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On Monday, Egypt proposed a ceasefire to the conflict between Israel and Hamas. While Israel agreed to the ceasefire, The Times of Israel reports, Hamas did not:
Israel accepted the Egyptian ceasefire agreement because it would restore the status quo that preceded Operation Protective Edge but leave Hamas severely weakened, the official said.
“Hamas didn’t achieve what it had planned to achieve: not in the military campaign itself, where it was dealt a severe blow with more than 1,700 attacks, not in its efforts to harm Israeli civilians, not in its desire to carry out strategic terror attacks from the sea, the air and the ground — which were attempted but thwarted — and not in its ability to recruit the Arab world and Judea and Samaria,” the official said, referring to Palestinians in the West Bank.
Hamas also failed to accomplish anything with the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, which does not include any preconditions and does not mention Hamas’s demands for the payment of salaries for its men in Gaza and the release of prisoners, the official said.
Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said the Palestinian group rejected the proposal.
We continue to pray for the safety of the Israeli people and the brave men and women of the IDF who are defending them, as well as for peace in Israel.Comments (5) »
Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 at 9:48 AM | Stand For Israel
While Israel accepted the ceasefire proposal put forth by Egypt today, Hamas rejected the terms as being unacceptable. At the Gatestone Institute, Khaled Abu Toameh writes that there is no love lost between Egyptians and their new leadership and Hamas, realizing that the terror organization’s actions hurt not only Israel, but the rest of the Middle East:
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… over the past week, there are also different voices coming out of Egypt and some other Arab countries — voices that publicly support the Israeli military operation against the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip.
This is perhaps because a growing number of Arabs and Muslims are fed up with the Islamist terrorists who are imposing a reign of terror and intimidation in the Arab world, particularly in Iraq and Syria. They see the atrocities and massacres committed by Islamists on a daily basis in Iraq and Syria and are beginning to ask themselves if these serve the interests of the Arabs and Muslims …
What is also remarkable is Egyptian criticism of Hamas for launching rockets at the nuclear facility in Dimona in southern Israel. Ahmed Qandeel, head of the Energy Studies Program at the Al-Ahram Strategic Studies think-tank, denounced the targeting of Dimona as “idiotic.” He warned that this would have a negative impact on the entire region and endanger the lives of many Egyptians and Arabs. “Egypt must take precautionary measures,” he advised …
Echoing the widespread sentiment among Egyptians, journalist Mustafa Shardi said: “No Arab country has done for the Palestinians as Egypt did … The Egyptian people are asking: Where are our people who were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip? Hamas should apologize for the 1000 tunnels that were used to smuggle the resources of Egypt. They all have their own planes and accounts in Swiss banks.”
Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 at 8:52 AM | Stand For Israel
Earlier this week, we reported on Hamas’ implementation of “human shields” – placing Palestinian civilians in or on terrorist buildings targeted by the IDF. Writing at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin takes a closer look at how Hamas targets Israeli civilians while at the same time placing its own in danger:
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Hamas situates its weapons and fighters next to or among civilians not just because Gaza is crowded but because it is hoping that Israel will kill as many of their own people as possible. It indiscriminately fires rockets at Israeli population centers in part to kill as many Jews as possible though it has, to date, failed in that effort. But it is just as important to them to generate the Israeli counter-attacks that inevitably lead to Palestinian civilian deaths even if those numbers are inflated because many of those killed are actually Hamas terrorists.
Friday, July 11th, 2014 at 9:08 AM | Stand For Israel
Much of our attention since the start of Operation Protective Edge (and since the start of their terrorist rocket attacks) has been on Hamas, the reigning terror organization in Gaza and the main aggressor in the current conflict. We noted this morning that others, like Fatah and Islamic Jihad, have also taken credit for attacks. But with Hamas weakened, Sean Savage reports for JNS, these and other terrorist groups such as ISIS could pose a very real and serious threat to Israel:
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For Israel, the rise of global jihadist groups in Gaza and Hamas’s isolation there creates a different set of problems … if Hamas becomes severely weakened, Salafi jihadist groups or Islamic Jihad may use the opportunity to seize control of Gaza.
“[Israeli operations] might create a vacuum where it can give rise to other jihadi groups who would be worse than Hamas,” Schanzer said …
Nevertheless, Ya’alon has said this will be a long-term operation, and that Hamas and other terror organizations “will pay a very steep price” for rocket fire on Israel.
“We are destroying arms, terrorist infrastructure, command and control systems, institutions, government buildings, terrorists’ homes, and we are killing terrorists in the organizational high command,” said the defense minister.
