Wednesday, August 20, 2014

From Ian:

David Horovitz: Cynical, Israel-loathing Hamas cannot be easily deterred
Hamas is not seeking freedom for the people of Gaza when it demands the “lifting of the siege,” a seaport and an airport, and when it fires rockets because its demands are not being met. It is, rather, seeking the capacity to further its goal of wiping Israel out by getting all those irritating restrictions lifted on its capacity to build a still nastier war machine. The Israeli-Egyptian security blockade did not predate Hamas’s violent seizure of Gaza in 2007; it was imposed after the Islamists took control, and would be removed if Israel’s security was no longer threatened by Hamas and its fellow Islamist terror groups. Want to ease the suffering of ordinary Gazans and ordinary Israelis? Remove Hamas. The “siege” would instantly disappear, and there’d be no impediment to open border crossings, a seaport and an airport. Want to ensure increased suffering for ordinary Gazans and ordinary Israelis? Lift the blockade with Hamas still in control. Ongoing bloodshed would be guaranteed.
As of this writing, Netanyahu has called home his negotiators from Cairo — because Israel will not negotiate under fire — and the IDF is responding to the Hamas rocket fire with strikes on targets in Gaza. If the rocket fire continues, Israel will keep hitting back.
But only if Hamas believes its survival is in danger, its capacity to live to fight Israel another day in doubt, will it call a long-term halt to the fire — the kind of halt that would constitute the attainment of Netanyahu’s sought-after sustained calm. And that would require a far more significant military operation than the Israeli government, mindful of the likely consequent losses, has been prepared to authorize. It would also require a more astute assessment of the conflict from the international community than we have seen to date, providing more dependable support for Israel.
Caroline Glick: Why Israel is losing the information war
For most Israelis, the international discourse on Gaza is unintelligible.
Here we were going along, minding our own business.
Then on a clear night in June, apropos of nothing, Palestinian terrorists stole, murdered and hid the bodies of three of our children as they made their way home from school.
Before we could catch our breath from that atrocity, they began shelling our major population centers with thousands of rockets, missiles and mortars, and infiltrated our communities along the border with Gaza through underground tunnels to kidnap and murder us.
And as the Palestinians did all of these things, they used their civilian population and the foreign press corps as human sandbags. They ordered their own people not to evacuate their homes from which Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad terrorists launched their missiles, rockets and mortars at Israel. And they launched missiles at Israeli cities from outside the hotel where the foreign reporters were staying.
It doesn’t take a PhD to understand what the game is. And Israelis – even many with PhDs – understand what is happening.
Alan Dershowitz: Was Israel Justified in Going after Hamas Terrorist Tunnels?
The key question—both legally and morally—in evaluating Israel's recent military actions is whether the Israeli government was justified in ordering ground troops into Gaza to destroy the Hamas tunnels. This question is important because most of the deaths—among Palestinian civilians, Hamas terrorists and Israeli soldiers—came about after Israeli ground troops attacked the tunnels.
These tunnels went deep underground from Gaza to Israel and were designed to allow Hamas death squads to cross into Israel and to kill and kidnap Israeli citizens. No reasonable person can dispute that these terrorist tunnels were legitimate military targets. Nor could there be any dispute about their importance as military targets, since Hamas was planning to use them to murder and kidnap hundreds if not thousands of Israeli civilians and soldiers. And Israel had no way to discover from the air the exit points of these tunnels on the Israel side of the border, since they were hidden from view and known only to Hamas. The only way to disable them was through boots on the ground.
If Israel had the right to try to destroy the tunnels, then the resulting deaths of Palestinians must be deemed proportional to the military value of Israel's actions, since it is unlikely that the tunnels could have been destroyed without considerable loss of life, because their entrances had been deliberately placed by Hamas in densely populated areas.
Times of Israel Live Blog: Rockets shot toward Tel Aviv, airport; terror chief Deif believed killed
Israel targets Hamas commander in Gaza, still unclear if he was hit; thousands attend funeral of Deif’s wife, son, call for revenge; rocket hits home in Hof Ashkelon region; Egypt calls to resume ceasefire talks; military recalls 2,000 reservists



Qatar ‘threatened to expel Mashaal’ if he agreed to Egypt deal
Arabic daily Al-Hayat reported Wednesday that Doha warned it would deport Mashaal if he approved the agreement in its current form, without insisting that Hamas’s demands — which include the construction of a seaport and airport in the Gaza Strip — be met.
