Friday, December 22, 2023

From Ian:

Caroline Glick: Rising from the ruins of a generation of Israeli doctrine
It will take years to correct the damage the generals wrought by reducing the size of the IDF and inducing its total dependence on the United States.

‘The IDF is changing its view’
But this week, the Defense Ministry let it be known that it is moving to correct the situation. On Tuesday, Ynet reported that the Defense Ministry is initiating what it refers to as “Independence Project.”

According to the report, the Defense Ministry is launching a crash program with Israel’s military industries and major industrialists to make Israel independent in everything related to ordnance. In the initial phase, Israel will begin producing bombs for its aircraft. Jerusalem also intends to expand its production of tank and artillery shells, as well as assault rifles and bullets. Separately, there is increased discussion regarding the establishment of a missile force as an independent arm of the IDF. The force would reduce reliance on the air force and develop more versatile, more easily defended missile launch platforms and massively expand Israel’s missile and drone arsenals.

After meeting with Defense Ministry Director General Maj. Gen. Eyal Zamir, Ron Tomer, the head of Israel’s Industrialists Union, told Ynet, “The war demonstrates our need for a powerful and advanced industrial base to ensure Israel’s national strength and independent capabilities. The IDF is changing its view of how it arms its forces, enlarging domestic production lines in order to be less dependent on ordnance from abroad. The ideal of a small high-tech military did not prove itself.”

Brick and others argue that had Hezbollah joined Hamas in invading and bombing Israel on Oct. 7, Israel may well have been destroyed that day. A combination of Hezbollah’s 10,000-man Radwan Brigades perched at the border and capable of invading the Galilee, and a barrage of up to 4,000 missiles with various payloads targeting Israel’s air bases, and other strategic sites and civilian population centers every day for weeks, would have caused irreparable damage equal in force to a nuclear bomb.

Iran’s decision not to involve Hezbollah on Oct. 7 has given Israel the opportunity to reorganize its forces and prepare for the multi-front war that awaits us. We don’t have a moment to lose.
West Point CTC: The Path to October 7: How Iran Built Up and Managed a Palestinian ‘Axis of Resistance’
Abstract: Since October 7, in the wake of the “al-Aqsa Flood” terrorist attacks by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and other Palestinian factions from across the ideological spectrum, Iran’s aid to and strategic management of these groups has taken on a new level of relevance. The methods Iran has used to cultivate and maintain influence and control over disparate Palestinian groups follows the same pragmatic carrot-and-stick formula it has used across the Middle East with other proxies, with incentives that include financial aid, weapons, and training. The use of sticks was particularly important in Tehran’s restoration of influence over Hamas and PIJ after the Syrian civil war drove a wedge between Palestinian groups and Iran. The withholding of funds and a divide-and-rule approach helped Tehran get these groups back in line. More generally, Iran has worked to create and leverage splinter groups, particularly from the Palestinian Authority’s dominant Fatah Movement, to grow its influence in Gaza and the West Bank. Tehran has also strived to build influence among leftist Palestinian groups to create a broad coalition of partners. And it uses umbrella groups and joint operations rooms to try to bolster the unity and coherence of its Palestinian network.

Iran allows for a level of autonomy among its proxies, but as this article has outlined, Tehran has moved to punish insufficiently obedient groups, allowing them to wither on the vine, or has engineered splinters to weaken them or pressure them into line.

Hamas’ takeover of Gaza served as the means for Iran to absorb splintered factions of Fatah into its orbit. Even if those factions could not be fully controlled, creating a reliance on Iran’s weapons, money, and other forms of political support facilitated their reformation into Iran’s umbrella. By cultivating ties with militant factions with differences with Abbas’ Fatah, Iran was able to recruit manpower to its “Axis of Resistance” and create a pressure point within Fatah. Furthermore, the continued presence of Fatah splinter fighters in Gaza has given Iran leverage to ensure the obedience of Hamas and PIJ. Small and less popular groups such as the PFLP, PFLP-GC, and DFLP were cultivated by Iran as part of a larger umbrella of Tehran-aligned groups, but likely simultaneously served other roles, including countering the Palestinian Authority and if necessary to put pressure on Hamas and PIJ.

As the Israeli offensive continues in Gaza, it is possible some armed Palestinian groups may be forced to shift their center of gravity to Lebanon. This would expose them to even deeper Iranian influence. On December 4, 2023, Hamas’ Lebanon section released a statement calling for the creation and recruitment for the Vanguards of the al-Aqsa Flood (Taliy’ah Tufan al-Aqsa), a group focused on “resisting [Israeli] occupation.”217 Given any armed activities by Hamas in Lebanon would have to be coordinated with Lebanese Hezbollah, these activities would also be subject to a degree of control by the Iranian decision makers that exert influence over Hezbollah. As previously seen with the PFLP, DFLP, and PFLP-GC, groups dependent on using Lebanon or Syria as staging areas have only become more beholden to their masters in Damascus or Tehran.

Even if Hamas and PIJ are militarily defeated in Gaza in the months ahead, Iran would still have many options to work with in both Gaza and the West Bank. As Eurasia Group’s Ian Bremmer stated in an October 31 piece, “The war is radicalizing far more Palestinians than Hamas propaganda ever could.”218 Iran will likely attempt to rebuild its network in Gaza from newly radicalized Palestinians, including among leftist actors, Islamists, and smaller factions they can more strongly control.

In this scenario, it should be expected that Iran will also continue to splinter off groups from Fatah/the Palestinian Authority. On November 5, a mysterious group claiming to represent members within the Palestinian Authority-affiliated security services emerged. Called the Sons of Abu Jandal, the group demanded that Mahmoud Abbas and the PA security forces engage in violence against Israel or revolt against Abbas.219 While no link to Iran has yet been established and the group has since gone quiet, it is these types of splinters that have been exploited by Tehran in the past.

