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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…Read More » Comments (36) »
Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 at 8:14 AM | Stand For Israel
Throughout Operation Protective Edge, Stand for Israel kept you abreast of Hamas’ network of terror tunnels, as well as the IDF’s work to find and destroy them. Because of the terrorist group’s attempts at gaining the sympathy and support of the international media, their evil actions often seem to go unnoticed by the world. But now, writing for Vanity Fair, Adam Ciralsky provides this fascinating in-depth look at what Hamas had planned and how Israel stopped it:
The threat, indeed, is all too plausible to Israeli intelligence officials, who agreed to share with Vanity Fair the backstory of how earlier this year they may have narrowly averted their nation’s own 9/11. The alleged plan of attack (as pieced together by defense and security professionals through electronic intercepts, informants, interrogations of Hamas operatives, as well as computers and satellite imagery obtained from Hamas compounds during the war) was chilling: a surprise assault in which scores of heavily armed Hamas insurgents were supposedly set to emerge from more than a dozen cross-border tunnels and proceed to kill as many Israelis as possible …
To much of the outside world, it was a battle of the skies, a lethal light show: Hamas relentlessly firing rockets—4,600 in all—and Israel responding with Iron Dome, a futuristic system that literally knocks them out of the sky. By any objective measure, the defense shield worked. In all, five Israeli civilians died and 127 were wounded as a result of rocket fire, and Israel’s leadership was able to buy time to plan a response. (The conflict ultimately claimed the lives of 67 Israeli soldiers.) …
While Israel, a nuclear power, takes pride in having fielded one of the world’s most technologically advanced armies, its adversaries have charted a decidedly different course. For half a century, the Palestinian resistance has proved to be something of an incubator for the tools of unconventional warfare: hijacking, hostage-taking, suicide bombings—all highly visible terror tactics designed to attract the world’s media outlets. As a result, Israel has repeatedly…Read More » Comments (23) »
Thursday, October 23rd, 2014 at 8:12 AM | Stand for Israel
While Operation Protective Edge dealt a heavy blow to Hamas’ terrorist capabilities in Gaza, the terror group still resides there. Israel Hayom also reports that Israel is all too aware of Hamas’ second base of operations in Turkey:
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In a meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel at the Pentagon on Tuesday, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon criticized Turkey for the support it provides to Hamas.
“Turkey is playing a cynical game,” Ya’alon told Hagel. “Hamas is supported by Turkey and Qatar. Hamas has two terror headquarters — in Gaza and in Istanbul.
“Hamas moved its terror headquarters from Damascus to Istanbul, in Turkey, a NATO member, where it is represented by Saleh al-Arouri, who orchestrates terrorist attacks against Israel from there and attempted to instigate a coup against [Palestinian Authority President] Mahmoud Abbas in Judea and Samaria,” Ya’alon said.
Ya’alon and Hagel discussed a range of topics on Tuesday, including Iran, the Islamic State group, Syria, Operation Protective Edge and Israel-U.S. defense ties. Ya’alon thanked Hagel for U.S. aid in the development of the Iron Dome anti-rocket system.
“Even if there are disagreements between the U.S. and Israel, they should not be allowed to cloud the deep friendship and warm, intimate ties between the two countries,” Ya’alon said.
A U.S. Defense Department statement said Hagel “reaffirmed the United States’ deep commitment to the security of Israel, and the importance of the U.S.-Israel defense relationship.” Hagel and Ya’alon “agreed to continue to work together to maintain the strength of the U.S.-Israel security relationship,” the statement said.
Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 8:16 AM | Stand for Israel
Hamas is a ruthless terror organization whose brutality is matched only by its hypocrisy. Its leaders encourage Palestinian mothers to send their kids on suicide missions, while their own children are neatly tucked away in bed or studying in universities abroad. They invite war and destruction on Gaza, extolling the virtues of war against Israel while hiding in their bunkers, as the rest of their fellow Gazans remain vulnerable to Israel’s retaliatory airstrikes.
