Thursday, February 15, 2024

From Ian:

US, Arabs ‘rushing’ plan to establish Palestinian state
The Biden administration is preparing to make a major push for Palestinian statehood if a Gaza ceasefire agreement being negotiated in Cairo this week takes effect.

According to The Washington Post, the United States and its Arab partners are “rushing” to finalize the plan to establish a Palestinian state—a plan that could be announced in the next few weeks with hopes that a deal to release the remaining 134 hostages held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza in exchange for a six-week pause in fighting takes effect before Ramadan, which begins on March 10, give or take a day.

Negotiations in Cairo on a hostage-for-ceasefire deal have been extended until Friday. However, only lower-level officials are participating after Tuesday’s initial summit, which included high-ranking representatives from Egypt, Israel, Qatar and the United States.

There is an urgency to reach an agreement because Jerusalem is readying for a major offensive in Rafah, the last Hamas stronghold in the Gaza Strip. While Israel is working on an evacuation plan for the 1.5 million civilians sheltered in the city ahead of the battle, fears are mounting in Western capitals about the toll the fighting could take on the noncombatant population.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday dismissed reports of progress in the Cairo talks, with his office issuing a statement saying that Jerusalem did not receive any new proposal from Hamas on releasing the hostages and that the premier “insists that Israel will not give in to Hamas’s delusional demands.”

Jerusalem’s goals in the war, which have not changed, are to destroy Hamas in Gaza, free the hostages and ensure that the territory never threatens Israel again. Hamas initiated the war on Oct. 7 when thousands of terrorists broke across the border, murdering 1,200 men, women and children, wounding thousands more and kidnapping 253 people.

Netanyahu emphasized the importance of the Gaza military campaign on Wednesday evening and reiterated Jerusalem’s position on the Cairo talks.

“This week we freed two of our hostages in a brilliant military operation. As of now we have freed 112 of our hostages in a combination of strong military pressure and tough negotiations.This is also the key to freeing more of our hostages: Strong military pressure and very tough negotiations,” the prime minister said.

“Indeed, I insist that Hamas drop its delusional demands. When they do so, we will be able to move forward,” he continued.

In addition to the United States, the participants planning the pathway to a Palestinian state are Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Palestinians. Notably, Israel is not involved in these discussions, according to the Post.
WaPo: U.S., Arab Nations Plan for Postwar Gaza, Palestinian State
The Biden administration and a group of Arab partners are rushing to complete a detailed, comprehensive plan for long-term peace between Israel and Palestinians, including a firm timeline for the establishment of a Palestinian state, that could be announced in the coming weeks. The planning participants include Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Palestinian representatives, in addition to the U.S.

The elephant in the planning room is Israel, and whether its government will acquiesce to much of what is being discussed: the withdrawal of many, if not all, Israeli communities in the West Bank; a Palestinian capital in eastern Jerusalem; the reconstruction of Gaza; and security and governance arrangements for a combined West Bank and Gaza. The hope is that Israel would also be offered specific security guarantees and normalization with Saudi Arabia and other Arab states.

U.S. officials said the menu of actions under consideration include early U.S. recognition of a Palestinian state - even as elements of political reform, security guarantees for both Israel and the Palestinians, normalization and reconstruction are being implemented.

"I'd be stunned if they extended de jure or de facto recognition to the state of Palestine" as an early part of a day-after plan, said Aaron David Miller, a former State Department adviser and coordinator on Arab-Israeli negotiations. He questioned whether the current leadership of either Israel or the Palestinians was capable of or interested in "any transformative solution." "They don't have the leaders in place to pull the wagon."

Americans "think they can come here and play with us like building Lego," said Tawfiq Al-Tirawi, a member of the Central Committee of Fatah, the largest faction in the PLO, which forms the basis of the Palestinian Authority. "If we want to renew our leadership, that's purely our decision." One Arab official said Hamas should be included in the talks, if not in the future government, "to ensure they're on board with this."
Palestinian Authority Security Forces Behind Dozens of Recent Attacks on Israelis, Watchdog Finds
Officially, the Palestinian Authority works with Israel to crack down on terror groups in the West Bank. But off-duty PA security forces have carried out dozens of attacks on Israelis, according to a watchdog group.