Citing a member of the Palestinian delegation to Cairo, the newspaper said Qatar demands that Egypt give it a role in ending the Gaza crisis. Egypt, however, reportedly rejected the demand, conditioning its agreement to it on Qatar formally apologizing for its policy toward Egypt since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi’s in June 2013.
The Al-Hayat report could not be independently confirmed. Mashaal has been based in Qatar since 2012, having left Damascus after Hamas broke with President Bashar Assad over the Syrian civil war.
Stop Giving Money to the U.N.'s Relief Agency for Palestinians
As it is, UNRWA is effectively a branch of Hamas. The overwhelming majority of its employees in Gaza belong to the Hamas-linked trade union. An unknown number of employees are actual Hamas fighters (or at least know UNRWA employees with keys to the schools so that rockets can be stored in classrooms over the summer). The curriculum taught in UNRWA schools is shaped by Hamas, which earlier this year rejected textbooks that failed to tout "armed resistance" as too "peaceful." Gaza cannot be rebuilt at western expense only to return to this perverse status quo.
Dismantling UNRWA requires the approval of the United Nations General Assembly, making it unlikely. But if donor countries were to reprogram their funds, first by demanding that the PA take over UNRWA's employees and responsibilities, the effect would be the same. In 2010, Canada shifted its contributions away from UNRWA, sending a strong message about the organization. And in Gaza allegiances are based in the first place on who pays the bills. Better this be the PA with Western help than Hamas with Qatari help. Adding UNRWA's 13,000 employees in Gaza to the PA's roster would be a boost.
Clear and forthright diplomatic pressure, led by the U.S., will be required to get European donors in line. For decades, these donors have been content to pay UNRWA's increasing bills for its ever-expanding mandates. The Gaza reconstruction mission, however, will be so vast that it will further tax overstretched donors. Even U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has stated, "We will build again but this must be the last time—to rebuild." There is thus a unique opportunity, perhaps the last, to help Palestinians stand on their own.
US 'Human Rights' NGO Supports Hamas War Crimes?
Kenneth Roth, head of the US-based NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW), has been caught directly condoning Hamas war crimes on his Twitter account.
Blogger Elder of Ziyon on Tuesday revealed that early in the afternoon, roughly four hours before Hamas breached the ceasefire by firing rockets on Israel, Roth was busy trying to justify Hamas's attempts to abduct Israelis, either through a misunderstanding of international law or a wanton disregard for it.
"Can you tell if Hamas tunnel used to attack/capture combatant (IHL allows) or take hostage/attack civilian (illegal)?" tweeted Roth, along with a picture of Hamas terrorists in an infiltration tunnel; the tweet can be seen here.
Noting on the tweet, Elder of Ziyon points out that the Geneva Conventions in Article 34 expressly clarify that "the taking of hostages is prohibited." The commentary on that article specifies that the term "hostages," in contradiction to Roth's assertion, "must be understood in the widest possible sense."
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the Military Wing of Fatah, Is Officially Returning to Armed Struggle and Terror
Thus the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of the Fatah movement headed by Mahmoud Abbas, is officially returning to terror activity against Israel, attacking civilian and military targets in the West Bank while declaring an intention to carry out attacks within Israel as well. This opens an additional front with Israel as the chances of a third Intifada grow.
It is not known whether Abbas has given his consent to the reestablishment of the Fatah military wing and to its official return to terror activity.
Although the organizing of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and the taking of responsibility for the terror attacks are well evident to the Palestinian leadership, so far this leadership, with Abbas at the forefront, has not yet officially addressed the matter. If Abbas approved the decision then he is a partner to the terror policy; if not, then it indicates his weakness as a leader and negotiating partner capable of signing a political settlement with Israel based on compromise.
The official reestablishment of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades once again shows the real weight of the presidential decrees that Abbas issues, which often lack any real value in the Palestinian sphere and serve mainly as a smokescreen for achieving political goals. From Israel’s standpoint, this matter should serve as a red light regarding the validity of a future undertakings by Mahmoud Abbas to act against terror in the context of a political settlement, and should constitute one of Israel’s important considerations when formulating its security requirements in the West Bank.
