Martin Sherman: Gaza—The “humanitarian” hoax
The privation in Gaza is not the cause of the enmity towards the Jewish state. Quite the opposite! It is the enmity towards the Jewish state that is the cause of the privation in Gaza.
No cliché has dominated the discourse on the Gaza situation more than the perception of Palestinian violence as a corollary of the Strip’s dire economic condition – Prof. Efraim Karsh, It’s Not Gaza’s Economy, Stupid, June 3, 2018.
Many experts claim that an easing of economic conditions in Gaza…is the way to achieve political stability in a Gaza Strip ruled by Hamas. This is a fallacious argument. Prof. Hillel Frisch, Economic Benefits Will Not Bring Stability to Gaza , June 6, 2018.
It is refreshing to see what appears to be an emerging challenge to the mindless Pavlovian response, propagated by most of the Israeli media, to the horrific hatred and violence on display along the border with Gaza.
Soldiers turned sociologists?
Sadly, and perhaps, most disturbingly, it is none other than the IDF and the security establishment that appear to be one of its principal advocates.
Reflecting this hopelessly unfounded perspective was a recent report, headlined, “Israeli military recommends easing humanitarian situation in Gaza”, which cited a senior military source advising that “Israel should ease the humanitarian situation in Gaza and reach a long term ‘arrangement’ with Hamas”. A day later, this was followed by a similar report,” Army calls to lift some economic restrictions on Gaza, boost chances of quiet”, citing “A top official in the IDF’s Southern Command [who stated that ] Israel must take steps to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which would likely bring quiet to the Gaza region.”
A bill meant to discourage the Palestinian Authority from continuing to pay terrorists can go to a final vote, after the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee authorized it on Monday.
The legislation requires the government to deduct the amount that the Palestinian Authority pays terrorists from the taxes and tariffs Israel collects for the PA, and is backed by MKs from the coalition and much of the opposition.
The PA paid terrorists over a billion shekels ($280 million) in 2017, upping the amount to over NIS 1.4 billion ($390 million) in its 2018 budget, according to a Defense Ministry report based on the PA’s budget.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the bill’s passage, and said it will be used to pay damages for fields destroyed by Gazans launching incendiary kites into Israel. “Justice should be done here. Whoever burns fields should know it has a price.”
“This bill fixes a historic injustice,” according to Yesh Atid MK Elazar Stern, who proposed the legislation. “This is a bill that will reduce terrorism.”
Today the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) Committee on Foreign Affairs and Security voted unanimously to deduct the amount that the PA pays to terrorist prisoners and terrorists’ families from the tax money that Israel collects and transfers to the PA each month. The amount, according to the 2018 PA budget, is approximately 1.2 billion shekels per year (approx. $350 million).
The legislation adds that the withheld money will be put into a special account which will be used to compensate victims of terror and their families, as well as to compensate Israelis for economic damage caused by Palestinian terror, and other uses.
Since the vote was supported by all the Knesset members present, both of the coalition and opposition, the legislation is expected to pass the second and third readings in the Knesset shortly and be enacted into law.
Palestinian Media Watch has been working with the Knesset committee in all of its deliberations about this legislation. On November 13, 2017, PMW was invited and made a PowerPoint presentation to the committee introducing the Knesset committee to the topic of Palestinian rewards to terrorists.
PMW showed the Knesset the history and scope of the PA practice:
The amount the PA spends on terror rewards;
Proof that these rewards motivated terror attacks;
Proof that at least part of the money Israel transferred was reaching terrorists in prison; and much more.
Subsequently, the Ministry of Defense announced that the Israeli government would like to initiate its own version of the legislation. Representatives of the Ministry of Defense turned to PMW and met with us numerous times for information detailing the practice and its scope.
PMW was invited to the four subsequent meetings in the Knesset Committee in 2018, (January 9, February 12, May 15, and today), and played an active role in all the meetings.
The rape and murder of a 14-year-old Jewish girl by a failed Iraqi asylum seeker has cast a renewed spotlight on Germany’s migrant rape crisis, which has continued unabated for years amid official complicity and public apathy.