An investigation by Palestinian Media Watch, the nonprofit watchdog based in Jerusalem, documented at least 55 attacks by PA security forces against Israeli soldiers or civilians since 2020, including four in the past month alone. In each case, the PA or its ruling Fatah party has eulogized the attacker as one of their own "soldiers."

The findings reveal the extent to which the PA, the internationally recognized Palestinian government in Ramallah, encourages and rewards terrorism against Israel—even in its own ranks. For Israel, such activity proves the folly of the Biden administration’s demand that a "revitalized" PA be allowed to govern Gaza following Israel’s war against Hamas, the rival Palestinian faction that rules the territory.

Itamar Marcus, the director of Palestinian Media Watch, on Monday sent a copy of the report, "Terrorists in Uniform: A study of PA Security Forces involvement in terror," to Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

"The American suggestion to empower these terror forces to rule Gaza after Israel has destroyed the terror infrastructure is inconceivable," Marcus told the Washington Free Beacon. "The PA and its security forces are a fundamental part of the problem; it is absurd to believe they can be part of the solution."

Going further than the Israeli government, Marcus called on the Biden administration to reverse its reinstatement of $45 million a year in funding to the PA security services. He noted that the United States last month froze donations to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency following revelations that staff took part in the Oct. 7 attack.

"This is far worse than UNRWA, where at least the leadership claimed they didn't know," Marcus said. "The PA is saying, ‘We know, and we're happy about it. And that's what makes us heroic.’"
Waiting for War With Hezbollah
United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 was adopted on Aug. 11, 2006, to end a one-month war sparked by a surprise Hezbollah attack on IDF forces along the border that caused the death and abduction of two soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. Using the obsequious language of international diplomacy that fails to mention Hezbollah by name, the resolution “calls for” the establishment between the Blue Line and the Litani River of an area “free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons other than those of the Government of Lebanon and of UNIFIL.” But Hezbollah never withdrew its forces, and the U.N. Security Council has never enforced its 2006 resolution, the implementation of which was dependent on coordination with the Lebanese authorities, who answer to Hezbollah. The UNIFIL soldiers “do absolutely nothing,” said Reuveni.

Most Israeli villages in the north were evacuated after Oct. 7 and its 80,000 residents have not yet returned. Many homes have been damaged and destroyed by mortars and missiles.

Since Oct. 7, a reported 20 civilians have been killed on the Lebanese side, as well as nearly 200 Hezbollah fighters. In Israel, nine soldiers and 10 civilians have been killed by Hezbollah fire.

President Biden has been pursuing a diplomatic effort to ensure Israel does not launch an operation in Lebanon after Gaza. He has sent Special Presidential Coordinator for Global Infrastructure and Energy Security Amos Hochstein to try and broker a deal that will ostensibly move Hezbollah a few kilometers back from the border—far short of what UNSCR 1701 calls for—in return for IDF demobilization on the border, followed by land border negotiations that would pressure Israel to concede border areas claimed by Hezbollah and Lebanon. In 2022, Hochstein had strong-armed the Israelis to accept a lopsided maritime border deal with Lebanon, working hand in glove with Hezbollah and its cut-outs in the Lebanese government.

Reuveni says that based on history and the reality in Lebanon, “I don’t see any reason why any Israeli would trust negotiations or a diplomatic solution.” In December, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant promised the mayors of the northern communities that their residents would not go home until Hezbollah was driven north of the Litani River. “If they want to go north of the Litani River, let them go,” Reuveni said dismissively. But he is not holding his breath.

On Jan. 31, after 119 days of service, Reuveni was furloughed. He climbed back into his car and drove home. He was told he must report back to duty in May.

“I need to process everything that happened,” he wrote to me a few days after getting home. “It still feels like some kind of dream. And now being back is very mentally hard. Everything is confused and I need to put things in order.”

Australia, Canada, New Zealand urge ‘humanitarian ceasefire’ in Gaza
The leaders of Australia, Canada and New Zealand joined growing calls for Israel to back off from a planned ground offensive in the southern Gazan city of Rafah, urging a “humanitarian ceasefire,” while expressing hope for a long-term end to hostilities.

