Netanyahu Targeted in Tel Aviv

(Photo: GPO/Avi Ohayon)

(Photo: GPO/Avi Ohayon)

Tel Aviv was once again targeted by terrorist rockets on Friday. This time, however, the terror group Islamic Jihad took credit for the attack, Arutz Sheva reports, claiming its target was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in the city to speak about Operation Protective Edge:

A siren was heard on Friday evening in central Israel, including in Tel Aviv and the region, sending residents to protected spaces.

Shortly afterwards, a rocket that was fired from Gaza was intercepted over Holon, near Tel Aviv, by the Iron Dome anti-missile system …

According to Army Radio, the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the rocket attack on Tel Aviv.

The terrorist organization said in a statement that it purposely fired the rocket while Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was giving a speech about Operation Protective Edge, in order to harm the Prime Minister and his staff.

We are thankful that no one was hurt in this attack, and pray for God’s continued protection over all of the people of Israel.

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Friday, July 11th, 2014 at 1:19 PM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas Warns Residents Against Revealing Launch Sites on Social Media

(Photo: flickr/ hughes_leglise)

(Photo: flickr/ hughes_leglise)

As the internet and social media have become such a large and all-encompassing part of our daily lives, we have all had to take precautions against the inherent dangers that come with these modern technologies. Hamas, it seems, is also warning the residents of Gaza about social media use. The Times of Israel reports that Hamas’ “social media department” has given residents guidelines on how to refer to the current conflict, urging them to post photos of the injured, and warning them not to show photos of rocket launches, for fear of the IDF pinpointing locations for airstrikes:

The ministry’s social media department published a video in Arabic Thursday containing guidelines for “cautious and effective” social media engagement on Facebook and Twitter during Operation Protective Edge. The ministry calls on residents to be wary of repeating Israeli “rumors,” and of adopting “the occupation’s narrative.” “Always doubt it and dispel it,” the video advises.

“Beware of posting photos of missiles launched from the center of town directed at Israel. This is used as a pretext to strike residential areas in the Gaza Strip,” it continues.

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Friday, July 11th, 2014 at 11:45 AM  | Stand For Israel

Hamas’ Human Shield War

Hamas graphic urging Palestinians to act as human shields (Photo: IDF blog)

Hamas graphic urging Palestinians to act as human shields (Photo: IDF blog)

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:

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.

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Friday, July 11th, 2014 at 9:08 AM  | Stand For Israel

How America Can Stop the War in Gaza

(Photo: ASHERNET)

(Photo: ASHERNET)

As Stand for Israel has reported, the United States has affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas’ rocket attacks, while at the same time expecting Israel to show restraint. Writing at Tablet, Liel Leibovitz says that these are conflicting expectations, and says the first thing America needs to do is to admit that there is no moral equivalency between Israel’s actions and those of the true culprit, Hamas:

Some things are just plain evil, and when things are evil, they should be prohibited by law and by the consensus of right-thinking people and nations and prevented with all the means at our disposal. Raining down rockets on a civilian population is evil. Instructing one’s operatives to kidnap and murder children is evil. Using children as human shields is evil. Putting missile launchers underneath hospitals is evil. People who do these things are supposed to pay a price, so that they don’t do them again. That’s how the international system is supposed to work.

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Friday, July 11th, 2014 at 8:56 AM  | Stand For Israel

Terrorist Rocket Attacks Now Hitting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv

iitnSince July 7, more than 360 terrorist rockets from Gaza have been fired at Israel, with the threat expanding to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This has been the heaviest terrorist assault on Israel since Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012.

Also this week in Israel in the News:

• Israel’s sophisticated defense system, Iron Dome, is protecting citizens, who remain calm, but uneasy.
• The IDF has retaliated with a defensive military campaign called Operation Protective Edge, launching targeted airstrikes in Gaza.
• The U.S. State Department has affirmed Israel’s right to use military force to root out terrorists in Gaza.

This week’s Israel in the News Perspective features The Fellowship’s founder and President Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein with an urgent plea for friends of Israel to pray for the country’s protection and an end to the senseless violence.

