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Israel Update 30.5.24

 

ISRAEL’S WAR AGAINST HAMAS

 

 

The IDF announced Wednesday it has taken full control over the Philadelphi corridor along the Gaza-Egypt border and can now “cut off Hamas’s lifeline for supplies coming in from Sinai.” At least 20 tunnels and 82 tunnel shafts have been found. The IDF has also found dozens of loaded rocket launchers only metres away from the Egyptian border.Report here

 

RAFAH INCIDENT  – Sunday’s airstrike did NOT target civilians

 

On Sunday, Israel’s air force carried out a strike in Rafah targeting two senior Hamas commanders whom it had tracked by aerial surveillance to a compound in the Tal as Sultan area.
The IDF added that the strike did not take place in the designated “humanitarian zone” on the coast, where the military has called Palestinians to evacuate to in recent weeks, but  one and half kilometres away.  The IDF’s target location was inside the Rafah combat zone.  Following the strike, a fire broke out in a number of refugee tents, which were more than 100 metres away, causing casualties. Israel is carrying out an inquiry which could indicate whether secondary explosions of Hamas munitions caused the fires.

 Video & map here

(click on the map to expand)

Report here Report here

 

Video taken of the fire in Rafah following an Israeli airstrike on Hamas commanders Sunday night includes the report of Gazan eyewitnesses:
“Did they attack a (Hamas) warehouse?”
“Not a warehouse. A vehicle filled with ammo and weapons. It was a jeep.”
“That belongs to the guys (Hamas)?”
“Of course, who else?… At any moment a (Hamas) rocket can fly at us.” Video here

 

The IDF has released an intercepted conversation  between two Gazans suggesting that an ammunition store in the area had ignited. The first speaker says:

… and they say that they (the Hamas terrorists that were bombed) sat in a meeting and that there is a facility and in addition they had ammunition because all of the ammunition that started exploding. Bags of money were flying  in the air, Abu Rafiq.

Second speaker:  These (the ammunition that exploded) were really ours?’

First speaker: Yes, this is an ammunition warehouse. I tell you it exploded….I mean the Jewish bombing wasn’t strong, it was a small missile because it didn’t create a large hole.

Second speaker: And afterwards a lot of secondary explosions. Recording here

The IDF has also released a satellite photo of the area indicating that there was at least one Hamas rocket launcher near the compound that was bombed.

 

 

The IDF said Monday that its Sunday airstrike in Rafah was carried out based on “intelligence information on the presence of the terrorists in the area.”
Beforehand, the IDF carried out “many steps to reduce the chance of harming uninvolved [civilians], including aerial surveillance, the use of precision munitions, and additional intelligence information.”
“Based on [these steps], it was estimated that no harm was expected to uninvolved civilians.”
A military source said that two missiles with a “reduced in size” warhead adapted for such targets were used in the strike.
The IDF added that the strike did not take place in the designated “humanitarian zone” on the coast, where the military has called for Gazans to evacuate to in recent weeks. Report here

 

The White House said that the strike did not cross President Biden’s red line over US support for Israel.Report here

 

Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, Israel’s chief military spokesman, said that Israeli forces were “refining our operations so that there is minimal harm to the Gazan civilians Hamas is hiding behind.” He added, “We’re not smashing into Rafah, we’re operating carefully and precisely.” The Israeli military has been moving in studied advances into Rafah since May 6, without the heavy bombardment it used against other parts of Gaza, after telling people to evacuate parts of the city.(paywall)

(paywall) Report here

 

 

GAZA FOOD SUPPLIES

 

 

A group of Israeli academics and public health officials conducted a study on the amount of food entering Gaza during the war, finding the mean energy availability in the food delivered over four months was 3,163 kcal per person, per day. This significantly exceeds the widely accepted standard of 2,100 kcals per person, per day.
The authors concluded that “the amount of food delivered per capita should be sufficient for the entire Gazan population.”
They also found that the amount of food entering Gaza was “significantly greater” in the January-April period than in the pre-Oct. 7 period.Article hereStudy here

 

COGAT video shows bustling market scenes in Rafah 25.5.24  (16 secs) View here

 

GAZA HOSPITALS

 

 

Dr. Baxtiyar Baram, a Kurdish physician who recently spent weeks treating the wounded in two hospitals in Gaza, said Tuesday that “I have seen it with my eyes that the hospitals have been used for hiding Hamas leaders. Yes, yes, we saw them and even spoke with them.” Article here

 

and see John Spencer Comment & Opinion article below.