A joint statement by the trio of Commonwealth nations appeared to align with US efforts to secure a humanitarian pause to the fighting that would see the release of hostages and could eventually lead to an end to the war in Gaza sparked by the Hamas terror group’s devastating October 7 onslaught against southern Israel.

Urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “not to go down this path,” the statement from Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon amplified a chorus of international calls for Israel to rethink taking Rafah, a move it said would be “catastrophic,” and growing global backing for a ceasefire.

The comment appeared to mark a shift from earlier support for Israel to defend itself by ousting Hamas from power, though the call for a “humanitarian ceasefire” appeared to stop short of urging Israel to end the fighting without achieving its goal of destroying the terror group, which rules Gaza.

“An immediate humanitarian ceasefire is urgently needed. Hostages must be released. The need for humanitarian assistance in Gaza has never been greater. Rapid, safe and unimpeded humanitarian relief must be provided to civilians,” the statement read.

It added that “a sustainable ceasefire is necessary to finding a path towards securing lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians.”

The premiers also called on Hamas to abandon the fighting and release some 134 hostages it holds in Gaza.

“Any ceasefire cannot be one sided,” the statement read.
Col. Richard Kemp: David Cameron’s patronising advice would doom Israel to defeat
David Cameron has virtually called on Israel to surrender to Hamas as it prepares to destroy the terrorist group in Rafah. For that is surely the meaning of his words on Monday: “What we want is an immediate pause in the fighting and we want that pause to lead to a ceasefire”. That’s also exactly what Hamas want, and has demanded from Israel — an end to the war that it is catastrophically losing.

Would Cameron have called for a ceasefire as Allied troops were poised to cross the Rhine in March 1945? By that time millions of German civilians had been killed in the fighting and it was a certainty that many more would die as the war proceeded towards unconditional German surrender.

Of course Israel cannot halt its offensive now any more than the Allies could then, and Cameron must know that – just as Blinken knows it. In reality their words of caution to Israel amount to virtue signalling aimed at the Israel-sceptical elements of their electorates. Like a schoolmaster lecturing a recalcitrant schoolboy, Cameron has told Israel to “stop and think very seriously before it takes any further action”.

Who does he think he’s talking down to? Does he seriously believe the Israeli war cabinet and general staff have not been working round the clock for months, “thinking seriously” about every action they take in this war? Meanwhile Blinken has told Israel to come up with a plan to minimise civilian casualties before they launch the campaign against Hamas in Rafah. In other words, exactly what they are already doing and have been doing with considerable success since this war began.

So far the IDF has wreaked devastation on Hamas. It appears the terror army is no longer able to function as a coherent entity, with reports that senior leaders are unable to communicate with their combat units. The IDF says the Hamas fighters that remain in Rafah must now be dealt with, along with the terrorist leadership there.

As well as that there is a high probability that many of the surviving Israeli hostages are in the city; indeed two of them were rescued in a remarkable special forces operation at the weekend. Destroying Hamas in Rafah is non-negotiable, as is rescuing as many of the hostages as possible.

Cameron, who was reportedly once told by a general that service in the Eton cadet force did not give him military expertise, says he thinks “it is impossible to see how you can fight a war amongst these people. There’s nowhere for them to go.” But the IDF will find somewhere for them to go, and will make sure they know where it is and how to get there. Indeed, many have already begun moving north. Not only that but the IDF will surely find a way of enabling humanitarian agencies to get as much aid to them as possible, an immense challenge with the two existing crossing points both flowing into the Rafah area.

Biden Protects ‘Palestinian’ Illegal Aliens From Deportation
This is a green light encouraging Arab Muslim settlers from the region to come to America. While the temporary protection from deportation is supposed to kick in only for those enemy aliens currently here, anyone who makes it across the border without being spotted can show up and claim that he was here all along.

The usual pro-terror lobby and its Democrat elected officials had been demanding TPS (Temporary Protected Status) for Arab Muslims operating in Judea and Samaria, Biden instead granted Deferred Enforced Departure (DED).