IDF Aircraft Strike Terror Targets After Breached Ceasefire


Hamas: Rockets targeted off-shore Israeli gas well
Palestinian militant group Hamas said it fired two rockets at an Israeli gas installation about 30 km (19 miles) off the coast of Gaza on Wednesday in the first apparent attack of its kind.
The Israeli military said no missiles had struck any gas platforms at sea.
The armed wing of Hamas, engaged in a six-week war with Israel, said on its website it had fired two rockets at Noa, a gas well owned by Nobel Energy and Delek.
Noa lies northwest of the Gaza Strip in Yam Tethys, a largely depleted gas field. "The gas is flowing, business as usual," a spokeswoman for Nobel said in an emailed statement. Delek had no immediate comment.
Politicians across spectrum call for tougher response to rocket fire
"When you negotiate with a terrorist organization, you get more terrorism in return," said Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi). "Sooner or later, Israel will have to defeat Hamas."
Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) shared Bennett's sentiments, saying, "We must attack our enemy Hamas until we achieve victory. I support the prime minister and the security forces in responding to the terrorists with a heavy blow and restoring security to Israeli citizens. There is no way we will cease as they fire."
Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) criticized the government's attempts to reach a long-term deal through negotiations thus far, also suggesting a need for a tougher approach to Hamas.
"It is the prime minister's job to provide security and calm to residents of the south," he said. "If, as the prime minister claims, Hamas has been defeated, then he should reach a diplomatic deal under the best terms possible for Israel. But, if the government buckles to provide a false sense of quiet, as we experienced today [Tuesday] -- this indicates a failure on the part of a weak government."
Liberman Fires: 'Even Far-Leftists Would Topple Hamas'
"I hope that now it's clear to everyone that the policy of 'quiet will be met by quiet' means that Hamas is the initiator and the one deciding when, where and how it will fire on Israeli residents," wrote Liberman on his Facebook page.
In the current state of affairs, Liberman noted that in Israel "we content ourselves with responses, which even if they are strong are still just responses."
Continuing in his illustration of the current situation, Liberman added: "Hamas controls the height of the flames and the timing that is convenient for it to interrupt the daily routine of Israeli residents in general, and residents of the south in specific."
Expert Proposes: 'Don't Fire Back, Cut Gaza Supplies'
Eiland criticized the current Israeli policy of responding to missile attacks with limited airstrikes on terror targets, a policy employed Tuesday after the initial salvo, and which he argued was ineffective.
Instead of this tactic, Eiland offered a different stratagem - every time Gaza terrorists fire a rocket on Israel, according to the proposed policy, Israel would cut the transfer of supplies to the Hamas enclave.
"You don't give supplies to someone who is firing on you, that's an accepted fact between countries," noted Eiland.
Even in the midst of Operation Protective Edge, Israel continued to transfer supplies to the Hamas stronghold. It also continued supplying electricity needed to fire rockets, even though the PA, which buys electricity for Gaza, owes Israel 1.5 billion shekels ($525 million) in unpaid electric bills.
Breaking News: #BlocktheBoat #EpicFail as ZIM Unloads
Members of the ILWU dock workers’ union in Oakland, California on Wednesday afternoon unloaded the ZIM ship that anti-Israel picketers blocked last week.
Angry protesters were helpless to stop the work; the ship had left port earlier this week and sailed towards the direction of Los Angeles but then made a U-turn and returned to the same harbor.
Longshoremen were pulled off task from other ships in the middle of the night to unload the ZIM vessel.
Police kept the anti-Israel protesters at bay. Twitter posts tweeted, “Lots of shoving, surprised no arrests yet…ILWU longshoremen are already past your ‘picket line’ and unloading ZIM now you dufus…Haha the anti-Zionist trolls are coming out but it’s too late. Ship’s unloading. Port of Oakland really put one over on them.”
