Sunday, July 27, 2014

From Ian:

Don’t Cry for Us Israelis
I prefer that you – writers of these lies and libels - hate me and my country, if it means that you can save your tears for other peoples’ dead. We aren’t greedy for sympathy. After all, we got so much after the Holocaust, we prefer other people to have their share now. These days, we prefer to live, rather than have people cry over us and the injustices done to us.
So by all means, cry for the Palestinian people – men women and children – whose duly elected leadership has callously left them without protection from just retribution for their terrorist crimes. The leaders who took their people’s aid money and are living in Qatar in five star hotels building shopping centers for themselves. Who built terrorist tunnels under their homes, mosques, hospitals and schools, and recruited their sons to die for Allah, while they sit in bunkers waiting for the U.N. to rescue them.
Don’t cry for us, or our families, or our children, or grandchildren. Not this time. Not ever. Not if we can help it. Because this time, thank God, we have a country. We are armed. This time, with God’s help, we know how to protect ourselves from Nazis and their high-minded media cheerleaders.
I would like to end this with an expletive and a hand gesture towards the people I’m addressing. Please choose one you think would be fitting. I can think of many.
Times of Israel Live Blog: PM: Hamas has breached the truce it claims to be asking for, PA slams Kerry for attending ‘friends of Hamas’ ceasefire talks
Israel rejects Gaza offer for 24-hour timeout as rocket fire persists; IDF death toll rises to 43; Israel, PA fume at Kerry for his ceasefire terms; Gaza death toll said to climb above 1,000, including hundreds of gunmen
Isi Leibler: Obama abandons Israel
The Netanyahu government is fully aware that Israel cannot accept a long-term cease-fire that ‎would enable Hamas to again attack Israel with missiles or renew their building of terrorist ‎tunnels into Israel.‎
The U.S. will also be committing another blunder if it seeks to recycle Palestinian Authority ‎President Mahmoud Abbas to resolve the impasse. While initially he had backed the Egyptian ‎cease-fire and was happy to see his "partner" Hamas under pressure, he has now decided to ‎throw his lot with Hamas and the radical jihadists. Israel can no longer contemplate ‎negotiations with the PA so long as it remains associated with Hamas. ‎
Defensible borders are now an absolute must. With the collapse of the artificial Arab nation ‎states created by the Sykes-Picot treaty in the aftermath of World War I, no borders are ‎sacrosanct, certainly not armistice lines that have never been formally recognized as ‎international borders. Under no circumstances can we contemplate returning to the ‎indefensible 1949 armistice lines. It is now also clear that should a Palestinian state emerge, it ‎must be totally demilitarized, with the IDF retaining security control. ‎
We should also cautiously seek to engage with Egypt and other pragmatic Arab countries that ‎are opposed to the jihadists and Muslim Brotherhood.‎
David Horovitz: John Kerry: The betrayal
When The Times of Israel’s Avi Issacharoff first reported the content of John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal on Friday afternoon, I wondered if something had gotten lost in translation. It seemed inconceivable that the American secretary of state would have drafted an initiative that, as a priority, did not require the dismantling of Hamas’s rocket arsenal and network of tunnels dug under the Israeli border. Yet the reported text did not address these issues at all, nor call for the demilitarization of Gaza.
It seemed inconceivable that the secretary’s initiative would specify the need to address Hamas’s demands for a lifting of the siege of Gaza, as though Hamas were a legitimate injured party acting in the interests of the people of Gaza — rather than the terror group that violently seized control of the Strip in 2007, diverted Gaza’s resources to its war effort against Israel, and could be relied upon to exploit any lifting of the “siege” in order to import yet more devastating weaponry with which to kill Israelis.
Israel and the US are meant to be allies; the US is meant to be committed to the protection of Israel in this most ruthless of neighborhoods; together, the US and Israel are meant to be trying to marginalize the murderous Islamic extremism that threatens the free world. Yet here was the top US diplomat appearing to accommodate a vicious terrorist organization bent on Israel’s destruction, with a formula that would leave Hamas better equipped to achieve that goal.

