Caroline Glick: Israel’s sucker’s game on the Gaza border
There was a depressing familiarity both to Hamas’s suicide protest operation along Gaza’s border with Israel this week and to Israel’s response to it.
Hamas’s jihadist regime in Gaza doesn’t have a lot of cards to play in its continuous war against the Jewish state. But, as we have been seeing since Hamas launched its campaign against the border six weeks ago, it does have one card, and no matter how often it plays that card, Israel can’t seem to figure out how to beat it.
Hamas’s card is Western hostility to Israel. The Western media, along with the EU and most European governments, hate Israel. Leftist governments in other Western countries – Canada under Justin Trudeau, the US under Barack Obama, are similarly disposed.
Acting on the sure knowledge that the Western media, the EU and the international Left will always side with Israel’s enemies against it, Hamas’s high card is its ability to stage assaults on Israel that provide Israel’s haters in the West with a pretense for condemning it.
For more than a decade Hamas has deployed Western Israel-haters alongside Palestinian civilians as suicide protesters used for anti-Israel photo-ops. In 2003, Rachel Corrie, the Israel-hating activist from Washington state, walked in front of a giant IDF bulldozer building the border wall separating Gaza from Egypt’s Sinai. The driver couldn’t see her, ran her over, and Hamas and its Western partners created a blood libel of Corrie’s martyrdom.
Einat Wilf: The Gaza Protest Is About Ending Israel
In the past few days, we have come closer than we have in some time to touching the core issues that drive the conflict between Israelis, Palestinians, and the wider Arab and Islamic world.
After decades of discussing “territories,” “borders,” “settlements,” “two states” and “occupation,” and lamenting the lack of trust between the sides and the absence of leadership, we are finally discussing the key question, which is: Is the Arab and Islamic world, and the Palestinians among them, ready to acknowledge that the Jewish people, as a people, have the equal right to self-determination and sovereignty in their ancestral homeland?
Put another way, is Israel a temporary aberration in what should be properly an Arab and Islamic region?
Israel’s Choice To Shoot Palestinians Should Horrify — But Not Surprise Us
Peter BeinartMay 15, 2018
The twin images of the clashes on the 1967 border of Palestinian Gaza with Israel, and the inauguration of the American Embassy in Jerusalem, both serve to highlight the two dominant issues in the conflict that directly touch upon the question of the right of the Jewish people to the land: Jerusalem, and the Palestinian demand for “return” into the state of Israel within its pre 1967 lines.
No other two issues expose so clearly the extent to which the dominant Islamic, Arab and Palestinian narrative remains still one in which Israel is a colonial enterprise of a foreign, invented people who came out of nowhere to a place to which they have no connection.
Col Kemp: Gaza: Distortion of the Truth
Speech made by Colonel Richard Kemp at the emergency session of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the deteriorating situation in Gaza on 18 May 2018
I commanded British troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Balkans and Northern Ireland and served with NATO and the UN. I’ve come straight from the Gaza front line to share my assessment.
Based on what I observed, I can say that everything we just heard here is a complete distortion of the truth. The truth is that Hamas, a terrorist organization that seeks the destruction of Israel and murder of Jews everywhere, deliberately caused over 60 of its own people to get killed.
They sent thousands of civilians to the front line — as human shields for terrorists trying to break through the border. Hamas’s goal, in their own words, was, quote, ‘blood… in the path of Jihad’. I ask every country in this Council: you have all been telling us that Israel should have reacted differently. But how would you respond if a Jihadist terror group sent thousands to flood your borders, and gunmen to massacre your communities? Your failure to admit that Hamas is responsible for every drop of blood spilt on the Gaza border encourages their violence and use of human shields. It makes you complicit in further bloodshed. If Israel had allowed these mobs to break through the fence, the IDF would then have been forced to defend their own civilians from slaughter and many more Palestinians would have been killed. Israel’s actions therefore saved lives of Gazans; and if this Council really cared about human rights, it should commend the Israel Defence Force for that, not condemn them on the basis of lies.
