Cement for Rebuilding Gaza Used for Hamas Terror Tunnels

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

During Operation Protective Edge, the IDF put an end to many of the terror tunnels that Hamas had built in order to attack Israel. Since the end of this past summer’s war, international efforts to help rebuild Gaza after the devastating conflict have begun. However, The Times of Israel reports that cement intended for civilian reconstruction is instead being used to repair the terrorist organization’s tunnels:

The Hamas terror group has been redoubling its efforts to restore the cross-border offensive tunnels that were destroyed by Israel during last summer’s war in the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported Friday morning.

According to the reports, some of the cement and other materials being delivered to the coastal Palestinian territory, as part of an international rebuilding effort, has been diverted to the tunnels.

Hamas has realized that the tunnels, which were used to stage attacks on Israeli military targets during the war, provide it with a psychological edge over residents of Israeli border towns in the area …

The Gaza group has also begun restocking its depleted rocket arsenal, the Hebrew media reports said. Some rockets are imported through smuggling tunnels from Egypt and others are manufactured in the Strip. Many of the smuggling tunnels — one of Hamas’s main sources of revenue — were still open for business, despite massive efforts by Egypt to crack down on them.

According to the reports, Hamas has acknowledged the limited efficacy of its mid- and longer-range rockets, many of which were shot down by Israel’s Iron Dome defense system during the war, inflicting very limited civilian casualties. Meanwhile, Hamas has recognized the deadliness of mortar shells, which fall short of Iron Dome’s range.

One new approach that Hamas has been considering in an effort to extend its effective range is to launch large volleys of rockets that would challenge Iron Dome’s ability to fire interceptors in rapid succession, the reports said. It has also been conducting tests, lobbing dozens of rockets into the Mediterranean Sea in recent weeks, according to Ynet, which cited Palestinian Gaza sources in its…

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Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 11:39 AM  | Stand For Israel

Countdown to Next Gaza Conflict Has Begun

(Photo: flickr/  l_suddenly)

(Photo: flickr/ l_suddenly)

In today’s Daily Dispatch we report on two alarming incidents – a rocket from Gaza landed in Israel today, and Hamas is using the building materials meant for Gaza’s reconstruction in order to repair their terror tunnels. As Yaakov Lappin writes for Gatestone Institute, it looks like the next conflict in Gaza may be on its way:

More than three months have passed since the end of the fifty-day conflict between Hamas in Gaza and Israel this past summer, yet all of the catalysts that helped spark that war remain in place and are pushing the sides into their next clash.

One of the reasons Hamas launched a war in July this year was to try to end its strategic isolation, which became severe after the downfall of the Muslim Brotherhood in next-door Egypt. Hamas also sought to improve its crumbling economic situation as the ruler of the Gaza Strip; its dire situation was illustrated by Hamas’s inability to pay 40,000 of its Gazan employees their monthly salaries.

Hamas could, with a fair amount of ease, cause Israel to end its security blockade by accepting the terms of the international Quartet. These would include recognizing the state of Israel, renouncing violence and abiding by previous diplomatic agreements. Of course, those would contravene Hamas’s ideology of Islamist jihad and move it away from its current trajectory of organized violence and religious hatred, the foundations upon which it was established in the 1980s by Palestinian members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Today, however, the same problems that plagued Hamas prior to the summer war have become worse. Gaza is hemmed in to the south by a hostile Egypt under the rule of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. Egypt is systematically cutting off the smuggling tunnels that linked Sinai to the Gaza Strip. This means that Hamas is no longer easily able to smuggle either weapons or goods it can tax before they enter Gaza’s market …

Hamas has, since the moment that hostilities ended in…

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Friday, December 19th, 2014 at 8:39 AM  | Stand for Israel

EU Removes Hamas from Terror List

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

The European Union (E.U.) and its member nations have become increasingly anti-Israel and supportive of radical Islam, and this has culminated in a legal ruling that the EU must strike Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations. The Times of Israel reports that despite the EU’s claim that this is a mere “technicality,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has spoken out against the decision:

The Palestinian Islamic group Hamas must be removed from the EU’s terrorism blacklist, but its assets will stay frozen, a European court ruled on Wednesday.

