Wednesday, November 14, 2018

From Ian:

NGO Monitor: NGOs Disappear When Rockets Start Flying from Gaza
Over the past two days, Palestinian terror groups in Gaza have fired over 400 rockets and missiles into Israeli population centers, resulting in 1 death and more than 70 injured.

Since each such attack is a war crime, one might expect human rights NGOs to condemn these blatant violations of human rights. In particular, groups and individuals that immediately and routinely condemn any Israeli action that they do not like.

However, that has not happened. Instead, NGOs and NGO officials have entirely ignored the Palestinian violations against Israelis. Some have simply remained silent, while others have focused exclusively on demonizing Israel. Notably, Palestinian NGOs, which claim to meticulously document violations occurring in Gaza, have not released detailed accounts of the illegal launches of indiscriminate weapons into Israel nor systematically examined how combatants embed themselves among civilian infrastructure.

NGOs/officials that have not commented at all include: Al-Haq, B’Tselem, Adalah, Human Rights Watch’s Ken Roth (Executive Director) and Sarah Leah Whitson (Director of Middle East Division), Addameer, Aldameer, Breaking the Silence, Defense for Children International-Palestine, International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), Broederlijk Delen, Oxfam, Yesh Din, and Hamoked.

PMW: Hamas fights Israel by using civilians as human shields)
It is clear from past wars that Hamas doesn't care about the lives of the almost 2 million Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Media Watch has documented that Hamas unscrupulously uses Palestinian civilians as human shields when fighting Israel. This might be what is in store for Palestinians again, as Hamas escalates its missile attacks on Israeli civilian targets in towns and cities. Hamas has launched hundreds of missiles yesterday alone, forcing Israel to respond with military force.

In the 2014 war, Hamas openly and intentionally demanded that civilians ignore Israel's warnings prior to bombings of terrorists hiding among civilians. Hamas insisted they welcome death, so that Hamas could use them as human shields for their fighters and rocket launchers.

Hamas' spokesman at the time, Sami Abu Zuhri, called on Palestinians to "oppose the Israeli fighter planes with their bodies alone" which he said had "proven an effective method" against "the occupation:"

Al-Aqsa TV reporter: "Witnesses are talking about a large crowd. The residents are still gathering to reach the Kaware family home in order to prevent the Zionist occupation's fighter planes from striking it."
Al-Aqsa TV host: "People are reverting to a method that was very successful once."
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri: "The people oppose the Israeli fighter planes with their bodies alone... I think this method has proven effective against the occupation. It also reflects the nature of our heroic and brave people, and we, the [Hamas] movement, call on our people to adopt this method in order to protect the Palestinian homes."
[Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas), July 8, 2014]

Melanie Phillips: So how would England react to genocidal rocket barrages?
Here’s a thought experiment for British readers.

Suppose Scotland and Wales were not part of the United Kingdom. Suppose Scotland was effectively controlled by… oooh, I dunno, let’s say, Russia, which had installed underneath residential buildings throughout southern Scotland 120,000 missiles pointing at England which Russia repeatedly threatened, in the most demented and blood-curdling terms, to annihilate.

What do you think the English government would do? What do you think NATO might say or do?

Now suppose that Wales, which for decades had been inhabited by people who had long pledged to annihilate England and who – now also backed by Russia – had repeatedly attacked it over the years with missiles; who had for months been trying to storm the border with England and attacked it with aerial incendiary devices, as a result of which thousands of acres of English farmland had been incinerated and destroyed; and who had also been building tunnel networks running into England through which they intended to infiltrate the country and slaughter as many English people as possible.

What do you think the English government would do?

Now suppose that some kind of botched clandestine operation in Wales by English special forces – to try to protect England from further attack – was used as a pretext for the terrorist regime running Wales to fire hundreds upon hundreds of rockets into England, causing fatalities and injuries by direct hits on buses and houses and apartment buildings in, say, Bristol or Salisbury and threatening to hit other cities including London; and that the only reason thousands of civilians had not been killed was that they had shelters in which they had been forced to live for long periods over many years.

What do you think the English government would do? Do you think there’s any doubt that, long before such rocket barrages could be unleashed against it, England would have flattened Wales?

New Details Emerge on Heroic Actions of IDF Officer Killed in Gaza
New details about the IDF’s covert operation inside the Gaza Strip on Sunday reveal that the officer killed during the mission made a heroic decision that saved his fellow soldiers even though it meant paying the ultimate price.