The High Level Military Group report about the ‘Great Return March’: PDF
“Hamas’s use of actual smoke and mirrors to conceal its aggressive manoeuvring on the Gaza border is the perfect metaphor for a strategy that has no viable military purpose but seeks to deceive the international community into criminalising a democratic state defending its citizens.
The UN and EU, NGOs, government officials and media — primary targets for Hamas — have been willingly taken in. For example a Guardian headline, ‘The use of lethal force to cow nonviolent demonstrations by Palestinians’, blatantly misrepresents the violent reality that has been plain for all to see. Likewise the NGO Human Rights Watch claims that we are seeing a movement to ‘affirm Palestinians’ internationally-recognised right of return’.
In reality these demonstrations are far from peaceful and do not pursue any so-called ‘right of return’. Rather they are carefully planned and orchestrated military operations intended to break through the border of a sovereign state and commit mass murder in the communities beyond, using their own civilians as cover. The purpose: to criminalise and isolate the State of Israel.”
Eugene Kontorovich: Al Jazeera interview re ICC investigation into Gaza
Hamas defined the day of violent clashes at Israel’s border with Gaza on May 14, 2018, during which some 59 Palestinians were claimed to have been killed, as proof of a victory for jihad and the armed struggle against Israel.
It openly admitted these were not spontaneous demonstrations but a campaign orchestrated by Hamas.
On May 14, Hamas explained the goals of the “Great Return March,” which are the elimination of the State of Israel and ethnically cleansing any Jewish presence from the land:
“Our people set out today to react to the new American Zionist aggression and to tell the world with its blood and limbs that it is the one that will draw the map of return and the map of victories.”
“The blood that has been spilled in resisting this crime will arouse a revolution until the occupation is removed, and the embassy is removed from Palestine forever.”
If, in the past, Hamas counted its victories according to the number of Israeli casualties, today it measures victory according to the number of Palestinian casualties.
A Hamas activist who was arrested by Israeli security forces while attempting to infiltrate the Gaza border into Israel during Monday’s violent protests, explained during his investigation on Wednesday that Hamas deliberately encourages women and children to approach the border fence with the sole aim of incurring casualties and diverting negative attention away from the terror organization.
“Hamas organized the protests in order for people not to ‘turn’ on them. They (Hamas) say: Instead of them harming us and ‘turning’ on us, we’ll send them to the border fence where they will be hit,” he told his investigators.
“They tell women to go forward. They say to a woman: Go ahead, you’re a woman and the army doesn’t shoot women. They tell small children: Go ahead, the army doesn’t shoot small children. They tell a child to go ahead and he goes. It’s a small child. They trick him,” the man insisted.
Tens of thousands of Gazans clashed with Israeli forces on Monday in another wave of the weekly “March of Return” protests, which have included in recent weeks violence, attempts to breach the border into Israel, and Israeli retaliation using riot-dispersal techniques and in some cases live fire.
Hamas Leader In Gaza Yahya Sinwar: Our People Took Off Their Military Uniforms And Joined The Marches; They Have Imposed Their Agenda Upon The Whole World; We Decided To Turn The Bodies Of Our Women And Children Into A Dam Blocking Arab Collapsehttps://t.co/YbQ4KZiKmT pic.twitter.com/dUiVCdrb7T
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 18, 2018
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) May 17, 2018
Ben Dror Yemini: The Palestinians’ self-made Nakba
If we want to understand why the Palestinian refugees’ descendants have remained in a state of distress, and why Hamas rioters vandalized the strip’s gas supply pipes, and why the Arab world hasn’t bothered to rehabilitate for 70 years now, and why the Palestinians failed to establish a state and had no concern for Jerusalem, we should go back to the Alami farm rioters. It’s the same logic. For 70 years now, the Nakba isn’t just a memory. The Nakba is the ethos. It’s the identity. It’s the lifetime achievement.
