Wednesday, May 10, 2023

From Ian:

Netanyahu: We’re ready for broader campaign, severe blows against Gaza
Israel is ready to expand Operation Shield and Arrow to strike Gaza even harder, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday.

Netanyahu made the remarks in a phone call with mayors of towns in Israel’s south, as terrorists shot hundreds of rockets from Gaza to Israeli civilian centers, mostly in the South.

“We’re prepared for the possibility of broadening the campaign and for very severe blows, now and later as well,” the prime minister said.

“I think we will have the upper hand but we are in this battle and I appreciate your support and your standing strong,” he added.

As of Wednesday afternoon, defense sources’ assessment was that the rockets came from Palestinian Islamic Jihad, such that Israel has not expanded its pool of targets to include Hamas.

Israel sent messages to Hamas via Egypt on Tuesday that it should stay out of the fight or Israel will strike Hamas’s leaders.

Earlier Wednesday, the prime minister received updates from his military secretary Brig.-Gen. Avi Gil and held a security assessment at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv.

Netanyahu briefed opposition leader Yair Lapid on the goals and details of Operation Shield and Arrow on Wednesday morning.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen held a video conference with over 100 foreign ambassadors and diplomats stationed in Israel to tell them about Operation Shield and Arrow.

“Israel will not hesitate to fight to the end with the Iran-funded Islamic Jihad terrorist organization,” Cohen warned. “Their whole goal is to hurt Israeli civilians and sow destruction…Israel makes a constant effort to avoid harming innocent bystanders, unlike the Palestinian terrorist organizations who aim their terrorist attacks at Israeli civilians.”
UN Security Council to hold emergency meeting on Gaza
The United Nations Security Council is set to hold a closed-door emergency council session on Gaza late Wednesday afternoon in New York, in what will be its ninth meeting this year on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It did so after Israel eliminated three Palestinian Islamic Jihad commanders in a pre-dawn aerial strike on Tuesday, in which at least 10 Palestinian civilians were also killed, including four women and four children.

The United Arab Emirates said it had called for the meeting along with China and France in light of “concerning developments in Gaza.”

The UNSC meets monthly on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has held four such gatherings this year, along with an additional four to deal with crises that have arisen in light of rising violence and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government. How will the UNSC tackle Israel's Operation Shield and Arrow?

In a letter to the UNSC Palestinian Authority’s Ambassador Riyad Mansour wrote, “We condemn this murderous aggression against the Palestinian people and call for immediate action to hold responsible the criminal perpetrators, both government and military officials of Israel, the occupying power, who are planning and implementing this endless series of systematic human rights violations.”

Palestinian Authority envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour. (credit: REUTERS)Palestinian Authority envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour. (credit: REUTERS)

The international community, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the security council have a “duty to act” to bring to an end impurity Israel “have become so accustomed to,” he wrote.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan wrote a letter to the UNSC explaining that the surgical strike called Shield and Arrow was in response to a barrage of over 100 rockets Palestinians in Gaza had launched at Southern Israel last week.

Israel can nullify the threat of Palestinian Islamic Jihad
In the wee hours of yesterday morning, the IDF carried out simultaneous targeted attacks on Gaza, killing three senior commanders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). It followed up with further airstrikes on terrorist infrastructure in the Strip. Last week, PIJ launched 102 rockets into southern Israel, and then agreed to a ceasefire after limited Israeli retaliation. Meir Ben Shabbat comments:

Israel has achieved its initial goals in its current operation against PIJ, code-named Operation Shield and Arrow. The Jewish state restored its deterrence against the radical terror organization, while demonstrating that the ongoing internal political debates will not prevent it from taking determined action against external enemies. However, the hostilities in Gaza, which began with targeted strikes against three PIJ leaders last night, have the potential to expand and inflame multiple arenas. Israel therefore must take several steps now to ensure that this operation remains a success.

In analyzing Israel’s latest strikes, it is important to recall that PIJ . . . is one of Iran’s main proxies in the region, funded by Iran to the tune of millions of dollars a year.

A PIJ response to last night’s targeted strikes against its leaders and military sites is a certainty. It will likely come once its remaining commanders have had a chance to go underground. The questions that remain are whether Hamas, the largest terror organization in Gaza, will join in the fighting, and whether PIJ will be able to expand the hostilities to other geographic arenas.