The move, described by the European Union as a technicality, quickly drew Israeli condemnation and praise from the Gaza-based organization.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on the EU to return the group to the terror list, saying Israel was “not satisfied with EU’s explanations that taking Hamas off the terror list is a ‘technical matter.'”

“The burden of proof falls on the EU, and we expect it to permanently return Hamas to the list, so everyone will understand that it is an inseparable part of it — Hamas is a murderous terror organization that emphasizes in its charter that its goal is to destroy Israel,” he said in a statement …

The EU had asked Israeli officials not to cause a public row over the affair, according to Channel 10, and Jerusalem had kept quiet until Netanyahu’s statement Wednesday.

French-Jewish lawmaker Meyer Habib decried the decision and said the European Union failed to combat the “modern cancer that is jihad.”

“We need to open our eyes! Yesterday the Taliban killed 120 children. IS, Hamas, Boko Haram, Hezbollah, Taliban — each one is a separate branch on the same tree: a tree of hatred and terror.”

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum called the ruling a victory for the Palestinian nation and for its rights. Barhoum’s counterpart Sami Abu Zuhri said it was a correction of a political mistake by the EU.

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Wednesday, December 17th, 2014 at 8:38 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Says Unity Government Is Over

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

While Hamas and Fatah, no fans of one another, came together earlier this year by forming a Palestinian “unity government” – uniting in their shared hatred of Israel – the two factions now seem ready to go their separate ways once again. The Jerusalem Post reports that Hamas has declared the unity government “over”:

Hamas announced on Sunday that the unity government established with Fatah over the summer has ended.

The unity government’s six-month term has expired, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said at a press conference in Gaza City, adding that talks would take place regarding a future government, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reported.

Hamas “isn’t interested in incitement, but rather seeks to maintain national unity,” he said.

Gaza’s leaders responded to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who accused Israel and Hamas of secretly negotiating. Hamas called on the Palestinian president to stop spreading lies, Israel Radio reported, and accused Abbas’s forces of arresting its members for political reasons.

Zuhri said that Hamas “does not control the Gaza Strip at all…. If the national consensus government doesn’t want to take responsibility for Gaza, this doesn’t mean the government is exempted from this responsibility,” Ma’an reported.

Abbas said earlier that Hamas is completely responsible for Gaza, and not the joint Fatah-Hamas unity government.

He continued, saying that he will not negotiate over land with Israel, and accused Israel of holding secret negotiations with Hamas.

“I have evidence that Hamas and Israel are conducting negotiations,” he said.

According to an interview Abbas gave to an Egyptian TV station on Saturday, Hamas and Israel were directly negotiating in secret and reached “understandings,” Channel 10 reported.

The Palestinian president claimed in the interview that Israel offered Hamas control over 50 percent of the West Bank and that negotiations would be held over 15 years to decide on control over the other half.

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Monday, December 1st, 2014 at 8:58 AM  | Stand For Israel

Why UNRWA Perpetuates the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

(Photo: UNRWA)

(Photo: UNRWA)

Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Stand for Israel reported the disturbing trend of terrorist rockets being kept in United Nations-run schools. As of late, explanations have arisen for this trend. Commentary’s Seth Mandel looks at why it’s not surprising that the U.N.’s UNRWA agency would be aligned with Hamas:

Over the course of last summer’s war between Hamas in Gaza and the Israel Defense Forces, this meant propagating the idea that it was in any way shocking when the terrorist organization’s weapons–stockpiled for the express purpose of killing Jews in a maniacal, genocidal campaign–turned up, repeatedly, at schools run by UNRWA: the UN agency dedicated to keeping Palestinians living like refugees in perpetuity. So now it’s unclear precisely how to react to a raft of stories demonstrating the reason it wasn’t surprising to find Hamas weapons in UNRWA schools: because UNRWA teachers and principles share Hamas’s violently anti-Semitic ideology …

The organization keeps Palestinians mired in desperation because they agree with the Hamas struggle to eliminate Israel. And the UNRWA schools are where they can exert the utmost control over Palestinian minds, shaping them to abhor the Jewish people and to value bigotry and terrorism over education and productive job training.