The Alami story, as part of the refugee saga, appears in Adi Schwartz and Einat Wilf’s new book “The Right of Return War,” which is being published these days. The book is an indictment, not just against the international community, not just against Arab states, but against Israel as well. Because all of them together have made it possible for the monster known as the refugee problem o reach shocking dimensions.
In the exact same years that Alami’s farm was active, from 1951 to 1955, $200 million (the equivalent of nearly $2 billion those days) were allotted for refugee development and rehabilitation projects. Only $7 million were used—3.5 percent. They weren’t interested in rehabilitation. UNRWA, which was created to solve the refugee problem, has turned into an agency for the perpetuation of refugeeism.
Monday’s dead are the product of payments from Iran, an addiction to the self-victimization and self-deception ethos, and the fostering of the return fantasy, by UNRWA as well.
The bloodshed and the suffering can be stopped. The free world should make it clear to the Palestinians: Peace, welfare and prosperity will arrive when you stop dreaming about ruin, destruction and return. But the free world is “condemning both sides,” encouraged by part of the Left. And the Palestinians are paying the price.
Seth J Frantzman: Eight weeks in Gaza: What did the ‘Great March of Return’ accomplish?
Eight weeks. Up to 8,700 wounded and around 100 people killed. Those are the brutal numbers of the “Great March of Return” that Hamas launched in Gaza on March 30, to coincide with Land Day.
The protests were supposed to reach a peak on May 15, to culminate with Nakba Day, when Palestinians mark what they see as the catastrophic creation of Israel in 1948.
What did Hamas think would happen, and did it accomplish what it wanted? Many questions remain about the weeks of riots in which thousands were shot with live ammunition. The fallout from the clashes will likely continue to be felt through criticism from the international community, ramifications in the region, and lessons learned by both Hamas and the Israeli authorities.
Israel’s goals and controversies
The Israel Defense Forces said from the beginning that the riots in Gaza were planned and executed by Hamas. In late February, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned Gazans not to approach the border fence, that they were endangering their lives by doing so and being used by Hamas. Israel said it would respond aggressively and had learned its lessons from the use of civilians to mask infiltration attempts.
The UN Human Rights Council on Friday voted to establish an investigation into Israel’s killing of Palestinians during protests along the Gaza border, in a move Israel rejected as being an attempt to undermine Israel’s right to self-defense.
The council voted 29 in favor and two against with 14 countries abstaining. Australia and the US were the two countries to oppose the decision. The council also condemned “the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force by the Israeli occupying forces against Palestinian civilians.”
The “independent, international commission of inquiry” mandated by the council will be asked to produce a final report next March.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely said Israel will not cooperate with the investigation.
“The UN Human Rights Council prefers to back Hamas instead of supporting Israel’s right to defend itself from terror,” tweeted Hotovely. “We have no intention of cooperating with an international investigative committee that wants to dictate results without a connection to facts.”
Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon issued a stern rebuke of Kuwait on Friday after the oil-rich Arab nation circulated a draft resolution calling for an international force to be deployed to Gaza in order to protect Palestinian civilians from Israel.
In a strongly worded statement released just before Friday morning, Danon called the proposed measure “shameful” and decried the move as a helping hand to the Palestinian terror organization Hamas.
“The cynicism and attempts to distort reality have reached a new low. Israel will continue to defend its sovereignty and the security of its citizens against the terror and murderous violence of Hamas,” said Danon.
“This shameful draft resolution is a proposal to support Hamas’s war crimes against Israel and the residents of Gaza who are being sent to die for the sake of preserving Hamas’s rule,” he added.
Earlier this week, Kuwait’s UN Ambassador Mansour Otaibi said he would call for a multilateral force to be deployed in Gaza for the “protection of Palestinian civilians,” though he added “we’re not talking about peacekeeping.”