Lt. Col. M., a special forces officer, was killed and ‎another soldier was wounded during a clash ‎with Hamas operatives in the southern Gaza Strip on Sunday. Seven Hamas operatives were ‎killed in the incident.‎

Many of the details were not approved for publication due to the sensitive nature of the mission, but according to available details, IDF special forces ‎‎operating in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis ‎were discovered by Hamas operatives at a checkpoint. A fierce ‎gunfight erupted, and the Israeli troops found themselves trapped in their vehicle.

M. reportedly opened fire to draw attention away from his comrades, enabling them to leave their vehicle and charge the enemy.

As a result, M. was hit by much of the enemy fire.

Another officer made a charge toward M.’s position to try to save him, and after managing to kill three terrorists who had opened fire at the squad, reached M.’s vehicle, but was badly wounded in the process.
Netanyahu defends Gaza ceasefire, says Hamas 'begged' to stop fighting
Hamas “begged” for a ceasefire, and “they know very well why,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, in his first public statements since the government agreed to a ceasefire in the south that went into effect Tuesday evening.

Speaking at Sde Boker at the 45tth memorial for David and Paula Ben-Gurion on the Hebrew date of the first prime minister's death, Netanyahu said that he cannot detail Israel's plans for the future regarding the situation in Gaza. But, he said, “we will set the conditions and the right time for Israel, and for the security of our residents.”

Netanyahu, who has come under criticism from his right and from some residents of the south who wanted to see a much more aggressive Israeli response to the Hamas terror from Gaza, drew parallels with Ben-Gurion.

“In times of trial, Ben-Gurion made fateful decisions. Sometimes he did so contrary to popular opinion, but over time, these decisions turned out to be correct,” he said.

“In routine times, a leader has to be attentive to the feelings of the people, and we are a wise nation. But in times of crisis, at a time of fateful decisions regarding security, the public at times cannot be a partner to decisive considerations that must be hidden from the enemy,” he continued.

The prime minister said that “at these times leadership is not doing the easy thing, but the right thing, even if it is hard. Leadership is standing up to criticism when you know things that are secret and sensitive, and which you cannot share with the citizens of Israel and in this case the residents of the south, whom I love and greatly appreciate.”
HR's Daniel Pomerantz discusses the Gaza rocket barrage on i24 News
Daniel Pomerantz in debate with former Peace Now director Yariv Oppenheimer on i24 News. What are Hamas and the IDF intending by their actions in yesterday's rocket barrage on southern Israel?

Summary: More than 460 rockets fired at Israel after second day in Gaza
After more than 460 rockets were fired at Israel on Tuesday, early-morning rocket sirens were heard across Gaza border communities.

Sirens were heard in Sderot and Ashkelon, among other communities, and runoff mayoral voting was cancelled in one place.
How Israel’s Freakish Air Defenses Stop Gaza’s Rockets
As Hamas and another Gazan militia announced the end of the latest round of fighting with Israel, the Israeli army released a remarkable statistic: Israel sustained a single fatality during a 48-hour period in which 460 rockets and missiles were launched against its southern communities.

In a freakish irony, the only man killed in Israel was Mahmoud Abu Asba, 48, a Palestinian contractor from the West Bank, who had a legal permit to reside in Israel. He lived on the top floor of a building that sustained a direct hit, and was found in the rubble by a passerby, along with two women who were critically injured.

Israel is remarkably successful in keeping its citizens alive even when faced with combat-level salvos of missiles. The achievement is usually attributed to Iron Dome, the air-defense system developed jointly with the United States, which has been battle tested by civilian communities bordering on Gaza.

But in an exclusive September interview with The Daily Beast, Brig. Gen. Tzvika Haimovitz, 51, the outgoing commander of Israel’s Aerial Defense and one of the architects of Israel’s anti-missile defense strategy, said the reality is significantly more complicated: without a disciplined civilian population, he says, trained almost like reserve soldiers, the anti-aircraft system and an anti-ballistic missile system would not be nearly as effective.
Life in south slowly returns to normal after two days of rockets from Gaza
Life in Israeli communities and towns near Gaza slowly returned to normal on Wednesday after a quiet night signaled that a tentative reported ceasefire was holding following two days of intense rocket attacks from the Hamas-ruled Strip.

Schools, higher education institutes and businesses were to reopen and farmers could again work their fields, many of them adjacent to Gaza. Train services south of Ashkelon also resumed.

