Over the past seven weeks, the IDF has been called upon to defend Israeli communities in the Gaza periphery from attack by huge crowds of Gazans, who have provided cover for extreme Islamist terror groups (Hamas Islamic Jihad etc), attempting to storm the border. About four thousand Israeli citizens live within 3 km of the border.
A Gaza health official cast doubt Tuesday on initial claims that an 8-month-old baby died from Israeli tear gas fired during mass protests on the Gaza border with Israel. A Gazan doctor told the Associated Press that the baby had a pre-existing medical condition and that he did not believe her death was caused by tear gas …The (Hamas run) Gaza Health Ministry initially counted her among several dozen Palestinians killed Monday.
A Hamas official on Wednesday acknowledged that 50 of the 62 Palestinians reported killed during Gaza border riots on Monday and Tuesday were members of the Islamist terrorist group, bringing the total number of known members of terror groups among the fatalities up to 53.
“It was clear to Israel and now it is clear to the whole world that there was no popular protest. This was an organized mob of terrorists organized by Hamas,” said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon.
Monday’s violent clashes on the Gaza border occurred in 13 different places:
A timeline: 12:53pm – Five pipe bombs exploded. 12:58pm – Bomb exploded. 1:15pm – A terror cell sought to plant explosives by the border fence and opened fire at IDF forces. 1:30pm – Fire opened at IDF forces. 1:45pm – Fire opened at IDF forces by eight terrorists. 2:09pm – Three bombs exploded. 3:10pm – Bomb exploded. 7:02pm – Terrorists opened fire at IDF troops. 17 kites carrying flammable materials were flown from Gaza into Israel, causing fires in 23 locations.
An armed Hamas cell was prevented from penetrating into Israel on Monday. Following a firefight with the IDF a pistol, grenade launchers, charges and preparations for opening the fence were found at the scene.
A Hamas activist from Gaza who was arrested while attempting to infiltrate into Israel on Monday said Wednesday: “Hamas organized the protests in order for people not to turn on them. They (Hamas) say: ‘Instead of them harming us and turning on us, we’ll send them to the border fence where they will be hit.'”
According to the New York Times, “loudspeakers on minarets urged Palestinians to rush the fence bordering Israel, where they were met by army snipers.” The Washington Post reports that “organizers urged demonstrators to burst through the fence, telling them Israeli soldiers were fleeing their positions, even as they were reinforcing them.”
This suggests that Hamas incited protesters to dash toward Israeli military positions, likely knowing that many would be killed. If Palestinian leaders want to know who is responsible for the deaths in Gaza on Monday, they should glance in the mirror.
The Washington Post alsoreported: The protests appeared to have a more violent edge than in previous weeks. Some young men brought knives and fence cutters. While some said they would abide by official calls to keep the demonstrations peaceful, others talked about their enthusiasm to break into Israel and wreak havoc. “We are excited to storm and get inside,” said 23-year-old Mohammed Mansoura. When asked what he would do inside Israel, he said, “Whatever is possible, to kill, throw stones.” Two other young men carried large knives and said they wanted to kill Jews on the other side of the fence.
Prior interrogations by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) of several Gazans arrested after crossing the border into Israel revealed that Hamas operatives have participated in the protests dressed in civilian clothing and have been distributing gasoline, tyres, and other incendiary devices to be used during the protests.
A Hamas activist from Gaza arrested while attempting to infiltrate into Israel on Monday said Wednesday: “Hamas organized the protests in order for people not to turn on them. They (Hamas) say: ‘Instead of them harming us and turning on us, we’ll send them to the border fence where they will be hit.'”
The US Ambassador to Israel said: “we have a problem with Palestinian leaders who tell 14-year-olds that the Gaza border has been breached, and they can go ahead and march on to Jerusalem, only to find that the IDF are waiting for them. That’s a suicide bomb on a large scale.”
