At her funeral, slain border policewoman hailed as heroine
Hundreds of people gathered Thursday afternoon for the funeral of Hadar Cohen, a border policewoman who was killed by Palestinian attackers in a stabbing and shooting attack outside Jerusalem’s Old City a day earlier.Damascus Gate killers planned to attack group of civilians, police believe
Police said the 19-year-old, who was shot in the head by one of the Palestinian gunmen, managed to return fire before losing consciousness, helping to thwart a potentially worse attack by the three assailants.
Joined by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Israel Police Chief Roni Alsheich at the funeral, in the military cemetery in Yehud outside Tel Aviv, friends and family praised Cohen’s heroism.
Cohen’s father, Ofer, eulogized his daughter, saying: “My beloved Hadar, my dearest daughter who was more beloved to me than anything. How am I supposed to say goodbye to you now?”
“Everyone says you were a hero, a true hero, who saved so many people with your body and soul. But no one truly knows you, my Hadar, your warmth,” he said, after reciting the Kaddish at his daughter’s grave.
“I’m proud of you. I’m proud of you and salute you,” he said.
Israeli security officials said Wednesday’s fatal attack at the Damascus Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, in which Border Police officer Hadar Cohen was killed and a second policewoman badly injured, marked “an escalation” in the ongoing terror wave.Honest Reporting: Is Murdering Israelis Just “Human Nature”?
The three West Bank Palestinians who stabbed and shot at the Israeli forces had been sitting and waiting for a large group of Israeli civilians to enter or leave the Old City, and had planned to target them, Israel’s Channel 2 news reported on Wednesday evening, citing police sources.
“As far as we can tell from the armaments, [the terrorists] planned a larger, more sophisticated attack,” Jerusalem Deputy Police Chief Avshalom Peled said. “This is an escalation from what we’ve seen thus far. The police officers prevented a combined and much larger attack.”
Husam Badran, an official with the Hamas terror group, also called the attack “a turning point,” apparently referring to its severity and sophistication during a terror wave that has mostly consisted of lone stabbers.
Once again, Ban presented no evidence as to the drivers of violence and extremism. So let’s do what the Secretary-General did not, and actually examine history, facts and human nature.
Question: Is violence against civilians really a natural response to territorial disputes throughout the ages?
Oxford University Press recently published a thorough academic study of more than 2,000 militarized, territorial disputes around the world from 1816 to 1996. The analysis demonstrated that only 17% of militarized territorial disputes escalated into war within one year, and only 30% escalated into war within five years. In other words, humans usually do NOT respond to territorial disputes with violence. That’s not an opinion, that’s just history.
Question: Does Ban Ki-moon actually believe that terrorism (against people other than Israelis) is “human nature?”
A UN Secretary-General has to deal with a lot. For example, right now 190 different countries are engaged in territorial disputes. Further, according to the Armed Conflict Database, there are 42 violent conflicts raging around the world (as of 2015), and in the year 2014 alone, these conflicts produced 12,181,000 refugees and 180,000 fatalities.
Yet in over seven years as UN Secretary-General, we have not been able to find even one example of Ban Ki-moon referring to any of these deaths as “natural” or “human nature,” except for the murder of Israelis.
'Slain policewoman was posted at flashpoint while still in training'
The family of Hadar Cohen, the 19-year-old border policewoman killed in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem on Wednesday, gathered at their home in Or Yehuda on Thursday to mourn their loss.Clashes as army raids West Bank hometown of Jerusalem attackers
"Hadar only enlisted this past November. She wanted to become a commander. I love her dearly. We are grieving her death," her brother said.
Her aunt, Zehavit Cohen, expressed her dismay that the 19-year-old rookie policewoman who had not yet completed basic training was posted at Jerusalem's Damascus Gate -- a spot notorious for its numerous terrorist attacks.
"After a mere two months of service, I think it was too much," Zehavit Cohen said. "She was still in basic training and wasn't familiar with the area. So they gave her a bulletproof vest. So what? They are still little children. To go out into the field after two months, I think it's too much."
"[Hadar] was a good girl," she continued. "She was gorgeous. Whatever she wanted, she would say, 'I will work at it and achieve it.' Everyone loved her. She really wanted to enlist. She fought to enlist. She dreamed of being there. She told me, 'Auntie, I'm having fun, I'm happy. It's a little hard but we will fight and get through it.' I told her, 'You're larger than life and you will get through it.'"
