Wednesday, May 16, 2018

From Ian:

Hamas official: 50 of the 62 Gazans killed in border violence were our members
A Hamas official on Wednesday acknowledged that 50 of the 62 Palestinians reported killed during Gaza border riots on Monday and Tuesday were members of the Islamist terrorist group, bringing the total number of known members of terror groups among the fatalities up to 53.

“In the last rounds of confrontations, if 62 people were martyred, 50 of them were Hamas,” said Hamas official Salah Bardawil in an interview with the Palestinian Baladna news outlet.

The Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad had said on Tuesday that three members of its Saraya al-Quds military wing were killed by Israeli forces in Khan Younis.

The Israeli military shared a portion of Bardawil’s interview with an Arabic news outlet, accompanied by English captions.

“This proves what so many have tried to ignore: Hamas is behind these riots, and the branding of the riots as ‘peaceful protests’ could not be further from the truth,” said IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus.

According to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry, 62 people in total were killed during border clashes on Monday and Tuesday.

PMW: “Bring a knife, dagger, or handgun,” kidnap Israeli civilians, and murder soldiers and settlers - Instructions on Facebook to Gazans for “March of Return”
Two Palestinian Facebook pages and a forum directing rioters in Gaza gave explicit instructions to murder and kidnap Israelis on May 14, the day the US embassy opened in Jerusalem, as well as suggestions on how to accomplish this goal. It is not clear if Hamas itself was the group sending these messages. What is critical is that Gazans were encouraged to bring weapons to the demonstrations and use these weapons to either murder or capture Israelis. Israeli soldiers may have been facing Palestinians who were using the cover of demonstrating civilians to attempt to break through the border with the goal of murdering and kidnapping Israelis.

The following are the instructions to bring weapons, murder "soldiers and settlers," and kidnap Israeli citizens for use as bargaining chips to impose conditions on Israel:

"Rebelling young people, Treat seriously and do not take lightly the requests to bring a knife, dagger, or handgun, if you have one, and to leave them under your clothes and not use them or show them, except if you identify one of the [Israeli] soldiers or settlers. Do not kill Israeli civilians, instead hand them over to the resistance immediately, because this is the point that Israel fears, as it knows that the capturer can set any condition he wants."
[Independent Palestinian Facebook page "The Great March of Return", May 14, 2018]

The instructions also described how masses of Palestinians would "collectively" breach the security fence aided by bulldozers:

Palestinians in Gaza Are Dying for a Photo Op
It’s not particularly surprising that Hamas, a murderous group that routinely uses civilians, including children, as human shields, would stage such a gruesome piece of theater, incentivizing tens of thousands of the citizens it had systemically robbed of a livelihood and a future by offering cash prizes to attack the Israeli border. But it is alarming that so many in the media and foreign policy establishment bought into this cynical and deadly provocation, pretending as if the riots had something to do with Trump and then chastising Israel for defending its borders from rioters who openly admitted that their goal was to randomly murder Jews. Were Hamas’ far more deadly wars in 2009 and 2014 caused by Barack Obama? Of course not.

The position that the mobs attacking Israel’s borders were “protesters” is an equally cynical lie. Just look at a snapshot of the day, as recorded by the IDF: Five explosive devices at 12:53 p.m.; another bombing attack five minutes later; six terrorists taking cover among the rioters at 1:15 p.m., opening fire at IDF soldiers; another shooting attack at 1:30 p.m., and another 15 minutes later, this time by eight armed terrorists; three explosive devices detonated at 2:09 p.m. That’s just one random hour out of the day. And it has nothing to do with anything save for Hamas’ repeatedly stated desire to eliminate the Jewish state. To suggest otherwise is to ignore observable reality.

That so many of our elites still fall into a cheap propaganda trap set up by a terrorist cult is dispiriting, to say the least. That they further the goals of a terrorist organization by furnishing the backdrop to its macabre and murderous theater is deplorable. But after 2005, and 2009, and 2014, it has become increasingly hard to credit the idea that anyone involved on any side is naive about the nature and consequences of their actions.

What’s truly disturbing about yesterday’s events is the idea that they were theater. In other words, that the press knows exactly what it is doing—that news organizations are knowingly partnering with Hamas, and gladly whitewashing the crimes of a ghoulish leadership in return for pictures that they want as much as Hamas does, and that they are happy to pay for in uncritical coverage and free airtime.

That kind of cynicism, at the expense of Palestinian lives, is truly breathtaking, even for the Middle East. And it makes us all complicit.
Noah Rothman: Questions the Press Hasn’t Asked about Violence in Gaza
COMMENTARY’s Sohrab Ahmari has done invaluable work shaming the Western press for patronizing the Palestinian people and robbing them of their agency. We are told that the Palestinian population in Gaza is acting out in response to a blockade around that tiny piece of land, which has transformed the Strip into “an open-air prison.” Less is said about the actions that led to those blockades: Israel’s unprecedented removal of Jews from Gaza, the 2006 election (Gaza’s last election) that led to Hamas’s ascension, and the conflicts the Hamas-led government waged against Israel and Egypt. All of these things yielded the conditions with which Gazans struggle today.

But that was yesterday. Today, the political press has adopted a new narrative into which the old one has been subsumed. That narrative goes something like this: Israel’s violent response to the efforts of thousands of Palestinians to breach the Israeli border (with explicitly murderous intent) has marred not only the opening of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem but the 70th anniversary of Israel’s founding. On front pages from Sacramento to Seoul, images of the bloodshed at the border were juxtaposed with pictures of American delegates happily dedicating the new embassy—implying without explicitly stating causality. For many in the commentary class, the temptation to surrender to emotion and condemn Israel for its actions has been too great to resist. Yet these positioning statements overlook many of the harder questions with which the political press should concern itself.