 

INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE (ICJ)

 

Despite initial headlines declaring that the UN’s ICJ ordered Israel to immediately halt its offensive in Rafah, the ruling, when examined, is quite different. Israeli officials said Saturday that the judges issued a very carefully worded ruling that does not compel the fighting in Rafah to stop, nor does it prevent Israel from defending itself.
The officials do not view the ruling as preventing the IDF’s offensive, as long as all measures to prevent harm to civilians are taken, and after Israel’s National Security Council and Foreign Ministry have stated that Israel has not and will not create conditions that could bring about the destruction of the civilian Palestinian population in part or in full.
An Israeli official said, “What country would invest so many resources to bring in humanitarian aid, call off attacks and the like, if it intends to commit genocide? We are already doing and will continue to do what the ruling has called for….There is a false narrative that the ICJ ordered a halt to the fighting in Rafah and that is not the case.”
“This is the fourth time South Africa has asked for a complete halt to the war. The wording of the ruling is not accidental,” the official said. “When we read the ruling, we see…South Africa’s demands are not answered, for the fourth time.” Report here

 

 

The British government has criticized the ICJ for ordering Israel to immediately halt its military assault on Rafah, saying the ruling would strengthen Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. “The reason there isn’t a pause in the fighting is because Hamas turned down a very generous hostage deal from Israel. The intervention of these courts – including the ICJ today – will strengthen the view of Hamas that they can hold on to hostages and stay in Gaza,” a UK Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on Friday. Report here.

 

 

 

 

MULTI-FRONT ATTACKS ON ISRAEL

 

 

A booby-trapped tunnel shaft that killed three soldiers in Rafah on Tuesday was located inside a medical clinic.IDF forces had come under anti-tank missile fire from an UNRWA school in Rafah, and in response launched a raid against the building and an adjacent mosque and clinic.Report here

 

 

Two IDF soldiers seriously hurt in a car-ramming attack near Nablus on Wednesday night have died.Report here

 

Hamas fired eight rockets at central Israel from Rafah on Sunday afternoon in the most significant attack on the Tel Aviv area in four months…Air raid sirens sounded in a large swath of central Israel as many children were going home from school… The IDF Spokesperson said that Hamas launched rockets at Tel Aviv “from within a civilian population” in Rafah. “The launch was carried out between a mosque and a school.”

Later Sunday, additional rockets were fired at several communities adjacent to Gaza, where residents have returned to live in the last several months. Report hereReport here

 

A barrage of some 20 rockets was launched from Lebanon at northern Israel shortly before midnight Friday-Saturday, striking communities and causing damage. Report here

 

 

Hamas terrorists fired from the Tulkarm area at the community of Bat Hefer in Israel’s Sharon region on Wednesday, causing property damage, the second such shooting attack in two days. On Wednesday shots were fired from the West Bank toward the Israeli town of Gan Ner in the Gilboa region for the third time this month. Report here Report here

 

 

Three drones launched at Israel by the Iran-backed Islamic Resistance in Iraq militia were shot down by Israeli fighter jets last  Thursday and early Friday. Two drones were downed that were heading toward Eilat and another was shot down approaching northern Israel. None entered Israeli airspace.Report here

 

EGYPT

 

 

Egypt said on Friday it has agreed to send UN humanitarian aid trucks through Israel’s Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza after Egypt refused to keep the Rafah crossing open after Israel took control of the Gaza side of the crossing. Egypt demanded that Palestinians be put back in charge of the facility.(smuggling) Report here

 

The Egyptian military opened fire at IDF troops stationed on the Gaza side of the Rafah border crossing on Monday.An exchange of fire followed, with one Egyptian soldier killed. Report here

 

 

 

SPORT

 