In the months ahead, it is likely that Iran will continue to use the carrots (e.g., funding) and sticks (e.g., fostering splinter groups) in order to maintain and deepen control over its Palestinian “Axis of Resistance.” As Israel’s military campaign in Gaza puts these groups under increasing pressure, Iran’s leverage will only grow. Given Iran has aimed to provide support to a wide range of new and well-established groups, particularly those with more violent dispositions, the radicalizing effect of the war on Palestinians provides fertile terrain for Tehran.
Douglas Murray: Hamas terror tunnels were built with your money
Of course, billions of dollars have been given to them since that time. From a bewildering array of countries. All of whom seem to have thought that they were somehow helping the Palestinians in Gaza. Well, we weren’t.

All of this money was used by Hamas leaders to buy themselves luxury condos in Qatar and other foreign climes. Inside Gaza, almost none of this money went to help Palestinians in Gaza. Rather Hamas used the funds they didn’t pilfer to build this underground terror network which comes out in hospitals, mosques, and other places that the international community regards as sacred, but which Hamas does not.

And why do I say “we”? Because American taxpayers are among the people who were fooled into sending money to these terrorists.

Since 2007, the US has sent over $400 million in taxpayers’ money to Gaza. That is all after the coup where Hamas seized power. These are the official figures released by USAID (United States Agency for International Development. USAID also says that it has paid more than $500 million between 2021 and the end of this year.

That money may also have gone to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. And I can tell you from traveling there many times that I know where our taxpayer dollars went too. They went to the equally corrupt officials of Fatah who built themselves mansions that would cause envy to many homeowners in the Hamptons.

And even that isn’t the end of it. Because the US is also foolish enough to continue to fund the UN agency UNRWA. This is one of the most corrupt entities even at the UN. Which is saying something. And in 2021 alone the US was UNRWA’s largest single donor, shoveling an astonishing $338 million.

Other countries have also been taken for mugs.

The EU is spending more than $100 million in Gaza this year. But even the EU countries don’t give as much money to UNRWA as America does. The US is far and away the biggest donor. The next biggest is Germany with a mere $176 million going annually to the organization. In total, US agencies have funneled billions of dollars to Gaza in recent years. And all of this money has gone not to improving the lives of Palestinians, but to building palaces for Hamas and tunnels for their weaponry and terrorists.

Hamas officials have even said that they regard the tunnels as being for their terrorists. The rest of the world is meant to look after the actual civilians themselves.

I beg to differ. And I also beg American officials to wise up. Our taxpayer dollars have gone to a terrorist group every year since 2007. And now we know what we have got for it. An attack on our allies in Israel.

Want to save money? Here’s one way how.
Herzog: Three times more aid could be entering Gaza if not for UN’s ‘utter failure’
President Isaac Herzog averred Thursday that the United Nations has been failing to keep up with the amount of aid Israel is inspecting, and that the world body is to blame for the little amount of aid entering the Strip even after Israel has opened up its Kerem Shalom crossing to ease the bottleneck.

“Unfortunately, due to the utter failure of the UN in its work with other partners in the region, they have been unable to bring in more than 125 trucks [of aid] a day,” Herzog said in a meeting with visiting French Senate President Gérard Larcher.

“Today it is possible to provide three times the amount of humanitarian aid to Gaza if the UN — instead of complaining all day — would do its job,” Herzog said.

Israel has said that it has been inspecting hundreds of trucks per day at its Kerem Shalom and Nitzana Crossings and that many of the trucks subsequently remain outside Gaza. The UN and Egypt have argued that Israel’s military campaign has made it too dangerous to regularly deliver aid inside and through Gaza.

Benjamin Netanyahu to 'Post': Setting the record straight
On October 7, Israel was brutally attacked by Hamas terrorists. They murdered over 1,200 people, wounded hundreds, and kidnapped over 200 hostages. In the most lethal attack on Jews since the Holocaust, they raped and decapitated women, killed children in front of their parents, burned babies and mutilated bodies.

After the attack, Hamas officials vowed that they would repeat this savagery “again and again and again.” In the face of such an attack and such a threat, eliminating Hamas is a necessary and proportionate response.

Israel responded to the October 7 atrocities by waging a just war of self-defense.

We set clear goals: Destroy Hamas, release our hostages, and ensure that Gaza never again poses a threat to Israel. We are committed to continuing the war until these goals are achieved. Once Hamas is destroyed, Gaza will have to be demilitarized and deradicalized. Those are the pillars for future peace.

Israel is pursuing its military goals in full compliance with international law.

Hamas has been doing upmost to put Palestinian civilians in harm's way
Israel has been targeting Hamas terrorists, not Palestinian civilians. While we have been doing our utmost to keep Palestinian civilians out of harm’s way, Hamas has been doing its utmost to keep them in harm’s way. The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) issued warnings to Palestinian civilians, asking them to evacuate intended combat zones and establish humanitarian corridors for their safe passage; Hamas, on the other hand, has been trying to prevent Palestinian civilians from leaving at gunpoint. We enable food, water, and medicine to enter Gaza for the civilian population; Hamas often diverts and steals these supplies for its use.

Israel did not start this war, but Israel will win it. The sooner we do so the better for Israelis, Palestinians, and for anyone seeking a peaceful Middle East.
Seth Mandel: Who Will Govern the Palestinians?
In a way, this was convenient for Abbas: Another intifada probably would’ve seen him swept out in the tide. At least his dramatically exaggerated reputation as a peace-seeker gave him an excuse to pretend he was being principled.

But Abbas ran out the clock on his own people. A combination of ineptitude, greed, paranoia, and the inability to contain his own boiling Jew-hatred made him as intransigent as Arafat but as formidable as the nickname that so infuriated him: “featherless chicken.”

