Thursday, February 08, 2024

From Ian:

Amb. Alan Baker: The Two-State Solution: Nothing More than Wishful Thinking
The hopeless, corrupt, failed, and incompetent Palestinian Authority is no more capable of administering Gaza than it has been capable of administering the West Bank areas.

One wonders how and why serious international leaders continue to spout the absurd "two states" cliche as if it were a sort of magical panacea that, if repeated often enough, will somehow magically move out of the sphere of wishful thinking. It is inconceivable to imagine that a viable, peace-loving Palestinian political entity could materialize out of the present Middle East realities.

The idyllic vision of "two states living side by side peacefully" has never in fact been agreed to by the involved parties themselves - the Palestinians and Israelis. On the contrary, as agreed in the still valid Oslo Accords, the permanent status of the territories remains an open negotiating issue.

The accords make absolutely no mention of any Palestinian state entity. As such, repetition of the call for a "two-state solution" both prejudges the potential, future outcome of a permanent status negotiating process and seriously underestimates regional realities.

Clearly, a two-state solution could not be imposed on unwilling parties. It could only emanate from a negotiated settlement between Israel and a unified, fully representative, responsible, and capable Palestinian leadership, and not a conglomeration of terror groups.

A politically and economically unstable and non-viable Palestinian entity would represent an open invitation to more Iranian meddling and intrusion in much the same way as is occurring in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen. This would constitute a constant and even greater threat both to Israel's security, as well as to regional and international stability.
Daniel Greenfield: Rewarding the Oct 7 Massacres With a ‘Palestinian’ State
What do you get when you massacre over a thousand people, rape, behead, torture and kidnap everyone Jewish, Christian or non-Arab in sight? International diplomatic recognition.

Secretary of State Tony Blinken has reportedly begun conducting a review of options for recognizing a ‘Palestinian’ state after the war. The State Department has claimed that there are no policy changes, but that may be yet more diplomatic doubletalk.

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron, brought in after PM Rishi Sunak ousted Minister Suella Braverman for speaking out against the pro-Hamas rallies, published an op-ed calling for a “pause” in the fighting, exchanging Israeli hostages for captured Hamas terrorists, and providing “safe passage” to “key Hamas leaders” and “the people responsible for October 7” to leave Gaza. After that he announced that his government might recognize an Islamic terror state.

“We – with allies – will look at the issue of recognising a Palestinian state, including at the United Nations,” he claimed. “That could be one of the things that helps to make this process irreversible.”

Why the urgent need for the “irreversible” recognition of a terror state?

According to Cameron, “we must give the people of the West Bank and Gaza the political perspective of a credible route to a Palestinian state and a new future.”

The “people” in question have already been polled on what they want from the future.

A poll found that 74% of ‘Palestinians’ supported the Hamas atrocities of Oct 7 and a majority “extremely” supported them. Only 12% were against. 83% of those in the West Bank, under the Palestinian Authority and the immediate beneficiaries of statehood, supported the crimes.

98% in Gaza and the West Bank said that they felt ‘pride’ as ‘Palestinians’ over the war. 74% expected the fighting to end with the defeat of Israeli forces in Gaza. Only 17% supported a two-state solution while 77.7% wanted to destroy Israel and replace it with a ‘Palestinian’ state.

This is what supporting the “Palestinian people” with a “Palestinian state” really means.
Seth Mandel: Can Biden and Blinken Stay Out of Their Own Way?
After his prepared remarks, Blinken was asked by an Al-Jazeera reporter: “Is it in any way acceptable to the U.S. for Hamas to be playing a role in governing Gaza in a day-after scenario?”

Blinken gave a one-word answer: “No.”

He also repeated throughout his remarks that it was his job to help construct a path toward a better Middle East but not to tell Israel what to do.

The upshot of all this is that Blinken clearly used his meetings and his public remarks today to try to reset the vibe after getting on the Saudis’ nerves yesterday and earning a public rebuke. He did not frustrate his hosts today.

Indeed, Netanyahu sounded a triumphant note in his own presser. Hamas’s latest counteroffer in the hostage talks was dismissed by Blinken several times today as a “nonstarter,” so Netanyahu was unburdened from the perception that he’s the intransigent party.

“The victory is within reach,” Netanyahu said, referring to Israeli forces’ continued gains in the Hamas stronghold city of Khan Younis. Throughout his comments, Netanyahu returned time and again to an important point: The only message that matters right now is “Hamas must go,” because any wavering on this—especially, though he did not say so explicitly, by the U.S.—makes postwar planning impossible.

This is key. If regional actors—the Saudis, Egypt, Jordan (which has a large Palestinian population)—think America is wavering on the total defeat of Hamas and the expulsion of its leaders, they simply won’t commit to facilitating the transition in Gaza. Nobody’s going out on that limb if they think there’s a chance Biden will cut it down. Nor would they want to commit manpower to any civil administrative role if they think they’ll “get a bullet in the head” from remnants of Hamas left behind, as Netanyahu put it today.

The same is true for any Saudi normalization deal with Israel, since Hamas has shown it can torpedo any progress at will. “There will be no agreement if Hamas is not defeated,” Netanyahu said.

The postwar goals that are so dear to the Biden administration are only possible if a united front leads to complete victory. Every day that is spent by Biden or Blinken sowing doubts about Israel’s mission or showing impatience is a day spent undermining normalization and obstructing any path to Palestinian self-determination. Israel is currently in the process of removing the roadblock to the Biden administration’s wish list.

The schizophrenic policy whereby the White House impedes the fulfillment of its own demands is wearing out its welcome. Today Blinken’s message was clear, and it was in line with the intent of our Mideast allies. But those allies need to believe the same will be true tomorrow, and the day after that.

PM: Absolute victory within reach; surrender to Hamas demands would bring disaster
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Hamas’s “delusional” conditions for a new hostage deal on Wednesday, arguing that only military pressure will secure the release of the Israelis being held captive in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking with reporters during a press conference in Jerusalem, Netanyahu insisted that he had made no specific promises regarding the release of Palestinian security prisoners with blood on their hands, or any ratio for Palestinian prisoners to be freed in return for hostages in a potential deal, declaring that Israel “has not committed to anything.”

“There is supposed to be some kind of negotiation via the intermediaries. But right now, given what I see from the response by Hamas [to the Israel-backed framework for talks on a deal], they’re not there,” he said.

“Surrender to Hamas’s delusional demands, that we’ve just heard, not only would not bring about the freedom of the hostages, but it would only invite an additional slaughter; it would invite disaster for Israel that no Israeli citizens want,” he said.

Hamas proposed a ceasefire plan that would see a four-and-a-half-month truce during which hostages would be freed in three stages, and which would lead to an end to the war, Reuters reported, in response to a proposed outline sent last week by Qatari and Egyptian mediators and backed by the United States and Israel.

