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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:
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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.
Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014 at 9:08 AM | Stand For Israel
Seven IDF soldiers were killed fighting Hamas terrorists on Monday, bringing the number of Israeli dead to 25. Four were killed during Hamas’ attempt to infiltrate Israel disguised as friendly soldiers. The head of the IDF’s operation in the area noted that their sacrifice helped avert greater tragedy:
Four of the seven were killed by a rocket-propelled grenade, fired by Hamas gunmen who emerged from a tunnel dug from Gaza into Israel near Kibbutz Nir Am. The Hamas cell, clad in IDF uniforms, emerged from the tunnel, and waited for an approaching IDF jeep before opening fire, killing the IDF officer and the three other soldiers in the vehicle …
Troops from the Nahal Brigade converged and killed 10 of the Hamas gunmen. Two of the gunmen may have escaped back into Gaza …
“We paid a heavy price, but we averted a grave disaster,” said Sami Turgeman, the general in charge of the IDF’s Southern Command. “There is no Iron Dome protection against tunnel infiltration.”
Again, we ask that you, our friends who stand with Israel during peaceful times and troubled ones such as these, pray for God’s comfort on the families of those lost in battle, and for His protection on those who continue to protect the Holy Land.Comments (1) »
Monday, July 21st, 2014 at 1:54 PM | Stand For Israel
Hamas terrorists tried to infiltrate Israel today. Yediot Achronot reports that while the attack was stopped by Israel’s military, the attackers sneaked in wearing correct IDF uniforms:
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The terrorists, 9 of which had been killed, were carrying army bullet-proof vests, wore IDF boots with rubber bands to keep pants from snagging at anything, as well as helmets with camouflage covers very similar to the ones used by the army.
The terrorists crossed the border fence from Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip and came across an IDF force near kibbutz Nir Am.
Observation units identified the terrorists in the bushes, but the army did not open fire at them at first because they were wearing correct IDF uniforms, and the troops feared these were IDF soldiers, since many different units operate in the area.
The troops were ordered to open fire only after the terrorists started firing at them with AK-47s.
Monday, July 21st, 2014 at 12:17 PM | Stand For Israel
Writing at The Washington Post, Charles Krauthammer breaks down the differences between the Palestinian and Israeli leadership, which were summed up well in Prime Minister Netanyahu’s recent quote, “We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians, and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.”
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To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the U.N.’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.
In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, the depravity of Hamas begins to make sense. This is a world in which the Munich massacre is a movie and the murder of Klinghoffer is an opera — both deeply sympathetic to the killers. This is a world in which the U.N. ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years that nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields.
It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear.
Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 12:49 PM | Stand For Israel
Writing in the Algemeiner, terrorism expert Steve Emerson says that the Arab media is increasingly open in criticizing Hamas for instigating violence against Israel.
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Media in Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Egypt blame Hamas’ actions for inviting Israeli counter attacks and prioritizing conflict over the safety of the Gazan population and criticized the leadership for waging war far from the conflict, a Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) report shows.
After Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal criticized Egyptian inaction in Gaza, Egyptian columnists responded emphatically.
“[Meshaal], we are tired of defending the [Palestinian] cause that you have sold for cheap to an MB (Muslim Brotherhood) gang whose way you followed even though they have lost their [own] way,” wrote columnist Hamdi Razaq. He also called Meshaal out for living in luxurious Qatari hotels instead of fighting in Gaza.
Friday, July 18th, 2014 at 9:23 AM | Stand For Israel
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:
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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 …
Wednesday, July 16th, 2014 at 8:36 AM | Stand For Israel
On Monday, Egypt proposed a ceasefire to the conflict between Israel and Hamas. While Israel agreed to the ceasefire, The Times of Israel reports, Hamas did not:
Israel accepted the Egyptian ceasefire agreement because it would restore the status quo that preceded Operation Protective Edge but leave Hamas severely weakened, the official said.
“Hamas didn’t achieve what it had planned to achieve: not in the military campaign itself, where it was dealt a severe blow with more than 1,700 attacks, not in its efforts to harm Israeli civilians, not in its desire to carry out strategic terror attacks from the sea, the air and the ground — which were attempted but thwarted — and not in its ability to recruit the Arab world and Judea and Samaria,” the official said, referring to Palestinians in the West Bank.
Hamas also failed to accomplish anything with the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, which does not include any preconditions and does not mention Hamas’s demands for the payment of salaries for its men in Gaza and the release of prisoners, the official said.
Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said the Palestinian group rejected the proposal.
We continue to pray for the safety of the Israeli people and the brave men and women of the IDF who are defending them, as well as for peace in Israel.Comments (5) »
Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Stand For Israel
While Israel accepted the ceasefire proposal put forth by Egypt today, Hamas rejected the terms as being unacceptable. At the Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh writes that there is no love lost between Egyptians and their new leadership and Hamas, realizing that the terror organization’s actions hurt not only Israel, but the rest of the Middle East:
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… over the past week, there are also different voices coming out of Egypt and some other Arab countries — voices that publicly support the Israeli military operation against the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip.
This is perhaps because a growing number of Arabs and Muslims are fed up with the Islamist terrorists who are imposing a reign of terror and intimidation in the Arab world, particularly in Iraq and Syria. They see the atrocities and massacres committed by Islamists on a daily basis in Iraq and Syria and are beginning to ask themselves if these serve the interests of the Arabs and Muslims …
What is also remarkable is Egyptian criticism of Hamas for launching rockets at the nuclear facility in Dimona in southern Israel. Ahmed Qandeel, head of the Energy Studies Program at the Al-Ahram Strategic Studies think-tank, denounced the targeting of Dimona as “idiotic.” He warned that this would have a negative impact on the entire region and endanger the lives of many Egyptians and Arabs. “Egypt must take precautionary measures,” he advised …
Echoing the widespread sentiment among Egyptians, journalist Mustafa Shardi said: “No Arab country has done for the Palestinians as Egypt did … The Egyptian people are asking: Where are our people who were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip? Hamas should apologize for the 1000 tunnels that were used to smuggle the resources of Egypt. They all have their own planes and accounts in Swiss banks.”
Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 at 8:52 AM | Stand For Israel
Earlier this week, we reported on Hamas’ implementation of “human shields” – placing Palestinian civilians in or on terrorist buildings targeted by the IDF. Writing at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin takes a closer look at how Hamas targets Israeli civilians while at the same time placing its own in danger:
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Hamas situates its weapons and fighters next to or among civilians not just because Gaza is crowded but because it is hoping that Israel will kill as many of their own people as possible. It indiscriminately fires rockets at Israeli population centers in part to kill as many Jews as possible though it has, to date, failed in that effort. But it is just as important to them to generate the Israeli counter-attacks that inevitably lead to Palestinian civilian deaths even if those numbers are inflated because many of those killed are actually Hamas terrorists.
Friday, July 11th, 2014 at 9:08 AM | Stand For Israel