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Interim Israel Update 27.11.23

HOSTAGES

 

As I write on Monday evening, the fourth release of Israeli hostages has not yet been confirmed.

Unsurprisingly Hamas have been acting in bad faith, waging psychological terrorism on Israel, in particular the hostages’ families who have had to endure continued uncertainty, not knowing if their relative/s is/are among those very few to be released and then on at least two occasions, being subjected to an agonising delay of several hours.

Friday: 4 children and 9 women were released plus 10 Thais and a Filipino.

Saturday (very late) :  13 hostages were released, 8 children and 5 women, along with 4 Thais.

Sunday: 14 hostages, including 9 children plus three Thais were released. Among those released was Avigail Idan, age 4, an Israeli-American citizen from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, whose parents were murdered by Hamas on Oct. 7. According to Israel’s Channel 12, 177 hostages are still held by Hamas: 18 children, 43 women, and 116 men. Report here

 

 

Because the vast majority of the Palestinians being released are women or minors and all* of the Israelis being released are women or minors, many in the global media have lost sight of the fact that the Palestinians have all been charged or convicted of violent crimes, many of terror crimes. Moreover, some of the Israeli minors are babies and toddlers, whereas most of the Palestinians are above the age of 16. A significant minority committed crimes which could have killed people, while the remaining majority supported or were involved in a terror group in some way. Report here Report here

*except Russian Israeli Roni Krivoi  reportedly released at the request of Putin.

 

 

 

Piers Morgan interviewed Douglas Murray about the hostage situation. Douglas slammed Hamas for carrying out “water torture” of Israelis as Hamas “drip out” small numbers of hostages. View here -first 5 mins 10 secs only

 

 

 

Journalist Tom Gross writes: The BBC and other stations have said “the hostages have been joyfully reunited with their families.” This is very misleading.See this short clip from Israeli TV: View here

Child hostages released without mothers, brothers, as Hamas breaks yet another ceasefire condition

 

 

Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar welcomed the release of Israeli-Irish hostage Emily Hand, 9, saying, “an innocent child who was lost has now been found and returned.” Report here

Tom Gross writes: Israeli-Irish girl Emily Hand wasn’t “lost” as the Irish prime minister told the world. She was kidnapped by a bloodthirsty terror group, who murdered her mother* and her school friend on October 7. And she wasn’t “found,” as the Irish prime minister claims. She was released after …Israel’s release of convicted violent Palestinian criminals. Now Emily will find out that the Israeli woman* who raised as her own, Tom Hand’s ex-wife, was murdered by Hamas on October 7. (Emily’s own Israeli birth mother died of cancer when Emily was two.)

 

 

Channel 12 in Israel reported that Hannah Katzir, 77, only learned after she was freed on Friday night that her husband Rami was murdered and that her son Elad was abducted into Gaza on October 7. Hannah had been reported dead earlier last week, having allegedly died due to an Israel Air Force airstrike while being held by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Report here

 

 

The Israeli news site N12 spoke with the families of those hostages who had returned to hear the stories of their time in Gaza.
The hostages said how their final two weeks had seen food supplies running low, leaving them with pita bread and small amounts of rice to eat.
Hostages spoke of Gazans hurling stones at the vehicle bringing them to Egypt. “Until the last moment we weren’t sure, we thought they would lynch us on the way to Israel,” a hostage said..Report here

 

 

Israeli-Russian hostage Roni Krivoi who was set free as a gesture to Russian President Putin, revealed that he managed to escape his captors and hide in Gaza for four days before being recaptured. His aunt said “In the end, Gazan civilians captured him and returned him to the terrorists’ hands,”Report here

 

 

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani told the Financial Times that efforts to extend a temporary truce in Gaza depend on Hamas locating dozens of women and children held hostage by civilians and gangs.
More than 40 other women and children being kept captive in Gaza were not believed to be held by Hamas. (paywall) Report here

 

 

 