Facebook posts in Arabic (translated here) made it clear what Hamas intended: “The protestors are asked to please to act in accordance with the demand to bring a knife or a gun and to hide it under their clothes…”
Kinley Tur-Paz. EXTRACT: The primary mission was to prevent hundreds of thousands of Gazans from infiltrating into our territory…
The IDF employs many creative means of reducing friction with Gazans and uses numerous methods, most of which are not made public, to prevent them from reaching the fence. When there is no alternative, and live ammunition must be used to stop those who storm the fence, the soldiers make heroic and sometimes dangerous efforts not to kill and to only injure those on the other side. The IDF stations senior commanders at every confrontation point to ensure that every shot is approved and backed up by a responsible figure with proper authority. Every staging area has an especially large number of troops in order to make sure that soldiers are not put into life-threatening situations where they will have no choice but to fire indiscriminately.
A situation where thousands of people rush you is frightening, even terrifying. It is extremely difficult to show restraint, and it requires calm, mature professionalism. Sixty-two dead is an enormous number. But I can testify from my first-hand experience, that every bullet and every hit is carefully reported, documented and investigated. Literally. I was there and I saw it with my own eyes.
Reuven Ben-Shalom (published last Thursday): Nonviolent demonstrations? I saw a war zone. On the Israeli side, soldiers took cover as they are constantly under attack…One side attacks; the other defends. One side initiates; the other responds. One side tries to get people injured and killed; the other makes every attempt to prevent it…Rules of engagement are strict and closely monitored. Each and every shot is approved by a senior commander. Every effort is made to avoid fatalities, so even when shooting is necessary, soldiers aim at the legs. Only individuals who are directly involved in carrying out attacks are targeted. No “protesters” are shot. Nothing is done randomly or indiscriminately. No one shoots into crowds.
Colonel Richard Kemp, former commander of British forces in Afghanistan: “I’m here on the border in Gaza with some soldiers from the IDF, whom the world’s media is condemning for ‘massacring Palestinian civilians.’ These are the same as British soldiers, American soldiers, soldiers from any other democratic army. They’re doing their job, they’re working to rules of engagement; they’re trying to defend their country.” “What they don’t deserve is to be condemned and blamed for the deaths of Palestinian civilians from Gaza, which has deliberately been caused by Hamas. That’s what Hamas wanted — Hamas wanted the killing of their own people. The [Israeli soldiers] here are not responsible for that; they’re responsible for protecting the lives of their civilian population in Israel, which they’re doing extraordinarily well.”
Nicky Haley (U.S. Ambassador to the U.N.): EXTRACT:Hamas has attacked the Kerem Shalom crossing, the biggest entry point in Gaza for fuel, food, and medical supplies. This is how determined they are to make the lives of the Palestinian people miserable. They light Molotov cocktails attached to kites on fire and attempt to fly them into Israel to cause as much destruction as possible…This is what is endangering the people of Gaza. Make no mistake: Hamas is pleased with the results from yesterday. (Monday)
Luke Akehurst:the rush to demonize Israel and assume the worst intentions and actions without waiting to find out what really happened or to feel any empathy about the extreme dilemmas Israel’s terrorist foes place on its leaders and military provides Hamas with exactly the propaganda win they dreamed of when they carefully planned this operation.
Adam Levick: What country in the world would allow a proscribed terror group to infiltrate their border and jeopardize the lives of its citizens? Should Israel really allow dozens, hundreds, or thousands of Gazans to cross the border and, you know, just hope for the best? (Let’s recall, to give one comparable example, that US Border agents have shot Mexicans illegally trying to cross the border, and they certainly weren’t members or supporters of an armed terrorist group)
Ron Ben Yishai:The double and triple amount of attempts to breach the fence are what caused the double and tripled amount of casualties.
The IDF had no choice. There isn’t a non-lethal measure or obstacle that could prevent the crossing of the border.. It’s important to understand, the Gazans who were killed in the previous “marches of return,” were not defending their homes from an Israeli invasion, they were trying to invade Israel. Hamas even published the map of communities it planned to infiltrate.
The Australian:.”Any loss of life like this is tragic in circumstances like this, but Hamas’ conduct is confrontational. They’re seeking to provoke the IDF ,” Australian P.M. Malcolm Turnbull told 3AW Radio. “If they’re pushing people to the border in that context, in that conflict zone, you’re basically pushing people into circumstances where they are very likely to be shot at as Israel seeks to defend itself.” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said, “We recognize that Israel has legitimate security concerns and needs to protect its population…. Australia urges Palestinian protesters to refrain from violence and attempting to enter into Israeli territory.”
