July 11, 2020

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05/06 Links Pt1: As ceasefire goes into effect, PM says Gaza campaign not over; Amb Danon: When Hamas is exterminated, the people in Gaza will celebrate; Israel Should Adopt Barack Obama’s Counter-Terror Strategy


From Ian:

As ceasefire goes into effect, PM says Gaza campaign not over
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday commented on reports of an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire deal in Gaza, after two days of fighting in which four Israelis were killed, saying that Israel was readying for further confrontations with terrorist groups in the coastal enclave.

“Over the past two days, we have hit Hamas and Islamic Jihad with great force, attacking over 350 targets and terrorist leaders and activists, and destroying terrorist infrastructure,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

“The campaign is not over and requires patience and judgment. We are preparing to continue,” the prime minister added. “The goal was and remains to ensure the peace and security of the residents of the south. I send condolences to the families and wish a speedy recovery for the wounded.”

A spokesperson for Hamas similarly said, in response to the prime minister’s statement, that although the recent flareup in violence had come to an end, the wider conflict would continue.

“The resistance managed to deter the IDF,” said Sami Abu Zuhri, according to the Kan public broadcaster, referring to the Gaza terror groups. “Our message is that this round is over, but the conflict will not end until we regain our rights.”

The ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza terror groups went into effect at 4:30 a.m. Monday, according to the Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror groups, ending two days of intense fighting that saw more than 600 rockets fired at Israel and four Israeli civilians killed.

Over two days, in response to the rocket fire, the Israeli military conducted hundreds of strikes from the air and land, including one highly unusual targeted killing of a terrorist operative who the IDF said funneled money from Iran to terror groups in the Strip.

Palestinian medical officials reported 29 dead since Friday, including at least 11 terrorists, The Times of Israel confirmed.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas, Islamic Jihad again celebrate ‘victory’ – analysis

Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials see the ceasefire agreement that was reached with Israel early Monday as a “big achievement.”

In their view, the last round of fighting, during which the two groups fired hundreds of missiles towards Israel, has “deterred” Israel and forced it to commit to the implementation of previous Egyptian-sponsored understandings, which include easing restrictions imposed on the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave.

According to Hamas and Islamic Jihad, this time they received assurances from Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations that Israel will fulfill its obligations under the previous understandings reached earlier this year.

The two groups claimed that Monday’s ceasefire agreement requires Israel to stop shooting at Palestinians during the weekly protests near the border with Israel, also known as the Great March of Return; the implementation of the previous understandings, especially with regards to easing the blockade on the Gaza Strip; allowing international relief organizations to assist families whose houses were destroyed in the last round of fighting; an end to Israeli targeted assassinations and expanding the fishing zone for Palestinian fishermen.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad feel that the price they paid for launching hundreds of missiles toward Israel during the two days of fighting was relatively small compared to the losses and damage inflicted on Israel.

As far as they are concerned, the fact that none of their senior leaders was killed is sufficient to celebrate victory. Also, the fact that Israel did not launch a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip is seen by the two groups as proof that Israel is afraid of an all-out war with the Gaza-based groups. Each round of fighting that ends with Hamas and Islamic Jihad remaining the two dominant forces in the Gaza Strip is also seen by the two groups as a type of victory.

“The Palestinian resistance groups succeeded in deterring Israel and forcing it to implement the Egyptian-brokered understandings,” said Musab al-Braim, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian groups, he said, are now expecting Israel to step up the pace of implementing the understandings, especially in light of the “assurances” reportedly provided by Egypt, Qatar and the UN.

Amb Danon on CNN: When Hamas is exterminated, the people in Gaza will celebrate

Israel names four victims of weekend rocket attacks

The latest confrontation with Hamas in which almost 700 rockets were fired from the Gaza strip to Israeli territory claimed the lives of four Israeli citizens.