At this point, Israel must focus on several goals. Operation Shield and Arrow must end with PIJ not only having suffered major losses, but having failed to reach any significant achievements in its attacks against Israel. That will diminish its standing and deter it from conducting future attacks. . . . Secondly, Israel must make clear to PIJ that any attempts to expand the circle of fighting to other arenas will greatly increase the severity of Israel’s response.

6 killed in Tunisia synagogue attack, including 2 Jews
An attack near a synagogue in Tunisia killed at least two security officers and at least two visitors on Tuesday the government said amid the annual Lag Baomer pilgrimage to the island of Djerba that draws hundreds of Jews from Europe and Israel. At total of 6 were killed by the perpetrator.

The attack was staged by a guard at a naval installation on Djerba who used his weapon to shoot a colleague and seize his ammunition before heading towards the synagogue, the Interior Ministry said in a statement.

The attacker fired indiscriminately at security units located near the synagogue, killing the two visitors and another security officer, as well as injuring five security officers and four visitors. Security forces then shot him dead, the Tunisian Interior Ministry said.

The Tunisian foreign ministry said one of the visitors killed was French and one was Tunisian. Video posted on social media that Reuters was not immediately able to verify showed frightened-looking people standing in a courtyard as a gunshot rang out. Residents of the island said they had heard an exchange of fire.

Israel's Foreign Ministry confirmed one of the victims was Israeli. "Among the dead were two Jewish cousins, one with Israeli citizenship and the other with foreign citizenship," the ministry said. "The Foreign Ministry is in contact with the family members of the deceased, and is prepared to provide assistance to additional Israelis as needed," the statement reads.

Authorities did not identify a motive for the attack but Islamist militants have previously targeted the pilgrimage in Djerba and have staged other attacks in the country. Tunisia's last significant attack was a blast targeting police outside the US embassy in 2020 that killed one officer. Two suicide blasts targeted police outside the French embassy in 2019, also killing one officer.
Jewish cousins among victims of Tunisia synagogue shooting
Two of the four people shot dead in a terrorist attack at a synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba were identified on Wednesday as Aviel Haddad, a dual Israeli-Tunisian citizen, and Benjamin Haddad of France.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry confirmed that Aviel held Israeli citizenship.

“Among the dead were two Jewish cousins, one with Israeli citizenship and the other with foreign citizenship,” said the ministry in a statement, adding that officials were in contact with the family of the deceased and had offered assistance.

A Tunisian national guard member fired “randomly” at people near Tunisia’s El Ghriba Synagogue on Tuesday evening as Lag B’Omer celebrations were underway. He was shot dead after killing the Haddads and two security guards.

He also wounded at least nine others.

U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller condemned the killings, writing on Twitter that Washington “deplores the attack in Tunisia coinciding with the annual Jewish pilgrimage that draws faithful to the El Ghriba Synagogue from around the world. We express condolences to the Tunisian people and commend the rapid action of Tunisian security forces.”

Video footage shared on social media appeared to depict loud gunshots that were audible within the synagogue complex, and some reports said that hundreds of worshippers—even up to 1,000—were present at the time.
2 Jewish worshipers killed near Tunisia's El Ghriba Synagogue
A Tunisian police officer shot dead four people at Africa's oldest synagogue in an attack Tuesday that sparked panic during an annual Jewish pilgrimage on the island of Djerba.

2 Jewish worshipers were among those killed outside El Ghriba synagogue.

Rafram Chaddad, a visual artist and member of Tunisia's small Jewish community reacts to the terror attack.

French imam asks Israelis to continue Tunisia pilgrimage despite terror attack
This year’s pilgrimage to Tunisia’s El Ghriba synagogue was supposed to be a celebration not only for about 8,000 Jewish pilgrims, but also for one at least one Muslim man: Hassen Chalghoumi, a Tunisia-born interfaith activist known to many French Jews as “the peace imam.”

Chalghoumi, whose activism has inspired countless French Jews fearing a perceived increase in expressions of antisemitism by French Muslims, has participated before in the pilgrimage, in which thousands of Jews from France, Israel and beyond join about 1,000 local Jews in Djerba, an island in southern Tunisia that’s home to the oldest still-running synagogue in Africa.

This year’s event on the Jewish holiday of Lag B’Omer was supposed to be special because it was the first time after the COVID-19 lockdowns that the pilgrimage returned to its impressive scale, he told The Times of Israel. “But instead of a celebration of fraternity, we experienced a nightmare of violence and grief,” Chalghoumi, 51, said in reference to the slaying of two Jews and two security officers in a shooting that authorities attributed to a gunman with ties to the naval guard.