Promoting hate is not incidental to UNRWA’s mission. It is UNRWA’s mission. This suggests it values neither Jewish life nor Palestinian life, and it certainly doesn’t believe Palestinians are entitled to a dignified existence. Why would Hamas weapons show up at an UNRWA school? Why wouldn’t they show up there? Where else would be more appropriate?

In such a case, it’s clear that UNRWA’s noxious participation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is itself an impediment to peace. And not a minor one, either.

As long as UNRWA is treated as a legitimate participant this process–and loads of American cash says they indeed are–then the perspective they impart on young Palestinian minds will also be seen as legitimate. And that means terror and anti-Semitism will be subsidized and promoted as an acceptable path to a resolution. Which means they will…

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Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 at 8:22 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Must Be Defeated, Says Son of Terrorist Chief

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

(Photo: Alamy/Ahmed Deeb/ZUMA Press)

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…

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Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 at 8:44 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas: Rebuild Gaza or We’ll Attack Israel

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

Palestinian anti-Israel sentiment is as high right now as it has been in recent years. With ongoing terror attacks and riots on the streets, the violence and chaos does not end. Writing at Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh discusses Hamas’ role in the rising outrage, as it hopes to direct anger away from itself and toward Israel:

Hamas is once again threatening to attack Israel, this time over the failure of the international community and the Palestinian Authority to fulfill their promises to rebuild the Gaza Strip in the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge.

Hamas leaders are particularly angry with the Palestinian Authority [PA] and its president, Mahmoud Abbas, whom they accuse of hindering efforts to rebuild hundreds of destroyed homes in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas is also angry with the Egyptians for closing the Rafah border crossing after a terror attack in Sinai in which 32 Egyptian soldiers were killed.

Moreover, Hamas has rejected the United Nations plan to reconstruct the Gaza Strip on the pretext that it “sidelines” the Islamist movement and allows Israel to decide who would benefit from the work. “The UN plan is unacceptable and ineffective,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

According to the UN plan, which was announced in September, the PA government will be responsible for repairing damaged homes and public sector projects, while the UN will focus on schools, clinics and “basic utilities.'”

The construction materials intended for the Gaza Strip, according to the plan, would have to be approved by Israeli authorities.

Hamas is opposed to the UN plan mainly because it denies the Islamist organization any role in the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Hamas is also worried that the involvement of the Palestinian Authority in the reconstruction effort would undermine Hamas’s control over the Gaza Strip, and allow Abbas and his Fatah faction to take credit for helping the Palestinians living there …

Although Hamas has openly accused the PA, UN and Egypt of obstructing the reconstruction scheme, it is now threatening to resume its…

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Monday, November 24th, 2014 at 8:35 AM  | Stand For Israel

Terrorist Plows into Jerusalem Crowd, Killing One



The Times of Israel’s Spencer Ho reports that today morning in Jerusalem, a terrorist – a known Hamas member – drove a vehicle into a crowded train station, killing a police officer and injuring ten other people:

An Arab driver plowed his vehicle into a crowd of people at a light rail station along the seam-line between East and West Jerusalem late Wednesday morning, killing one Border Police officer, and injuring 14 more.

“Ten people were wounded, one of whom is in critical condition,” emergency services spokesman Zaki Heller said.

Magen David Adom paramedics reported that two people were seriously hurt, and three moderately injured. Policemen were among the injured, according to Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch.

Palestinian Ma’an news agency identified the terrorist as 48-year-old Ibrahim al-Akary. Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades tweeted out pictures it said showed the man, who it called Akazi, one of which showed him lying on the ground after being shot.

Police said the driver hit several pedestrians at a light rail station on the corner of Bar Lev and Shimon Ha’Zadik streets, close to the Border Police headquarters on Route 1, and then continued driving along the tracks, hitting several cars along the way until finally crashing to a halt.

Akary then got out of his white commercial van, carrying a metal bar, and began attacking a group of policemen before Border Police at the scene shot and killed the attacker.

Footage quickly emerged (WARNING: graphic images) of bystanders at the light rail stop being run down by Akary, while some managed to elude the speeding van.

The attacker’s brother, Musa Muhammad al-Akary, served 19 years in an Israeli prison for the 1992 kidnapping and murder of IDF soldier Nissim Toledano in Lod. He was released in the 2011 deal that freed IDF soldier Gilad Shalit from Hamas captivity, and was expelled to Turkey.