So with Gazans on the verge of getting a new government, Sinijlawi wants one, too. He does not see an acceptable solution in which Abbas retains power, even in a caretaker role. If he won’t peacefully transfer power to a coalition of those waiting in the wings, Sinijlawi says, the West should bring the hard stuff: empower a post-Hamas governing structure in Gaza after the war and then recognize it as the legitimate Palestinian government.

That is not something the West is going to do. But Sinijlawi’s desire for a tangible, generational change in PA leadership is more than reasonable. In the case of both Hamas and the PA, the West is getting a clear message from Palestinians themselves. Anything less than the complete defeat of Hamas will be a victory for the Arafat/intifada strain of Palestinian opinion from which Western credibility will never fully recover. And handing governance to an unreformed PA will be, as Sinijlawi makes clear, a betrayal of the Palestinians themselves.

Satisfying these demands will be a tall order. But it’ll be far more painful for everyone if the West fumbles the post-Hamas handoff.
UN Security Council acts to boost aid to Gaza after US abstains
The United Nations Security Council on Friday approved a toned-down bid to boost humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and called for urgent steps "to create the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities" after a week of vote delays and intense negotiations to avoid a veto by the United States.

Amid global outrage over a rising Gaza death toll in 11 weeks of war between Israel and Hamas and a worsening humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian enclave, the US abstained to allow the 15-member council to adopt a resolution drafted by the United Arab Emirates.

The remaining council members voted for the resolution except for Russia which also abstained.

Following high-level negotiations to win over Washington, the resolution no longer dilutes Israel's control over all aid deliveries to 2.3 million people in Gaza. Israel monitors the limited aid deliveries to Gaza via the Rafah crossing from Egypt and the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing.

But a weakening of language on a cessation of hostilities frustrated several council members - including veto power Russia - and Arab and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation states, some of which, diplomats said, view it as approval for Israel to further act against Hamas for a deadly Oct. 7 attack.

The adopted resolution "calls for urgent steps to immediately allow safe, unhindered, and expanded humanitarian access and to create the conditions for a sustainable cessation of hostilities." The initial draft had called for "an urgent and sustainable cessation of hostilities" to allow aid access.

Earlier this month the 193-member UN General Assembly demanded a humanitarian ceasefire, with 153 states voting in favor of the move that had been vetoed by the United States in the Security Council days earlier.
Israel accuses UN-OHCHR of blood libel over war crimes claims
Israel responded on Thursday to claims by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights that IDF troops committed war crimes in the Al Remal neighborhood of Gaza City.

In a press release on Wednesday, the UN-OHCHR published a report that accused IDF troops of perpetrating a massacre of unarmed civilians in Gaza City.

The report says that the OHCHR received reports that the IDF summarily killed at least 11 unarmed Palestinian men in front of their family members in the Al Remal neighborhood of Gaza City.

"On 19 December 2023, between 2000 and 2300 hours, IDF reportedly surrounded and raided Al Awda building, also known as the “Annan building”, in Al Remal neighborhood, Gaza City, where three related families were sheltering in addition to Annan family," reads the report.

"According to witness accounts circulated by media sources and EuroMed Human Rights Monitor, while in control of the building and the civilians sheltering there, the IDF allegedly separated the men from the women and children, and then shot and killed at least 11 of the men, mostly aged in their late 20’s and early 30’s, in front of their family members. The IDF then allegedly ordered the women and children into a room, and either shot at them or threw a grenade into the room, reportedly seriously injuring some of them, including an infant and a child. OHCHR has confirmed the killings at the Al Awda building, although the details and circumstances of the killings are still under verification. IDF has not released any information on the incident."

The OHCHR called on Israel to investigate the incident and if the allegations are found to be true, to bring those responsible to justice and implement measures to prevent it from happening again.

Israel responds
Israel responded to the allegations on X (formerly Twitter) calling them "unfounded and devoid of truth." Israel says that the IDF has already carried out an investigation based on the publically available information and found "no record of any operation, nor incident, in the Al Remal neighborhood in Gaza City that would support any of the allegations put forward by OHCHR."
EU adopts 118 million euros aid plan for Palestinian Authority

Daniel Greenfield: Will UN Condemn Israel for Blowing Up ‘Hitler 2’?

Not an international crime to kill soldiers, UN’s Francesca Albanese says of Oct. 7
Francesca Albanese, the United Nations special rapporteur for Palestinian rights, has courted controversy among Israel supporters for her one-sided faulting of Israel for its conflict with the Palestinians and comments she has made which have been widely interpreted as antisemitic. The latter includes frequent comparisons of Israel to the Nazis for the Jewish state’s policies toward the Palestinians.

In a rare extended interview that Francesca Albanese conducted with Jewish media, Albanese sat down with JNS earlier this month in New York and in a video interview.

Albanese made clear that Hamas’s attacks on civilians on Oct. 7 violated international law. JNS asked her repeatedly whether the terror organization was justified in invading Israel and in killing Israeli security forces. “Why is this so unbelievable?” Albanese said. “You seem to be puzzled by this. What is the right to resist?”

The U.N. official also said that Israel and American evangelical Christians weaponize antisemitism in order to silence her and other critics of Israel. Jews who see Israel as a state of the Jewish people have an “obligation” to ensure it “behaves according to international law,” she said.

Q: You have often said that your critics have not really talked about the facts or international law and instead they smear you directly. In a recent interview, you said there has been “a weaponization of antisemitism, which is shocking in recent years. That’s dangerous for the Palestinians. It’s also dangerous for Jewish communities, because it increases their resentment.” You went on to say, “Frankly … we have to let the dogs continue to bark at the airplane a little bit.” What did you mean by “dogs barking at the airplane?”

A: These continuous accusations of antisemitism were very distressing for me, because I come from a country—I feel very strongly about my country’s antisemitic past. And I have so much respect for the Italian—and also beyond—for the Jewish communities for what they have gone through. I always denounced the fact that the Shoah wouldn’t have been possible without the centuries of discrimination.

