September 19, 2020

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11/13 Links Pt1: Israel indicates acceptance of Gaza ceasefire reached with Hamas; IDF says it hit 70 targets in response to Gaza attacks, including 3 tunnels; Hamas trying to challenge Iron Dome

From Ian:

Israel indicates acceptance of Gaza ceasefire reached with Hamas
Palestinian terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip announced that Egypt brokered a ceasefire agreement between them and Israel on Tuesday evening, after over 460 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel over the course of 25 hours.

A senior Israeli diplomatic official appeared to confirm the reported armistice.

“Israel maintains its right to act. Requests from Hamas for a ceasefire came through four different mediators. Israel responded that the events on the ground will decide [if a ceasefire will go into effect],” the official said, on condition of anonymity.

The decision to reach a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and other terror groups in Gaza was reportedly accepted by Israel’s security cabinet.

According to the military, over 460 rockets and mortar shells were fired at southern Israel over the course of 25 hours on Monday and Tuesday.

The Iron Dome missile defense system intercepted over 100 of them. Most of the rest landed in open fields, but dozens landed inside Israeli cities and towns, killing one person, injuring dozens more, and causing significant property damage.

Khaled Abu Toameh: Hamas prefers to preserve ‘achievements’ over all-out war

Hamas indicated again on Tuesday that it was not interested in another major war with Israel. Hamas officials are reported to have told Egyptian and UN mediators that if Israel halts its attacks on the Gaza Strip, they too would respond in kind.

After firing hundreds of rockets and projectiles toward Israel since Sunday night’s clash between an elite IDF unit and Hamas terrorists near Khan Yunis, in the southern Gaza Strip, Hamas now feels that it has extracted a “heavy price” from Israel in return for the death of its top commander, Sheikh Nur Baraka, and six other Palestinians.

On the one hand, Hamas wants to show the Palestinian public that it is capable of making Israel pay for its “aggression.’ On the other hand, Hamas also seems keen on avoiding a situation where the incident near Khan Yunis would obstruct efforts by Egypt, Qatar and the United Nations to reach a truce with Israel.

Judging from the statements made by its senior officials, Hamas does not believe that the incident near Khan Yunis, and the subsequent Israeli response, is sufficient reason for another major war.

Hamas can now boast in front of its people that its military wing has fulfilled its promise of avenging the death of the seven Palestinians killed by the IDF elite unit.

IDF says it hit 70 targets in response to Gaza attacks, including 3 tunnels

The Israeli military threatened Hamas on Monday evening, in response to a barrage of more than 300 rockets and mortar shells fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip in the preceding hours, saying the terror group would “feel the power of the IDF’s response in the coming hours.”

The army said it bombed some 70 targets linked to the Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror groups throughout the Gaza Strip, including three attack tunnels, in retaliation for the massive fusillade.

“The Hamas terror group is responsible for everything that occurs in and emanates from the Gaza Strip, and it will bear the consequences of the terrorist activities conducted against Israeli citizens,” the military said in a statement.

Shortly after 4:30 p.m., terrorists fired a Kornet anti-tank guided missile at a bus parked a few hundred meters from the Gaza border, seriously injuring a 19-year-old Israeli soldier, the army said.

More troops had reportedly been on the bus, but exited before the missile struck.

The soldier was taken to Beersheba’s Soroka Medical Center, with injuries throughout his body, medics said.

Seth Frantzman: This is how a war in Gaza that nobody wants begins

What is driving Hamas today? In March of this year Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visited Gaza with his intelligence chief, Majed Faraj. They were supposed to visit a wastewater treatment plant. It was supposed to lead to some kind of reconciliation, one of many that Fatah, which runs the PA, has sought with Hamas. But instead someone tried to blow up Hamdallah’s convoy. Weeks later the Great March of Return protests began, culminating in the deaths of dozens the day that the US embassy was moved to Jerusalem. This has to be seen as connected, an attempt by Hamas to gain relevance and to resist rapprochement with the PA.

At the same time Hamas has been enticed by chances of a ceasefire brokered by Egypt, and of receiving financial incentives from Qatar. Egypt opposes Hamas because of its connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, but Egypt wants quiet in Gaza. Qatar has supported Hamas and seeks to help reconstruct Gaza. But both Egypt and Qatar are unhappy with Hamas intransigence. At the same time both Egypt and Qatar are also unhappy that the PA has been sanctioning Gaza.