On Saturday night, Moshe Agadi, a father of four, was killed when a rocket struck his home in Ashkelon when he went out to smoke a cigarette. He was struck by shrapnel to his stomach and chest and was taken by Magen David Adom teams to Barzilai Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Moshe Feder, 64, from Kfar Saba, was killed Sunday afternoon after a Kornet anti-tank guided missile struck a car near the Gaza border between the communities of Yad Mordechai and Sderot.

Ziad Alhamamda was killed after he was critically injured in his chest by shrapnel from a direct strike on a factory in Ashkelon, dying from his wounds shortly after.

Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman, 21 years-old, was also killed Sunday evening after he suffered severe shrapnel injuries to his chest while running to a shelter in Ashdod.

The Barzilai Hospital and Soroka Hospital reported that apart from the four deceased, 234 Israelis were injured.

21-year-old Israeli-American killed in Ashdod rocket attack laid to rest

Hundreds gathered in Jerusalem late Sunday night to bury Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman, who was killed earlier in the day after being struck by rocket shrapnel while running for cover in the coastal city of Ashdod.

Prezuazman, 21, was a dual American and Israeli citizen, according to Israel’s Consul General in New York, Dani Dayan.

“I don’t understand why this is happening, but I am sure that you have fulfilled your purpose on this earth,” his father Haim Dov Prezuazman said as he was laid to rest.

“I had a great blessing to raise you for 21, nearly 22 years,” he said.

Prezuazman leaves behind a wife and a small child.

The rocket that killed Prezuazman was part of an early evening fusillade of dozens of rockets aimed at the southern Israeli cities of Sderot, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Yavneh, Gedera, and Beersheba, which have a combined population of over 600,000 residents.

Israelis killed by rocket fire, anti-tank missile identified

An Israeli man killed on Sunday afternoon in a rocket attack on the southern city of Ashkelon was identified as Ziad al-Hamamda, 47, and a second victim killed earlier in the day when an anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip struck his car was named as 68-year-old Moshe Feder.

The two were among the four Israelis killed in the latest round of violence, which has seen over 650 rockets fired at Israel over the weekend by Gaza terror groups and the Israel Defense Forces responding with strikes against some 300 targets throughout the Palestinian coastal enclave.

Al-Hamamda was killed when a rocket directly hit a factory in the southern city of Ashkelon. A Bedouin Israeli resident of the Negev, he is survived by his wife and seven children, according to Hebrew reports, and was buried on Sunday night.

Feder, a Kfar Saba resident, was survived by two children and his partner Iris Eden. Eden lost her first husband, Yashish Eden, in a deadly helicopter crash in 1997. Known as the “helicopter disaster,” that incident saw 73 IDF servicemen lose their lives when two aircraft collided near the northern border with Lebanon.

Israel Should Adopt Barack Obama’s Counter-Terror Strategy

A counter-terror model Israeli leaders may wish to consider is one employed by President Obama against al Qaeda, and one that Israel itself employed during the Second Intifada: targeted killings of terror leaders. President Obama parked drones over Afghanistan and the tribal provinces of Pakistan and mercilessly killed off al Qaeda leaders whenever and wherever they appeared. When one commander was eliminated and the next one was promoted, he was killed. And the next, and the next. Israel has extraordinary intelligence visibility into Gaza. This approach is well within the IDF’s capability.

Terrorist groups, like any organization, have a limited pool of talent to draw from. As senior leaders are killed off and replaced by inferior and inexperienced underlings, the cohesiveness and potency of a terror group is degraded. As is its morale: despite their claims to the contrary, few people wish to take a job that carries an almost certain death sentence.

With targeted killings, Israel can likely deter Hamas without re-occupying Gaza. It can degrade the group’s ability to fight, sow suspicion and paranoia, drive commanders underground, and force them to spend the rest of their short lives more worried about their own security than they are about threatening Israel’s security.

President Obama’s drone strikes worked. Over the course of several years they eliminated much of al Qaeda’s leadership and made membership in it an unappealing career choice for innumerable would-be jihadists. It’s probably time for the IDF to adopt this approach.