Channel 4 News ‘report’ legitimizes ISM propaganda video
Someone asked me if I’d seen Channel 4 News’s report “What Really Happened to Salem Shamaly?” I hadn’t. Now I have, and I believe that it should make reporter Inigo Gilmore the laughingstock of the news profession. But of course it won’t. It’s a followup to the fake Gaza sniper video I wrote about on July 21, 2014. I’m stunned that a supposedly reputable news outfit would put out such propaganda, but it did.
At 4:18 in the Channel 4 News video, Inigo Gilmore says, “The first shot that hit him is not caught on camera.”
It most certainly is. At 2:23 in the fake sniper video, you hear a gunshot and its echo. Mohammed jostles the camera to add crappy Blair Witch Project drama, and then you see this [white screen].
Channel 4 News didn’t ask the International Solidarity Movement why this white screen appears in their video. It’s because the reporters didn’t want to hear the answer: The video has been clumsily doctored.
ISM propaganda film update: Discrepancy in accounts of Salem Shemaly’s retrieval
Yesterday, after we cross-posted Thomas Wictor’s latest post on the ‘killing’of Salem Shemaly (which fisked a Channel 4 News report on the ISM propaganda film), we noticed that the list of Gaza war casualties noted that Shemaly’s dead body was retrieved two full days after the videotaped ‘killing’ on July 20th:
Why, we asked, would it take two days to retrieve Shemaly?
Could the ISM activists (and Palestinian rescuers) who accompanied him have been afraid of similarly being targeted by the ‘IDF sniper’ if they retrieved the body, even though they were, let’s remember, easily able to get within a few meters of him (without incident) during the moment of his death?
Well, evidently there’s now a different version of the time period between Shemaly’s death and the date his body was retrieved.
In this NBC News report from July 27th, it’s claimed (at roughly the 2 minute mark) that Shemaly’s father was able to identified the body of his son even after it “decomposed in the sun” for a full week.
Egypt carries out wide scale operations against terrorism in Sinai
The Egyptian army continued to act against terrorists in Sinai on Tuesday, arresting 75 suspects, a day after it killed two, arrested seven, and destroyed two tunnels from Gaza.
The 75 suspects were arrested at the entrance and exit points of Rafah, which borders the Gaza Strip, the Egyptian state news agency MENA reported.
A day earlier, Egyptian forces killed two terrorists, made arrests in the Sinai towns of Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah
Start of Israeli School Year Dedicated to Operation Protective Edge’s Aftermath
Schools and kindergartens nationwide have been instructed to incorporate various activities aimed at addressing the students’ emotional needs, with the hope of easing them back into the school year after a war-marred summer.
In particular, schools in communities adjacent to the Israel-Gaza border have been instructed to pay special attention to the psychological impact the fighting has had on children, many of whom were essentially forced to leave their homes for the duration of the military campaign.
Meanwhile, Kibbutz Nahal Oz has decided to fortify the two kindergartens it operates by surrounding them with security walls.
Wounded French immigrant soldier: I want to return to my comrades
IDF Corporal Gabriel Ben-Naim, 22, is still recovering from serious injuries he sustained in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, but the lone soldier, who moved to Israel from France last year to volunteer in the army, feels ready to return to the front with his friends in the Golani Brigade.
"It is obvious to me, even now that I am injured, that I belong with the guys -- and the guys are all in the army," Ben-Naim said. "I will do everything I can to go back. I am here because I am a Zionist. If they came to me now and asked me to go into Gaza again, I wouldn't hesitate."
When Operation Protective Edge began, Ben-Naim's battalion was called to the Gaza border from northern Israel. He didn't tell his parents that he would be fighting in Gaza because he didn't want them to worry.
Tending the wounds of war
Along with the other medical center closest to Israel’s border with Gaza – Barzilai in Ashkelon — Soroka has been on the frontlines of the war, fighting to heal soldiers, civilians, Jews, Arabs, Bedouin – and even a Hamas terrorist brought in with the IDF soldiers he was attempting to kill.
“We make no distinction among our patients once they enter our premises,” Peiser says, as we walk by a grassy field between the buildings of the medical center.
Since the start of the operation (and until the writing of this article), Soroka treated 1,116 people — 740 soldiers and 376 civilians. Of these, 53 were critically injured, 40 moderately, and the rest mildly injured or suffering from shock. During this period, the number of surgeries performed on those wounded in Gaza was 140.