There were no reports of rocket fire into Israel, or of Israeli strikes on Gaza, since Tuesday afternoon, when the reported ceasefire went into effect. Palestinians said the truce was brokered by Egypt.

Israel had still not confirmed the existence of a ceasefire, but the IDF Home Front Command on Tuesday night removed all restrictions on residents of southern Israel declaring a “return to normalcy.”

Nevertheless, the IDF still kept reinforcements in place surrounding Gaza.

The UN Security Council met late Tuesday in New York, but no decisions were taken, with the Palestinian blaming the US for blocking any condemnation of Israel.

Kuwait, which represents Arab countries at the council, and Bolivia requested the meeting following the worst flareup in Gaza since the 2014 war between Hamas and Israel.
Residents of southern Israel burn tires, protest Gaza ceasefire with Hamas
Residents of Gaza border communities burned tires and blocked roads in Sderot and Nir Am on Tuesday night, protesting the ceasefire agreed to by Israel and Hamas.

Meanwhile, peace groups around the country called for a nonviolent solution.

The protests came after close to 500 projectiles were fired at the South from Gaza within 25 hours on Monday and Tuesday, the largest amount of rockets ever fired at Israel from the enclave within that space of time.

A 48-year-old Palestinian man from Hebron, Mahmoud Abu Asba, was killed and two other women were seriously injured when a rocket struck an apartment building in Ashkelon overnight on Monday. Asba is survived by his wife and six children.

It was the second residential building in Ashkelon to sustain a direct hit. Dozens of others were injured, including a soldier who was seriously wounded in an attack on a bus filled with soldiers in Kfar Aza.
Israel and Hamas militants trade heavy fire across border, November 13, 2018 (Reuters)

The protesters said the ceasefire is simply more of the same in a cycle of violence, which has them holed up in safe rooms on a regular basis. Under the banner “We’re tired of shutting up,” they intend to protest in a way that will attract public attention.
24 Hours of Non-Stop Hamas Terror in Southern Israel
Hamas terrorists have launched over 400 rockets and mortars from Gaza, directed at Israeli civilians.
Here's a quick rundown of the events in Southern Israel since yesterday:

Hamas Is the Sworn Enemy of America
The Hamas terror organization fired at least 400 rockets and mortars into Israel in 24 hours November 12-13, killing one person (a Palestinian) and injuring 70 Israeli civilians (some critically). But why should we care in the U.S.? Well, simply put, Hamas is the sworn enemy of America.

Here are just a few of the many facts that lead us to only one conclusion – Hamas is the bad guy.

1. Hamas is committed to destroying the U.S. Back in 2007, the acting speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, Hamas’ Ahmad Bahr declared the U.S. would be “annihilated,” and called on Allah to kill every American:

2. If you don’t want to take Clarion’s word for it, here are some of the countries and organizations that have designated Hamas a terror organization: United States, Canada, Egypt and the European Union. Saudi Arabia banned the Muslim Brotherhood, which is Hamas’ parent organization. Jordan banned Hamas from its territory. The UK, Australia and New Zealand designated Hamas’ military wing as a terror group.

3. America’s enemies back Hamas militarily, financially and politically. Iran traditionally armed and funded Hamas in Gaza. That relationship faltered over the last few years but is now getting back on track. Qatar traditionally supported Hamas, providing a home for its senior staff, however right now Qatar is involved in a cease-fire attempt between Hamas and Israel. It’s alleged that Turkey fundraises and money launders on behalf of Hamas’ military. China is among the countries refusing to designate Hamas as a terror organization and sees it as a legitimate political organization.
Khaled Abu Toameh: U.S. offers $5m. reward for the capture of Hamas leader Saleh al-Arouri
The US State Department has announced a $5 million reward for information which would lead to the capture of deputy Hamas politburo chairman Saleh al-Arouri and two senior Hezbollah members.

“Hamas and Hezbollah receive weapons, training, and funding from Iran, which the Secretary of State has designated as a state sponsor of terrorism,” read the statement by the US Department of State, adding that both groups were designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) in October 1997 and as Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) entities in October 2001.

Born in 1966 in a village near Ramallah, Saleh Arouri is one of the founders of Hamas’s military wing, the Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades, and is responsible for several bloody terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers, including the 2014 kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank.

