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Israelis on Border: Hamas Is Preparing for Next War

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Even though last summer’s Operation Protective Edge slowed Hamas’ attacks on Israel, it didn’t fully stop the Gaza-based terror organization. Israel Hayom reports that Israelis living close to the Gaza border are all too aware that Hamas is again working on its terrorist capabilities in preparation for its next attack on the Jewish state and her people:

Residents of the Gaza border communities were not surprised by the Israeli defense establishment’s reports that Hamas military head Mohammed Deif is likely alive and back in charge of the group’s military wing. Residents of the area also spoke about recent reports that Hamas has now resumed building terror attack tunnels and manufacturing rockets.

“The reports that Hamas is getting stronger militarily, and the fact that the group is continuing to dig attack tunnels toward Gaza border communities, come as no surprise to any resident from the area,” Yael, a member of Kibbutz Nirim, said. “All the residents know which path we’re headed down, everyone sees what Hamas is doing on the other side of the fence, and it’s doing it flagrantly, right there before our, and the military’s, eyes, showing its preparations for the next round of fighting…”

While Hamas tends to portray last summer’s war as a victory in public, there is ongoing dissension within the group, especially due to the dire conditions in the Gaza Strip since the end of the fighting. Hamas infighting reportedly began before Operation Protective Edge, when it is believed that the terrorist group’s military wing planned a large-scale terrorist attack using a tunnel in the Kerem Shalom area, which were to include the abduction of civilians and soldiers…

However, despite the internal friction, Hamas continues to work to improve its military capabilities.

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Thursday, April 30th, 2015 at 8:33 AM  | Stand For Israel

Palestinians Vote for Iran’s New Ally: Hamas

(Photo: flickr/The Israel Project)

(Photo: flickr/The Israel Project)

There are many frightening implications – besides its desire for nuclear weapons – of the growing reach and power of Iran. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh says that one of these is the Islamic Republic’s newly realigned ally, Hamas, and the sway it has with the Palestinians:

Hamas’s crushing victory in the April 22 student council election at Bir Zeit University shows that the Islamist movement continues to maintain a strong presence in the West Bank.

Hamas supporters on campus won 26 seats, compared to 16 for their rivals in the Fatah faction, headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas.

The results of the election mean that Bilal Barghouti, who is serving 16 life terms in prison for his role in a series of suicide attacks against Israel, has become the “Honorary Chairman of the Bir Zeit University Student Council.”

The Hamas victory came less than 48 hours after its supporters scored a major achievement on another campus: Palestine Polytechnic University in Hebron…

Besides being a political and moral victory for Hamas, this is a vote of no confidence in Abbas and Fatah.

The outcome of the election on both campuses shows that many Palestinians do not believe in Abbas’s political program, particularly the peace process with Israel. Moreover, the results show that many Palestinians still do not consider Fatah a better alternative to Hamas…

The Hamas victory did not come as surprise to those who have been closely following the anti-Israel messages coming from the Palestinian Authority. The PA’s incitement against Israel is one of the main reasons Palestinians have been turning to Hamas.

Hamas has apparently now realigned with Iran, which is “rebuilding relations with the military wing of Hamas.” Iran also, it seems, has sent Hamas millions of dollars over the past few months. Hamas shares “the same long-term objectives as the ayatollahs: the complete destruction of the state of Israel,” and to that end, wants to undermine and destroy anyone who recognizes Israel.

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Wednesday, April 29th, 2015 at 8:48 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas’ Twitter Campaign Is Mocked Before It Even Starts

(Photo: flickr/ hughes_leglise)

(Photo: flickr/ hughes_leglise)

Desperate to use any ploy or manner of technology to gain favor in the eyes of the world, yesterday Hamas announced that it will begin a social media campaign on Twitter. The terrorist group’s plan has already backfired. The Washington Post reports on the extremely negative backlash the #AskHamas hashtag operation has already received:

According to a number of reports, the media wing of Hamas, the Islamist militant group that controls the Gaza Strip, announced a social media operation aimed at Europeans on Thursday. One feature: The group would set up an English-language Twitter account (@HamasInfoEn) and allow senior members of the group to take questions via the hashtag #AskHamas.