Missing US-born IDF soldier found dead
IDF lone soldier David Menahem Gordon, who has been missing since Sunday, was found dead Tuesday afternoon, the IDF said in a statement.
The 21-year-old Givati Brigade soldier, a resident of Jerusalem, was found dead in central Israel with his rifle by his side, the statement read.
Gordon, a lone soldier originally from the US, was last seen at around midday Sunday in the Medical Corps facility in the Tzrifin army base outside Rishon Lezion.
Gaza Rockets Damage Cars and Buildings in Southern Israel
The barrage of rockets fired on Israeli civilian populations by Gaza terrorists continued Wednesday morning, after the ceasefire was breached the previous afternoon.
Shortly after 11 a.m. four rockets fell on the Eshkol Regional Council area, with two of them landing in a local community.
Light damage was caused by the missile volley to several vehicles and buildings, and at least one local resident was suffering from shock after the close and powerful blasts.
Not long after, several minutes before 12 p.m., another two rockets slammed into the Eshkol area, with shrapnel from the strike causing light damage to the wall of a shelter. A thorn field in the community due to the rockets, with Border Patrol forces aiding in putting out the blaze.
Stabbing Attack Thwarted in Samaria
IDF forces thwarted a stabbing attack at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem Wednesday afternoon.
Forces arrested an Arab man who drove towards the Hawara checkpoint in Samaria, just south of Shechem, after discovering a knife on his person.
Under interrogation, the suspect admitted he was planning to use the knife to attack soldiers at the checkpoint.
Hamas and Fatah have both issued calls for their followers to attack Israeli civilians and security forces in Judea and Samaria, as well as throughout Israel, in solidarity with Gazan terrorists.
Firebomb Attacks in Jerusalem Set Home, Bus on Fire
Two molotov cocktail attacks were launched in the eastern part of Jerusalem late Tuesday night.
In the first incident two firebombs were hurled at an Egged bus driving on Yericho Road towards Moti Gur St., which passes adjacent to the Old City to the east.
One of the two molotov cocktails exploded on impact, setting the bus on fire. No injuries were caused, but the bus was damaged in the attack; police began a search for the terrorists.
In another attack that occurred shortly thereafter, two molotov cocktails were thrown at a Jewish home in the Arab-majority Shiloach neighborhood, located just to the south-east of the Old City and known by Arabs as Silwan.
Operation Protective Edge: Even the burglars stayed home
When the cannons roar, crime goes down. It turns out that one consequence of Operation Protective Edge was that thieves preferred not to take any chances, opting to hide out in their protected spaces. Police reported a 10 percent decrease in criminal cases that were opened throughout Operation Protective Edge, compared to the same period last year and compared to the period just prior to the war, and property-related incidents were dramatically lower by some 20 percent.
Police were charged with managing the home front through a variety of different tasks under their authority, with an emphasis on maintaining the public order and ensuring public safety. As for criminal theft, it appears that most potential robbers preferred to stay in their bomb shelters rather than risk their lives in the rain of rockets by breaking and entering empty homes.
Washington: Hamas responsible for renewed rocket fire
The United States views Hamas as responsible for the violation of a renewed temporary truce in the Gaza Strip, and is “very concerned” about the resumption of rocket attacks, a State Department spokeswoman said Tuesday afternoon.
“We are very concerned about today’s development and condemn the renewed rocket fire,” Marie Harf said while briefing reporters. She noted that the US had confirmed that rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, and that “Hamas has security responsibility for Gaza.”
US official 'cannot envision' support for UN investigation into Gaza
​The US is near certain to veto any proposal brought before the UN Security Council that would investigate Israel for possible war crimes in Gaza, according to State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf.
“I personally cannot envision a scenario in which we would not veto” such a resolution, Harf told reporters on Tuesday when questioned on appeals by the Palestinian Authority to various UN bodies and the UN-associated International Criminal Court in The Hague.
US Adds Gazan IS-Linked Jihadi Group to List of Terror Orgs
The US State Department announced Tuesday its designation of the Al Qaeda-linked Mujahidin Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem (MSC), known as Majlis Shura al-Mujahidin, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
Since its founding in 2012, the Gaza and Sinai-based MSC has claimed responsibility for a number of rocket attacks on Israel, including on Sderot and Eilat.
