Monday, July 21, 2014

From Ian:

Times of Israel Live Blog: Peres consoles bereaved families; large rocket barrage at south
The Times of Israel is liveblogging events as they unfold through Monday, the 14th day of Operation Protective Edge. Israel thwarted early morning attacks by Hamas gunmen emerging from tunnels. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Israel’s actions in the Hamas stronghold of Shejaiya were “atrocious.” The IDF announced Sunday evening that 13 Golani Brigade soldiers died overnight in fighting in Gaza, raising the Israeli army death toll to 18. The soldiers were killed in heavy combat in Shejaiya, which also left over 70 Palestinians dead, Gaza Health Ministry officials said. Israel said the neighborhood is a Hamas stronghold, and that the army had warned residents to evacuate
How many Israelis must die before we are ‘allowed’ to defend them? (From The Guardian!)
As Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, said recently: “We don’t have to apologise for Israelis not being killed.” Indeed, one wonders quite how the media would want to even up the scores. Perhaps Israel should switch off the early-warning systems that notify Israelis of missiles, and stop using Iron Dome until more Israelis have been killed than Palestinians? Only then, having satiated the media thirst for Israeli blood by dying in sufficient numbers, would Israel be “allowed” to resume its protective operation to let Israelis live peaceful lives free from terror.
Israel both has the right to defend our citizens with military operations, and to protect the lives of our citizens with bunkers and anti-missile systems. Until our operations are over, the media ought to drastically rethink the irresponsible way they are discussing proportionality.
Brendan O'Neill: Can everyone please stop posting photos of dead Palestinian children all over the internet?
It all has the look and feel and sound of moral pornography, designed less to enlighten people about what is going in Israel-Gaza – war harms children? Who didn’t know this? – than to provide something shocking for us all to stare at and be collectively horrified by. There is a terrible irony to this widespread publishing of photos of battered Palestinian children – the aim seems to be to show that we the right-minded folk of Twitter and the Western media really care, but the question it immediately raises in my mind is this: “Well, if you care about children so much, why didn’t you publish photos of dead kids from the Congo? Or Aleppo? Or Sri Lanka? Do you only care about one group of children – Palestinians – and no others?” So a photo-sharing frenzy aimed at advertising our caring tendencies actually has the opposite effect: it makes one wonder why this alleged caring instinct is so picky, so partial , attaching itself firmly to the child-victims of one conflict but rarely finding expression in relation to any other conflict.
PM Netanyahu's message to the people of Gaza


Khaled Abu Toameh: Palestinians: The Arabs Betrayed Us - Again
Since 1948, the Arab countries and government have been paying mostly lip service to the Palestinians.
"They have money and oil, but don't care about the Palestinians, even though we are Arabs and Muslims like them. What a Saudi or Qatari sheikh spends in one night in London, Paris or Las Vegas could solve the problem of tens of thousands of Palestinians." — Abdel Bari Atwan, Palestinian editor.
"Some Arabs were hoping that Israel would rid them of Hamas." — Ashraf Salameh, Gaza City.
"Some of the Arab regimes are interested in getting rid of the resistance in order to remove the burden of the Palestinian cause, which threatens the stability of their regimes." — Mustafa al-Sawwaf, Palestinian political analyst.
"Most Arabs are busy these days with bloody battles waged by their leaders, who are struggling to survive. These battles are raging in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and the Palestinian Authority." — Mohammed al-Musafer, columnist.
"The Arab leaders don't know what they want from the Gaza Strip. They don't even know what they want from Israel." — Yusef Rizka, Hamas official.



