With so much material accumulating, I decided to circulate an interim Israel Update with the 2ndinstalment later this week.
IDF soldier Private Ori Megedish was rescued during the IDF’s operation in Gaza on Sunday night. She was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on October 7 and has now been reunited with her family.Read more here
A nine-year-old girl, Tamar Haya Torphiashvili, died on Saturday a week after she suffered cardiac arrest when an incoming rocket siren was activated in Ashdod. In addition to physical harm caused by explosions and shrapnel, the sound of rocket impacts, interceptions and sirens can cause anxiety attacks and shock. Article here
Just a few of the attacks:
On Sunday Rockets were fired from Gaza at Tel Aviv, Herzliya, Ra’anana, Holon, and Hod Hasharon, sending 1.5 million people running for shelter.
On Monday morning at least 40 rockets were launched from Gaza towards Netivot and surrounding communities, with two direct hits in Netivot. Rocket sirens were also heard in Jerusalem and central Israel.
On Sunday, three rockets were fired from Lebanon toward Rosh Pina and nearby areas, just east of Safed. Two of the rockets were intercepted and one fell in an open area. The IDF struck the site from where the rockets were launched in response. Then six rockets were fired toward Kiryat Shmona, with three rockets falling within the city. Later, ten rockets were fired toward Nahariya, Shlomi, and nearby communities, with the IDF striking in southern Lebanon in response. Read more hereand here
A total of 132 trucks have entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt over the past eight days, carrying medical supplies, food and water. Israel has also opened an additional water pipe-line into Gaza bringing the total water supply from Israel to 28.5 million litres of portable water per day.
The third Israeli water pipeline into Gaza has been “knocked out” by Hamas terrorists and needs repair. Israel provides 10% of water to Gaza, with Hamas supplying the other 90%.
Hamas continues to force civilians to act as human shields blocking their paths and preventing them from leaving Gaza. The White House’s Chief Security Adviser said that “the Egyptians are prepared to let Americans and other foreign nationals out of Gaza. The Israelis have no issue with that. But Hamas is preventing their departure and making a series of demands”. Read more here
The IDF Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) on Sunday challenged claims of shortages in Gaza and stressed that Israel is “trying to act in accordance with international law to minimize harm to civilians.”…
While Hamas wants to present the humanitarian situation as worse than it is, Israel says there is no food shortage in Gaza and there won’t be for weeks to come.
COGAT stressed that “90% of drinking water is self-sourced [from Gaza] and 10% comes from three waterlines from Israel.” Hamas struck one of those lines on Oct. 7; Israel has now opened two of them.
“Hospital administrators in Gaza have been shouting since the beginning of the war that they have diesel fuel for only another 24 hours but they are still operating.”
“Hamas is supplying them the fuel and has an interest in keeping them operational because hospitals above the ground became Hamas centres underground.”Read more here
Israeli soldiers pushed at least 2 miles deep into Gaza on Sunday. Tanks fired from Gaza’s Mediterranean beaches, and soldiers moved across open and hilly ground, according to video the IDF released. The latest actions suggest a war that is likely to last a long time, as Israel prepares to move deliberately in stages into Gaza territory.
On Sunday morning, Israeli authorities restored internet and phone communications after implementing a near complete communications blackout on Friday night. Washington convinced Israel that communications needed to be turned back on to allow the UN and other aid groups to coordinate with their staff in Gaza, a senior U.S. government official said. Article here (paywall)
Israeli tanks advanced into the outskirts of Gaza City on Monday…Israel has on several occasions warned the people living in northern Gaza, including Gaza City, to head south to avoid its military strikes as it pushes ahead with a mission to “destroy” the territory’s Hamas rulers. Read more here
The IDF Spokesman said Friday that Hamas has turned hospitals into command and control centres and hideouts for terrorists and commanders. Hamas terrorists operate inside and under Shifa Hospital in Gaza City, the biggest hospital in Gaza.
We have concrete evidence that hundreds of terrorists flooded into Shifa Hospital to hide there after the massacre of Oct. 7.
Hamas terrorists operate inside hospitals precisely because they know the IDF distinguishes between terrorists and civilians.
When medical facilities are used for terror purposes, they are liable to lose their protection from attack in accordance with international law.