Israeli forces staged several raids in the northern West Bank town of Qabatiya Wednesday night and Thursday, arresting several people and preparing for demolition the homes of three Palestinian involved in a fatal Jerusalem attack hours earlier.13-Year-Old Girls Who ‘Came to Kill Jews’ Stab Israeli Guard in Ramla
Three soldiers were lightly wounded by rock-throwing protesters during operations in the town. Four Palestinians were injured by troops returning fire, including one in critical condition after being shot in the head with a live bullet, according to the Palestinian Ma’an news agency.
Israel had closed off and set up checkpoints around the Jenin-area town Wednesday night following an attack by Ahmad Zakarna, Muhammad Kamil, and Ahmad Abu Al-Roub, who stabbed and shot police outside Jerusalem’s Old City, killing Hadar Cohen and seriously injuring another policewwoman.
All three were killed on the scene by responding forces.
Two 13-year-old girls stabbed an Israeli security guard near the central bus station in Ramla on Thursday. During the course of their interrogation, one of the girls declared, “We came to kill Jews.”Abbas meets families of terrorists just after deadly Jerusalem attack
The girls, one a longtime resident of an Arab neighborhood in the mixed Jewish-Arab city and the other a member of the Bedouin community in southern Israel who recently moved to Ramla, approached a metal detector checkpoint wearing their school backpacks. When the guard manning the checkpoint asked them for identification, the two girls pulled out knives from their backpacks and stabbed him in the leg and the arm. The guard, age 25, sustained light injuries.
Ramla Mayor Yoel Lavi rushed to defend his mixed city, saying Thursday, “We are talking about two minors who have been arrested and the police are currently investigating the circumstances of the attack. This incident is not typical of the Arab sector in Ramla. Ramla is a multicultural city where Jews live alongside Arabs in coexistence and good neighborly relations. We will continue to maintain good neighborly relations regardless of sector. The school system has been instructed to initiate dialogue on the issue in schools.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday hosted the families of Palestinian terrorists involved in Jerusalem attacks, just hours after three Palestinians killed an Israeli Border Police officer and injured a second in Jerusalem.
Abbas met with the families of 11 terrorists in Ramallah who carried out attacks against Israelis in the past four months and whose bodies remain in Israeli custody, Ynet reported.
Among those present were the family of Baha Alian, who killed three Israelis on a bus in Jerusalem’s Armon Hanetziv neighborhood in October. Also present were the relatives of Alaa Abu Jamal, also of Jebel Mukkaber, who in October careened his car into Israeli pedestrians, exited the vehicle and stabbed the victims.
The families of the terrorists called upon Abbas to act to secure the release of their bodies from Israel. Abbas said that the Palestinian leadership is making great efforts to do so in order to ease the pain for the families.
“Your sons are martyrs,” the Palestinian Authority president told the families.
PMW: Fatah: Murderers of policewoman yesterday are "role models"
The Fatah movement praised the three terrorists who murdered policewoman Hadar Cohen in yesterday's terror attack at the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem. Fatah published the above picture of the three terrorists on its official Facebook page, calling them "role models":
"Those who carried out the self-sacrifice operation in occupied Jerusalem are Ahmad Abu Al-Rub, Ahmad Zakarneh, and Muhammad Kmeil from the village of Qabatiya in the Jenin district.
They were three men who competed with each other for [Martyrdom] death
Their feet were raised above the hangman's neck
They became role models
Across the length and breadth of the homeland."
[Official Facebook page of the Fatah Movement, Feb. 3, 2016]
The father of one of the murderous terrorists spoke in a news report on official PA TV and praised his son's death as a "Martyr":
Fatah official praises terror attacks as “heroic acts… which greatly terrify the occupation
Guardian revises highly inappropriate terror headline
Yesterday we commented on an extremely problematic headline and strapline accompanying a Guardian report on yesterday’s terror attack in Jerusalem, where 2 Israeli policewoman were wounded by three Palestinians who stabbed and shot them outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.BBC News reports Jerusalem terror attack with politicised description of location
We noted the following:
The headline led with the police reaction to the Palestinian terror attack, not the attack itself.
The strapline claims the terrorists merely had knives, despite the fact that the article itself makes clear they had knives and guns, and that the attack began when “one of the suspects drew his gun and opened fire”.
Finally, we criticized the photo caption for misleadingly telling readers that Israeli officers “shot dead” three Palestinians without noting that the Palestinian attack precipitated the police response.