(no link available)
Richard Kemp: I have heard many armchair experts arguing that Israel should have acted differently, but not one credibly explain how. Instead, the UN, EU and a range of human rights groups and media organizations have devoted their efforts to unjustly condemning Israel’s actions. If there was genuine concern for human life and human rights among these people, rather than a fixation on unfairly vilifying Israel, they would harshly condemn Hamas. Instead, their criticism of Israel plays directly into Hamas’s hands and validates the use of human shields and the strategy of forcing the killing of their own civilians.
Richard Kemp: Hamas’ use of actual smoke and mirrors to conceal its aggressive manoeuvering on the Gaza border is the perfect metaphor for a strategy that has no viable military purpose but seeks to deceive the international community into criminalizing a democratic state defending its citizens. The demonstrations are far from peaceful. They are carefully planned and orchestrated military operations intended to break through the border of a sovereign state and commit mass murder in the communities beyond.
Yoram Schweitzer: This is a deliberate, pre-planned strategy employed by movements like Hamas and Hezbollah in order to stain and disgrace the public image of the democracies that fight them in the eyes of the world. The images of dead civilians help them disguise their true nature and portray these movements as defenders of the victims while they use them as pawns. Israel has the right and moral obligation to prevent infiltration into its territory and to protect its towns and population that reside just a few hundred meters from the border.
(Rabbi) Eric H. Yoffie: Multiple commentators have argued that Israel’s military had alternative, non-lethal methods of restraint to contain the demonstrators. But this argument seems to me more a wish than a reality. 40,000 determined protestors cannot be contained with water hoses or conventional crowd control. Israel’s training of its soldiers was intense, instructions were detailed, and experienced officers were in command. Shoot-to-kill was not a first resort but an absolute last resort. If resorting to deadly force had been ruled out, a breach of the fence by thousands of demonstrators was likely inevitable.
Matti Friedman: Israeli soldiers facing Gaza have no good choices. They can warn people off with tear gas or rubber bullets, which are often ineffective, and if that doesn’t work, they can use live fire. Or they can hold their fire to spare lives and allow thousands of people to surge into Israel, some of whom will be armed fighters.
Bret Stephens: For the third time in two weeks, Palestinians in Gaza have set fire to the Kerem Shalom border crossing, through which they get medicine, fuel and other humanitarian essentials from Israel. There’s a pattern here – harm yourself, blame the other – and it deserves to be highlighted amid the torrent of morally blind, historically illiterate criticism to which Israelis are subjected every time they defend themselves against violent Palestinian attack.
The senior PA official who called the protest organizers frauds who send women, children and youths to their deaths is certainly right. Hamas seeking to make political gains by convincing hundreds to attack a border fence protected by armed guards is despicable. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5260612,00.html
GAZA: OTHER NEWS
The Hamas terrorist group on Wednesday refused to accept two shipments of medical supplies for Gaza hospitals, which are struggling with shortages, which were sent by Israel. On Tuesday, Israel facilitated the entrance of eight trucks full of medical equipment into the Gaza Strip through the Kerem Shalom Crossing, which reopened earlier that day after it was burned by Palestinian rioters last Friday.
Israel has begun enlisting amateur drone racers to deal with the onslaught of burning kites being flown from Gaza into Israel, where they start fires.
The drones either fly through the kites to shred them or down them with the help of fishhooks. On Saturday, a kite landed in Israel containing an explosive device hidden inside, with a remote detonator which could be operated from a mobile phone.
In a rare expression of support for an Israeli military operation, the foreign minister of Bahrain said last week that Israel’s attack on Iranian targets in Syria was legitimate in light of Tehran’s increasing aggression.
As Ankara slams Israel over the Gaza border crisis, Intelligence Minister Israel Katz told an intelligence conference in Tel Aviv that Israel has provided secret intelligence to help Turkey prevent ISIS terrorist attacks.