So being accused of antisemitism, because of my views of the state of Israel—I’m not against the state of Israel. I’m against Israeli policies with the Palestinians. I remember when I was still very upset by these attacks against me, there was an Israeli friend of mine, a lawyer, who reassured me: It looks like it’s dogs barking at an airplane. Eventually you will have to deal with it, in the sense that you are the airplane. Let them bark.

This is the thing. In every country where I go, I meet with Jewish communities—not all of them. I mean, not all Jewish communities are happy to meet with me, because of a number of reasons. But those who meet with me, we are always on the same page in the sense that I stand against any form of racism against anyone.

I will always speak in defense of any Jews, including those who feel very strongly about the State of Israel. It’s their right. I don’t judge. I totally understand what it means for a Jewish person to see the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people. I don’t judge it. I don’t question it. It’s their obligation to make sure that Israel, as a partner of the international community, behaves according to international law. That’s it. [Note: Albanese has compared Israelis to Nazis, among other antisemitic comments.]
‘Standard delusional inversion,’ experts say of responses from UN’s Francesca Albanese to JNS
‘Perverted morality’
Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch and a frequent critic of Albanese, was also taken aback by what Albanese told JNS in the extended interview.

“When she says that thousands of terrorists crossing the border and killing soldiers in their beds is the right of resistance, that’s absurd,” Neuer said. “It’s a crime of aggression and absolutely a violation of international law. She has a perverted morality, whereby she thinks that killing Israelis is always justified.”

Albanese said in an interview with an Australian television station that Israel’s recourse for Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attacks—the bloodiest day for Jews since the Holocaust—included asking the United Nations to demilitarize Hamas or conduct a law enforcement investigation. JNS challenged that suggestion as both nonsensical and impractical and asked the U.N. official several times what recourse Israel had, in her view, for the Oct. 7 massacre.

“Israel has recourse. Israel occupies the Palestinian territory illegally, continuing to colonize the land, to brutalize the people, to let its armed settlers go around and terrorize everyone,” Albanese told JNS. “So excuse me, what did the Palestinians have to do?”

“I’m not justifying what Hamas has done,” she said. “I’m just asking what they are left with.”

Litman noted that if Israel “occupies” Gaza, the Jewish state would have an obligation under international law to disarm Hamas and restore law and order in the territory.

“Albanese’s fantasy version of international law naturally skips over that bit,” the CAMERA analyst said. “The only thing the Palestinians are left with is the one thing they’ve never actually tried: agreeing to the existence of a Jewish state and its right to live in peace and security next to a Palestinian state.”

“They’ve had 75 years of opportunity to do this and instead have consistently chosen the perpetuation of conflict in pursuit of their delusion of the erasure of the Jewish state,” he said.

Neuer told JNS that this is “systematic” for Albanese: “being sort of a wink and a nod to evil actions by Hamas, and then adding some kind of disclaimer saying she’s not justifying them, after she spends half an hour justifying.”

October 7: How Hamas gathered intel on IDF bases, Gaza border towns
Interrogations of Hamas Nukhba terrorists, along with documental and technical intelligence collected by Hamas, paint a grim picture of the organization's intelligence gathering and analysis capabilities.

In investigations conducted by Unit 504 of Israel's Intelligence Division, it has been revealed the extent to which Hamas prepared an extensive intelligence infrastructure ahead of its October 7 attacks, including detailed reports on the IDF's activity in bases and various locations across the country.

According to a military source, Hamas successfully mapped the locations of the Gaza border settlements, military bases, and IDF positions and then trained and focused the Nukhba terrorists on the weak points of all these sites.

They infiltrated Israel, knowing exactly which areas were under less surveillance, where there are observation posts and issues, where the dining rooms and sleeping quarters are located, etc. The same military source claims that Nukhba terrorists knew about the security vulnerabilities of an IDF base located kilometers away from the border.

Another military source reveals that some of the Hamas terrorists held a video of the server room and bunker of a unit in the Intelligence Corps they intended to attack. Specific computers to be taken from the server room were marked in the video.

The IDF holds a rough estimate that the information about those computers reached the terrorists intentionally from an Iranian source.

"The level of their awareness about that Intelligence Corps base in the western Negev slipped us, they knew exactly what they wanted to achieve," explained one of the military sources. "It's amazing to understand the level of their intent before the war. This could be the result of many reasons."
IDF: Israel Has Killed 8,000 Hamas Terrorists Since Start of War
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said Thursday that it has killed 8,000 Hamas members since the terrorist group launched the war on October 7, and that is has killed 2,000 in the past three weeks alone, since Hamas broke a week-long truce with Israel.

IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in his evening briefing (IDF translation from Hebrew):
Our forces continue to intensify ground operations in northern and southern Gaza. Since the end of the operational pause on ground operations in Gaza, our forces have eliminated over 2,000 terrorists from the air, sea, and land. We have increased the number of soldiers fighting in eastern Khan Yunis and are operating there determinedly with five infantry brigades and combat engineering forces, focusing on underground combat to drive out the terrorists, fight them as they emerge, and drain this space of Hamas terrorism.

The Times of Israel added: “This brings the military’s estimates of Hamas fighters killed in the Gaza Strip since the beginning of the war to around 8,000. Another 1,000 Hamas terrorists were killed in Israel on October 7, during the terror group’s onslaught.”

Hamas claimed Thursday that 20,000 Palestinians had been killed since the start of the war. Its estimate was quoted widely by the media, despite the fact that Hamas did not distinguish between terrorists and civilians; between civilians killed by Hamas rocket misfires and those killed when Israel targeted terrorists; and between terrorists killed in Gaza and terrorists killed during their attack on Israel.
IDF troops engage in fierce Gaza battles, seize weapons
The Israeli military is pressing its offensive against Hamas, with troops uncovering and destroying rocket launchers and other weapons stockpiles, the Israel Defense Forces said on Friday morning.

