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Gazans Speak Out on Hamas War Crimes

(Photo: IDF blog)

(Photo: IDF blog)

While Hamas’ strategy of using human shields has been exposed, and its members have even admitted to launching rockets from civilian locations, the world still wants to blame Israel for the civilian deaths in Gaza this past summer. To find the truth, the Gatestone Institute’s Mudar Zahran spoke to actual Gazans, who told a very different story:

They spoke of Hamas atrocities and war crimes implicating Hamas in the civilian deaths of its own people.

Although Gazans, fearful of Hamas’s revenge against them, were afraid to speak to the media, friends in the West Bank offered introductions to relatives in Gaza. One, a renowned Gazan academic, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that as soon as someone talked to a Western journalist, he was immediately questioned by Hamas and accused of “communicating with the Mossad”. “Hamas makes sure that the average Gazan will not talk to Western journalists — or actually any journalists at all,” he said, continuing:

“Hamas does not want the truth about Gaza to come out. Hamas terrorizes and kills us just like Daesh [ISIS] terrorizes kills Iraqis. Hamas is a dictatorship that kills us. The Gazans you see praising Hamas on TV are either Hamas members or too afraid to speak against Hamas. Few foreign [Western] journalists were probably able to report what Gazans think of Hamas.”

D, a store owner, said:

“There were two major protests against Hamas during the third week of the war. When Hamas fighters opened fire at the protesters in the Bait Hanoun area and the Shijaiya, five were killed instantly. I saw that with my own eyes. Many were injured. A doctor at Shifa hospital told me that 35 were killed at both protests. He went and saw their bodies at the morgue.”

To verify those reports, I spoke to a second Gazan academic, who holds a PhD. from a Western university, who stated:

“Hamas did kill protesters, no doubt about that. But we could not confirm how many were actually killed. If…

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Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 8:25 AM  | Stand for Israel

What Does Hamas Really Want?

(Photo: flickr/  l_suddenly)

(Photo: flickr/ l_suddenly)

As the dust settles in Gaza and Israel after a relatively long war, Yaakov Lappin, a journalist at the Jerusalem Post, writes that the current truce forms a good opportunity to examine the reason Hamas began their conflict this summer in the first place:

Hamas’s bloody clashes have a dual purpose: First, they act as a fuel that Hamas pours on the national consciousness of Palestinians, to keep hatred burning, and ensure that Palestinians continue to see themselves as being at war with Israel, while viewing Hamas as the soldiers of that war, and thus their saviors.Second, such wars marginalize Hamas’s rivals in Ramallah, the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority [PA], which Hamas often attempts to depict as an Israeli “collaborator.”

Keeping the armed conflict alive — whatever the cost to Gazans — is the central tenet of Hamas’s survival strategy.

Above all else, Hamas wishes to ensure that the torch of jihad keeps burning, to pass it on to the next Palestinian generation. Nothing keeps the flames of jihad alight, and Hamas’s popularity secure, like frequent wars.

Long, open-ended truces, Hamas may fear, could lead to a hibernation of the conflict, which in turn could lead to a long-term political settlement with Israel.

In Hamas’s lexicon, truces and ceasefires are synonymous with rearming and regrouping, and preparing the next attack on Israel.

 

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Thursday, September 18th, 2014 at 9:17 AM  | Stand for Israel

Video: Islamic Jihad Digging New Gaza Tunnels

Operation Protective Edge damaged Hamas and other Gazan terror organizations’ capabilities – from targeting terrorists to destroying terror tunnels and weapons stashes. But the above video of a new Islamic Jihad terror tunnel – built after the latest war in Gaza – being shown off to an Al Jazeera reporter illustrates that while the IDF did much to slow its enemies, the threat is still very present:

Gazan terror group Islamic Jihad is rebuilding tunnels beneath the Strip, including some that are to burrow under the border with Israel, according to a report from Al-Jazeera TV …

At the start of the clip the reporter is shown being taken blindfolded to the tunnel entrance to conceal its location. Once inside the tunnel the reporter, who must hunch over in order to make his way along the low passageway, explains that it is being “dug by resistance fighters in this border area.”

The tunnel looks similar to dozens of others discovered by IDF forces in the past with cement blocks positioned to shore up the walls and roof.