The PA role in isolating Gaza is often not acknowledged. However over the last six months the PA has sought to isolate Gaza, even more than Israel has at times. In May Ramallah cut salaries to Gazans. In July activists protested in Ramallah aganst the cuts. The PA doesn’t want a separate Israel-Hamas agreement because it will legitimize Hamas. At the same time the PA is angered by the US embassy move and has cut off discussions with the Americans. This leaves both the PA and Hamas in Gaza unmoored from traditional allies and channels of communication.

Amid the isolation of Gaza and the PA, Israel appears to have done well in the region. The visits to the Gulf states in October and early November by Netanyahu, and ministers Miri Regev, Israel Katz, Ayoub Kara, were a major breakthrough. At the same time Netanyahu has sought to focus attention on the Iranian threat in Syria. A war in Gaza is thus the least desirable outcome, to be dragged into another round of fighting that leads to an inevitable conclusion where Israel wins the battle, but the slow-burning conflict continues forever. There is no Gaza strategy, nor has there been since 2006, and especially not since the end of Cast-Lead in 2009.

The details of Gaza’s woes are well known. Whether it is lack of electricity, or sewage seeping into the ocean, or basic things like lack of jobs and a future for almost a million Gazans who are under 18, these facts will not change. Neither Israel, nor Egypt, Qatar, the US or Ramallah have a plan to alter Gaza’s current course. The blame can be put at the feet of Hamas, which could choose to surrender power. But it likely will not do that because it doesn’t really have the people of Gaza at heart, but rather a larger agenda.

With all of these factors known, no one wants a war. But a war may come precisely because it is the only thing that Hamas thinks it can provoke to get some international or even regional attention. A Kornet fired at a bus and 400 rockets fired at Israel were an intention to start that war.

David Horovitz: Hamas will never change. Sooner or later, it must be faced down

Israel, it needs repeating, has no military presence in the Gaza Strip, which it had captured from Egypt in the 1967 war. It withdrew the army and uprooted the 7,000-8,000 Jewish civilians who lived in settlements there in 2005. But a Gaza free of Jews does not suffice for Hamas. It wants all the land from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

The riots and the tunneling and the rocket fire amount to extortion. If Israel does not end the security blockade it maintains on Gaza, Hamas vows, then Israelis will have to continue to endure rocket and mortar attacks, the threat of cross-border terror tunnels, arson balloons burning its fields. But if Israel does ease the security blockade, of course, Hamas will exploit this to import more weaponry to cause still greater harm.

In repeated flareups since the 2014 warfare, Israel has sought to avoid the loss of life and devastation that a resort to deeper conflict will entail. Israel is also well aware that “defeating Hamas” may sound straightforward but is immensely complex. The military challenge is profound, though emphatically not beyond the capabilities of Israel’s military forces. But Israel does not want to reconquer Gaza and reassert responsibility for two million hostile Palestinians.

Yet Hamas will not rest, and will not change. A murderous extortionist cannot be bought off. Sooner or later, therefore, Hamas must be faced down. And in the battle between a sovereign state that is obligated to ensure security for its citizens, and a ruthless, cynical terrorist organization, backed by Iran and committed to Israel’s destruction, there can and must be only one winner.

Security cabinet orders IDF to continue strikes in Gaza ‘as needed’

The security cabinet concluded a seven-hour marathon meeting on the violence in Gaza on Tuesday afternoon with an order to the IDF to “continue its strikes” against terrorists in the Strip “as needed.”

The vagueness of the statement is being seen in Israel and Gaza as an Israeli decision to return to calm after two days of violence that saw Palestinian terrorists in the Strip firing some 400 rockets and mortar shells at Israeli cities and towns along the border, killing at least one person and wounding dozens. IDF retaliatory strikes against terror groups have killed seven Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry in the Strip.

“The security cabinet discussed the events in the south. The cabinet received briefings from the IDF and defense officials on the [IDF] strikes and widespread operations against terror targets in Gaza. The cabinet instructed the IDF to continue its strikes as needed,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement after the meeting held in Tel Aviv.

Shortly after the announcement, Hamas’s political chief in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, was reported as saying that if Israel stopped its strikes against Hamas infrastructure in Gaza, the terror group would return to ceasefire talks.

Analysis: Hamas’s emboldened risk-taking is fueling this escalation

If Israel fails to restore deterrence in Gaza, it could embolden its more powerful adversaries in the north

An increasingly emboldened appetite for risk-taking and a belief that Israel is too busy elsewhere to want to seize their territorial base has led Hamas and other terror organizations in the Gaza Strip to initiate a mass rocket assault on southern Israel.

