- About Israel
- News & Blog
- World Opinion
- Take Action Now
Operation Protective Edge, this summer’s action by Israel to defeat Hamas, ended with a ceasefire between the Jewish state and the Gaza-based terror organization. But Israel should not stop until it has defeated Hamas, says the son of one of the terrorist group’s leaders, in this fascinating interview with The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff:
“To get to peace with the Palestinians, Israel needs to go to war against Hamas in Gaza, and fast.” That’s the view of Mosab Hasan Yousef, better known as the “Green Prince,” the son of West Bank Hamas chief Sheikh Hasan Yousef.
Mosab Yousef, who was a Shin Bet agent from 1997 to 2007, at the same time as he ran his father’s office, is well aware of the significance of what he is saying. “I know that this will sound to some people like dangerous rhetoric, a push for war, but my motivation is precisely the opposite. I’m speaking out because you can’t deal with reality by running away from it. You can’t take refuge in temporary solutions. Hamas has to be tackled at its roots, uprooted once and for all, and now is the perfect moment to deal with Hamas militarily in Gaza. The longer Israel waits,” he warned, “the more dangerous an enemy Hamas will become and the harder the battle. This is the time to initiate a war against Hamas.”
Now based in the US, Mosab Yusef is currently on a visit to Israel, and I met with him in Tel Aviv. It was five years ago that I first revealed that he was an agent assisting the Shin Bet — Israel’s most reliable source in Hamas, central to the prevention of numerous suicide bombings and attacks, and to the exposure of Hamas terror cells — and the identity of his handler, “Captain Loai,” Gonen Ben Itzhak. As we sat together near the Tel Aviv beach, his criticisms of Israeli government policy were clear and fierce.
“Don’t wait for the summer for Hamas…Read More » Comments (5) »
Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at 8:44 AM | Stand For Israel
A border into Gaza has been closed. You would think that there would be international outrage and anti-Israel sentiment. But former national security adviser Elliott Abrams says that this is not the case because it wasn’t Israel that closed the border:
Comments (4) »
Front page news? “Israel Turns Gaza Into Prison.” UN Security Council resolution? “Urgently demands that the Government of Israel open the passage and permit those needing medical attention to reach doctors and hospitals.” The U.S. State Department? Perhaps it says “We are deeply troubled by the humanitarian dimension and believe the passage should be opened immediately….” Marches and demonstrations in European capitals? “This is Genocide!” signs say.
Nope. Because the crossing in question is Rafah crossing, between Gaza and Egypt not Israel, and the country keeping it closed is Egypt. The Palestinians are “resentful,” in that story, about the government of Egypt. The health conditions of the people who are “suffering from medical problems” are suffering because of Egypt.
The Egyptian official explanation is that security requires the closing. Recently the Egyptian terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis pledged loyalty to the Islamic State. In October, 33 Egyptian security personnel were killed by terrorists; last week, 5 more. Why these events require that people in need of medical treatment may not use Rafah, and how that closure enhances Egyptian security, may be debated.
My point is a different one: were it Israel keeping the key passage closed and simply saying security requires it, this would be a very big deal. The condemnations would be constant. Instead, near silence. Double standard? The usual uninterest in how Arabs treat other Arabs? The desire not to criticize General Sisi’s government in Cairo? So it seems. A Palestinian would be justified in concluding that the world hasn’t the slightest interest in the fate of Palestinians, other than as a battering ram to use against Israel.
Monday, November 24th, 2014 at 8:22 AM | Stand For Israel
While the international media has blasted Israel for Operation Protective Edge, the United States’ highest ranking military officer has spoken out in defense of the Jewish state’s actions during the conflict. Haaretz reports that General Martin Dempsey said Israel went to “extraordinary lengths” to protect innocents in Gaza, and that the U.S. is learning from Israel how to limit civilian casualties:
The highest-ranking U.S. military officer said on Thursday that Israel went to “extraordinary lengths” to limit civilian casualties in the recent war in Gaza and that the Pentagon had sent a team to see what lessons could be learned from the operation.
Army General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, acknowledged recent reports criticizing civilian deaths during the 50-day Gaza war this year but told an audience in New York he thought the Israel Defense Forces “did what they could” to avoid civilian casualties.
Israel was criticized for civilian deaths during the conflict, including by the White House. More than 2,100 Palestinians were killed during the fighting, most of them civilians and many of them children, according to UN and Palestinian figures.
A Human Rights Watch report in September accused Israel of committing war crimes by attacking three UN-run schools in the enclave, while Amnesty International said in a report released on Wednesday that Israel showed “callous indifference” to the carnage caused by attacks on civilian targets.
Dempsey was asked about the ethical implications of Israel’s handling of the Gaza war, during an appearance in New York at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs.
“I actually do think that Israel went to extraordinary lengths to limit collateral damage and civilian casualties,” Dempsey told the group.
“In this kind of conflict, where you are held to a standard that your enemy is not held to, you’re going to be criticized for civilian casualties,” he added.
Dempsey said Hamas had turned Gaza into “very nearly a subterranean society” with tunneling throughout the coastal enclave.
