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Israel Update 6.6.24

 

ISRAEL’S WAR AGAINST HAMAS

 

 

Today, Thursday, in heavy early morning fog, a group of terrorists attempted to infiltrate Israel from Gaza. Sergeant Major Zeed Mazarib, a Bedouin IDF tracker was killed in an exchange of fire. Report here

 

 

The IDF estimates that between 20 and 30 Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists were gathered at the UN school in Nuseirat when it was struck overnight. Members of the terror groups were in three classrooms, separate from an area where civilians were sheltering. The strike was delayed twice as the IDF says it worked to fine-tune the plan to avoid harming civilians. Report here

 

 

CNN defence analysts have now determined that the Israeli airstrike on May 26 against a Hamas compound in western Rafah, which was believed to have caused a fire resulting in the death of 35-45 Palestinians, could not have been “completely caused” by the Israeli airstrike due to the size of the explosion.
Shrapnel and parts discovered in the rubble of the Hamas compound…suggest that the strike was carried out using 2 GBU-39 small diameter bombs. These bombs would not have been nearly powerful enough to have caused any kind of “splash damage” to the camp.
What Israeli defence officials have suggested is likely true, which is that Hamas munitions which were hidden between the compound and camp were detonated by shrapnel from the airstrike, causing the explosion of fuel tanks at the camp and the eventual fire. Report here

 

 

The IDF destroyed a large 2 km long tunnel in Rafah that reached the Philadelphi corridor and destroyed ready-to-fire rocket launchers that were hidden in a UN post. Report here

 

 

“CEASEFIRE PROPOSAL”

 

 

President Biden’s description of Israel’s ceasefire proposal was “not accurate,” according to a senior Israeli official. Israel’s PM also said that Biden had put forward only a partial version of the Israeli proposal. The official specifically disputed that Israel had agreed to fully withdraw its troops from Gaza as part of the deal and that while the White House described the plan as originating from Israel, it was actually a proposal put forward by mediators that Israel had made amendments and changes to, adding “It’s strange that they say it’s an Israeli proposal and at the same time that Israel needs to agree to it.” Report here

 

 

 

HEZBOLLAH ATTACKS ON NORTHERN ISRAEL CONTINUE

 

 

 

Staff Sgt. (res.) Refael Kauders was killed and ten others were injured when two drones exploded in the Druze town of Horfeish in northern Israel on Wednesday. The two drones impacted within a few minutes of each other, with the second targeting rescue crews who arrived to treat those wounded by the first, a tactic Hizbullah has employed several times. Report here

 

 

Hizbullah launched dozens of rockets from Lebanon towards Israeli communities Friday evening, hitting areas in the western Galilee that had not been evacuated and injuring three people. Iron Dome intercepted multiple rockets. Earlier, a drone launched from Lebanon was shot down over Acre.Report hereReport here

 

 

Nahariya and Acre are two of Israel’s northernmost cities. For months, these cities had relative calm. Nahariya experienced 5 consecutive months without sirens, from November to April. In Acre, there were no sirens for 4 months. But recent days have brought a stark change in reality. In Nahariya, a city of 66,000 people, residents rushed to bomb shelters three times on Sunday following a series of sirens at around 3:00 p.m., and again at 7:19 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.  A drone hit the city, the first direct hit in Nahariya in the current conflict. Several attempts to intercept the drone had been unsuccessful. Report here

 

 

Rockets fired by Hizbullah on Sunday caused fires that consumed 10,000 dunams (2,471 acres) of foliage in open areas, including nature reserves. Dozens of firefighters worked for hours to gain control of the blazes in the Golan Heights and the Upper Galilee.                       Rocket fire has burned wide swathes of Birya Forest, the largest planted forest in Israel. 18 years of rehabilitating the forest after the 2nd Lebanon War went up in flames. It is estimated that over 14,000 acres have been burned since Oct 7. Reports hereand here

 

 

So far in this conflict nearly 1,000 rockets and drones have been launched from Lebanon, before a “real war” has even broken out in the north. Report here

 

 

Tal Beeri, head of the research department at the Alma Institute predicted what a full-scale war in the North could look like.”In the event that an all-out war breaks out, the Israeli front will absorb an unprecedented volume of fire…  Hezbollah’s main firepower is missiles and rockets…Hezbollah’s firepower can target the entire territory of the State of Israel with accurate shooting capability. According to the research institute’s estimates, Hezbollah has 150,000 mortars, 65,000 rockets with a range of up to 80 km, 5,000 rockets and missiles with a range of 80-200 km, 5,000 missiles with a range of 200 km or more, 2,500 unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) – and hundreds of advanced missiles, such as anti-aircraft missiles or cruise missiles. Estimates indicate that should war break out, Hezbollah will send several thousand drones and missiles to Israel every day. Article here

 

 

EASTERN FRONT

 

 

A cruise missile fired at Israel from the east, probably by pro-Iranian militias in Iraq, was intercepted by the IDF before it reached the Golan Heights. Report here