That promise was fulfilled on Thursday evening after Otaibi distributed the draft resolution to each country on the 15-member United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
UN High Commissioner Zeid: “87 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli security forces, and over 12,000 people have been injured…The stark contrast in casualties on both sides is also suggestive of a wholly disproportionate response: on the Israeli side, one soldier was reportedly wounded, slightly, by a stone…. Israel, as an occupying power, is obligated to protect the population of Gaza and ensure their welfare. But they are, in essence, caged in a toxic slum from birth to death; deprived of dignity; dehumanized by the Israeli authorities…”
PLO: “None of the civilians used any firearm or lethal weapon… [For Israel] those who were killed from amongst the protesters have no value, just like Nazis… Criminal acts of the Israeli occupation forces against civilians…”
UAE for Arab Group: “We deeply condemn Israel’s repression of Palestinian protesters, collective punishment… We call for an international inquiry to put a prompt end to repression…”
Qatar: We condemn massacres and gross violations of the occupying forces. Women, children, and journalists have been killed.”
Iraq: “Horrific violations by Israeli forces…”
South Africa today likened Israeli actions to Nazi atrocities in a vitriolic speech to the UNHRC session on Gaza. “It would have been inexplicable for the Human Rights Council, the moral conscience of the world, not to convene today,” said the South African delegate, two months after South Africa strenuously objected to an EU-backed urgent debate over Syrians getting gassed to death by their own government.
On the UK proposal for an urgent debate for the Syrian victims, South Africa on March 2, 2018 regretted “the short notice,” saying “we do not understand this goal in light of the efficiency measures adopted by this Council, especially in light of the fact that this Council will also discuss Syria later in this session… What we are seeing instead is the outsourcing by the Security Council of its mandate to this Council. And this has to stop.”
South Africa compares Israel to Nazis, cites Rabbi in UNHRC Gaza debate
Israel’s Ambassador to Belgium and Luxembourg Simona Frenkel chastised representatives of the two countries’ foreign ministries Wednesday after being summoned to be reprimanded herself following Monday’s deadly clashes between the IDF and some 40,000 Gazan protestors.
“It seems that the Belgian Foreign Ministry belongs to a school of thought according to which when an ambassador is summoned for a conversation or a reprimand, he is supposed to behave like a child who has misbehaved, to listen with a bowed head and not to respond,” Frenkel wrote in a report sent to the Foreign Ministry.
“I responded and fired back against Belgium: Your one-sided positions do not contribute to peace.”
Frenkel was first invited to a meeting with Deputy Director-General of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Anick Van Calster, who recently visited Israel.
Van Calster opened by saying that she had been instructed by Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders to invite Frenkel in order to clarify the Belgian position, to voice objections to events that occurred on Monday on the Gaza border and to protest against what was described as a “disproportionate” use of force.
Calster also expressed anger over statements made by Frenkel during an interview with the country’s RTBF radio station, in which she described those killed in Gaza during the wave of unrest as terrorists.
The international response to the deadly clashes along the Gaza border fence exposes a serious failure in Israeli public diplomacy.
Monday’s international news broadcasts and Tuesday morning’s newspaper headlines in Europe and in most countries of the free world point to a perceptual victory for Hamas and the Palestinian terror organizations operating in Gaza.
They managed, unchallenged, to sway the public opinion in Europe, North America, many countries in Asia and in Eastern Europe as well, into believing that the Palestinians who got hurt on the fence were “innocent protestors trying to break the siege on the Gaza Strip through non-violent protests” —a simple and catchy narrative backed by hours of video footage and thousands of still images from the Gazan side, raising it to the level of a heroic struggle by the Palestinian people against their oppressors.
This huge flow of visual information and interviews with Palestinian “protestors” on the fence and with Hamas speakers was countered, on the Israeli side, by a thin drizzle of several dozen still images which mean nothing to an inexperienced eye, as well as short clips—10 to 20 seconds—from security cameras and quadcopters and a few photographers from the “combat documentation” of the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit.
In a world where visual material and fake news are the main shapers of public opinion, volume is significant. And what happened on Monday was that the visual volume, which came entirely from the Palestinian side, struck a chord even those who are usually willing to listen to the Israeli arguments.
