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For Second Time, Rockets Found at U.N. School in Gaza

(Photo: flickr/ ismpalestine)

(Photo: flickr/ ismpalestine)

Both last week and in yesterday’s Daily Dispatch, Stand for Israel brought you news of terrorist rockets found hidden in Gaza schools. Today, The Times of Israel reports that rockets were again uncovered in a school operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA):

Israeli officials reacted furiously to the discovery. “How many more schools will have to be abused by Hamas missile squads before the international community will intervene,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor told The Times of Israel. “How many times can it turn its head the other way and pretend that it just doesn’t see?”

Another senior official pointed out that UNRWA has a history of letting Hamas use its facilities for its terrorist activities. “Time and again, over the years, UNRWA has been abused by gunmen from different terrorist factions who are using UN facilities to stockpile weapons, to fire rockets from, to steal UNRWA humanitarian equipment and to cause damage and fire in UNRWA’s hangars,” a senior Foreign Ministry official told The Times of Israel.

“Against all evidence, UNRWA refuses to acknowledge reality and pathetically attempts to ingratiate itself with Hamas, pretending that nothing serious has happened,” the senior official said. “This is a classic case of beaten-wife syndrome, which we have been witnessing for years from UNRWA. The people of Gaza, and indeed taxpayers from countries who contribute to UNRWA’s budget — including Israel — deserve better.”

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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 3:57 PM  | Stand For Israel

A Stubborn Status Quo in Gaza

(Photo: flickr/ patrik.herogame)

(Photo: flickr/ patrik.herogame)

As the count of Israeli soldiers killed in action rises, and as Gazans lose their lives during the IDF’s operation against Gaza-based terrorists, there is but one party at fault for all of the losses. Writing at Commentary, Max Boot places the blame squarely on Hamas, stating that the disproportionate death toll does not mean that Israel is the aggressor, but is the result of Hamas’ insistence on attacking Israel and its refusal to care about the Palestinian people in Gaza:

In a sense both sides are the victims of Hamas’s leaders who refuse to recognize Israel’s existence or to give up their armed struggle against it. If only the Hamas leaders had done what normal democratic politicians would have done when Israel evacuated the Gaza Strip in 2005: which is to say, if only they had focused on economic development, then none of this would have happened. Israel would have happily cooperated in boosting living conditions in Gaza; it only instituted a blockade on Gaza, with exceptions for humanitarian supplies, when it became clear that it was becoming an armed base for an attack on Israel. In fact wealthy Jewish donors even gave the Palestinians 3,000 greenhouses left behind by settlers. But instead of growing flowers, Hamas prefers to harvest hatred. The greenhouses were looted and covert rocket factories were constructed …

… the odds are heavy that Hamas will remain in charge after Israel’s operation ends–and Palestinians will continue to pay the price for its extremism time and again.

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Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 9:08 AM  | Stand For Israel

IDF troops uncover 21 smuggling tunnels in Gaza

smuggling tunnelThe IDF’s efforts in Gaza are paying off:

IDF soldiers from the Paratrooper Brigade uncovered 8 shafts leading to smuggling tunnels during Friday morning skirmishes in the Gaza Strip. Soldiers from the Givati Brigade also uncovered 13 similar tunnels for a total of 21 so far.

The finds align with the government declaration that the IDF’s main targets in their ground incursion would be tunnels in use by Hamas.

The troops apparently uncovered the tunnels in coordination with intelligence efforts and found a cache of weapons being stored there.

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Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 4:36 PM  | Stand For Israel

Breaking: IDF Begins Ground Incursion into Gaza

Photo: IDF

Photo: IDF

IDF ground forces have begun moving into the Gaza Strip with the purpose of destroying Gazan terror tunnels leading into Israel, the prime minister’s office confirmed Thursday:

“Israel is committed to act to protect its citizens. The operation will continue until its goals are reached: To bring quiet to the citizens of Israel for a long period of time, and to seriously harm Hamas and other terrorist organizations’ infrastructure in the Gaza Strip,” the statement read.