NYTs: Palestinians Find Show of Support Lacking From Arab Leaders Amid Offensive
Three years ago there was a hope that a growing movement for democracy might make Arab countries more supportive of the Palestinians, as governments grew more responsive to the people and their demands.
But during the latest bloodshed in Gaza, the opposite has occurred, according to supporters of the Palestinians, who found the official Arab reaction incoherent, at times providing cover for the Israeli military assault.
The governments were accused of dithering at critical moments during the recent Israeli military offensive, where in the past, Palestinians counted on them to at least muster some diplomatic pressure to make it stop. Their feuds broke out in public, and Egypt even blamed Hamas, the Islamist movement in Gaza, rather than Israel, for dozens of Palestinian deaths.
Michael Oren: Hamas media strategy relies on deaths of civilians
Yet the most helpful role that the media plays for Hamas—and the worst disservice for Palestinians—is in demoralizing Israelis. They are willing to pay a high operational price, even to endanger their own soldiers, to avoid hurting Palestinian civilians.
Yet, in spite of these unprecedented efforts, the Jewish State is often depicted by the media as indiscriminate and callous. By calling them killers even when they take risks to save lives, the media discourages Israelis from showing restraint in the face of ceaseless Hamas attacks. And Hamas, which wants to drag Israel into a ground war in which even more civilians are killed, welcomes the media's role in convincing Israelis that image-wise they have nothing to lose by escalating.
Former President Bill Clinton recently told Indian television that Hamas "has a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own [Palestinian] civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them." A crucial means through which Hamas accomplishes this is the international media.
Just as Israel must relentlessly scrutinize its military actions in Gaza and their consequences, so, too, must journalists take a hard look at the way they cover this conflict. They must not allow themselves to act as accessories to Hamas's murderous strategy that delegitimizes Israel and prolongs the Palestinians' suffering.
Everyone knows that anti-Zionism has nothing to do with anti-Semitism
Despite that incident in Manchester, when “Heil Hitler!” was shouted at Jews in the street and garbage was thrown at them too. And despite the fact that Hitler memes have been popping up on the Facebook page of an anti-Israel rally outside the BBC.
Despite that Facebook post in South Africa by an ANC social media manager, of a picture of Hitler with the caption: “I could have killed all the Jews, but I left some of them to let you know why I was killing them.”
Despite that demonstration in Boston, when a protestor said the “Jews will go to hell” when Palestine ‘reclaims’ Jerusalem, and when Jews were called ‘Jesus killers‘.
Despite that rally in Sydney, with the flags superimposing swastikas over Stars of David (among the sea of ISIS flags). And despite that lynching of a Jew in Melbourne by thugs shouting, “Jewish dog!”
Despite that rally in Antwerp, where protestors chanted, “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning!” And despite that pro-ISIS rally in The Hague, where protestors also shouted the same thing. And despite the fact that a Jewish woman was refused service in a shop in Antwerp “out of protest”.
Despite that rally in Frankfurt by neo-Nazis and Islamists, with the placards reading “You Jews are Beasts”.
Despite the fact that ‘#HitlerWasRight’ and ‘#IfHitlerWasAlive‘ have been doing the rounds on Twitter.
Everyone knows that anti-Zionism has nothing to do with anti-Semitism. (h/t Canadian Otter)
Israel denies Hamas claims of kidnapped soldier
The military wing of Hamas, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, announced that it had captured the Israeli in Shejaiya.
During a press conference, the group gave a name for the ostensible prisoner and even presented a military ID number.
The name given by Hamas was very similar to the name of one of the soldiers confirmed killed in the fighting in Shejaiya early Sunday morning.
Fatah Celebrates 'Abduction' of Soldier
The official Facebook page of Fatah, the terror movement and political organization headed by Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas, has published photos from Tulkarem, in Samaria, showing Fatah activists passing out sweets to people in the street to celebrate the alleged abduction of an IDF soldier in Gaza.
The claim regarding the abduction was circulated by Hamas early Monday morning, but has been denied by Israel.
Palestinians Celebrate the Alleged Capture of an Israeli Soldier