Addressing his comments to the families of the hostages, Netanyahu insisted their return remains a top priority and that “continued military pressure is an essential condition for the freeing of the hostages.”

Netanyahu said that he told visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken today that Israel is “within touching distance of absolute victory,” and that Hamas’s defeat will be the “victory of the entire free world.”

“The victory is within reach,” he stated, predicting that the war would be won in a “matter of months” rather than years or decades.

Jerusalem considering Arafat-style exile for Sinwar, Deif
Israeli leaders are considering the idea of exiling Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar in exchange for the release of all hostages held by the terrorist group and an end to its governance of the territory.

Six Israeli officials and senior advisers confirmed to NBC News on Thursday that Jerusalem would be willing to allow the exit from Gaza of the mastermind of the Oct. 7 massacre.

Sinwar is believed to be hiding in the vast tunnel systems underneath Khan Yunis and Rafah, surrounded by hostages used as human shields.

In addition to Sinwar, Hamas “military wing” commander Mohammed Deif and four other top leaders of the terrorist group would be sent into exile.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed in November that the Mossad national intelligence agency has orders to kill the top leadership of Hamas anywhere in the world. Saleh al-Arouri, Judea and Samaria commander for Hamas, was killed by an Israeli strike in Beirut in early January.
Congress ramps up pressure on Qatar to push Hamas toward more realistic hostage deal
US lawmakers demanded Qatar harden its leverage with Hamas leadership during a bipartisan news conference Wednesday morning with a delegation of Knesset members and hostage families alongside them.

This increased pressure on Qatar from Capitol Hill comes as the White House acknowledged reviewing the proposal Hamas brought to the negotiating table, which President Joe Biden called it "a little over the top."

Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Shultz (D-FL) echoed Biden, telling The Post it's a "rather astonishing proposal."

"The president's being diplomatic; I wouldn't be so diplomatic," Wasserman-Shultz said to The Post.

During the news conference, Wasserman-Shultz said various countries who have interest in remaining a friend of the United States have "various levers that can be pulled."

She said there are specific actions that can be taken country by country to begin ratcheting up the pressure.

Wasserman-Shultz said the appropriations process is wrapping up, and she'd like to see a supplemental bill that gives the US an opportunity to apply pressure as congress goes through the process of passing it. She also said there's the imminent fiscal year 2025 appropriations process that can be used to apply pressure to other countries.

"There is no doubt in my mind that the United States is going to be the catalyst that will help bring an end to the nightmare that these families are facing, that Israel and many other countries around the world, including ours, faces as a result of Hamas' intention of being hell-bent on eradicating Israel, eradicating Jews, and eradicating any Jewish allies," Wasserman-Shultz said.
Blinken should know PA just as bad as Hamas rule in Gaza - opinion
Yesterday, Secretary of State Anthony Blinken declared, "Israelis were dehumanized in the most horrific way on October 7." (JPost)

Blinken's statement demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of what happened on October 7 and calls into question whether he can effectively mediate a solution since he doesn't understand the problem. Palestinians did not dehumanize Israelis on October 7.

The Palestinian Authority has been dehumanizing Jews and Israelis since the launching of the Oslo process. What happened on October 7 was the Palestinian population led by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah, implementing what they believe Jews and Israelis deserve after 28 years of their leaders dehumanizing Jews.

Just three months before the Oct. 7 atrocities, the most important Palestinian religious figure, Mahmoud Al-Habbash, Mahmoud Abbas' advisor on religious affairs and the PA Supreme Shari'ah Judge, warned Palestinians about the danger of Jews whom he defined as people who "have left the path of humanity and followed Satanity. Satanity is an exit from humanity … Satan does not have to be in the form of a demon, hidden; he can also be in your form, but he is Satan. In the form of man, but he is Satan." [Official PA TV, July 7, 2023] Satan in Islam is the source of all evil in the world. Fighting and killing the Satan-Jew is not only an act of self-defense for Palestinians but is making the world a safer place.

In an earlier sermon, that same Abbas advisor said Jews on the Temple Mount are "grazing herds of humanoids, people or creatures that Allah created in the form of humans… those whom Allah has cursed and with whom He became angry and made of them apes and pigs." [Quran 5:60] He therefore urged Muslims to visit the Al-Aqsa Mosque so that it does not remain "the prey of humanoids." [Official PA TV, Sept. 30, 2022]

Three times in the first half of 2023, official PA TV broadcast the opinions of Palestinian researcher Muhammad Al-Yahya, who explained: "Jews are by nature arrogant, do not accept the other… The Europeans hated them and wanted to get rid of them, so the European countries ... had the idea of establishing a Jewish state for the Jews … Their [Jewish] thinking is based on racism that caused them to be hated everywhere… In the Protocols of the Elders of Zion … there is a sentence that they are fulfilling that has caused them to be hated by all peoples … The pure Jew has the outlook that he is of the people chosen by God." [Official PA TV, Returning, Jan. 17, 2023 and Feb. 27, 2023, May 14, 2023]

On October 17, Palestinian political commentator Kamal Zakarneh explained on PA TV that Western nations support Israel because "Europe and America – succeeded in getting rid of the Jews, whom they themselves view as human waste, and they threw them out into Palestine... They don't want [a weak Israel which will cause] reverse migration now and their [Jews'] return to Europe again." [Official PA TV, Oct. 24, 2023]
Daily Kickoff February 8, 2024
Efforts by U.S. legislators and others on the left to center their criticism of Israel’s war policies on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his need to keep his right-wing coalition together — as Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have frequently done — ignore that Netanyahu has the backing of his politically diverse war cabinet, and is also acting in line with the priorities of a majority of Israelis, who overwhelmingly support a continuation of the war until Hamas is no longer governing Gaza.

One statement by Blinken proved especially controversial: “Israelis were dehumanized in the most horrific way on October 7. The hostages have been dehumanized every day since. But that cannot be a license to dehumanize others.”

Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren understood the statement as Blinken “inaccurately, unfairly, and libelously” accusing Israel of dehumanization, which “dehumanizes us and contributes to the delegitimization of Israel and the demonization of Jews worldwide.”

“Thank you, Secretary Blinken, for resupplying us with ammunition and standing up for our right to self-defense, but without legitimacy, we will be hard-pressed to use that ammo or exercise that right. Dehumanizing us endangers our security and possibly our existence,” Oren added.

Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-TN)posted in response that “Israel is taking extraordinary measures under the laws of armed conflict — unlike Hamas & other Iran-backed Palestinian terrorists who perversely hide behind civilians [and] seek to maximize death tolls. It’s slander for Blinken to suggest any moral equivalency here.”

Behind closed doors, Blinken emphasized his personal emotional distress over the humanitarian situation in the coastal enclave. In a meeting with Netanyahu, the secretary of state said, according to Israel’s Channel 13, that he was “shocked by Oct. 7 and committed to preventing something like this from happening again.” However, Blinken added, “We must recognize the reality that entire families not connected to Hamas were harmed.”