 

 

The IDF announced Tuesday that two armed Palestinians were killed overnight near  Tulkarm after they approached the separation barrier to fire at adjacent Israeli communities. (paywall) Report here

 

 

In December 2023, a Palestinian residing in Jordan, was recruited by a Hamas operative living in Turkey, to carry out a suicide bombing on behalf of Hamas against a target inside Israel. The plot was foiled by the Israel Security Agency.Report here

 

 

SOUTHERN FRONT

 

 

The IDF used an Arrow missile interceptor on Monday to shoot down a surface-to-surface missile launched in the Red Sea area, after sounding sirens in Eilat to send residents to shelters. Eilat has come under repeated long-range attack by Yemen’s Houthis. Report here

 

 

The Houthis have in recent months carried out a series of training exercises to prepare for a potential invasion of Israel. Houthi leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi claims that the Houthi army can muster 350,000 fighters. Report here

 

GAZA WATER

 

 

Even before Oct. 7, the Gaza water network was in a fragile state and the population suffered from chronic shortages. Direct contacts between Israelis and Gazan professionals took place early in the war to ensure the renewal of the water supply from Israel to Gaza.
In recent years, Israel has pumped 20 million cubic metres of water per year into Gaza using three pipes. The northern pumping facility, near Kibbutz Nahal Oz, was rendered inoperative after being damaged in the Oct. 7 attack.
To repair damaged pipelines inside Gaza, Israeli Defence Ministry’s “COGAT [unit] led a major coordination effort, and in the end Palestinian workers were sent to the places where the pipes were damaged near the fence, and repaired them under heavy IDF security.” Former chairman of Israel’s Water Authority said:
“After hearing the prosecutor in The Hague talk about deliberate water deprivation, it’s important for me to say that the Israeli side made great efforts to replenish the water supply to Gaza by repairing the pipeline on our side and by helping the Palestinians fix their side.” Report here

 

 

GAZA AID

 

 

1,858 trucks carrying food, water, medical equipment, and shelter equipment entered Gaza via the Kerem Shalom crossing in the south and the Erez West crossing in the north last week. The numbers included 764 trucks from Egypt. Report here

 

 

World Central Kitchen’s Middle East Activation Manager John Torpey said Tuesday that it is bringing trucks of food aid into Gaza “at a fairly good clip” and is able to distribute them to its community kitchens in different areas through close coordination with the Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) agency of the Israeli Defence Ministry. Report here

 

 

TRAVEL

 

 

El Al Israel Airlines has signed a codeshare and club sharing agreement with Virgin Atlantic effective on June 19. Under the agreement, customers of both airlines will be able to fly on the Tel Aviv-London Heathrow route on flights operated by El Al and Virgin with a common code.Report here

 

 

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY

 

 

The Georgian Trio Mandili are currently on a concert tour of Israel including a charity fundraiser for displaced Israelis.Article here

 

 

 

Recent visitors to Israel have included Italian opera singers,  musicians performing at the Tel Aviv New Orleans Jazz Festival and American comedians supporting the charity “Comedy for Koby”.opera comedyjazz

 

COMMENT & OPINION

 

 

The US

 

Seth J. Frantzman: President Biden’s ceasefire proposal is a plan to keep Hamas in power. The result will be that Hamas will return to running most of Gaza in the coming years. If Hamas is permitted to remain it will declare victory and will seek to take over the West Bank in coming years. It’s plausible that if Israel’s enemies sense they have won, there will be more provocations in the future. Hizbullah and Hamas have learned that rocket fire can now get Israel to evacuate the borders of Israel.  Article here

 

 

Dr. Dan Diker: On May 31, President Joe Biden laid out his vision to end the Hamas-Israel war. However, its message emboldens Hamas, Hizbullah, and Iran, and serves to weaken Israel. The U.S. position appears to back Hamas’s ultimate control in Gaza while leaving Israelis vulnerable to more extensive and more lethal assaults.Article here

 

WSJ Editorial: Who’s Really Prolonging the Gaza War?  Biden blames Israel but his own policies have dragged out the fighting.

After Oct. 7, President Biden told Israel to scale down its ground invasion of Gaza. Then he supported Egypt’s decision to trap Gazans in the war zone. When the Israelis defeated Hamas in northern Gaza, he pressured Israel to “shift to the next phase” by sending most troops home and fighting with less firepower in southern Gaza. Israel did so, and it very slowly won in Khan Yunis.
Next, Mr. Biden tried to stop Israel from invading Rafah. He cut off weapons as leverage. Israel eventually invaded Rafah, but with fewer troops to satisfy the President. That means a slower operation. His decision to pressure Israel, while going soft on mediators Egypt and Qatar, has also given Hamas reason to draw out hostage talks and continue the war.  Editorial here (paywall)

 

 

Jonathan Schanzer:Biden Administration policies have put Israeli soldiers in greater danger. Article here