Thousands of women and children have been raped or sexually assaulted in Germany since Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed into the country more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
The latest crime, entirely preventable, is uniquely reprehensible in that it highlights in one act the many insidious consequences of Germany’s open-door migration policy — including the failure to vet those allowed into the country and the practice of releasing migrant criminals back onto German streets instead of incarcerating or deporting them.
The crime also exposes the gross negligence of Germany’s political class, which appears to be more concerned with preserving multiculturalism and the rights of predatory migrants than protecting German women and children from them.
Police say that Ali Bashar, a 20-year-old Iraqi Kurd, raped Susanna Maria Feldman, strangled her and then dumped her body in a wooded area alongside railroad tracks on the outskirts of Wiesbaden. Bashar then fled to Iraq on false identity papers.
Feldman had been missing from her home in Mainz since May 22. Her mother filed a missing person report on May 23. Police, however, did not even begin to search for the girl until more than a week later, when an unnamed 13-year-old boy, a migrant living in the same refugee shelter as Bashar, contacted the police. Feldman’s body was finally recovered on June 6.
We need to transition to punishment and reward. Punishment should replace the goal of deterring and containing terrorism, and should play a major role in the battle against guerrilla terrorism. In the absence of political diplomacy, this would make clear through strength what we consider acceptable and what we don’t. This would give us freedom to employ a variety of offensive methods in dealing out punishment, allowing us to determine the type and intensity of strikes. The current use of “deterrence and containment of terrorist infrastructures” allows the enemy to decide whether or not it is contained or deterred.
In the end, our aim is victory. No type of warfare can succeed if it is incapable of defeating the enemy. If the other methods prove ineffectual, there is no option other than a military victory. That means one thing: breaking the opponent’s ability or desire to fight. Despite the density of the population and buildings in the Gaza Strip, we are talking about an area and an organization that are relatively small compared to the IDF, and Hamas could be beaten without any need for occupation for occupation’s sake.
More importantly, without a diplomatic plan that complements the warfare and takes advantage of our military achievements, our victories will be tactical only.
To fight Hamas, we need to utilize the IDF’s advantages in terms of personnel, weaponry, technology, and intelligence. But to overcome the vulnerable points of a large, regular military, it is important to understand the advantages of the “barefoot” and their doctrine of guerrilla terrorism. Hamas is counting on the IDF being awkward and heavy; we need to surprise it every time.
Israel’s basic grand strategy since the 1950s has involved fighting short decisive wars, preferably in enemy territory, with the goal of deterring its enemies from attempting future attacks. This approach—which Yagil Henkin terms the “Ben-Gurion doctrine”—proved successful against the Egyptian and Syrian armies, but is less suited to fighting unconventional wars. Thus Moshe Dayan developed an alternative strategy based on the belief that Israel, in Dayan’s words, “can’t prevent the murders of [Israeli] workers in orchards or of families sleeping in their beds at night, [but] what we can do is set a very high price for our blood, so high that no Arab locality, Arab army, or Arab government will want to pay it.” Exploring the ongoing tension between the two doctrines, Henkin shows why neither one was wholly adequate to the task of suppressing the second intifada:
When facing a real, immediate, and basic primal threat—such as a full-blown army that may invade—Israel’s immediate goal was usually to avoid escalation. Military action would be taken when Israeli believed that the enemy wanted escalation, or to defeat the enemy before he had a chance to act. But when facing terrorists, infiltrators, terror organizations, and their proxies, Israel has sometimes wanted to escalate the situation on purpose, in order to avoid future escalation. In other words: if terrorists hit us, we’ll hit them back until the “price” for their continued activities will be too “expensive” for them to pay. . . .
[After the outbreak of the second intifada], it emerged that . . . escalation [of the conflict by Israel] did not lead to de-escalation [by the Palestinians], leading the IDF to embark on the decisive Defensive Shield operation in 2002. That operation was designed not to convince the Palestinians that “the price of Jewish blood is too high to pay” but to take control of [parts of the West Bank] in order to destroy terror infrastructures, and ultimately to win a decisive victory over terror. In actuality, the failure of Israel’s attempt to employ the Dayan doctrine vis-à-vis Palestinian terror was what finally forced Israel to engage in a battle against the Palestinians to score a decisive victory.
