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The world is now focused on stopping the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), and the media – as it so often does – has forgotten the war against terrorists, Operation Protective Edge, that only just finished. Now, the Associated Press is reporting that Hamas has admitted to war crimes during that conflict – war crimes that those who stand for Israel knew about all along – and Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin worries that the world won’t take notice:
But perhaps some of those who pooh-poohed Israel’s claims that Hamas was firing rockets at Israeli cities from civilian areas and thereby using the people of Gaza as human shields will pay a smidgeon of attention to the news that, as the Associated Press reported today, Hamas operatives admit that they did exactly what the Israelis said they did.
According to the AP, contrary to the claims of its defenders, Hamas operatives have admitted firing rockets from civilian areas in Gaza …
Hamas figures quoted by the AP contend that it was impossible for them to fire missiles without being in the vicinity of civilians because the strip is so congested. There are two answers to this argument.
One is to point out that, despite the contentions about Gaza being the most congested place on earth, that there are, plenty of vacant areas in the strip. Parts of Gaza are crowded but it is not one continuous urban jungle. If Hamas really wanted to avoid Israeli fire being brought down on areas where civilians lived they could have used such places. But, firing from beaches or open fields doesn’t provide the cover that hospitals, mosques or school courtyards give the terrorists.
More to the point, if the only places they shoot missiles that are deliberately aimed to cause the maximum civilian casualties for the Israelis are an urban area, and then a group that was not a pack of bloodthirsty terrorists would have held its fire. Hamas did not.
These admissions prove again, as if much more…Read More » Comments (10) »
Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 8:32 AM | Stand for Israel
As the United States and other nations battle the Islamic State (IS or ISIS), it isn’t the only group threatening to terrorize the free world. While many ignore Hamas, and others champion them, it is heartening to know that some leaders still realize the terrorist threat that they are. In a speech on Thursday, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid not only called them what they are – a terrorist organization as bad as the one the U.S. is currently fighting – but pledged American support in Israel’s ongoing fight against Hamas:
But there is another evil organization in the world today that, like ISIS, has zero regard for humanity; they are kidnappers and executioners; they are violent extremists who murder innocent civilians; they are terrorists who cower behind women and children, using them as human shields; they are saboteurs of peace and provocateurs of bloody conflict who will not stop until their enemies are annihilated.
Once again, I’m not talking about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. I’m talking about Hamas. Hamas and ISIS are both vicious, corrupt, hateful, evil groups. And both are extreme. Yet, for some reason, Hamas’ brutality doesn’t elicit the same horror from the international community as ISIS. How can that be?
One of the few differences between these two terrorist organizations is that Hamas has a narrow, ghastly focus — the destruction of Israel. Consider its actions over the past several months:
Hamas raided its own limited supplies for housing and general infrastructure, intended to repair the destruction that occurred during the last conflict they initiated. But Hamas instead used the stolen materials to build tunnels to hide and infiltrate Israel — infiltrating to kill, maim, kidnap and murder the innocent. These depraved agitators launched thousands of rockets into Israel, hoping to inflict death and destruction. Their rockets had no aiming capabilities — they fired indiscriminately, not caring whether they hit a child,…Read More » Comments (17) »
Monday, September 15th, 2014 at 8:21 AM | Stand for Israel
The kidnapping of three Israeli teens – Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel – horrified Israel and its worldwide supporters. While the two terrorists who carried out the act are still at large, the mastermind behind the plot was indicted today and new details about the abduction and murder have surfaced:
[Hussam Hassan] Kawasmeh confessed his role in the kidnapping under Shin Bet interrogation, and implicated a number of other accomplices to the crime.
The manhunt for Kawasmeh – whose extended family figures prominently within the Hamas movement and its stronghold of Hevron – began as soon as the bodies were discovered. Realizing he would be a suspect, he prepared to flee to Jordan with the help of a fake passport and the support of several relatives in Hevron – Hashem Kawasmeh, Jameel Kawasmeh and Hassan Kawasmeh.
But his plans to escape were foiled after intelligence services got wind of them, and Kawasmeh was arrested in the Shuafat neighborhood of Jerusalem. He had apparently shaved his beard off as part of efforts to conceal his identity, in preparation for his escape across the border.
Kawasmeh had previous spent time in an Israeli prison for links to another terror cell which carried out several bombing attacks. A significant number of his family members have also spent time behind bars or even been killed in clashes with security forces, including his brother Hussein Kawasmeh, who is currently serving a life sentence for a 2011 bombing attack in central Jerusalem which killed a British tourist and wounded dozens of others.
Another family member, the brother of kidnapper Marwan Kawasmeh, was Abdullah al-Qawasmeh. Abdullah was the leader of the Hevron branch of Hamas’s “military wing”, the Ezzadine al-Qassam Brigades. He was killed in a shootout with elite Israeli counter-terrorism police in 2003, who were hunting him for his involvement in several deadly terrorist attacks.