Among those questions are, for example, why Gaza? Yesterday’s events were not the first of their kind. Urged on by Hamas, Gazans began crowding the border with the intent to harass Israeli security forces as early as February. Those protests quickly became violent, when an improvised explosive device hidden under a Palestinian flag near the border wounded four IDF soldiers and ignited a night of Israeli retaliatory strikes on Gazan targets. Similar mass demonstrations followed in March and April, during which civilians crowded the Gazan border with the express intent to provide Hamas militants the opportunity to breach the fence.

Each time, those confrontations resulted in numerous casualties and several fatalities among Palestinians. No doubt, many of those fatalities were civilians; that is to be expected when civilians are explicitly placed in the line of fire. But just how indiscriminate were those deaths? Both Hamas and Israeli officials agree that 80 percent of the fatalities in April —26 of 32 dead—were identified as Hamas militants. As for yesterday’s confrontation, Hamas’s Internal Security Apparatus claimed that 16 of the dead were members either of their organization or the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. A Hamas official has since claimed that as many as 50 of the 60 who were reportedly killed at the border on Monday were “martyrs of Hamas.” As Gen. Martin Dempsey said during Israel’s 2014 incursion into Gaza, though they may at times be unavoidable, “The IDF is not interested in creating civilian casualties.” Some have suggested that Israel should have resorted primarily to non-lethal munitions—as they generally did, indicated by images featuring copious amounts of tear gas. The apparent targeting by snipers of suspected militants suggests that these fatalities were not the result of recklessness by individual IDF soldiers or a crowd control operation gone wrong.

So why haven’t we seen the mainstream Western press repeat Hamas’s Internal Security Apparatus’s claims when they take Hamas’s Ministry of Health’s assertions as though they were gospel? The notion that 1,400, 1,100, or 1,360 people were injured by “live fire” with less than 1 percent succumbing to their wounds defies logic and should be met with skepticism, but those figures are bandied about in the press without concern for their propagandistic effects. And why hasn’t the mainstream press noted the extent to which Hamas officials provided demonstrators along the “Great Return March,” the quickest routes by which they could infiltrate Israeli communities upon breaching the border fence? And why hasn’t more been made of the fact that Hamas actively lobbied Gazan civilians to converge on the border while simultaneously using those civilians as cover to launch attacks on the IDF using grenades and Molotov cocktails? Perhaps because to note these things would be to expose the extent to which the press has played precisely the role Hamas and their benefactors wanted them to play.

But it’s the dogs that aren’t barking that is the most interesting story to develop in the last 24 hours. It is also the Western media’s biggest blind spot. Extensive coverage was devoted to Turkey’s decision to respond to Monday’s border skirmish by withdrawing its U.S. and Israeli ambassador. President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has long sought to unite the Islamic world behind Ankara, and Turkey’s outrage over Israel’s actions fits a pattern among majority Muslim nations. Or, at least, it used to. Precious little coverage in the West has been devoted to the non-response to yesterday’s events from Palestinian sponsors in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Egypt. Indeed, Egypt has been conveying Israeli messages to Gazan officials in an effort to prevent the escalation of hostilities and to facilitate reconciliation between Hamas-led Gaza and its supposed brothers in the West Bank. Why? Because the West Bank’s sponsors in Riyadh are more closely aligned with Cairo’s priorities than Hamas’s benefactors in Tehran.
Elliott Abrams: Gaza and Hamas
This should be no surprise. Yasser Arafat could never make that transformation either, from terrorist into head of government. His rejection of Israel’s offer at Camp David was in part a rejection of changing himself from a “resistance” leader in military uniform into an administrator responsible for schools, hospitals, roads. And Arafat was secular; Hamas is Islamist. Its Covenant is a bizarre anti-Semitic document filled not only with Koranic references and calls to expel the Jews from the Middle East, but also explanations that the French Revolution, First World War, and the League of Nations, as well as the Freemasons and Rotary and Lions clubs, were the product of the Jews.

No one rises to leadership in Hamas because he thinks the unemployment rate in Gaza must be reduced or the water supply improved. Asking the Hamas leadership to abandon the battle against the Jews is asking them to abandon their raison d’etre and their life’s work. I suppose it is possible that a tactical retreat can be negotiated by the Egyptians, and they appear to have done something of that sort this week—agreeing to open the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt and getting Israel to open the Kerem Shalom crossing where trucks go through into Gaza) in exchange for an end to the mass border assaults. But how long can that last? Hamas is an Islamist terrorist group dedicated to the eliminating Israel, and will never agree to transform itself into a “normal” government.

This leaves Israel and Egypt, and anyone else who is serious about avoiding more violence, with few good options. How can Israel and Egypt pursue a policy of improving economic conditions in Gaza—more electricity, water, sewage treatment, jobs, opportunities to leave the Gaza Strip to study or get medical treatment—without strengthening Hamas’s ability to move terrorists in and out and acquire more weapons or their components? We are familiar with the story of cement: permitted to be imported to build houses, but instead diverted by Hamas into construction of those tunnels.