Several hours after our post, the headline and strapline were improved. Here’s a before and after:
The BBC News website’s initial report on the attack was titled “Israeli border guards shot in Jerusalem attack” but after news of the death of one of the victims broke, that headline was changed to read “Jerusalem attack: Israeli border guard dies after shooting“. Obviously neither of those headlines supplies readers with any information concerning the perpetrators of the “Jerusalem attack”.Demand Accountability From CBS News
Later on additional amendments were made to the article but all versions state that two victims sustained wounds during the attack rather than three. All versions also open with a politicized description of the location of the attack.
Version 1: “Two female Israeli border guards have been shot and wounded in an attack by three young Palestinian men in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli police say.”
Versions 2 & 3: “A female Israeli border guard has died in hospital after an attack by three young Palestinian men in occupied East Jerusalem, Israeli police say.”
That is presumably the result of the fact that the BBC relies on maps from political NGOs which, inter alia, describe the Jewish Quarter in Jerusalem’s Old City as being a “settlement” and depict areas which were in fact classified as ‘no man’s land’ in the 1949 Armistice Agreement – including the area in front of Damascus Gate – as “Palestinian”.
Please sign our letter to CBS News President David Rhodes demanding accountability for its coverage of Israel:PreOccupiedTerritory: CBS Joins Competition, Opens Distorted Israel Headlines Dept. (satire)
Dear Mr. Rhodes:
Your headline on February 3, 2016 describing a Palestinian terrorist attack which resulted in the death of one Israeli and the wounding of two others was “3 Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on.” This headline was completely misleading as it ignored the most crucial fact of the incident: That the Palestinians were terrorists who were trying to kill Israelis.
We understand that the headline was updated later on, but we demand to know how the original headline was published on your website. We also would like to know what steps you will take to ensure that the same problem does not occur again.
Please sign the form below.
Thank you for joining the fight for more accurate news coverage of Israel.
The Columbia Broadcasting Corporation took a major step today toward establishing its credentials as a major player in reportage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by posting a distorted, anti-Israel headline mentioning only the deaths of three Palestinians , but not that they died trying to kill Israelis. The move represents the opening salvo in what CBS hopes will place it in the same rarefied company as other media outlets already well practiced in portraying Palestinian attackers as the victims.Report: Terrorists Take Advantage of Military Adherence to Laws of Armed Conflict
A group of three Palestinians in their twenties, armed with knives, guns, and explosives, set upon several Israeli policewomen this afternoon, stabbing and shooting them. The attack injured three Israelis, one of whom later died of her wounds. All three attackers were shot and killed during the incident. CBS’s first headline reported the event as a killing of three Palestinians, conveying no indication either that they were killed while attacking or that their own actions resulted in injury (the policewoman’s death of her injuries occurred afterwards). The headline was written as a replacement for the more accurate and honest one provided by the Associated Press, such that CBS has made a bold statement that it will no longer leave the tendentious headline-writing only to the likes of CNN, The New York TImes, Reuters, AP, Agence France-Presse, The Guardian, The Times of London, and Al Jazeera.
While CBS eventually rewrote the headline, its use of the anti-Israel titling signals merely the opening gambit of the company’s new department created specifically to generate such article titles, said Executive Vice President for News Operations Saeb Erekat. “This is an exciting time for us, and we look forward to taking our bias to the next level,” he gushed.
Terrorist groups do not follow the laws of armed conflict but have been using them to their advantage in war with countries such as the United States, according to a report from the High Level Military Group.Israel clamping down on ‘illegal’ EU building in West Bank
Members of the group, which was formed last year and is composed of retired military officials and civilian experts, released the report on Tuesday during an event at the Washington, D.C., office of the Council on Foreign Relations.
“This report illustrates a new threat our forces are faced with—a political warfare strategy of our adversaries, terrorists, and insurgents, who fight with utter disregard for the laws of war or human rights,” explained, retired British Col. Richard Kemp, one of the report’s authors.
“They not only ignore the laws of war, but they exploit our armed forces’ adherence to the law,” said Kemp, who commanded Britain’s troops in Afghanistan. “They not only exploit events when our forces kill innocent civilians, but they do all that they can to compel our forces to kill innocent civilians. Then they use the media and human rights organizations to create political pressure against our governments.”
The fear that is instilled in our troops of breaking laws that are not being followed by their opponents on the battlefield will cause more casualties, he argued.
“The lives of our troops are in danger beyond what should normally be expected on the battlefield,” said Kemp. “The constraints that they are placed under both limits military effectiveness and cause more casualties.”