Israel may discover that real deterrence will in fact be established only when Hamas’s corrupt and cynical leaders realize that the price of rocket attacks is their own lives, rather than the lives of the foot soldiers they send to die as they cower in Shifa Hospital.

Steinitz: To get rid of Hamas, we have to conquer Gaza

Politicians have reacted to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to accept a ceasefire following two days of continued rocket attacks that left 4 Israelis dead and 234 injured.

Energy Minister and Security Cabinet member Yuval Steinitz told Army Radio on Monday morning that “to get rid of Hamas, we have to conquer Gaza.”

He made the comments following the decision to accept a ceasefire during the early hours of Monday morning. Four Israelis have been killed and 234 others injured as 690 rockets pummeled the South of the country.

Steinitz said that such action was “a possible step, but it will exact a very heavy price.”

He added that the Israeli attacks on Sunday night were at the highest level, saying that they were just as powerful as those during the 2014 Gaza war. “We brought down buildings after 50 days, and here we did it within a day.”

Israel, Palestinians Used New Methods of Warfare in Latest Round

The current flare-up in Gaza is characterized by new methods of warfare used by both sides.

Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other smaller terror groups have introduced a new locally-produced rocket which can reach only a few kilometers into Israel but is tipped with a uniquely heavy warhead. These rockets – called Burkan – were first developed in Syria and their warheads usually contain dozens of kilograms of explosives.

The terror groups thought the rocket would surprise the residents of Israeli communities near the Gaza border, but due to the rockets’ lack of precision, most of them landed in open spaces or failed to make it into Israeli territory altogether.

The IDF has attacked almost exclusively what are labeled “power targets.” These include multi-storey buildings with military installations, buildings serving as headquarters for the terror groups, and even private homes of the factions’ leaders, leaving them without a roof over their heads on the eve of the Ramadan holiday.

The IDF also strikes terror cells launching rockets and has killed at least eight terror operatives.

U.S., Europe Condemn Gaza Rocket Attacks, Reaffirm Israel’s Right to Self-Defense

The U.S. State Department and European leaders have condemned the rocket fire from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, almost 700 rockets were fired into Israel beginning Saturday, prompting Israel to retaliate with airstrikes.

“The United States strongly condemns the ongoing barrage of rocket attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from Gaza upon innocent civilians and their communities across Israel,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement on Sunday. “We call on those responsible for the violence to cease this aggression immediately.”

U.S. President Donald Trump reaffirmed Israel’s right to self-defense and said, “We support Israel 100% in its defense of its citizens.” He addressed on social media the people of Gaza, saying, “These terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing but more misery. END the violence and work towards peace – it can happen!”

Jason Greenblatt, the White House’s special representative to the Middle East, had earlier condemned Hamas – which exercises complete political and military control over Gaza – in a tweet.

“Hamas & PIJ have engaged in yet another deplorable act of terrorism, indiscriminately firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilian communities. The U.S. stands firmly in support of Israel’s right to self-defense and we call on the international community to do the same,” Greenblatt said.

How Are UN and Intl. Community Responding to Gaza Rockets?

The United Nations has a reputation for condemning Israel on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, sometimes disproportionately. How will they respond this time? Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon analyzes.

Iran’s Hand Behind the Latest Flare Up in Gaza, Israel

The kinds of weapons used by terrorists in Gaza are also noteworthy. Interrupting a short lull in the rocket fire, terrorists fired a guided Kornet anti-tank weapon, targeting a car and killing a civilian in Israel. According to the IDF, militants in Gaza also tried carrying out an attack using a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) attached to a drone, which landed on a tank but failed to detonate. The IDF, working with Israel’s internal security the Shin Bet, also thwarted a Hamas cyberattack against Israeli infrastructure and responded by destroying the building housing the headquarters of the terror group’s cyber unit. It was the first such attack while fighting was ongoing.

Of the 700 or so rockets fired from Gaza through Sunday, most landed in open fields, 90 failed to make it out of the strip, and Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted more than 170 with a success rate of over 80 percent. Despite propaganda attempts by Hamas and its own Health Ministry to blame Israel for the death of a Palestinian woman and her unborn baby, Israeli officials are adamant in refuting that claim.