JPost Editorial: Tragedy of war
Israel hopes to restore a level of deterrence while seriously damaging Hamas’s system of tunnels, at least those closest to the border with Israel. Admittedly, Israel’s objectives are modest – a return to a tense status quo in which Israelis are able to live their lives without being under the constant threat of rocket fire or being whisked away into Gaza via a tunnel to be used as a bargaining chip for the release of murderous Hamas terrorists being held in Israeli prisons.
Unfortunately, the price Israel is being forced to pay is exorbitantly high – the lives of some our very best men.
Nevertheless, this is an eminently just war that pits Israel, a country that values life, intellectual and artistic freedom, and innovation against Hamas, a terrorist organization that glorifies death, exalts violence, and demands of its followers submission and self-abnegation, all in the name of irrational, reactionary religious fanaticism.
History has proven that totalitarian regimes like Hamas’s are ultimately self-destructive, while the forces of freedom have an inner resilience that make them indomitable. It is a tragedy that so many good people must give their lives before such evil is eradicated.
Hamas bandits
As Hamas rockets continue to rain down on Israeli civilians, Israel has once again begun to find itself being portrayed internationally as the villain for defending itself. Lest there be any doubt, Hamas is a band of terrorists. Israel on the other hand is a sovereign nation, and, like every nation, has a natural right of self-defense.
Unlike virtually every other nation, however, Israel pursues this natural right in arguably the most morally upright and forthright manner in the annals of history. Regrettably, the United States has not done nearly enough to stand with Israel and give the Israeli government a diplomatically protective “green light” to once and for all neutralize the Hamas terrorist threat.
Outraged about Gaza? Fine. Now worry about Syria
The lack of action over the fate of Palestinians in Syria suggests the death and suffering of Palestinians alone is not enough to get people onto the streets
The demonstrations that have been glaringly absent from Britain’s streets during the Syrian civil war reappeared this weekend to protest against the latest round of fighting began between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
The Stop The War Coalition, who months ago told the Guardian that protesting over Syria isn’t their job as they only focus on “what Britain and the US are doing”, made their usual exception for Israel by helping to organising Friday’s demonstration outside the Israeli Embassy in London.
As for Syria, STWC was only interested when it looked like Britain and the US might intervene military to stop President Assad using chemical weapons against his own people.
JCPA: Unseen Scars of War: Psychological Consequences of the Hamas Attacks on the Israeli Civilian Population
Violence and conflict associated with war is a classic cause of stress among civilians and military personnel. In some cases, the stress and strain is such that it is not easily resolved, leading to what clinicians have called “post-traumatic stress syndrome” or PTSD.
In the Israel-Gaza conflict, civilians are being exposed to the classic precipitants of stress-related issues during war, namely, unpredictable violence which threatens one’s physical well-being. While many eventually adapt and habituate, repeated direct exposure to threats of violence and actual attack has been shown to result in higher than normal rates of PTSD, with Sderot residents having multiple symptoms and consequences.
JCPA: The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA): An Agenda for Conflict
UNRWA is funded by the voluntary contributions of a relatively narrow donor base. Therefore, Western donor countries are in the most effective position to influence and direct UNRWA leadership to prevent the humanitarian agency from being further exploited for the promotion of extremist agendas, the backing of terrorist groups, and the growing involvement of its officials in political speech and public pronouncement. As one commentator put it recently, paraphrasing Clausewitz: “humanitarianism, not just war, has now become the continuation of politics by other means.” Indeed, if we are to judge according to some of UNRWA activities and policies within the last few decades, accountable, restrained leadership and more determined action on the part of donor states, are required in order to prevent the Agency from further exemplifying this.
Ban Ki-Moon – Please Don’t Be a Terrorist
It is thus far presumed UNRWA did not act in any way contrary to their orders. The UN has not as yet condemned a mutiny from one of its agencies. Therefore it is quite clear that the arming of a terrorist group was a deliberate act, endorsed by the secretariat.
If this is not the case, if you, Mr Ban, do not wish your organisation to be party to terrorism, now is your opportunity to disband UNRWA, cut off its billion-dollar funding and pave the way for a world in which terrorists are isolated and condemned, rather than armed and facilitated by UN agencies.
