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IDF Tests System to Detect Terror Tunnels

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

One of the IDF’s primary tasks during Operation Protective Edge has been to find and destroy the vast system of terror tunnels Hamas has spent years building – tunnels to be used to attack Israel and her people. While this part of the operation has proven successful, this new terrorist tactic is one that the Israeli military is still developing methods to combat. The Jerusalem Post reports on Israeli anti-terror technology, including a new system the IDF has successfully tested in order to improve its tunnel detection:

A system designed to detect infiltration tunnels proved successful in laboratory tests for the first time ever and is now being tested in the field, a senior IDF officer said Monday.

If the field test proves successful, the system can be deployed around the Gaza Strip within approximately one year, the officer added …

The officer said that the IDF is also working to improve the Iron Dome.  It is believed that, in the future, Israel’s enemies will try to overcome the rocket defense system by launching a number of missiles and rockets at the same time, including more advanced projectiles that can reach a greater height than those previously fired from Gaza. Among the improvements being worked on is giving the Iron Dome the ability to intercept rockets over enemy territory, before they enter Israel.

The officer also touted the Trophy tank defense system for its success in saving the lives of IDF soldiers during Operation Protective Edge.

He said the Trophy system had neutralized dozens of anti-tank missiles fired at tanks and armored personnel carriers during the operation.

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Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 12:07 PM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Attacks Israeli Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

This video from the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry shows rockets being fired at the border crossing through which Israel delivers humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Because of the rocket attacks yesterday, the border was closed and deliveries of aid were stopped. Yet again, this shows that while Israel is trying to help the people of Gaza – even as the Jewish state defends its own people during this conflict – the terrorists of Hamas have no regard for the people who they claim to represent.

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Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 10:41 AM  | Stand For Israel

Foreign Press Association Protests Hamas’ Treatment of Journalists

(Photo: flickr/ Kevin Merkelz)

(Photo: flickr/ Kevin Merkelz)

We have mentioned the lack of fair reporting from Gaza, both in the media protocols they force upon foreign journalists, as well as the things they won’t let reporters see, all stemming from the terror organization’s intimidation and harassment of said reporters. Now the Foreign Press Association has put out a statement against Hamas’ treatment of journalists:

The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.
The international media are not advocacy organisations and cannot be prevented from reporting by means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers an objective picture from the ground.
In several cases, foreign reporters working in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media.
We are also aware that Hamas is trying to put in place a “vetting” procedure that would, in effect, allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists. Such a procedure is vehemently opposed by the FPA.

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Monday, August 11th, 2014 at 10:04 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas: Don’t Post About Terrorist Deaths on Facebook

(Photo: flickr/ abd_abd4161)

(Photo: flickr/ abd_abd4161)

While Hamas has been using the people of Gaza as human shields so that the resulting photos of civilian casualties will bring international scorn on Israel, the terror organization is also trying to keep terrorist deaths off of social media. The IDF’s blog reports that Hamas has warned Gazans not to publish photos of terrorists during Operation Protective Edge:

Hamas has posted a Facebook message urging Gazans to stop publishing photos of terrorists killed by IDF forces. The post appeared yesterday (Aug. 5) on the official page of Hamas’ Ministry of the Interior and National Security. It instructs Palestinians to “refrain from disseminating photographs of martyrs of the resistance” in Gaza.

The message appears to have several purposes. In order to support Hamas’ claims of victory in battle, it seeks to hide the organization’s significant losses against Israel. The IDF killed over 750 terrorists in Operation Protective Edge, delivering a severe blow to Hamas’ capabilities.

The post also aims to support Hamas’ exaggerated claims of civilian casualties. By hiding evidence of terrorist deaths, Hamas can report higher numbers of civilian deaths in Gaza.

In addition, the message seeks to prevent the world from seeing where Hamas’ fighters operate. In violation of international law, Hamas’ terrorists attack Israel from within urban areas. Photographs of terrorists in civilian areas would confirm that Hamas uses these sites for military purposes.

 

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Friday, August 8th, 2014 at 12:41 PM  | Stand For Israel

Gaza Archbishop: Hamas Fired Out of Our Church

The plight of Christians in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East is dire. Now The Algemeiner brings this report on Hamas firing rockets from a church in Gaza:

A Catholic Archbishop ministering to Gaza’s minute Christian minority says Hamas terrorists forced him to allow them to use his church to fire rockets at Israel during the four week-long Operation Protective Edge.

“Islam is the rule of this place and whatever Hamas says we must obey or face consequences,” Archbishop Alexios told The Christian Broadcasting Network.