Gaza’s armed factions feel they can tolerate Israel’s counter-strikes, and that the benefits they can achieve by initiating this escalation outweigh the costs. Israel has set out to disavow Hamas of this concept, and this is the purpose of the current Israeli air campaign in Gaza.

The first stage of Israel’s response involves the demolition of a growing number of strategic Hamas assets. These targets are high-value assets for Hamas, and are also symbolic of its rule in Gaza.

They include the central Hamas military intelligence headquarters, the Al-Aqsa television station building, and other high-profile targets being struck alongside standard Hamas infrastructure, like weapons factories, tunnels, and command centers.

Although such targets may seem unimpressive to many, they represent areas of heavy investment and planning by Hamas, and it will take the organization’s military wing a long time to rebuild them.

Still, this level of attack may not be sufficient to influence Hamas’s cost-benefit analysis.

Restore Israeli deterrence in Gaza

The current situation is insufferable.

How can we rehabilitate the power of deterrence? It should first be noted that the very existence of the Hamas regime illustrates the divisions in the Palestinian camp, and Israel would therefore be wise to keep it from collapsing. It would also be best for Israel to avoid reconquering Gaza and maintaining a long-term military presence there. Nonetheless, it would be wise and appropriate to act to mitigate the military power of Hamas and its partners and conquer parts of Gaza for however long it takes to clear the ground of significant weapons.

Of course, Israel could focus its efforts on an aerial campaign similar to the one the IDF carried out in Gaza during 2014’s Operation Protective Edge or in the Beirut suburb of Dahiya, where Hezbollah had its headquarters during the 2006 Second Lebanon War. As part of that campaign, the IDF destroyed civilian infrastructure Hezbollah could have used in its war efforts.

But it may be that an aerial campaign is not enough, and Israel will have no choice but to embark on an extensive ground operation in those territories in which Hamas forces and their partners now operate.

If we do not want to hear more rocket warning sirens, the effective and calculated use of force is necessary to restore deterrence.

Let the IDF win

Prior to the tragic events of Sunday night that resulted in the death of an IDF soldier in Gaza, it seemed as if Peace Now has been reborn within Likud. The slogans remained the same: “Peace is made with our enemies,” “We must exhaust all possibilities,” and perhaps the most surprising argument of all is that there is “no point in fighting because we’ll just end up finding ourselves in the same spot.”

On the other hand, the Israeli left is also suffering from a split personality disorder—supporters of peace and compromise suddenly endorsed a military operation with the possibility of having hundreds of dead on the Palestinian side, simply to spite Netanyahu; theoretically, of course. On Sunday evening things were already different. The reality here confuses everyone.

“Let the IDF win” was the slogan that Uri Ariel, who was Secretary General of the Yesha Council during the second intifada, coined in protest over the decision of the political echelon to behave with restraint in the face of terror. It was an ideological-philosophical battle at the heart of which stood a bloody experimental laboratory.

Ten years ago, together with Prof. Zakai Shalom, I published a book titled Let the IDF win, a dull academic study full of data and quotations.

On the one side, there were statements by politicians, journalists and intellectuals from the left, who claimed that you can’t beat terrorism, and it’s been proven in practice many times around the world: The Americans in Vietnam, the Soviets in Afghanistan, the French in Algeria, and even in Israel when we withdrew from Lebanon because we had no choice.

On the other side, were those who called for a military intervention in order to defeat terror, one of whom was Uri Ariel, and they were right. The IDF entered the West Bank and defeated suicide terrorism. In those strange days, the left was the one who argued that there was no point in entering Gaza, Jenin or Nablus, because we would eventually return to the same point we departed from. Today the situation is reversed.

Hamas trying to challenge Iron Dome

Hamas and Islamic Jihad have been making an unprecedented supreme effort in this round of fighting to overpower the Iron Dome missile defense system with relatively new launching methods.

Among other things, the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip have been firing heavy barrages of dozens of rockets on a relatively small area. There were two such barrages so far, on Monday afternoon and overnight.

Meanwhile, the IDF sent additional interceptor missiles to the Iron Dome batteries stationed in southern Israel on Monday, in addition to deploying additional batteries and calling up reserve troops to operate them.