Some 20 rockets were fired at Israeli military bases by Iranian forces in southern Syria just after midnight on Thursday, with some of the incoming missiles being intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system
P.M. Netanyahu told the Israeli Cabinet on Sunday: “In recent months, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards have transferred advanced weaponry to Syria in order to attack us both on the battlefield and on the home front, including weaponized UAVs, ground-to-ground missiles, and Iranian anti-aircraft batteries that would threaten air force jets.” He said that Israel will do what’s needed to block Iranian aggression, sooner rather than later adding “Nations that didn’t act in time against murderous aggression against them paid a much higher price later on,” “We don’t seek escalation, but are prepared for any scenario.”
A senior Syrian army official said Tuesday that “Israel targeted a Syrian army position south of Damascus.” The attack came after the IDF instructed Israeli communities in the Golan Heights to open public bomb shelters amid reports of “irregular Iranian movements” in Syria. The base attacked in Damascus housed Iranian forces…A correspondent surmised that the targets of Tuesday’s attack were missile silos and rocket launchers the Iranians took out of hiding and intended to use.
P.M. Netanyahu unveiled a massive cache of secret documents, weighing around half a ton, obtained in an exceptional Israeli intelligence operation, showing that Iran had developed a secret nuclear weapons programme and that it lied when it claimed otherwise.
The Institute for Science and International Security in Washington, headed by former International Atomic Energy Agency inspector David Albright, said, “There is much new information about Iran’s nuclear weapons programme in this massive set of information obtained by Israel…Israel revealed a well-developed plan to keep the option of building nuclear weapons quickly in the future…”
A senior intelligence source said that before signing the nuclear agreement, Iran provided false answers to questions presented by the IAEA. Israel now has evidence that the Iranian declaration was false. The source also noted that the archive included detailed instructions and images for the production of a nuclear weapon, but they were not presented on Monday so that the information wouldn’t fall into unwanted hands.
A video released by Al-Jazeera last Friday 4/5 shows Gazans cutting through the security fence at the Gaza border and entering Israeli territory. On Friday, 70 Gazans were wounded by live fire during riots along the Gaza border fence, but no fatalities were reported
Dozens of Palestinian rioters broke into the Gazan side of the Kerem Shalom goods crossing on Friday evening, causing damage estimated in the millions to infrastructure, mostly to pipes providing gas and fuel to Gaza. Hamas officials in charge of security at the site pulled back and allowed the rioters to do as they pleased.
The previous Friday 28/4, drone footage of the Hamas riots, showed organized attempts to sabotage the last line of defence separating the frenzied mob and Israeli civilians. The rioters are only 400 yards from Kibbutz Kerem Shalom.
PA President Abbas’ adviser on religious and Islamic affairs, said during a Friday sermon criticising Hamas: “The Marches of Return gamble with the lives of children and women, which does not serve Palestine. The leadership in Gaza… gamble on the life of the young, when they have many agendas and wish to revive themselves with the blood of our people.”
Most of the deaths of Palestinians during the Gaza border riots have resulted from snipers aiming at rioters’ legs when suddenly the person bent down, the shot missed, or a bullet ricocheted, a senior officer in the IDF Southern Command said. Open-fire directives only let snipers aim at the legs of those approaching the border unless there is an apparent intent to use weapons and threaten Israeli lives.
With the number of Palestinian arson kite attacks now reaching as many as 15 per day, the IDF is considering dramatically escalating its response after Israeli towns near Gaza experienced a large number of blazes. The army is determined to end the phenomenon before it sparks a fire that turns deadly in a populated area within Israel. Weather conditions in the area are dry, windy, and hot – ideal for fires to spread
Incendiary helium balloons released from Gaza on Monday caused fires in seven locations in Israel. One set a wheat field ablaze near a kibbutz. Another caused a forest fire. Farmers estimate the damage to their fields that caught fire near harvest time at hundreds of thousands of shekels.
The U.S. State Department continues to keep classified a report on Palestinian refugees from the Obama administration that determines that their actual number is around 30,000. Earlier this month, more than 50 members of Congress called on President Trump to release the report, as is mandated by U.S. law.
