Seth Frantzman: Israel’s maximum restraint and the myth of a ‘clean war’
Israel may have provoked this round of rocket fire from Gaza through the targeting of at least one senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander. Jerusalem understood the severity of the situation, which is why much of the country from the areas around Gaza to Tel Aviv was almost shut down on Tuesday. This is a reflection of social cohesion as much as it is the government’s need to herd people out of the way of rockets. Israelis understand this kind of war.
Within 24 hours, there have been more than 250 rockets fired and there have been some injuries. But Israel is showing maximum restraint in a sense. This is part of a pattern since March 2018, with terrorist groups in Gaza feeling like they can fire rockets almost with impunity. Impunity is the right word because they understand the balance of power here.
Every Hamas commander and Islamic Jihad commander knows they can be targets. But they also know generally how the response works. You fire rockets, your rocket teams will die. You fire rockets, your bases will be struck. But civilians will mostly go unharmed. This isn’t 2002; this isn’t 2009. Israel has achieved extraordinary precision in its use of judicious and proportionate responses.
But the devil is in the details with proportionality. A rocket strike for an airstrike? Not even. It’s more like several rocket launches for an airstrike. This is the “clean” war. The war in which the Iron Dome defensive system intercepts almost 90% of the projectiles that are calculated to hit civilian areas. There are few casualties. There are many near misses. This is a revolution in warfare, one that has been pioneered by western military powers since the late 1980s. This concept even has a theory named after it, the Revolution in Military Affairs.
The use of technology enables the ability of sophisticated states like Israel to fight what is called “asymmetric” war. That means Israel has munitions and platforms galore, from drones to F-16s, to F-35s, to different missiles and precise artillery. It’s not even a question of “can the target be hit,” but which of dozens of options would the military like to use. Gaza is a closed space. It’s airspace and sea approaches are controlled by Israel. What goes in and out of the strip is mostly controlled by Israel or monitored by Israel and Egypt. There are no surprises. Maybe anti-tank missiles and sniper fire pose some threat. But gone are the days of the Qassam threats, the tunnels and even Hamas “commandos” trying to get through the sea to Israel.
Honest Reporting: Israel Under Fire – 36 Hours Later
In the past 36 hours, over 350 rockets (and counting) have been fired towards Israel by Palestinian Islamic terrorists. Israel has retaliated by destroying terror targets throughout the Gaza Strip and in turn, neutralizing 13 terrorists, mostly from Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The situation is continuing to escalate.
The PIJ is the Palestinian organization closest to Iran and is heavily dependent on the financial and military aid that Tehran provides. The relationship between the PIJ and Iran is conducted mainly through the headquarters of the organization’s external leadership in Damascus, which holds contacts with the Gazan leadership. Unlike Hamas, which retains political and operational independence, the PIJ is more attentive to Iran’s agenda and to the directives that come from Tehran. The group declared a state of emergency in the wake of al-Ata’s killing.
In recent years, Tehran has supplied the PIJ with rockets, sniper rifles (Iranian-made AM-50 Sayyad-Hunter based on HS.50 rifles that the Austrian Steyr-Mannlicher company sold to the National Iranian Police) , and anti-tank missiles, all the while continuing to train its operatives in Syria and Iran in manufacturing and operating rockets, missiles small arms, and explosive devices (IEDs, EFPs).
The PIJ is a critical part of the Iranian strategy of wearing down Israel and at the same time, keeping threats away from the Iranian border. Thus, Iran sees the PIJ as part of its first line of defense strategy. Elsewhere in the Middle East, Iran is working similarly with Hizbullah in Lebanon and Syria, the Popular Mobilization Force in Iraq, and the Houthis in Yemen to promote its influence and interests against Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States.
The current round of escalation, which now involves Israel and the PIJ in Gaza, again reveals the tight ties between Iran and the PIJ, which consist an important component in the “resistance front.” It also highlights the uniqueness of PIJ from the other organizations in Gaza, which are less dependent on Iran.