That’s the good news here. DED is arguably illegal unlike TPS. It’s really similar to Obama’s DREAM amnesty. But the legal provisions for it are weaker and so accordingly DED recipients have a weaker case, but the pernicious thing about TPS is that it gets extended virtually endlessly. Some countries have had TPS status for decades making for an illegal alien population that just moved here and will never leave.

The bad news about DED is that it can also be extended. While the DED status for the Pallies currently is at 18 months, that can be renewed and there will be pressure to renew it. For example, Liberia’s status has been under DED since 2007. At some point DED may transition to TPS and we’ll have an even larger domestic terrorist population.
‘Hamas is not a terrorist group,’ says UN Relief Chief Martin Griffiths
UN Relief Chief Martin Griffiths told a representative from Sky News on Wednesday that he did not consider Hamas to be a terrorist group.

Asked about the feasibility of Israel’s military goal to eliminate Hamas and disallow the terrorist group from having any governing say in Gaza, Griffiths responded “Hamas is not a terrorist group for us, as you know, it is a political movement. But, I think it is very very difficult to dislodge these groups without a negotiated solution; which includes their aspirations.

“I can not think of an example offhand of a place where a victory through warfare has succeeded against a well-entrenched group, terrorist or otherwise.”

Speaking of Hamas’s October 7 attack, Griffiths said he had “total understanding” of the “trauma" it had caused Israel but that Israel would need to build a relationship with its neighbors regardless.

Discussions on military operations in Rafah
Griffiths also claimed that the United Nations was struggling to get aid into Gaza and that Palestinians had nowhere safe to evacuate to now that Israel had begun operations in Rafah.

During the interview, Griffiths insisted that whether Israel would operate in Rafah was an issue that kept him up at night.

Asked if he was in discussions with Israeli officials over the issue of operations in Rafah, Griffiths responded that Israel “to their credit” had daily discussions with Israeli officials on the issue and that Israeli officials had asked the UN to be involved in evacuating civilians to a safe location.
Israeli FM slams UN for calling Hamas ‘political movement’
Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Thursday slammed Martin Griffiths, under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator at the United Nations, for describing the Hamas terrorist organization as a “political movement.”

“The United Nations reaches a new low every day. The under-secretary-general of the United Nations rejects the fact that the Nazi terrorist organization Hamas is a terrorist organization … and the secretary-general of the United Nations continues to play dumb,” tweeted Katz.

“We will eliminate Hamas with or without them. Jewish blood is not cheap,” Katz vowed.

“Shame on him,” the Jewish state’s top diplomat added in English.

Griffiths told Sky News anchor Yalda Hakim in a Wednesday interview that “Hamas is not a terrorist group, for us [the U.N.], of course, as you know, it’s a political movement.

“I’ve worked with many, many, many different terrorist and insurgent groups. … I think it’s very, very difficult to dislodge these groups without a negotiated solution, which includes their aspirations,” the British diplomat said.

Israel finds 6 drones amid UNRWA donations that entered West Bank this week
UNRWA donations that entered into the West Bank from Jordan through the Allenby Bridge earlier this week contained six military drones, i24NEWS' military correspondent Matthias Inbar has learned from Israeli security sources.

The drones have been confiscated by Israeli security forces.

The Allenby Bridge crosses the Jordan River near the city of Jericho in the West Bank, connecting it to Jordan.

The South Africa-Hamas-Iran Axis
According to NGO Monitor, South Africa's case at the ICJ is built on reports from groups with links to terrorist organizations. "South Africa's submission to the court contains no fewer than 45 references to NGO publications, including several from outfits linked to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist organization." — Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2024.

"The South African government is the same thing as Hamas. It's an Iranian proxy, and its role in the war is to fight the ideological and ideas war to stigmatize Jews around the world." — Dr. Frans Cronje, former CEO of the South African Institute for Race Relations,, January 26, 2024.