Hamas receives billions of dollars in foreign aid. But instead of using it to build schools, hospitals, shopping malls, and residential buildings, they use it to fund their terrorist activities. And with the leftover change, Hamas’ leaders pocket millions, living in the kind of luxury their people will never know.
And when they need the best doctor to treat a family member or a loved one, where do they turn? Israel, of course!
This week, Tel-Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital confirmed that it had treated the daughter of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who was hospitalized in Israel “for a number of days,” before being sent back to Gaza after her condition stabilized. It turns out that Haniyeh’s daughter was not the only family member to be treated in Israel this year; the former Hamas premier sent his aging mother-in-law and one-year-old granddaughter to Israel for medical treatment as well.
The contrast between Israeli and Palestinian society is as stark during wartime as it is in times of relative quiet. Israel does everything to protect its citizens from attack, while Hamas places Palestinian civilians in harm’s way; Israel does everything it can to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties, while Hamas tries to kill and maim as many Israeli civilians as possible. And in the intermediate periods of quiet, Israel treats Palestinians – even terrorists – in its hospitals, while an Israeli cannot set foot in Palestinian territory for fear of being killed.
The lines of good and evil are so clearly drawn in the Arab-Israeli conflict, yet so many, even in the west, fail to support the just side….Read More » Comments (12) »
Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 8:34 AM | Stand for Israel
Operation Protective Edge disrupted Hamas’ ability to rain terror on Israel – much of its rocket supply was depleted, many of its terror tunnels were found and destroyed. But even as the terrorist group has been weakened, and even as Gaza begins to rebuild, The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff reports that Hamas, too, is rebuilding in an attempt to keep its grip on the Gaza Strip:
Things are as they were: Poverty, desperation, extremism and tens of thousands of displaced people. The sea is the same sea, and Hamas is the same Hamas, with the same aspirations.
There is one major difference, though: Hamas is poorer. Without the income from the Gaza-Egypt tunnels, and having stopped collecting taxes, its funds are dwindling. While the PA will oversee the actual reconstruction of the Strip, Hamas’s top priority is the reestablishment of its internal infrastructure — including its financial infrastructure …
Hamas has lowered its profile, but financial problems or not, it has no intention of relinquishing practical control over the strip. Gaza’s government and social services will formally be run by the Abbas-led administration, but Hamas is not going anywhere. Its police and military hierarchies will continue to operate throughout Gaza, and Abbas’s PA security forces will not, except perhaps at the border crossings.
Furthermore, despite those budgetary constraints, Hamas is already busily is trying to revive its military industry. Since the end of Operation Protective Edge on August 26, it has managed to conduct a series of rocket tests into the Mediterranean, underlining that a new line of rockets is being produced …
Meanwhile, the Hamas’ military wing, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, has launched a recruitment drive. Last Thursday, the very day that the “national reconciliation government” held its much-hyped first meeting in Gaza, the brigades held a large military parade in Shejaiya. Some of the same officials who greeted PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in the morning attended the brigades’ rally in the afternoon — a rally intended to convey a clear message to the residents of…Read More » Comments (6) »
Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 8:28 AM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday in Cairo, Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas asked for $4 billion in aid to rebuild Gaza. He received international pledges for at least that much. However, writes Elliott Abrams, the world is aware that Hamas still controls Gaza, and that the money meant for rebuilding might only go to rebuild the terrorist organization:
There are at least two main issues. First, Egypt and Israel want to be sure that construction materials do not go to Hamas for its construction of tunnels, arms depots, and other means of making war rather than for building homes, schools, and the like. They also want to be sure that Hamas does not smuggle in arms and ammunition. This means the establishment of a border control regime and some way of identifying end users inside Gaza. Second, the power struggle between Hamas and Fatah (or the Palestinian Authority–same thing) continues.
