In at least one of these cases, UNRWA returned the rockets they discovered to “local authorities” – Hamas – undoubtedly used them to launch attacks against Israeli civilians instead of handing them over to the Israeli army.
UNRWA was established in 1949 to provide various services to more than half a million Palestinian refugees after Israel’s War of Independence in 1948. But many people argue that UNRWA is fundamentally flawed, and has only exacerbated the issue of Palestinian refugees, who today number over five million.
The status and future placement of Palestinian refugees is one of the fundamental obstacles to peace between Israel and its neighbors. And while the Palestinian Authority and Hamas continue to call for the return of all refugees to their original neighborhoods within Israel proper – a scenario which would effectively bring an end to the Jewish state – it is UNRWA that has kept this fantasy alive.
All refugees across the globe – with the exception of Palestinian refugees – are tended to by the U.N. High Commission. This commission operates under guidelines established in 1951 and seeks to settle refugees as quickly as possible, and most frequently, in countries other than the ones from which they fled. UNRWA, whose only patrons are the Palestinians, states that those Palestinians who fled Israel in the course of the 1948 War, as well as their descendants, will retain refugee status so long as they do not return to the homes and villages from which they fled – villages and homes that no longer exist.
With over 30,000 personnel, many of whom are proud members of Hamas, UNRWA is the largest U.N. agency, and the only U.N. program dedicated to serving only one group of people –…Read More » Comments (20) »
Thursday, July 31st, 2014 at 8:40 AM | Stand For Israel
As the international media focuses on the civilian casualties in Gaza – faulting the IDF, while assigning no blame to Hamas for using Palestinians as human shields, or for hiding themselves and their weaponry in hospitals, schools, and homes – one might wonder why journalists do not report the whole story. This eye-opening piece at Tablet not only explains the censorship and fear dealt with by reporters on the ground, but also reveals Hamas’ secret command center hidden in Gaza’s largest hospital:
The Israelis are so sure about the location of the Hamas bunker, however, not because they are trying to score propaganda points, or because it has been repeatedly mentioned in passing by Western reporters—but because they built it. Back in 1983, when Israel still ruled Gaza, they built a secure underground operating room and tunnel network beneath Shifa hospital—which is one among several reasons why Israeli security sources are so sure that there is a main Hamas command bunker in or around the large cement basement beneath the area of Building 2 of the Hospital, which reporters are obviously prohibited from entering.
Hamas obviously has no interest in having a photo-layout of one of its command bunkers beneath Shifa Hospital splashed on the front pages of newspapers. After all, such pictures would show that the organization uses the sick and wounded of Gaza as human shields while launching missiles against Israeli civilians. What Hamas wants is for reporters to use very different pictures from Shifa—namely, photos of Palestinians killed and wounded by Israelis, which make Palestinians look like innocent victims of wanton Israeli brutality.
To that end, the rules of reporting from Shifa Hospital are easy for any newbie reporter to understand: No pictures of members of Hamas with their weapons inside the hospital, and don’t go anywhere near the bunkers, or the operating rooms where members of Hamas are treated. While reporters can meet with members of Hamas inside the hospital—because it’s obviously convenient for everyone—they are not allowed to take…Read More » Comments (2) »
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at 3:31 PM | Stand For Israel
As the IDF works to find and destroy Hamas’ remaining terror tunnels in Gaza, Arutz Sheva reports that an explosion during an operation today killed three soldiers and wounded 27 more. A tunnel hidden inside a home had been booby-trapped and exploded as the soldiers worked to secure it:
In a statement, the army said they had been killed “while uncovering an offensive tunnel shaft in a residence in the southern Gaza Strip.”
“The house and the tunnel were booby trapped with two explosive devices that were detonated against the soldiers,” it said.
The attack was claimed by Hamas’s “military wing,” the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which claimed to have killed a group of soldiers during the bombing of a house in Khan Yunis where they were operating, in a statement that was issued earlier in the day.
Twenty-seven (27) additional soldiers were wounded.
We pray for the families of the soldiers who were killed, and for the recovery of all those injured in the explosion.Comments (120) »
Wednesday, July 30th, 2014 at 12:36 PM | Stand For Israel