“Every day for the rest of my life I will ask myself about the thousands of children killed in Gaza,” Blinken stated.

The remark was reportedly met with many raised eyebrows in the room, with Netanyahu responding that “Hamas, which acts within the civilian population, is responsible.”

Political commentator Yaakov Bardugo, who has close ties to Netanyahu, told Channel 14 that, despite those public remarks, the meeting with Blinken went smoothly, because “he didn’t succeed in hitting the brakes on the war, which was his goal.”

However, Bardugo added, Blinken is expressing “the great dissonance between what is happening in Israel and the American elections,” and that the secretary of state is “unable to read Israeli society.”

Minutes after Blinken’s press conference, Netanyahu released a video in English to emphasize that the war would go on until “total victory.” He noted that Israel “shattered 18 out of 24 Hamas battalions and [is] mopping up the remaining terrorists with ongoing raids,” and said that they will “soon go into Rafah, Hamas’ last bastion” – a step about which the Biden administration has expressed concern.

“Total victory over Hamas will not take years. It will take months. Victory is within reach,” he said.

60 Percent of Gaza Aid Ends Up with Hamas
The internal debate in the government over whether to allow humanitarian aid to Gaza has taken on a new intensity. Israel Hayom can reveal based on talks between military sources and political figures, that about 60% of the aid entering the strip eventually ends up with Hamas.

In Rafah, which has not yet been conquered by the IDF, Hamas controls all of the humanitarian aid entering the city.

In light of these figures, ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot from the State Party have suggested suspending humanitarian aid for a short period until an alternative mechanism to the current one can be established. Israel Hayom reported earlier this month that the government is working on a plan under which the IDF will provide humanitarian aid directly to Gazans rather than through agencies that deal with Hamas.

"Even 10% of humanitarian aid reaching Hamas is very serious, so 60% is really bad," says a senior official involved in discussions. "It means that more than half the population in Gaza is still eating from Hamas' hand. This is an event that threatens the entire military achievement and the goal of collapsing Hamas."

Some in the cabinet have criticized the arrival of humanitarian aid to Hamas. According to those ministers, such a reality has emerged because the Israeli government is dragging its feet on making decisions about how to act on the ground right now.

How the Gaza War Changed Israel's Vision of Security
On March 27, 2002, a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 30 Israelis who had just sat down for a festive Passover Seder, after a month which saw more than 100 Israelis murdered by Palestinians in attacks across the country. That same evening, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon ordered the Israel Defense Forces to come up with a plan to change the paradigm.

Two days later Israel launched a full-scale offensive in the West Bank known as Operation Defensive Shield. The results of the offensive, which saw the Israeli military return to all the Palestinian cities it had evacuated a few years earlier as part of the peace process, have been felt now for 22 years.

Israel did not defeat Hamas and Islamic Jihad back then. What it did was create a new security reality in which it can operate with freedom when and where it wants to. This is worth keeping in mind when thinking about a possible end to the ongoing war in Gaza.

What Israel has essentially done is create the conditions needed to be able to continue to operate in Gaza in the months and years ahead, just as the IDF has been doing since 2002 in the West Bank.

The U.S. and Europe will not like this, but will need to understand that Israel does not have a choice. The war, forced on Israel by the brutal Hamas massacre of 1,200 people, changes the way that the Jewish state will conduct security going forward. Israel no longer believes in the idea that high and thick fences will protect it or contain a threat like Hamas. Today it understands that security requires a strong offense just as much as a powerful defense.
IDF intel proves Yahya Sinwar does not care for Palestinians, Gallant charges
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar "cares only for himself" as Gazans continue suffering, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said after visiting the Military Intelligence Directorate's Document and Technical Means Collection Unit on Thursday.

In his visit, Gallant received a briefing of documents and intelligence gathered by troops in Gaza, most notably the recent discovery of documents detailing the transfer of upwards of $150 million from Iran to the Hamas terror leader.

The documents, which the IDF said proved direct cooperation and communication between the Islamic Republic and Hamas, show that Sinwar received regular funding from Iran between 2014 and 2020.

IDF intel gathered 'dismantles Hamas's goals' - Gallant
Gallant said that, while Israel had known for years that Iran was transferring money to Hamas, info gathered proved exactly "how much and when the funds were moved, to which hands...what we are seeing here is that Yahya Sinwar cares only for himself.

"Out of millions of dollars received, a million goes to him," Gallant continued. "He puts what he needs in his pocket. As Hamas fights a war of crime and murder, Sinwar celebrates with his family. This is over.

"The information coming from combat soldiers in Gaza is incredible," Gallant said in his visit. "We have an enormous volume of material, in computers and on paper. This information is decoded by the IDF and Shin Bet's best experts."

Gallant claimed that Israel is learning "very interesting things," as intel gathered by the IDF "dismantles Hamas's goals."

Inside the Hamas Tunnels that Concealed Militant Leaders and Israeli Hostages
Beneath the rubble of a bombed-out residential neighborhood in Khan Yunis lies a subterranean complex built to shelter senior Hamas leaders and hold Israeli hostages.

An access shaft hidden in an unassuming family home leads to a sophisticated underground warren with several kitchens, fitted out with gas stoves and refrigerators, as well as sleeping quarters and bathrooms.

The tunnels I saw appeared to have been abandoned with relative haste. Dishes remained in the sinks. A trash basket was filled with discarded medical supplies.

After twists and turns, the tunnel opened into a living complex with tiled floors, walls and ceilings. Rooms were equipped with electric fans to deal with the stifling heat and humidity.
Seth Frantzman: Hamas stronghold in Gaza's Rafah is key to its survival - analysis
For Hamas, holding on to Rafah is key. It needs to control humanitarian aid because this is how it controls the people of Gaza. It has worked over the years to create a symbiotic partnership with international organizations, so that it is able to build tunnels and store weapons throughout Gaza and it outsources much of the aid work aboveground to internationals. In this way Hamas benefits and the international organizations also benefit because they get to claim they are responsible for helping people.

A telling Guardian article on January 30, reveals the role of Hamas in relation to international organizations. It notes that “a senior UN official described Rafah, the southernmost town in Gaza, as ‘the last remaining place with any real civil order’ due to the presence of local Hamas police.” Notice how Hamas, which committed a genocidal attack on Israel, massacring civilians and dragging hostages back to Gaza, is presented as “civil order.” The terrorist group that stores rockets and weapons in schools and homes, is “civil order.”