And so the Iron Dome’s high interception success rate remained undiminished: out of about 400 rockets, the batteries intercepted 120 rockets that would’ve otherwise fallen in populated areas. About 20 rockets hit homes, farmland and roads, killing one and wounding dozens of others, most of them lightly.

IDF officials stressed again on Tuesday that the Iron Dome cannot provide 100 percent protection, and only a combination of quick warning to the residents done by the Home Front Command with Code Red alerts and the public following safety instructions would prevent casualties—on top of Iron Dome interceptions.

Details Emerge of Special-Forces Operation In Gaza That Claimed Life of Druze Officer

Israelis across the political spectrum expressed their sorrow and condolences to the family of a Druze special-forces soldier killed in a firefight with Hamas operatives in Gaza on Sunday night, which broke out when intelligence forces were discovered and attacked.

Lt. Col. M, whose name and details of death were withheld by military censors, was on an intelligence-gathering mission in a mosque deep inside Gaza with his team when the group’s cover was blown and the soldiers were attacked.

The 41-year-old father of two was killed in the fighting, and another soldier was moderately wounded.

The team called in Israeli Air Force reinforcements, which provided cover in the form of aerial bombardment while the team escaped back to Israel. Palestinian media shared photos of the car the troops allegedly used to drive 3 kilometers into Gaza, which had been bombed—most likely by Israel in order to destroy classified documents and equipment.

“IDF troops that operated last night in the Gaza Strip became trapped in a highly complex situation,” said IDF Spokesperson Ronen Manelis. “The soldiers acted heroically, hit those who threatened them and extracted themselves to Israeli territory.”

Khaled Abu Toameh: Brother of Hamas commander killed by IDF worked for NASA

Sheikh Nur Baraka, the Hamas commander who was killed in Sunday night’s clash with an elite IDF unit in the southern Gaza Strip, was unknown to many Palestinians.

They first heard his name when Hamas announced that he had been “martyred” during a clash with IDF soldiers. Baraka, 37, joined Hamas at the age of 18, according to sources in the Gaza Strip.

While he worked for Hamas, his older brother, Suleiman, became a famous astrophysicist, who worked as scientist with the NASA space agency.

Prof. Suleiman Baraka, who was born in the Gaza Strip in 1965, returned from the US to the Gaza Strip two years ago to teach at local universities and colleges. His 12-year-old son, Ibrahim, was reportedly killed in an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip in 2008. Suleiman had been arrested at least twice by the IDF during the 70’s and 80’s for security-related offenses.

He is the only Palestinian from the Gaza Strip who has worked for NASA – an achievement that has been recognized by UNESCO, who nominated him as the first Middle East chairman, among other awards, according to a report by the London-based Middle East Eye news site.

Condition of soldier severely injured by anti-tank missile improves

The condition of an IDF soldier has significantly improved after he was critically injured Monday in a missile attack from Gaza.

Doctors at Beersheba’s Soroka hospital said Tuesday that the 19-year-old soldier, who was brought in with life-threatening injuries, had undergone two major operations and that his condition had subsequently improved.

The unnamed soldier was injured while standing outside a bus near Kibbutz Kfar Azza, when a Kornet anti-tank guided missile fired from the Gaza Strip struck the vehicle.

The soldier’s mother asked for prayers for her son’s recovery. She told Hadashot news that he was still in the intensive care unit at Soroka.

“I am asking that you pray for my son’s recovery and that my son opens his eyes,” she said. “We are hoping that he will [open his eyes] by this evening.”

Meanwhile, the driver of the bus said Tuesday that he was in “total shock” and struggling to recover emotionally from the attack, which marked the beginning of a significant flareup between Israel and Palestinian terror groups.

From bomb shelters, southern residents insist, ‘We trust the IDF’

Despite having their lives turned upside down, once again, by the latest barrage of rockets from the Gaza Strip, resident of Israel’s south say they trust the Israel Defense Forces to protect them. But they are calling on the government to act quickly to resolve the tense security situation.

After rocket-weary Israeli communities in southern Israel were pummeled by hundreds of projectiles on Monday, Guy Teitelbaum from Kibbutz Kerem Shalom said the latest assault was “different” from previous rocket attacks.

“The rockets are a matter of life and death. The government doesn’t seem to understand what this is doing to our kids,” he lamented. “They [Israeli forces] bomb them and destroy [targets in Gaza], but then they end up just bringing materials in [to Gaza] through the border crossings. It’s absurd.”

