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Israel Emerges Victorious

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

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:

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.

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Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 at 9:06 AM  | Stand for Israel

“Open-Ended” Ceasefire Takes Effect

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

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.

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Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 11:16 AM  | Stand for Israel

A Soldier’s Account from Gaza: How Hamas Used Human Shields

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:

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.”

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Monday, August 25th, 2014 at 3:42 PM  | Stand For Israel

Will Hamas Be Held Accountable for War Crimes?

(Photo: flickr/ ahmadmesleh)

(Photo: flickr/ ahmadmesleh)

While the world has begun to realize the danger of terrorist organizations like the Islamic State, Hamas continues to deny that it belongs in the same category. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, the always astute Khaled Abu Toameh says that Hamas is exactly the same as such groups, in that it executes those who stand in its way or challenge its terrorism:

Hamas’s extrajudicial executions of Palestinians suspected of “collaboration” with Israel are a sign that the Islamist movement is beginning to panic in the wake of Israel’s successful targeting of its leaders.

But the public executions by firing squad of more than 26 suspected “collaborators” in the Gaza Strip could also turn many Palestinians against Hamas …

Over the past few days, Hamas officials have gone out of their way to tell the world that their movement is not like the Islamic State terror organization, which has become notorious for beheading almost everyone it finds standing the way of its creating an Islamic Caliphate.

“We are not a religious, violent group,” Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said in an interview with Yahoo News from his luxurious hotel in Qatar. He said that Hamas, unlike the Islamic State terrorist group, operates only in Israel, the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

What Mashaal forgot to mention in the interview was that Hamas and the Islamic State do have at least one thing in common: they both carry out extrajudicial executions as a means of terrorizing and intimidating those who stand in their way or dare to challenge their terrorism.

Even the Palestinian Authority [PA] now seems to be drawing an analogy between Hamas and the Islamic State and other radical Islamist terrorist groups.

Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a senior aide to Mahmoud Abbas, strongly condemned Hamas’s extrajudicial executions, adding that that they are “reminiscent of the summary executions carried out by Wahhabi militant groups in other parts of the Middle East.”

Abdel Rahim added, “The executions were done in cold blood and according to Hamas law, which…

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Monday, August 25th, 2014 at 8:43 AM  | Stand for Israel

Like ISIS and Al-Qaeda, Hamas Is Fair Game

(Photo: flickr/  l_suddenly)

(Photo: flickr/ l_suddenly)

Even as the world stands up against the Islamic State for the recent swath of terror and destruction – and it should – much the same it did against al-Qaeda after the attacks of 9/11, many still doubt the evil behind Hamas. Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin says that there is no difference between the Gaza-based terror organization targeting Israel and other Islamist groups who have targeted Iraq, Syria, and the West:

Though much of the Western media seems intent on sanitizing Hamas and ignoring its use of human shields, it needs no lessons in brutality from either al-Qaeda or ISIS, as the deaths of the Palestinians who have been killed for dissenting from their tyrannical rule of Gaza could attest.

As is the case with ISIS, there is no compromising with Hamas. Just as the Islamist terrorists in Iraq and Syria will not be bribed or cajoled into giving up their goal of imposing their religiously inspired nightmare vision on the world, neither will Hamas be satisfied with anything less than the eradication of Israel and the genocide of its Jewish population.

As with ISIS, there is no “political solution” to a conflict with Hamas, only a military one. So long as Hamas is allowed to remain in power in Gaza, there is no hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Like Osama bin Laden and those who seek to kill Americans today, Hamas operatives are fair game for targeted assassinations. While the aim of Israeli Defense Force strikes on Hamas targets may not be any more perfect than those of their American counterparts elsewhere, they provide the only answer to an ideology that can’t be appeased.

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Friday, August 22nd, 2014 at 8:33 AM  | Stand for Israel

IDF Mobilizing 10,000 Reservists After Israel Targets Senior Hamas Leaders

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

As we reported in today’s Daily Dispatch, the IDF killed three senior Hamas officials last night in an airstrike on the terror organization. Hamas retaliated with rocket attacks on Israel. Now The Jerusalem Post reports that 10,000 IDF reservists are being called up:

The IDF has called up 10,000 reservists, who will replace other reserve forces that are being sent home for rest.

The cabinet approved the measure after the air force carried out an overnight targeted assassination of two senior Hamas terrorists and a lower ranking terrorist in the Gaza Strip.

A total of 86,000 reserves have been called up since the beginning of the conflict this summer, and many of them replaced conscripted ground forces in the West Bank, who were rotated to the Gaza border. Some reserve units have also taken up positions around Gaza.

Meanwhile, the IAF bombed 40 terrorist targets since midnight on Thursday. Half of the targets were struck after being detected in real time by a range of electronic sensors and intelligence gathering capabilities …

The IDF stated on Thursday evening that more than 300 rockets have been fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip since Hamas broke the cease-fire on Tuesday afternoon.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 9:58 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Official Admits to Kidnapping of Israeli Teens

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO)

(Photo: ASHERNET/GPO)

From the night when Israeli teenagers Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel were abducted this past June to the day when their bodies were recovered, it has been suspected that Hamas was behind the kidnapping. Now The Times of Israel reports that a senior Hamas member has admitted that the terror organization did indeed take and murder the boys:

A recording of a top Hamas official admitting the terror group was behind the June kidnapping and slaying of three Israeli teens in the West Bank emerged Wednesday, representing the strongest evidence yet of Hamas involvement in the attack.