The IDF will continue making efforts to minimize harm to civilian populations and continue to act in accordance with international law.Read more here
This 26 second video shows 5 Hamas headquarters and depots under Shifa Hospital with one Hamas facility is under the maternity ward in contravention of International Law.The 1949 Geneva Convention states that warring parties must “ensure that … medical establishments and units are, as far as possible, situated in such a manner that attacks against military objectives cannot imperil their safety”. A 1977 additional protocol says that “under no circumstances shall medical units be used in an attempt to shield military objectives from attack…”. View here
The IDF operated in Jenin overnight on Sunday in a widespread operation against Palestinian terror cells. Four armed terrorists were killed by Israeli forces during clashes, and five Palestinians were wounded. The IDF also uncovered explosives that had been placed under roads in Jenin by Palestinians in an effort to target Israeli security forces. read more here
A Border Police officer was seriously wounded in a stabbing attack near the Shivtei Israel light rail station in Jerusalem on Monday. The attacker was apprehended by police.Read more here
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said “People who are calling for a ceasefire now [in Gaza] do not understand Hamas. That is not possible. It would be such a gift to Hamas because they would spend whatever time there was a ceasefire in effect rebuilding their armaments, creating stronger positions to be able to fend off an eventual assault by the Israelis. So we’re in a very different world.” tweet here
Stephen Crabb MP said on the BBC’s Week in Westminster: “There is nothing simple about the Israel Palestinian conflict, but what is straightforward, and what should be straightforward for serious political leaders, is to identify the attacks for what they were on the 7th October. It was an act of appalling brutal barbarity”…“Western leaders are standing behind Israel in its determination to see Hamas disappear from Gaza. Israel is going to do what it needs to do”
Crabb noted that “we all want to see a cessation of hostility” but “to call for a ceasefire when it would so evidently be in the interests of the terrorists” is “not going to happen”.
He highlighted that “Israel is taking extraordinary steps; to warn Gazan civilians of reprisals that are coming, to alert them, to evacuate them. But let’s not let Hamas off the hook here — there are reports of them stealing medical supplies and fuel from UN agencies, there are reports of them hoarding and stealing supplies from other agencies as well. And with this kind of debate, the humanitarian obligations always seem to be put back to Israel, and they do have obligations here, but Hamas are in a position to do far more to help the poor civilians of Gaza than they’re doing”. Listen here
However, the UN General Assembly approved a nonbinding, Arab-drafted resolution Friday calling for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza by a vote of 120-14 with 45 abstentions, after rejecting a Canadian amendment backed by the U.S. that unequivocally condemned the Oct. 7 “terrorist attacks” by Hamas and demanded the immediate release of hostages taken by Hamas. Voting against the resolution were Israel, the U.S., five Pacific island nations, and four European countries: Austria, Croatia, Czechia and Hungary. Eight EU members voted in favour, including France. The UK abstained.
Canada’s UN Ambassador Robert Rae said that the resolution which was approved appears to forget that the events of Oct. 7 happened – “one of the worst terrorist attacks in history.” The vote on the Canadian amendment was 88-55 with 23 abstentions, but it failed to get a 2/3 majority of those voting for or against.Read more here
A mob of anti-Israel protesters stormed a Dagestan airport on Sunday night following calls on social media to block a flight from Tel Aviv from landing. Dagestan is a republic of Russia along the Caspian Sea, bordering Georgia and Azerbaijan. Video shared on social media showed hundreds of people at Makhachkala International Airport brandishing Palestinian flags and shouting anti-Israel chants.
Some of the demonstrators were stopping cars outside the airport to check identification documents of drivers and passengers as they searched for Israeli citizens among the motorists. After the flight landed, protesters stormed into the airport, breaking past security and surrounding the plane. read more here
Son of Hamas founder, Mosab Hassan Yousef, the “Green Prince” interviewed by Piers Morgan: when Hamas rules ends, the Palestinians will thank Israel for their liberation
2 minute extract: View here
Full 12 minute interview: View here
Jonathan S Tobin: To the astonishment of Jews and Israelis, the unspeakable crimes committed against Jewish men, women and children on Oct. 7 has actually given the Palestinian cause the boost the Hamas terrorists hoped it would. That’s particularly true in the Arab world, where, as the New York Times reports, the violence has “reignited” the “passion for the Palestinian cause.”
Responsibility for the Palestinian casualties in Gaza belongs to the people who started this war, not those seeking to punish the criminals. Yet the Palestinians are being held exempt from the consequences of their decisions. How else can one explain the widespread sympathy for people who start a war by crossing borders and murdering young and old, but then cry foul when the nation they assault seeks to stop them from repeating such crimes? Article here
(Colonel) Richard Kemp: Hamas is the only “army” in the history of war that has deliberately sought to provoke its enemy to kill its own people. This is what its entire strategy is based on. They welcome the deaths of Gazan civilians in Israeli air strikes. Hamas embed themselves in the civilian population. They know that fighting from within the population will eventually lead to civilian casualties.
The Gaza Health Ministry, which Hamas controls, will churn out civilian death statistics. These are often grossly exaggerated. Journalists will be brought quickly to the scene to film dead or wounded civilians. Much of the world’s media will then condemn Israel. The journalists who feed this machinery of anti-Israel hatred are playing directly into the hands of Hamas. They encourage Hamas to repeat the operation again and again.