“What is remarkable about this tunnel is that it is has been dug recently,” he says. “As you can see it is still being dug … “

“We are now in one of the tunnels of the Al-Quds Brigades,” the worker explains, using the name of Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, “on which work began as soon as the war on Gaza ended, and the ceasefire was declared. We have begun work and we are continuing it regardless of the threats by the Zionist enemy.”

“We will not be hindered by the threats of the enemy, or by the ban on importing cement and other building materials,” he adds.

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Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 at 11:50 AM  | Stand for Israel

Which Side Is UNRWA On?

UNRWA-logo-724x1024As Operation Protective Edge brought Israel back into Gaza, it also brought the United Nations’ UNRWA agency back into the news. Much of this attention was due to the fact that terrorist rockets were found in UNRWA-run schools, while many more rockets were launched from such locations. Former national security adviser Elliott Abrams writes that while UNRWA has always been bad, now they seem to be even worse:

So now there are two compelling reasons to end UNRWA. Its cooperation with Hamas, and the way in which it has been permeated by Hamas, constitute one reason. The second is that UNRWA is engaged in the perpetuation and expansion of the “Palestinian refugee problem” rather than its solution …

In the decades of its existence, it has not solved or even diminished the Palesinian refugee problem; instead it has presided over a massive increase in its size, for all the descendants of Palestinian refugees are considered to be refugees as well. Once there were 750,000; now there are five million people considered by UNRWA to be “Palestinian refugees … ”

Which side is UNRWA on? Its supporters would say “on the side of Palestinian refugees,” but instead the agency appears to be on two other sides: its own, always expanding its own empire and responsibilities, and on the side of Hamas …

The Gaza war has illuminated once again the ways in which Hamas has been acting as a parasite feeding on this UN agency–to which the United States is the largest donor. Time for a change.

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Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 8:34 AM  | Stand for Israel

Israel Has Emerged Stronger

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

As all wars do, Operation Protective Edge cost Israel much – in the lives lost, in the soldiers wounded, in the financial and emotional prices paid. Yet much was also gained. Writing at The Times of Israel’s blog, Dr. Daniel Polisar says that the war made Israel stronger by strengthening Israeli society, strengthening the Jewish state’s diplomacy, and weakening Israel’s enemies:

First and foremost, Israeli society was strengthened over the last seven weeks … showered soldiers with moral and material support, demonstrated gritty determination to continue the ground war despite the large number of IDF casualties, and bolstered the spirits of those most in need by attending en masse funerals of people whom they did not know—with the most sublime symbol being the sign placed near the grave of ex-Californian infantry fighter Max Steinberg, “There is no such thing as a lone soldier in Israel.”

Such acts gave Israelis and their leaders the fortitude to go on under difficult circumstances, but also have longer-term effects. They etched into the hearts of Israelis, especially those who recently came of age, that we are a people capable of great courage, compassion, and commitment when it matters most. When the dust settles and the commentaries of today and tomorrow are forgotten, it will be this sense that will remain and will instill in Israelis the conviction we have what it takes to survive and thrive, come what may.

Diplomatically, Israel was of course subject to increasing criticism from Europe and suffered a well-publicized rift with its leading ally, the United States. Even so, European actions, in any event not decisive, did not undergo a qualitative shift and the U.S.-Israel relationship remains firm, as witnessed by continued cooperation on numerous fronts. The only real strategic change was the remarkable deepening of Israel’s ties with Egypt, the most powerful Arab country …

Finally, the conduct of the war has given pause to Hamas and the heads of the more powerful Hezbollah about engaging soon in another military clash…

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Friday, August 29th, 2014 at 9:04 AM  | Stand For Israel

Is the Gaza War Really Over?

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

As the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has held, Israel begins to rebuild, even as it watches warily the threats it faces on all sides. But writing at the Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh asks – in light of Hamas’ stated intentions and overall strategy – if Israel’s war in Gaza is really over:

However, it is important to note that these cease-fire demands are not part of Hamas’s or Islamic Jihad’s overall strategy, namely to have Israel wiped off the face of the earth.

Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip are not only fighting for an airport and seaport. Nor are they fighting only for the reopening of all border crossings with Israel and Egypt.