What could possibly go wrong?

A lot, obviously. According to social media analytic company Topsy, there have already been over 3,000 tweets with the hashtag #AskHamas in the last three hours and almost all appear to be negative. Incredibly, the campaign isn’t even due to begin until Friday.

Right now, #AskHamas is going so terribly that you have to wonder if someone was seeking to discredit Hamas. However, the campaign appeared to have been retweeted by Hamas’ Arabic language account and some high-profile members of Hamas, as well as featured in a number of Palestinian news outlets. There have been no denials issued from Hamas at the time of writing.

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Friday, March 13th, 2015 at 8:38 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Working to Outsmart Iron Dome

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

During last summer’s conflict with Hamas, Israel’s Iron Dome defense system saved countless lives by knocking down rockets launched by the Gaza-based terrorist organization. While the Iron Dome is invaluable in defeating powerful long-range missiles, the terrorist attacks that did the most damage were from shorter-range rockets and mortars. The Algemeiner reports that Hamas is now investing in short-range missile production in order to beat Israel’s defenses:

Gaza based terror group Hamas is attempting to bolster its capabilities with shorter range rockets, that have a maximum range of 30 kilometers, in order to bypass Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

Seven months after Operation Protective Edge, the IDF’s Southern Command has concluded that the ongoing rocket trials being carried out by the terrorist organization are not focused on long-range rockets, principally because the Iron Dome system virtually neutralized them in the last engagement between the IDF and Hamas.

“Almost all of the trials being tested out to sea are short-range,” a senior IDF officer told Israel’s NRG news, adding that in recent months there were no long-range tests. “They are now working on improving their short-range rockets. I guess they learned their lessons and understood that Iron Dome will take down their long-range rockets. In fact, it has even become more difficult for them to smuggle these weapons into the Gaza Strip, since the tunnels and the Philadelphi Corridor are almost completely closed.”

The IDF is monitoring Hamas’ rocket experiments in order to gather intelligence, as well as develop knowledge on the progress of Hamas’ capabilities, and to see whether new rockets are being smuggled into Gaza or whether the production has become more domestic …

… Hamas, which has already publicized that it has returned to building up the strengths of its forces in anticipation of the next battle with Israel. Israeli monitoring of developments in the Strip reveal that Hamas is up to much of its old habits, like digging tunnels and building rockets launchers.

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Thursday, March 12th, 2015 at 8:19 AM  | Stand For Israel

Security Forces Nab Hamas Terror Cell in Hebron

IDF soldiers in Hebron.

IDF soldiers in Hebron.

Israeli security forces busted a Hamas ring in the Hebron area that was planning a series of terror attacks, including suicide bombings, according to a statement from the Shin Bet, Israel’s security service, on Monday:

The Shin Bet said it arrested 11 members of the cell in January, and that the group had carried out a failed bomb attack on Israeli troops in the West Bank.

Along with the arrests, security forces seized two sub-machine guns and explosives the cell allegedly planned on using to target Israelis, the Shin Bet said.

The main suspects in the case were named as Suhaib Mamoun Saltan, 20, from Hebron, and his cousin Salam Abbas Saltan, 28, a Hamas operative, who had been convicted and imprisoned by Israel in the past and was also at one time held under administrative detention.

The security service did not release the identities of the other nine suspects in Israeli custody.

In the coming days the Shin Bet will finish transferring the case files against the arrested men to the military prosecution and has asked that they be detained until trial, according to the statement.

“The activities of this cell reflects the real threat from Hamas activities in Hebron and especially from operatives that have been arrested in the past and then returned to the terror pool,” the Shin Bet statement read.

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Monday, February 23rd, 2015 at 2:42 PM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas’ New Army of Children

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

We recently reported on Hamas’ ongoing training of young people as its next generation of terrorists. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh says that the transformation of Gaza into a terrorist training camp for children – while allowing the people of Gaza to suffer – is a crime:

For the past several months, Hamas leaders have been complaining that they do not have enough money to rebuild the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the last war with Israel.

However, it appears that Hamas does have enough funds to train, arm and indoctrinate thousands of young Palestinian men and boys.

While thousands of Palestinian families who lost their houses during the war continue to live in public shelters throughout the Gaza Strip, Hamas recently established 18 camps for military training.