And in the end, you, Mr Ban, will be heralded for having rooted out the worst of the United Nations. You will leave an idealistic organisation that has been hi-jacked a slightly less soiled place than you found it.
UNRWA Gives Rockets to Hamas; Why is U.S. Still Funding It?
Of course, the unnamed diplomat knows all this quite well; nobody who’s been conscious for the past seven years could be ignorant of who really rules Gaza. The diplomat was simply contorting the facts to avoid admitting that UNRWA gave lethal weapons to Hamas–which both America and Europe deem a terrorist organization–because financing an agency that gives arms to terrorists would violate both American and European law. In other words, admitting the truth would require them to stop funding UNRWA, which neither America nor Europe wants to do.
In reality, UNRWA should have been defunded long ago, given both its role in perpetuating the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the fact that its enormous budget comes at the expense of other refugees, like the Syrians, whose need is far greater. But by turning rockets over to Hamas, UNRWA has lost its last shred of pretense to being a “humanitarian” agency. It’s high time for Congress to pull the financial plug.
The Europeans in Gaza who fight with Hamas
Doctor Erik Fosse arrived in Gaza last week with an Israeli visa. Along with Doctor Maids Gilbert, he has become the benign face of the last Hamas war against the Jewish State.
These doctors are not humanitarians, but warriors, fighters and militants. They stand with Hamas in the Gazan Shifa hospital with the complicity of Norway's institutions and the European Union, knowing that Hamas leaders and weapons are hidden in a bunker under the hospital.
During the Cast Lead Operation, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh and other Hamas terrorists took over an entire ward of Fosse's hospital during the war in order to stay safe. 10 Gaza hospitals were used by Hamas during Operation Cast Lead to shelter weapons and terrorists. (h/t Canadian Otter)
Lone soldier Max Steinberg from California killed in action
Max Steinberg, a Golani brigade sharpshooter enlisted in the IDF in December 2012. He was originally from Los Angeles, California and was living in Beersheba.
Steinberg was killed in action overnight on Sunday when the Golani Brigade operated extensively in the Gaza Strip.
Small South Texan Jewish Community Mourns Death of IDF Sergeant Sean Carmeli, Killed in Gaza
The Jewish community of a south Texas beach town was in mourning on Sunday after it was informed that one of its sons was among the Israeli troops that fell in a bloody Gaza battle on Saturday night.
Sergeant Nissim Sean Carmeli, 21, had moved to Ra’anana from South Padre Island (population 2800, Jewish population 75), where his family moved from Israel over twenty years ago. His parents are Alon and Dalya Carmeli.
Staff Sgt. Moshe Malko named as one of the 13 Golani soldiers killed in action
The IDF on Monday announced that Staff Sgt. Moshe Malko, 20, from Jerusalem, was among the 13 Golani soldiers killed in action in Gaza early on Sunday morning.
Malko will be laid to rest at 4 p.m. Monday at the Mount Herzl military cemetery in Jerusalem. Malko was promoted to Staff Sgt. from the rank of Sgt. following his death.
Yosef Hailo, a brother-in-law of Moshe, described him as “a courageous young man” who was always ready to support others.
Golani: First to fight, first to pay the price
For two decades, Israel has somewhat accepted civilian casualties as a result or rocket fire or terror attacks, but it has had a tough time accepting the loss of soldiers on the front line. Despite the heartbreaking pain over these soldiers' deaths, Operation Protective Edge has, in a way, set things straight -- soldiers protecting civilians, not vice versa.
In that respect, the Golani Brigade has always been at the forefront -- the first to fight and first to pay the price. This has been true for the Yom Kippur War, for the first and second Lebanon wars, for Operation Defensive Shield and for Operation Cast Lead, and this was true on Sunday as well.
The Golani Brigade was the last to enter Gaza this time, but naturally, it was assigned the most complex and dangerous mission. Sunday saw the brigade undertake a dual effort: on the front line, fighting in Gaza; and on the homefront, preparing for 13 funerals.
Wounded IDF Druze Battalion Commander, Who Lost 13 Men Overnight, Eager to Return to Troops in Gaza
Overnight Alian lost 13 of his fighters and sustained light to moderate wounds in fierce fighting in northern Gaza’s Shuja’iya area, a Hamas stronghold and the source of no less than 10 tunnels and some 140 rocket strikes against Israel.
“I have a lot of soldiers over there and I need to get back to them,” Alian told doctors at Beersheba’s Soroka Medica Center, according to Israel’s Ynet news site.
“My son asked me, ‘why did he (Raslan) go into Gaza?’”, Shirin said, and answered, “because he has to serve as an example.”