Iran, which still has not paid a price for its unprecedented attack on the oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, can draw encouragement from this round of fighting in which the PIJ is conducting on its own fighting without Hamas support. It demonstrates to the Sunni Arab world, which is caught up in internal fights for survival, that Iran and its key proxies are continuing their uncompromising struggle against Israel, despite the price paid from time to time. Iran also has an interest in countering Egyptian attempts to calm the streets in Gaza, in which Baha Abu al-Ata was also involved. The joining of the fray by Hamas will further weaken Egypt’s role as it strives to restore calm and get Hamas to restrain the PIJ.
A 70-year-old woman was moderately hurt when a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck her elder care facility in the southern city of Ashkelon on Wednesday, joining several dozen Israelis injured thus far in the rocket fire that began Tuesday morning.
The woman was struck by glass shards from a window in her apartment that exploded as the rocket hit. Rescuers from the Magen David Adom ambulance service took her to the city’s Barzilai Hospital.
Israel’s targeted killing before dawn Tuesday of Islamic Jihad’s terror chief Baha Abu al-Ata was met by over 350 rockets so far launched throughout Tuesday and Wednesday by terror groups in Gaza, the military said.
The Iron Dome missile defense system successfully intercepted some 90 percent of all rockets headed to populated areas since Tuesday morning, but dozens of Israelis have still been hurt by the barrages.
Since Tuesday, two other people in Israel have been wounded directly by rocket fire, both of them sustaining light injuries from shrapnel. At least 23 more were lightly hurt after falling while running to a bomb shelter and 23 others were taken to the hospital after suffering anxiety attacks and other “stress symptoms” due to the attacks, the Magen David Adom ambulance service said.
An eight-year-old girl collapsed suddenly, apparently from a heart attack, while hiding in a bomb shelter during a rocket attack on the city of Holon on Tuesday. She remained in serious condition on Wednesday.
Incoming Gaza Rockets Send Israeli Running to Bomb Shelters
A senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) commander was reportedly killed in an Israeli military operation on Wednesday, according to Gaza media outlets. Senior PIJ commander Khalid Farag was killed in an reported airstrike launched during an early morning operation after nearly a dozen rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s Magan David Adom Reports Number of Injured Citizens
An eight-year-old girl is among the 39 people in Israel who have required medical help in the wake of Tuesday’s missile barrages from Gaza so far. The child apparently suffered an onset of heart arrhythmia, caused by fear as her family rushed to the bomb shelter amid the wail of the rocket attack sirens. The girl received lifesaving treatment by an emergency team and was evacuated in a critical, but stable condition to the Wolfson Medical Center.
Palestinian terrorists in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip unleashed a rocket assault on Israel on Tuesday, causing a major hospital to move patients into underground facilities.
The Israeli military assisted Ashkelon’s Barzilai Medical Center in evacuating patients in the children’s ward, including prematurely born babies, to safe zones built specifically for emergency operations.
Magen David Adom (MDA), Israel’s national emergency medical service, also deployed reinforcements due to the security situation, moving 30 ambulances out of storage and into the field.
Over 450 warning sirens were triggered on Monday across Israel, alerting civilians to incoming rockets and allowing them moments to seek shelter in a nearby protected space.
At least 40 people were treated for injuries, including an eight-year-old girl from the central city of Holon.
School was canceled and businesses temporarily shut down throughout southern and central Israel, including in Tel Aviv. The last time the IDF ordered such a closure in Tel Aviv was during the Gulf War in 1991, when then-Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein launched several salvos of Scud missiles at the Jewish state.
According to the IDF, the Iron Dome aerial defense system intercepted 90 percent of the rockets it targeted on Monday.
A mother from the southern Israeli city Netivot is calling her family’s narrow escape from a direct hit on their house by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip a “miracle.”
Batsheva Hadad’s home suffered extensive damage from a rocket strike on Tuesday — a day on which more than 150 rockets were fired from Hamas-ruled Gaza into Israel after the IDF assassinated a top Islamic Jihad commander.
However, in the few seconds between the activation of the warning siren and the impact of the rocket, Batsheva succeeded in getting her family into a fortified room, saving all their lives.
“It’s a great miracle, I have no words,” Batsheva told Israel’s Channel 13.
“Thanks to the holy one, blessed be he,” she said. “It wasn’t a given that we would get to the shelter in time, that we would close the door in time. Although there was property damage, thank God no lives were lost.”