IDF spokesman Brig. Gen. Ronen Manelis wrote on Twitter that the death was “the terror organizations’ propaganda at its finest.” Jonathan Conricus, the foreign press spokesman at the IDF told journalists they were “now confident” that the deaths were not due to an Israeli strike. “Their unfortunate death was not a result of (Israeli) weaponry but a Hamas rocket that was fired and exploded not where it was supposed to,” Conricus said, citing Israeli intelligence.

Nevertheless, several rockets managed to make it through, killing four Israelis and wounding several dozen more. The first Israeli fatality was Moshe Agadi, a 58-year-old father of four who was killed when a rocket struck his home in Ashkelon. A 47-year-old Bedouin man, Ziad al-Hamamda, was killed Sunday by shrapnel after a direct strike on a factory, also in the city of Ashkelon. Moshe Feder, a 68-year-old man killed was killed by the Kornet anti-tank missile. A 23-year-old Israeli, Pinchas Menachem Prezuazman was also killed Sunday due to shrapnel injuries he sustained while running to a shelter in Ashdod. In these border communities, there is often less than 15 seconds of warning time between a red alert and a rocket’s impact.

Honest Reporting: From the Scene: Under Fire in Israel’s South

The IDF Home Front Command instructs Israelis to stay in their protected spaces for at least 10 minutes after the end of a siren. Israelis are notoriously hesitant to follow instructions. These instructions are issued for a reason, which we found out only a few seconds after leaving the house as the siren began to blare again.

Another dash back to our previous positions inside the house and more booms. We were unaware that this was a massive rocket barrage aimed at Ashkelon. I was almost back on the minibus when the third siren in only a few minutes prompted yet another run to my now familiar space in the service porch for the limited protection it offered. Strangely, members of the Agadi family, perhaps struck by a fatalism resulting from Moshe Agadi’s death, stayed in the living room almost ignoring the incoming threat.

This time, the sounds of explosions rattled the house and there were audible gasps from the among those huddled in and out of the safe room. The booms felt as if they were literally right outside. I have to admit that it was genuinely frightening. As we eventually hurried out of the house in the aftermath of the siren, I realized that I was trembling slightly. I’ll put it down to the adrenaline but my nerves had most definitely been frayed.

Sadly, Iron Dome was unable to prevent at least one of the Gaza rockets from landing on a factory in Ashkelon’s industrial zone, killing one Israeli man. By the time we reached that scene, emergency services had already secured the factory site and evacuated the casualty, Israeli Bedouin resident of the Negev Ziad al-Hamamda, 47, who left behind a wife and seven children.

‘Fauda’ cast sends love to Israelis under fire

As rockets rained down on Israel over the weekend, the cast of Fauda had a message for those in the South: Stay strong.

In a video uploaded to star and co-creator Lior Raz’s Instagram story on Sunday, six members of the cast offered words of comfort.

“Residents of the South, we’re sending you a lot of strength and love,” they said. “We love you, stay strong, and we hope quiet will return soon.”

Alongside Raz was Idan Amedi (Sagi), Boaz Konforty (Avichai), Doron Ben-David (Steve), Rona Lee Shimon (Nurit) and Yaakov Zada Daniel (Eli).

Raz closed out the message with a famous quote from Rabbi Nachman of Breslav: “And the most important thing, is don’t be afraid at all.”

Gal Gadot: Violence in South ‘hurts my heart’

Gal Gadot took to Instagram on Sunday to post a message of solidarity with the residents of Israel’s South.

“My heart hurts,” she wrote in Hebrew on Instagram. “I’m praying for days of quiet and peace.”

Gadot’s words accompanied a repost of a quote from word artist Ido Grinberg, aka Mismas: “I have pains on the south side of my heart.”

While Gadot regularly speaks about her Israeli heritage and upbringing, she rarely comments on violence between in Gaza.