Leaked document confirms US ceasefire bid generous to Hamas
The third part — “c” above — of the proposed ceasefire agreement, which was submitted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, was a particular source of vexation for Israeli leaders, as it basically accepts all of Hamas’s demands but addresses Israeli worries only tangentially. Rather than calling for demilitarization of Gaza or addressing the attack tunnels the group has dug, the proposal merely calls for a general discussion of “all security issues.”
According to the document, Israel would not be forced to withdraw its troops from Gaza during the course of the truce, but would also not be allowed to continue its work destroying any tunnels in the strip. During the ceasefire, “the parties will refrain from conducting any military or security targeting of each other,” the draft states.
The document also mentions that “members of the international community, including the United Nations, the Arab League, the European Union, the United States, Turkey, Qatar and many others, support the effective implementation of the humanitarian cease-fire and agreements reached between the parties, in cooperation and coordination with the parties, and will join in a major humanitarian assistance initiative to address the immediate needs of the people of Gaza.”
Terror tunnels, embargoes and human rights
The discovery of a terror tunnel network running from Gaza into Israel and under Gaza itself should cause NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and their European government funders to rethink their ongoing campaigns against Israel’s policies towards Gaza.
For years, Gisha (funded by the UK, Ireland, the EU, Norway and other governments), Oxfam (funded by the UK, EU and other governments), Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and many other political advocacy NGOs have conducted an ongoing campaign condemning Israel for maintaining restrictions on construction materials and other goods entering Gaza.
These NGOs falsely assert that the restriction constitutes "collective punishment" and claim that any security rationale is merely a pretext.
Operation Protective Edge: Second Week in Review
The IDF released three new English-language videos Saturday: one is a review of week 2 of the fighting. The second shows soldiers in a house rigged with explosives. The third is about the cost of Hamas's tunnel network.
Operation Protective Edge: Second Week in Review

IDF Blog: Hamas Booby Traps Palestinian Houses
Hamas builds its terrorist infrastructure to attack Israeli civilians. However, the residents of Gaza also fall victim to the terrorist organization.
Our ground, aerial and naval forces are currently operating in Gaza. Their mission is to locate and destroy the weapons and facilities used by terrorists to attack Israelis. Again and again our troops have discovered civilian homes and structures used by Hamas to store weapons and rig explosives. This is part of the terrorist organization’s efforts to turn every building in Gaza into a weapon.
Hamas treats the homes and civilian institutions of Gaza as military compounds. Since July 8, 2014, Hamas has fired more than 2,450 rockets at Israel. It hides rockets in civilian homes and buries the launchers underground in residential neighborhoods. Soldiers from the Nahal Brigade discovered these rocket launchers buried in the grounds of an agricultural school in Beit Hanoun. Some rockets were already loaded, primed to launch at Israel.

IDF Blog: The Price of Hamas’ Underground Terror Network
Hamas could be investing in the people of Gaza. Instead it invests in terrorism.
Construction materials meant for Palestinians routinely enter Gaza from Israel. To be exact, 4,680 trucks carrying 181 thousand tons of gravel, iron, cement, wood and other supplies have passed through the Kerem Shalom crossing since the beginning of 2014.
Imagine what Hamas could build with these resources instead of tunnels. Hundreds of homes and civilian structures for the residents of Gaza go unbuilt while the underground terror network continues to expand.
The Price of Hamas' Underground Terror Network

IDF Aborts Airstrike When Civilians Appear Near Target

Gazans fire rockets from school and cemetery
The IDF Spokesman's Office posted videos on Sunday of Gazan rockets being fired from public civilian locations.
The first video shows several rockets being launched from a Gazan cemetery. In response to the video, the IDF said that Hamas continues to abuse public spaces in Gaza to launch rockets at Israel. "Hamas is responsible for all damage done to Gaza caused by return fire," the IDF Spokesman's Office wrote.
The second video shows three rockets being launched from the Abu Nur School in Gaza. The voices heard over the video say that it seemed that the rocket launchers were located inside the school itself. It is unclear whether or not the school is run by the United Nations.
Hamas Terrorists Fire a Rocket from a Graveyard

Hamas Terrorists Fire Rockets from a Gazan School

Gaza Streets and Homes Rigged with Explosives

Soldiers uncover a tunnel entrance concealed in an ordinary bathroom in a Gaza house