It is worth trying again to reduce misery in Gaza, even if success will be partial or minimal. Efforts at humanitarian relief at least show Gazans and moralists in Europe (so quick to jump to facile criticism of Israel, as we saw this week) that the true author of Gaza’s plight is Hamas, which sees Gazans as cannon fodder rather than citizens for whom it is responsible. There is no visible “solution” to the problem of Gaza, because it is today a small Islamist emirate governed by a terrorist organization. For Israel, violence can at best be reduced or delayed, but not avoided entirely, when the goal of the group ruling Gaza is precisely violence designed to destroy you.
Hamas needs dead Palestinians at Israel’s borders
As in their reactions to previous bouts of violence, the IDF have adopted a graduated response. They have airdropped thousands of leaflets and used SMS, social media, phone calls, and radio broadcasts to warn the people of Gaza not to gather at the border or approach the fence. They have also contacted Gaza bus company owners and asked them not to transport people to the border. When these appeals were ignored — or at least negated by Hamas’ move to pressure the civilian population — the IDF used tear gas to disperse crowds, before relying on warning shots fired overhead. Only when absolutely necessary and legally permitted, has force been used.

Defensive actions taken by the IDF have resulted in fatalities. Palestinian authorities claim that approximately 50 people have been killed, with hundreds more wounded. However, of those killed, Israel assesses that 80 per cent were either terrorist operatives, or individuals associated with them. While the price paid for these actions has been high — both in human suffering and adverse international opinion — it has undoubtedly saved civilian lives by preventing a major penetration of Israeli territory.

Several high ranking UN and EU officials, in conjunction with human rights groups, have argued that Israel should have acted differently. Yet threats to initiate international investigations, put Israel in front of the International Criminal Court, or invoke universal jurisdiction against Israeli officials responsible for defusing the situation, play into the hands of Hamas. Such moves validate its’ strategy of forcing its own civilians into harms way, and encourage more expansive efforts.

Israel’s friends and allies can assist by countering the propaganda that Hamas seeks to generate, pressuring political leaders, human rights groups, international organisations and the media to avoid false condemnation of Israel, and rejecting demands for one-sided UN investigations and resolutions. Such push-back, preferably accompanied by strong condemnation of Hamas’s violent tactics, could help discourage further use such methods in future. Of course, in the face of a heavily entrenched anti-Israel agenda this is more easily said than done.

This week’s operations, which are larger in scale than any seen previously, could result in greater numbers of Palestinian casualties than we have already seen. If they do, it is important to remember that Hamas is not only the party responsible, but one one that wanted such an outcome in the first place.

Israel is protecting its citizens from Hamas terrorists

Ambassador Danny Danon: Terrorist propaganda vs. truth
The images from Gaza making the rounds across the globe are the product of a well-planned campaign by Hamas' public relations wizards. Every wounded person is a useful cog in the well-oiled machine, and every person killed is more fuel to pour on the flame of Hamas incitement.

This agitated horde, ruthlessly oppressed by a terrorist organization that for over a decade has squashed any chance or hope for a better future, is nothing more than cannon fodder in the eyes of Hamas' leaders. Not only do they send hate-filled children to breach the border fence to sow destruction and spill Israeli blood, they send them to be killed to exploit their deaths. In complete contrast to Israel, Hamas welcomes either outcome – the murder of Israelis or the deaths of Gazans. The time has come for the international community to realize that by condemning Israel, it only plays into the hands of this destructive equation.

Israelis learned this a long time ago, yet the world refuses to understand that when the Palestinians say "days of rage" what they mean is "days of terror." That when Palestinians say "right of return," what they mean is "destruction of Israel." And that when they say "peaceful demonstrations," what they mean is "incitement and violence." Vandalizing and burning the Kerem Shalom border crossing, a vital artery for the passage of goods and humanitarian aid to Gaza, is just another example of Hamas' utter lack of concern for the welfare of the Strip's residents.
UN Watch: Nikki Haley blasts UN bias over Hamas’ Gaza riots
Remarks at a UN Security Council Emergency Meeting on Violence in the Middle East
U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, May 15, 2018
Thank you, Madam President. Today’s session was called to discuss the issue of violence in the Middle East. We are all concerned about violence in the Middle East. The United States deplores the loss of human life. But there is a lot of violence throughout the region. And I will note that the double standard is all too common in this chamber, and working overtime today.

Last week, Iranian forces attacked Israeli positions on the Golan Heights by launching rockets from Syria. This was a reckless provocation and escalation that must be stopped. It is an example of regional violence that should occupy our attention here in the Security Council. Also last week, Iranian proxy forces in Yemen launched missiles into Saudi Arabia. It was not the first time they have done it. This too is regional violence that should occupy our attention here in the Security Council. In recent days, Hamas terrorists, backed by Iran, have incited attacks against Israeli security forces and infrastructure. That is violence that should occupy our attention, too.

The common thread in all of this is the destabilizing conduct of the Iranian regime – a regime that insists on promoting violence throughout the Middle East, while depriving its own people of basic human rights.

Haley to UN: 'No country would act with more restraint than Israel
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said Tuesday Israel had acted with exceptional “restraint” in clashes on the Gaza border a day earlier in which over 60 Palestinians were killed.

Haley was a rare voice slamming the Hamas terror group and speaking out in favor of Israel at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council called over Monday’s deadly fighting.

After ambassadors joined in a rare moment of silence for those killed, Haley said Israel was facing Hamas extremists who incited people who lobbed flaming objects toward the Israeli side of the border fence and urged protest marchers to breach it.

“Make no mistake, Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday,” she said.

Rejecting criticism of Israel voiced by other UN ambassadors, Haley said that none of their countries would have acted with the same moderation.

“Who among us would accept this type of activity on your border? No one would,” she charged. “No country in this chamber would act with more restraint than Israel has.”