The US State Department website listed a June 18, 2012 infiltration attack from Gaza on an Israeli construction site that killed a civilian to the crimes committed by the organization. The group also has claimed to be active in Judea and Samaria.
Under the new US designation, there is a prohibition against providing material support or resources to MSC, and it further freezes all property of the group in the US or held under US control.
German Minister Accuses Qatar of Funding 'Islamic State'
A German government minister has accused Qatar of funding the Islamic State terrorist group currently tearing through Iraq and Syria.
"A story like this always has a history," Development Aid Minister Gerd Mueller told public broadcaster ZDF. "Who is financing these troops? Hint: Qatar."
He did not elaborate on what evidence there was to support the claim, but Qatar is already under considerable scrutiny due to its support of Islamist terrorists in the Middle East. Most notably, the gulf state is the primary sponsor of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, and has also provided funding to Islamist rebels in Syria, who are currently fighting both the Assad regime and the Islamic State.
Israel lets wounded Palestinians fly from Ben-Gurion to Turkey for medical aid
On Wednesday Israel permitted 17 wounded Gazans to fly for medical help from Ben-Gurion Airport, which Hamas has targeted, to Turkey, whose leader has likened Israel to the Nazis.
The Foreign Ministry issued a statement Wednesday saying that a second group of 17 Palestinians wounded in the recent fighting will be flown to Turkey for medical treatment. Each patient will be accompanied by one family member.
Iran lashes out at Egypt for blocking humanitarian aid to Gaza, closing Rafah
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, lashed out on Wednesday at Egypt for delaying its humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.
"Egypt has not issued a permit for Iranian planes carrying aid to Gaza despite the fact that it is now a long time Tehran has asked for this," Abdollahian told Iran’s Fars News Agency.
Regarding injured Palestinian children that need medical care, the deputy foreign minister said, "We expect Egypt to urgently fulfill its duties in this regard." Abdollahian met last week with his Egyptian counterpart in Tehran to discuss the Gaza situation and ways to deliver aid.
Palestinian Authority says Hamas shot Fatah men in legs during Gaza fighting
The Palestinian Authority confirmed Tuesday that Fatah activists in the Gaza Strip have been shot in the legs by Hamas during Operation Protective Edge.
Gen. Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the Fatah-dominated PA security forces in the West Bank, said that the activists were targeted after they violated the house arrest imposed on them by Hamas.
Hamas officials have denied the charges, saying the shootings were probably carried out by individuals who acted on their own and not on instructions from the Hamas leadership.
Damiri said during a seminar in Ramallah that some of the wounded Fatah men were being treated in West Bank hospitals.
UN issues report listing dead chickens as casualty of Israeli "crimes"
On August 15, 2014 the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued its daily "Situation Report" on the "Gaza Emergency". The UN is now routinely listing terrorists killed by Israel in an inflated count of Palestinian casualties because the UN thinks Hamas genocidal killers are not terrorists. The number of dead chickens is now also filling out UN reports on Israeli horrors.
On the other hand, the report devoted only 2 sentences to Israeli sufferings: "Since 8 July, three civilians in Israel have been killed, including one foreign national, and dozens directly injured by rockets or shrapnel. The total number of Israeli military fatalities stands at 64."
No one to talk to in Hamas

On Tuesday evening, Hamas renewed its rocket fire at Israel with as much force as it could muster, in an effort to pierce through Iron Dome's shield.
This is not surprising. Hamas' leadership is made up of crooks, tricksters, liars, scam artists, people who are simply not trustworthy -- they cannot even be depended on to honor their commitment to a 24-hour cease-fire. Because they are like this, it is actually preferable to reach temporary agreements with them rather than trust them to work out a permanent deal. There is no peace with them, only crisis management as long as the Israel Defense Forces has the upper hand.
Egypt Calls for Resumption of Talks, 'Regrets' Breach of Truce
Egypt on Wednesday called for a resumption of talks to achieve a long-term truce between Israel and Gaza-based terrorists, expressing its "profound regret at the breach of the ceasefire in Gaza."