Sheikh Saleh al-Arouri, a senior Hamas religious figure, is heard on the video saying that he “blessed the heroic action” which was “carried out by the al-Qassam Brigades” — the armed wing of Hamas. This action, “the kidnapping to Hebron of the three settlers,” was an “operation spoken of far and wide,” al-Arouri added.

The sheikh was speaking at a conference of Muslim scholars in Turkey.

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Thursday, August 21st, 2014 at 8:12 AM  | Stand For Israel

Netanyahu: Hamas and ISIS Are “Branches of the Same Tree”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a statement today, speaking against Hamas – who broke the most recent ceasefire, and continues to launch rockets into Israel. The Jerusalem Post gives further information of Netanyahu’s remarks, in which he warned the terror organization that it is not invincible and will be targeted should it continue to target the people of Israel:

He said this his main priority at this time was to protect the citizens of Israel and keep them safe. He said the fight against terror, including international terror organizations, is Israel’s biggest challenge.

“This is the hardest that Hamas has ever been hit since it was founded. I promise that we will not stop until the goal of security for our citizens is achieved.”

Netanyahu warned Hamas that “If you shoot, you will be hit back seven-fold.”

When asked if Israel had attempted to assassinate Hamas military leader Muhammad Deif, Netanyahu said, “the leaders of Hamas are legitimate targets, no one is invincible.”

Netanyahu compared Hamas to the Islamic State, saying that the organizations were “branches of the same tree.”

The Prime Minister’s comments came following a long security cabinet meeting in Tel Aviv discussing the developments in Gaza, and how to go forward.

The meeting came amid an escalation of the fighting in Gaza, with Hamas firing dozens of rockets at Israel throughout the day.

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 2:40 PM  | Stand For Israel

Israel-Loathing Hamas Cannot Be Easily Deterred

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

As we reported yesterday, Hamas broke the latest ceasefire by launching rockets into Israel, causing the IDF to retaliate and the Israeli government to pull its team of negotiators from Cairo, as it will not negotiate for peace while under attack. Times of Israel founding editor David Horovitz writes that maybe now the international community will realize that Hamas’ intention has never been to make peace, but rather to make war and destroy Israel:

Hamas is still far too strong, and that Hamas will always be far too cynical, to be deterred by Israel’s ongoing response to the attacks from Gaza, the counter-strikes that follow its rocket fire. Hamas lost dozens of its tunnels, and perhaps 1,000 of its gunmen, and pleaded for a ceasefire, apparently believing it could negotiate a diplomatic resolution more satisfactory than the military face-off had yielded.

But most of its elite fighters are still alive. It still has thousands of rockets, and is capable of manufacturing more in mid-conflict. Its local political leadership is safe and sound in the Gaza underground. Its overseas leadership is in still better shape, cosseted in Qatari luxury. And it cares not a whit about the suffering that its violent Islamist extremism is bringing down upon Gazans (a very substantial proportion of whom voted for Hamas in the relatively democratic parliamentary elections of 2006). Thus Israel’s firm negotiating posture has sent Hamas back into conflict.

As Hamas keeps telling anybody who asks, it is bent on “ending the occupation of Palestine” — i.e. ending the existence of Israel. Unfortunately, too few people are asking. Understandably appalled by the death and devastation in Gaza, much of the watching world, including its leadership, are confusing cause and effect.

Hamas is not seeking freedom for the people of Gaza when it demands the “lifting of the siege,” a seaport and an airport, and when it fires rockets because its demands are not being met. It is, rather, seeking the capacity to…

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Wednesday, August 20th, 2014 at 8:52 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Coup Should Change Truce Equation

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

Yesterday we told you about a Hamas coup attempt thwarted by Israel – that the terror organization intended to overthrow the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank through a series of terror attacks. Commentary’s Jonathan Tobin explains what Hamas wanted from this plan, and what the revelation should mean to any Israeli-Palestinian truce:

What did Hamas think it could accomplish by pouring operatives, money, weapons and explosives into the West Bank? The point was to plunge the area into turmoil opening up a second front against Israel to relieve pressure on Hamas in Gaza as well as to make it impossible for Abbas to pretend to govern the West Bank …

But the decision to acquiesce to any of Hamas’s demands will have consequences for more than the future of Gaza. The assumption that Abbas can continue to hang on to the West Bank and maybe even assume some power in Gaza is based on the idea that Hamas is on the ropes and without options. But once the resupply of Hamas in Gaza begins, it will have serious implications for Abbas’s future …

Those who have spoken of Hamas, as having evolved to the point where it is a legitimate political force and not a terror group should have had lost their illusions about the group amid the rocket launches and the discovery of the tunnels. But the revelation about the coup attempt should remove any doubt as to the Islamists’ intentions. The Obama administration, which has been eager to push Israel to do something to allow Hamas a way out of the conflict, should realize that the coup should end its illusions about Palestinian unity and the ability of Abbas to make peace while partnering with the terrorists.

Comments (13) »

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 at 8:01 AM  | Stand For Israel

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Rabbi's Commentary
Clarity in a Confused World

In response to this week’s horrific terrorist attack on a Jerusalem synagogue, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with a voice of moral clarity. We, as people of faith and conscience, must all cling to such clarity in a world so often ruled by moral confusion.


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