While the ICJ refused to throw out the case against Israel and is likely to spend the next many years deliberating on Israel's purported and imaginary "genocide," John Spencer, who is both chair of urban warfare studies at the Modern War Institute at West Point and a retired US military officer, argued that Israel minimizes civilian casualties more than any military in history, and listed numerous examples of the lengths that the IDF goes to in order to protect civilians, such as warning before launching military strikes.

"Israel has taken more measures to avoid needless civilian harm than virtually any other nation that's fought an urban war.... No military in modern history has faced over 30,000 urban defenders in more than seven cities using human shields and hiding in hundreds of miles of underground networks purposely built under civilian sites, while holding hundreds of hostages... The sole reason for civilian deaths in Gaza is Hamas. For Israel's part, it's taken more care to prevent them than any other army in human history." — John Spencer Newsweek, January 31, 2024.

Action is reportedly being taken to bring Iran before the International Court of Justice on charges of Genocide. The move is long overdue.

French NGO's logo appears in footage from Hamas's Gaza tunnels
A screenshot from N12 footage taken inside a Hamas tunnel in Gaza reveals what appears to be a scooter carrying the logo of a French NGO, designated years ago as a terror group related to Hamas by both Israel and the US.

The organization Humani'Terre is recognized by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) as an alias of a group named the Committee of Charity and Solidarity with Palestine (CBSP), a French organization designated as a terror group acting and fundraising on behalf of Hamas – by Israel as early as 1997, and by the US in 2003.

According to their official filings, the organization gained approximately 30,000 euros worth of public funding in 2022. A scooter carrying their logo inside a Hamas-run tunnel may suggest that Hamas officials were exploiting this equipment, allegedly aimed at the needy of Gaza, to facilitate movement inside the tunnels built as command centers and weapon warehouses.

"It is quite disturbing that France, which called for an international coalition against Hamas following the October 7 massacre, continues to allow Humani'Terre to operate. All the more so when its links to the terror group have been public knowledge for decades,” says Vincent Chebat, senior researcher at the NGO Monitor watchdog, who was also the first to identify this logo and go public about it.

“The French government must also act against other terror-linked NGOs, notably Samidoun and Collectif Palestine Vaincra (CPV), which are vectors of radicalization in Europe,” he adds. Chebat is referring to two organizations sympathizing with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), terror-designated organizations in the EU, the US, and Israel, among others. The former, Samidoun, was designated by Israel as a terror group affiliated with the PFLP in 2021, while the latter, CPV, was ordered dissolved by French President Emmanuel Macron – a decision later rejected by the French courts.

IDF raids Khan Yunis hospital amid evidence Hamas held hostages there
The Israel Defense Forces announced on Thursday that there was “credible evidence” that Hamas held hostages at Nasser Hospital in the southern Gaza city of Khan Yunis, and that the bodies of dead captives may be located inside the facility.

In a video message, IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari revealed that IDF special forces were conducting a “precise and limited operation” inside the hospital, with the military later stating that several terror suspects were arrested during the raid.

The military had contacted the hospital’s director, calling for an immediate halt to Hamas terrorist activity inside the facility and the immediate evacuation of Hamas terrorists from the premises, the IDF said.

“A key objective as defined by our military mission is to ensure that the Nasser hospital continues its important function of treating Gazan patients,” said Hagari, adding that this had been communicated to the hospital’s staff in recent days. The IDF had ensured the delivery of medical equipment, including oxygen tanks, as well as fuel for electricity, in coordination with international organizations, added Hagari.

Furthermore, he stressed that staff and patients are not required to evacuate, but have been provided a safe humanitarian route should they choose to leave and are being urged to move away from the danger that Hamas has put them in. IDF doctors and Arabic-speaking IDF officers on the ground are communicating this message to the staff and patients, according to Hagari.

“Our message to them is clear: We seek no harm to innocent civilians. We seek to find our hostages and bring them home. We seek to hunt down Hamas terrorists wherever they may be hiding,” he said.

According to Hagari, the intelligence regarding the hostages’ presence at Nasser had come from several sources, including released hostages.

IDF kills 15 Hamas terrorists, including Oct. 7
In recent days, Israeli forces in Gaza have carried out targeted killings of around 15 Hamas terrorists, including some who participated in the Oct. 7 massacres, the Israel Defense Forces said on Thursday.