As one of the founding members of Hamas’s military wing in the West Bank, he participated in the group’s activities during the first intifada and was arrested by the IDF in 1992 and sentenced to 18 years in prison. When he was released in 2010, he was deported and later moved to Syria before he moved to Turkey in 2012, following the severing of ties between Hamas and the Assad regime after the outbreak of the Syrian civil war.

Arouri was expelled from Turkey following the 2015 reconciliation agreement between Israel and Turkey. He moved to Qatar, along with several other members of Hamas’s leadership. That September, he was designated by the US Department of the Treasury as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT).
U.S. Sanctions Hezbollah Iraq Networks, Son of Group’s Leader
The United States imposed sanctions on Tuesday on four people linked to Lebanon's Hezbollah who coordinate the Iran-backed group's activities in Iraq and designated the son of the group's leader as a global terrorist.

The U.S. Treasury added Shibl Muhsin Ubayd al-Zaydi, Yusuf Hashim, Adnan Hussein Kawtharani and Muhammad Abd-al-Hadi Farhat to its Specially Designated Global Terrorists list.

Al-Zaydi is Iraqi and the others are Lebanese.

The State Department designated Jawad Nasrallah, the son of Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist and described him as a "rising leader of Hezbollah".

Proscribed as a terrorist movement by the United States, Hezbollah is a heavily-armed Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim group backed by Iran and a leading ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Iran also backs Shi'ite militias in Iraq.

The Treasury statement said the four individuals "lead and coordinate (Hezbollah's) operational, intelligence and financial activities in Iraq".

The Treasury accused al-Zaydi of smuggling oil from Iran and from Iran into Syria, of fundraising for Hezbollah and of sending fighters to Syria for Iran's Revolutionary Guards.
IDF shoots Gazan approaching border fence, reportedly killing him
A Gaza man was shot dead by Israeli troops Wednesday after approaching the security fence on the Israeli border, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza health ministry, as tensions persisted after a ceasefire Tuesday ended some of the heaviest fighting in years.

The Israeli military confirmed that soldiers opened fire as a group of Palestinian men were spotted walking toward the border fence in the northern Gaza Strip, near the Israeli community of Kibbutz Zikim.

According to media reports, the suspect was shot as he continued approaching the fence despite warning shots being fired.

An army spokesperson said the soldiers “operated in accordance with the rules of engagement.”

The Israel Defense Forces refuses to fully disclose its rules of engagement. Generally, however, soldiers on the border are permitted to open fire in cases of a direct threat to life or when there is a threat to defense infrastructure like the security fence.

The Palestinian man was identified by the health ministry as 20-year-old Nawaf Ahmad al-Attar, a fisherman.

Palestinian media outlets reported that al-Attar had been killed at sea — something the IDF denied.
Gaza man throws grenades at security fence, is shot and arrested
Israeli troops shot and arrested a Palestinian man who threw a number of grenades at the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday morning, the army said.

The grenades failed to explode.

The incident came less than a day into a fragile ceasefire between Israel and terror groups in the Strip, after more than 460 rockets and mortars were fired into southern Israel over the course of 25 hours, killing one person. The military responded to the rockets with airstrikes throughout the Gaza Strip.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, when he was arrested, the suspect was found to be in possession of a pair of boltcutters and a knife.

His condition was not immediately known.

The suspect was handed over to the Shin Bet security service for questioning.
No ‘Both Sides to Blame’ Excuse for Hamas Escalation, Israeli Envoy Tells UN as Gaza Ceasefire Takes Hold
Israel’s envoy to the United Nations has urged the UN Security Council to avoid the trap of “blaming both sides” for the escalation on Jewish state’s border with the Gaza Strip that resulted in a ceasefire on Tuesday evening.

Ahead of a Security Council debate on the latest violence, triggered by the volley of Hamas rockets fired into southern Israel in recent days, Ambassador Danny Danon declared: “Every time Hamas shoots a rocket — children at school, adults at work, families all over the country hear this.”

Danon then played the sound of the “red alert” air raid siren from his phone. “Think of the children running fearfully into bomb shelters,” he said.

“Certain morally bankrupt members of the Security Council will jump to blame Israel, and others who pretend to be objective will call for restraint on both sides,” Danon added. “But let me be clear: there is no ‘both sides.’ There is Hamas that attacks and fires over 460 missiles at civilians, and there is Israel that protects its people.”