Afterward, in light of the understanding that the Dayan doctrine could not be applied efficaciously to people living in territory under Israeli control, Israel adopted another strategy called “mowing the grass.” Although this is based on the Dayan doctrine (ongoing deterrence activities), another layer is added: periodically, it is necessary to conduct relatively large operations to hamper the capabilities of the enemy. This bears resemblance to Ben-Gurion’s doctrine regarding rounds of fighting that will crop up from time to time. . . .
That Israel discovered this pipe underscores its intelligence reach. The effort launched by the Israel Defense Forces after the 2014 Gaza war has borne fruit, first by detecting overland tunnels and now this. Although in the latest discovery, Israel didn’t have to employ its latest technological innovations, the method was similar: pinpointed intelligence followed by airstrikes. This has proven to be an effective means of destroying tunnels.
But Israel must not bask in its success. As someone once said before, intelligence only tells you what you know, it doesn’t tell you anything about what you don’t know. One of the insights gleaned from this latest discovery is that Hamas is determined to find Israel’s soft spots. As far as it is concerned, the maritime platform has great potential.
That is why Hams is investing heavily in training naval commandos and developing a modus operandi that would challenge Israel. For this reason, the IDF has recently decided to use its overland anti-tunnel technology against maritime tunnels as well. This is aimed at protecting both Israeli beachgoers and the country’s strategic maritime installations.
But tactical successes and surgical strikes can only go so far. The IDF has been a great contractor for calm on a tactical level but if we want to find a strategic solution, we have to undergo a paradigm shift. The events of the past several weeks have shown that Hamas is in dire straits. Now is an opportune moment to try to extract concessions that would herald a long period of calm in the south.
You know what was the hardest part of all this?
It’s not the fact we didn’t take off our shoes the past week nor shower. Not the fact we didn’t talk to our friends and family the past week. It’s not the fact we sleep in average 4 hours a night.
Let’s not talk about when was the last time we went home.
It was the fact we did all of this, and at the end of the week, we saw in the media only criticism, on how we kill Innocent Palestinians.
Well, I wanna put things straight. (Since I’m actually here)
Have you ever seen 4,000 people running towards you full of hate and yelling “Allah Akhbar”? Have you ever seen 4,000 people men woman and kids full of hate and anger?
Can a knife kill? A Molotov cocktail? Fire kites? Bomb? AK-47?
Well, that’s a daily threat on the border.
An 18-year-old woman was stabbed and seriously wounded in the northern city of Afula on Monday in a suspected terror attack, authorities said.
Police arrested her suspected attacker, who had fled the scene, after a brief manhunt. The suspect was identified by police as a Palestinian man in his 20s from the northern West Bank city of Jenin.
“Police shot the suspect in the leg after calling upon him to stop,” a police spokesperson said. “The suspect was arrested with a knife in his possession.”
Police said they were still investigating the motive for the stabbing, but were working under the assumption that it was a terror attack.
“The main line of investigation is that this was a terror attack, however the investigation is continuing in order to rule out other motives,” the police spokesperson said.
The Palestinian suspect was in Israel without a permit, police said.
Sappers detonated an improvised explosive device found near the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron on Sunday, police said.
Border police manning a station just outside the tomb noticed the suspicious device and immediately cleared the area and summoned the sappers.
The device contained two small gas canisters. It was blown up in a controlled explosion by the police bomb squad.
Police closed roads and barred entrance to the site, which is holy to both Jews and Muslims, while dealing with the bomb.
The device was found near one of the entrances used only by Muslims, and the area remained closed for over an hour until the device was neutralized.
IsraellyCool: Palestinians Use MLK JR Quote, Miss Point Entirely
I am pretty sure this is not what Martin Luther King Jr had in mind.
I’m also not sure they want to be quoting Martin Luther King JR.
Police sappers were called to neutralize a combustible object that was attached to an incendiary kite flown from Gaza. The kite was found by children in the Sdot Negev Regional Council on Monday. The combustible object was neutralized by a police robot.
The police said the combustible object was likely meant to cause casualties and called on the citizens of the south to exercise caution and to stay away from suspicious objects including kites.