In the central Gaza village of Jahar al-Dikh, soldiers located a Hamas weapons warehouse. They also called in an airstrike to destroy launchers used to fire rockets at Israel.

In Gaza City, forces found mortars and explosives inside a house next to a kindergarten. In a nearby house, a rocket launcher aimed towards Israel was discovered, along with an RPG.

In Khan Yunis, soldiers uncovered military uniforms, explosive charges and combat equipment inside a residential home.

Meanwhile, an Israel Air Force fighter jet directed by ground forces killed a Hamas terrorist planting explosives and struck a terror squad preparing attacks.

Engineering forces destroyed a tunnel from which terrorists had emerged to fire an RPG at troops.

Over the past two days, forces have carried out raids at a school on the outskirts of Al Shati in northern Gaza where terrorists operated. Soldiers found weapons and maps belonging to Hamas.

The developments come a day after the IDF announced it had achieved operational control of the Hamas stronghold neighborhood of Shuja’iyya, in northern Gaza.
How IDF Soldiers Eliminate Hamas Lookouts
Hamas uses drones to gather intelligence and expose locations of IDF forces in Gaza.

They are supplemented by additional surveillance operatives strategically dispersed in key areas.

In response, the Nahal Brigade's specialized reconnaissance unit conducts extensive stakeouts deep within enemy territory to mark Hamas' lookout positions. Other forces then eliminate these threats.

The forces strategically position themselves in advance, discreetly blending into the terrain for extended covert operations.

They often engage in prolonged stakeouts, sometimes spanning 80 hours.

Over 70 terrorists were identified and neutralized through precision fire after these reconnaissance efforts.

In the northern sector of Gaza, the unit successfully identified and eliminated hundreds of surveillance cameras belonging to Hamas.

These devices were concealed within heating ducts on rooftops and even among laundered clothes.
CHILD SHIELDS Moment Hamas commander admits terrorists use their own kids to handle EXPLOSIVES…& shrugs when asked ‘what if they die?
A HAMAS commander told Israeli forces the terror group uses children to deliver explosives and spot IDF tanks.

Mustafa Alkhair, commander of Hamas' Zeitun Battalion, revealed how the terror organisation even uses their own kids to protect themselves amid the brutal war in Gaza.

Captured on December 8, Israeli forces have been questioning Alkhair about the group's brutal methods of child recruitment.

When asked by the interrogator about the possibility of a child dying, Alkhair shrugged and said the terrorists use their kids "in order not to risk your own life".

He told Israeli interrogators they use children they know and trust to report back on IDF presence in the area.

In a horrific revelation he also said Hamas uses children to transport explosives from one place to another.

"For example", he said, "someone wants to bring an explosive charge from one place to another".

"The [IDF] would fire towards a grown up so instead he gives it to a small boy.

"They use those plastic buckets for example that they use for vegetables to hide it.

"And tell the child 'because you are small, go and put this in a certain house, as in, in the entrance to the house and then come back".

"The boy transports it [the explosive] and returns."

The Hamas commander said "80 per cent" of the children sent out under these instructions were done so by close relatives, and claims the terror group was unaware of it until after the war began.

He described "younger ones" as "Jihadists... with Islamic Jihad, Hamas, or another group."

He gave examples of an older male relative telling his 15-year-old cousin to go to a specific location and check for tanks.

"They tell him, for example, to wave a white flag and go to a certain area and see where the [IDF] vehicles are, if there are any and how many vehicles there are.

"They ask the child to describe them.

"If they have artillery or if they don't have artillery. How are they parked? Are there soldiers around the vehicles? Aren't there soldiers around the vehicles?"

Washington Post Publishes Speculative Hit Piece to Muddy the Waters of Israel’s Shifa Hospital Raid

Israeli injured in car-ramming attack
An Israeli Border Police officer was moderately injured on Friday in a Palestinian car-ramming attack in the village of Barta’a, located on the border between Samaria and pre-1967 Israel, close to Harish.

The female victim was taken to the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera for treatment.

Israeli forces arrested two assailants and transferred them for questioning.

On Wednesday, Israel Defense Forces soldiers thwarted a car-ramming attack at the Beit Anoun junction close to Hebron in Judea.

The military said the Palestinian driver had attempted to run over Israeli troops, who neutralized the perpetrator.

An Israeli woman was moderately wounded on Monday in a terror shooting in the Binyamin region of Samaria, north of Jerusalem.

At least one Palestinian terrorist opened fire on the 27-year-old woman’s vehicle as she drove along Route 465 near the Ateret Junction, hitting her in the back.

Her husband, who fired back at the assailants, and their six-week-old baby, who were also in the car, were unharmed.

Jordan intercepts armed drone fired at Israel by Iran-backed Iraqi militia

Israeli doctors: Many of 30 released female hostages were assaulted in Gaza
All released female hostages of childbearing age were subjected to pregnancy tests and screening for sexually transmitted infections

Two Israeli doctors who treated freed hostages, as well as an Israeli military official familiar with the matter, confirmed to American newspaper USA TODAY that some released women revealed that they had suffered violent sexual assaults in captivity. All three spoke on condition of anonymity.

One of the doctors said that among those aged 12 to 48, man of the 30 suffered sexual assault during their captivity at the hands of Hamas in Gaza.

The doctor chose not to detail the specific nature of the assaults, while emphasizing that victims of sexual abuse generally have a four times higher risk of mortality than people who have not suffered such abuse.

He said all released female hostages of childbearing age were subjected to pregnancy tests and screening for sexually transmitted infections.

The second doctor observed that many released female hostages showed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, noting that they came for help as patients deeply traumatized by extremely serious sexual assaults.

An Israeli military official said that just as authorities know that many women were sexually assaulted at the Supernova music festival and in their homes on October 7, "we know that female hostages were raped during their captivity under control of Hamas."