Hostilities resumed late on Tuesday when Hamas launched a barrage of rockets, first at towns and cities in southern Israel and later, following an IDF response, firing a furious shower of long-range rockets at Israeli population centers in Israel's densely-populated center, among other regions.
UN Chief Condemns Breach of Gaza Ceasefire
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday condemned “in the strongest terms” the breach of the Egyptian-brokered ceasefire in Gaza.
In a statement, Ban’s spokesman said the UN chief “is gravely disappointed by the return to hostilities.”
“The Secretary-General reminds both sides of their responsibility not to let the situation escalate. The hopes of the people in Gaza for a better future and the hopes of the people in Israel for sustainable security rest on the talks in Cairo,” said the statement.
“The Secretary-General calls on the delegations to live up to this expectation and urges the parties to reach an immediate understanding on a durable ceasefire which also addresses the underlying issues afflicting Gaza,” said Ban.
PA Official: It's All Israel's Fault
A senior official who heads the Palestinian Arab delegation for talks on a long-term ceasefire in Gaza on Tuesday night blamed Israel for the temporary ceasefire having collapsed.
"The ceasefire has collapsed and Israel is responsible," Azzam al-Ahmed, the head of the delegation in Cairo participating in indirect negotiations with Israel, told the AFP news agency.
"We are leaving tomorrow, but we have not pulled out of negotiations," he added, noting the Palestinians were waiting for Israel to respond to their truce proposal.
"We will not come back (to Cairo) until the Israel responds," he declared.
Media Misfires on Gaza Ceasefire Breakdown
For the eleventh time in this current conflict, Hamas has broken a ceasefire arrangement, this time firing a volley of rockets into southern Israel on Tuesday afternoon.
It’s clear who is responsible for initiating the violence and scuttling negotiations that were ongoing up until that point.
Yet some media have still managed to get it wrong.
Guardian pretends they’re not sure whether Israel or Hamas violated ceasefire
Whilst the Palestinian lead negotiator tacitly admitted that his side violated the ceasefire, all the official Hamas spokesman could muster was a denial of ‘knowledge’ concerning Palestinian rocket fire.
So, despite the timeline of events clearly indicating that Hamas violated the ceasefire, and one implicit acknowledgement by a Hamas negotiator that they indeed broke the ceasefire, the Guardian still isn’t willing to blame the Islamist terror group.
Guardian obfuscation at its finest.
One-Man Demonstration in Gaza: Instead of Going to Qatar, Hamas Leaders Should Come to Die Here


Hamas: Israel 'Opened the Gates of Hell'
Hamas declared on Tuesday night that Israel had “opened the gates of hell”.
In a statement, the group’s so-called “military wing” said that it had resumed the rocket fire on Israel because the Israeli Air Force had launched an airstrike on a home in Gaza.
The group warned that “the price will be a heavy one”.
Senior Hamas official Ezzat al-Rishq warned, according to AFP, "Israel will not enjoy security so long as the Palestinian people do not, and it started it."
U.S. Has Not Expressed Concerns Over Hamas Leader in Turkey
The Obama administration has not expressed to Turkey any concerns over recent reports indicating that a senior Hamas operative operating in Turkey had been implicated in a coup plot to overthrow the Palestinian government in the West Bank and wage war on Israel, according to a Turkish official.
The State Department on Monday defended new missile sales to Turkey just hours after news emerged that Ankara is hosting a senior Hamas operative who Israel accused of hatching a plan to violently overthrow the Palestinian Fatah government in the West Bank.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf did not respond yesterday to Free Beacon requests for comment on whether the Obama administration had related any concerns to Ankara over its reported sheltering of Hamas official Saleh Al-Arouri, who is said to have been responsible for planning the kidnapping of three Israeli teens who were killed by Hamas.
Palestinian Bold-Faced Lie Of The Day
Dr.Mustafa Barghouti @MustafaBarghoti
there were no rockets violating the ceasefire in #Gaza, #Israel created this lie because they thought they could assassinate a #hamas leader
Fatah's Tirawi: Inflicting Casualties Is the Best Way to Get What We Want from Israel


Top Five Media Fails of the Gaza War
Reporting during wartime may be the ultimate challenge for the media. But the conflict between Israel and Hamas revealed, yet again, the severe limitations of traditional journalism.