The article reveals more of this trend of Hamas being portrayed in a positive light by international organizations that work with and rely on it. “Hamas administrators and police maintain firm control of the south, where much of the population is concentrated, though civil order is breaking down in central regions,” the article notes. A “senior humanitarian official” told The Guardian that “You still see Hamas police in different areas who have a grip to some extent on law and order in some places, including in the north.” Hamas, which launched a war on Israel and has brought destruction on Gaza and runs it as an authoritarian state is portrayed as “law and order.” It’s clear the international organizations have a preference for Hamas rule.

The article goes on to note that “aid agencies trying to distribute food, fuel and other essentials to the displaced in southern Gaza continue to deal with Hamas-appointed officials. Hamas still provides police escorts for convoys.” Another international organization member of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Gaza is quoted as saying “there is a generalized breakdown of law and order. Criminality overall is increasing.” Note here, that Hamas which holds hostages in tunnels underground is not described as “criminality,” rather it is other Gazans.

Hamas is often praised in these Guardian accounts for providing “aid convoys” with “armed escorts.” One quote notes “aid convoys are receiving armed escorts. It is unclear if these are Hamas police, who are still present and visible, or private security companies. There is a fine line between where one starts and the other stops.”

The portrayal here of Hamas as the “law and order” in Gaza and the positive spin it receives for putting armed men in charge of humanitarian aid is key to understanding how the Hamas stranglehold on Rafah keeps it in power. Hamas must control the spigot to continue working with various international organizations. Hamas and these organizations have become mutually dependent. The Hamas one-party terror state lets the agencies operate and in return, like a mafia selling protection, they put armed men around humanitarian aid convoys.
12 Smuggling Tunnels from Sinai Still Operational
Israeli officials insist that underground tunnels in Rafah on the Egyptian border are a key route for smuggling weapons and materiel into Gaza, and that establishing more control over the border is key to demilitarizing Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza.

Israel told Egypt there are at least 12 tunnels left between Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, Egyptian officials said.

"Without finishing in Rafah, it's impossible to talk about changing the reality with Gaza," said Michael Milshtein, former head of Palestinian affairs for Israeli military intelligence.

"Leaving Rafah an open gate between the world and Gaza means that Hamas immediately will start reconstruction of its military capacities."
Deep underground: A look at the IDF's campaign inside Hamas tunnels
At the outset of subterranean warfare, the directive was clear: don't enter tunnels, just blow up the entrances; But the IDF understood that to cut off the head of the snake they needed to go inside; Since then, a vast maze spanning at least 750 kilometers has been the backdrop for the pursuit of senior Hamas figures including Yahya Sinwar, who constantly moves around with the hostages as human shields

Until the seizure of materials in Hamas facilities in Gaza City, we were unaware of the true extent, structure, and purpose of the underground systems that the organization had dug throughout the Gaza Strip. The Intelligence Corps also did not recognize their vast scope and sophisticated structure, primarily in Khan Younis. It was only when intelligence personnel began extracting information from seized documents in Gaza that it became clear that Yahya Sinwar, Mohammed Deif, and other leaders of Hamas had prepared for the possibility of an Israeli ground incursion into the Strip following the attack into Israeli territory.

Indeed, when the IDF began incursions into Gaza City, Sinwar and his comrades fled from the subterranean Hamas command centers of northern Gaza to the compounds in Khan Younis where they likely remain with the hostages. Now, IDF special forces are pursuing the group in the labyrinth of branching tunnels while the Hamas leadership flees and remains in constant motion with their human shields.

The IDF believes that subterranean warfare may directly lead to the release of captives, although not all at once, and primarily it generates pressure on Sinwar to hasten a ceasefire or at least a cessation of hostilities. John Spencer, head of the Urban Warfare Division at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, argues that Hamas' goal in constructing the tunnel network was initially to buy time until Israel was compelled to cease the fighting, allowing Hamas to survive.

Therefore, Hamas also built its resistance facilities above and mainly beneath the ground, within and beneath residential buildings and community structures that the Gazan population relies on daily and finds refuge in during wartime. This is why the main tunnel facilities are located beneath hospitals, schools, mosques, clinics and UN facilities.

Hamas learned from the IDF operational pattern, which operates within the boundaries of international law, allowing combat and targeting of civilian facilities only if they have a clear military value or use. Hamas aimed to cause casualties among "non-combatants" so that the Americans and the UN would force Israel to cease. In the IDF, it was immediately understood that this was Hamas' goal. Therefore, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi emphasized in their statements that the fighting would be prolonged, lasting at least a year. This was a message to Sinwar that his strategy this time would not succeed.

How IDF big data saved Israeli mourners from mass casualty Hamas attack
The IDF Lotem Technology Unit's big data collection and analysis capabilities are being applied to the Gaza war.

On Oct. 17, at a time when Hamas was still firing hundreds of rockets per day, including large numbers toward Rishon Lezion, Lotem analysts broke down Hamas rocket firing patterns to determine where they would most likely place their rocket launchers to hit a funeral procession of the extended Zohar family in Rishon Lezion for family members killed by Hamas at Nahal Oz.

The analysis led to concrete attacks by the IDF against Hamas targets.

There were other cases where the IDF utilized big data to redirect firepower at specific areas on a predictive basis of where Hamas rocket launchers would be located.

In another specific case, Lotem traced a pattern of rockets being fired toward Israel from a mosque and a school in a Gaza civilian area and was able to target the rocket-launching crews.

Before the IDF invaded Gaza, Lotem analyzed where Hamas was likely to position its forces to be able to attack soldiers as they entered critical areas.

The IDF was then able to preemptively target these areas, paving the way for a much cleaner entry by IDF ground forces into Gaza with much fewer casualties than had been anticipated.

Lotem also enabled the IDF to preemptively target parts of Gaza where Hamas would need to place its rocket launchers to try to strike IDF mass staging areas near the border before the troops would enter.

Is Hamas manipulating Palestinian death figures in Gaza?
Hamas has been regularly accused of manipulating the death count in Gaza throughout the war, but with independent verification being nearly impossible, such accusations have been hard to prove.

The Washington Institute for Near East Policy released a report at the end of January that attempted to show the discrepancies in the official fatality report's figures, and that such discrepancies were most likely caused by manipulations.

The report begins by stating that Hamas's figures have been previously quite similar to both the UN's official figures and Israel's figures, which is why they have been given so much credence by international organizations, however reporting since the start of the ground invasion on October 27 has become less rigorous and less reliable.

President Biden questioned the figures released before the ground invasion, saying he doesn't doubt that innocents have been killed but that he has "no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using."

Reports before the ground invasion seem to have been accurate, with all but 281 fatalities having identification numbers, genders, and ages.

The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry stopped reporting fatalities on November 10, resuming its reports on December 2, although with significantly less detail.

The report suggests that reports for all fatalities after November 10 lack credibility due to their reliance on "reliable media sources," which the report says are largely composed of news clips found online or on TV. UN reports have not mentioned that they rely on such media reports for their data.