“The public has to show responsibility and immediately call for the police sappers, without risking its own safty,” the police reiterated following the aforementioned incident.
The police instructed the public to immediately evacuate from the scene and call the police emergency line in case that a suspicious object is found.
The police stressed that the neutralization of suspicious objects has to be executed by the police sappers only.
Incendiary kites launched from Gaza instigated fires in 11 different locations near Kibbutzim Be’eri and Kissufim in the Eshkol Regional Council.
Jewish National Fund’s (JNF) firefighting crews and the area’s security elements attempted to gain control of the fire.
Israel Grapples With New Threat: The Palestinian ‘Terror Kite’
The Z’vuv HaEsh (Firefly) drone, which has been developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, will be presented for the first time at the Eurosatory exhibition in Paris next week, where the latest land and airland defence and security gear goes on display.
Its meager weight of just three kilograms does not come and the expense of its abilities to fly and operate in tough weather conditions, including rain and wind.
The Firefly can also be armed with a warhead weighing up to 350g and can remain in the air for up to 15 minutes before crashing and exploding into an enemy outpost or anti-tank missiles depot. Alternatively, it can be flown through a window of an enemy building and detonated there.
Separately assembled warheads can also be converted into observation posts, which can hover for up to 30 minutes, a comparatively long period of time.
“In experiments that we carried out with soldiers, we saw the revolution it represented for them,” explained Gal, a member of the Rafael Land Division.
“The drone enables the platoon leader to always know what is waiting for him over the hill or in the next house, without needing to split up his forces who would then need to cautiously proceed under cover from his comrades,” he added.
Chanting: “RPG (rocket-propelled grenades), RPG, Not Security Coordination & CIA!”
— Khaled Abu Toameh (@KhaledAbuToameh) June 10, 2018
Kite terrorism in recent weeks has become one of the challenges the IDF faces every day on the Gaza border, resulting in fires that rage through Israeli owned fields and groves on the other side of the fence. Dozens, sometimes hundreds of burning kites are fired daily from the Gaza side of the border, carrying Molotov cocktails.
Now a new threat has come into the foreground: booby-trapped helium balloons that can carry ignition arrays and small explosive charges.
The Gazans have tried everything: in some cases, they use transparent balloons that are harder to locate (some of which are inflated prophylactics). In some cases, these are really large helium balloons made up of two garbage bags that are sealed to each other and can carry a relatively large load and reach a height of hundreds of feet.
The question is, where does all this helium come from?
Israel Hayom on Monday cited people involved in the field who speculated that since there are not many toy stores in Gaza, the only logical source for this amount of helium are Gaza hospitals that normally use the gas for their medical purposes.
The international community should trade measure to rehabilitate Gaza for a Hamas pledge to halt its violence against Israel, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said on Monday.
“We [the UN] need to work very closely with the Israelis, Palestinians and the Egyptians to put in place a set of measures to help people in Gaza survive and live a little bit better,” Mladenov told the AJC Global Forum, which met in Jerusalem.
He suggested that these measures be used “to get from those responsible for the situation in Gaza [Hamas] a commitment to keep the situation quiet and to keep security and reduce the amount of rockets and attacks against Israel.”
“If we can do that, we might just turn the corner and avoid another escalation, which otherwise looks pretty much inevitable because the situation there is desperate,” Mladenov said.
What is needed now is to get cash back in to the economy and provide people with jobs, Mladenov said. Improvements must be made with regard to movement and access, he said. Water and electricity must be available. Egypt must continue to keep open its sole passage way into Gaza, the Rafah crossing, Mladenov said.
For most people, American aid to Israel is the measure of the “special relationship” between the two countries. AIPAC, the major pro-Israel lobby in the United States, considers its efforts to secure this aid its No. 1 priority. It was therefore surprising to hear senior Israeli officials in late May complain about American assistance, with one describing it as a drug addiction.
Their outburst centers around two innovations introduced into the 10-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the official name for the American aid agreement, which was negotiated between the Obama and Netanyahu administrations in 2016. The deal, which pledges an unprecedented $38 billion to Israel over a 10-year period, insists on two Israeli concessions: 1. That Israel spend 100 percent of the aid in the United States (Israel had been allowed to spend roughly 26 percent of U.S. aid on its own defense industry); and 2. Israel can’t go to Congress to ask for additional funds while the MOU is in effect.