Police spokesman Asi Aharoni said the presence of police who had been deployed to increase security in the…

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at 8:27 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Aims at West Bank, Terrorists Aim for Egypt

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

(Photo: flickr/ crazymaq)

As Stand for Israel has been reporting, Islamist terror groups have been attacking Egyptian forces. And, especially after today’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem, it is obvious that Hamas is reaching into Israel with its attacks. Writing at the Gatestone Institute, Yaakov Lappin discusses the jihadists’ aspirations in the Sinai Peninsula, as well as Hamas’ influence in the West Bank:

Under Hamas’s rule, terrorist groups in Gaza are currently trying to acquire a foothold in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and Hamas is trying daily to resurface in West Bank.

Recent events in Sinai have placed Hamas on a collision course with Egypt, and threaten further instability in the region.

Egypt finds itself threatened by Al-Qaeda-inspired jihadi organizations that use Gaza — under Hamas rule, a nest of weapons and terrorism — as a base of operations.

These jihadi groups often attack the Egyptian state in the Sinai Peninsula, then, with their weapons, move back into Gaza through underground tunnels to escape Egyptian security forces.

Hence, Egypt continues to block underground smuggling passages linking Gaza and Sinai as quickly as it can find them …

In recent days, after a Palestinian projectile attack targeted southern Israel, Israel also shut down two border crossings with Gaza.

Hamas quickly arrested a number of suspects to prevent further Israeli counter-measures. Yet no matter how much Hamas attempts to distance itself from smaller terrorist groups in Gaza, the mere fact that under Hamas rule, multiple terror entities can flourish and arm themselves, in an environment conducive to jihad, places Hamas in worrisome place.

All the while, according to Israeli security assessments, Hamas is also attempting to construct terrorist cells in the West Bank. In its home turf of Gaza, Hamas is continuously rebuilding its rocket supplies, and in the Fatah-controlled West Bank, Hamas is attempting to resurrect terror cells. These efforts, however, have been unsuccessful, due to Israel’s ongoing intelligence control and nightly counter-terrorist raids by the Israel Defense Forces.

Hamas also has a hand in unrest around the Temple Mount site in Jerusalem, according to…

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Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at 8:14 AM  | Stand For Israel

Unrest, Instability, Intifada in Hamas’ Interest

(Photo: flickr/ synnetonidas)

(Photo: flickr/ synnetonidas)

This week Stand for Israel has been keeping you abreast of the terror attack in Jerusalem, and the ensuing chaos. Violence and instability have spread across the Holy City. While Hamas is headquartered in Gaza and Turkey, The Times of Israel’s Mitch Ginsburg writes that the terror group longs to spread this unrest and tension, in hopes of wresting control of the West Bank:

Whether the violence in Jerusalem since the gruesome murder of Muhammad Abu-Khdeir in July amounts to a Third Intifada will only be clear in hindsight. But what the murder on Wednesday of Chaya Zissel Braun has shown, beyond the ruthlessness of the act and the enduring tension in Jerusalem, is the shrewdness of Hamas’s strategy of overthrowing the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank by, of all things, persistently killing innocent Israelis.

That is one of the ways Israel should view the recent developments in Jerusalem. When Abdel Rahman al-Shaludi, a Hamas member and relative of a former head of the organization’s armed wing, turned his car into a lethal weapon on Wednesday, he was, whether by design or not, acting exactly according to the alleged Hamas coup plans exposed in August.

At the time, the Shin Bet said that it had exposed a Hamas plan to “overthrow the Palestinian Authority and seize control of Judea and Samaria.”

Many pictured a coup: the surrounding of the Muqata and the deposing of the chairman of the Palestinian Authority. But what the Shin Bet actually uncovered was a plan, coordinated from Hamas headquarters in Turkey, to establish a loose network of terror cells, comprising a total of 93 operatives, which would “destabilize the security situation in the West Bank and carry out a string of grave attacks in Israel…”

Hamas, of course, cannot take all of the credit for the roiling tension and constant drip of violence in the northern part of the city since the July murder. Other forces are at work, too – the…

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Friday, October 24th, 2014 at 8:09 AM  | Stand for Israel