Israel begins shift to domestic ammunition production
In the wake of the ongoing war against Hamas and its exposure of Israel’s near total dependence on the United States to replenish its stocks of ammunition, Israel has begun shifting toward greater domestic ammunition production.

The Israeli Defense Ministry has begun reaching out to local defense companies to boost production lines and place orders that will ensure they churn out ammunition for years to come, as a top priority.

The ministry saw domestic production as a priority even before the war, but the issue has now risen to the top of the national agenda.

“The lesson from the war in Ukraine and against Hamas is identical: Israel must significantly increase the arsenal with which it enters the campaign,” a former defense official told JNS.

This includes a variety of arms, ranging from Iron Dome interceptors to sophisticated guided air-to-ground munitions and artillery shells. Tank shells could also be a candidate for domestic production.

Yet not everything can be moved to Israel. Military aircraft will continue to be made in the United States.

Drone strike kills senior Hezbollah terrorist in Lebanon
At least one Hezbollah terrorist was killed in an apparent Israeli drone strike in Nabatieh in Southern Lebanon on Thursday afternoon, Sky News Arabia reported.

The target of the strike was identified by Sky News as Abbas al-Dabs, also known as Hajj Abdullah, a senior Hezbollah “military” commander from Nabatieh.

According to a 2022 report by Israeli analysts, al-Dabs helped build Iran’s aerial capabilities in Syria, working alongside officers of Tehran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

While the Jewish state fights Hamas terrorists to the south, Iran-backed Hezbollah has been testing the waters in recent months, initiating a series of fire exchanges. Since Oct. 7, four Israeli civilians and nine soldiers have been killed in attacks on the northern border.

Earlier on Thursday, three Israeli soldiers were wounded in Kiryat Shmona by an anti-tank missile Hezbollah fired from Lebanon.

One of the soldiers sustained serious injuries while the other two were lightly hurt, according to the Israel Defense Forces. All three were evacuated to the hospital and their families were notified.

In response, Israeli Air Force fighter jets struck Hezbollah terrorist infrastructure in the Al-Khyam area in Southern Lebanon, from where the attack was launched.

IDF kills Palestinian who fired on post in Samaria
An Israeli soldier narrowly escaped serious injury when a bullet ricocheted off his helmet on Wednesday as a Palestinian terrorist opened fire.

The terrorist attack took place at a military post at the entrance of the village of Deir Sharaf, located near Nablus (Shechem) in Samaria.

IDF forces shot and killed the terrorist.

The Rescuers Without Borders emergency service reported that the terrorist was killed and that two more Palestinians were wounded in the attack, possibly by the assailant’s gunfire.

No Israeli personnel were injured, according to the military.

“A terrorist armed with a gun arrived at the Deir Sharaf checkpoint at the entrance to Nablus and fired at our forces. A force under the command of Battalion 7037 eliminated the terrorist. Battalion 7037 was recruited on October 7 and has been here until now, and will be here as long as necessary to protect the residents of the sector,” said Maj. (res.) D. (his name was not provided for security reasons), commander of a company in the battalion.

US Takes Out Iran-Backed Terrorist Commander in Iraq
A commander from Kataib Hezbollah, an Iran-backed armed group in Iraq that the Pentagon has blamed for attacking its troops, was killed in a U.S. strike on Wednesday, the U.S. military said.

"[U.S.] forces conducted a unilateral strike in Iraq in response to the attacks on U.S. service members, killing a Kataib Hezbollah commander responsible for directly planning and participating in attacks on U.S. forces in the region," a statement from the military said. It did not name the commander.

It added that there were no indications of civilian casualties.

Two security sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the commander was Abu Baqir al-Saadi, killed in a drone strike on a vehicle in eastern Baghdad.

One of the sources said three people were killed and that the vehicle targeted was used by Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), a state security agency composed of dozens of armed groups, many of them close to Iran.

Kataib Hezbollah fighters and commanders are part of the PMF. Three U.S. troops were killed in January in a drone attack near the Jordan-Syria border that the Pentagon said bore the "footprints" of Kataib Hezbollah. The group then announced it was suspending military operations against U.S. troops in the region.

Iraq and Syria have witnessed near daily tit-for-tat attacks between hardline Iran-backed armed groups and U.S. forces stationed in the region since the Gaza war began in October.

‘Death to America’ Mob Takes Streets of Baghdad After U.S. Drone Strike on Terror Leader

How Washington Emboldened the Houthis
The Houthis’ attacks are no longer only or even mostly aimed at ships with Israeli links.
The Houthis’ persistence makes clear that Washington should have more strongly considered the first route. If the United States had responded to the Houthis’ attacks in November by immediately going after weapons stockpiles, missile launchers, and radar stations, it would have demonstrated U.S. resolve while seriously degrading the Houthis’ ability to continue their assault. Admittedly, Washington would have given the group the fight it wanted: the Houthis derive legitimacy from standing up to the United States and, by extension, Israel. But a quicker, more decisive strike against the Houthis’ military infrastructure would have had the practical effect of making it difficult for the group to conduct a prolonged campaign, regardless of its ambitions.

If the United States had struck earlier, the current U.S.-Houthi conflict might have looked more like an episode between the two states from seven years earlier. On October 1, 2016, the Houthis fired a missile at a United Arab Emirates vessel in the Red Sea. Two days later, the U.S. military dispatched three Arleigh Burke-class destroyers to the area. The Houthis responded by firing cruise missiles at two of the U.S. ships, which prompted Washington to quickly launch Tomahawk missiles from another ship at three Houthi radar installations. A few days later, following intense fighting between the Houthis and the Saudi coalition–backed Yemeni government around Yemen’s capital and its border with Saudi Arabia, the United Nations announced a 72-hour cease-fire. The Houthi attacks against the United States then largely subsided, although the broader cease-fire did not hold.

The current situation is, of course, different. The truce Yemen’s parties struck in April 2022 is still intact, and the Houthis’ escalation is against international shippers, not other domestic groups. But U.S. power remains just as prevalent now as it was then. A quick American response against key Houthi military infrastructure in 2023, as in 2016, would have given the group reason to pause.

So far, Washington’s attacks have not stopped the Houthis from striking targets in the Red Sea. Since the start of the U.S. campaign, the Houthis have targeted at least ten ships between January 12 and January 31, mainly aiming at vessels with links to the United States and United Kingdom. They have vowed to keep going, no matter the costs. “Any new aggression will not go unpunished,” a Houthi spokesperson tweeted shortly after the first set of Western attacks.

In order to put more pressure on the Houthis, the United States has complemented its military strikes with other coercive tools, including sanctioning several entities that facilitate Iranian support to the group, interdicting Iranian shipments to the militia, and relabeling the group as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity. The United States could consider additional steps, such as redesignating the group as a Foreign Terrorist Organization—a tag that would subject it to more stringent economic and political restrictions than does an SDGT designation. The United States could also send new military aid to the Houthis’ enemies in Yemen, as some rival groups have called for.