Five media fails stand out in particular. The biggest threats to accuracy and understanding came not from individual pieces of biased reporting but from the mass of articles that adhered to the flawed standards of journalism today.
The Daily Smear
The article about Zanoli’s transformation into a vociferous Israel critic, for example, barely mentions the circumstances of the Israeli strike, information needed to provide the story context.
“On July 20, an Israeli airstrike flattened a house in the Gaza Strip, killing six of Mr. Zanoli’s relatives by marriage,” write reporters Christopher Schuetze and Anne Barnard. “His grandniece, a Dutch diplomat, is married to a Palestinian economist, Ismail Ziadah, who lost three brothers, a sister-in-law, a nephew, and his father’s first wife in the attack.”
However, according to information published by Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and first noted by pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon, a seventh person was in the home: Hamas militant and Al Qassam Brigades member Mohammed Mahmoud al-Maqadma.
Israel’s left-wing B’Tselem listed the names of those killed in the home and referred to al-Maqadma as a “military branch operative,” Elder of Ziyon noted.
The Al Qassam Brigades later published a “martyr poster” that featured al-Maqadma’s image, Elder of Ziyon pointed out.
Toronto Star Retracts Palestinian Doctor’s Claim that Most Dead Gazans Were Women & Children
It took some persistence, but our complaint prompted the Star to retract Dr. Abuelaish’s egregious claim which no longer appears on the Star’ website. On August 11, the Star notified HonestReporting Canada that a clarification notice was posted to Dr. Abuelaish’s column on the Star’s website and it reads as follows: “Clarification: Aug. 5, 2015: This article was edited from a previous version that said the Palestineans killed in Gaza were “mostly” women and children. In fact, as now stated, it was “many” women and children killed. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, as of July 31, 2014, a reported 345 children and 186 women were among 1,432 dead, 85 per cent of them civilians. Among the civillian casualties, 43.5 per cent were women and children. Among the total number of Palestinians killed, 39.5 per cent were women and children.”
Despite our requests, regrettably, the Star has thus far failed to publish this clarification in its print edition, perhaps out of utter embarrassment. The Star has dedicated many column inches to this issue and it features what we refer to as a promotional video on its website for Dr, Abuelaish to advocate for his Heal100Kids campaign. Either way, failing to inform Star readers of an erroneous claim (now retracted) that it gave a platform to, is a fundamental violation of journalistic standards and practices.
This incident perfectly illustrates the power that media bias can have. How errors like these, left unchecked, can influence public policy.
SUCCESS: Toronto Star Deletes False Quote About David Ben-Gurion
Specifically, the following statement of Mr. Arturi’s has no validity: “He undoubtedly must be an avid admirer and supporter of David Ben-Gurion, the “Father of the Nation,” whose position was: “We must use terror, assassinations, land confiscation and the cutting off of services to rid Galilee of its Arab population.”
HRC notified the Star’s Bureau of Accuracy about the fake quote conjured up by Mr. Arturi and other anti-Israel activists, asking if the Star could confirm the veracity of this quote, failing which, we noted that this statement wasn’t worthy of publication.
Hamas terminology and propaganda in BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ interview with Mads Gilbert
On August 18th the BBC’s ‘Hardtalk’ aired an interview with Mads Gilbert. The programme is promoted on multiple platforms: on BBC iPlayer for those in the UK or as a podcast or, for a limited period of time, on BBC World Service radio.
This is not the first time that the BBC has provided amplification for claims made by Gilbert himself or other members of the medical profession working at Shifa hospital since the commencement of Operation Protective Edge – as was documented here.
It is obviously difficult to comprehend the rationale behind ‘Hardtalk’ producers’ thinking in terms of their evaluation of any contribution to audiences’ factual knowledge and understanding of the conflict in Israel and the Gaza Strip which could possibly be made by the blatant propaganda of a long-time political activist such as Mads Gilbert. But in addition to the fact that nevertheless the BBC elected to allow amplification of Gilbert’s plethora of inaccurate and misleading claims, it is no less interesting to note the points at which his extremist narrative dovetails with that of the BBC representative conducting the interview, Zeinab Badawi.


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