Many members of minority groups are grateful to be living in Israel.
Shadi Halul, an Israeli Aramean Christian and a captain (res.) in the IDF, heads the Christian IDF Officers Forum, which helps recruit and support Christians serving in the IDF. “Israel independence is also my independence; I feel part of the country,” he said. “Thank God that… the Jews returned to their homeland and created freedom for the Jews and the Christians in Israel…since the Arabs even today do not recognize our Christian existence.”
The Knesset committee for Arab affairs has approved $5.6 million for the creation of technology parks within Arab towns in Israel. “The plan is expected to create conditions for the creation of thousands of new jobs” for Arabs in the high-tech sphere, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
With a collaborative effort between the non-profit sector, the Israeli government, and the tech industry, the number of Israeli Arab engineers went from 350 to 4,000 – a 1000% increase – in the past decade.
The Israel Electric Corporation has signed a 15-year agreement with the Palestinian Authority to transfer much of the West Bank’s power supply to the PA in a step toward granting the Palestinians more autonomy over their affairs. The IEC will construct four high-voltage power plants.
The Israel Defence Ministry released figures saying that some terrorists who killed Israelis will be paid more than NIS 10 million ($2.78 million) each throughout their lifetimes by the Palestinian Authority.
Guatemala’s embassy in Israel moved on Monday to its new location in Jerusalem. An official ceremony celebrating the move will take place on May 16, after the U.S. relocates its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Israeli cyber-security experts are helping to defend major banks and financial centres in Britain. One major Israeli cyber security firm said it currently worked with three of the four major UK banks. Another Israeli firm reported that it was working to secure critical infrastructure including hospitals and oil and gas rigs.
Simon Kindleysides, 34, became the first paralyzed man to finish the London Marathon. He walked the entire 26.2 mile course in 36 hours with the help of the ReWalk robotic exoskeleton suit, developed in Israel. In 2012, Claire Lomas became the first paraplegic to complete the course (with the help of ReWalk) in 17 days.
Reuel Marc Gerecht : Trump has chosen not to ignore the (nuclear) deal’s sunset clauses, which make restrictions on Iran temporary. He hasn’t ignored that Revolutionary Guard bases, where we know Iran has engaged in nuclear-weapons research, are now effectively off-limits to inspectors. He is not ignoring the regime’s development of long-range ballistic missiles that only makes sense if armed with atomic warheads.
David Horowitz: The fact is that the 2015 deal let the duplicitous Iranians off the hook. It did not dismantle the weapons programme they still lie about. It did not close their path to a nuclear weapons arsenal.
David Horowitz: Trump’s Iran deal withdrawal: Now we have the US on one side Now we have the US on one side, Iran on the other, and 5 others in between. Iran will exploit the disunity. But don’t blame Trump for that. Blame the original sin
Bret Stephens: The Iran nuclear deal was founded on a lie. Iran pretended to make a full declaration about the extent of its past nuclear work and the rest of the world pretended to believe it. So much, then, for all the palaver about the deal providing an unprecedented level of transparency for monitoring Iranian compliance. So much, also, for the notion that Iran has honoured its end of the bargain. It didn’t. This should render the agreement null and void.
Gen. (ret.) Sir Richard Dannatt Chief of the (UK) General Staff between 2006 and 2009.: To have any hope of avoiding a very grave war, Britain and her allies must understand Israel’s position, making clear to Iran and Hizbullah that their campaign of terror against Israel will be met by international condemnation and an acceptance of Israel’s fully legitimate military reaction.
Fred Maroun (an Arab-Canadian): Left-wing and Arab enemies of Israel make a number of accusations that they repeat as if they were facts. Here I take apart those myths from a left-wing Arab perspective
Farmer Avner Yona: It pains my heart to see a field on fire after we worked day and night to sow it…I see crops burning before they can be harvested, and my heart burns along with them. I’m not a firefighter, I’m a farmer. It’s always something else: tunnels, bombs, snipers, and now the terrorists are using kites.