These steps may deter the Houthis from a future assault on the Red Sea. Still, they are unlikely to stop the Houthis’ current barrage. To put a halt to that, the Biden administration will have to continue striking the group’s military infrastructure until it loses either the capability or the will to continue its campaign—a task that will not be easy. The Houthis are committed to this fight, a fact that Biden knows well. As the president noted on January 18, when talking about the strikes: “Are they stopping the Houthis? No. Are they going to continue? Yes.”

Biden should have appreciated the Houthis’ dedication in November. Had Washington responded then, it would at least be further along in defeating them, and ships would be closer to again transiting a central global trade path. The next time the Houthis threaten the Red Sea, the United States and its partners would do well to remember today’s lesson.

Recognizing Hamas’ October 7 Attack as an Assault on Jewish Identity
Jewish history is a chronicle of resilience in the face of relentless adversity. From the trials of Egyptian slavery to the desolation of the Holocaust, our narrative has been punctuated by episodes of profound suffering and loss. Yet, amidst these trials, the Jewish spirit has not merely endured; it has flourished. With each challenge, we have emerged stronger, our bonds of community and faith solidified in the crucible of shared hardship. This resilience is not incidental but integral to our identity. It is a legacy of courage and faith handed down through generations, a sacred trust that compels us to persevere, to innovate, and to thrive against all odds.

Our duty to those who have suffered and sacrificed is profound. We are called not only to remember their bravery but to embody it, to continue their struggle for a world defined by justice, compassion, and peace. This is not a passive inheritance but an active mandate—to build, to heal, and to educate, ensuring that the lessons of the past inform the choices of the future. In doing so, we honor their memory, not as relics of a bygone era but as guiding lights for the path ahead.

We are, indeed, an unbroken chain, linking past, present, and future in an unending continuum of Jewish life and legacy. Each generation contributes its strength, wisdom, and vision to this chain, enriching the tapestry of our collective history. This connection to our heritage and to each other is our greatest source of strength. It empowers us to face the challenges of today with the knowledge that we are part of something larger than ourselves, a story of survival and triumph that spans millennia.

As we continue to fight for the survival of the Jewish state, for the sanctity of our traditions, and for the right to define our own destiny, we do so with the awareness that we are upholding a legacy of indomitable spirit. Our efforts today are not just for our own benefit but for the benefit of all who will come after us. In safeguarding our way of life, ensuring our freedom from hatred, and reclaiming our narrative, we affirm the unbreakable resilience of the Jewish people. We move forward with the collective determination to turn darkness into light, guided by the wisdom of our past and the hope for our future, forever linked in the unbroken chain of Jewish continuity.

WATCH: Javier Milei Visits Kibbutz Nir Oz, Hit by Hamas Terror on October 7
President Javier Milei of Argentina expressed his solidarity with Israel against Hamas terror Thursday, as he toured the ruins of Kibbutz Nir Oz with President Isaac Herzog of Israel.

Milei visited the burned-out homes and bloodstained bedrooms of Nir Oz, one of the hardest-hit communities attacked by Hamas on October 7, where a quarter of the residents were either murdered or kidnapped. Several of the victims were Argentinian.

Milei met survivors from the community, including Ophelia Roitman, 77, who was abducted and later released in a hostage deal. Roitman had been a teacher at a Jewish school in Argentina before immigrating to Israel.

He also paid a special visit to the home of the Bibas family, who are Argentinian-Israeli. They were kidnapped on October 7, including one-year-old Kfir Bibas, the youngest hostage, who recently is thought to have celebrated his first birthday, in captivity.

Home of the Bibas family, Argentinian-Israelis who were kidnapped by Hamas on October 7. Kibbutz Nir Oz, Israel, February 8, 2024 (Joel Pollak / Breitbart News)

Irit Lahav, one of the survivors of the attack on the kibbutz, who accompanied Milei during his visit, told Breitbart News that he had cried at several stops along the way, deeply moved by what he had seen.

Later, after walking throughout the community for nearly two hours, Milei addressed journalists.

With explosions resounding in the background from ongoing battles in Gaza nearby, the Argentinian president shared his deep feelings of sorrow at seeing the devastation around him — as well as his commitment to supporting Israel, and the cause of freedom in general.

Milei said that the terror attack represented pure antisemitism similar to the Nazis, and that the free world had to stand against it.

President Herzog thanked Milei for his visit to the community, and for sharing not only in the pain that Israelis still felt, but also for sharing in Israel’s positive vision for peace and prosperity in the region.

I'm Palestinian. Here's What I Learned Touring Kfar Aza, a Kibbutz Devastated on Oct. 7
Last month, I, a Palestinian of East Jerusalem, journeyed to Kfar Aza, one of the kibbutzim devastated on October 7. I came to pay my condolensces on behalf of myself and Palestinians, to share with the Israelis the grief, sadness, and sorrow of everything that has happened since that dark day.

As a person who spent all his life opening channels of dialogue with Israelis, I am one of few who can claim to be an expert on both Palestinians and Israelis—and all that they share. Both believe they are engaged in a just fight, and thus both believe they will eventually win. Both also believe the other side to be the problem—failing to see that we are each other's solution.

Knowing well both Palestinians and Israelis, I know we will work our way out of the current tragedy. We need to stop looking always backward to our dark past and shift one eye toward the future. With this eye looking to the future, we will find a political horizon in which the war is over and the hostages released.

The horrors of October 7 and of the ongoing war on Gaza do not change the fundamental facts about Israelis and Palestinians. Both will continue to live in this land. Israelis will continue to look for peace but worry about their security, and Palestinians will continue to look for peace which must include human dignity, rights, and justice.

The lesson to be learned from both from October 7 and the ongoing war in Gaza is that war has never been the correct option. Peace is inevitable.

To make this happen, Palestinians and Israelis need partnership throughout the region and full support by the Americans.

The president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, must go, as must the current far Right Israeli leadership. President Abbas must leave the political scene and be allowed to live his remaining days in dignity. Palestinians deserve a more representative, accountable and younger leadership through free elections. A new unified Palestinian government must be established through a free a fair election, and this government should adopt a strategy of transparency and forthrightness—countering the corruption in the West Bank and destruction in Gaza. It must establish foundations of democracy, accountability, and a separation of the executive, legislative, and judicial authorities. It must bring together all Palestinians, allow them to engage in political life, respect their rights, safeguard their freedoms, begin social and economic development, and, most important, find a way to join hands with Israel in bringing down the curtain on one of the most complex and controversial conflicts of the modern era.