Haley says Hamas pleased by Gaza deaths; PA envoy calls her racist
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley charged Hamas with orchestrating Palestinian deaths in Gaza, while her Palestinian counterpart Riyad Mansour retorted that she was a racist, during a UN Security Council Meeting on Tuesday.

It was a meeting that underscored the increasing enmity between Washington and the Palestinian Authority.

Haley, the United States’ representative to the Security Council, arrived late to the meeting, as did Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon.

They both arrived after the other 14 Security Council members held a moment of silence for the more than 60 Palestinians who the Hamas-run health ministry reported were killed by the IDF in an attempt to quell a violent protest along its southern border with Gaza.

It was the bloodiest day since the start of the Hamas-led “Great March of Return” on March 30, which had the goal of breaking down the border barrier and entering Israel.
Dianne Feinstein blasts Nikki Haley for stopping UN Gaza query
Senator Dianne Feinstein said she was “deeply disappointed” in Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, for stopping the UN Security Council from investigating Israeli actions on the border with the Gaza Strip.

“I’m deeply disappointed in Ambassador Haley’s decision to block a UN inquiry into yesterday’s events,” Feinstein, who is Jewish, said Tuesday in a statement. “Without question there should be an independent investigation when the lives of so many are lost.”

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said 60 Palestinians were killed in the violent demonstrations at the fence between Gaza and Israel on Monday, the same day that the United States dedicated its new embassy in Jerusalem, and two were killed on Tuesday.
ICC chief prosecutor may investigate Gaza deaths
Foreign Affairs

The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court vowed Tuesday that she was watching closely the unrest in Gaza and would "take any action warranted" to prosecute crimes.

"My staff is vigilantly following developments on the ground and recording any alleged crime that could fall within" the tribunal's jurisdiction, Fatou Bensouda warned in a statement to AFP,

"The violence must stop," she insisted, urging "all those concerned to refrain from further escalating this situation and the Israel Defense Forces to avoid excessive use of force."

Israeli forces killed 60 rioters during clashes and protests on Monday, when terrorists embedded among the demonstrators opened fire upon and threw firebombs, pipe bombs, and grenades at Israeli soldiers.

The Palestinian Authority joined the ICC in January 2015 signing up to the Rome Statute which underpins the world's only permanent war crimes court.

The PA asked the prosecutor to investigate alleged crimes committed in the Gaza war the previous year, and Bensouda opened her inquiry just a few days later.

She recalled Tuesday that the "situation in Palestine is under preliminary investigation by my office".
Chicago Tribune Editorial: Who's to blame for the Gaza violence?
If Palestinian leaders want to know who is responsible for the deaths Monday, they should glance in the mirror.

That said, let’s also note that many of the demonstrators were peaceful. They came to protest what they call the nakba, or catastrophe: the creation of the state of Israel 70 years ago. They came to reassert their “right of return” to what is now Israel. They came to express their despair — as generations of Palestinians have. And they came to denounce the U.S. embassy switch.

But let’s be clear: Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem doesn’t preclude anything in an eventual Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. The fate of Jerusalem has always been part of negotiations between the sides, if and when they start speaking again.

A Palestinian state is not foreordained, however. Early in his term, President Trump shook up the Middle East status quo by declaring that he would not insist on the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a peace accord.

Leaders of the Palestinians have a choice: They can keep sending their young people to their deaths.

Or they can turn from violent confrontation to constructive negotiation. They can resume their path toward a Palestinian state.

Even as we write that sentence — expressing the hope for a two-state solution that we’ve repeated over and over — it seems more far-fetched than ever. The reality on the ground is that nothing will change until Palestinian leaders stop inciting violence and start telling their people the truth: Palestinians can have a state. But not until they accept that the Israel they loathe is in the neighborhood to stay.
Dershowitz: Media 'Incentivizes & Encourages' Hamas With Biased Coverage
Alan Dershowitz slammed the mainstream media for its "biased" coverage of the deadly clashes between Israelis and Palestinians at the Israel-Gaza border.

Protests erupted on Monday after the U.S. opened its embassy in Jersusalem, with more than 35,000 Palestinians gathering along the security fence.

When some demonstrators attempted to breach the fence and engage in violent skirmishes, Israeli defense forces responded by opening fire.

The White House said that terrorist group Hamas "bears responsibility" for the violence, which left at least 58 dead and more than 2,700 injured, but numerous media outlets painted Israel as the aggressor.

Dershowitz, a Harvard law professor emeritus, said that Hamas encouraged Palestinian civilians to storm the border -- including women and children -- because they wanted the media to report on the resulting body count and dead civilians.

Hamas is in the cold
As per convention, Egypt's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday made sure to condemn Israel. Behind the scenes, however, the real story was apparently unfolding – an Egyptian push to end the madness and stop the cycle of violence Hamas wants to impose on the entire region.

The Egyptians have never hidden their views on Hamas or its allies – Turkey and Qatar – whom they have considered enemies and still do. With no other choice, they were willing to accept Hamas' rule in Gaza, but their patience expired when it became clear that the organization was playing with fire, supported by a tailwind from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Eleven years have passed since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip and its situation has never been worse. It has failed to adequately manage the daily lives of Gazans. The path of armed struggle was choked off after Israel found a solution to the missile threat (Iron Dome), and no less important – the threat of underground terror tunnels. Finally, its diplomatic escape routes were blocked one after another, once Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi entered office.