The Israeli military on Wednesday conducted large-scale strikes against Palestinian Islamic Jihad sites in Gaza, including a major weapons manufacturing facility, as terror groups continued firing regular barrages at southern Israel in response to the assassination of one of its senior commanders the day before.
The Israel Defense Forces said one of its aircraft also bombed a pair of PIJ members preparing to fire an anti-tank guided missile from the northern Gaza Strip. The use of anti-tank missiles — an expensive, highly accurate weapon — signifies a marked escalation by the terror group.
“In the latest round of strikes, the IDF stepped up the frequency of its attacks and the type of targets. During the strike, a major factory for the production of rocket warheads was attacked in the southern Gaza Strip. This is a site for the production of rockets and of the specialized raw materials for the manufacturing of long-range rockets,” the military said.
The IDF said that strike and others on the Islamic Jihad’s rocket facilities dealt the terror group a significant blow.
“The PIJ invests infrastructure and resources in its [rocket] production line, which is considered a key aspect in the organization’s abilities to rearm,” the military said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and new Defense Minister Naftali Bennett held consultations with security chiefs Wednesday at the IDF’s Southern Command headquarters, warning Palestinian terror leaders they could be in Israel’s crosshairs if rocket fire from the Gaza Strip continues.
Since Israel killed Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata in an airstrike early Tuesday, hundreds of rockets have been fired at Israeli territory. The army has carried out extensive strikes against Islamic Jihad targets in response to the rocket fire.
“The terrorists know we can put a target on them and we will put a target on anyone who tries to harm us. They know we can get to them in their hiding places with surgical precision,” Netanyahu said at the start of the meeting, according to a statement from his office.
The premier asserted that the targeted killing of Abu al-Ata led to a “very large change” in the calculations of Gaza-based terror groups vis-à-vis Israel, saying they no longer feel they can attack the Jewish state with impunity.
“This really strengthens the deterrence of Israel and its capabilities against terrorists,” he said.
Hamas Leader Yahya Sinwar said in a November 4, 2019 speech that aired on Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas-Gaza) that Hamas has hundreds of kilometers of underground tunnels, hundreds of underground and above-ground command centers, thousands of traps, and thousands of locally-made anti-tank missiles, which he claimed can destroy Israel’s tanks. He said that Hamas has thousands of missiles that will turn Israel’s cities into ruins and ghost cities if Israel makes any “stupid” mistake. Addressing Israeli politician and former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, who is currently trying to form a coalition in the Israeli government, Sinwar threatened: “We will make you curse the day your mother gave birth to you.” Sinwar also threatened: “We will crush Tel Aviv and cause its sirens to wail morning, evening, and night for six whole months.” In addition, Sinwar recalled a time when the Al-Qassam Brigades ran out of metal pipes for making missiles and a simple farmer led its members to former Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip, where he allegedly showed them metal pipes that were part of an irrigation system that had been left behind when Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip. Sinwar claimed that these pipes were enough to produce missiles for ten years.
“We Now Have Hundreds Of Kilometers Of Underground Tunnels”
Yahya Sinwar: “We now have hundreds of kilometers of underground tunnels.
“We have many hundreds of control and command rooms, both underground and above ground.
“We have hundreds and thousands of traps, and if the enemy so much as thinks to enter the Gaza Strip, our sons will go out… You and your brothers will emerge from the belly of the earth… The earth will spew forth our men and our youth, who will go out to [the enemy’s] tanks from the belly of the earth with anti-tank missiles that were manufactured in the Gaza Strip.
Honest Reporting: In 300 Words: What is Palestinian Islamic Jihad?
Formed by Abd al-Aziz Awda and Fathi Shaqaq as a splinter group of the Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Jihad was established in Egypt in 1979.
In 1981, two years after he courageously made peace with Israel, Anwar Sadat was assassinated by the Egyptian branch of Islamic Jihad. Egypt subsequently expelled Palestinian Islamic Jihad members to Gaza, leading to the formal founding of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), also known as the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine.
Considered a terrorist organization by dozens of countries around the world, PIJ’s leadership is based in Damascus, Syria, and provided with millions of dollars in training, weapons, and direct funding by the Iranian government.