On October 12 in Cairo, at an international conference on rebuilding Gaza, PA president Mahmoud Abbas will ask for $4 billion in pledges. He may get some pledges; cash is a different story. Many donors are wary of corruption in the PA and in Hamas, and fear Hamas efforts to divert funds and materials to illicit terrorist uses. Donors from the EU have made some foolish statements about how tired they are of paying for reconstruction of buildings that Israel then bombs, and appear to be seeking some Israeli promise never to strike Gaza again. This is impossible, because Hamas remains in charge in Gaza and may well decide to launch fusillades of mortars and rockets into Israel again, hiding as it usually does within, behind, and under civilian facilities such as houses, mosques, and hospitals. If this happens Israel will respond, so the kind of pledge some European donors have been seeking is impossible to give. Hamas has chosen war several times before and may well choose it again.
The central problem is that Hamas is still running Gaza. The new Palestinian “technocratic”…Read More » Comments (13) »
Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 8:35 AM | Stand For Israel
Yesterday Stand for Israel reported on a new poll that showed 80% of Palestinians support resumed rocket attacks against Israel. Writing at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin explains why these people – used by Hamas as human shields – still support the terror group:
In the aftermath of its disastrous 50-day war against Israel this past summer Hamas saw its popularity skyrocket with huge majorities in both Gaza and the West Bank telling pollsters that the Islamists “won” and that they supported their conduct. A month later, Palestinians have sobered up a bit. But the latest numbers paint a picture of a population that is still not ready for peace or anything that looks like it …
Palestinians continue to support Hamas firing more rockets at Israel if the blockade of Gaza is not lifted with 80 percent overall endorsing this position and 72 percent of Gazans also backing the proposition. Given that the only reason the blockade was imposed on Gaza to begin with was the Hamas coup with which the group seized power in 2007, this position sets up a circular argument. But far more shocking than that is the response to the question posed about whether they support Hamas firing rockets from populated areas.
While Hamas generally denies doing this, it is not exactly a secret that it does it so as to use civilians as human shields against possible Israeli counter-attacks aimed at silencing the rocket launchers. Nor are Palestinians unaware of the fact that this practice deliberately exposes them to death and destruction, a cynical tactic whose purpose is to get as many civilians killed as possible.
Yet the survey showed that a solid majority of Palestinians—57 percent—supported this slaughter …
Though enthusiasm for Hamas is not unanimous, it remains more popular than its Fatah rivals. Why? Because the unchanging dynamic of Palestinian politics is that whichever party spills the most Jewish blood will always have the upper hand. Since its inception a century ago, Palestinian Arab…Read More » Comments (6) »
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 8:49 AM | Stand for Israel
During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas once again resorted to its tactic of using Gaza’s civilians as human shields. They are not the only terrorist organization to do this, though. Writing at World Affairs Journal, Michael J. Totten says that the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) is using human shields in its fight against the U.S.-led coalition:
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The Pentagon says Islamic State fighters in Syria are using human shields to protect themselves from American airstrikes. I can’t verify that claim, but it’s a little like saying the Islamists breathe oxygen. Of course they’re using human shields. It’s what terrorist armies in the Middle East do when facing a civilized enemy.
It wouldn’t accomplish squat against a war criminal like Bashar al-Assad. His regime would happily take out a thousand Sunni civilians to kill a single Islamist fighter. He’d see the thousand civilians as bonus points. But the West doesn’t fight like that and the Islamic State knows it …
The US cares more about the welfare of Sunni Muslims in Syria and Iraq than the Islamic State does—which is not likely to help the medieval head-choppers and crucifixion enthusiasts much in the hearts-and-minds department.
Hamas gets an almost-free pass for this gruesome behavior in Gaza, but that’s only because no one but Israelis and Palestinians fear Hamas might one day come after them. Dozens of countries are involved in the war against the Islamic State, including Arab countries, and the Islamic State is clearly at war with the entire human race, beginning with the very civilians it’s hiding behind.
Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 8:41 AM | Stand for Israel