WATCH: IDF destroys Gaza tunnel used to kill soldiers
The IDF destroyed a Gaza tunnel on Saturday that had been used to fire on and kill IDF soldiers the week before. On the same day, IDF soldiers found and destroyed four other Gaza terror tunnels.
The soldiers were killed July 20 when terrorists emerged from the tunnel and fired an anti-tank missile at the soldiers' armored vehicle.
Since the ground operation began on July 17, the IDF has exposed over 30 tunnels from Gaza which extended underneath the border and into Israel.
IDF Demolishes Tunnel Used to Attack Golani Vehicle

Forty-Third IDF Soldier Killed in Gaza Overnight
The IDF Spokesperson's Office has released the name of an Israeli soldier killed Saturday night in Gaza on Sunday morning, the forty-third since Operation Protective Edge began nineteen days ago.
Master Sergeant (Res.) Barak Refael Degorker (hy"d), 27, from Gan Yavne, was killed fighting terrorism in Gaza.
"The soldier was killed by a shell that was fired from the Gaza Strip at Israeli territory," a spokesperson told AFP Sunday morning.
Border Police stop suspected bombing attack during arrest at West Bank checkpoint
The Border Police said mid-day on Sunday that the man pulled up at a checkpoint near Beitar Ilit in the West Bank and almost instantly the officers found something suspicious about the man. They asked the man, who apparently was wearing a wig, large sunglasses, and acting "in a strange manner" to stop the car, but he refused.
At this point, one of the officers reached inside to grab the keys from the ignition, at which point the man stepped on the gas and started driving off, while the officer was still hanging halfway out the window, according to the Border Police.
The officer, however, managed to pull his service handgun and cock it, and ordered the man to stop, at which point he managed to pull the man out of the car and they rolled to the side of the road.
Border Police Officer Recounts Thwarting Car Bomb

Keep up offensive until Hamas beaten, Bennett tells IDF
Economy Minister Naftali Bennett on Sunday called for the operation in the Gaza Strip to continue until Hamas is decisively defeated.
In a Facebook post called “A historic crossroads: Now is the time to prevail,” the Jewish Home party leader said, “The State of Israel finds itself at a decisive historical moment. We can subdue Hamas and disarm it from its rockets and tunnels.”
Bennett also said that Israel’s goal should be to render Gaza into a place like the West Bank — “without missile factories, launchers, rockets, and tunnels.”
Skinheads Attack Israeli Soccer Team in Poland
Two days following an attack on Macabbi Haifa soccer players by pro-Palestinian rioters during a friendly match in Lille, France, a second anti-Semitic has taken place in Poland. On Friday, the F.C. Ashdod soccer team, which has been training in a town near Warsaw, Poland, was attacked by at least 30 skinheads during a local practice game.
According to reports, the skinheads sat in the stands and started chanting anti-Semitic epithets at the Israeli players. They tried to rush the field, but were stopped by security. The skinheads then returned with reinforcements, and succeeded in bursting onto the playing field, pepper-spraying team owner Jacky Ben-Zaken, coach Nir Klinger, and several other staff members.
Assistant Coach Shmuel Buchris attempted to resist the attackers, but following a blow to the head, lost consciousness for a few minutes, for which he received medical attention.
Report: Israeli Sources Say Kerry ‘Completely Capitulated’ to Hamas Demands in Ceasefire Proposal
The unnamed sources, quoted by Israel’s Channel 2 TV, said Kerry “dug a tunnel under the Egyptian ceasefire proposal” — which Israel accepted and Hamas rejected last week — and presented the Israeli government with a text that accepted “most of the demands” raised by Hamas, the Islamist terror group that rules the Strip.
To the “horror” of the Israeli ministers, the Kerry proposal accepted Hamas’s demands for the opening of border crossings into Gaza — where Israel and Egypt fear the import of weaponry; the construction of a seaport; and the creation of a post-conflict funding channel for Hamas from Qatar and other countries, according to the sources. The proposal, meanwhile, did not even provide for Israel to continue demolishing the Hamas network of “terror tunnels” dug under the Israeli border.
Rather than provoke an open diplomatic confrontation with the United States, the report said, the appalled ministers chose not to issue an official statement rejecting the Kerry terms. Instead, word of the decision was allowed to leak out.
Abbas fumes at Kerry over alternative ceasefire bid
The Palestinian Authority is fuming at US Secretary of State John Kerry, accusing him of trying to undermine the Egyptian ceasefire initiative endorsed by Israel and the PA last week and rejected by Hamas, an Arab daily reported on Sunday.
Palestinian sources told the London-based A-Sharq Al-Awsat that Kerry had initially agreed to an Egyptian proposal for an immediate ceasefire followed by five days of negotiations between Israel and the PA, with American assurances to address some of Hamas’s demands. But on Friday evening Kerry produced a new plan based on consultations with Qatar and Turkey and conducted between “the State of Israel” and “the Palestinian factions,” excluding the PA. The Israeli cabinet unanimously rejected Kerry’s plan.
Missing Peace: US blackmailed Israel over ceasefire with Hamas
After Kerry left the Middle East for Paris where he will try to enlist European support for his proposals he again blamed Israel for his failure.
The Washington Post reported:
Kerry, speaking alongside U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Arab diplomats, said he will leave the region after five days and head next to Paris to try to enlist European help. Kerry claimed progress, but acknowledged that Israel “has some questions.” With evident irritation, he said the Israeli cabinet vote was engineered to make “mischief.”
On the same day that Kerry made this remark Moshe Greenberg, an Israel aviation expert, delivered the evidence that last week’s FAA decision to ban US carriers from flying to Ben Gurion Airport was in fact political blackmail by the US administration.
Netanyahu: Future funds to rebuild Gaza must be linked to its demilitarization
The international community needs to link rehabilitation to the Gaza Strip after the current military campaign to its demilitarization, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday.
During a round of interviews for the Fox News, NBC, CBS and CNN Sunday morning news programs, Netanyahu said in the past, money the international community gave to build pre-schools in Gaza was used to build tunnels to blow up pre-schools in Israel.