Alexios showed the reporter where Hamas terrorists used the roof of the center to fire rockets at Israel …

Functioning as a tolerated Christian minority in an Islamic supremacist entity, some residents charge that Hamas has “imposed strict Taliban-style Islamic laws” on the populace, Muslim and Christian alike.

However, Alexios allowed 2,000 Gazans to take refuge within the church compound during the fighting, according to the report.

We pray for the safety of the many persecuted Christians in Gaza, in Iraq, and elsewhere across the troubled region.

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Friday, August 8th, 2014 at 10:44 AM  | Stand For Israel

Dozens of Rockets Fired at Israel As Hamas Ends Ceasefire

(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

With the 72-hour ceasefire set to end this morning, Hamas officials refused to extend the truce. Instead, The Times of Israel reports that the terror organization launched dozens of rockets into Israel, forcing the IDF to respond with airstrikes:

Hamas officials refused to extend the three-day cease-fire, but said they were willing to continue negotiations in Cairo. Israel said it would not negotiate under fire and would protect its citizens by all means …

Within minutes after the temporary truce expired at 8 a.m., Gaza militants began firing rockets. By midday, some 35 rockets had been fired. Twenty-six landed in Israel, three were intercepted and four fell short in Gaza, the army said. Four Israelis were hurt, none seriously. One rocket landed meters from a gasoline station.

Israel eventually responded with what the military said were strikes “across Gaza …”

The resumption of violence cast doubt over the Cairo negotiations.

Both Israel and Hamas are under international pressure to reach a deal. As part of such an arrangement, Israel wants to see Hamas disarmed or prevented from re-arming, while Hamas demands Gaza’s borders be opened.

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Friday, August 8th, 2014 at 8:23 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Empty Spaces in Gaza

(Photo: flickr/ london-photographer)

(Photo: flickr/ london-photographer)

As Operation Protective Edge progressed, we have heard from many media outlets about Gaza being densely populated. In this piece for the Gatestone Institute, Alan Dershowitz indicts Hamas for the war crime of using civilians as human shields while also asking about Gaza’s empty spaces:

The fact that these sparsely populated areas exist in the Gaza Strip raises several important moral questions: First, why don’t the media show the relatively open areas of the Gaza Strip? Why do they only show the densely populated cities? There are several possible reasons. There is no fighting going on in the sparsely populated areas, so showing them would be boring. But that’s precisely the point—to show areas from which Hamas could be firing rockets and building tunnels but has chosen not to. Or perhaps the reason the media doesn’t show these areas is that Hamas won’t let them. That too would be a story worth reporting.

Second, why doesn’t Hamas use sparsely populated areas from which to launch its rockets and build its tunnels? Were it to do so, Palestinian civilian casualties would decrease dramatically, but the casualty rate among Hamas terrorists would increase dramatically.

That is precisely why Hamas selects the most densely populated areas from which to fire and dig …

The third moral question is why does the United Nations try to shelter Palestinian civilians right in the middle of the areas from which Hamas is firing? Hamas has decided not to use the less densely populated areas for rocket firing and tunnel digging. For that reason, the United Nations should use these sparsely populated areas as places of refuge …

But instead the UN is playing right into the hands of Hamas, by sheltering civilians right next to Hamas fighters, Hamas weapons and Hamas tunnels. Then the United Nations and the international community accuses Israel of doing precisely what Hamas intended Israel to do: namely fire at its terrorists and kill United Nations protected civilians in the process. It’s a cynical game…

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Thursday, August 7th, 2014 at 4:13 PM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Might Have Won; Hamas Certainly Lost

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

As fighting in Gaza has halted (for now), and as the international community chimes in on what it thinks should be done, The Times of Israel’s David Horovitz gives an Israeli assessment on “the (possible) end of the Israel-Hamas war”:

Whether or not Israel “won” — by which I mean attaining the “sustained calm” for its people that was the limited goal of the war — will be determined by the negotiations now taking place in Cairo, or the failure of those negotiations. But Hamas certainly lost. Three weeks ago, with its rocket capacity largely intact, its fighting forces completely intact, the tunnel network it had spent seven years building intact, and most of the Gaza it claims to represent intact, it rejected an unconditional ceasefire which Israel accepted and instead issued a long list of arrogant preconditions.