“The Security Council must condemn Hamas for its aggressive assault and finally designate it as a terrorist organization,” the ambassador concluded.
"Red Alert" at the UN | Amb Danon: Every time Hamas shoots a rocket children at school hear this

Palestinians blame U.S. for UNSC deadlock on Gaza
The UNSC met behind closed doors late Tuesday night in New York at the request of UNSC members Bolivia and Kuwait to discuss the latest round of Gaza violence, but did not publish any conclusions.

“The council has been paralyzed on our issue for the reasons that you all know. There is one country that is refusing to allow our issue to be seriously discussed in the security council,” Mansour told reporters after the meeting.

Kuwait Ambassador to the UN Mansour Al-Otaibi said the majority of member states wanted the council to do something, at least consider going on a visit to the Palestinian territories.

“Today many countries supported that” but no decision was made, he said. “There is no horizon of peace so this will come to the council time and time again."

During the meeting, Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon held a press conference outside its chambers during which he called on the member states to condemn Hamas.

“In a few moments, certain morally bankrupt members of the security council will jump here to blame Israel," Danon said. "Other members who claim to be objective call for restraint on both sides."
Palestinian UN ambassador slams Israeli 'aggression' in Gaza
Palestinian Ambassador to the U.N. Riyad Mansour condemned Israeli "aggression" in the Gaza Strip and urged the Security Council to take action against Israel on Tuesday.

The Israeli military struck over 100 Hamas targets in Gaza as terrorists based in the coastal enclave fired over 400 rockets and mortar shells on Israeli communities near the border, in what was the worst flare-up in the area since 2014.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this aggression by Israel. They are the ones who precipitated this round of violence for the last 48 hours," Mansour said.

"We want the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility with regard to this situation threatening international peace and security. Unfortunately, the Security Council is paralyzed. It did not shoulder its responsibility. Nevertheless, we will keep knocking on the door of the Security Council to shoulder its responsibility."

He said he hopes "the efforts by our brothers in Egypt, of having, you know, the cease-fire to be put in place, will hold. It is the cease-fire which was brokered under the leadership of the Palestinian people, under the leadership of [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, in 2014, which is not only a cease-fire but also beginning the process of lifting the blockade.
Defense Minister Liberman resigns, says Israel ‘capitulated to terror’ in Gaza
Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman announced Wednesday that he would be resigning as defense minister and called for the government to be dismantled and for new elections to be set.

“I am here to announce my resignation from the government,” he said at a hastily organized press conference at the Knesset after a Yisrael Beytenu party meeting, during which he told MKs of his decision.

Liberman said his decision came in light of the ceasefire reportedly agreed on Tuesday between Israel and Palestinian terror groups in Gaza following an unprecedentedly fierce two-day barrage of over 400 rockets fired by Hamas and other terror groups toward Israel.

A day earlier, Liberman and other ministers severely criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the decision.

“What happened yesterday, the ceasefire, together with the deal with Hamas, is a capitulation to terror. There is no other way of explaining it,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
ANALYSIS: Did a botched commando raid lead to Liberman's downfall?
While the Iron Dome did succeed in intercepting some 120 projectiles, 20 rockets landed in urban areas and scored direct hits on several residential buildings, killing a 48-year-old West Bank Palestinian, Mahmoud Abu Asba, and injuring close to 100 others. While IDF officials have stressed that the Iron Dome is not hermetic and is unable to provide 100% protection, some residents of the South voiced concern over the large number of hits in residential areas.

One resident of Sderot told The Jerusalem Post that she was sure that there were not enough Iron Dome batteries deployed in the area because the northern front was of a higher strategic concern.

Residents of the South, weary from close to 15 years of rocket attacks and three wars with Gaza continue to support the IDF – but many are losing their patience with political games.

“I am a Likud supporter; I have been one all my life. But how is this life?” Another Sderot resident told the Post during a lull in rocket fire. “We all have PTSD here, even my grandchildren. Israel has to either make peace somehow with Gaza or go to war and reoccupy it. We can’t live like this.”

During his resignation speech, Liberman admitted that if “I were to stay in office, I would not be able to look southern residents in the eye.”

So 72 hours after a botched commando raid he likely signed off on and 48 hours after the heaviest missile and mortar barrage since Operation Protective Edge in 2014, he quit.

And Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh – who he threatened to assassinate within 48 hours of him taking office – outlived him.
Avigdor Liberman: An outspoken firebrand turned pragmatic defense chief
Avigdor Liberman, who resigned as defense minister Wednesday, has a political career marked by anti-Arab tirades and strident populism.