The Hamas military training camps, under the motto “Vanguards of Liberation,” have attracted some 17,000 Palestinian males aged 15-21. The young recruits were trained how to use various types of weapons, including pistols, rifles and mortars. They were also “educated” about the need to eliminate Israel and “restore Palestinian rights…”

If Hamas has the resources to fund and arm a new “Liberation Army” consisting of 17,000 fighters, why does it continue to demand that the international community allocate billions of dollars for the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip? The money that was spent on the “Vanguards of Liberation” training camps could have solved the problems facing thousands of Palestinian families who lost their homes during last summer’s war (Operation Protective Edge).

But Hamas, which is first and foremost responsible for the tragedy of these families, is not interested in taking any part in the efforts to rebuild destroyed homes. Instead, Hamas seems to be more determined than ever to continue raising new generations of Palestinians on jihad and hatred.

Hamas has turned the Gaza Strip into a huge training camp for jihadis and militiamen affiliated not only with it, but also with the Islamic State. By forming a new army that consists mostly of teenagers,…

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Wednesday, February 18th, 2015 at 8:52 AM  | Stand For Israel

IDF Arrests Three Hamas Smugglers

Operation Protective Edge put a dent in much of Hamas’ terrorist capabilities in Gaza, but that does not mean that the terror organization has stopped its plans to attack Israel. Just cleared for publication, the IDF reports that less than a month ago, it intercepted three terrorists trying to smuggle weapons materials into Gaza:

On January 19, IDF forces identified a suspicious boat making its way towards the Gaza Strip. The navy, in conjunction with the Israel Security Agency (ISA), intercepted the vessel after requesting that the passengers stop the boat.

The craft was disguised as a fishing boat, but underneath the fishing gear liquid fiberglass was concealed. The liquid fiberglass was intended for Hamas and meant to be used in the manufacturing of rockets and mortars …

The three suspects, Mahmed Bechar, Ahmed Zaidi and Awad Zaidi​, were arrested and interrogated by the ISA. During the interrogation, the suspects admitted that they were sent to collect the manufacturing materials from the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt and to deliver the liquid fiberglass to Hamas’ military wing.

Furthermore, the three men provided detailed information about previous weapon smuggling activities and how Hamas intended to use the fishermen and smugglers for future smuggling attempts.

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Thursday, February 12th, 2015 at 9:47 AM  | Stand For Israel

In Gaza, Youth See Future As Hamas Fighters

225R4  Gaza. kindergarten graduation (5751) .jpgOperation Protective Edge, last summer’s conflict in Gaza, found the IDF putting a dent in much of Hamas’ terror capabilities. But despite the defeat the terrorist organization took, The Times of Israel’s Mai Yaghi reports that thousands of Gaza’s young people are being trained as the group’s next generation of Hamas terrorists:

Hatem is only 14 but has already lived through three wars with Israel. Now the young Gazan says he is making sure he’ll be ready to fight in the next one …

“I will become a resistance fighter,” the boy said proudly during a graduation ceremony in Gaza.

Hatem is one of 17,000 youngsters who graduated late last month from two military training camps where Hamas — the de facto power in Gaza — said it was preparing the next generation to fight against Israel.

Last summer, Israel and Hamas fought a 50-day war that killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and 73 people, including 66 soldiers, on the Israeli side. Israel maintains that up to half of those killed in Gaza were Hamas fighters.

It was their third conflict in less than five years, following an eight-day conflict in 2012 and a 22-day war in late 2008 and early 2009. Hamas seeks the destruction of Israel.

Children were on the frontline of the latest conflict, with UN figures showing about 500 were killed in Gaza. Jerusalem blamed Hamas for all civilian fatalities, since it placed its rocket launchers and cross-border tunnel openings in Gaza residential areas.

Just five months after the war ended, thousands of those who survived signed up to join the Hamas training camps.

“I want to join the Qassam Brigades because they are the strongest in Gaza,” said 15-year-old Mohammed Abu Harbid, who also took part in the training.

With the humanitarian situation in post-war Gaza growing steadily worse, a fresh flare-up with Israel seems likely, some say.