At the European Championship, Israeli jiu-jitsu fighter and Oct. 7 Supernova Festival survivor Yarin Shriki dedicated his gold medal to his friend Yochai who was murdered by Hamas on Oct 7.Article here

 

Israeli teams  at the European Ju-Jitsu Championships came first and second.Video here (Hatikva)

 

Deaf from birth, Sara Kovaliov won Jiu-jitsu gold and sang Hatikva in sign language. Video here

 

Israeli driver Mel Shibi achieved his first Formula 3 win.Photo here

 

Daniella Munits is the  European rhythmic gymnastics clubs champion.Video here

 

 

COMMENT & OPINION

 

 

International Criminal Court (ICC)

 

Sir Michael Ellis: In the perverse otherworld view of the ICC, it is Israel’s leaders who are seeking “extermination,” “intentionally directing attacks against a civilian population” and “starving” civilians. No impartial observer could reasonably conclude that Israeli leaders are committing such heinous crimes. On the contrary, Israel has made extensive efforts to facilitate humanitarian aid to Gaza’s civilian population, totalling more than 550,000 tons since Oct. 7.
What other country is expected to support and sustain those trying to destroy it? But Israel rightly does all this despite the knowledge that Hamas misappropriates much of this aid and despite the presence of terrorists within UN aid facilities in Gaza.
The ICC’s move is a grotesque overreach. It will have profound implications for the UK and other democratic nations in an increasingly dangerous world. Lawfare and the politicization of armed conflict puts Britain’s own Armed Forces at great risk.(paywall) Article here

 

 

(Lord) Ian Austin: Britain is one of the court’s most significant donors and we should withdraw funding immediately in protest. The decent mainstream majority in the UK know that Israel is the victim and has to defend itself.
Israel’s security services provided warnings of Iranian-sponsored Islamist terrorism that prevented attacks in the UK. Military experts say the RAF could not get its planes off the ground without Israeli technology. Their drones and armoured vehicle defences protected British troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Good luck to politicians who try to explain why they want to deprive our security services of vital intelligence and our troops of the means to defend themselves.
The lunatic fundamentalists in Iran have declared war on the West and Israel is the front-line. Hamas are completely opposed to peace with Israel. They will not stop until they have destroyed the country and murdered its citizens. There is no prospect of peace until Hamas are destroyed. This is why the UK must do everything it can to help Israel defeat the terrorists as quickly as possible.Article here

 

 

Stephen Daisley: In seeking the detention of Israel’s political and military leadership during its war against Hamas, Karim Ahmad Khan, the prosecutor of the ICC is inviting that body to intervene in the conflict. Khan is proposing, in effect, that the ICC prevent the democratically elected government of a sovereign state from defending itself against the terrorist regime that invaded its territory, murdered 1,100 people, raped women and took 250 hostages.(paywall) Article here

 

 

Brendan O’Neill:..when the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court compares Hamas to the IRA  and says Britain didn’t bomb Belfast in the Seventies and therefore Israel shouldn’t bomb Rafah today, he demonstrates the shocking historical and moral illiteracy of the globalist elites; their inability to grasp how existential is the threat posed by Hamas to Israel, and how vulnerable Western civilisation itself is to the menaces of radical Islam. Article here

 

 

The International Court of Justice (ICJ)

 

Article by a Law Professor which I recommend reading in full:

Talia Einhorn: Israel provided the ICJ with evidence that it has done its best, way beyond the requirements of international law, to keep civilians out of harm’s way. Article here

 

 

WSJ Editorial. Since the invasion of the city (Rafah) began nearly three weeks ago, Israel has expertly evacuated about a million Gazans. Israel rightly says it is already in compliance with the court’s wishes – its Rafah offensive isn’t genocidal, so it need not be halted…The inversion of international law is something to behold: Hamas slaughters Israeli civilians and hides behind its own so that Israel stands accused. The ICJ’s presiding judge is Lebanon’s Nawaf Salam, who has denounced Israel for decades.(paywall) Editorial here

 

 