The leader of the right-wing Yisrael Beytenu (Israel Is Our Home) quit over a Gaza ceasefire deal that he called “capitulating to terror.”

As he announced his resignation, he urged early elections, increasing the likelihood that they will be called ahead of November 2019, when they are due.

Liberman, loathed by the Palestinians, is a security hardliner but also showed a practical side while in government and backed off from some of his most controversial comments after becoming defense minister in May 2016.

His dramatic return to government in 2016 came after he rebuffed advances by Netanyahu following the 2015 election.
Jewish Home in ultimatum to Netanyahu: Give us Defense Ministry or we leave
The Jewish Home presented an ultimatum to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, with the party saying it will leave the coalition and force new elections if its leader Naftali Bennett is not made defense minister following Avigdor Liberman’s resignation from the position.

“It’s either the Defense Ministry or we are out,” party officials told The Times of Israel. “This is our ultimatum to stay in the government.”

The demand came minutes after Yisrael Beytenu party chairman Avigdor Liberman announced that he would be resigning as defense minister and called for the government to be dismantled and for new elections to be held.
Hamas claims Liberman’s resignation as a ‘victory for Gaza’
The Hamas terror group claimed Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s decision to resign from his position as a “political victory for Gaza” on Wednesday, after Palestinians also said they scored a military win over Israel in a two-day battle that ended the day before.

“Liberman’s resignation is an acknowledgment of defeat of [Israel’s] helplessness against the Palestinian resistance,” the group, which rules Gaza, said in a statement.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the second-largest terrorist organization in the Strip, similarly claimed the defense minister’s sudden departure as a victory.

“Behold the political slaughter dealt to leaders of the occupation who aren’t capable of dealing with Gaza,” the organization’s spokesperson said in a statement.

“The resistance succeeded not only in deterring the enemy militarily, but also sowed confusion in their political considerations,” the Iran-backed terror group added.
In New York Times, a False Equivalence Between Hamas and Israeli Rockets
There is no doubt civilians in Gaza and Israel alike are distressed by the explosions around them. And it’s reasonable for a reporter to document the fears of both Israelis and Palestinians. But it is specious to describe Israel’s civilians as “caught up in the fighting” just the same as Gaza’s civilians.

Unlike Israel, Hamas is targeting civilians, its imprecise crosshairs covering entire towns. Israel, in response, has targeted the military and information assets of the terror group. So yes, Gaza’s civilians are “caught up” in the fighting around them. Israeli civilians, though, are targets of that fighting.

The New York Times, with its misplaced “both sides” language, conceals that substantial and important difference, and it misses every other opportunity throughout the article to make the distinction clear. Readers are told “armed factions” (rather than internationally designated terror organizations) mounted a rocket barrage “across much of southern Israel,” and are left to guess whether those rockets targeted military installations or civilians.

Yes, Gaza’s civilians are “caught up” in the fighting around them. Israeli civilians, though, are targets of that fighting.

About Israeli strikes, by contrast, the author was precise with detail, noting that the country “hit scores of military posts and weapons caches across Gaza, but also leveled a Hamas television station, radio station and office building” — a “but” that suggests there is something questionable in Israel’s targeting decisions.

Later, the article revisits the targeting of the Hamas television station with dueling statements by Hamas and Israel — the former called the strike an act of “barbaric aggression,” while the latter explained that the TV station contributes to Hamas’s military campaign — but Halbfinger neglected to point out that the during the Obama administration, the U.S. designated the station as a terrorist entity, pointing out that its programs are “designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood.”

Later, the author has another chance to point out that Palestinian rocket attacks are indiscriminate, and thus war crimes. But again, he refers to the target of Hamas attacks in vague geographical terms: “More than 400 rockets and mortar shells were fired into Israel, and the Israeli military said it had struck more than 70 military targets in Gaza belonging to Hamas, which governs the territory, and to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.” At what “in Israel” were Hamas rockets fired? The answer — at everything and anything — is again concealed.
False equivalence in BBC News report on Gaza rocket attacks
On the morning of November 13th the BBC News website published another report about the flare-up of violence which had begun the previous afternoon.

Originally headlined “Heavy Gaza-Israel fire traded overnight” and later re-titled “Israel-Gaza: Deadly fire traded across border“, the report underwent numerous amendments in the ten hours following its initial publication.