Netanyahu: IDF's achievements so far are 'better than expected'
The IDF operation in the Gaza Strip is progressing according to plan, and the army's achievements “are better than expected,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday.
Netanyahu';s comments came during security deliberations with Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gatnz, and OC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman at an IDF base in the south.
Gantz: What Other Army Warns Its Enemies That It's Advancing?
At a press conference shortly before news of the deaths of 13 IDF soldiers overnight Saturday was released, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz said that the army was determined to complete its mission of restoring quiet to southern Israel by delivering a devastating blow to Hamas' military capabilities.
A substantial blow had already been delivered, Gantz told reporters. Responding to questions about what the IDF had accomplished in its ground invasion of Gaza, Gantz said that Saturday had been a difficult day for Israel, with heavy losses, but that things were much worse for Hamas. The terror organization has been badly hit, and is rapidly losing its ability to inflict harm on Israel. “We intend to continue the campaign until Hamas is no longer able to harm us,” Gantz said.
Gantz added that the IDF had done everything possible to protect civilians, including warning them four days in advance that the army planned to enter the neighborhood. “I truly feel bad for the civilians who are in harm,s way,” Gantz said. “We have to do the moral thing by them and warn them in advance to give them an opportunity to get out of harm's way, but if they refuse to do so we cannot allow their presence to prevent us from carrying out our missions. We also have a moral obligation to Israelis to protect them, and we intend to accomplish that.
MK Feiglin: End the 'Misplaced Pity' That Endangers Our Soldiers
In a press conference Sunday evening, IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz discussed how IDF soldiers warned residents of the Shejaiya neighborhood in Gaza to evacuate the area, providing Hamas with advance information on where the IDF would strike.
As a result, Hamas terrorists had time to prepare to “greet” soldiers, preparing traps, ambushes, and attacks - essentially sacrificing Israeli soldiets for the safety of Gaza civilians. That, said Likud MK Moshe Feiglin, is unacceptable; Israel should not be sacrificing its soldiers for the safety of Gaza residents, supporters of Hamas who voted to put the terror group in control of Gaza.
“The blood of ours sons is precious and we must not endanger it for nothing,” said Feiglin. “We must force the enemy to surrender. We have to stop supplying them with electricity, food, and all other supplies until they surrender and disarm.
“We hope and pray that the injured soldiers who sacrificed themselves will get better,” said Feiglin. “These are the times when we must demand that the illogical pity we have for our enemies is put to an end,” he added.
IDF Photo Shows Rockets Fired From Hospital
The IDF on Monday released photos and videos that offered irrefutable proof that Hamas terrorists were indeed using civilian neighborhoods and facilities – including hospitals – to fire rockets at Israel. The IDF spokesperson released the materials on its Twitter account Monday afternoon.
Israel has long insisted that Hamas uses Gaza civilians as human shields, forcing them to remain in the line of fire so that they could be killed or injured by IDF troops. Hamas denies these charges, despite numerous photos and videos released by the IDF proving them.
A declassified photo posted on Twitter shows some locations of rockets and rocket launchers in the Shuja'iya neighborhood, placed on playgrounds, inside mosques and homes, and even in a cemetery. In addition, the photos show a missile launcher at the entrance to Al-Wafa Geriatric Hospital in the neighborhood.
WATCH: IDF troops target Hamas gunmen who tunneled in from Gaza
The squads surfaced in Israel shortly after six in the morning. One squad, clad in what looked like standard military gear, emerged near Erez, on Israeli territory, several kilometers northeast of the Gaza city of Beit Hanoun. Surveillance soldiers spotted the infiltrators and summoned an aircraft to the area, the army said.
The aircraft opened fire, killing the gunmen. No Israelis were hurt in the battle.
“My understanding is that the Shin Bet security service provided an alert,” Lt. Col. Peter Lerner of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit said of both cross-border attacks.
At the same time, a second squad of operatives emerged from either a separate tunnel or a more southeasterly branch of the same one. The squad surfaced near Kibbutz Niram and was not immediately detected. The squad fired an anti-tank missile at a passing Israeli army vehicle, apparently a jeep, and hit it, inflicting casualties on the soldiers within. The IDF did not initially provide details on the number of casualties and their severity.
IDF Thwarts Hamas Infiltration into Israel