Hussam’s interrogation, as well as those of a number of other arrested suspects, revealed that he had played a fundamental part in the kidnapping, and served as its mastermind and…Read More » Comments (4) »
Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 10:39 AM | Stand for Israel
Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Stand for Israel reported on Hamas’ use of human shields. Taking a closer look at this inhumane tactic now that the war is over, Calev Myers wonders if the terrorists’ strategy isn’t one of human shields, but of human sacrifice:
So what is really happening here? Why do they continue to fire so many rockets at us? What do they hope to achieve? Either this is the least successful military campaign in the history of mankind, or the human casualty count on the Israeli side is not the primary goal of Hamas’ rocket strategy.
Today it is clear to the world that Hamas fires rockets from densely populated civilian areas in order to draw Israeli fire upon Palestinian elderly, women and children. Hamas has learned that systematically feeding disturbing photographs of bloody babies to the international press is the most effective weapon in the pursuit of its goals.
Hamas sees Israel as a strong enemy. It is trying to delegitimize us in order to arouse the fury of entities larger and stronger than us, even if they have to pay a very heavy price in human suffering to do so. Although the comparison is far from perfect, chapter 19 in the book of Judges tells us about a man from the tribe of Levi, whose concubine was raped and murdered by men from the tribe of Benjamin in the city of Gibeah. He cut her body into 12 pieces, sent them throughout all the land of Israel, and the rest is history. The response of all of the other tribes nearly blotted out the tribe of Benjamin from the annals of history.
The threat of Hamas’ blood-photo strategy should not be taken lightly. It has already caused an escalation of anti-Semitic incidents and attacks on Jewish communities around the world. The only way to fight this threat is by systematic and tactical advocacy, not merely in the defensive sense,…Read More » Comments (8) »
Thursday, September 4th, 2014 at 8:29 AM | Stand for Israel
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…Read More » Comments (6) »
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 at 9:28 AM | Stand for Israel
Yesterday we reported that Israel agreed to a long-term ceasefire in Gaza. As of today, Hamas has upheld the truce. Writing for Israel Hayom, Dan Margalit writes that despite the toll paid by Israel, her military, and her people, Operation Protective Edge is a victory for the Jewish state:
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The vanquished will try to fire rockets up until the very last moment, despite profuse bleeding. We live in a world where perception occasionally trumps reality, and where the media has become as important as the battlefield. With all of that in mind, we can say that Israel emerged the victor on Tuesday.
For all the demagoguery going around about Israel having the upper hand, there is indeed a kernel of truth to that claim: Jerusalem’s basic demands have been met …
In the grand scheme of things, Israel has come out on top. It managed to secure a cease-fire without compromising on its terms. It essentially got what it had demanded all along, even before the fighting commenced. Hamas, on the other hand, now has to account for its various shortfalls. It has lost 1,000 terrorists, 32 tunnels, and 7,000 rockets (which did not inflict significant damage). This is the truth, despite the bereaving heart putting a damper on our victory celebrations.
Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 at 9:06 AM | Stand for Israel
Yediot Achronot is reporting that Israel and Hamas have agreed on what is being called a “long-term ceasefire”:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ office confirmed Tuesday evening that an long-term ceasefire agreement was reached. State-run Egyptian television also reported on Tuesday evening that a truce deal had been reached between Israel and Hamas.
An Israeli official said that Jerusalem told Egypt that it accepted its offer of an ‘open-ended’ ceasefire.
Israel responded to the proposal after all the cabinet ministers had been informed of the developments. Sources said the Egyptian offer did not include the majority of Hamas’ demands.
According to a senior source in Hamas, the agreement includes the opening of the Rafah crossing under the supervision of the Abbas’ security forces.
Yet, immediately before the truce took effect, Arutz Sheva reports that a barrage of rockets from Gaza struck southern Israel, wounding several and killing one:
The sirens preceded a heavy barrage of rockets and mortar shells, during which six people in the Eshkol Regional Council were wounded by a rocket that struck a community in the region. One was wounded critically, two others seriously, one moderately and the rest lightly.
Resuscitation attempts were conducted on the critically wounded victim, but he soon succumbed to his wounds and died. AFP cited an Israeli security source as saying he was killed by mortar fire, which likewise wounded the other victims.
We pray for those who have been affected by these terrorist attacks, for God’s protection over the Holy Land and His people, and that this peace might take hold.Comments (11) »
Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 11:16 AM | Stand for Israel
Throughout Operation Protective Edge, reports of Hamas using human shields have surfaced, along with evidence of the terrorist group’s dastardly tactics. In the video above, an IDF soldier – Lt. Adam Landau – gives his firsthand account of Hamas’ use of human shields during his time serving in Gaza:
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On several occasions, Lt. Landau saw Hamas operatives using civilians as human shields. “Once, we started to look for a terrorist who we knew was in a specific house,” he said. “Suddenly, a small boy appeared, and the terrorist grabbed him and escaped with him.”
“They shot at us from mosques, schools, and of course from civilian houses,” Lt. Landau said. “In the end, if they shoot at you from a mosque, You see a family’s house and you see the clothes hanging outside…And behind all of this is a terrorist holding an AK-47, shooting at you.”
Monday, August 25th, 2014 at 3:42 PM | Stand For Israel