‘I can’t imagine myself living in another place’
A letter from an IDF reservist to his parents.
I look around me during our operational activity, ambushes, lookouts, patrols, check points and more, and think to myself, “How can we stop this, how can we live in Israel without all these nuisance, without leaving everything and risking our lives?” I can’t imagine myself living in another place and I can’t stand the thought that my children will probably continue living in this reality.
I believe there is a way to solve this problem, I have no idea what it is but I’m sure one day it will surprise us all. Throughout the history of the Jews and Israel we were hated and have had to struggle for independence.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like it’s going to change soon. What we can, should and must do is to be united, to look around us in a positive way, to listen to each other. To be realistic and know when to be decisive and strong.
We must stand up for our rights to be a free people in our home land, the land of Zion and Jerusalem.
Hamas Rockets Break Up Leftist Protests against IDF
Thousands of Arabs and Israeli leftists showed their solidarity against Israel Saturday night in a protest rally against the IDF war on Hamas terror, but a funny thing happened on the way to the soap box when Hamas rocket fire threatened the area.
Police ordered them to flee the area as sirens wailed south of metropolitan Gush Dan. Several protesters tried to return despite the police order and the danger.
The Hamas rocket fire came during Israel’s unilateral extension of the 12-hour humanitarian ceasefire, which Hamas rejected.
I personally think the demonstrators should be taken to the hospital for medical care – in the psychiatric unit.
Babies under fire
Booming missile fire and wailing air-raid sirens are the “lullabies” reaching the tender ears of newborns at Ashkelon’s Barzilai University Medical Center these days. Rockets are falling on the Ashkelon area at a furious pace, up to 200 every day.
“We hear bombs all the time,” says Dr. Shmuel Zangan, head of pediatrics and neonatology at Barzilai, speaking to ISRAEL21c on Monday morning moments after yet another bombardment.
The infants are out of harm’s way, in the hospital’s protected rooms.
Zangan says the newborn nursery and neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) have been moved seven times since 2006 in response to intensified bombardments from Hamas terrorists in Gaza. The most recent transfer took place on July 8.
Calls for Israel to 'Use US, EU Flight Bans to its Advantage'
Instead, said Bachrach, the government should have declared that the EU and US were correct. “'They are right, it is dangerous', is what the government here should have said,” said Bachrach.
“But no nation would allow this kind of danger to persist and allow attacks on its airspace, and the only way to stop it is to hit Gaza hard. Just like any other country would take all steps necessary to protect themselves from gangs of murderers, so too must Israel,” he pointed out.
Bachrach also weighed into the issue of a truce with terrorists in Gaza, saying that Israel does not have the luxury of entering into ceasefires with Hamas.
“Israel should have said that there is only one solution – either bringing about the total surrender of Hamas, or putting it into a position where it would be for a cease-fire. Either way, the terror group would no longer pose a threat to Israel.”
Poll: 86.5% of Israelis oppose cease-fire
When asking about a potential cease-fire, the poll gave two choices. The first endorsed a cease-fire because "Israel had enough achievements, soldiers have died, and it is time to stop." The second said Israel cannot accept a cease-fire because "Hamas continues firing missiles on Israel, not all the tunnels have been found, and Hamas has not surrendered."
Only 9.7 percent chose option one, 86.5% option two, and 3.8% said they did not know. Men were more likely to want the operation to continue than women.
Asked how they would rate the operation if a cease-fire happened today, 2.2% said a big success, 22.6% a good result, and 47.6% a so-so result. Fourteen point nine percent said it would be a good result for Hamas, 8.7% said a great success for Hamas, and four percent did not know.
Jordan Valley Leader: This is Israel's 'Safety Belt'
Peace talks revolved around the future status of the Jordan Valley earlier this year, as the US, the Palestinian Authority (PA), and Israel debated over the region's importance to Israeli security.
However, the Jordan Valley has proven more than ever to be a center of Israeli security during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, according to Jordan Valley Mayor David Elhayani.