To escape this fate, Hamas chose, perhaps like Samson pulling the temple down upon himself and the Philistines, a path of suicidal destruction. Primarily, it has sought to create a mass casualty media event to strike at hearts and minds – hopefully while inflicting Israeli casualties – to divert the world's attention to Gaza and force Israel and Egypt to ease some of the pressure suffocating the group.
Defense Minister: Hamas is a group of cannibals that uses kids as weapons
Hamas is a “bunch of cannibals” who use their women and children as weapons, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said on Wednesday, after riots along the Gaza border fence left dozens of Palestinians dead.

Hamas claims that 62 Gazans died on Monday.

“The Hamas leadership is a bunch of cannibals that treats their children as weapons. They have rockets, sidearms and a different kind of weapon – women and children,” he during a visit to the IDF’s Gaza Division.

“Their goal is to lift Gaza’s blockade but not to build their economy or hold talks about coexistence, but rather to smuggle weapons [into the Strip] to continue to build up their military force and to create a Hezbollah model plus.”

The violence on Monday was condemned by the international community, with Turkey and South Africa recalling their ambassadors and the United States blocking a UN Security Council statement calling for an independent probe.
Hamas turns away truckloads of Israeli humanitarian aid destined for Gaza
Hamas turned away two large truckloads of Israeli humanitarian aid intended to relieve medical shortages in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.

The IDF said it coordinated the transfer of eight truckloads of vital medical equipment through the Kerem Shalom crossing due to severe humanitarian conditions in the Hamas-controlled enclave, with hospitals struggling to treat Palestinians wounded in clashes on the Israel-Gaza border on Monday and Tuesday.

Hamas accepted four trucks of aid supplied by the Palestinian Authority and two trucks supplied by UNICEF. But two truckloads of medical aid provided by the IDF were turned away when the origin of the equipment became apparent.

In addition to 53 tons of medical equipment set to be transported into Gaza this week via the crossing, the increased Israeli aid included more than 14,000 units of intravenous infusions, 40 medical basins, 20 medical examination couches, 25 infusion stands, 85,000 disinfectant pads and 12,500 bandages.

The transfer was facilitated by the IDF in coordination with the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) and the Gaza District Coordination and Liaison office.

Hamas stops Israel's humanitarian aid from reaching Gaza

For Hamas, dancing on the brink of chaos is a winning tactic
Diminishing returns

Still, it is difficult to see how Hamas’s new tactic of controlled rallies can last much longer.

Admittedly the number of protesters in Monday’s demonstration reached record highs, but this week had been billed in advance as the climactic culmination of the marches. The general trend on recent Fridays has been of a significant drop in participation.
A picture taken on May 14, 2018, from the southern Israeli kibbutz of Nahal Oz across the border with the Gaza Strip shows Palestinian protestors gathering along the border fence with Israel (AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ)

Without actual results or a change in Gaza’s situation, and with a decline in motivation among the populace, it can be assumed that at some point Hamas will be tempted to revert to its basic warring instincts.

This could be demonstrated in a military escalation, through renewed rocket attacks; or by attempts to carry out attacks in the West Bank, which would lower the risk of open conflict in Gaza while winning points with the Palestinian public which now demands revenge.
'The war is over Tel Aviv and not Gush Katif'
Former Defense Minister and former IDF Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon spoke to Arutz Sheva about a series of events on Israel's agenda, from the events of the fence in the Gaza Strip to dealing with kite terrorism, the Iranian arena and even his personal political path.

Ya'alon was asked to relate to the IDF's handling of the fence's fugitives, saying that the IDF's conduct was "undoubtedly correct, and that the Gaza story is a threat to the very existence of the State of Israel."

"When Hamas comes to the conclusion that its strategy is to send young people and others to sacrifice for its propaganda purposes, it is good that the IDF is preventing this, and that it is trying to do it through non-lethal means. But when there is a danger of explosive charges or a breach of the fence, they fire to hurt."

As for the potentially damaging public relations aspect of the deadly riots, Ya'alon said: "Now it's a diplomatic campaign. In the past many countries did not understand us and claimed that it was all because of us. It's ridiculous. Of course there are interests here and it is not about romance or justice. The United States is with us, and even the UN Secretary-General's statement was not one-sided. We must continue to explain ourselves, but with the knowledge that there are those who will never be persuaded, such as Erdogan and South Africa."
U.S. Ambassador David Friedman: Media Bear Some ‘Responsibility’ for Palestinian Deaths
The mainstream media bear “some responsibility” for the deaths of Palestinians at the Gaza boundary this week, because they reward the Hamas terror group for encouraging people to attempt to breach the border.

That’s according to U.S. Ambassador David M. Friedman, who spoke exclusively to Breitbart News on the terrace of the King David Hotel the day after dedicating the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

“If I could give a word of advice to the media, if they purport to care so much about the Palestinian cause: this coverage of Palestinians running to the fence, burning tires — it’s the fuel or the lubricant for further malign behavior,” Friedman said.

“Because to me, this is a public relations event.”

He continued: “What I don’t see, oddly enough, are the kites carrying bombs or other explosive devices painted with swastikas that are sent over the border when the wind shifts. I haven’t seen any of that malign activity [in the media]. Even apart from that, there’s a reason why Hamas sends impressionable kids to the front, telling them that the border is safe to cross. They want them to be killed or injured, to make the front page of the paper.”

The media, he said, bore “some responsibility” for encouraging Palestinian deaths by playing along — wittingly or unwittingly — with Hamas’s scheme.
France's Macron tells Netanyahu Palestinians have right to protest peacefully
French President Emmanuel Macron told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call on Tuesday that he condemned the violence in Gaza, a day after dozens of Palestinian protesters were killed by Israeli troops.