Evidence of Hamas Shooting from Within Home


Navy Performs Pinpoint Strike in Gaza


Golani Brigade Commander: "Our Nation is Behind Us"


IDF Paratroopers Blow Up Tunnel in Gaza


IDF Paratroopers Discover Tunnel Under a House in Gaza


MEMRI: Footage of Tunnels Used by Hamas for Terror Attacks


IDF Blog: Hamas Social Media Rules: Describe Terrorists as Innocent Civilians
Hamas is employing a new tactic to conceal its true terrorist nature from the world. It has begun asking Gaza’s social media users to disseminate lies throughout the West and the Arab world.
This news will come as no surprise to those familiar with the radical Islamist organization’s usual methods. However, now mainstream media outlets will have to think twice before blindly quoting reports from Hamas about what’s really happening in Gaza.
All The News Hamas Sees Fit to Print
It appears the Times is silently but happily complying with a Hamas demand that the only pictures from Gaza are of civilians and never of fighters. The most influential news organization in the world is thus manufacturing an utterly false portrait of the battle—precisely the portrait that Hamas finds most helpful: embattled, victimized Gaza civilians under attack by a cruel Israeli military.
A review of the Times's photography in Gaza reveals a stark contrast in how the two sides are portrayed. Nearly every picture from Israel depicts tanks, soldiers, or attack helicopters. And every picture of Gaza depicts either bloodied civilians, destroyed buildings, overflowing hospitals, or other images of civilian anguish. It is as one-sided and misleading a depiction of the Gaza battle as one can imagine.
Report: Alleged Israeli strike on Sudanese weapons arsenal
Sources in Khartoum claimed on Monday that Israeli forces struck a weapons arsenal which held long range missiles for Hamas.
The Arabic-language UK-based newspaper Al-Arab reported that the government in Sudan is not confirming the incident in order to cover up relations with the terrorist organization in Gaza. Such ties could entangle the country's president Omar al-Bashir with an accusation of supporting terrorism from the US and Western nations.
The attack came only hours after Israel accused the Sudanese government of storing long range missiles for Hamas.
Hamas Video Of RPG Fired From House
Hamas has published this video, allegedly of an RPG-29 being fired at an IDF tank
Israel has continuously accused Hamas of hiding in, and using, civilian building to fight us.
This “boast” video is further proof of this.
Any civilians killed by an Israeli response to this RPG fire is the fault of Hamas.
Hamas has executed four Palestinian 'collaborators' since start of Gaza operation
Hamas has executed four Palestinians on suspicion of “collaboration” with Israel since the beginning of the fighting in the Gaza Strip 10 days ago, the Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported Thursday.
The paper quoted sources in the Gaza Strip as saying that another 13 Palestinians have been arrested by Hamas on suspicion of providing Israel with information about militiamen and homes of civilians.
No to Negotiating With Hamas
Israel has made one terrible mistake during Operation Protective Edge by negotiating with Hamas. The discussion of a “cease-fire between Israel and the Palestinians” means that Israel has de facto negotiated with Hamas. Publicly Israel won't recognize it, but who exactly did Prime Minister Netanyahu accept a cease-fire proposal from? Is it not Hamas?
While Netanyahu claims not to recognize Hamas, what is one to make of government spokesman Mark Regev saying “When the diplomatic door was closed shut by Hamas we had no option but to act military against those missiles and those tunnels.”
President Obama lost his international moxy when he made idle threats – and Netanyahu is oddly following down this path.
When Regev states in the International media that, “You know, victory for us is actually peace and quiet. Victory for us is the Israeli civilian population not having to live in fear of an incoming terrorist rocket from Gaza. Victory for us is just having a normal life,” it’s asking Hamas for quiet. Rather unusual public dialogue to take against an organization devoted to destroying the entire country, no?
‘Significant Likelihood’ That Israel Retakes Gaza, Intelligence Minister Says
There is “a significant likelihood” that the current Israel Defense Forces ground operation “will end with Israel retaking full control over Gaza,” Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said Saturday.
Steinitz explained that the decision was based on the assessment that Hamas was not ready for a cease-fire. The Israeli Diplomatic-Security Cabinet unanimously approved an expansion of the ground incursion based on the understanding that Hamas’s terror tunnels in Gaza pose no less of a threat to Israel than the incessant rocket fire, according to Israel Hayom.
Ex-Israeli envoy to US: Kerry wasn’t invited, shouldn’t be coming