Call Me Back PodCast: The cost of starting a (losing) war – with Dr. Einat Wilf
Hosted by Dan Senor
Today we look back at the history of Palestinian violence against the Jews in Israel (and in the pre-state Yishuv) — from the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1917 through the myriad efforts to establish a Palestinian Arab State alongside a Jewish State in the 1930s and the 40s. In our discussion today, we follow this pattern all the way through the Second Intifada in the early 2000s, and now today. Each time a war or wave of terror is launched, and Israel perseveres, the Palestinian leadership tries to dictate the terms of what comes next, as though they were the victors in this defensive war, rather than the aggressors and the defeated.

Why? And are we seeing that same mindset play out right now? Did Hamas actually think it would defeat Israel with this attack, and Israel would fold to its demands, or possibly even just disappear?

To help us understand this important history, Dr. Einat Wilf joins us. Einat was born and raised in Israel. She was an Intelligence Officer in the IDF. She has worked for McKinsey. She was Foreign Policy Advisor to Vice Prime Minister Shimon Peres and an advisor to Yossi Beilin, who was Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Dr. Wilf was a member of the Israeli Parliament (the Knesset) in the early 2010s, where she served as Chair of the Education Committee and Member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

She has a BA from Harvard, an MBA from INSEAD in France, and a PhD in Political Science from the University of Cambridge. She was a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University and is a lecturer at Reichman University in Israel.

Einat is the author of seven books that explore key issues in Israeli society. “We Should All Be Zionists“, published in 2022, brings together her essays from the past four years on Israel, Zionism and the path to peace; and she co-authored “The War of Return: How Western Indulgence of the Palestinian Dream Has Obstructed the Path to Peace”, which was published in 2020.

Sen. Hawley claps back as 'pro-terrorist' activist shouts 'Hamas will never be eliminated'
Activists from feminist organization Code Pink yelled at Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., in the Senate Hart building on Wednesday afternoon ahead of an expected vote on a clean national security supplemental package that could unlock billions of dollars in aid to Israel, Ukraine, Taiwan and citizens in Gaza.

"Don’t give us your talking points… bulls---, you are unbelievable," one protester can be heard saying in the video provided to Fox News Digital.

Hawley clapped back, "The state of Israel has the right to defend itself."

"It's not defense," responded the protester. Code Pink has called for Israel to impose a cease-fire on its conflict with Hamas that began Oct. 7.

Hawley can be heard in the video saying he won't "call for a cease-fire until Hamas is eliminated."

"Hamas will never be eliminated," the protester said.

"You’re an antisemitic," Hawley replied. "If you guys had your way, there’d be a second Holocaust… that’s what you want. Pro-terrorist."

This isn't the first time Code Pink activists have mobilized in the Senate. Last month, Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., confronted an anti-Israel protester in a Senate office building stairwell on Thursday afternoon, after the woman followed him and claimed Hamas was "legitimately" voted in by the Palestinian people.

Orland Park mayor rejects Gaza cease-fire resolution, tells supporters to 'go to another country'
The Chicago Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on Tuesday condemned Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau’s suggestion that those who disagree with America’s interests regarding the Israel-Hamas war can "go to another country."

The southwest suburban mayor made the remarks Monday during a village board of trustees meeting — which was streamed online — after Arab American residents requested that the village adopt a cease-fire resolution.

Speakers presented a petition with more than 800 signatures calling for the board to follow Chicago’s lead in passing a resolution.

"First and foremost I’m an American. I’m not a German American, I’m an American. That’s where my allegiances lie. Period. Dot. End of Story," Pekau said, stressing that his opinions were his own and not representative of the board or the village.

"And if you’re an American citizen, and you don’t feel that way, in my opinion, you’re entitled to that opinion, but you can certainly go, and go to another country and support that country, and all the power to you if you choose to do that," he continued. "I will always support America’s interests."

Pekau said he agrees with the official U.S. position, which is "to support a two-state solution and that Hamas is a terrorist organization."

The Israel Guys: THE GAZA STRIP Is Almost Completely DESTROYED
With the IDF deep in the heart of Gaza, the city of Khan Yunis is almost completely destroyed and the IDF’s next sights are set on Rafah, the last remaining stronghold of the Hamas terrorists. According to reports, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is no longer commanding the terrorists and is now just concerned about his own safety. And for good reason!

With actual proof coming out about the UN organization, UNRWA being involved in the October 7th massacre, Israel is now looking for a replacement to send humanitarian aid into Gaza.

"You Can't Kill The Whole Of Gaza!" Netanyahu REJECTS ceasefire
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected Hamas's proposed ceasefire terms, claiming "total victory" in Gaza is possible within months.

Piers Morgan reacts to the announcement with Israeli journalist Emily Shrader, Israeli-American journalist Miko Peled and pro-Palestinian journalist Omar Baddar.

Hillary Clinton: Netanyahu should go, he's an 'untrustworthy leader'
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is an untrustworthy leader, Hillary Clinton told MSNBC’s “Alex Wagner Tonight" early on Thursday morning.

“Netanyahu should go. He is not a trustworthy leader. It was on his watch that the attack happened. He needs to go, and if he’s an obstacle to a ceasefire, if he’s an obstacle to exploring what’s to be done the day after, he absolutely needs to go,”the former US secretary of state said.

In Clinton’s interview on the show, the former US secretary of state discussed topics such as Trump’s candidacy on the ballot, Tucker Carlson and his alignment with Russia, Vladimir Putin, and funding for Ukraine and Israel in addition to her comments on Netanyahu.

Since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas War, Hillary Clinton has spoken several times on topics related to Israel. Clinton has spoken out in support of Israel

In early November, she was on The View and spoke with the hosts about the Oslo Accords, a peace deal brokered by Bill Clinton in 1993. In this interview, she spoke about why a ceasefire was unreasonable at the time and also about how untrustworthy Yasser Arafat was.

After her appearance on The View, Clinton wrote in an op-ed published in The Atlantic titled “Hamas must go.” It argued that a truce would give Hamas “a chance to rearm and perpetuate the cycle of violence.”

In October, during a bipartisan panel discussion at the 30th-anniversary celebration for Baker Institute, Clinton stated, “People who are calling for a ceasefire now don’t understand Hamas... It would be such a gift to Hamas because they would spend whatever time [that] there was a ceasefire in effect rebuilding their armaments... to be able to fend off an eventual assault by the Israelis.”

Since the war, Clinton has not spoken against the Israeli Prime Minister publicly until this moment.
Democrats propose amendment conditioning aid to Israel over delivery of humanitarian assistance to Gaza
More than a dozen Senate Democrats are pushing for legislation that would block weapons sales to countries that prevent or restrict U.S. humanitarian assistance to those in need, looking to attach the bill to a vote on President Biden’s national security supplemental.

The legislation does not single out Israel directly, but Democratic sponsors of the text say it is aimed at ensuring humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in Gaza as the U.S. provides weapons to Israel.

The Biden administration has backed Israel’s war with Hamas, causing strains in the Democratic party. Lawmakers have warned the war is leading to a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization.