Listen to this show »     Read More »    Comments (5) »

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 5:00 PM  | betsy.schmitt@ifcj.org

My Kids Are in Bomb Shelters

(Photo: wikicommons/ James Emery)

(Photo: wikicommons/ James Emery)

While the United States has upheld Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Gaza, it has also urged both Israel and Hamas to “show restraint.” Blogging for The Times of Israel, American Rabbi Shmuley Boteach – who has four children currently living in Israel, living under fear of terrorist rockets – asks that America do the right thing and stand with Israel:

My four children, American citizens all, are running to bomb shelters in the Israeli capital while you’re asking terrorists to show restraint. For goodness sake, Mr. President. Do the moral thing. Say outright that the United States stands with Israel fully, completely, and unreservedly. That it supports the right of Israel to enact all military measures to defend its citizens. That it utterly condemns Hamas for its terrorism and will never recognize Hamas in any shape or form, other than to recognize it as a terror entity that must be destroyed. That it will supply Israel with everything it needs to eradicate the Hamas terror network in Gaza. That the United States, in having experienced the horrors of 9/11, understands the threat Israel is facing and stands with democratic countries everywhere, especially its most reliable ally, in defeating terrorists wherever they may be found.

Mr. President. This is a moral issue. And you are a moral man. Do the right thing.

We thank you, our friends in the United States and around the world, for doing the right thing and standing with Israel, and ask that you continue with your prayers and support.

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 2:45 PM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Faces New Jihadist Threats on Top of Hamas

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

(Photo: flickr/IDF)

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:

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.

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 1:31 PM  | Stand For Israel

Israel Allows Aid into Gaza

(Photo: flickr/ Israel21c)

(Photo: flickr/ Israel21c)

Though terrorist rockets from Gaza threaten its people, Israel shows its humanity by continuing to allow food, fuel, and other aid into Gaza, at the same time as it continues providing medical care for Palestinians:

Despite over 300 rockets hitting Israel, Israel has allowed some 200 trucks to cross into the strip, including some 200,000 liters of fuel daily, in an attempt to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Meanwhile, the government said that over 20 Palestinians, including eight Gazan children were treated at Haifa’s Rambam Medical Center …

According to Yazid Falah, the coordinator for Palestinian patients coming to Rambam, “Despite the security situation, and despite the fact that both sides are fighting, all continues as usual in the sphere of medical cooperation.”

Falah explained that “even in times of war we continue to receive patients and give them the care they need-children and adults.”

As Israel continues to provide aid to all those who need it, The Fellowship has also increased the emergency assistance it is providing for all those tragically affected by the terrorist rocket attacks.

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Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 12:25 PM  | Stand For Israel

Four Rockets Fired at Jerusalem, Two Intercepted

(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

(Photo: ASHERNET/IDF)

Even as Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza continue to launch rockets far into Israel, it is still shocking that so many are reaching the nation’s largest cities. Arutz Sheva reports that four such rockets were fired at Jerusalem on Thursday evening, with two of them being brought down by Iron Dome:

“Four rockets were fired at Jerusalem, of which two landed in open areas and two were intercepted,” an army spokesman told AFP, without giving further details.

Witnesses and Palestinian security sources told AFP one rocket struck near Maaleh Adumim, while a second hit close to an Israeli military prison near Ramallah.

Three loud blasts could be heard around the city shortly after sirens wailed, sending people scrambling for shelter …

We continue to pray for God’s protection over all the people of Israel as they lead their daily lives during this chaotic conflict.

Comments (13) »

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 11:09 AM  | Stand For Israel

“Moderate” Fatah Also Firing Rockets

(Photo: flickr/ lighthousenews)

(Photo: flickr/ lighthousenews)

While Operation Protective Edge is primarily Israel’s response to Hamas’ attacks – since Hamas is behind the majority of the attacks – other terrorist groups are also launching rockets at Israel. Islamic Jihad has taken credit for some, but now Fatah groups have also announced its hand in multiple attacks. Khaled Abu Toameh looks at the group’s involvement, as well as Fatah and P.A. head Mahmoud Abbas’ actions (and inaction) during the conflict:

So as far as Abbas is concerned, “it all started when Israel fired back” in response to hundreds of rockets that were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip during the past few days.

Why did Abbas refrain from condemning or calling for an end to the rocket attacks?

First, Abbas does not want to anger Hamas by issuing a condemnation of its rocket attacks. Such a condemnation would certainly lead to the collapse of the “reconciliation accord” that his Fatah faction signed with the Islamist movement last April.

Second, condemning Hamas would be seen as an admission that the “national consensus” government bears responsibility for the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip. After all, this is a Fatah-Hamas government, although its ministers are described as “independent technocrats.”

Third, Abbas is fully aware that the Palestinian public would not accept such a condemnation, especially in the wake of increased tensions with Israel in the aftermath of the kidnapping and murder of the Jerusalem teenager, Mohamed Abu Khdeir.

Comments (9) »

Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 8:48 AM  | Stand For Israel
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State of Israel"

Rabbi's Commentary
Seeking Prayers for Safety and Comfort in a Time of Crisis

The news from Israel continues to grieve me deeply. Twenty-seven Israeli soldiers have been killed thus far during Operation Protective Edge.


Read Rabbi Eckstein's message »

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