In comments to Channel 2 on Monday afternoon, Oren cited the Obama administration’s strained relations with Egypt, and the “tension” in ties between the US and Israel. To Israel’s chagrin, he said, America has consequently not been able to play a more constructive role in this crisis, whereas previous administrations had been able to do so in past crises. He commented on the way the Administration handled the Arab spring, the blame it placed on Israel for the failure of the peace process, and the US’s strained ties with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Oren said Kerry and the Obama administration have close ties with Qatar and Turkey, “who are not on the best terms with Egypt right now.”
Oren emphasized that Kerry, who made things worse with a live-microphone slip Sunday criticizing the scope of Israel’s operation, was coming to the region even though that hot-mic incident showed he had “not been invited.”
Hamas: Cease-Fire Only If We Get Free Electricity
Among the demands Hamas has demanded that Israel fulfill in exchange for a cease-fire is the continued unlimited supply of free electricity by Israel to terrorists-run Gaza.
The electricity demand was one of “ten commands” Hamas has put forth, the terror group said.
Hamas owes the Israel Electric Company (IEC) hundreds of millions of shekels, part of the 1.4 billion shekel electricity bill that the Palestinian Authority owes. Neither the PA nor Gaza have paid for electricity for at least a decade.
Kerry Accuses Candy Crowley of Doing Hamas' Bidding
Crowley: So as I understand it, what you were saying is that the U.S. is comfortable with Israeli actions thus far, but you would like to see a cease-fire.
Kerry: Candy, Candy, please. No country, no human being is comfortable with children being killed, with people being killed, but we're not comfortable with Israeli soldiers being killed either or with people being rocketed in Israel. So you know, in war, it's very difficult. There tends not to be a sort of equilibrium in terms of these things. The fact is that we've asked Israel and Israel has said we will try to reduce whatever we can with respect to civilian involvement, and civilians have been warned to move well ahead of time. The fact is that Hamas uses civilians as shields, and they fire from the homes and draw the fire into the home precisely to elicit the kind of question you just asked. We need to have a cease-fire.
Accusations Fly After Report Claims UAE Supports Israel
Abu Dhabi has accused the Al-Jazeera TV channel and websites close to Qatar of "fabricating" information suggesting UAE supported Israel's operation in Gaza, in the latest tensions between both countries, AFP reports Monday.
Relations between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain sank to a new low in March when the three governments withdrew their ambassadors from Doha, accusing it of meddling in their affairs and supporting the Muslim Brotherhood.
UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash demanded an "official apology" from Doha-based Al-Jazeera for publishing news stating that a meeting had taken place between foreign ministers of the UAE and Israel, local media said Monday.
The website of Al-Jazeera reported on Saturday that UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan had met with his Israeli counterpart Avigdor Liberman and proposed "financing" the Israeli "aggression" against Gaza "on the condition that Hamas would be completely eliminated."
Egypt Summons Turkish Envoy over Gaza Criticism
Erdogan on Friday called Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a tyrant, saying Cairo could not be relied upon to negotiate a truce with Israel.
The foreign ministry told Ankara's charge d'affaires that it "rejected and resented" Erdogan's comments, it said in a statement.
Turkey and Qatar are both regional rivals of Egypt and have good relations with the militant Hamas rulers of Gaza, which rejected an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire.
PA libel: "Children have become the fuel for Israel's Holocaust"
During the current conflict between terror organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israel, Israel has been warning Palestinian civilians ahead of Israeli bombings to evacuate their homes in order to minimize civilian casualties.
Hamas has continuously instructed Palestinians to ignore the warnings and stay in their homes, in order that they may act as human shields to protect Hamas terrorists, their weapons and tunnel systems. Palestinian Media Watch has documented that Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party expresses support and unity with Hamas in its war against Israel.
Fatah Central Committee member Mahmoud Al-Aloul recently described the Israeli warnings (delivered by phone or fliers distributed from planes) as one of the "most barbaric" Israeli "crimes" and part of an Israeli "plan to expel a larger number of Gaza Strip residents":
Fatah official: Israel is carrying out a "mass extermination as the Nazis did"