RELEASED HOSTAGE CRITICALLY ILL

 

Alma Avraham, 84, was airlifted to Soroka Hospital in very serious condition after her release on Sunday, where doctors are reported to be fighting for her life. Hospital director Dr. Shlomi Kodesh said that Avraham was in “poor physical condition” and “life-threatening condition” stemming from a “prolonged period in which she did not receive proper care.Report here

 

 

THE RED CROSS

 

 

Alma Avraham’s (see above)  children blasted the Red Cross for refusing to try to bring lifesaving medications to their mother during the 51 days she was held hostage by Hamas terrorists. They had gathered all of their mother’s medications, with the help of her doctors, her son brought them to the Red Cross on two occasions, but the Red Cross refused to take them. Report here

 

 

Hamas has refused to allow the Red Cross to visit the Israeli hostages who will not be released in the hostage-prisoner exchange with Hamas, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported, citing Egyptian sources.(paywall)Report here

 

 

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan appeared on CNN on Sunday.
Q: Prime Minister Netanyahu said that the Red Cross would be allowed to visit hostages still being held by Hamas to ascertain their status.
Sullivan: “That is part of the deal. We expect it will happen….We do believe that Hamas is obliged to maintain its part of the commitment on Red Cross visitation of the hostages. And we expect Qatar and Egypt and other countries to hold Hamas accountable to fulfill that commitment by the end of tomorrow [Monday].” Transcript here

 

 

 

ISRAEL AT WAR

 

 

Mark Regev, senior adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told LBC on Friday that the four-day truce with Hamas was “just a pause. In Israel, we made a decision because we refuse to live with this Hamas-controlled terror enclave on our southern border. That’s the bottom line.”
“For too long, Israeli parents have had to live in fear of terrorists crossing the frontier and butchering their children. No longer. We won’t live with Hamas – to live with Hamas is to live in constant terror. They say so. They say they’d do the Oct. 7 massacre again, again and again, and we take them at their word on that issue.”
“This will only end when Hamas no longer controls Gaza and no longer has the capability to inflict the sort of massacre on our people that they did on Oct. 7.” Report here

 

 

 

Eran Efrat, an Amsterdam-based Israeli entrepreneur and managing partner at Verdiesel, a green energy investment fund, has raised $40 million to purchase tactical gear for IDF soldiers. The army has tested the equipment from U.S. suppliers and the orders were modified based on IDF requirements.Report here

 

 

 

The IDF’s Oketz (canine) unit has succeeded in finding dozens of bombs, large numbers of other Hamas weapons, located terrorist hideouts and ambushes, and helped find the bodies of murdered hostages during the war with Hamas.
In the Turkish hospital in Gaza, the dogs found two large bombs. A dog found a bomb at Rantisi hospital, and another dog found a bomb in a physical therapy department of Shifa hospital. Oketz dogs found Hamas weapons in hospital medical machines, cabinets, and patients’ beds. Four dogs have died in action in Gaza.  Report here

 

 

 

THE P.A.

 

 

Jibril Rajoub, secretary general of Fatah’s Central Committee, on Sunday justified the Oct. 7 massacre by Hamas that killed over a thousand people in Israel, mostly civilians, as an act “in the context of the defensive war our people are waging.”
adding that “Hamas is part of our political and social fabric and of our struggle.”Report here

 

 

 

EGYPT

 

 

Dalia Ziada, an acclaimed Egyptian author and liberal democracy activist, has been forced to flee her home country amid a furious backlash after she praised Israel’s military campaign against Hamas, saying it will benefit the entire region if the terror group is eliminated…Without Iran-backed Hamas or other extremist Islamist organizations, the situation in the Middle East would “without a doubt be a thousand times better.”
She added, “If it weren’t for the security collaboration of Israel with us, with Egypt… the terror organizations would still be in Sinai today.”
The terror groups behind deadly terror attacks on Egyptian security forces in Sinai “were established by Hamas.”Report here

 

 