Prior to the commencement of the ground invasion, the IDF launched a massive wave of combined air and artillery strikes on Thursday night.

The IDF said that the operation will involve infantry, engineering corps, and tank units combined with air force and naval support and intelligence.

Thank you for keeping Israel in your prayers as she continues to fight for her safety.

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Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 3:02 PM  | Stand For Israel

Missiles Found in School in Gaza

UNRWA-logo-212x300About 20 rockets were found in a Gaza school operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) on Wednesday. The rockets were found during a routine inspection, and confirm — once again — the claim that Hamas and other terror groups use civilian infrastructure to hide weapons: 

“Yet again, Gaza terrorists abuse UN facilities to carry out their violent activities. Hamas and other terror groups are determined to put civilians in harm’s way and will respect nothing in their violent frenzy,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor told The Times of Israel. “We expect the UN and the international community to condemn and to act strongly against this brazen violation of international humanitarian law, which endangers children and UN humanitarian activities.”

This incident was “the first of its kind in Gaza,” the organization said, adding that it “endangered civilians including staff and put at risk UNRWA’s vital mission to assist and protect Palestinian refugees in Gaza.”

UNRWA informed all officials immediately after discovering the rockets, and “successfully took all necessary measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school.”

Officials from the agency, which has a reputation in Jerusalem of being exceedingly critical of Israeli policies vis-à-vis the Palestinians, have been summoned to the Foreign Ministry. They have apologized to Israel for the incident, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said.

 

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Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 2:30 PM  | Stand For Israel

The Palestinian “Genocide” Lie

Gaza missiles being fired at Israel(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

Gaza missiles being fired at Israel (Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian Authority, recently condemned Israel for committing “genocide” in Gaza, a viewpoint that has also been prevalent on social media in recent days. Jonah Goldberg, writing at the National Review, says that while this is a popular talking point, it’s also a blatant lie:

On the one hand, the Israeli military is supposed to be ruthlessly competent and determined to wipe out the Palestinians. On the other, the Palestinian population has grown more than 100 percent since 1970. The population in the Gaza Strip has grown nearly threefold since 1990. The Palestinians themselves expect the population to double over the next two decades. “Genocide” is a loaded political term, but under any remotely reasonable definition, shouldn’t those numbers be going the other way?

It’s just a hunch, but if the Israelis wanted to wipe out as many Palestinians as possible, never mind commit genocide, they probably wouldn’t issue warnings to Gazans (by phone and leaflet) to get out of harm’s way. Nor would Israel continue to allow hundreds of trucks of food and medical aid to enter Gaza even as hundreds of rockets leave Gaza.

And if Hamas were chiefly concerned with protecting Palestinian lives, it would not implore Gazans to stay in their homes — serving as human shields and inflating the body count as a propaganda prop to increase international pressure on Israel.

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Thursday, July 17th, 2014 at 8:37 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Is Playing a Dangerous Game with Gazan Lives

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

Even as Israel agreed to a ceasefire proposal yesterday, Hamas rejected it before launching off a salvo of over a hundred rockets, forcing Israel to defend itself with airstrikes. The Washington Post’s editorial board writes that Hamas is not only trying to win with its attacks on Israel, but by allowing the people of Gaza to be killed in hopes that these deaths will cause the West to pressure Israel to relent:

So far, the tactic is not working. Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Tuesday condemned Hamas for rejecting the cease-fire and “us[ing] the innocent lives of civilians . . . as shields.” But Hamas’s commanders, who have burrowed into underground bunkers, appear to be doubling down. They are urging civilians who have left their homes to return, including some 15,000 who evacuated the northern part of Gaza in response to Israeli warnings. The cease-fire proposal was answered with a new barrage of missiles aimed at central Israel …

To its credit, Israel has used sophisticated technology, including targeted text messages and dummy warning missiles, to minimize civilian casualties. But innocent people will inevitably be killed in attacks on launchers and missile factories that are purposely placed in densely populated areas. The right response of the international community is not to surrender to Hamas’s despicable tactics …