"The Jordan Valley is now the quietest place in Israel," Elhayani stated Sunday, in a special interview with Arutz Sheva. "I have no doubt following the war in Gaza that the Israeli public will have an understanding when it comes to the status of the Jordan Valley, and will be even more determined to keep [the region] under Israeli sovereignty."
Elhayani noted that, if given to the PA, the Jordan Valley could become the next Gaza.
Gaza rocket app localizes warnings, maps history
Since the salvos of rocket attacks from Gaza began, a huge number Israelis and supporters of Israel around the world have been relying on the “Red Alert: Israel” smartphone app to notify them in real time of rocket siren warnings all over the country. Now, developers in Israel and abroad are offering alternatives to Red Alert, tweaking the original app that sounds an alarm each time Hamas fires a rocket at Israel.
In the case of iRon Dome, says 19-year-old developer Arik Sosman, it calculates the projected impact area in the so far unlikely event that Iron Dome, the Israeli defense system that gives the new app its name, misses. Another tweak is inclusion of a comprehensive map of all present and past rocket alerts in Israel.
It improves on Red Alert by localizing possible rocket strikes and differentiating between an immediate threat to the user and rockets aimed elsewhere. Though Red Alert users can single out one place to watch — presumably where they live — it also sounds identical alerts for all places in Israel, making it ideal for foreign observers but somewhat nerve-wracking for Israelis.
How the Media Is Helping Hamas
"We know that Hamas uses human shields. But why would you report this when you are sitting in the middle of the Gaza Strip, surrounded by Hamas gunmen?" — Reporter covering the war, who asked not to be identified.
Besides the human shields story there is another item that the international media choose to ignore: the extrajudicial execution of Palestinian "collaborators" during the last two weeks. The executions were reportedly carried out in the most brutal manner. Hamas has also been shooting suspected "collaborators" in the legs to prevent them from moving around.
It is the media that is helping Hamas get away with war crimes
To the misled doctors, pseudoscientists and 9/11 supporters in Gaza
We are radiologists and doctors, who spend our lives interpreting images to diagnose and treat the ill. We are also informed people and rely upon scientific journals such as The Lancet in order to stay informed. We have worked in Israel and have treated tens of thousands of patients – Jews and Arabs alike — for years.
In keeping with our ethics and practice, we denounce the July 23, 2014 publication in The Lancet Early Online Publication of the piece authored by “Manduca, Chalmers, et al.” This “article” was not only non-scientific, but inflammatory and political as well. There is no place in any medical and scientific journal for such slanted and politically charged drivel.
We were flabbergasted that such an established Journal as The Lancet, under the auspices of Elsevier Ltd, would print an article written by Mads Gilbert, who was quoted in 2001 as supporting the terrorist acts of 9/11 against the United States, and when asked whether or not he supports terror acts, responded “Terror is a poor weapon, but my answer is yes, within the context I have mentioned.”
The Gruesome and the Grotesque: Gaza Hospitals, Hamas, and Western Useful Infidels
In part, it’s a response (finally) to a piece by a Palestinian French journalist who was interrogated by Hamas thugs inside Shiffa Hospital in Gaza City. The article, which was published by the French (very anti-Israeli) newspaper Liberation, has since been removed by the request of the author who apparently fears for his safety as long as it’s up. The Tablet has a copy of the article up. Elder of Zion published a translation, further discussed at the Algemeiner.
Hamas has threatened journalists not just for articles, but for tweets. One cannot underestimate the role of intimidation in shaping the news we read and hear. If one looks at the role that ideological advocacy plays among lethal journalists and their colleagues who tag along, it corresponds exactly to what one would expect from journalists for whom fear of Palestinian retaliation for publishing the truth about them, is only matched by lack of Israeli retaliation for telling lies of Israel.
The Times of London also published an excellent op-ed by Richard Kemp, British colonel who served with NATO forces in Afghanistan and has the nerve to call the Israeli army the most moral (by far) in the world.
Palestinian rockets are like the Nazi V1s. Civilian casualties were inevitable then and now