Ronnie Kissin, also from Kibbutz Kerem Shalom, said, “Small children spent the night in fear. We are tired and on edge. If you don’t have solutions, then don’t be in the government. And if you have solutions, implement them!”

“Residents of the Gaza periphery have proved more than once that there is no such thing as impossible,” she continued. “We are strong, but we sense the government’s powerlessness. If you don’t have solutions, don’t sit where you are sitting.”

One killed, two seriously hurt as rocket strikes Ashkelon apartment building

A man was killed and two women were seriously injured after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip scored a direct hit on an apartment building in Ashkelon.

The fatality was the first in Israel after a day that saw more than 300 missiles and mortar rounds fired at Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip in a series of massive barrages that stretched past midnight Monday and into Tuesday morning.

The missile attacks appeared to taper off after 1 a.m., but were widely expected to resume in the morning, amid reports of continuing Israeli airstrikes in Gaza.

The man, a civilian in his 40s, was found dead under debris after an apartment building had been hit by a missile fired from Gaza shortly after midnight, according to the United Hatzalah rescue service.

The rocket appeared to have hit the upper floors of the four-story apartment building, leaving a gaping hole in its side.

A woman, also in her 40s, was found in serious condition near the man and was rushed to Barzilai hospital.

Man killed in Ashkelon rocket attack was Palestinian from Hebron area

A man who was found under the rubble of an Ashkelon building hit by a rocket launched from the Gaza Strip was a Palestinian from the Hebron area, a family member of the victim confirmed.

The man was killed, and another woman was seriously injured, overnight Monday-Tuesday after a rocket directly impacted the apartment they were both in.

The man was identified as 48-year-old Mahmoud Abu Asabeh from Halhoul, a town near Hebron. The woman, also Palestinian, was in moderate condition as of Tuesday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman for the Barzilai Medical Center.

“I saw Mahmoud last Friday at a family member’s home in Halhoul,” 55-year-old Imad Abu Asabeh, Mahmoud’s uncle, told the Times of Israel. “Our family learned this morning he was killed. We are deeply saddened about his passing.”

Abu Asabeh was the first civilian to be killed in Israel since a sharp uptick in cross-border violence Sunday night.

Israel ‘forced into military action,’ White House says

Hamas is “forcing” Israel into military action in Gaza with its rocket and mortar firings, US President Donald Trump’s senior adviser, Jason Greenblatt, warned on Monday.

Writing on Twitter, Greenblatt, who is leading an effort to jump-start peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, said that the world “has grown tired of Hamas’ violence and the violence of other bad actors in Gaza.”

More than 200 rockets have been fired from the coastal strip into Israeli territory over the last 24 hours, and Israeli leaders are already vowing a strong response.

“Terrorists in Gaza are again attacking Israel with tools of war,” Greenblatt tweeted. “These rocket & mortar attacks on Israeli towns must be condemned by all. Israel is forced once again into military action to defend its citizens. We stand with Israel as it defends itself against these attacks.”

“Hamas’ activities continue to prove they don’t really care about the Palestinians of Gaza & their only interest is to use them for political purposes,” he continued. “Even Palestinian lives seem not to matter to Hamas.”

Last year, the Trump administration planned on centering their peace plan on the revitalization of Gaza.
Greenblatt and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law who is leading the peace effort, say they do not believe a comprehensive peace can be achieved between the two sides without resolving Gaza’s political and humanitarian crises.

State Department on Gaza Attacks: ‘We Stand With Israel’

As the latest attacks against Israel from Hamas have taken place in Gaza, the US State Department condemned the terrorist group and reaffirmed that Israel has the right to defend itself.

“We are aware of reports of ongoing rocket and mortar attacks from Gaza against targets in Israel,” a State Department official told JNS on Monday. “We condemn these attacks and call for their immediate halt. We stand with Israel as it defends itself against these attacks.”

According to the Israeli Defense Forces, at least 300 rockets have been fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on Monday amid renewed tensions following the death of an Israeli special-forces soldier earlier in the day, with the Iron Dome missile-defense system intercepting dozens of them, while others have struck Israeli homes and buildings near the border or have landed in open areas.

Hamas Fires Record Number Of Rockets At Israel. U.N. Sec-Gen.: Exercise Restraint

Starting on Monday afternoon, Hamas fired at least 400 rockets at southern Israel, the highest number or rockets fired by Hamas in its years-long war against the Jewish state. A 40-year-old Palestinian man was killed and a 40-year-old woman was critically injured when a rocket fired from Gaza hit a residential building in Ashkelon, as Israel National News reported.

Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, asked the U.N. Security council to condemn the firing of rockets from Gaza, but while Hamas was attempting to murder as many Jews as they could, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres pusillanimously urged all sides to exercise maximum restraint. His spokesman, Farhan Haq, stated, “He urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint. The United Nations Special Coordinator, Nickolay Mladenov, is working closely with Egypt and all concerned parties to restore calm.”

Danon had stated, ” … after a day of rocket barrages, there is no room for any other definition of Hamas except that of terrorist organization. To the world it presents its civilians as victims, but then uses them as human shields … Israel cooperated with all international bodies, including the U.N., but the aggressive escalation from Gaza indicates that there are elements pushing for another round of violence that will cause destruction and losses within the Gaza Strip.”

Egypt demands Israel halt ‘escalation’ as sides scramble for Gaza ceasefire

Egypt and the international community were attempting broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as a massive flareup of cross-border fire continued past midnight and into Tuesday morning, with both sides being urged to step back from the brink of war.

The efforts came after a day that saw the heaviest fighting between the Israel Defense Forces and Gazans since 2014, puncturing previous efforts to bring quiet to the region, and sparking threats from both sides to ratchet up violence to the point of all-out war.

Egypt informed Israel that it must stop its “escalatory operations” in the Gaza Strip, the official PA news site reported, citing a high-level Egyptian source.

Earlier UN special envoy Nikolay Mladenov said he was working with Cairo and other parties to return calm to the region.

“The #UN is working closely with #Egypt & all concerned to ensure that #Gaza steps back from the brink. The escalation in the past 24hrs is EXTREMELY dangerous & reckless. Rockets must STOP, restraint must b shown by all! No effort must be spared to reverse the spiral of violence,” Mladenov wrote on Twitter.

PMW: Israel’s warning to Hamas of impending destruction of Al-Aqsa TV building caught on camera

While Hamas has launched hundreds of missiles at Israeli civilian targets in the last 24 hours, Israel continues to warn Palestinian civilians before attacking strategic targets, to minimize civilian casualties.

One remarkable example can be seen and heard in the video of the last minutes of broadcasts from Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV station. Al-Aqsa TV has been inciting to murder of Israelis and Jews for years, and yesterday, Israel decided to destroy its main broadcast building. However, as can be seen and heard, the station received ample warning from the Israeli army and air force to get all their staff out of the building before it was destroyed. In the video, the faint sounds of the three warning missiles that hit the building, as well as shouting of the TV staff can be heard in the background:

WAFA, the official PA news agency, and official PA TV described Israel’s warning and the building’s destruction as follows:

WAFA, the official PA news agency:”Israeli planes fired three missile alerts, before F16 planes targeted with at least three missiles the al-Quds TV headquarters, destroying it completely… No injuries were reported.” [WAFA, Nov. 12, 2018]

Official PA TV host: “Three warning rockets [by Israel], and after them three rockets completely destroyed the building of [Hamas’] Al-Aqsa satellite channel. Thank God there are no wounded among our colleagues and the journalists there. The [Palestine] Broadcasting Corporation has condemned this attack.” [Official PA TV, Palestine This Morning, Nov. 13, 2018]

The following is the text of the final moments as Hamas TV is interviewing an “expert on security affairs” and then receives Israel’s warning to evacuate before the building is destroyed. After hearing the faint sounds of the explosions of the warning missiles and the shouting, the TV host then states that a “Zionist” attack is impending. Finally, the screen freezes and then goes black for seven minutes.

Massive Missile Attack on Israel after Qatar Funds Hamas

The renewed Hamas attacks on Israel serve as a reminder that the terrorist group is not interested in a real truce. Hamas wants millions of dollars paid to its employees so that it can continue to prepare for war with Israel while not having to worry about the welfare of its people.

Qatar’s $15 million cash grant has failed to stop Hamas from launching hundreds of rockets into Israel. On the contrary, the money has only emboldened Hamas and increased its appetite to continue its jihad to eliminate Israel. All the money in the world will not convince Hamas to abandon its ideology or soften its position toward Israel.

What the international mediators need to understand is that there is only one solution to the crisis in the Gaza Strip: removing Hamas from power and destroying its military capabilities. They also need to understand that there is only one language that Hamas understands: the language of force. The assumption that if you pay terrorists millions of dollars, they will stop attacking you — rather than using the funds to build up their forces — has proven to be false.