PIJ is less involved in politics than other terror groups, and its sole objective is the destruction of the State of Israel as the means of establishing a sovereign, Islamic Palestinian state.
PIJ’s main operations are concentrated in Gaza, and to a lesser extent the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Since 1987, it has carried out countless suicide bombings, bus hijackings, and shooting attacks against Israelis.
Unlike Hamas, it generally doesn’t provide any social or health services, and is not interested in diplomacy. Instead, it views violence against Israeli civilians and soldiers alike as the only option, and has launched thousands of rockets at Israel over the last two decades. PIJ has partnered with Hezbollah, another Iranian-funded terror organization, in carrying out joint operations.
IDF: The Global Impact of Islamic Jihad
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to continue targeting Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Wednesday as the terrorist group announced that it was far from ready to engage in ceasefire talks.
“We are not talking of mediation, it’s not appropriate to talk about it,” A spokesperson for Palestinian Islamic Jihad said. “When we complete our response that we want to send, it will be possible to talk about calming things down.”
Over 220 rockets have been fired at Israel by PIJ militants in the Gaza Strip in response to Israel’s targeted killing of Islamic Jihad leader, Bahaa Abu al-Ata. Earlier in the day, there were reports in the Arab press that Israel had conveyed a message via the United Nations to Islamic Jihad that it was prepared to assassinate its leaders in Syria if the rocket fire did not immediately cease.
During an address at the Knesset, Netanyahu argued with Arab MKs from the Joint List, who accused him of war crimes.
“We will not tolerate attacks on our citizens,” Netanyahu said. “In the last year, we accumulated a mass of these attacks.”
Al-Ata “was ready to carry out more and more terrorists attacks, including in these days. We thwarted him when we were not heading for an escalation, but we will do all that we need to defend our citizens,” the prime minister added.
Ziyad Rushdi al-Nakhalah, Secretary-General of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), is the only man who can stop the current wave of fighting between Israel and PIJ, Palestinian sources in the Gaza Strip said on Wednesday. There’s only one problem: he needs a green light from Iran.
The 66-year-old al-Nakhalah, who spends most of his time moving between Lebanon and Syria, will order his men to stop the rocket attacks on Israel only if Iran allows him to do so, the sources said, noting that the PIJ leader has “excellent and strong” relations with Iran and its Lebanese, Hezbollah.
Shortly after the targeted killing by Israel of PIJ military commander Bahaa Abu al-Ata on Tuesday, al-Nakhalah, who is fluent in Hebrew (a language he learned during the time he spent in Israeli prison), declared that his group was “going to war” with Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he said, has “crossed all red lines.”
According to the sources, al-Nakhalah was the one who issued orders to PIJ’s military wing, Al-Quds Brigades, to start firing rockets at Israel in retaliation over the assassination of al-Ata. “Al-Nakhalah is the only one who can order his men to halt the rocket attacks,” the sources added. “But he’s unlikely to do so unless he receives a green light from Tehran.”
Palestinian sources say the Israeli drone confirmed Baha Abu al-Ata precise location minutes before strike
i24NEWS has learned that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) used a drone to confirm that a Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander was inside his Gaza home minutes before his assassination.
According to Palestinian sources, the drone entered his apartment to indicate his precise location. A few minutes later, an IDF airstrike was launched on the apartment, killing Baha Abu al-Ata and his wife.
Additionally, the sources said following a barrage of rockets fired toward Israel’s southern city of Sderot over two weeks ago, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) was spotted hovering over the home of Abu al-Ata and the homes of three other Islamic Jihad senior figures in the coastal enclave.
IDF Strikes The Islamic Jihad Commander in Gaza
The number of Palestinians killed since the beginning of fighting between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad climbed to 23 Wednesday afternoon after the IDF struck a group of terrorists preparing to fire an anti-tank missile at Israeli positions across the Gaza border.
More than 100 rockets were fired into Israel since Wednesday morning, bringing the total number since fighting broke out on Tuesday to 350.