Israel scrupulously adheres to the laws of war. More often than not, Israel goes well beyond the strict requirements of the Geneva Conventions. Hamas knows it can’t defeat the IDF by military means, so their entire strategy is to work towards Israel’s delegitimization, vilification and isolation in the world, using the lives of their own people as weapons of war. We must not let them win. Article here
Dan De Luce:More than 80% of Gazans live in poverty, according to the UN. Hamas, however, has funded an armed force of thousands equipped with rockets and drones and built a vast web of tunnels under Gaza. Estimates of its annual military budget range from $100 million to $350 million. Since seizing power in Gaza in 2007, Hamas has filled its coffers with hundreds of millions in international aid, cash from Iran and ideological partners in Turkey, Kuwait and Malaysia, as well as cryptocurrency, taxes, extortion and smuggling, U.S. officials say.
“All the funds that were supposed to go to the public, most of it went to their military capability,” said Neomi Neumann, former head of research for the Israel Security Agency. “In retrospect, it was a mistake to allow a terrorist organization to control Gaza,” an Israeli official said. “We intend to rectify that mistake now.” Article here
Matthew Rosenberg: Arab and Western officials say there is substance to Israeli claims of Hamas stockpiling supplies, including desperately needed food and fuel. Hamas, they say, has spent years building dozens of kilometres of tunnels under Gaza where it has amassed stores of virtually everything needed to keep fighting for three to four months without resupply. Hamas has hundreds of thousands of gallons of fuel for vehicles and rockets; caches of ammunition, explosives and materials to make more; and stockpiles of food, water and medicine, the officials said.
Lt.-Col. Jonathan Conricus, an Israeli military spokesman, said Thursday that if Gazans or the UN need fuel, they should get it from Hamas. “Hamas has fuel but has different priorities – to provide ventilation and air for its tunnel system, for firing rockets.”
Samir Ghattas, an Egyptian strategic analyst who closely monitors Gaza, said there was little chance that Hamas would be willing to provide food or any other kinds of supplies to aid civilians. “The Hamas movement cares only about the Hamas movement,” he said. “The public of Gaza mean absolutely nothing for Hamas.” (paywall) Article here
Denis Ross: But today it is clear to me that peace is not going to be possible now or in the future as long as Hamas remains intact and in control of Gaza. Hamas’ power and ability to threaten Israel must end.
After Oct. 7, there are many Israelis who believe their survival as a state is at stake. That may sound like an exaggeration, but to them, it’s not. If Hamas persists as a military force and is still running Gaza after this war is over, it will attack Israel again. The events of Oct. 7 changed everything. As one commander in the Israeli military said, “If we do not defeat Hamas, we cannot survive here.”
Over the past two weeks, when I talked to Arab officials throughout the region whom I have long known, every single one told me that Hamas must be destroyed in Gaza. They made clear that if Hamas is perceived as winning, it will validate the group’s ideology of rejection, give leverage and momentum to Iran and its collaborators, and put their own governments on the defensive. As Israel’s aerial bombardment of Gaza picks up in pace and civilian casualties rise, international calls for an immediate cease-fire are mounting. But ending the war now would mean Hamas would win. (paywall)Article here
Simon Sebag Montefiore: The Hamas attack resembled a medieval Mongol raid for slaughter and human trophies. Yet since Oct. 7, Western academics, students, artists, and activists have denied, excused, or even celebrated the murders by a terrorist sect that proclaims an anti-Jewish genocidal program. It seems odd that one has to say: Killing civilians, old people, even babies, is always wrong.
Much of the justification for killing civilians is based on a fashionable ideology, “decolonization.” I always wondered about the intellectuals who supported Stalin, and those aristocratic sympathizers and peace activists who excused Hitler. Today’s Hamas apologists and atrocity-deniers, with their robotic denunciations of “settler-colonialism,” belong to the same tradition but worse: They have abundant evidence of the slaughter of old people, teenagers, and children, but have not changed their views an iota. The lack of decency and respect for human life is astonishing.
The decolonization narrative has dehumanized Israelis to the extent that otherwise rational people excuse, deny, or support barbarity. It holds that Israelis are “settler-colonialists,” and that Palestinians have a right to eliminate their oppressors. This ideology is a toxic, historically nonsensical mix of Marxist theory, Soviet propaganda, and traditional anti-Semitism from the Middle Ages and the 19th century.
At the heart of decolonization ideology is the categorization of all Israelis as “colonists.” This is simply wrong. Jews are indigenous in the Holy Land, and if one believes in the return of exiled people to their homeland, then the return of the Jews is exactly that. Even those who deny this history or regard it as irrelevant must acknowledge that Israel is now the only home of 9 million Israelis who have lived there for four, five, six generations.
Most migrants to the UK or the U.S. are regarded as British or American within a lifetime. Politics in both countries is filled with prominent leaders whose parents or grandparents migrated from India, West Africa, or South America. No one would describe them as “settlers.” Yet Israeli families resident in Israel for a century are designated as “settler-colonists” ripe for murder and mutilation. It is dismaying that it is often self-declared “anti-racists” who are now advocating murder by ethnicity. article here (paywall)