“That caused the IDF some significant challenges. But…Read More » Comments (11) »
Friday, November 7th, 2014 at 8:41 AM | Stand For Israel
Operation Protective Edge disrupted Hamas’ ability to rain terror on Israel – much of its rocket supply was depleted, many of its terror tunnels were found and destroyed. But even as the terrorist group has been weakened, and even as Gaza begins to rebuild, The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff reports that Hamas, too, is rebuilding in an attempt to keep its grip on the Gaza Strip:
Things are as they were: Poverty, desperation, extremism and tens of thousands of displaced people. The sea is the same sea, and Hamas is the same Hamas, with the same aspirations.
There is one major difference, though: Hamas is poorer. Without the income from the Gaza-Egypt tunnels, and having stopped collecting taxes, its funds are dwindling. While the PA will oversee the actual reconstruction of the Strip, Hamas’s top priority is the reestablishment of its internal infrastructure — including its financial infrastructure …
Hamas has lowered its profile, but financial problems or not, it has no intention of relinquishing practical control over the strip. Gaza’s government and social services will formally be run by the Abbas-led administration, but Hamas is not going anywhere. Its police and military hierarchies will continue to operate throughout Gaza, and Abbas’s PA security forces will not, except perhaps at the border crossings.
Furthermore, despite those budgetary constraints, Hamas is already busily is trying to revive its military industry. Since the end of Operation Protective Edge on August 26, it has managed to conduct a series of rocket tests into the Mediterranean, underlining that a new line of rockets is being produced …
Meanwhile, the Hamas’ military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has launched a recruitment drive. Last Thursday, the very day that the “national reconciliation government” held its much-hyped first meeting in Gaza, the brigades held a large military parade in Shejaiya. Some of the same officials who greeted PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in the morning attended the brigades’ rally in the afternoon — a rally intended to convey a clear message to the residents of…Read More » Comments (6) »
Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 8:28 AM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday in Cairo, Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas asked for $4 billion in aid to rebuild Gaza. He received international pledges for at least that much. However, writes Elliott Abrams, the world is aware that Hamas still controls Gaza, and that the money meant for rebuilding might only go to rebuild the terrorist organization:
There are at least two main issues. First, Egypt and Israel want to be sure that construction materials do not go to Hamas for its construction of tunnels, arms depots, and other means of making war rather than for building homes, schools, and the like. They also want to be sure that Hamas does not smuggle in arms and ammunition. This means the establishment of a border control regime and some way of identifying end users inside Gaza. Second, the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah (or the Palestinian Authority–same thing) continues.
On October 12 in Cairo, at an international conference on rebuilding Gaza, PA president Mahmoud Abbas will ask for $4 billion in pledges. He may get some pledges; cash is a different story. Many donors are wary of corruption in the PA and in Hamas, and fear Hamas efforts to divert funds and materials to illicit terrorist uses. Donors from the EU have made some foolish statements about how tired they are of paying for reconstruction of buildings that Israel then bombs, and appear to be seeking some Israeli promise never to strike Gaza again. This is impossible, because Hamas remains in charge in Gaza and may well decide to launch fusillades of mortars and rockets into Israel again, hiding as it usually does within, behind, and under civilian facilities such as houses, mosques, and hospitals. If this happens Israel will respond, so the kind of pledge some European donors have been seeking is impossible to give. Hamas has chosen war several times before and may well choose it again.
The central problem is that Hamas is still running Gaza. The new Palestinian “technocratic”…Read More » Comments (13) »
Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 8:35 AM | Stand For Israel
Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Stand for Israel brought you news of Israel’s battle to defend its people and homeland against Hamas. Now that the war is over – for now – stories of what the IDF encountered are now emerging. The IDF blog provides the experiences of one brave soldier’s service – and survival – in Gaza:
Sgt. Avi, the commander of the Sniper Squad of the IDF Paratroopers Brigade, entered Gaza with the purpose of dismantling Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure, including the vast underground tunnel network built to infiltrate and attack Israel. “My soldiers and I were prepared, both mentally and physically. We knew why we were going in,” said Sgt. Avi. “The company commander got on the radio and said, “pick up your bags’ and we started walking …
“On our second day inside Gaza we moved to a different house; it’s safer not to stay in the same place,” said Sgt. Avi. “We were taking turns keeping watch, and I decided to join the round so that my soldiers would have more time to rest. I had just finished my shift when I realized that the soldiers were tense. One of them had heard a person speaking arabic outside the house and spotted suspicious movement.”
Realizing that there were people in the area, Sgt. Avi and his soldiers heightened their awareness. “I joined my soldiers on the roof. After a few minutes, a man about 40 years old walked out of a house nearby, and then I saw that he was holding a woman, and he was using her as a shield.”
“That was the first time I saw with my own eyes someone using another person, a woman, as a shield. I’d seen videos at home, I’d heard about it on the news, and I had believed it, but now I was seeing…Read More » Comments (12) »
Monday, September 22nd, 2014 at 10:52 AM | Stand for Israel
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…Read More » Comments (19) »
Friday, September 19th, 2014 at 8:25 AM | Stand for Israel
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:
Comments (8) »
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.
Tuesday, September 9th, 2014 at 11:50 AM | Stand for Israel
As 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:
Comments (7) »
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.
Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 at 8:34 AM | Stand for Israel