Despite rocket attacks, Israel continues delivering supplies to Gaza

Despite the incessant Hamas rocket attacks against Israel on Tuesday, the Kerem Shalom border crossing was functioning normally, with dozens of trucks entering the Gaza Strip from Israel.

According to reports five gas tankers, 30 fuel tankers and hundreds of other trucks with humanitarian goods, delivered their goods to Gaza. Kerem Shalom is the main crossing for fuel and other merchandise between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Since Sunday night, Palestinian terrorist groups have fired more than 460 rockets and mortars into southern Israel.

Indy Mid-East reporter’s tweet exposes profound misunderstanding of the conflict

The editorial completely ignores Hamas role in perpetuating the conflict, and repeats mind-numbingly banal and thoroughly misguided cliches about the conflict that may be popular within the media echo-chamber, but which have little connection to reality. This narrative suggests that a “cycle of violence” exists between Hamas and Israel, one that’s largely the result of poverty in Gaza – as if, absent the Israeli blockade, Hamas would cease building rockets and other instruments of terror, renounce their call for Israel’s destruction and instead focus on building roads, schools and hospitals.

It’s so simple, but this needs to be spelled out anyway: the blockade is the result of Hamas violence, not its cause.

Regardless of whether Netanyahu’s comparison between Hamas and ISIS is accurate, the point is that Hamas – like other Islamist extremist movements – can not be placated in the long-term by Western political concessions. The antisemitic extremist group’s fundamental grievance isn’t an economic one, but, rather, the continued existence of a Jewish state – and no journalist covering the region can possibly report accurately on the conflict if they fail to comprehend this most basic truth.

Sloppy BBC News report omits rocket hits on Israeli homes

Hours before this version of the report appeared the Israeli ambulance service had already announced that it had treated 53 injured people and further injuries and one fatality were sustained in a further attack on Ashkelon several hours before the BBC published this article.

The BBC’s report continued with a section titled “What happened on Sunday?” in which readers were once again given an account of the incident near Absan al Kabira, east of Khan Younis, that is mostly sourced from the terror group Hamas.

That was followed by a section titled “Why did Israel kill the commander?” and another titled “What has happened since Sunday’s operation?” in which the BBC refrained from telling readers in its own words of the previous barrage of rocket attacks.

PreOccupiedTerritory: My Genocidal Antisemitism Does Not Necessarily Represent The Views Of My Genocidally Antisemitic Employer By Yahya Sinwar, Hamas leader (satire)

Yahya SinwarSomewhere beneath Shifa Hospital, Gaza City, November 14 – Recent confusion regarding the specific manifestations of murderous hatred that I and my organization espouse has made it necessary to issue the following disclaimer: my expressions of wishes to rid the world of the Jewish scourge once and for all do not perforce constitute the official position of the movement I lead, which insists that the world must be rid of the Jewish scourge once and for all.

Most of the time our opinions on this important issue retain congruence, and only rarely must any clarification take place. However, integrity demands that in such cases that Hamas and I disagree on the timing, intensity, pace, methods, or other aspects of the noble effort to murder all Jews, the statements I issue in that regard may or may not represent the views of the movement as a whole.

Lack of clarity over his point has led to tension in various discussions; I appreciate the opportunity to resolve it. So, for example, if my private social media account posts a contention that all Palestinians must make every possible effort to kill Jews wherever they find them, that does not automatically indicate that Hamas will pursue such a policy in the immediate term. The resistance movement must take into consideration numerous factors that I, as an individual, need not weigh, such as the logistical support necessary to conduct such a project, and the shameful existence of forces that protect Jews instead of leaving them to the fate Islam reserves for all infidels.

In a similar vein, as an individual I might express an opinion of Mahmoud Abbas that does not characterize him as a treasonous dog who licks the Zionist boot, in no way may the public infer that the organization’s position on that matter has shifted. As an individual I enjoy rhetorical leeway that the movement at large does not, and as such I remain free to acknowledge the ways in which Mr. Abbas does contribute to the holy Palestinian national project of genocide against the Jews. Such acknowledgement, however, bears little or no connection to the official position of Hamas, which is that anyone who even in theory relinquishes the struggle to wage constant warfare against the Jewish usurper until said usurper no longer populates the Earth relinquishes his legitimacy as a leader, as an Arab, as a Muslim, and as a human being.

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