Israel deployed artillery batteries along the Gaza border and 13 Palestinians were killed in a series of attacks throughout Wednesday. The IDF was on high alert in the morning after the quiet felt overnight in Israel was broken by several rocket barrages launched by Palestinian Islamic Jihad towards southern and central Israel on Wednesday morning.
Rocket sirens first sounded in Gaza border communities around 6 a.m. and shortly afterwards near Latrun and Beit Shemesh outside Jerusalem. Residents reported hearing loud explosions, likely Iron Dome missile defense interceptors fired towards the rockets fired from Gaza.
Several dozen more salvos were then fired throughout the morning toward southern Israeli communities bordering the Shfela and the Gaza Strip, as well as the cities of Netivot, Ashkelon and Sderot.
— The Mossad: Elite Parody Division (@TheMossadIL) November 13, 2019
Stand With Us: Israel Is Under Attack
WATCH: Since 6:00 A.M. (Israel time), non-stop rockets have been fired from Gaza towards Israel. Innocent families, children, entire communities around Israel are being targeted by terrorists. Over 70 rockets were intercepted by Iron Dome, saving countless lives.
With Israel again facing a rocket assault from in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the Jewish state’s UN envoy urged the Security Council on Tuesday to take action.
“These rocket attacks from terrorist organizations threaten the lives of nine million civilians,” Ambassador Danny Danon said. “Instead of calling on all parties to exercise restraint, we expect the UNSC to clearly and unequivocally condemn the terrorists responsible.”
“It is time for the international community to realize that its silence is a prize for terrorism,” the Israeli diplomat added.
“Israel is not interested in escalation but will counter its campaign against terrorism with determination and strength,” Danon concluded.
UN Watch: Rockets fired at Israel, yet UNHRC is silent
Today Palestinian terrorists fired more than 150 rockets at cities across Israel, deliberately targeting civilians. Dozens were injured and hundreds of thousands forced to flee for shelter. Yet, as UN Watch’s Hillel Neuer points out, the UN’s highest human rights body is doing nothing: 0 emergency sessions, 0 resolutions, 0 commissions of inquiry.
US Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday slammed the rocket fire from Gaza, saying that it was clear that Palestinian terror groups “put violence ahead of bettering the lives of the people of Gaza.”
“The United States condemns the barrage of rockets on Israeli civilians. It’s clear Hamas & Palestinian Islamic Jihad put violence ahead of bettering the lives of the people of Gaza. America strongly affirms Israel’s right to defend itself,” Pence tweeted.
US President Donald Trump has not commented on the situation, despite addressing an event hosted by the Orthodox Jewish organization America First in New York City.
Former vice president and current Democratic candidate Joe Biden also condemned the rocket fire and touted the Obama administration’s financial support for the Iron Dome missile defense system.
Earlier, US officials declared full American support for Israel in its conflict with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as the Gaza-based terrorist group fired rockets at cities in the south and center after Israel killed a PIJ terror chief in a targeted strike.
“We stand with our friend & ally Israel at this critical moment & support Israel’s right to defend itself & bring an end to these barbaric attacks,” tweeted Ambassador to Israel David Friedman.
US State Dept ‘Stands in Solidarity with Israel, Condemns Iran Proxies’
U.S. State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus comments on the latest round of Israel-Gaza violence, condemning the actions of Palestinian terror group Islamic Jihad and the destabilizing activities of Iran.
A rocket that hit the offices of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday was reportedly fired by Palestinians inside Gaza and not launched by Israeli forces.
The ICHR blamed Israel for the missile, which injured one worker and caused significant damage to the building. Amnesty International issued a condemnation of Israel, as did the US left-wing activist group Code Pink.
However, the rocket, which hit the fifth floor of the office building, was fired by terrorists in Gaza — almost certainly the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group — but it fell short of hitting Israel, Haaretz reported Wednesday.
PIJ pummeled Israel with hundreds of rockets Tuesday in response to the IDF targeted killing earlier in the day of Baha Abu al-Ata, a senior commander in the terror group, and his wife. The IDF responded with airstrikes on PIJ targets. The rocket barrages continued Wednesday and an IDF spokesman said the retaliatory Israeli airstrikes were carefully hitting only PIJ targets while staying away from populated areas to avoid civilian casualties.