‘The Israelis are doing it all wrong. The RAF didn’t fly off to bomb Belfast in the troubles.” These words from a respected media commentator embody the extraordinary lack of understanding by so many in this country who think the Israelis’ fight with Hamas is like ours with the IRA and can be dealt with in the same way.
Hamas Versus Israel: Moral Fog Awards
In the current conflict, there are those who refuse to grasp the simple, stark truth.
Although the distinction between Israel and Hamas couldn’t be clearer – between a democratic nation and a terrorist organization, between the victim and the aggressor, between a society that protects its civilians and one that uses them as human shields, and between a military that operates by a strict code of conduct and a group governed by no scruples whatsoever – some consider all that irrelevant, unimportant, or beside the point. When moral clarity is needed, they live in a moral fog.
Here, among a larger pool of candidates and in no particular order, are my winners for Moral Fog Awards:
JCPA: Egypt, Israel and Hamas — the Impossible Equation
A defeat of Hamas is probably what President Sisi wishes for the most. Such a defeat would most likely project on Egypt’s on-going campaign against terrorism. On the other hand, a victorious or even partially weakened Hamas would have dire implications for the stability of the Egyptian regime since it would be a model for all those who wish to see an end to the Sisi presidency in Egypt, be it the Muslim Brothers or all other Al-Qaeda and non-Al-Qaeda affiliates and organizations. The Jihadists as well as Hamas now realize that they face not only an Israeli enemy but an Egyptian-Israeli coalition that has decided to eradicate their presence. This is why it is in the national interest of both Egypt and Israel to subdue Hamas and strive for conditions for a permanent ceasefire.
How many times must we go through this?
In one story, the town, situated on a mountaintop, faced a terrible crisis: its citizens began falling off the mountain.
Responding to the crisis, the wise men of the city convened and came up with a perfect Chelm ‘solution’ – they decided to build a hospital at the bottom of the mountain! That is precisely what world leaders are again doing in Gaza.
They are abandoning their friends and constituencies with phony solutions they know can’t work – urging Israel to take steps that will only force it to relive their nightmare every few years. No country in the world is subjected to treatment that strengthens and props up terrorists and only makes the price we will have to pay that much greater.
Meanwhile, while world leaders shuttle to Jerusalem to end the incursion, 40 meters below the ground somewhere in Gaza, the Hamas terrorist leaders, confident as always, are already plotting how many civilian airliners to bring down when they take delivery of their first SA-11 surface-to-air missile.
Hamas's drone and rocket development chief killed in IAF strike
The target, Ismael Muhammad Sa'ad Akluk, 25, was in a vehicle which was targeted by the IAF, acting on information from the Shin Bet intelligence agency.
The Shin Bet said Akluk had been involved in weapons production centers and weapons research and development for several years, describing him as a key figure in Hamas's drone and rocket research program.
"This strike represents a blow to the armament program of Hamas's military wing, particularly to advanced weapons and drones, which are seen as flagship programs that received many resources," the Shin Bet stated.
Abbas calls for "war for Allah" and the West Bank erupts in violence
Palestinian Media Watch reported on Thursday that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas had publicly declared the current conflict with Israel as a religious "war for Allah." On Friday, the Palestinian news service Ma'an printed an opinion piece that likewise interpreted the last lines of Abbas' speech as a call to West Bank Palestinians to initiate violence:
"He gave the sign to let the [Palestinian] street in the West Bank loose. Isn't the Quranic verse he quoted during his last speech, 'Permission [to fight] has been given to those who are being fought, because they were wronged. And indeed, Allah is competent to give them victory' [Surah 22:39, trans. Sahih International] a clear sign to loosen the reins of the street?"
Violence began immediately following Abba's speech and peaked on Saturday, as reported in the Jerusalem Post: "Nine Palestinians were killed during clashes with the IDF and Border Police over the weekend, in one of the deadliest days in the West Bank in the last 10 years." [July 27, 2014]
Fatah official: "The big explosion is coming"