A Hamas General Security Service operative was among the terrorists killed in Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Israeli fighter jets carried out numerous attacks in Gaza in support of ground forces. The strikes destroyed buildings, launch positions and underground infrastructure belonging to Hamas.

In the center of the Gaza Strip, the Nahal Infantry Brigade killed several terrorists, including a Hamas observation commander.

Meanwhile, an Israeli Navy vessel detected a terrorist squad approaching ground forces. The naval and ground forces worked in cooperation to eliminate the squad.

In Khan Yunis, soldiers continued to eliminate terrorist squads and raided several Hamas facilities, seizing weapons, explosive charges and military equipment.

Elsewhere in Khan Yunis, a combat team identified two Hamas observers operating in a nearby area. The soldiers directed an airstrike that eliminated the threat.

Other terrorists were killed by sniper fire and tank shelling.

Hamas uses civilians as human shields, Gazan journalist states
Gaza-based journalist Jehad Saftawi said on Tuesday that the Hamas terrorist organization indeed uses civilians as human shields in the war against Israel.

"Hamas terrorists used my family and hundreds of our neighbors as human shields. Hamas continues to hold the people of Gaza captive," Saftawi posted on X. "There should be no reconstruction of my family's home while a stockpile of weapons lies underneath.

"Goals rather than causes are what is behind Hamas's masterminds' wars. The case for removing Hamas is not to fuel escalation but to prevent it, which is why they should never be allowed to retake control of Gaza," he continued to say. Saftawi then admitted that it was the first time in more than 10 years that he's "been able to speak about this publicly," stating that it's "a cry for realignment for our Palestinian society as well as an appeal to the international community."

In a piece he wrote for Time magazine, the Palestinian journalist began by saying that the terrorist organization "built tunnels beneath my family's home in Gaza. Now it lies in ruin." He also states that it's been seven years since he escaped Gaza, and later fled to the United States.

Saftawi added that Gaza has been "dominated by terrorist chaos" since Hamas's takeover of the Strip, stating that the terrorist organization "has continued to normalize violence and militarization in every aspect of public and private life in Gaza."

IAF strike in Lebanon kills 2023 Megiddo Junction bombing mastermind
Two senior Hezbollah terrorists, as well as a lower-ranking member, were killed in an overnight Israeli Air Force strike in Southern Lebanon, the military confirmed on Thursday.

“Overnight, a major commander of the Radwan force, Ali Muhammad al-Dabs, was eliminated, along with his deputy Hassan Ibrahim Issa and another operative,” the IDF announced on X.

The three Hezbollah terrorists were killed when IAF fighter jets attacked a terrorist structure in the city of Nabatieh.

Al-Dabs “orchestrated, planned and executed numerous terrorist operations against the State of Israel, particularly during the war [started by Hamas on Oct. 7],” the army said. Among other attacks, he masterminded one at the Megiddo Junction on March 13, 2023.

That roadside bombing, carried out by a Hezbollah operative who infiltrated the Jewish state from Lebanon, severely wounded Shareef ad-Din, 21, from the Israeli Arab town of Salem. The perpetrator was killed by security forces while attempting to return to the Land of the Cedars.

Hezbollah named the third terrorist killed in the overnight airstrikes as Hussein Ahmad Aqeel, saying the trio died “on the road to” Jerusalem.

This has brought the number of terrorist deaths acknowledged by Hezbollah since the start of the war on Oct. 7 to 199, although the actual figure is believed to be higher.

Gallant: IDF jets over Lebanon armed with ‘heavier bombs for more distant targets’
The Israeli military has stepped up its attacks against Hezbollah by “one level out of 10” in response to Wednesday’s rocket attack, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Thursday, warning that jets above Lebanon have been armed with “heavier bombs for more distant targets.

“We can attack not only at 20 kilometers [from the Israel-Lebanon border], but also at 50 kilometers, and in Beirut and anywhere else,” Gallant said following an emergency preparedness drill in the Galilee.

“We do not want to enter into a war, but rather are interested in reaching an agreement that will allow the safe return of residents of the north to their homes,” he added, in reference to the 80,000 Israelis displaced from their homes up to 6 miles from the border with Lebanon.