The use of the word “traded” – i.e. exchanged – in both those headlines obviously suggests equivalence between the actions of the two sides, as do the report’s carefully ‘balanced’ opening lines.

However, this story is not about comparable actions. It is actually about an attack – unprecedented in scale – which Hamas and other terror organisations chose to launch against Israeli civilians in southern Israel. The response of Israel to that attack was not equivalent as implied by the BBC: the response struck exclusively military – not civilian – targets after advance warnings were given.

So how was that story portrayed in the report itself?

The report makes use of four photographs: two from Israel and two from the Gaza Strip. The first narrow-angle image photographed in Israel is captioned “Buildings in the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon were hit by rockets fired from Gaza”.
BBC Radio 4: nothing to see in southern Israel, move along to Gaza
ssacharoff pointed out that “Hamas is calling for the elimination of the State of Israel” and went on to mention a story about which BBC audiences have to date heard nothing.

Issacharoff: “Israel not only allowed more gas…into Gaza but also allowed Qatari money that will pass into Hamas’ hands to pay the salaries of Hamas’ people”

After Issacharoff had mentioned the Khan Younis incident as a factor behind the latest escalation, Shah brought up her own speculations.

Shah: “But what do you conclude from all of that then? Is Israel in a sense trying to curb Hamas before there is some kind of deal? Is this a preemptive action? What would you read into it?”

Having explained that any ‘deal’ does not mean a peace agreement in which the sides “live happily ever after with each other”, Issacharoff explained that such an understanding actually means that “there’s going to be quiet while both sides will continue to prepare themselves for the next war to come.”

Shah appeared rather shocked by the idea of an inevitable war:

Shah: “But you talk about the next war to come.”

With Issacharoff having again explained that “this will happen at the end of the day…” and that any agreement between Israel and Hamas is “a temporary truce”, Shah closed the item.
Sloppy BBC News report omits rocket hits on Israeli homes
Hours before this version of the report appeared the Israeli ambulance service had already announced that it had treated 53 injured people and further injuries and one fatality were sustained in a further attack on Ashkelon several hours before the BBC published this article.

The BBC’s report continued with a section titled “What happened on Sunday?” in which readers were once again given an account of the incident near Absan al Kabira, east of Khan Younis, that is mostly sourced from the terror group Hamas.

That was followed by a section titled “Why did Israel kill the commander?” and another titled “What has happened since Sunday’s operation?” in which the BBC refrained from telling readers in its own words of the previous barrage of rocket attacks.
IsraellyCool: Not The Onion: Haters Attack Guardian for Being Pro-Israel
The antisemites and Israel haters of the world truly live in a Bizarro world, where truth and reality are inverted.

For example, in their world palestinian Arabs are indigenous to the land their ancestors conquered way after the Jews were ensconced here, palestinian terrorists who murder men, women and children and hide behind their own are courageous heroes, and…the Guardian is pro-Israel!

Israel’s military reportedly killed seven Palestinians during a raid, and the ensuing gunfight also killed an Israeli lieutenant colonel. Other than a Hamas commander, all the Palestinians were aged between 19 and 25.

Reporting on the raid, however, the Guardian went with the following headline:

Their gripe?

The (now changed) headline positioned seven Palestinian deaths as less important than one Israeli death. On top of that, it also claimed that the Palestinians simply “died” while the Israeli was “killed”.

If anything, these haters should be pleased with the headline. The Guardian makes clear the Israeli killed was not a civilian, yet not the dead palestinians. In fact, the hater who is complaining here mentions

Other than a Hamas commander, all the Palestinians were aged between 19 and 25.

So for all a reader would know, the dead was one Hamas-hole and a bunch of young people nearby. Not this:

Fatah Member Reminisces on Fatah's 1969 Shelling of Building Now the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem
Fatah Revolutionary Council Member Mphammad Al-Lahham said that Palestinian diplomatic efforts must be combined with "means of struggle." He said that in 1969, Fatah had shelled the building that is now the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and that Fatah should not be expected to "remain calm regarding the crimes of the occupation." Al-Lahham talked about Ashraf Na'alwa, who shot and killed two Israelis at the Barkan Industrial Park on October 7, 2018 and said that there are millions of Palestinians "just like him who are ready to rub the nose of this occupation in the mud once again." Na'alwa murdered his co-workers Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel and Ziv Hajbi. Muhammad Al-Lahham was interviewed on Palestine TV on November 12, 2018.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 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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