The news of the attack in Djerba, the bloodiest since the 2002 bombing of the synagogue that killed 19 people, sent a wave of grief and disbelief through the community of Tunisian Jews living abroad, and in the smaller circle of pilgrimage participants.

One Tunisia-born Israeli who has participated in the pilgrimage in previous years, Avi Chana, told The Times of Israel that the attack threatened to deal a “mortal blow” to the pilgrimage, which constitutes a rare point of contact between Israelis and other Jews and an Arab country.
PM Netanyahu and senior security officials speak amid military operation
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with security and defense officials for the Ministerial Committee for National Security Affairs, during which he laid out the parameters of the Israeli military's Operation "Shield and Arrow" in Gaza.

"Our principle is clear: Whoever harms us – we will strike at them and with great force. Our long arm will reach every terrorist at a time and place of our choosing," he said.

"We are in the midst of a campaign. We are prepared for all possibilities. I suggest that our enemies not test us."

PMW: Killing 3 Palestinian terrorists and the Laws of War
When Israel killed the three senior terrorists from Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIL) on the morning of May 9, unfortunately, a number of civilians, including children were also killed. The death of civilians, particularly children, is of course devastating, but in this case, it highlights, to a great extent, the difference between the actions of the terrorists and the actions taken by Israel.

On May 2, terrorists from PIJ, an internationally designated terror organization, fired 104 rockets from Gaza intentionally targeting Israel’s civilian population, including women, children, the elderly and disabled.

While the terrorists in Gaza use their money and international aid to produce and stockpile missiles and to dig dozens of attack tunnels, Israel spent hundreds of millions of dollars, before receiving generous aid from the US government, to develop the Iron Dome Defense System. While each interceptor missile costs circa $50,000, Israel spends its money to save the lives of Israeli civilians. Accordingly, most of the 104 rockets launched by the Palestinian terrorists were intercepted by the system.

In international law, the firing of the missiles constitutes an “armed attack” and a Casus Belli - from Latin: 'occasion for war' - entitling Israel to defend itself.

In the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC), also known as International Humanitarian Law (IHL) or the Laws of War, there are 4 basic principles that are meant to guide the actions of the parties on the battlefield: Distinction; Military Necessity; Unnecessary Suffering; and Proportionality.

The principle of “Distinction” is the foremost LOAC protection for non-combatants. The principle requires that the object/person being attacked is part of the military apparatus of the enemy and is accordingly a military objective. For our purposes, the term “military objective” includes all the Gazan terrorists - from the lowest of foot-terrorists to the heads of the organizations - and their entire terror infrastructure. Termed “distinction,” this principle requires that all attacks be focused on military targets as opposed to purely civilian targets that provide no contribution to the war effort.

The principle of “Military Necessity” protects the warring combatants. The principle dictates that while LOAC permits attacking combatants, those attacks must be necessary to forward the goals of achieving the military objective. Accordingly, the warring sides are required to avoid wounding or permanently injuring combatants, except as part of the fight.

The principle of "Unnecessary Suffering" also protects the combatants and prohibits the warring sides from using weaponry that cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.

The principle of "Proportionality" is also designed to protect non-combatants. Proportionality in LOAC refers to a situation in which a military target is attacked and that attack causes incidental or collateral damage. Attacks of this nature are legal so long as the loss of life and damage to property incidental to the attacks are not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage expected to be gained. As the value of the military target grows, so too does the potential extent of permitted incidental damage.

David’s Sling makes first operational interception
David’s Sling, Israel’s newest anti-missile air defense system, successfully shot down its first rocket operationally during a barrage from the Gaza Strip targeting Israeli civilian centers on Wednesday.

It supplements the missile defense provided by the Iron Dome, Arrow 2 and Arrow 3.

The system was developed by Haifa-based Rafael Advanced Defensive Systems and U.S. defense giant Raytheon Technologies.

It became operational in April 2017 and can intercept missiles fired by countries such as Iran and Syria, including “large-caliber rockets, short-range ballistic missiles, and other developing threats,” the Israel Air Force said.

Its projectiles, known as stunners, are two-stage missiles that use multiple sensors. They are launched in a near-vertical orientation from a stationary location that can defend the entire country. They have a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles).