ELON MUSK

 

 

Israel hosted Elon Musk on Monday, where he toured sites of the October 7 massacre and was shown footage of the violent acts committed by Hamas on Israeli soil…Israel and Musk have reportedly reached an agreement in principle whereby “Starlink satellite units can only be operated in Israel with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Communications, including the Gaza Strip.” Report here

 

 

 

DEFENCE

 

 

The Biden administration’s $106 billion package for Israel, Ukraine and U.S. border security includes $1.2 billion for Israel’s Iron Beam laser system which  Israel is in advanced stages of developing.Report here

 

 

EILAT UNDER THREAT AGAIN

 

 

An Israeli Air Force F-35 on Saturday intercepted a drone over the Red Sea en route to Israel.Report here

 

 

 

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER?

 

 

Human Rights Watch said Sunday the explosion that killed and injured many civilians at al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza on Oct. 17, 2023, resulted from an apparent rocket such as those commonly used by Palestinian armed groups, that hit the hospital grounds..Evidence makes the possibility of a large air-dropped bomb, such as those Israel has used extensively in Gaza, highly unlikely. Report here

 

 

VIDEOS

 

Douglas Murray criticises pro-Palestinian demonstrators. “No marches when hundreds of thousands of Moslems were killed in Yemen” 7 minutes View here

 

 

Major F, an Arab Muslim serving officer in the IDF, who was wounded on Oct 7. “The army does not leave me at all. They’re with me 24/7, both by communicating and in providing any assistance that I need, helping to restore my condition to better than it was. Seriously, from the bottom of my heart, I thank the entire army, officers and commanders who came and called.  I am very satisfied with the way I have been treated while I get my strength back.
The State of Israel is a peaceful country. The Arab countries must stand by Israel and help and support it and prevent acts of terror against it so that there will be a true, full, and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.”   Graphic content 16 mins View here

 

 

COMMENT & OPINION

 

 

Richard Kemp : I’ve never before heard such an outrageous question asked on British mainstream in any context. On Thursday Sky News presenter Kay Burley put it to Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy that the planned release of 150 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for just 50 hostages shows that “Israel does not think that Palestinian lives are valued as highly as Israeli lives”. She claimed that an unnamed “hostage negotiator” had suggested that to her… Even if Burley’s hostage negotiator actually exists, why on earth would she repeat such a demented proposition live on national TV? There can only be one explanation and that is a desire to humiliate Levy and sow the seeds of Israeli racism into the minds of her viewers. That would be true to form for this channel, whose reports about the Gaza war have been constantly skewed against Israel… Burley may be quite unaware that the disproportionate exchange ratio was demanded by Hamas and only reluctantly agreed to by Israel.

Embedded in the article is a short video showing how Eylon Levy dealt with Burley. Article here

 

 

 

Jpost Editorial: For years Israel has said that Hamas conducts its ongoing campaign of terrorism against Israel from within civilian sites in Gaza: homes, businesses, schools, refugee facilities… and hospitals. And for years it had always been dismissed by the international community as paranoia or disinformation, or met with shrugs from those who agreed but had no idea what to do about it.

The evidence that Israel had been correct all along about Hamas’s nefarious mode of operation began to pile up soon after the IDF began its offensive.*

The longer Israel stays in Gaza, the more it is discovering about Hamas’s web of evil and its cynical use of civilians, especially the infirm, to provide a cover for their murderous actions.

The world should be coming together to back Israel’s actions and encourage it to continue its efforts to uproot the terror that has held Gaza captive for close to two decades.Article here  *(article gives many concrete examples)

 

 

Dore Gold: Iran has been supplying the Houthis (based in Yemen) with state-of-the-art ballistic missiles and advanced drones which have been employed to strike Israel. Houthi drones have destroyed Saudi oil installations and refineries in Abu Dhabi, causing tremendous damage. They have now threatened Israel’s southern port of Eilat as well. It has become critical for the IDF to neutralize this problem.Article here