Alegrian Islamists in Support of Hamas: Al-Sisi Is the Enemy of Allah


The surprising duo behind the Hamas missile map
A new computer tool showing the trajectory of Hamas rockets fired at Israel from Gaza is not only getting traction on social media, but constitutes an example of Jewish-Arab public diplomacy coexistence in action.
The brainchild of 18-year-old Samuel Lespes Cardillo and 22-year-old Farid el-Nasire, the program – “Israel Under Attack” – is a map of incoming red alerts, showing both their target in Israel and their point of origin.
Cardillo is a Jew from Belgium who immigrated to Israel six months ago. El-Nasire is a pro-Israel Muslim from the Netherlands, whose family is originally from Morocco. The two met on Facebook, in a group called Innovation Israel, a mere week before launching the tool on the morning of July 20.
Foreign workers in Israel back Gaza op
Dozens of foreign nationals, mostly from the Philippines, held a demonstration in south Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station, calling for "peace and safety for the people of Israel," in which they expressed their support of the IDF's operation and waved Israeli flags.
Meanwhile, leftist in Tel Aviv and Haifa held protests calling on Israel to end its violent Gaza operation, and clashed with the rightists holding counter protests.
Undeterred by Gaza conflict, 228 North American immigrants due
A special chartered flight by the Nefesh B’Nefesh organization is scheduled to land at Ben Gurion Airport Tuesday with 228 immigrants from the US and Canada, 100 of whom are children.
For some of the new arrivals, there was no question of turning back, despite the relentless rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on southern and central Israeli towns and cities since the start of the Israel Defense Force’s Operation Protective Edge on July 8.
Israel Fears Giant Ant Invasion After Huge Tunnels Discovered Near Gaza (satire)
In several cases over the last week, Israeli soldiers have been called to the site of newly discovered tunnel openings, tunnels that apparently lead underground beyond the boundary with the Gaza Strip. Residents were ordered to remain locked in their homes while the IDF searched the area. No sightings of large insects were reported, but tensions remain high in the largely agricultural cluster of kibbutzim and villages surrounding the Gaza Strip, since the lack of sightings means the insects are either faster or stealthier than any known species of that size.
“Ants don’t dig tunnels so much larger than themselves in diameter,” explained Jerusalem entomologist Arthur Pod. “And they’re a social species, so you’ll seldom see a solitary ant for very long. What we have here is a troubling sign of ants that can dig tunnels hundreds of meters long far beneath the surface, and we have no idea what they eat, or anything else about them. We don’t know whether they’re dangerous – well, I should say how dangerous, because anything that size, in the numbers that ants represent, spells disaster for humans.”
Catholics Thrilled That Pope So Influential In Mideast Peacemaking (satire)
Catholic spiritual and lay leaders praised Francis’s inaction over the last several weeks, calling his use of prayer “courageous” and complimenting his steadfast devotion to pretending his pronouncements carry any weight with the parties to the conflict. But most of all, says Monsignor Snivel Coward of San Diego, the pope’s followers admire his devotion to avoiding actual behavior that would bespeak actual moral clarity on the conflict.
“I’m awed by Francis’s attention to the flattery of oppressive regimes,” said Monsignor Coward, who heads a grassroots organization called With Rome On Notions Global (WRONG), a group dedicated to drumming up support for the Church’s foreign policy. “Israel is the only country in the Middle East where Christians in general, let alone Catholics, have actually had a population increase in recent decades. It was brave of Francis not to confront Mahmoud Abbas about repression of Christianity in the Palestinian territories.”
“It’s gratifying to see the pope so involved in the important issues,” said Cardinal James Dolan of the New York Archdiocese. “The pursuit of security and peace in the birthplace of our faith can only be attained through bold initiatives such as ignoring the barbaric behavior and attitudes of Palestinian leaders and decision-makers.” He praised Monsignor Coward for the latter’s WRONG activities.
‘The Voice’ contestant sings from Ashdod bomb shelter
When Sara Merson came from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida to live and volunteer as an English teacher in Ashdod a year ago, she had no idea she would end up on the televised singing competition show “The Voice.” She also had not expected to be terrorized by Hamas rockets.
To deal with her Operation Protective Edge-induced anxiety and inform about what is happening in Israel, Merson put together a video of herself in a bomb shelter singing Matisyahu’s international hit song “One Day.” The video includes footage of her boyfriend Sagi Hassin’s family taking cover as the air raid siren sounds, as well as clips from news broadcasts showing the damage caused by rockets that landed in her city.
“This video has nothing to do with my being on ‘The Voice,’ Merson, 22, told The Times of Israel. “I was seeing so many anti-Israel comments and so much misinformation on social media, and it made me want to do something. I was mad, so I made the video,” she explained.
One Day - Matisyahu


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