Hen Mazzig: What I hear when I hear Diaspora Jews on Gaza
The comments of some diaspora Jews about the recent Gaza events sounded, to me, a lot like this:
“As a Jew who lives outside of Israel, it is heartbreaking to hear that 60 people were killed in Gaza today. Even if a large number of them are terrorists, even if they threw Molotov cocktails and explosive devices, and shot at the soldiers guarding the border with Israel. Even if they sent bomb kites and waved Nazi flags with swastikas on them. Even if the leaders of Hamas called Palestinians to storm the border with Israel, saying ‘tear down the fence and then tear Israeli hearts out from their bodies.’ Even if less than a mile away from the border with Gaza, Israeli families and children were sitting at their homes worried for their lives. Even if it is not the first time we have faced these violent mobs of tens of thousands of Palestinians, led by bloodthirsty Hamas terrorists. It still breaks my heart to see it.
“As a Jew I am ashamed of myself today. I understand that I have no military or security experience, but is this the only way to stop tens of thousands of people and terrorists trying to cross a border of a country? I know that if it was in any other country we would have seen many more casualties. I know that my country, for instance, would have carpet bombed the border and killed everyone that tried to break through, but it is Israel that I am ashamed of. Although my country has secure borders and I have nothing to worry about except whether or not Starbucks will have my almond milk latte, I can still judge. I can tell you we should be ashamed of Israel today.
“As a Jew, I know that every bullet shot, even if it was targeting Hamas terrorists, was not supposed to be shot. I understand Israel’s need for self-defense, but can’t they just talk and play nicer? Don’t they understand what it does to us? Don’t they know how hard it is to be Jewish and not condemn Israel? We might ruin our reputations and come off as ‘not liberal enough’ in our social circles and then what? We will have to be brave? Why won’t Israelis be brave and let them break through the fence to their cities?
The imbalance in statistical death makes for ominous headlines, but it doesn’t violate international law.
These are entirely new rules of engagement. The nations who stand in judgment have no idea how they would respond to enemy combatants not wearing uniforms, blended within the population and not fighting on defined battlegrounds. This is more a public relations battle than a military one, a sadistic game of Palestinian roulette, where dead Gazans serve a greater purpose than dead Israelis.
Disproportion may infuriate political leaders like Bernie Sanders and Theresa May, but Hamas plays this numbers game as if devised by legendary military strategist Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War.” Hadashot, an Israeli network that also broadcasts in Gaza, featured a video of Palestinian children happily stating that they are finally going home and that dying at the border will guarantee them a place in paradise.
In its dealings with Hamas and other terrorist groups like Hezbollah, Israel serves as the canary in the coal mine of fourth-generation warfare, where the distinctions between combatants and civilians are entirely blurred. There are no conventional armies. The rules of armed combat are up for grabs in the chaos of moral compromise. What’s more, civilians protected under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 bear little resemblance to Gazans who are not trapped in a war zone by an occupying force, but many of whom are voluntary participants in the way Hamas wages war against Israel.
Gazans were given clear instructions in these weekly calls to rage. Hamas’ military leader, Yahya Sinwar, proclaimed, according to the Times of Israel, the people of Gaza “will eat the livers of those besieging.”
These were not peaceful gatherings, and Americans, at least, should know better than to judge them as if they were. The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led a protest movement that rejected violence and never glorified death. And yet, some headlines are treating Gaza like a Middle Eastern Selma. King, who is memorialized with a forest in Israel, would be surprised that we now somehow couldn’t tell the difference.
A Third View of Gaza
The third view looks at the economic conditions and standards of living in the Gaza Strip. There is no connection between the hardships of the Gazans and the riots. The Palestinians in Gaza suffer from poor infrastructure, high unemployment, and restrictive mobility into and out of Gaza. They have severe shortages of fresh water and electricity. But these sufferings are the result of Hamas corruption, such as misappropriation of supplies, and the punitive denial of funds by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.
But Gazans do not lack essential products of any kind. Israel makes sure that all the needs of Gaza, except for military or dual-use equipment, enter and meet the demand.