An unconfirmed video purportedly showing the rocket that hit the ICHR office was circulated on social media.
Amnesty International accused Israel of attacking a Gaza human rights office with a missile yesterday, when the bombing was actually carried out by a Palestinian terrorist group, as confirmed today by Haaretz.
Yesterday afternoon, only hours after a missile exploded in the Gaza offices of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights, Amnesty International immediately blamed Israel for the attack.
“We strongly condemn [the] attack on the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights (ICHR) whose office in Gaza was struck by an Israeli missile earlier this morning. Strikes targeting civilian buildings is a violation of international law. We are sending our solidarity to @ICHR_Pal,” tweeted Amnesty.
Yet in a report today by Amira Hass, Haaretz’s veteran correspondent in the Palestinian territories, the explosion was caused by a “missile that went astray on its launchers, almost certainly members of Islamic Jihad.”
“Israeli sources told Haaretz that the missile wasn’t Israeli. But one could have concluded that it was a local missile just from the silence that Palestinian media outlets imposed on themselves regarding the hit and the destruction it caused to the lowest of the three floors that the commission occupies in this elegant building,” reported Haaretz.
“In Gaza, one cannot keep it a secret when a local rocket or missile falls inside the territory and even causes casualties among Palestinian civilians.”
Later yesterday, Amnesty admitted it had no idea “what exactly” hit the office nor “where the attack came from.” However, the organization failed to delete the original claim, nor did it explain why it issued a “strong condemnation” before the attack.
UN Watch called on Amnesty International to:
– Fire all of its officials who were responsible for the false accusation, which severely undermines the organization’s claim to use detailed research based on meticulous evidence collection and analysis. “Amnesty should fire the officials who gave the false report from Gaza, and the officials in London who issued the statement of condemnation against Israel with no evidentiary basis,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch.
– Explain what procedures will be put in place in the future to prevent false reporting and baseless condemnations, whether concerning the Gaza-Israel conflict or other situations worldwide.
– Apologize publicly for its false reporting and baseless condemnation, and see to it that all its affiliates who shared the information do the same.
– Condemn the ICHR, whose office was bombed, for its own statement falsely blaming “Israeli war crimes” for “targeting human rights institutions in this manner,” and to cease cooperation with the organization on account of its false reports.
Note: Amnesty doesn’t bother to delete the original tweet which they admit has no evidentiary basis. That tweet is replicated on multiple Amnesty accounts. pic.twitter.com/PgASVv4UN5
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) November 12, 2019
— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) November 13, 2019
2/ Photos of the Palestinian missile entry point into the offices of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights, on the fifth floor of the Al-Harara office building in Gaza City, which is across from the Palestinian Legislative Council building. pic.twitter.com/e9AAPTf7Jz
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) November 13, 2019
4/ Amnesty lied: “Israeli attack” on Gaza office was from Palestinian missile https://t.co/jiMopck2a3
— Hillel Neuer (@HillelNeuer) November 13, 2019
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Joint Arab List MK Ahmad Tibi traded barbs at the Knesset plenum Wednesday after Tibi accused Israeli soldiers operating on the Israel-Gaza border of committing “war crimes.”
Netanyahu took the podium for an impromptu address during a parliamentary session discussing the targeted killing of top Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata, which trigged a barrage of rockets on Israel by the terrorist group, seeking to avenge its leader.
Commenting on the operation on Tuesday, Netanyahu stressed it was approved unanimously by the Diplomatic-Security Cabinet, over the fact that it was ordered by an interim government.
“Some MKs are doing the unthinkable and have called Israeli soldiers and the Israeli government war criminals,” Netanyahu admonished over the podium.
“They [the MKs] sanctify the terrorists’ war crimes! This is a great injustice against IDF soldiers and commanders, who spare no effort to minimize civilian casualties. [Gaza] terrorists hide among civilians – that is a war crime. Nothing said in this hall will change that fact,” Netanyahu exclaimed.
Tibi then approached the podium and called at Netanyahu, “You’re a liar! This campaign means to save you [from legal troubles]”.
Refusing to heed Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein’s calls to order, Tibi was then removed from the plenum hall by Knesset ushers.
Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was a “terrorist” who led a “terrorist group” that committed “acts of terror” before ultimately losing his life during a U.S. “counterterrorism action,” the New York Times reported in numerous stories following the ISIS leader’s death in late October.
Those are all accurate, precise terms to describe the head of an organization that’s clearly guilty of targeting civilians with violence for political aims.
But now, two weeks later, after Israel’s military killed senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Baha Abu al-Ata, the T-word is nowhere to be found in the New York Times report about the incident. More puzzling is that the first versions of the article, published in the early morning hours of November 12 after the terrorist was killed, did accurately note Islamic Jihad’s terror designation — but that information was later scrubbed from the story.
Like ISIS, Islamic Jihad is indeed designated globally as a terrorist group, including by the European Union, United States, Canada, Japan, and others.
An Agence France Presse photo caption yesterday whitewashed an Islamic Jihad terrorist, saying only that he was a Palestinian killed in an Israeli air strike, and omitting that he was reportedly preparing to launch rockets at Israel when Israel’s air force fatally fired on him. After Israel killed Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata yesterday, a senior terrorist responsible for numerous recent rocket attacks against Israeli civilians, including one in August targeting a major children’s festival with thousands in attendance, the terror organization bombarded southern and central Israel with over 200 rockets during the course of the day.
AFP’s photograph and the incomplete caption follow:
A relative of 20-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Hamuda, who was killed in an Israeli air strike, mourns over his body at the hospital morgue in Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip on November 12, 2019. Israel’s military killed a commander of Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad in a strike on his home in the Gaza Strip early, prompting retaliatory rocket fire and fears of a severe escalation in violence. ANAS BABA / AFP
As Times of Israel reported:
The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry releases the names of the three Palestinians killed in the Gaza Strip since Tuesday morning.
The three are named as Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Baha Abu al-Ata, 42, his wife Asma Abu al-Ata, 39, and Mohammed Hamouda, 20. Hamouda was killed in an Israeli strike on a cell preparing to launch rockets toward Israel.
In addition, the ministry says, 18 people have been wounded.
Likewise, AFP itself reported yesterday (“Rocket fire after Israeli Gaza strike kills Palestinian commander“)
Later Tuesday morning, Israel said it targeted two Islamic Jihad militants from the group’s rocket-launching unit who were posing an immediate threat.
Gaza‘s health ministry reported one Palestinian killed in that strike in the northern Gaza Strip.
MSNBC: Hamas is a ‘military group’
MSNBC host Hallie Jackson refers to the Palestinian terrorist group as a “military” organization in control of the Gaza Strip. The Washington Free Beacon is a privately owned, for-profit online newspaper dedicated to uncovering the stories that the powers that be hope will never see the light of day.
Impossible to take such a person seriously. Man who wants to be UK Prime Minister says Al Baghdadi could and should have been arrested and tried. Why didn’t he volunteer to go to Syria to effect an arrest himself? He only advocates unnecessary danger for others never himself. https://t.co/ZIrwgSd2ia
— Rɪᴄʜᴀʀᴅ Kᴇᴍᴘ ⋁ (@COLRICHARDKEMP) November 13, 2019
As regular readers know, BBC audiences are all too used to reading and hearing whitewashed portrayals of the perpetrators of terrorism against Israelis but listeners to a report aired in the November 12th evening edition of the BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newshour’ encountered a new level of euphemistic jargon.
Titled “Israel-Gaza violence escalates”, the synopsis on the programme’s webpage tells audiences that:
“Rocket fire is exchanged after Israel’s killing of a senior Islamic Jihad commander.”
That portrayal of events of course does not clarify an important distinction: the fact that while Israel carried out strikes against purely military targets in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian terrorists carried out attacks against Israeli civilians. Neither was that point made clear during the entire nine-minute item.
The webpage is illustrated with an image described as follows:
“Picture: An image taken from CCTV video made available by Israel’s national roads authority showing the moment a rocket, apparently fired from Gaza, struck a road near the city of Ashdod, Israel, 12 November 2019. Credit: EPA / Netivei Israel.”