Most prominent of the officials to attack the deal is Eyal Younian, the chief financial officer of government-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, who said in a radio interview, “Israel must withdraw from the U.S. aid agreement, because of the damage that it does to Israel’s aircraft industry. Twenty-two thousand Israelis will be fired if it goes forward.” He further warned: “If the agreement continues, we will lose the aircraft industry.”
Younian bases his figures on those of Defense Ministry economist Zeev Zilber, who revealed them at a Knesset Finance Committee meeting on May 20. Zilber predicted Israel’s military industries will lose $1.3 billion in annual revenue as a result of U.S. aid. The committee members were in accord that the deal needed to be renegotiated. Moshe Gafni, chairman of the committee, summed up: “Explain to the Americans that this harm to us is unacceptable.”
Daphne Anson: Toxic Tonge, Heinous Hain & Other Pains
On 7 June members of the House of Lords had four minutes each to address the chamber on the subject of Israel’s response to outrages from Gaza on its border, although as Lord Steel’s opening remarks (below) show, the sublect up for debate was not phrased that way.
The toxic Baroness Tonge was among the speakers, and the heinous Peter Hain was flexing his anti-Israel muscles again, while pretending to have that country’s best interests in mind.
Even some of the more sensible speakers, apparently assuming that the Palestinians are genuine partners for peace, forgetting their history of rejectionism, and the malign influence of Iran’s proxies, seemed to think that the fault for the violence lies with Netanyahu and Trump.
Take a look at my post here regarding Hain’s history of anti-Israel activity, his espousal of a “secular democratic state” in the 1970s, and his recent return to that position, his chances of becoming Labour Party leader and subsequently prime minister having passed the former Young Liberal firebrand and general pain in the tuchus by.
April 28, 2017 – At least nine hours passed between the time when the cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was informed of the request of a vote at the United Nations Commission for Women’s Rights and the time when it was answered, as confirmed Friday by the Ecologists’ party, based on internal emails.
According to the Green Party, the Belgian delegation to the United Nations in New York informed the cabinet of Didier Reynders on April 9 at 12:33 a.m. of the request for a vote from the United Stations about the entry of Saudi Arabia into the commission. The response was sent at 3:34 p.m. Uncertainty remains about the way the time delay should be considered, but at the very least, nine hours had passed.
According to these documents, the cabinet’s reply, written in the first person, mentions the following elements. The “clean slate” procedures should be followed and Belgium should therefore provide its support to the candidates for the various positions during the secret vote. Furthermore, the delegation was requested to inform the various candidates, including Saudi Arabia, of this support if possible.
According to the minutes from a meeting that took place at the foreign office yesterday (see the tweet from Kristof Calvo below), the administration complained about the communication about this affair and implied that Reynders was indeed aware of it. “Some press information insinuates that our Permanent Mission in New York may have acted on its own initiative, and that the Ministry may have not been aware of it. This give a false image of the foreign office as a completely uncontrolled organization.”
Incensed over bureaucratic attempts to thwart a direct White House executive order, Vice President Mike Pence is dispatching U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Mark Green to Iraq to ensure that U.S. taxpayer dollars are going to help save Christian and Yazidi communities decimated by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Pence issued the announcement Friday afternoon after waiting months for USAID to comply with a promise he issued during a dinner last October.
“President Trump and Vice President Pence made restoring the rights and property of Iraq’s Christian and Yazidi communities, who were nearly wiped out by ISIS’s genocidal campaign against them, a top and unceasing priority of this administration,” Pence spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said in a statement Friday afternoon.
“The vice president will not tolerate bureaucratic delays in implementing the administration’s vision to deliver the assistance we promised to the people we pledged to help,” she added.
The Vice President, she said, has directed USAID Administrator Mark Green to travel to Iraq in the coming weeks to report back with an “immediate comprehensive assessment addressing issues that could delay the process of aid distribution.”
Green, in a statement also issued late Friday afternoon, said the organization has already channeled “tens of millions to the region, but we know the need is far greater, and that we must do more to meet the urge needs of the endangered populations—and we will.”