On Tuesday, with most of its rockets used to relatively little effect, hundreds of its gunmen dead, 32 of its major tunnels smashed, and Gaza devastated, its “military wing” in Gaza overruled its fat-cat political chief Khaled Mashaal in his Qatar hotel, waved a metaphorical white flag, and pleaded for the very same unconditional ceasefire. That does not constitute evisceration. Hamas aims to live to fight another day. But it does constitute defeat …

Perhaps folks abroad really just don’t care, or perhaps we haven’t explained it well enough, but Hamas directed much of its energy, money, manpower, time and strategic thinking since seizing the Strip in 2007 to digging a vast network of tunnels — including numerous tunnels under the border with Israel, wide enough to drive through on motorbikes, with the incontrovertible goal of sending large numbers of terrorists into southern Israel to carry out mass murder …

Apparently there are still political leaders and opinion-shapers in relatively enlightened countries who don’t realize any of this, who persist in arguing that Gaza’s tunnels were built solely to smuggle in the basic goods that Gazans are cruelly denied by the Israeli-Egyptian alliance, and who…

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Thursday, August 7th, 2014 at 8:41 AM  | Stand For Israel

The Media’s Role in Hamas’ War Strategy

(Photo: flickr/ ygurvitz)

(Photo: flickr/ ygurvitz)

Yesterday Stand for Israel reported on the IDF’s recovery of a Hamas combat manual – a manual that detailed the terrorists’ despicable use of human shields that the international media often neglects to mention. Today at The American Interest, Richard Landes writes that Hamas’ public relations strategy only works if the media is a cooperative partner, whether they’re aware of it or not:

Of course, Hamas’ strategy, what Elie Wiesel characterizes as child sacrifice, can only work if it has the sustained cooperation of the international news media, which must fulfill two key tasks in the strategy: 1) broadcast to the outside world the suffering the conflict causes; and 2) implicitly or explicitly blame Israel for that suffering. Without the first, there is no sense of outrage and urgency. Without the second, the world might not intervene on the Jihadi side.

Hamas shows full cognizance of the media’s importance. It has even issued detailed directions to Gazan “social media activists.” And although Hamas addressed them to Palestinian social media activists, the guidelines clearly apply to their media “fixers,” who direct all the foreign journalists working in Gaza. One might call these directives the “Hamas media protocols.”

  • not to show Hamas fighters, certainly not firing from hospitals and schools;
  • to attribute all the casualties to Israeli attacks;
  • to call all dead “civilians”;
  • to give the statistics Hamas supplies as facts, emphasizing how the “vast majority” of casualties are civilian;
  • to show the face of Palestinian suffering 24-7;
  • to give voice—their own and those of invited guests—to indignation and outrage over the appalling carnage.

So consistently has the media played these scripted roles that it has become a mere pawn in a predictable game. Jeremy Bowen explains: every conflict plays out between the time the Israelis go in to stop the rocketing until the time that Western outrage at civilian casualties gets them to stop. The more victims, the greater the pressure.

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Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 at 8:40 AM  | Stand For Israel

IDF: Captured Hamas Combat Manual Explains Benefits of Human Shields

(Photo: IDF blog)

(Photo: IDF blog)

During their sweep through Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, IDF troops found a Hamas combat manual on urban warfare. Post on the IDF’s blog, the manual explains to Hamas’ terrorist operatives the importance of using civilians as human shields, as well as Israel’s moral obligation to minimize civilian casualties:

In a portion entitled “Limiting the Use of Weapons,” the manual explains that:

The soldiers and commanders (of the IDF) must limit their use of weapons and tactics that lead to the harm and unnecessary loss of people and [destruction of] civilian facilities. It is difficult for them to get the most use out of their firearms, especially of supporting fire [e.g. artillery].

Clearly Hamas knows the IDF will limit its use of weapons in order to avoid harming civilians, including refraining from using larger firepower to support for infantry.

The manual goes on to explain that the “presence of civilians are pockets of resistance” that cause three major problems for advancing troops:

(1) Problems with opening fire
(2) Problems in controlling the civilian population during operations and afterward
(3) Assurance of supplying medical care to civilians who need it

Lastly, the manual discusses the benefits for Hamas when civilian homes are destroyed:

The destruction of civilian homes: This increases the hatred of the citizens towards the attackers [the IDF] and increases their gathering [support] around the city defenders (resistance forces[i.e. Hamas]).

It is clear that Hamas actually desires the destruction of homes and civilian infrastructure, knowing it will increase hatred for the IDF and support their fighters.

This finding is evidence of what the international media often neglects to mention – that the IDF acts morally, even as it battles a foe that has no problem with placing women and children in the line of fire.

Comments (18) »

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014 at 11:10 AM  | Stand For Israel

"informing, equipping and mobilizing individuals and churches to support the
State of Israel"

Rabbi’s Commentary
We Must Take Sides

Seventy years has passed since the Holocaust, one of the darkest periods in history. However, the evil of anti-Semitism lives on. As Israel observes Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), let us continue to pray for the chains of hatred to be loosened and for the oppressed to be freed…


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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