He added that Israel knows that the women still held in Gaza are in "very poor mental and physical conditions."
Hostages’ Family Sues Red Cross Over Ignoring Medical Needs of Captives
Raz Ben Ami, 57, a German-Israeli, was released from Hamas’ captivity on Nov. 29. Together with her husband, Ohad Ben Ami, who remains in Gaza, she was kidnapped by terrorists on Oct. 7 from Kibbutz Be’eri.

During their captivity, the family requested the International Red Cross’ (ICRC) assistance in transferring vital medication as Raz Ben Ami is fighting brain tumors, Israeli media reported. The Ben Amis are now suing the organization that they say rejected their inquiries.

According to the lawsuit, the family appealed to the ICRC representatives in Israel, Germany, and the United States, but received nothing more than an email wishing “reconnecting with their loved ones.”

Shurat HaDin, an Israeli civil rights organization, filed a lawsuit to the Jerusalem District Court accusing the ICRC of not standing up to its responsibilities in its assistance to Hamas’ hostages, namely by not providing the medication it had on hands.

Founder and the President of Shurat HaDin Nitsana Darshan-Leitner stated: “The International Red Cross is reliving its mistakes of the Holocaust, so it abandoned the Jewish people in its darkest period in history. We cannot accept this disregard and disrespect for human life, just because they are Jewish.”

“The International Red Cross is simply biased. It operates on a daily basis in Gaza, has no problem accusing Israel of so-called ‘violations,’ while it doesn’t care about those they kidnapped,” she added.
Red Cross taps controversial former UNRWA commissioner as its new director-general
The Red Cross announced on Friday that it has appointed Pierre Krahenbuhl, a controversial former head of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, as its next director-general.

The Swiss national, with more than 30 years of experience in the humanitarian sector, will take over in April, when current chief Robert Mardini completes his four-year term.

“The Assembly of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has appointed Pierre Krahenbuhl as the organization’s next director-general,” it said in a statement. “He is recognized as a strategic and purpose-driven leader with deep organizational experience and dedication to the ICRC.”

Krahenbuhl, 57, has spent 25 years in prominent roles at the ICRC and is currently serving as secretary-general to the ICRC assembly.

In 2014, Krahenbuhl was appointed commissioner-general of the United Nations agency that supports Palestinian refugees (UNRWA). He resigned from that position in 2019 amid an internal probe into alleged mismanagement and ethical abuses at the organization.

In the end, he was largely cleared of the allegations.

Israel accuses the agency of perpetuating the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by extending refugee status to millions of descendants of Palestinians who fled or were forced out of homes in today’s Israel at the time of the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, rather than limiting such a status only to the original refugees, as is the norm with most refugee populations worldwide.

Israel and other groups have also long argued that UNRWA school materials glorify terrorism and anti-Israel incitement.

Gadi Haggai, 73, is first US citizen confirmed killed by Hamas as a hostage
An Israeli-American is the first U.S. citizen taken hostage who has died in Hamas captivity in Gaza, a group representing the families of Hamas prisoners announced on Friday.

Gadi Haggai, 73, a U.S.-Israeli dual national, was on a walk with his wife Judi Weinstein, 70, near Kibbutz Nir Oz when Hamas began its attack on the morning of Oct. 7. Weinstein was able to call a member of the kibbutz to tell them that she and her husband had been shot, and the two were presumed to be held hostage in Gaza.

The Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum has now announced, however, that Haggai was killed on Oct. 7 and his body taken into Gaza. His wife, who is also a Canadian citizen, is thought to still be alive and a hostage of the terrorist group.

Haggai is the first American hostage to have been killed during the conflict.

“It remains unclear how officials were able to determine he had died in captivity, as Hamas officials do not comment on the death reports,” per the New York Post.

“Haggai, a retired chef and jazz musician, was a father of four and grandfather of seven,” wrote the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto. “His wife, Canadian citizen Judith Weinstein, remains in captivity.”

“Both Gadi and Judith considered themselves pacifists and were committed peace activists. Hamas of course couldn’t care less. Those animals are still holding the body of Gadi and Judith as hostage,” wrote Arsen Ostrovsky, CEO of the International Legal Forum.

“Instead of doing everything to demand Judith’s release, Canada is too busy lecturing Israel, while receiving thanks by Hamas for voting for U.N. ceasefire resolutions that don’t even mention the terror group,” Ostrovsky added.

Will Ripley, senior international correspondent at CNN, got emotional reporting the news: “73-years-old. That’s the same age as my parents,” he said. “Can’t imagine what the families have been going through.”

‘Thanks to you, I’ll sing with new enthusiasm’: Bocelli writes to freed hostage who used his music to endure captivity
On last week’s episode of Channel 12’s Uvda investigative program, 85-year-old Yaffa Adar shared her story of how she survived 49 days in Hamas captivity.

“Every morning, I’d sing Bocelli to myself and say, ‘God, maybe this will bring a good day. Maybe today will bring [my release],'” she recalled, admitting that for a long time that day never came.

The famous Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli learned about the interview and decided to reach out to Adar, penning a letter aired by Uvda on tonight’s program.

“Dearest Madam Yaffa Adar,” he writes.

“I wish I could give you a hug!”

“I would like to thank you for the emotion that your story aroused in all the people who had the privilege to listen to it and especially in me, as, quite incredibly, I am part of it!”

“I truly would never have thought that my humble voice, this great gift I undeservedly received from the heavens, could one day turn out to be so important!”

“There is no award, no applause, no honor or recognition, that is worth as much as your words, which I assure you, I shall never forget.”

“Thanks to you, from now on, I shall sing with renewed enthusiasm, with renewed faith, with new energy.”

“I hope to be able to meet you one day and sing, just for you, whatever you may wish, so as to erase, as much as possible, the painful memory of terrible days, which I cannot even imagine.”