During this war, many seem to have forgotten that Hamas and Islamic Jihad are actually fighting to “liberate Jerusalem and all Palestine.” The two groups have never recognized Israel’s right to exist and continue to oppose any attempt to make peace with the “Zionist entity.”

Operation Protective Edge may have ended, but the dream to destroy Israel is still alive. Even if Hamas and Islamic Jihad eventually get their own airport and seaport, it is obvious that the two groups are now more determined than ever to pursue their fight to eliminate Israel, especially in light of the fact that they feel they have emerged from the war triumphant.

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Thursday, August 28th, 2014 at 9:23 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas’ “Victory”

(Photo: flickr/ unknown unknown)

(Photo: flickr/ unknown unknown)

As soon as yesterday’s ceasefire was announced, Hamas’ leaders crawled out from the bunkers and tunnels in which they’d been living, and from the hospitals underneath which they’d been cowardly hiding, and began proclaiming that their war with Israel had resulted in victory. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Bassam Tawil wonders how the terrorist organization can consider this devastating defeat a win:

The Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leadership waged their war from deep underground bunkers, beneath high-rise buildings and below Gaza’s showcase Al-Shifa Hospital. The leadership left the civilian population above ground and urged them onto the roofs of buildings or to stay home and receive the strikes that were coming toward their weapons stockpiles and rocket launchers. Waging war from five-star hotels in Qatar or bunkers under Gaza’s urban landscape, Hamas’s leaders positioned these rocket launchers next to hospitals, schools, mosques, UNRWA facilities, residential complexes and even hotels where foreign media personnel were staying.

It was the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders, not the Israelis, who are the war criminals. It was these Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad leaders who were responsible for the civilian deaths of more than two thousand Gazans, while they safely hid and only claimed that they wanted to be shaheeds [martyrs].

While the Hamas leadership threw the Gazan civilians to their bitter fate, the Israelis used the safe rooms they had built for their civilians and their Iron Dome aerial defense system to keep their own civilians safe. Not relying solely on Iron Dome, the IDF sent infantry units to the front lines inside the Gaza Strip to protect Israel’s home front. The Israel Air Force attacked rocket and mortar shell launchers; its ground forces destroyed 32 terrorist tunnels that led from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory.

Its tunnels into Israel were blown up; the rockets smuggled in from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Korea were neutralized; thousands of civilians were killed and tens of thousands of Gazan homes were destroyed, and yet the…

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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 at 9:28 AM  | Stand for Israel

Spanish Journalist in Gaza: Hamas Launched Rockets from Press Hotel

(Photo: twitter/ Fernando Gutierrez)

(Photo: twitter/ Fernando Gutierrez)

Stand for Israel has told you about Hamas’ tactics of using human shields and storing rockets in and launching them from homes, schools, and hospitals, but now we bring you this article from The Algemeiner about a Spanish journalist in Gaza who has reported the truth on the terror organization’s strategies:

Freelance Spanish journalist Fernando Gutiérrez said on Twitter Hamas was launching rockets from the press hotel, in Gaza.

In Spanish, Gutiérrez, who is writing for Melilla Hoy, tweeted, “On Saturday, 9th of August, Hamas launched a battery of rockets from the press hotel. What was their intent? To provoke to Israel to kill us?#SaveGazaFromHamas“.

On Twitter, Gutiérrez told followers he went to Gaza to see the facts for himself.

In another popular tweet in Spanish, Gutiérrez said, “I would be lying if I told you I saw signs of apartheid in Israel. But I’m not going to lie,” posting a photo of an Arab IDF soldier kissing his mother, wearing a hijab, on the cheek.

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Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 at 1:32 PM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Attacks Israeli Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

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.

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Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 10:41 AM  | Stand For Israel

Lessons of the War in Gaza

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

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:

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.

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Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 8:35 AM  | Stand For Israel

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Rabbi's Commentary
Remembering the Terror of 9/11, Confronting the Terror of Today

The attacks on 9/11 were a wake-up call to the dangers of Islamist terrorism, and the swift growth of terrorist groups such as the Islamic State should wake us up to a current threat that demands not just our vigilance, but also our unity.


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