In 2014, during Operation Protective Edge, Gadot posted a photo of her and her daughter lighting Shabbat candles.

“I am sending my love and prayers to my fellow Israeli citizens,” she wrote at the time. “Especially to all the boys and girls who are risking their lives protecting my country against the horrific acts conducted by Hamas, who are hiding like cowards behind women and children… We shall overcome!!! Shabbat Shalom! #weareright #freegazafromhamas #stopterror”

That post garnered a fair amount of controversy for the actress, and heavy criticism from pro-Palestinian activists.

IDF chief: Israel destroyed hundreds of ‘terror targets’ in Gaza

IDF chief Aviv Kochavi visits Southern Command in undated photograph. (Israel Defense Forces)

IDF chief of staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi said Monday that the Israeli military destroyed “hundreds of military targets” in the Gaza Strip during two days of fighting between Israel and Palestinian terror groups.

“The terrorist army operating in the Gaza Strip, hiding among its own citizens, did not predict the strength of the IDF and the security organizations, which destroyed hundreds of terrorist targets, including headquarters, arms depots, as well as ostensibly civilian infrastructure and buildings that had become terrorist dens,” Kohavi said in an address ahead of Israel’s Memorial Day for fallen soldiers, which begins Tuesday evening.

“Along with the significant damage to the enemy, I wish to express deep regret over the deaths of four of our citizens and to wish a speedy recovery to the wounded,” Kohavi said.

“The IDF will continue to attack with force, as needed, wherever it is needed,” he added.

IDF probing why road where man killed by Gazan anti-tank missile was kept open

The Israeli military said it failed to recognize the risks posed to Israeli drivers on a road north of the Gaza Strip where a man was killed Sunday when a Kornet anti-tank guided missile fired from the enclave struck his car.

Earlier in the day, the Israel Defense Forces ordered some roads around the Gaza Strip closed in light of the threat of sniper and missile attacks from the enclave. However, the Route 34 highway, north of the Strip, near the community of Kibbutz Erez was left open.

“The specific road where the civilian’s vehicle was hit was not closed due to the distance. At the time, we didn’t see that threat,” IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Sunday evening.

Route 34 runs about 2.5 kilometers from populated parts of the Gaza Strip in some sections. A train route which runs along Route 34 on an elevated track in the same area of the attack was shut for fear of attacks, but the highway was kept open.

The Russian-designed Kornet anti-tank guided missile has an effective range of up to 5.5 kilometers. Unlike the rockets used by terror groups in the Strip, the laser-guided Kornet is highly accurate.

Hamas launched a cyberattack during rocket barrage, so Israel blew up their cyber command center

While the U.S. has targeted ISIS operative involved in cyberwarfare in the past, this appears to be the first real-time military attack on a cyber command center, according to The Verge:

The Israel Defense Force says that it stopped an attempted cyber attack launched by Hamas over the weekend, and retaliated with an airstrike against the building where it says the attack originated from in Gaza. It’s believed to be the first time that a military has retaliated with physical violence in real time against a cyberattack….

What’s novel about this particular incident is that it appears to be the first time that a military has met a cyberattack with a real-world response during an ongoing battle. As ZDNet’s Catalin Cimpanu points out, the US targeted a member of ISIS back in 2015 after he released US service member records online, but that attack didn’t occur in real-time. “Israel’s response against Hamas marks the first time that a country has reacted with immediate military force to a cyber-attack in an active conflict,” Cimpanu writes.

The Verge asks whether the attack was appropriate:
Given that the IDF admitted that it had halted the attack prior to the airstrike, the question is now whether or not the response was appropriate.

Considering that the Hamas target likely was Israeli infrastructure and/or military assets, it certainly does seem appropriate and proportionate to the threat.

Israel could have leveled the entire building. But from the photo it’s clear that only the floors in question were hit. Also, it’s very likely that Israel sent warnings to civilians in the building — via cell phones and the so-called roof tap — to evacuate. That meant that civilians were spared, but so were the Hamas cyber operatives, who live to hack another day even if their command center was destroyed.