Rioters’ severe damage to the Kerem Shalom border crossing through which truckloads of supplies and gas pipelines pass will further worsen the situation for Gazans as it forced Israel to shut the crossing temporarily.
Yet many pundits and politicians tend to present the violent riots as if they are motivated by the poor economic conditions created by Israel. If this was the reason Palestinians would have not destroyed the crossing and chosen the Nakba day for their riots. It is hard to understand what lies behind their myopia. Maybe it helps to justify the riots, and maybe it makes it easier to blame Israel.
Throughout history, the excuses to attack Israel keep changing.
For 8 years under the Obama administration, the Palestinians had portrayed themselves, and been treated as, the deserving underdog — the “good guys.” Now, a foreign government is actually holding the Palestinians accountable and calling them out for activities they had taken for granted, such as incitement to riot and murder, or funding terrorists and their families. The Palestinians do not like it one bit.
The Palestinians hate the Trump administration not because of the decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, but because it speaks truth to them and exposes their perfidy and malice. They hate the Trump administration because they see it as an obstacle on their way to eliminating Israel.
What happened at the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip was an act of aggression by Hamas on Israeli sovereignty. It was an act of war. Even the terrorists did not say that they were protesting the embassy relocation. The terrorists and the rest of the Palestinian demonstrators were chanting “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” They were chanting that their goal is to replace Israel with an Islamic state.
The recent Hamas-orchestrated violence on the Israel-Gaza Strip border is “an orchestrated, active suicide terror campaign,” the editor-in-chief of The Algemeiner said during an i24 News debate on Tuesday.
“What Israel is responding to is simply this — there is gunfire, there are reports of grenades being used, there are pipe bombs, there are Molotov cocktails, there are flaming kites,” Dovid Efune pointed out, a day after 60 Palestinians — most of whom were members of terrorist groups — were killed as they tried to storm across the border into the Jewish state.
Watch Efune’s debate with Dr. Maher Massis — the director of public policy for the Coalition of Palestinian American Organizations
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Wednesday called for an independent probe of the violence along the Israel-Gaza border after a Canadian doctor was among those injured in the clashes.
Trudeau did not specifically call out Israel over the violence, but also did not mention Hamas’s role in encouraging the riots.
“Canada deplores and is gravely concerned by the violence in the Gaza Strip that has led to a tragic loss of life and injured countless people. We are appalled that Dr. Tarek Loubani, a Canadian citizen, is among the wounded – along with so many unarmed people, including civilians, members of the media, first responders, and children,” he said.
“We are doing everything we can to assist Dr. Loubani and his family, and to determine how a Canadian citizen came to be injured. We are engaging with Israeli officials to get to the bottom of these events,” continued Trudeau.
“Reported use of excessive force and live ammunition is inexcusable. It is imperative we establish the facts of what is happening in Gaza. Canada calls for an immediate independent investigation to thoroughly examine the facts on the ground – including any incitement, violence, and the excessive use of force,” he said.
“Canada stands ready to assist in such an endeavor. We will work closely with our international partners and through international institutions to address this serious situation,” concluded Trudeau.
IsraellyCool: Busted! Palestinian “Medic” Killed Was a Hamas Terrorist
This week, the CBC’s Carol Off interviewed Tarek Loubani, a palestinian-Canadian MD who works in Shifa Hospital and in Ontario, and was wounded during the latest “march of return” riots. In the interview, Loubani recounts how one of the paramedics who helped him was shot dead.
In fact, Loubani’s supposed shooting was the impetus for Canadian PM Justin Trudeau to call for an investigation.
Well, it looks like Musa Abuhassanin aka Musa Jabr Abu Hasanin was not an innocent paramedic as Loubani would have us believe. He was a Hamas terrorist.
According to the poster released by Hamas, he was a Captain (verified by an Arabic speaking friend of mine)
In a speech in a main square in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Friday, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounced Israel’s recent actions with relation to this week’s protests in Gaza, saying that the world’s Muslims must take a “physical stance on Israel.”