"He expressed his very deep concern about the situation in Gaza, condemned the violence and underlined the importance of protecting civilian populations and of the right to protest peacefully," the Elysee said in a statement.
Tom Gross: Why does the British media scare people about Israel but not about France? (May 13, 2018)
Over 250 people have been killed in France in terror attacks in the last three years, and dozens in attacks in Belgium, Barcelona, Berlin, Toronto and elsewhere. Thousands have died in mass shooting in America. Tom Gross on Israel Channel 10 news (May 13, 2018)

Palestinian envoy recalled from Washington over Israeli embassy move
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s top envoy in the U.S., Husam Zomlot, was recalled from Washington on Tuesday in a move protesting the opening of the America's embassy to Israel in Jerusalem.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat announced the news on Palestinian television, according to Reuters.

Zomlot returned to D.C. from the Palestinian territories earlier this year even as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he would not accept any peace plan proposed by the U.S. following President Trump's announcement that he would be recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Turkey on Monday recalled its ambassadors to the United States and Israel following the opening of the new embassy, and South Africa recalled its ambassador to Israel in response to the government's reaction to violent clashes along the Gaza border.

Palestinians, who view the eastern part of Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, were demonstrating against the opening of the new U.S. Embassy.

Israel has faced backlash from the international community for its handling of the demonstrations.
State Department Reporter Harasses Nauert: 'So Israel is Off the Hook Again?'
An unknown reporter at the end of the State Department's press briefing on Tuesday berated department spokesperson Heather Nauert with questions about violent protests in Gaza.

The reporter was asking questions surrounding the recent protests in Gaza where some Gazans have used firebomb-bearing kites to attack Israel, launching them over the security fence, often to set ablaze crops that Israeli farmers are trying to harvest. The protests are being organized and promoted by the terror group Hamas.

"How is it not justification for killing, for Israel killing, when you say ‘Israel has a right to defend itself?’" the reporter asked. "‘Israel has a right to defend itself' and there are no Israeli casualties and there are literally tens of thou-, over ten thousand Palestinian casualties and a hundred deaths."

"We're done with this. We've already been there," Nauert said. "I think we've covered this extensively already, okay."

Nauert was pointing to how earlier in the briefing she took a series of questions from reporters all over the room and had moved on from that topic. Nauert moved on to take another reporter's question when the unknown reporter interrupted and demanding an answer.
State Department Reporter Harasses Nauert: 'So Israel is Off the Hook Again?'

Turkey Humiliates Departing Israeli Ambassador in Istanbul Airport
Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday summoned the Turkish official at the consulate in Tel Aviv for a reprimand after Israel’s ambassador to Turkey, Eitan Naeh, had been humiliated at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, on his way home.

According to Turkish media, Ambassador Naeh was detained for a long time at the airport in Ankara, and the security personnel at the site carried out a strict security check reserved to suspected terrorists. The Foreign Ministry said that the Turkish media were invited to capture the event and humiliate the ambassador.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday told Israel’s consul general in Istanbul Yosef Levi Sfari to leave the country “for a while,” according to Anadolu. The ministry told Sfari to leave following the clashes along the Gaza border.
IsraellyCool: MUST LISTEN: Steve Price & Andrew Bolt Defend Israel, Rip The Israel Haters & Antisemites
Following my previous post on Andrew Bolt’s staunch defense of Israel comes this audio from Nights with Steve Price, featuring Andrew and Steve.

In this clip, they deal with some “anti-Zionist” callers (and some of whom are clearly antisemitic).

Trust me, you are going to want to hear this.

Note: make sure you listen until around 37:30.
IsraellyCool: MUST WATCH: Andrew Bolt: What Those Criticizing Israel Are Really Saying is ‘Let’s Have More Jews Killed’
With all the bad press and news, I find it heartening listening to those who actually get it.

Andrew Bolt does, and he’s proven it again here.
As Palestinians in Gaza, backed by Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups, continue to riot — setting Israeli fields aflame, throwing firebombs and stones, attacking Israel’s border fence — and to protest Israel’s existence, and as Israeli soldiers struggle to keep the demonstrators from the country’s borders, with tear gas giving way to live fire that has taken the lives of dozens of rioters, media coverage has often failed to accurately report on the clashes.

Below, we look at some of the recent coverage. (This piece will be continuously updated.)
New York Times

• A May 15 editorial in the New York Times strongly insinuates that Israel has not tried to deter rioters with tear gas and other nonlethal measures, but has used only live ammunition, saying Israel officials “are unconvincing when they argue that only live ammunition — rather than tear gas, water cannons and other nonlethal measures — can protect Israel from being overrun.”

The insinuation is false, as even New York Times news coverage has made abundantly clear. An April 23 piece referred to “clouds of tear gas.” An April 27 story reported that “Thousands began streaming toward the barrier fence, setting off a tremendous barrage of tear gas from the Israeli side that did not deter many.” An April 30 piece referred to Israeli soldiers “occasionally launching tear-gas barrages, sometimes using live fire.” There have been “copious amounts of Israeli tear gas,” the paper noted on May 5. “Israeli soldiers and snipers used barrages of tear gas as well as live gunfire to keep protesters from entering Israeli territory,” reporters explained on May 14, the day before the misleading editorial appeared in print. “Inky clouds of smoke from burning tires piled high by the protesters to obscure the Israeli view were laced with spirals of tear gas fired from the Israeli side.”