Welcome to cyber warfare, where the warfare part means just that.

Most terrorists killed in Gaza escalation were from Islamic Jihad

At least 11 of the Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip since Friday were members of terror groups, according to Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Eight of the eleven members of terror groups belonged to the Al-Quds Brigades, Islamic Jihad’s military wing.

The Al-Quds Brigades confirmed on its website the identities of eight of its members killed in Isaeli strikes.

The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, verified in statements that three others killed during the fighting belonged to its ranks.

Israel carried out hundreds of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip Saturday and Sunday after terror groups in Gaza including Islamic Jihad and Hamas began firing rockets and projectiles at southern Israel Saturday morning.

Four Israeli civilians were killed in the violent flareup, three from rocket fire and one when his car was hit by an anti-tank missile.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said 29 Palestinians were killed by Israeli strikes, including two pregnant women and a baby. Israel said one of the women and her baby were killed in a failed rocket launch and not as a result of IDF actions.

Ilhan Omar And Rashida Tlaib Attack Israel, Defend Palestinian Terror Attacks

Far-left Reps. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN) attacked Israel on Sunday and defended the Palestinian terrorist attacks that targeted Israel over the weekend.

The Jerusalem Post reported that approximately 700 rockets were fired at Israel from Palestinian terrorists in the Gaza Strip and that the Iron Dome intercepted approximately 173 of the rockets.

“Terror groups Hamas and Islamic jihad in Gaza have fired over 700 rockets at Israel since Friday, killing four Israelis and wounding dozens,” The Jerusalem Post reported, adding: “Defiant Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials said on Sunday that they don’t rule out the possibility that the current round of fighting in the Gaza Strip could lead to an all-out war with Israel.”

“The latest round of violence began two days ago when an Islamic Jihad sniper fired at Israeli troops, wounding two soldiers,” Reuters reported.

Omar and Tlaib, who are both well-documented anti-Semites, rushed to attack Israel and defended the terrorism that was being carried out against Israel.

MEMRI: Responding To Gaza Events, Saudis Tweet In Support Of Israel, Against Hamas

The latest round of fighting between Israel and Gaza sparked many reactions from Saudis on Twitter. Noteworthy among these responses were tweets, including by prominent intellectuals and journalists, that sided with Israel and hoped for its safety and victory, while attacking Hamas and its policy, in particular its firing of rockets. Some wrote that Hamas was firing the rockets on orders from Iran, in retaliation for the tightening of the U.S. sanctions on this country on May 3, 2019. It should be noted that this is not the first time Saudi intellectuals and academics have openly expressed support for Israel and criticized Hamas.[1]

The following are some of the tweets:
Saudi Journalists And Liberals: Iran Is In Trouble, And The Palestinians Are Paying The Price

Liberal Saudi author and intellectual Dr. Turki Al-Hamad described the latest flare-up of the fighting in Gaza as a predictable and ever-repeating scenario, while blaming it on the troubles plaguing Iran and Turkey. He tweeted: “It’s a repeating loop: rockets [are fired] from Gaza into Israel, Israel bombs [Gaza], someone or other mediates, the fighting stops – and the common Palestinian folks pay the price. This is ‘resistance,’ my friend. Iran and Turkey are in trouble, and the Palestinians are paying the price.”[2]

Responding to Al-Hamad’s tweet, Saudi Twitter user Mut’ab Al-Jabrin attacked Hamas and its policy in Gaza: “Since the Hamas coup and its takeover of Gaza, the [Gaza] Strip has been suffering mismanagement which has caused [its residents] to lose even the most basic services, [namely] power and water. [All this is] due to the foolish policy of Hamas, which does nothing but fire a few rockets that fall even before they reach their target, and which achieve no balance [of power] and exert no political pressure. It ends with Israeli strikes that destroy the Gaza Strip’s infrastructures.”[3]