Egyptian Army Destroys 13 Hamas Terror Tunnels
Egypt's army said Sunday it has destroyed 13 more tunnels connecting the Sinai Peninsula to Gaza, taking to 1,639 the overall number it has laid waste to, according to AFP.
In April, an Egyptian court outlawed Hamas, much like it banned the Muslim Brotherhood earlier this year, and ordered all of its assets seized.
As part of these operations, the army has also been shutting down the smuggling tunnels, which are used to transfer goods, weapons and even terrorists between the Sinai and Gaza.
Egypt Summons Turkish Envoy Over Erdogan's Comments
Egypt on Saturday summoned the Turkish charge d'affaires for the second time in a month to complain about comments by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan deemed insulting to the leadership in Cairo, Reuters reports.
In an interview with CNN, Erdogan repeated the phrase that caused offense last time, calling Egypt's president, former army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a "tyrant".
He also accused Egypt of not being "sincere" over the Gaza crisis, according to Reuters.
In response, the foreign ministry in Cairo said Egypt “expresses its deep rejection of the latest comments made by the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.”
IHH Planning New Turkish Navy-Protected Flotilla
After an anti-Semitic screed by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he accused Israel of “state terrorism” and accused Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked of “being like Hitler,” the Turkish humanitarian relief organization (IHH) said it was planning a “rerun” of its infamous 2010 Gaza flotilla. The group said that it was working on filing papers and seeking permits to allow the flotilla to bring tons of humanitarian aid to Gaza.
According to IHH chairman Bulent Yildrim, the ships will be accompanied by Turkish Navy vessels which will “protect us from any potential attack.” The group is inviting notables from Europe who participated in the first flotilla in 2010.
Turkey’s Erdogan Complains About Charges of Anti-Semitism Against Him
Turkey’s Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan took to Twitter on Friday to complain about allegations of anti-Semitism against him.
“Inside and outside there is an unethical campaign that is being waged against us, in which they are trying to expose us as anti-Semites by distorting our words”, Erdoğan tweeted.
Report: Hamas Losing Palestinian Arab Support in Gaza
Hamas's war against Israel is not only losing militarily, but losing popular support for the Islamist group in Gaza as well, according to a study released last week.
A Washington Institute study published during the first week of the operation polled 450 Gazans between June 15-17 - before Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, but after Hamas began firing more rockets on Israel.
The study, which claims to be "the only credible Palestinian poll" since Israeli teens Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Sha'ar (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19), hy"d, were abducted and murdered last month, reveals that 70% of Gazans believe that Hamas "should maintain a ceasefire with Israel in both Gaza and the West Bank [Judea-Samaria - ed.]."
In addition, 57% of respondents supported "unity government" chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas's position that the new government should "renounce violence against Israel."
But most Gazans believed - even before the military operation - that the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s Fatah should be given power in Gaza, with 88% of respondents agreeing to the statement "the PA should send officials and security officers to Gaza to take over administration there." Of those, 67% who agreed "strongly agreed" to that sentiment. By contrast, the combined support for both Hamas leaders Khaled Meshaal and Ismail Haniyeh topped barely 15%.
War-weary Gazans lash out at Hamas
“You need to understand that Palestinian blood has been shed by Hamas itself," a 28-year old journalist who asked not to be identified told "Living under Hamas is a tragedy.”
Since Israel's operation began Hamas has fired more than 2,300 rockets at Israel, including one that struck near enough to Ben Gurion Airport to prompt a 48-hour ban on most international flights in and out. While the rocket attacks have been largely neutralized by Israel's Iron Dome defense system, the incursion into the Palestinian enclave has left an estimated 140,000 Gazans displaced.
“Nobody can forgive Hamas for what they’re doing," the journalist said. "No one can forgive Hamas for butchering Palestinians to get power. Most Gazans hate Hamas with a passion."
There is fear of speaking out against Hamas, which is why many have stayed quiet until now, according to the source, an editor at a local Gazan media outlet.
“The only reason Hamas rules Gaza is because of its ruthless iron fist and military dictatorship," he said. "We would love to have an independence from both Fatah and Hamas, who are profiting off the Palestinian people. We need to rule ourselves.”
Footage of Training of Hamas Frogmen Unit