His speech began with a cry for Muslims around the world to unite with one another in the face of “fights and conflicts and disputes among themselves.” He invoked phrases from the Quran to ignite the crowd, which cheered him on as he spoke of the Muslim unity and the faith’s connection to the city of Jerusalem, revered as holy by the three Abrahamic religions.
“Whose blood did Da’esh spill? Whose cities did Da’esh burn? Whose lives did Da’esh take? Only Muslims,” he said.
Da’esh is the Arabic name for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, which has waged a years-long bloody campaign against the civilian populations in both those countries, while simultaneously waging a war against the Iraqi and Syrian militaries. Of ISIS’s targets, a majority have been Muslims, but the terrorist organization has also carried out what many to consider to be a genocide of the Yazidis. They have also murdered Christians and many other minorities.
“It is our sole responsibility to pick [up] the Islamic world from this hole of ignorance,” Erdogan told the crowd.
The rally was held in support of the Palestinians, with participants waving Palestinian and Turkish flags together.
Arsen Ostrovsky: My interview on Turkish TV @The_Newsmakers on sitn in #Gaza, why #Israel will never apologize for defending our citizens & protecting our borders, and that responsibility for the violence rests with Hamas terror org that instigated these riot
Israel has the right to defend itself.
It has every right to protect its people and defend its borders against attacking mobs and armed terrorists trying to target and murder Jewish citizens.
But judging from the media coverage of the clashes along Israel’s border – the border that separates Israel from the terrorist-run Gaza Strip – there seems to be an expectation that Israeli forces simply give up and cede ground to the terrorist organizations seeking to destroy them.
This week was supposed to be a celebration of important milestones in Israel. Its historic capital in Jerusalem was finally recognized, and Israel celebrated its 70th anniversary of nationhood.
Israel was created in the aftermath of the Second World War, after the true horrors of Auschwitz and the Holocaust were uncovered. Never again, the global community promised, and Israel – the world’s only Jewish state – was recognized and protected.
The important events this week, however, were deliberately and maliciously interrupted by Hamas’s criminal stunts. Knowing that the international media would be in Jerusalem to commemorate the historic U.S. recognition of Israel’s capital, Hamas sent in thousands of rioters to steal the show.
A group of Democratic senators who voted against confirming Mike Pompeo as secretary of state late last month have sent him a letter telling him they “stand ready to work” with him on the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.
The letter to Pompeo was backed by anti-Israel advocacy group J Street and had Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) as its lead signatory. It won the support of Sens. Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Tom Carper (Del.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Patrick Leahy (Vt.), Ed Markey (Mass.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Tom Udall (N.M.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), all of whom voted against Pompeo’s April 26 confirmation.
The letter follows weeks of violent riots at the Israeli border led by Hamas, a terrorist group that has governed the territory since 2007.
It calls for Pompeo to reverse a Trump administration decision to slash funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which was cut off in January for the continued misuse of humanitarian aid funds. It also advocates for infrastructure investments in Gaza and for the administration to push for eased restrictions on the movement of goods and people in and out of Gaza.
The letter concludes by putting partial blame on both Hamas and Israel for the “horrific conditions in Gaza,” and saying the senators would like to work with Pompeo on the issue.
“We stand ready to work with you on this important matter,” it says.
J Street said in a press release that it was “proud to support and advocate on behalf of this deeply important message from prominent lawmakers.”
Less than a week after Palestinian rioters burned the fuel terminal at the Kerem Shalom Crossing into the Gaza Strip, the Defense Ministry announced on Thursday night that the flow of gasoline and diesel fuel into the coastal enclave was being partially restored.
Earlier in the day, engineers succeeded in sending a small amount of fuel through the two pipelines and hoped to bring the equipment back into partial service by the beginning of next week, after the Jewish festival of Shavuot on Sunday.