And with many schools being used to shelter the displaced and unemployment standing at 41 percent, many youngsters were eager to join the camps.

Hamas insists that teaching children how to carry…

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Monday, February 9th, 2015 at 8:31 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Fast Rebuilding Terrorist Forces in Gaza

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

This summer, Operation Protective Edge put a dent in Hamas’ terror capabilities in Gaza. However, The Jerusalem Post’s Yaakov Lappin reports that the terrorist group is quickly rebuilding its forces:

Hamas and allied terrorist organizations in Gaza have spent recent months intensively rebuilding their guerrilla terrorist capabilities, which sustained significant damage during Operation Protective Edge last summer.

“Their aim is to recover the military infrastructure that was damaged and return it to full capabilities and broaden it,” according to a recent report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center in Tel Aviv, which is a part of the Israeli Intelligence Heritage and Commemoration Center, founded by leading members of the Israeli intelligence community.

To that end, Hamas has allocated the necessary funds, personnel, and equipment, despite the shortages suffered by the civilian sector in the Strip, the study found. Its domestic security bodies are part of the effort.

“This stands out especially against the background of the ongoing delay in the civilian recovery of the Gaza Strip,” the report said, adding that it “illustrates well that, as in the past, Hamas’s priorities clearly lie in rebuilding military capabilities at the expense of civilian needs.”

Dr. Reuven Erlich, head of the Terrorism and Intelligence Center, told The Jerusalem Post, “We see that when it comes to military programs, resources flow without a problem.

This is no coincidence. If their priority was in civilian reconstruction, would they allocate their few resources to offensive military programs?

Hamas in Gaza is using mass media to safeguard and strengthen support among the Gazan public for its military wing and to propagate the idea of “armed resistance,” while indoctrinating children and teenagers, the report’s authors said.

The center reported observing in recent months a large recruitment program of teenagers aged 15 to 21 and their deployment to training camps opened by Hamas’s Izzadin Kassam Brigades.

More than 17,000 youths trained in the camps, according to the report, undergoing basic military training, and then advanced training in kidnapping soldiers and tunnel…

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Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 at 9:50 AM  | Stand For Israel

Paris Terror Attacks: Hamas, Fatah Fooling Europe

(Photo: flickr/News Agency)

(Photo: flickr/News Agency)

Earlier this week, we mentioned the hypocritical appearance of Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas at Sunday’s rally in Paris. But Abbas’ invitation to join in a show against terrorism shouldn’t be surprising, Bassam Tawil writes at the Gatestone Institute, as Abbas’ Fatah party and Hamas are both fooling Europe, as they always have:

The two Palestinian groups, Hamas and Fatah, are once again proving that when it comes to terrorism, they are masters of double-talk, saying one thing for the international community, which has so recently been good to them, while at home practicing the opposite. Mahmoud Abbas’s denunciation of the Paris terror attacks and his decision to participate in the anti-terrorism rally in the French capital is also a sign of the ongoing hypocrisy and double standards of both Fatah and Hamas.

Hamas should be the last to denounce assaults on journalists and free speech. Its security forces in the Gaza Strip continue to arrest and intimidate Palestinian journalists on a regular basis.

Both groups have a long history of simultaneously denouncing terrorist attacks abroad while at home doing their utmost to suppress and punish any freedom of expression. Palestinian journalists have been frequently targeted by Palestinian Authority security forces for posting critical remarks on Facebook or for writing stories that reflect negatively on Mahmoud Abbas and other Palestinian officials …

In the past year alone, in fact, as the opportunity to be accepted by the European Union came nearer, both Hamas and Fatah have actually stepped up intimidating, arresting and torturing journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Their intimidation and suppression of free speech at home, however, did not stop either Hamas or Fatah from condemning the brutal killing of the French journalists at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Hamas, ironically, which has carried out hundreds, if not thousands, of terror attacks against civilians over the past 27 years, was quick to issue a statement condemning the killing of the…

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Wednesday, January 14th, 2015 at 8:25 AM  | Stand for Israel

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Rabbi’s Commentary
A Light unto the Nations

As we continue to pray for the people of Nepal, who have suffered so greatly from the massive earthquake that rocked their nation last Saturday…


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