Douglas Murray clashes with Cenk Uygur over Israel-Hamas war
Author Douglas Murray has clashed with The Young Turks founder and host Cenk Uygur over the proportionality of Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry claimed at least 20,000 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Israel launched its offensive, which was in response to the Hamas attack which killed about 1,200 Israelis.

Sky News Australia host Piers Morgan acted as the mediator as the two guests put forward both their arguments.

Mr Murray accused Mr Uygur of “smearing” the Jewish state with claims Israel is committing genocide.

“None of the stats support that ridiculous claim, it's such a weird smear and a libel of Israel,” Mr Murray said.

Mr Uygur, meanwhile, called for “peace and security” for both Israel and Palestine as he accused the IDF of “indiscriminately” killing Gazans.

Nikki Haley to 'Post': UN antisemitism led to October 7 massacre
I’ve seen antisemitism. I confronted it every day at the United Nations. And I know that the Jew-haters try to hide it by saying they only hate Israel.

All it takes is 24 hours at the UN to realize that anti-Zionism is just a modern name for the ancient evil of antisemitism.

The worst-kept secret at the UN is that antisemitism is operating just beneath the surface. I saw it in my first few days on the job as US ambassador to the UN, after I met with Israel’s ambassador. I broke with precedent, putting Israel ahead of many countries that US ambassadors typically meet with first. For me, it was more important to show my support for Israel, one of America’s closest allies and dearest friends.

The UN's anti-Israel bias, antisemitism, and what it leads to
The broader UN views Israel differently. How could I possibly call Israel a friend? They think Israel is a pariah, different somehow from every other country. But what, exactly, makes the world’s only Jewish state different? When you put the question like that, it answers itself.

No other country is treated like Israel. The UN Security Council had a monthly meeting on “the situation in the Middle East,” which was clearly designed to attack Israel. I refused to go along, using the meeting to discuss the actual situation in the Middle East – Iran’s ambitions, Syria’s brutality, and the evil of ISIS. Yet while I covered real threats and crises, other countries singled out Israel for things it doesn’t do. It’s accused of oppressing Palestinians, despite being the only democracy in the Middle East – one that respects the rights of Arabs, Jews, and anyone else who lives within its borders.

For that matter, Israel is singled out for things that every country does. Only Israel is denounced for choosing its capital. Only Israel is censured for defending itself from rocket attacks and suicide bombers. Apparently, it would be better if Jews let themselves be killed. The double standard clearly indicates something deeper at work – something far more hateful.

THIS VEILED antisemitism continues to this day. Last year, the UN General Assembly passed 15 resolutions condemning democratic Israel. It passed 13 resolutions condemning all other countries combined, in a world that includes murderous tyrannies like North Korea, Communist China, and Vladimir Putin’s Russia.

Then there’s the so-called UN Human Rights Council. It has a standing agenda item devoted solely to Israel. No other country gets that kind of treatment. We withdrew the US from the Council because it tolerates and even celebrates antisemitism and blatant human rights abusers. We also pulled out of UNESCO, which denies Jewish heritage, even as it claims to protect diverse cultures. And then there’s UNRWA, which we stopped funding with American taxpayer money. UNRWA teaches Palestinian children to despise the Jews.

Now we know exactly where that leads. October 7, 2023.

The Commentary Magazine Podcast: Revisionist Journalism
Hosted by Abe Greenwald, Christine Rosen, John Podhoretz & Matthew Continetti

Today we discuss how the Washington Post, New York Times, and other outlets are revising their coverage of established facts from the war in Gaza to be even more credulous toward Hamas than they’ve already been.

'We publish it to make people aware': Media Research Institution bridges Middle East language gap
MEMRI President and Co-Founder Yigal Carmon says the goal of his organisation is to “bridge the language gap” between the Arab and Muslim world and the West.

MEMRI stands for Middle East Media Research Institute and was founded in 1997.

“We monitor Arab media and the Muslim media and Arabic and Farsi and Turkish and Urdu and the schoolbooks which are most important,” he said.

“We publish it to make people aware of what they don’t know because it is in other languages.

“Ten years ago, we began also publishing and monitoring the Russian media and five years ago, the Chinese media.”

Ben Shapiro: Hamas Is THANKING Canada!?
A spokesperson for Hamas issued a video thanking the Canadian government for calling for a ceasefire. If Hamas is thanking you for something, you're doing something wrong.

The Israel Guys: How the Palestinian Authority TRICKED the World | EPISODE #5
With the Hamas massacre of October 7, and Israel’s subsequent ground operation to rid Gaza of the brutal terror group, the question arises, who is fit to govern Gaza when the dust settles?

A bit of background: Hamas was elected to power in the Gaza Strip in 2006, overturning 40 years of rival-faction Fatah dominance. After the 2007 Battle of Gaza, Hamas took complete control of the Gaza strip, while the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority maintained their hold on the West Bank.

Many now naturally consider the Palestinian Authority to be the best choice to take over governance of Gaza. Hamas would be gone from power, the PA would move in, Israel wouldn’t have to worry about terrorism, and innocent civilians in Gaza would have a government that truly cares about them, right?

Unfortunately, this is the furthest thing from the truth. Not only does the Palestinian Authority not care for their own people, they are also thoroughly corrupt and just as anti-Israel as Hamas.

Let me be clear, the Palestinian Authority is not the peaceful alternative to Hamas.

All this and more on Episode #5 of Confronting Radicals (Hamas)!

Gen Z’s views on Israel and Jews are a disturbing betrayal of their own values
While some of these messages may stem more from genuine ignorance than opportunistic clout-chasing, the ridiculousness of saying “Cease-fire now” today and “Globalize the intifada” tomorrow is clear to almost everyone.

Contributing to this disconnect among young Americans is their lack of historical knowledge, especially about events like the Holocaust, skewing their perception of conflicts like Israel’s situation in Gaza.

This issue is exacerbated by their reliance on social-media platforms, where simplified, sometimes biased presentations lead to misinformation.