“But if there is no choice, we will act to bring [them] back and create the appropriate security for them. This should be clear to both our enemies and our friends,” warned the defense minister.

Thursday’s war simulation was held to increase “readiness to deal with various scenarios in a multi-front conflict,” including the consequences of power outages, the Israel Defense Forces stated.

The drill came a day after Hezbollah fired rockets at Safed, killing one soldier and wounding eight others.

The slain soldier was identified as Staff Sgt. Omer Sarah Benjo, 20, from Moshav Ge’a, near Ashkelon. She served in the 91st Division’s 869th Combat Intelligence Collection unit.

Israeli Air Force jets continued to strike Hezbollah terror targets in Lebanon on Thursday.

‘Impossible to describe’: Mother’s heartfelt plea for hostage son's release from Hamas
Rachel Goldberg sits down with Sky News host Sharri Markson to discuss her son Hersh Goldberg and the hostages who were taken by Hamas.

“We actually have been told by the intelligence community that the families of the tragically dead hostages have been contacted,” Ms Goldberg told Ms Markson.

“This is a situation where they feel that no news is decent news.

“I am not going to say it is good news.

“It would be impossible to describe what we’re going through as good news.”

The Commentary Magazine Podcast: Space, Gaza, and Lina Khan
Hosted by Abe Greenwald, Christine Rosen, John Podhoretz & Matthew Continetti
Adam White joins today to discuss his article “The Power Broke Her,” about the powerful Washington bureaucrat Lina Khan and her agenda. We begin, though, with the alarming word of an undefined national security threat and the fact that conventional opinion now seems obsessed with denying Israel a victory in its war on Hamas.

Israel cannot ‘complete the defeat’ of Hamas without ground offensive in Rafah
The Australian’s Foreign Editor Greg Sheridan says Israel cannot “complete the defeat” of Hamas without a ground offensive in Rafah.

The Israeli military is planning an operation into Rafah, a small city at the southern end of the Gaza Strip, which is currently sheltering about 1.5 million Palestinians, many of whom fled to the area since October 7.

Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong has come out with a statement supporting the joint statement from the prime ministers of Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, which expressed concern for Israel planning a ground offensive in Rafah.

“There are several elements of this statement that are disappointing,” he told Sky News host Peta Credlin.

“The first is the government’s own position is that Hamas can have no future role in the governance of Gaza.

“Yet if Israel leaves Rafah alone, Hamas controls a territory there, and all its leaders are apparently hiding out in tunnels there, and Hamas remains in power.”

UK Labour in 'absolutely massive trouble' following anti-Israel remarks
GB News host Patrick Christys says the UK Labour Party is “in absolutely massive trouble” with two candidates suspended over anti-Israel remarks.

“They’re in absolutely massive trouble and we’ve started to see the polls narrow very slightly although Labour of course are still in the lead,” Mr Christys told Sky News host Andrew Bolt.

“The fact is that Labour are being confronted by the reality that they helped to create here – for a very, very long period of time they put a huge amount of faith into the ‘Muslim vote’.

“And now there’s an issue going on with the Muslim world and they’re don’t support that issue and now they’re being absolutely rampaged through by shock horror, British Muslims.

“The fact is that Labour MPs are now being hounded in the street – the deputy leader, the chancellor, all of these MPs are being absolutely hounded on their doorstep.”

Douglas Murray & Mosab Hassan Yousef's Crucial Conversation
🔥 In a compelling dialogue on The Jobnik, Douglas Murray reunites with Mosab Hassan Yousef, once dubbed the 'Son of Hamas,' to delve deep into the persistent Islamist threat within Western societies. Nearly a decade after their first discussion following the tragic attacks in France, they revisit the urgent need for the West to confront this reality head-on.

🌍 Mosab, with his unique perspective as someone who broke free from the cycle of violence, sheds light on the hypocrisy that fuels terrorism and violence. He calls on Western leaders, including Emmanuel Macron, Rishi Sunak, Joe Biden, and Kamala Harris, to acknowledge the ideological dimensions motivating terrorists and to stop hiding behind political correctness.