At least 15 killed in Israeli strikes in Gaza
The Israeli military struck Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leaders and weapon manufacturing facilities in the Gaza Strip. Israel's army declared the start of operation "Shield and Arrow" in response to months of attacks from the PIJ

The Israel Guys: BREAKING: Israeli Air Force Eliminates 3 Terrorists in the GAZA STRIP The IDF launched Operation Shield and Arrow last night, already taking out 3 senior terrorist leaders in the Gaza Strip, and eliminating ten Palestinian Islamic Jihad weapons depots and terrorist hubs. More than 1 million Christians all over the world are fasting and praying for Israel for the next 3 weeks, and on today’s program, we have awarded an Anti-Semite of the week!

Arabs in Eastern Jerusalem Torch Bus that Took Wrong Turn
A bus was torched in eastern Jerusalem on Tuesday after its driver accidentally entered the scene of a confrontation between Israeli security forces and Arab rioters in the city’s Issawiya neighborhood.

According to media reports, a group of young Arabs were throwing fireworks and stones at security forces when the private bus took a wrong turn and was set aflame, apparently by a firebomb.

The driver, 72, escaped the scene and was treated for smoke inhalation by a Magen David Adom medical team before being transported to Hadassah Hospital on Mount Scopus.

“When we arrived at the gas station, we saw the bus on fire a few tens of meters away from us. The driver told us that he accidentally entered the neighborhood and when they recognized him he was attacked and managed to escape to the nearby gas station. He suffered from mild smoke inhalation and after initial medical treatment with oxygen, he was taken to a hospital in stable condition for further treatment,” MDA emergency medic Shalom Barhoum said.

Jewish woman shot dead after charging Israeli checkpoint dressed as terrorist
Israeli soldiers on Tuesday evening shot and killed Livnat Grin, 20, after she charged a military checkpoint dressed as a Muslim and armed with a fake pistol.

The incident took place at the Masadat Yehuda crossing south of Mount Hebron in the West Bank.

The Jewish woman approached the checkpoint dressed head-to-toe in a black robe, drew the weapon (an airsoft gun) and started running toward the soldiers while shouting “Allahu Akbar,”.

The Israeli Defense Forces initially reported the incident as an “attempted attack.”

Before the incident, Grin posted a picture of herself dressed in black on WhatsApp and asked a friend: “If someone wants to die, an ordinary Jew, an Israeli, wearing Arab clothes, running with a fake airsoft gun toward a checkpoint in the territories, shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’ because he wants to be shot because he wants to die, and then only gets shot in the legs and stays alive, do they put him in prison for that? And if so, for how long and on what charge?”

The friend responded: “That someone = you?”

Grin made national news three years ago after she was evicted from her apartment and pitched a tent in front of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services in Jerusalem. She posted a picture of it on a IDF soldiers’ page on Facebook with a sign underneath: “A released lone soldier = a lone citizen.” A “lone soldier” is a person serving in the Israeli military that has no family in the country.

Grin, who was 24 at the time, sketched in brief a difficult life, saying she had been known to welfare services in Beersheva from a young age.
Palestinian casualties in 2023 – the facts
As we have all too often had cause to note in recent months, the British media’s coverage of the deaths of Palestinians has repeatedly failed to adequately distinguish between civilian casualties and members of terrorist organisations or people – mostly male – involved in acts of violence at the time.

CAMERA UK has been recording Palestinian casualties since the beginning of the year based on information provided by the ITIC and cross-checked with additional sources.

This resource will be updated periodically to include the latest verified information.

Turkey's Hizbullah Terrorists: Erdogan's New Ally
Turkey's Hizbullah is not to be confused with the Lebanese Shia terror group Hezbollah, although their name has the same meaning in Arabic: The Party of God.

Operating primarily in Batman Province, Hizbullah murdered 188 people in and around the mainly Kurdish city of Batman. The victims included 32 shot in the neck: men for drinking alcohol and women for wearing mini-skirts.

A prominent feminist Islamist, Konca Kuriş, was abducted by Hizbullah and tortured for 35 days before she was murdered. Her Islamism was fine; her feminism was not.

The international community would do well to understand that Kurds, US allies in northern Iraq and Syria, are not monolithic. Secular Kurds are allies. But there are also Islamist Kurds who support Erdoğan.

To win, Erdoğan would ally with radical Islamists: certified terrorists.

If Erdoğan does win on May 14, there will be, for the first time, radical Islamist terrorists in the Turkish parliament. Hizbullah terrorists -- responsible for the torture and deaths of hundreds of people in ISIS-style executions -- in the parliament of a NATO member state?! This potential outcome is the biggest talk among Western diplomats in Ankara. Most are shocked. They should not be. It is vintage Erdoğan.

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

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