Although by the time the programme was aired terrorists in the Gaza Strip had fired over 190 rockets and mortars at Israeli cities, towns and villages as far north as Tel Aviv, listeners heard presenter Paul Henley claim in his introduction that “fighting” was taking place in one sole location.
After a day of rocket fire from Gaza, the top three hashtags trending on Twitter in India are #IsraelUnderFire, #IsraelUnderAttack and #IndiaWithIsrael.
Throughout the day, people across the globe posted on social media about the rising tensions between Israel and Gaza.
However, Israel-related hashtags were mainly trending within Israel. India was the exception, with its hashtags about the rocket barrage from Gaza remained trending long after Israeli Twitter began focusing on other things.
Indian politician Kapil Mishra tweeted: “Time to stand strongly with Israel #IsraelUnderFire.”
“Israel is under attack by Terrorists from Gaza. India is with Israel. #IsraelUnderFire,” Prashant Patel Umrao, an advocate at the Supreme Court and Delhi High Court, tweeted.
They can’t break the Jewish spirit. Even as rockets rain down on them, they carry on. Here is a wedding in Israel today. Instead of cancelling it, they went and celebrated. Oh, and guess who made a surprise appearance??? NETTA!! Can you imagine Taylor Swift just showing up? pic.twitter.com/gF2uWCZZLJ
— AZ (@americanzionism) November 12, 2019
Under the Jordan-Israel peace treaty of 1994, two Jordanian enclaves along the border – Al-Baqoura (known as “Island of Peace” in English and “Naharayim” in Hebrew) in the north and Al-Ghamar (“Tzofar” in Hebrew) in the south – remained under Jordanian sovereignty but were leased to Israel for 25 years, enabling Israeli farmers to continue to farm there. The lease was to be renewed unless one of the sides informed the other a year in advance that it wished to end the arrangement.
On October 21, 2018, Jordan’s King Abdullah announced, via Twitter, that he had decided not to renew the lease. He wrote: “Al-Baqoura and Al-Ghamar were always a major priority for us, and our decision is not to renew the annexes in the peace treaty [pertaining to] Al-Baqoura and Al-Ghamar, out of our commitment to do whatever is required for Jordan and the Jordanians.” At the same time, Jordan’s foreign minister sent a memorandum to his Israeli counterpart, informing him of the decision.
The decision took effect on November 10, 2019, and at the opening of the fourth session of the Jordanian parliament the king announced “the expiration of the peace treaty annexes on Al-Baqoura and Al-Ghamar and the imposition of our full sovereignty over every inch of those lands.”
The following day, November 11, 2019, the king visited the Al-Baqoura area, accompanied by his son Crown Prince Hussein, and tweeted, “Jordanian sovereignty over its land is above all consideration.”
Jordanian Senate speaker Faisal Al-Fayez called the reclaiming of the enclaves a “victory for Jordan’s diplomatic will, represented by King Abdullah II, which confirms Jordan’s sovereignty over all its lands…” He added that the king’s move was “an impressive and firm response to all those who question our national positions and our ability to defend our rights, our principles and the supreme interests of our country.”
A Jordanian Foreign Ministry source explained that Jordan had “exercised its legal right, recognized in the [peace] treaty, not to renew the annexes,” and clarified that it would not renew them in the future either. On the issue of the lands farmed by Israeli farmers in the enclaves, he added: “The peace treaty recognized the private ownership of 820 dunams in Al-Baqoura. Jordan will allow any Israeli citizen who proves his ownership [of the land] to apply for a visa at the Jordanian embassy in Tel Aviv and enter the kingdom through the official border crossings. [The kingdom] will respect his ownership rights according to Jordanian law… As for the 4,235 dunams of Al-Ghamar, they are Jordanian state land that the treaty allowed Israel to use, and today the annexes [pertaining to them] have expired… In accordance with its legal commitments, the kingdom will allow Israel to harvest the crops it planted [in Al-Ghamar] before the annexes expired, but [only] in accordance with Jordanian law…”
Jordanian TV Host Rana Hmouz: We Want to Gouge out the Eyes of the Zionists and Their Supporters; We Want to Trample Israel, the Peace Agreement Underfoot pic.twitter.com/5weYIsMXrw
— MEMRI (@MEMRIReports) November 13, 2019
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