The group researched eight cases of government militaries in armed conflict with non-state insurgent groups since January 2000. Case studies were conducted on operations led by the United States, Britain, France, Colombia, and Israel.
Israel is preparing to lock horns with the European community over what it claims is illegal European building in the West Bank aimed at helping the Palestinians to establish territorial contiguity.Civil Administration demolishes nine EU-funded illegal buildings
Army Radio reported Thursday that Israeli inspectors were having difficulty keeping up with the pace of prefabricated homes which, it said, are delivered flat-packed in the dead of night to be assembled early in the morning.
Over recent years, the EU has built more than 200 structures in Area C, the radio claimed, territory which, according to the Oslo Accords signed in 1993 between the Israeli and the Palestinians, falls under full Israeli civil and security control. Ten prefabs arrived in the past two weeks alone.
Israeli forces demolished 24 out of 40 targeted structures on Tuesday in and around the village of Khirbet Jenbah south of Hebron — 10 of them EU funded — after the buildings were declared to be located in a military firing zone by the body that oversees civilian Israeli activities in the territories.
The supervisory unit of the Civil Administration along with security forces destroyed on Thursday nine illegal structures erected in the Arab village of Tamoun in the northern Jordan Valley.Smuggled gold bars and steroids uncovered in EU diplomat's car at Israel-Jordan border
In total, five residential tents, three tin buildings and an outhouse were demolished.
The demolished structures bore the symbol of the European Union, indicating these buildings were funded by the EU like many others erected in Ma'ale Adumim and the Jordan Valley.
The Foreign Ministry reported at a recent meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that the EU is preparing a lawsuit against Israel over the destruction of EU-funded structures.
Thursday's demolitions appear to be part of a wider crackdown on illegal Arab building in Judea-Samaria, following the destruction of several illegal structures near Hevron on Tuesday.
A European Union diplomat was caught attempting to smuggled bricks of pure gold, jewelry, hundreds of smartphones, and dozens of kilograms of steroids into Israel on Thursday at Allenby Crossing.Palestinians stepping up statehood bid, Israel’s UN envoy warns
The goods were discovered by customs officials in the vehicle of the European Union representative, as the representative and his driver attempted to enter into Israel from Jordan by means of the Allenby Crossing, near Jericho. The driver is a resident of the Israeli city Atarot, of North Jerusalem.
The driver and the EU diplomat were taken into custody to be investigated by the Israeli Customs Authority. The diplomat was released while the driver was brought to court and his arrest was extended until Sunday.
The confiscated contraband has an estimated value of NIS 10 million.
Jerusalem is bracing for a series of Palestinian statehood initiatives in various international forums, including resolutions at the United Nations Security Council, Israel’s ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said Thursday.The UNHRC: Membership Has Its Privileges
“The Palestinians are increasing their involvement and activity in the international arena in a bid to internationalize the conflict,” he told The Times of Israel. There are several initiatives calling for the creation of a Palestinian state circulating among UN diplomats, and while they recently received less exposure due to the world’s focus on fighting the Islamic State terror group, these resolutions are anything but forgotten, he indicated.
“The [November 13] terror attack in Paris focused the world’s attention on the fight against IS, but we are slowly seeing now that other topics are returning to the global agenda, and our conflict with the Palestinians is at the center,” Danon said.
Last year, both France and New Zealand toyed with the idea of proposing UN Security Council resolutions to advance the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Paris’ bid would call for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and the creation of a Palestinian state there within a few years.
Happy 10th anniversary, UN Human Rights Council! While chairing a key UNHRC committee last year, Saudi Arabia beheaded more people than ever. The UNHRC: Membership has its privileges.
Muslim Women Protest Obama’s Baltimore Mosque Visit
President Obama’s appearance on Wednesday at the Islamic Society of Baltimore (ISB) drew a small band of protesters, and their issue might come as a surprise.New York Times: Obama Visit to Mosque Shows Acceptance of Gender Apartheid
A group of Muslim women and their supporters stood “as close [to the mosque] as the Secret Service allows to protest the separate and unequal standards inside and advocate for equal rights.”
One of the protesters, writer Ify Okoye, used to pray at the ISB, but left after unsuccessfully challenging its treatment of women. She took pictures in 2010, showing women relegated to partitioned, drab prayer spaces compared to the wide open space reserved for men.