“The repair work on the gas pipeline concluded today, with the expectation that the system would come back to partial service after the Shavuot holiday,” the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
The Kerem Shalom Crossing serves as the main terminal for commercial goods and humanitarian aid into Gaza. Ordinarily, hundreds of trucks pass through the crossing each day. Its fuel terminal is also the only way to bring significant quantities of diesel and gasoline into the beleaguered coastal enclave.
Three times this month, rioters from the Gaza Strip broke into the Palestinian side of the crossing and set fire to parts of the facility.
Egypt said Thursday it would leave the Rafah crossing with Gaza open for the remainder of the holy month of Ramadan, making a rare concession for the ailing Strip.
The move comes after years that have seen Egypt open its sole border crossing with the Strip only sporadically and for short intervals.
“I issued my directions to the concerned apparatuses to take the necessary measures to maintain the opening of the Rafah border crossing throughout the holy month of Ramadan in order to ensure the easing of the burdens on the brothers in the Gaza Strip,” Sissi said on his official Twitter account according to Egyptian news site al-Ahram.
Ramadan, which began Wednesday night, will end on June 14, making it the longest the crossing has been open consecutively for years, as Egypt has fought an insurgency in north Sinai bordering the Palestinian enclave.
Egypt played a large role in convincing Hamas to call of protests this week after deadly clashes with Israeli troops at the border fence Monday. 60 people were killed Monday and another two on Tuesday during the demonstrations, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry. A Hamas official said 50 of them were members of the terror group which controls the Strip.
Appearing on CNN with Anderson Cooper, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who has spent his career attacking the Israeli right wing, astonishingly ripped into Hamas for the violence along the Israeli-Gaza border and the Palestinians who were killed, saying Hamas had committed “an act of human sacrifice.”
Cooper precipitated Friedman’s response by assuming Friedman would buy into the media’s false narrative of the correlation between the opening of the embassy in Jerusalem and the Hamas riots, ignoring that Hamas had been rioting every week for weeks: “Tom, it was striking yesterday to watch members of the Trump Administration celebrating the unveiling of the new embassy and at the same time Palestinians were being killed on the Israeli-Gaza border.”
Shockingly, Friedman ignored Cooper’s attempt and targeted Hamas instead, saying:
You know, the whole thing, Anderson, is just like diplomatic pornography from beginning to end. Let’s start with Hamas and Gaza. I mean, it was an act of human sacrifice. I’m sorry, when you throw thousands of your youth, the flower of your youth against an Israeli fence, supposedly to get into Israel, some of them surrounded by armed Hamas fighters, it was inevitable that a lot of people were gonna get killed. Israel was not going to open the border to them and Hamas knew that, and this was entirely designed by Hamas to distract the attention of the world, not to mention the Middle East.
Cooper commented, “And Hamas controls what happens in Gaza.”
The Iran-backed terrorist group Palestinian Islamic Jihad announced that a minor and a double amputee were among its fighters who died in clashes on the Gaza-Israel border on Monday.
In a death notice vowing “to continue Jihad and resistance,” the Islamist group released photographs of its fallen “mujahedeen” in uniform, among them 16-year-old Ahmed Adel Musa Alshaer.
A second PIJ member was identified as “wounded hero” Fadi Hassan Abu Salah, who lost his legs in a “Zionist bombing” during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009.
A tweet announcing Abu Salah’s death received over 19,000 retweets on Monday before it was retracted, after it was revealed that it featured a photo of a different Palestinian man from an earlier protest. The tweet didn’t mention Abu Salah’s affiliation.
At least 62 Palestinians were killed and over 2,500 others injured in clashes with Israeli troops on Monday, when the US opened its embassy in Jerusalem, the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said. The day was the deadliest of the weeks-long “Great March of Return” campaign, which Gazans launched to protest Israel’s refusal to allow Palestinian refugees of the 1948 Independence War and their five million descendants into Israel.
A top Hamas leader claimed in an interview on Wednesday that of those fatalities, “50 of them are from Hamas and 12 from the people.”
“I am telling you, these are official numbers,” he added.
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