He promised to follow Pence’s orders to go to Iraq and report back with a “plan of action to accelerate aide to those in greatest need.”
International cooperation and tacit recognition of Israel has received a boost, with Kenyan Airways submitting a formal request to fly commercial planes from Kenya to Israel over Sudanese airspace.
Israel and Sudan currently have no diplomatic ties, though Sudan has distanced itself from the Shi’ite Islamic movement led by Iran and developed a greater alliance with Saudi Arabia.
The airline’s request comes just weeks after Saudi Arabia granted permission to Air India to establish a commercial route to Israel over Saudi airspace.
Kenya Airways is planning to begin operating weekly flights between Israeli and Nairobi in 2019.
On Thursday, Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz met with the CEO of the airline, Sebastian Mikosz, to discuss additional steps towards actualizing the plan.
On the evening of June 10, 2018, in the center of Ramallah, there was a large demonstration against Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, calling on him to remove the embargo from Gaza that left thousands of Gazan workers unpaid and electricity cut off.
The question is whether, after recent demonstrations in Jordan, the Fatah government in the West Bank is also beginning to shake. In other words, is Tahrir Square in Cairo, the wellspring of the “Arab Spring,” which brought President Mubarak down, now coming to Ramallah? Sources in Ramallah informed us that this is clearly the concern of the Palestinian Authority. The demonstration against Abbas was supposed to be “peaceful,” “Silya,” but security officers in civilian clothing mingled with the crowd of demonstrators and inflamed the rioting. They also photographed the leaders of the demonstrations, and arrests are expected.
Behind these demonstrations were the leaders of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), who also instigated the “Return” marches in Gaza and organized other protests at the same time, with a similar demand – that Mahmoud Abbas halt his sanctions against the Gaza Strip.
IsraellyCool: Ha’aretz Goes Full Onion
Well, it looks like Ha’aretz has started being The Onion, with this piece from Chief palestinian propagandist Saeb Erekat.
— Haaretz.com (@haaretzcom) 10 June 2018
Palestinians will continue to believe, resist, and insist that Israel’s decades-long military occupation will eventually end – with or without Mr. Greenblatt.
His statements only serve as a distraction. Palestinian efforts to liberate Palestine from Israeli oppression is not about who constitutes the Palestinian leadership – the same leadership that is criticized by its own citizenry and press, such as the Al Quds newspaper that ran Mr. Greenblatt’s article in Arabic, in the same manner as in any democratic society – but about the Israeli occupation and those that help perpetuate Israeli oppression. Which is more than we can say for Israel, which continues to criminalize freedom of speech, but continues to garner U.S. support.
Just let that sit and percolate for a bit.
An Israeli newspaper is publishing Saeb Erekat’s lies and demonization of the Jewish state, which include his claim that Israel criminalizes freedom of speech.
Thank you Ha’aretz for the laugh!
As for Saeb, keep serving up the comedy gold.
Iran’s supreme leader has sought to clarify his position on Israel after threatening its destruction and now says his country has never expressed genocidal aims against the Jewish people.
Earlier this month, a tweet posted on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s official Twitter account said Iran’s “stance against Israel is the same stance we have always taken. #Israel is a malignant cancerous tumor in the West Asian region that has to be removed and eradicated: it is possible and it will happen.” The account is run by Khamenei’s office and it’s not known if he dictates the tweets himself.
But in a series of tweets early Monday, Khamenei said the conflict should be resolved through a popular referendum among those who trace their roots back to before the creation of Israel, including Muslims, Jews and Christians.
“To define #Palestine’s destiny, original Palestinians—those who lived in Palestine over 100 years ago, #Muslims, #Jews & #Christians—in/outside occupied territories, will be polled: whatever they decide will happen,” he wrote.
That would seem to include the Palestinians as well as the small community of Jews who lived in the Holy Land before the mass immigration of Jews in the 20th century and the creation of Israel in 1948.
Senior Hamas Official Mahmoud Al-Zahar Rejects Colleague’s Criticism of His Antisemitic Rant: The Jews Corrupted European Societies https://t.co/Kj6Kgxh8ci
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) June 11, 2018
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