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Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 8:36 AM  | Stand For Israel

Netanyahu Speaks about Israel-Gaza Conflict

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the rounds of Sunday morning news programs yesterday, making the case for Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. In one appearance, he summed up well the difference between Israel and Hamas: “The difference between us is that we’re using missile defense to protect our civilians and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”

 

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Monday, July 14th, 2014 at 1:53 PM  | Stand For Israel

Assembling an Emergency Response

Fellowship volunteers deliver food to  elderly in Ashdod

Fellowship volunteers deliver food to elderly in Ashdod

As Israel continues to endure incessant rocket attacks, The Fellowship’s efforts to help those in the line of fire have ramped up. Here’s a firsthand report from one of our staff members in Israel:

Inda and Rita are organizing The Fellowship’s emergency efforts in Ashdod during Operation Protective Edge. Rita calls the many elderly who already receive help from The Fellowship to see if they are okay and if they need any additional assistance, while Inda prepares to distribute food to hundreds of elderly and families in the city.

Inda almost faints when The Fellowship’s food supplier calls to tell her he’s en route with 800 prepared meals to be distributed to those in need. She didn’t expect the meals for another 24 hours, and now needs a place to store them for a few hours while she organizes a team to distribute them.

The driver of the refrigerated truck with the meals has come all the way from Jerusalem, and he’s a little nervous about the rockets that are flying in the area. Inda calms him, giving him directions to the facility she has found where the meals can be stored. The driver is a 25-year-old ultra-Orthodox man who works for the company that produces meals for The Fellowship throughout the country. He explains that in spite of his fear and concern, “It’s days like this that we need go everywhere.”

With a place to store the food secured, Inda now assembles a team to distribute the meals. She calls her father as well as another volunteer organization in the city. Due to the circumstances, resources are combined, and temporary work teams are built. Some of the young volunteers come from a pre-army leadership program, while others come on their own.

The team quickly loads the packages of prepared food. They are in a protected room, but they can hear sirens and booms close by. Before they leave the protected area, the young people talk about their impressions…

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Monday, July 14th, 2014 at 12:09 PM  | Stand For Israel

No Easy Answer in Gaza

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

There is no immediate solution to the conflict between Hamas and Israel, according to Max Boot, writing for Commentary. Hamas does not have the power to destroy Israel, while Israel has no interest in reoccupying Gaza:

The preferred solution of the U.S. and the European Union is an Israeli pullout from the West Bank. This is intended to hasten a “final settlement” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But Israel will do no such thing because it has seen in Gaza the wages of withdrawal–not peace but rather more conflict.

But if the doves have no real answer to the threat from Gaza, neither do the hawks who urge that Israel annihilate Hamas. The only way this can happen is if Israel reoccupies the Gaza Strip. Otherwise, as has happened so often in the past, Hamas will simply regenerate itself after suffering some casualties.

The problem is that the Israeli public has no desire to assume the role of occupier in Gaza once again–which would undoubtedly reduce rocket attacks on Israel but increase casualties among the conscripts of the Israel Defense Forces. The fact that the Iron Dome system provides a fair degree of protection against Hamas rockets makes it all the more unlikely that Prime Minister Netanyahu will take the drastic step of reoccupying Gaza.

It would be nice if Fatah were able to topple Hamas from power and install a regime in Gaza committed to peaceful co-existence with Israel. But this is unlikely on multiple levels, not least because even Fatah has not truly accepted Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. …

There is, for the foreseeable future, no exit from this grim deadlock–and attempts to achieve one (by, for example, forcing Israeli territorial concessions) are only likely to make the situation worse.

 

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Monday, July 14th, 2014 at 9:09 AM  | Stand For Israel
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State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
The Heartbreaking Reality
in Southern Israel

Yesterday I traveled to southern Israel to stand in solidarity with communities that are getting the brunt of the rocket fire…


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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