• Since the beginning of May (and as of this writing on May 15), New York Times news coverage of the Gaza clashes has failed to mention that Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip and organizes the protests and riots, is designated internationally as a terrorist organization — information necessary for readers seeking to understand why Israelis fear the worst if rioters, which include members of Hamas and other terror groups, breach the fence.
Twitter Defends Having Terrorist Group Hamas on Website
A Twitter spokesperson defended Hamas’ ability to maintain a presence on the site, despite Twitter’s rule against supporting and perpetuating violence. According to the spokesperson, the group’s alleged commitment to peace and status as a democratically-elected organization exempts Hamas from the explicit rule banning terrorist organizations from the platform.

The Hamas Movement Twitter account, known as HamasInfoEn, claims to be the “official account” of the Hamas Movement in its banner on Twitter. While it is possible the account is not actually affiliated with Hamas, it has been cited in reporting by Haaretz, the Jewish Press, The Times of Israel, and others.

As recently as March, Hamas called for participation in a “Friday of Rage” on its Twitter account.

It also responded to Israel killing six Hamas terrorists with a threat: “We thwarted a dangerous Israeli scheme, retaliation to follow.”

Even if the Hamas Movement Twitter account is not a real Hamas-affiliated account, its existence would seemingly still violate Twitter’s rule against “[v]iolence and physical harm,” which claims to ban users based on their support for a terrorist organization:
Gaza Border: Fiction Disguised as News
A Sydney Morning Herald op-ed by anti-Israel activists George Browning and Sivan Barak entitled “Palestinians undefeated as Israel celebrates 70th anniversary” addresses violent clashes on the Gaza border, casting Palestinians in the role of peaceful protesters and the IDF as aggressive killers.

Terrorists are using protesters as cover and as human shields while they attempt to infiltrate into Israel, threatening the safety of nearby communities. In building their news themed-fantasy, the authors entirely hide this very real threat.

Initially terrorists tried to breach Israel’s border while opening gunfire on the IDF. This was followed by further breach attempts using: plastic explosives, IEDs (some attached to kites that were flown into Israel), Molotov cocktails, burning tires, and the list goes on and on and on…
Palestinians thank Canada for not supporting U.S. embassy Jerusalem move, but officials say Canada wasn't invited
Palestinian diplomats say they welcome the Trudeau government’s decision not to attend the controversial opening of the new American embassy in Jerusalem on Monday.

But a spokesman for Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada wasn’t invited.

Canada, along with its major allies, does not support the U.S. embassy move to Jerusalem, saying that’s a decision for a future peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israelis.

Monday’s inauguration of the new U.S. embassy sparked the bloodiest day in four years at the Israel-Gaza border as Israeli forces killed more than 50 Palestinians.

The carnage unfolded several dozen kilometres away from where the Trump administration was following through on its decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
Egypt rebukes Hamas leader over deaths in Gaza border riots
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh was summoned urgently to Cairo Monday, where Egyptian officials severely admonished him over the terrorist group's insistence on instigating violent demonstrations on the Israel-Gaza Strip border, Israel Hayom learned Tuesday.

In Monday's riots, which Hamas orchestrated over the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, some 40,000 Palestinian demonstrators clashed with Israeli security forces near the border fence. Fifty-eight people were killed and 2,700 people were wounded in the riots.

Israel has repeatedly warned Gazans against approaching the security fence, saying it will not tolerate attempts to breach the border.

A senior Egyptian official told Israel Hayom that Haniyeh was summoned to Egyptian intelligence service headquarters early Monday afternoon, as the violence was escalating, where General Intelligence Service head Maj. Gen. Abbas Kamel leveled scathing criticism at him over Hamas' "riot policy."

The official said Egyptian officials were stunned by the high number of casualties and angered by information provided by Israel that proved Hamas was paying civilians, including children, to place ‎themselves in harm's way by approaching the fence ‎and clashing with IDF soldiers so as to allow Hamas ‎operatives to blend into the crowd and try to ‎carry out terrorist attacks.
Israel says Hamas curbed Gaza protests after Egyptian warning
Palestinian protests on the Gaza-Israel border have dropped off dramatically, with Israel on Wednesday pointing to what it said were Egyptian efforts to restore calm after dozens of Palestinians were killed in the violent protests.

Gaza's dominant Islamist Hamas movement, denying any pressure from neighboring Egypt to scale back the six-week-old demonstrations, said they would continue, even as far smaller numbers of Palestinians gathered in protest tents.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh made a brief visit on Sunday to Egypt, which also borders Gaza and has sought to broker between the Islamists and Israel.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz said an Egyptian intelligence chief, whom he did not name, warned Haniyeh that Cairo "knows and has proof" that Hamas was funding the protests and sending people to the border fence to serve "as living ammunition, women and children instead of shells and rockets."

The Egyptian official "made unequivocally clear to him (Haniyeh) that if this continues, Israel will respond and take far harsher steps, and Egypt will stand by and will not help," Katz told Israel Radio in an interview.

"Haniyeh returned to Gaza, Hamas gave an order ... and miraculously, this spontaneous protest by a public that could not handle the situation any more dissipated."
Germany: Gaza violence worrying but Israel has right to defend itself
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday discussed regional developments and events on the Israel-Gaza border with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Merkel expressed concern over the violence in Gaza, but said, "Germany understands Israel's security needs."

Her office said the right to peaceful protest and assembly in Gaza should not be abused to provoke unrest.

German government spokesman Steffen Seibert said "the awful events" on the Gaza-Israel border were of extreme concern to Germany but Israel had the right to defend itself.