Senior Saudi journalist Muhammad Aal Al-Sheikh, who writes for the Saudi daily Al-Jazirah, tweeted that the firing of rockets from Gaza is carried out on orders from Iran, in retaliation for the tightening of the U.S. sanctions: “The Persian ayatollahs have instructed their servants, Hamas, to escalate [the conflict] with Israel, and they obeyed. The result is seven Palestinians dead, versus one Israeli wounded. The Persians are tightening the pressure on the U.S. and Israel in retaliation for Trump’s decision, and the victims are the people of Gaza.”[4]

Honest Reporting: Dishonest Headlines Parrot Hamas Claim

Any journalist worth their salt knows that their work requires describing what has happened, and reporting the whole story. When reporters are unable to determine exactly what happened, standard procedure is to report what the various parties claim, and let the readers make their own judgments.

Those simple standards, however, were repeatedly not met by numerous reporters covering the latest flare-up of violence between Israel and terror organizations Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip.

More than 600 rockets have been fired at Israel since Saturday morning, and Israel is responding by targeting terrorists, as well as Islamic Jihad and Hamas’s facilities. Amid the ongoing exchange of fire, a pregnant woman and her 14-month old daughter were killed in unclear circumstances. Despite the IDF refusing to accept responsibility for the deaths, Palestinian sources were predictably swift to blame Israel, and the British media quickly picked up on the story.

The IDF later put out a statement on Twitter, reading: “Today we can say with certainty, after looking into the event, that they were killed as a result of an explosion of combustible materials during the activation of a Hamas explosive device.” A later tweet went further, accusing journalists of complicity, saying they had “amplified the lie.”

PreOccupiedTerritory: No, Sweetie, The Fancy Rockets Are Only When We Have Guests By Wafa Shtayyeh, Hamas wife and mother (satire)

Honey, I know you love when we break out the special missiles with the sleek design, but you know we only use those when special people are visiting. That’s not today.

I understand you think it’s a waste to have those rockets just siting around for a special occasion, taking up much-needed space, but those are very important our family, and we don’t want them to lose their special status in our hearts by making their use an everyday event. That’s why for our day-to-day routine we’re going to continue using the plain rockets that have served us well for years and years already.

You’re disappointed, sweetheart, I can see that. You’re allowed to feel disappointed. We don’t always get what we want. In fact we rarely get what we want most. Have our brave fighters succeeded in breaking through the border fence en masse and slaughtering the Jews or sending them fleeing? No. Has our continued pursuit of violence eased the blockade one iota? Also no. Has our elected leadership – such as it is – done anything to improve our lives instead of using us as pawns in their quest for glory and the cachet of Resistance? No again. Disappointment plays an important part in life, and we must all learn to handle it. That’s how we grow.

PMW: Abbas and PLO side with Hamas in desperate attempt to be relevant

Starting on May 4th through the early hours of May 6th, the Palestinian terrorists from Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad fired close to 700 rockets from the Gaza Strip at Israel, targeting civilian population centers. To defend its population, the Israeli Air Force responded by targeting the terrorist groups’ infrastructure and a number of their members.

Instead of condemning the Palestinian terrorists who committed war crimes by firing hundreds of rockets, mortars, and missiles targeting Israel’s civilian population, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided to give them full support. Similar support was also given by officials in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), also headed by Abbas. At the same time, Abbas’ Fatah party referred to all of Israel as “occupied” and all Israelis as “settlers.”

Completely ignoring the actions of the terrorists, Abbas condemned only the “Israeli aggression.” He also lied claiming that the Israeli response to the barrage of terrorist missiles had claimed the life of a pregnant Palestinian and her 14 month old baby. In fact, the mother and baby were killed by a Hamas rocket that fell short.

“President Mahmoud Abbas strongly condemned today the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip which so far claimed the lives of seven Palestinians, including a toddler and her pregnant mother.” [WAFA, official PA news agency, May 4, 2019]

Abbas even instructed the PA’s permanent representative to the UN “to consider calling for a meeting of the UN Security Council to bring a halt to the Israeli aggression.” [WAFA, official PA news agency, May 5, 2019]

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