Hamas Releases First Part of Video Commemorating Dozens of Comrades Killed in Gaza Fighting

Hamas in talks to buy missiles from North Korea
Hamas and North Korea are in negotiations for a deal that would provide the Palestinian Islamist group in Gaza with a replenishment of missiles and communications equipment that would be used to continue its offensive, the British Daily Telegraph reported late Saturday.
The deal in the works is supposedly worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, the newspaper said.
“Hamas is looking for ways to replenish its stocks of missiles because of the large numbers it has fired at Israel in recent weeks,” a Western security source told The Telegraph. “North Korea is an obvious place to seek supplies because Pyongyang already has close ties with a number of militant Islamist groups in the Middle East.” (h/t Bob Knot)
North Korea, Iran Held Responsible for Hezbollah Rocket Fire
Legal rights group Shurat HaDin has won a landmark legal victory this past week, in a lawsuit filed in the US against Hezbollah, North Korea, and Iran.
Shurat HaDin, which specializes in claims against international terrorist organizations and their sponsors, secured a victory for Israel last week, in which a US court found North Korea and Iran liable for damages caused to Israel by a series of rocket attacks on Israel from Lebanon in 2006.
The ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed in 2009 by Shurat HaDin in the name of Chaim Kaplan, and on behalf of the survivors and families of victims hit by Hezbollah's rockets.
"The two countries have provided material support and assistance to terrorists from Hezbollah, which fired rockets at Israel," concluded U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth.
Let’s Not Lose Sight of Iran
In the background is the reconciliation between Hamas (predominantly Sunni) and Hezbollah (mostly Shiite) that has been taking place to “confront the Zionist enemy.” Though the two terrorist organizations had a major split over the conflict in Syria — with Hamas opposing the regime of President Bashar Assad, and Hezbollah loyal to it — Israel’s launching of Operation Protective Edge this month has brought the two together again.
What both groups have always had in common is backing by Iran, which views them as its proxies in the war to annihilate Israel and dominate the West. For Iran, having Hamas blitzing Israel from the South, and Hezbollah waiting in the wings to enter the fray from the north, couldn’t be better. When you add the solidarity of Israeli Arab politicians with the radical elements of the Palestinian Authority and Gaza, the Iranian leadership (including misnamed “moderate” President Hassan Rouhani) is satisfied with the unfolding of its envisioned scenario.
In his inauguration speech, Rivlin said he wished to “deliver a clear message to our enemies: You cannot and will not defeat us. We are determined to protect the pillars of our polity, as well as the character of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state, even in time of war against terror. … Terror will not cause us to withdraw; it will not weaken our spirit.”
The newly instated president was referring to Gaza. But what he and the rest of the West must not lose sight of for even a nanosecond, regardless of the results of the current war, is Iran.
Minister Of Genocide Forced To Resign Over Persistent Failures (satire)
An Israeli political career came to an ignominious end today when the Minister for Genocidal Affairs announced his resignation, following a scathing governmental report on the failure of the ministry to implement any sort of genocide at all, despite having decades in which to perform it.
An audit by the State Comptroller, published last week, found that despite having more than forty years to wipe out the Palestinian residents of of the territories captured in 1967, the Ministry of Genocidal Affairs had failed at every turn to adopt policies that would even make a dent in those populations. In fact, the report said, the Palestinian populations of the West Bank – including the eastern part of Jerusalem – and the Gaza Strip had skyrocketed, a damning statistic that is widely seen as confirmation that the ministry’s efforts have been hobbled by incompetence and lack of will. As a result, Minister Bobby Yaar decided to tender his resignation this morning.
“The Ministry of Genocidal Affairs talks a good game,” said Mustafa Massikr, who studies Israeli ethnic cleansing. “But in fact we have yet to document even a single reliable instance of systematic killing of civilians in the Occupied Territories that could be seriously considered part of any systematic attempt to remove the population wholesale. And that’s a searing indictment of not just Yaar, but of all of his predecessors and the entire roster of ministry employees.”

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