According to a summary of the bill, it would “buttress current law that prohibits U.S. security assistance to any country that prevents or restricts U.S. humanitarian assistance to those in need, subject to a presidential waiver.”

“It is imperative that all assistance to Israel abide by U.S. and international law, prioritize the protection of civilians, assure the provision of desperately needed humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza, and align with a long-term vision for peace, security, and two-state diplomatic solution,” Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said in a statement.

Markey is one of 19 senators supporting the bill text, which is being introduced as an amendment to a more than $100 billion security package to provide military assistance to Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan and that is expected to be voted on in the Senate on Wednesday.

While there is a majority support in Congress for U.S. military assistance to Israel, some Democrats, and in particular progressives, have raised alarm that Israel is blocking, slowing or obstructing the delivery of humanitarian assistance into Gaza.

AOC Goes Full Anti-Israel in Latest Rant
Dave Rubin of “The Rubin Report” shares a DM clip of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib’s unhinged speeches calling for a halt in funding Israel due to Benjamin Netanyahu’s genocidal tendencies.

‘Credit where credit is due’: Netanyahu lauded for resisting Hamas truce deal
Sky News host Danica De Giorgio praises Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for “saying no” to all the foreign powers trying to convince him to minimise the war between Israel and Hamas.

“Credit where credit is due to Benjamin Netanyahu; he is saying no to all of these foreign powers who are really pressing him,” Ms De Giorgio told Sky News host Sharri Markson.

“The US, they are constantly saying let’s try and minimise the situation.

“Why on Earth would Benjamin Netanyahu want to be listening to the United States; I mean, seriously?

“Hamas was the one that started this war.”

Irish women's basketball team refuses to shake Israeli team's hands
Ireland's women's national team in Eurobasket 2025 informed the Israeli national team that they would not stand in front of them during the introduction of players that takes place at the beginning of the competition, according to the Israeli Basketball Association (IBA) statement on Thursday.

Ireland's team also stated that they would not agree to shake hands with the Israeli team's players or exchange greetings with them, as is customarily done.

EuroBasket is an international basketball competition, and Eurobasket 2025 will be its 42nd edition.

Ray Hadley unleashes at queer group protesting for Palestine: 'In support of a regime that won't tolerate their lifestyle'
Ray Hadley has questioned why a queer group is marching in support of Palestine at this year's Mardi Gras, given same-sex relationships are prohibited in Gaza.

The group, Pride in Protest, say they are standing against transphobia and are in solidarity with those in Palestine amid the conflict in the Middle East.

Members will be on a float for the parade through Sydney's Oxford Street on March 2, which they will decorate in Palestinian flags and also flags in support of transgender people.

'They're marching in support of Gaza. If they march in Gaza or other parts of the Middle East, they'd either be in jail, or they'd be put to death, one of the two, take your pick,' Hadley said on 2GB on Wednesday morning.

'There's no recognition of same-sex couples in Gaza, and yet here we have people, ill-informed people, without any full knowledge of what happens.

'So off they go to march in this democratic society in which we live in support of a regime which won't tolerate their lifestyle.'

Men in same-sex relationships can face up to ten years in prison in Gaza.

Pride in Protest say they are marching to demand 'no pinkwashing of genocide' and to 'free Palestine'.
Houthis sentence 13 to public execution on homosexuality charges - report
A court of the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen has sentenced 13 people to public execution on homosexuality charges, the French wire service AFP reported on Tuesday. Another 35 people have been detained for similar charges.

The ruling was made in Ibb, a Houthi-controlled province from which the jihadist group has been launching attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7, opening a war that reached its four-month mark this week.

The Houthis have a history of sentencing more people to death than they actually execute, according to a 2022 report by the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor, which counted 350 death sentences by the group since 2014, only 11 of which have resulted in execution. But the group's attacks on global trade could change this calculus.

"The [Houthis] are ramping up their abuses at home while the world is busy watching their attacks in the Red Sea," said Niku Jafarnia, a Yemen researcher for Human Rights Watch.

A UN Security Council report in 2023 relayed that "the Houthis are [reportedly] detaining children as young as 13 years old," some of whom "are accused of 'indecent acts' for their alleged homosexual orientation."

Hundreds of Jewish creatives have names, details taken in leak, published online
Anti-Zionist activists have published the names, images, professions and social media accounts of hundreds of Jewish people working in academia and creative industries, in an escalation of social tensions over the October 7 attacks and subsequent war in Gaza.

The dissemination of almost 600 names and their personal details was taken from the purported membership of a private WhatsApp Group formed last year by Jewish writers, artists, musicians and academics.

The leak included a spreadsheet with links to social media accounts and a separate file with a photo gallery of more than 100 Jewish people.

The mass doxxing on Thursday came as Victoria Police confirmed it was already investigating potential criminal breaches of privacy from earlier incidents relating to the same WhatsApp group.

“Police are investigating following reports the personal details of a number of people, who belong to a private social media chat group, appear to have been released online,” a police spokesperson said.

It appears the latest material, which was compiled from a leaked transcript of chat group discussions over several months, was published without activists confirming the accuracy of its contents.

‘Disgust’: Fury grows over allegedly anti-Semitic number plate that was approved in NSW
Members of Australia’s Jewish community are demanding answers after authorities approved an allegedly anti-Semitic personalised number plate, seemingly celebrating terror attacks by Hamas.

An image of the offending New South Wales plate, which reads ‘OCT7TH’ and is attached to a white Ford Ranger, has been shared widely on social media.

More than 1000 Israeli civilians were killed in a series of co-ordinated attacks by Hamas fighters on October 7, and hundreds more were abducted.

Many of the hostages are still being held within Gaza.

Former Liberal Party candidate Freya Leach, a university student who ran for the state seat Balmain in last year’s election, called for the number plate to be cancelled.

“Seen in Western Sydney. How is this allowed?” Ms Leach posted on social media, directing her question at Premier Chris Minns.

That’s a question now being asked by many.

Anti-Defamation Commission chair Dvir Abramovich has called for a guarantee that similar mistakes won’t occur again.

“What is going on in NSW?” Dr Abramovich said.

“There are no words to describe the disgust and revolt I feel right now, and I’m sure that many Jews would feel like they have been kicked in the guts by this stomach-churning incident.”

This morning, appearing on Ben Fordham’s radio show on 2GB, Main Roads Minister John Graham said he’d intervened to take to action.

“As soon as I heard about this, we issued an order for it to be recalled, Mr Graham said.

“That process used to take up to a month before plates could be called back in. Transport has acted immediately.

“Given the tensions around the world I wasn’t happy with that. As roads minister, we’ve shortened that process, and the request is now that these plates are [recalled] in within 48 hours.”

If the owner refuses to hand back to the plates, the car’s registration will be “cancelled altogether”, Mr Graham added.

He indicated the vehicle could even be taken “off the road” entirely.

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

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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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