Kyle Orton: There is little point delving into the International Criminal Court (ICC) charges against Israel as legal or factual matters because they were arrived at using neither law nor fact. The political nature of “international law” is easier to see with the UN’s ICJ, where Israel is currently fending off disgraceful proceedings accusing it of “genocide.” The UN has been openly hostile to Israel for decades, and the “charges” are being brought by South Africa, run by the African National Congress (ANC).
The ANC invited Sudan’s Umar al-Bashir onto its territory while he was under an ICC indictment for genocide and the ANC recently announced it would refuse to implement an ICC arrest warrant for Russia’s Vladimir Putin if he landed in South Africa. This has made it difficult for anyone of good faith to take the ICJ case seriously as a “legal” matter. Article here

 

 

Former Israeli Supreme Court President Aharon Barak, who served on the ICJ wrote a dissenting opinion on its ruling against Israel. The court did not order Israel to cease all military activity in Gaza, as South Africa requested, but ordered a halt to Israel’s operation in Rafah if it is likely to lead to a violation of its obligations under the Genocide Convention.
Barak wrote: “I do not see how Israel’s conduct could even plausibly amount to a pattern that provides the basis for inferring the specific intent required by the Genocide Convention. Why would a state that has the intention to destroy a group provide tents, humanitarian aid, and field hospitals? Why would they issue warnings and build humanitarian zones?” Article here

 

 

Rafah Air Strike

 

 

 Melanie Phillips: What’s now clear, however, is that Hamas was once again using Gazan civilians as cannon fodder and human shields by situating amongst them terrorist leaders, rocket launchers and ammunition — incorporating civilians into what international law regards as legitimate military targets… The IDF says it now suspects that ammunition, weapons, or some other inflammatory material was stored in the area of the strike, causing a secondary blast and the fire that spread to the civilian tents… So since this was not the designated humanitarian area, why were any civilian tents in this danger zone?  Article here

 

 

Recognition of “Palestine”

 

Con Coughlin: Do Ireland, Norway and Spain not see how appeasing terrorists anywhere only emboldens the militants in Europe? Last month, in Germany, more than 1,000 demonstrators took to the streets demanding that Germany become a Caliphate with sharia law…In Ireland, even at its most violent, there were never calls to take over Scotland, England and Wales to displace the British.

The capitulation of Ireland, Norway and Spain also reveals a deliberate misinterpretation of the root causes of Israel’s long-running conflict with the Palestinians, in which the constant refusal of successive generations of Palestinian leaders to renounce terrorism as the primary means of achieving their political objectives has made the concept of a lasting peace between the two sides impossible. Article here

 

 

Israel’s War Against Hamas

 

Maj. (ret.) Andrew Fox: Western analysts are asking why the IDF is repeatedly going into areas they have already cleared and conducting further operations. These critics are looking at IDF tactics through the lens of counterinsurgency doctrine that U.S. and European militaries applied in the failed campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq…

In the case of the 2023-24 Gaza war, Western critics have almost comically misunderstood what the Israeli military is trying to do. The IDF has absolutely no intention of using the West’s clear-hold-build tactics. These were an unmitigated disaster in Afghanistan and Iraq, with both ending in humiliating defeats at the hands of technologically inferior armies. Such tactics are time-consuming and costly, requiring huge troop levels to “hold” ground, for years, if not indefinitely.

Israel has a safe base nearby on the Israeli side of the Gaza border, and can enjoy the luxury of only committing to intelligence-led operations at times and on ground of their choosing – advantages that the West did not have in Iraq or Afghanistan.…As things stand, the operational end state looks like significant Hamas infrastructure is destroyed, its fighting capability severely degraded, and the border secured with a 1-km. buffer zone to prevent a repeat of Oct. 7, with the IDF retaining the capability to strike into Gaza at will. Article here

 

 

John Spencer: In almost every hospital the IDF has arrived at in Gaza, it has uncovered (and published) military use by Hamas.It is telling that the International Committee of the Red Cross, World Health Organization, and UN have made public statements condemning Israel for searching hospitals and never condemn Hamas for using the hospitals in the first place. This sends a message to all terrorists that the use of hospitals is an effective, albeit illegal, military strategy.Article here