"It is horrifying that so many people, among them minors, have lost their lives," Seibert said.

"Everyone has the right to protest in a nonviolent manner, but it's clear that this right can't be exploited to foment violence. Hamas is using the demonstrations to cause an escalation. This is cynical. The Israeli government has the right and duty to defend its citizens and its border."

Seibert also said Israel must use proportionate force when it comes to live fire, and called on all sides to reduce tensions.
German daily draws outrage with ‘anti-Semitic’ image of Netanyahu at Eurovision
One of Germany’s main newspapers came under fire Tuesday for publishing a cartoon, regarded by some readers as anti-Semitic, depicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrating Israel’s Eurovision win while holding a missile adorned with a Star of David. The paper subsequently published an apology, but the caricaturist said the publication’s statement did not represent his views.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung, the largest German broadsheet daily, published the image on Tuesday as Israel faced criticism over its handling of protests initiated a day earlier on the Gaza border by the Hamas terror group, which openly seeks to destroy Israel.

In recent weeks, Israeli security forces were said by the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry to have shot and killed about 100 people in a series of violent clashes along its border with the Gaza Strip, most of them on Monday, the deadliest day of conflict since the 2014 war. Dozens of those killed were members of Palestinian terrorist groups, according to Israel.

Palestinian rioters hurled hundreds of firebombs, rocks and flaming kites at Israel and attempted to breach the border fence despite having been warned to stay away. Israel says Hamas plans to send armed terrorists through any breach in the fence to “carry out a massacre” of Israelis.

South Africa withdraws ambassador over Gaza
The South African government on Monday withdrew its ambassador to Israel in protest of the deadly violence along the Israel-Gaza border.

“The South African government condemns in the strongest terms possible the latest act of violent aggression carried out by Israeli armed forces along the Gaza border‚ which has led to the deaths of over 40 civilians‚” the Department of International Relations and Cooperation said in a statement quoted by the Times Live news website.

The Department claimed the victims were taking part in a “peaceful protest” against what it called the “provocative inauguration” of the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

“Given the indiscriminate and grave manner of the latest Israeli attack‚ the South African government has taken a decision to recall Ambassador Sisa Ngombane with immediate effect until further notice‚” the statement said.

The department said it maintained its stance that the IDF should “withdraw from the Gaza Strip and bring to an end the violent and destructive incursions into Palestinian territories.”
South African leaders tell country’s Jews to reject ‘Nazi-like’ Israel
South Africa’s ruling party on Tuesday slammed Israel’s recent actions at the Gaza border, comparing the IDF’s efforts to prevent Palestinian protesters from breaching the border fence with Nazi Germany’s cruelty against Jews.

Also on Tuesday, the country’s Jewish community leaders condemned their government for recalling the the South African ambassador to Israel in light of Monday’s deadly riots at the Gaza border.

The African National Congress “views with complete shock and dismay the Israeli armed forces’ massacre of peaceful Palestinian protesters,” the party said in a statement.

“We watched in complete disbelief as a people, who continuously remind us all about the hate and prejudice Jews went through during Hitler’s anti-Semitism reign, will exhibit the same cruelty less than a century later,” the statement read.

The ANC, which says it was once a “target of a Nazi-like Apartheid regime,” vowed never to accept a government that “regards other human beings as insignificant.”
Jordan's King condemns Israeli 'aggression'
Jordan’s King Abdullah on Monday stressed that Jordan rejects and condemns what he called “the blatant acts of aggression and violence perpetrated by Israel” against Palestinian Arabs in Gaza, the Jordan Times reported.

The King also criticized the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, warning the move would have serious repercussions on security and stability in the Middle East and will inflame the feelings of Muslims and Christians.

King Abdullah made the remarks during a phone call with French President Emmanuel Macron, during which they discussed the latest developments in the Palestinian arena, particularly the escalation in Gaza, in addition to the repercussions of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, according to the Jordan Times.

The King urged the international community to shoulder its moral and legal responsibilities to protect the Palestinian people.

He also warned of the consequences of moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, stressing that Jerusalem is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world.
PreOccupiedTerritory: Embassy Move Causes Typhoons, Earthquakes, Nuclear Holocaust In Some Other Possible Universe (satire)
Massive tectonic cataclysm, powerful storms, and atomic explosions rocked this version of plant Earth today following the official transfer of the United States Embassy to Israel’s declared capital, making manifest the most dire prediction’s of the move’s consequences, albeit in a different universe from the one in which the transfer took place.

Explosions two hundred times more powerful than the blast that destroyed much of Hiroshima erupted across the Earth orbiting this alternative universe, as a direct consequence of the embassy move. Tremors beyond the measure of the Richter scale tore up the crust of this Earth and laid waste to civilization, as tidal waves, lightning storms, and unprecedented amounts of precipitation washed away the remains. Pundits had warned for years of the destructive impact of American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and of placing the embassy there, and the current wave of devastation bore out their warnings, even if the destruction is taking place in a dimension inaccessible and irrelevant to the inhabitants of the Earth in which the predictions were issued.

“I don’t want to be the guy who says I told you so, but I told you so,” stated a grim-faced John Kerry. “Trump’s decision to move the embassy, and to upend seven decades of American foreign policy on the Middle East is having exactly the negative outcome against which right-thinking experts have cautioned, even if the details differ in terms of the universe in which those consequences are unfolding. It’s unclear how man lives have been lost as a result of these developments, but we don’t need exact numbers to characterize this as a disaster.”

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This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 18 years and 38,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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