 

Recognition

 

 

Liat Collins: It took no moral courage, but a lack of a moral compass to officially declare recognition for a state that has no defined borders, no democracy, and an economy so bad that last week the World Bank warned that the Palestinian Authority faces “fiscal collapse.”
They (Norway, Ireland, and Spain)  ignored the PA’s “Pay-for-slay” policy, supporting the families of murderous terrorists…If the vast majority of UN members acknowledge the existence of a Palestinian state, why do the Palestinians need to maintain their UN-granted “perpetual refugee” status and massive funding? How can the Palestinians be considered refugees if they have their own state – particularly those living in that state? Those unilaterally recognizing a State of Palestine are rewarding terrorism and living in a state of denial.Article here

 

 

 

US Senator Lindsey Graham: The ICJ, ICC, Ireland, Norway and Spain are incentivizing continued attacks on the Jewish state and fuelling antisemitism, and are not operating within the bounds of reality. By unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state – without definition – these countries have thrown gasoline on the raging fire of antisemitism and made every problem in the Middle East worse. Now, Hamas, Hizbullah and Iran are emboldened. Article here

 

 

UNWRA

 

Dr. Arnon Groiss: The Palestinian Authority textbooks used by UNRWA schools de-legitimize the existence of the State of Israel and the very presence of its 7 million Jewish citizens, whose history and holy places are denied.
These books call for a violent struggle for liberation which is given a religious character, is not limited by the 1967 lines, and in which terror plays a central part. UNRWA’s s use of such schoolbooks makes it a full accomplice in the PA’s bellicose, antisemitic indoctrination. Article here

 

 

 

Fake News

 

Aliza Pilichowski: News outlets have been quick to report partial stories of events in the West Bank but face no backlash when the truth comes to light  On March 30, a group of NGOs who claim to protect human rights began tweeting that armed Israelis in the West Bank had come to local Bedouins and stolen their livestock. The story began to spread and even reached the White House.
That night, the livestock was found, but not with Israelis. They had been stolen by other Bedouins. Article here

 

 

 

Other Comment & Opinion

 

 

Mike Cote: The Palestinian cause has one defining feature: the refusal of its champions to accept any responsibility for the situation they’ve made for themselves. In the pro-Palestinian narrative, things simply happen to the Palestinian people, entirely caused by outside forces. Everyone else, but particularly Israel and the Jewish people writ large, is to blame for the woes of the Palestinian people. In reality, however, the self-abnegation of their agency is a tactic meant to camouflage consistently poor choices and overwhelming hatred of Jews…

Today, the refugee camps are not tent cities but large-scale, concrete apartment blocks that look no different from any other residential neighbourhoods of the region. And they’re paid for by international relief dollars.

The enormous flow of funds through the UN and its NGO partners enriches the Palestinian leadership…and funds the terrorism meant to destroy Israel. It pays the families of terrorists, provides construction dollars for building tunnel networks, and funds salaries for Hamas cadres. No wonder the refugee issue hasn’t been resolved; it’s entirely within Palestinian interests to keep the scam going indefinitely.

Sovereignty entails responsibility. Palestinians need to learn that their choices are their own and have consequences that they must live with. Blaming everything on external forces outside of their control has created a version of learned helplessness among the Palestinian population, one that speaks poorly of their ability to run a successful nation-state.Article here

 

 

 

Pushkin House in London, in collaboration with the University of London, recently invited Israeli author Dina Rubina to a literary discussion on Zoom about her books. Then she received an email from the meeting’s moderator who demanded she state where she stands “on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Rubina responded by cancelling the meeting, with a robust message. (worth reading but crude language warning at the end) Article here

 

 

 

Bassam Tawil: When it comes to Queers for Palestine, what’s richly ironic is that about 90 Palestinians who identify as members of the LGBTQ community live as asylum-seekers in Israel, the same country these …protesters are rallying against… Before fleeing, they suffered discrimination, and, in some instances, violence. Article here

 

 

 

Alan Dershowitz & Andrew Stein: The only reason that Ireland, Norway and Spain can safely recognize a Palestinian state is that they do not have to live with the consequences…

Those who claim to support the Palestinians… ought to be urging Arab and Muslim nations to help the Palestinians in material ways…

Israel has long been the primary supporter of the Palestinian people, both on the West Bank and in the Gaza Strip. Israelis have opened their borders to Palestinian workers, to whom they pay high wages. They have accepted Palestinian patients, including even terrorists, into their excellent hospitals. Some of the Israeli kibbutz residents who helped Gazans were murdered by them on October 7. Even during the current Gaza war, Israel has provided more food, medicine and humanitarian aid to Palestinians than any country has ever done during wartime. Article here

 

 

 

VIDEO

 

 

Douglas Murray discusses the international neglect of Jewish hostages. He also critically examines the hypocrisy in global empathy and underscores the broader implications of rising antisemitism. (10 mins 28 sec) View here