The academic shift toward intersectionality further influences young minds, emphasizing victim-oppressor narratives that oversimplify complex issues — as seen in university presidents’ recent congressional testimonies, reflecting a reluctance to address serious issues like the call for the genocide of Jews.

The emerging blindness of American youth toward Israel and Jews is alarming.

If young Americans hold such views about one of America’s closest allies and the only democracy in the Middle East, it signals a shift away from the values of freedom and liberalism that define America.

Israel’s story is one of self-reliance, democracy and moral integrity amidst immense challenges.

Yielding to moral relativism endangers not only Israel but all Western societies founded on these principles.

Cultivating an informed understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is crucial for American youth.

The enduring alliance between the United States and Israel, founded on shared values of democracy and human rights, necessitates informed engagement from the next generation of American leaders.

In an era where social media often reduce complex issues to simplistic narratives, it’s imperative that young Americans seek deeper, more accurate insights.

Fostering educated, open dialogue is vital for the strength of the US-Israel relationship and for upholding the core values of American society.

‘What is this personal bereavement?’ Sky News host questions Usman Khawaja’s claims
Sky News host Caleb Bond has slammed Australian cricketer Usman Khawaja for wearing a black armband with a reason of “personal bereavement”.

The International Cricket Council has now charged Khawaja for wearing the black armband, but the cricketer is challenging the ICC for the right to show support for Palestine.

“He did it directly after he was told he couldn’t wear these shoes that had written on it, in the colours of the Palestinian flag, ‘all lives are equal’,” Mr Bond said.

“I mean, what is this personal bereavement?

“Does he seriously believe that the ICC and everyone else didn’t think it was a statement of Palestine?”

Pro-Palestinian protesters shout 'Long live Hamas' at Jewish couple during dueling protests in NYC
Two pro-Palestinian protesters shouted “Long live Hamas” in the faces of a Jewish couple during dueling rallies that broke out in front of the New York Public Library Thursday night.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters called for a cease-fire as a crowd of counter-protesters voiced their support for Israel in Midtown Manhattan. At times, the two sides got into face-to-face confrontations as cops tried to keep control of the situation.

In one instance, two pro-Palestinian demonstrators, covered in masks, repeatedly chanted, “Long live Hamas” and waved Palestinian flags in front of the Jewish couple as police officers directed the pro-Palestinian pair to move away, according to footage captured at the scene.

Some pro-Israel demonstrators waved the Jewish state’s blue-and-white flag and held signs that stated, “No ceasefire, eliminate Hamas,” on their side of the street, according to photos from the scene.

Another pro-Israeli demonstrator, dressed in a pullover akin to the Israeli flag, was seen carrying a ripped-up flyer with a swastika on it. It was not clear what the flyer was for or where it came from.

Protests have been an ongoing event in the Big Apple since Hamas killed 1,200 Israelis and kidnapped more than 200 on Oct. 7. Israel’s government quickly launched a military campaign in the strip of land, vowing to eradicate the terror group.

Multiple organizations came together to condemn Israel, including New York City’s Democratic Socialist of America chapter, which previously faced heat for promoting a pro-Palestine rally the day after the terror attack.

The pro-Palestinian demonstrators reportedly marched around other parts of Midtown during the Thursday night protest after leaving the library.

They stopped at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee offices on 3rd Avenue and projected the names of New York elected officials who have accepted campaign donations from the pro-Israel political action committee on the side of the building while also accusing them of funding “genocide.”

“Money money you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide,” protesters chanted.

Jewish tourists attacked and accused of ‘killing babies’ in Spain

Woman putting up hostage posters in London kicked as attacker shouts ‘are you a Zionist?’
Jewish volunteers were physically and verbally attacked as they put up posters of missing hostages.

One man pushed a woman to the floor and kicked her in one incident on Thursday. In a separate one, a woman said she supported the proscribed terror group Hezbollah whilst confronting several volunteers.

During the first incident in Chalk Farm, a male suspect approached a group of five volunteers who were putting up posters.

According to video footage obtained by the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), he told them: “I will slap your face. I will slap your face right now, you understand? If you film me as well, I’ll slap you.”

He asked the group four times: “Are you a Zionist?” before he pushed a woman to the ground and kicked her.

A witness said the man targeted a visibly religious woman. They added: “He proceeded to throw the woman to the ground twice, smash her phone and repeatedly strike her face.”

She had to be treated by paramedics.

The same group of volunteers were also confronted by a woman outside Camden Town Station earlier on Thursday.

The woman asked the group “Are you Zionist” and then said: “I’m pro-Hezbollah. Long live Hezbollah. Long live Palestine."

Bay Bridge Anti-Israel Protesters’ Supporters Demonstrate Against San Francisco DA’s Decision to Charge Them
Just before Thanksgiving, Professor Jacobson reported that approximately 80 anti-Israel protesters were arrested and cars towed away after they blocked all westbound lanes of the Bay Bridge.

Subsequently, I reported that San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said her office would charge all of the arrested protestors after halting traffic during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference in November.

Now demonstrators are protesting the DA’s decision.

Supporters of the 80 people arrested for blocking the Bay Bridge last month packed San Francisco’s Hall of Justice on Monday for the protesters’ first court appearance, railing against District Attorney Brooke Jenkins for pursuing a series of misdemeanor charges and renewing calls for a cease-fire in Gaza.

More than 150 people gathered for an initial rally on the rain-soaked steps of the courthouse before heading inside for the hearing, crowding into the hallway outside of a second-floor courtroom while chanting, “Let us in!”

The protesters were clearly pro-Hamas. Fortunately, Jenkins seemed unmoved by the drama.

Buy the EoZ book, PROTOCOLS: Exposing Modern Antisemitism  today at Amazon!

Or order from your favorite bookseller, using ISBN 9798985708424. 

Read all about it here!




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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 19 years and 40,000 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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