In a column published on Wednesday morning, Okoye and journalist Asra Nomani explained that at the ISB, “Women and girls are usually segregated, unable to see the imam unless they peek over the balcony’s edge.” The women’s prayer space is comparable to a hockey penalty box, they wrote.
This past weekend, dozens of girls and boys as young as about 8 years old ran up the stairwell to the main entrance of the musallah, or main prayer hall, of the Islamic Society of Baltimore, where President Obama visits Wednesday in his first presidential visit to a US mosque. As the children rounded the corner, a stern mosque Sunday school teacher stood before them, shouting, “Girls, inside the gym! Boys in the musallah.”Obama To Meet With Baltimore Mosque's Anti-LGBT Hate Preacher
The girls, shrouded in headscarves that, in some cases, draped half their bodies, slipped into a stark gymnasium and found seats on bare red carpet pieces laid out in a corner. They faced a tall industrial cement block wall, in the direction of the qibla, facing Mecca, a basketball hoop above them. Before them a long narrow window poured a small dash of sunlight into the dark gym.
On the other side of the wall, the boys clamored excitedly into the majestic musallah, their feet padded by thick, decorated carpet, the sunlight flooding into the room through spectacular windows engraved with the 99 names of Allah, or God, in Islam. Ornate Korans and Islamic books filled shelves that lined the front walls.
The director of Islamic teaching at the mosque which President Barack Obama has chosen to visit is on record saying that Islam requires homosexuals to be despised and treated as “transgressors.”Lecturer who falsely claimed IDF soldiers rape Arabs is sacked
And according to a list provided to reporters by the White House, President Obama will meet with Imam Yaseen Shaikh, the controversial Islamic teacher, later on Wednesday.
Being a homosexual “is an immoral act, it is a shameful act, it is despised act, it is haram, it is forbidden in Islam, completely, absolutely, from the Koran, the Hadith [recorded statements from Islam’s reputed founder, the leader Muhammad) and by consensus of the scholars from the beginning of Islam,” says Imam Yaseen Shaikh, who was hired in to serve as the head of Islamic teaching or Islamic “scholar” for the Islamic Society of Baltimore and its nearby Al-Rahmah school.
GLAAD, an LGBT-rights organization, did not respond to Breitbart News’ request for comment about Obama’s visit.
Shaikh, a senior leader of the Islamic Society of Baltimore, described “Homosexuality in Islam” in a lesson that has been posted to YouTube. He made these remarks at a mosque called “Masjid Ayesha” in London in 2013, prior to his joining the Islamic Society of Baltimore, according to the upload.
The Help Center for Victims of Sexual Assault has reportedly fired Naila Awad from her position as project coordinator in Nazareth, following scandalous allegations she made in a lecture at Oranim College on Monday.Minors handed life sentence, 21 years for Abu Khdeir murder
About 30 students walked out on Awad after she claimed that IDF soldiers sexually harass and rape Arab women in Judea and Samaria.
When a student remarked that in Biblical times, Jewish men could take wives from populations they had defeated, Awad reportedly replied: "True. Today, too, many studies prove that IDF soldiers sexually abuse and rape Palestinian women in the Territories."
The discussion grew very heated from that point onward, and students demanded to see the studies Awad had been talking about. The students also claimed that the moderator, Walid Mula, made dismissive gestures and told the students to "look at your president, your chief of police. Keep living in an illusion, you and your holy army."
At that point, about 30 students got up and left.
Two out of three killers of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir were sentenced on Thursday to life in prison and 21 years, respectively.Third Hamas attack tunnel in recent days collapses in Gaza
The first killer, 17, was convicted of actively helping in Abu Khdeir’s grisly 2014 kidnapping-murder that saw the Palestinian youth, 16, burned to death in a Jerusalem forest. He was sentenced to life for helping to pour gasoline on the Palestinian teen before the latter was set alight, and received a separate three-year sentence and NIS 35,000 in reparations to two Palestinian families.
The second killer, 16, helped the 17-year-old and the third suspect to kill the Palestinian teen, and received a 21-year sentence and NIS 30,000 in reparations to the Abu Khdeir family.
The sentences, handed down by the Jerusalem District Court, are rare for minors.
The third suspect, 31-year-old Jerusalem resident Yosef Haim Ben-David, was also convicted in the attack, but has not yet been sentenced while the court considers his claim that he suffers from a mental illness and was not responsible for his actions at the time.
Israeli law forbids identifying minors convicted of crimes.