In the immediate future, Hamas remains the biggest game in town in Gaza for Israel, given the terror group’s tens of thousands of fighters and a substantial arsenal of rockets capable of striking Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.
Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 1:31 PM | Stand For Israel
Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s response to Hamas’ continued rocket launches, is self-explanatory – the Jewish state is protecting itself and its people from terrorist attacks. What’s not as clear – other than a long hatred of Israel and the Jewish people, and a desire to put an end to both – is why Hamas decided to pursue such a conflict at this time. Elliott Abrams, former national security adviser, lays out several reasons why the terrorist organization decided to provoke Israel:
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Hamas leadership decided it had to shake things up.
This new battle with Israel has several benefits for Hamas … Statements from Hamas are now, once again, front page news; Hamas is no longer irrelevant. Hamas is now in its eyes and those, it hopes, of many Arabs, back in the front line of the struggle against Israel. It will also, it must believe, be seen as the heroic victim of Israeli attacks, worthy of solidarity and support — both political and financial. And this episode in its long struggle with Israel allows Hamas to show its capabilities: longer range missiles that attack Tel Aviv and further north, sea-based attacks by swimmers who enter Israel from the beaches, tunnels that would enable the kidnapping of more hostages to exchange or permit heavily armed men to reach Israeli communities and exact a high price in lives, and a high volume of rockets to overwhelm Israel’s high-tech defenses like Iron Dome.
Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 8:33 AM | Stand For Israel
As the IDF continues Operation Protective Edge against the terrorists in Gaza launching rockets at Israel, it also provides this report – and evidence – on the troubling fact that Hamas is using human shields in order to protect its weapons stashes:
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Hamas places weapons and missile launchers in densely populated areas. They also send men, woman and children to act as human shields for terrorists.
Innocent bystanders can be killed as a result of Hamas’ abuse of its own civilians. Instead of keeping its citizens out of harm’s way, Hamas encourages and even forces Gazans to join its violent resistance against Israel.
During Operation Protective Edge, evidence of Hamas’ and other terror organizations’ use of human shields has surfaced.
Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 at 2:35 PM | Stand For Israel
As rockets continue to fall on Israel, Operation Protective Edge continues to target the terrorists who launch them. The IDF has called up 40,000 reserves in preparation for possible ground operations in Gaza. One of these reservists, the Israeli media personality Ari Abramowitz, has penned an open letter to Hamas and the rest of the Arab world, hoping for peace for all but promising that God’s children will be victorious:
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We are enraged that this is what get after having gone to greater lengths than any country in modern history to make peace with you — even giving to you the very territory from which you are assaulting tonight — as a “confidence building measure”.
While our nature is to love peace, we are ready for war.
But do NOT mistake our hesitation for fear.
Do not mistake our compassion for weakness.
We are like a lion ready to pounce.
Remove our shackles and you will see a nation of warriors.
We will be victorious.
Not because of our own strength will we succeed, but because of the God of Israel who fights our battles for us – who fights our battles through us.
Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 at 8:34 AM | Stand For Israel
As terrorist rockets continue to rain down on southern Israel, the IDF is preparing for an increased campaign against Hamas. Calling up reserves and positioning troops, The Jerusalem Post reports, are some of the ways Israel is readying for an escalation:
The IDF’s steps to enhance preparedness on the Gaza border include the calling up of 1,500 reserves, and the setting up of infantry assault units on the Gaza border, in case “a decision is made” for an offensive in Gaza, the source said.
“We are ready for an escalation,” the source said, adding that Hamas is not only failing to prevent other terror groups from firing projectiles at southern Israel, it is taking an active and dominant part in the recent attacks.
Please pray for the brave men and women defending Israel, as well as for all those people they protect.Comments (3) »
Monday, July 7th, 2014 at 12:32 PM | Stand For Israel
With Hamas’ role in the kidnapping and murder of the three Israeli teens, the IDF has cracked down on the Gaza-based terror organization and will continue to do so. But, Eli Lake reports for The Daily Beast, the fact that Hamas’ kidnapping mastermind lives freely in Turkey may complicate the already strained Israeli-Turkish relationship:
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The Hamas commander who is seen by Israel as responsible for a wave of kidnapping attempts in the West Bank is actually based in Turkey. Saleh al-Arouri, that senior Hamas operative, makes his home inside the territory of a NATO ally …
Israel’s security services said al-Arouri has “urged West Bank operatives incessantly to set up terror cells and perpetrate kidnappings.” A further clue that the Israelis blame al-Arouri for the teenagers’ kidnappings came on June 20 when Israeli military vehicles demolished the family home of al-Arouri outside Ramallah.
Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014 at 8:59 AM | Stand For Israel