✊ This video is a wake-up call to address the radical ideologies preached under the guise of freedom of speech and to challenge the Islamist narrative that threatens the very fabric of Western civilization. Mosab emphasizes the danger of 'Islamic hubs' producing extremists and the deceptive allure of the pro-Palestine movement that masks an anti-West agenda.

Douglas Murray and Mosab Hassan Yousef Discuss The Transformation from Hatred to Peace
In a riveting conversation, Douglas Murray sits down with Mosab Hassan Yousef, often known as the 'Son of Hamas,' to delve into Mosab's extraordinary journey from the heart of Hamas to advocating for peace and understanding between Israelis and Palestinians. This dialogue sheds light on Mosab's early encounters with Jews, his reflections on a childhood before the barriers, and the pivotal moments that led him to question the path of violence endorsed by Hamas.

🕊️ Mosab's insights into the brutal practices within Hamas, witnessed during his time in Israeli prison, highlight the organization's barbarity not just towards Israelis but towards their own. From a young age facing societal pressures to become a jihadist, to the shocking revelations of torture and murder within Hamas ranks, Mosab's story is one of courage, transformation, and the relentless pursuit of peace.

📌 This video is a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the complexities of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the human capacity for change, and the power of hope over hate. Mosab Hassan Yousef's journey serves as a powerful testament to the potential for reconciliation and the importance of seeing beyond the divides of conflict.

Douglas Murray was asked about the leaders of Hamas living in Britain.
Students from the Atlas Juniors project and the Center for Gifted Students were privileged to engage with Douglas K Murray, a prominent British journalist, political commentator, and best-selling author.

Known for his role as a columnist and associate editor for The Spectator, Murray shared his firsthand experiences covering the "Iron Sword" War from Israeli territory. The discussion was marked by the students' thought-provoking questions, to which Murray provided profound and sincere answers, reflecting his moral clarity and honesty. This exceptional event was not only an intellectual exchange but also a means to raise funds for the upcoming Atlas Juniors camp, where students will come together for an in-person Resilience & Innovation experience.

The Israel Guys: Hezbollah Fires Rockets At Israel - Will Israel Finally Invade?
Sirens have sounded in northern Israel multiple times this week due to rocket attacks from Hezbollah and on Tuesday, two Israelis were injured by a direct missile strike on Kiryat Shmona. Israel is continuing to strike terror targets in Lebanon in possible preparation for full-scale invasion. Meanwhile, France proposed a ceasefire between Israel and Lebanon which of course was quickly rejected by Hezbollah.

Jewish WhatsApp group doxxing ‘more reminiscent’ of 1930s Germany than modern Australia
Menzies Research Centre’s Freya Leach says the Jewish WhatsApp group who were doxxed is “more reminiscent” of 1930s Germany than modern-day Australia.

Anti-Israeli activists doxxed almost 600 Jewish people’s personal details, such as names and images from a WhatsApp group chat.

Victoria Police have already confirmed it was investigating potential criminal breaches relating to the WhatsApp group chat.

“It’s just completely and utterly devastating for the people in this group chat who’ve had their personal details leaked online to a vicious and angry mob.

“I actually was speaking to one woman earlier this week who’s a photographer who’s received death threats, horrible comments on her businesses, people have gone on to Google and left one-star reviews just because she’s Jewish and she was in a group chat where she could be supported by other Jews.”

‘Astonishing’: Sky News host blasts police for telling Jewish man to hide necklace
Sky News host Rita Panahi has blasted police in Scotland for telling a Jewish man to hide his Star of David necklace out of fear of retaliation from pro-Palestinian protesters.

“If people see your Star … they will get very, very angry. So I am just making you aware that might trigger the people because obviously I understand you’re sitting on different sides of the fence,” the officer said.

“That’s my only concern. The Star will set them off and cause an argument. There is only three of us here, it might be difficult for us to monitor the situation.”

Ms Panahi said if police told protesters to take off their hijab there would be public outroar.

“If this is such an easily triggered, violent mob then have more than three police officers there to protect the community,” she said.

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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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