A Hamas attack tunnel collapsed in the Gaza Strip in the Zeitoun area on Wednesday evening, one day after another tunnel collapsed in the coastal area.Analyst: Hamas Continues Tunnel Building, Threatening Israel While Leaving Gaza in Misery
Hamas blocked off the area around the tunnel and was making sure that radio stations were not reporting details of the incident.
On Wednesday morning, Hamas officials confirmed the death of at least two of its operatives in a separate tunnel collapse.
Eight others were reported missing after the underground passageway caved in, according to Hamas military wing, the Izzadin al-Kassam Brigades.
The incident on Wednesday evening was the third time in recent weeks that an underground passageway collapsed.
Last week, seven Hamas men were killed when a tunnel collapsed close to Gaza's eastern border with Israel. (h/t Yenta Press)
The expense and effort that the terrorist organization Hamas is putting into building attack tunnels while the Gaza Strip, which it rules, is mired in poverty shows that “the last thing Hamas cares about is the welfare of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” veteran Palestinian affairs correspondent Khaled Abu Toameh wrote in an analysis for The Gatestone Institute on Tuesday.Israel Confirms Cooperation With US to Develop ‘Iron Dome’-Like Tunnel-Detecting System
The collapse of a terror tunnel last week, in which seven terrorists were killed, “provides further proof that the Islamist movement has stayed true to its charter, which calls for the total destruction of Israel,” Abu Toameh observed.
“We have enough mujahideen [jihad warriors] to replace their brothers who were martyred [in the tunnel collapse],” senior Hamas official Khalil Al-Hayeh said at the funeral of the seven terrorists who died. Abu Toameh observed that the comments show that Hamas is ready “to sacrifice as many Palestinians as it takes” to achieve its goal of destroying Israel.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that between 2006 and 2011, 188 Gazans were killed digging tunnels, and ten percent of those deaths were of children under the age of 18.
Israel’s Ministry of Defense confirmed this week that the US is providing $120 million over the next three years to help develop an underground system for detecting tunnels that is being compared to the Iron Dome, The Financial Times reported.Despite tunnel bluster, Hamas insists it doesn’t want war
Members of Israel’s military said the new system will be used by the Jewish state to uncover Hamas tunnels from Gaza to Israel, as well as those dug by Hezbollah in Lebanon. The US seeks to use the same technology to detect tunnels used by criminals to smuggle illegal immigrants or drugs across the Mexican border.
The Israeli companies Elbit Systems and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which developed the Iron Dome missile-defense system, confirmed their participation in helping to develop the technology. An Israeli engineer briefed on details of the project said that 50-100 smaller companies are also involved in developing the underground system, according to The Financial Times.
“We do whatever we can to find a technological solution,” Major General Nitsan Alon, head of the Israel Defense Forces’ operations directorate, said at a briefing on Wednesday. He declined to disclose details about the technology, fearing that it would “help Hamas,” but said he thinks Hamas is “not ready for another fight against Israel.”
Hamas does not want war and is committed to maintaining the fragile ceasefire with Israel, a senior Hamas official told The Times of Israel, seeking to dial back rising tensions over reports of tunnel building in the Gaza Strip.Palestinians: Is Israel behind the collapse of Gaza terror tunnels?
Despite Hamas’s recent pronouncements that its tunnels reach into Israeli territory and it is working to launch “high-quality” terror attacks against Israelis from the West Bank, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity: “Our stance is clear: we don’t want an escalation [of violence] and we don’t want war.”
“We have no intention at this time or in the future to begin a war, and from our perspective that option is not on the table,” the official said, urging Israel to respond with restraint to the recent Hamas rhetoric.
The official said Hamas had sent the same calming message to Israel through Turkish and Qatari mediators.
The underground terror tunnels Hamas is digging in the Gaza Strip will bring nothing but death and destruction to the citizens of the Palestinian enclave, Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), Major General Yoav Mordechai, told the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency on Thursday.
Maj.-Gen. Mordechai said that the Hamas "tunnels of death" are being dug at the expense of the Gazan populations.
"The tunnels that Hamas is digging will bring disaster to the Gaza Strip, they are tunnels of death," Mordechai said to Ma'an.
According to Modechai, Hamas is actively using building materials sent to the Gaza Strip as part of aid packages for the use of terrorist activities instead of using them per a UN-brokered agreement on the construction and rehabilitation of destroyed houses belonging to Gazan citizens.
We have lots of ideas, but we need more resources to be even more effective. Please donate today to help get the message out and to help defend Israel.