Jonathan Dekel-Chen: As a member of Kibbutz Nir Oz, my home is approximately 1 1/2 miles from the border with Gaza and faces the Friday protests that have erupted over the past five weeks… Kibbutzniks living on Israel’s borders would benefit the most from peace with our neighbours, yet are the most endangered of all Israelis by the current state of affairs…Hamas and other terrorist groups have indiscriminately launched massive numbers of mortar shells and rockets at our communities, sparking three deadly rounds of large-scale operations by the IDF. As a result of these historical truths, Israelis along the border and the IDF have good reason to believe that our lives would be at risk if thousands of enraged Gazans tore down the border fence.
Gazans sent four kites into Israel on Monday with flaming materials attached, causing extensive damage to a wheat field. Reportedly 25 acres of wheat were destroyed. A farmer who lives near the border said “We are dealing with a new, destructive and dangerous phenomenon that is gaining momentum. Almost every day, we see the kites flying towards us.” On Friday, Gazans flew a kite marked with a swastika carrying a petrol bomb into Israel.
The head of the Iranian army on Saturday said Iranian forces were working to “annihilate” Israel and predicted they would achieve success within 25 years. Speaking hours later Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah warned that the Lebanese terror group’s rockets could hit all of Israel.
Hezbollah is one of Iran’s main proxies in its fight with Israel.
The Israeli government informed the High Court of Justice Tuesday it had scrapped its controversial plan to deport tens of thousands of African migrants from the country, after Israeli authorities failed to cement an emigration deal with a third country. The government statement said existing deportation orders were cancelled and said migrants with expired temporary residency permits will be able to get their visas renewed… Israel considers most of about 35,000 African migrants to be job seekers and says it has no legal obligation to keep them. Thousands are concentrated in poor neighbourhoods in south Tel Aviv, an area that has become known as “Little Africa.” Their presence has sparked tensions with working-class Jewish residents, who have complained of rising crime and pressed the government to take action.
Youssef Haddad, now 32, a Christian Arab from Nazareth, joined the IDF at the age of 18 and served in the Golani Brigade. He was badly wounded in the 2nd Lebanon War (losing a leg) and upon his discharge found another way to serve his country: combating the BDS campaign and improving ties between Israeli Arabs and the state.”I believe that just as I contributed to the state militarily, I can contribute in the PR arena and expose the lies disseminated regarding the State of Israel,” he said.
The European Parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly passed a resolution that denounces Hamas as a terrorist group that uses human shields, calls for Israel’s destruction and “seems to aim at escalating tensions” at the Gaza-Israel border. The motion also calls for the release of Israeli citizens and the bodies of fallen soldiers held by Hamas in Gaza. The carefully balanced text also backs calls for probes into Israel’s use of live ammunition to fend off protesters at the border
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Israeli company Water-Gen, which has developed a generator that pulls water vapour from the air to harvest drinking water. The deal is “to advance atmospheric water generators as a viable technology for dramatically improving access to potable water during shortages or contamination events, like natural disasters,” such as last year’s hurricanes in Puerto Rico and Texas. Water-Gen’s technology is the most energy-efficient of its kind. It can reportedly generate a gallon of water for about 8 cents.
Israeli 3D printing technology developer Stratasys is teaming with Lockheed Martin Space to deliver next-generation 3D-printed parts for NASA’s Orion deep-space spacecraft. NASA’s EM-2 mission will go near the moon, with astronauts on board, for the first time since 1972.
A suit developed by the Israeli company StemRad to protect astronauts from radiation will be launched into space as part of a feasibility study for NASA’s Mars mission in 2021.The suit is designed to protect organs that are particularly sensitive to the development of cancer due to exposure to radiation
David Zarrouk, head of Ben-Gurion University’s Bio-Inspired and Medical Robotics Lab, has developed a robot that moves like a snake that he says would be ideal for agriculture (picking fruit), industry, search-and-rescue and even fixing, docking or refuelling satellites in outer space.
Bret Stephens: Adam Armoush, a 21-year-old Israeli Arab, donned a yarmulke on a recent outing in Berlin to test a friend’s contention that it was unsafe to do so in Germany. On Tuesday he was assaulted in broad daylight by a Syrian asylum-seeker who whipped him with a belt for being a Jew. There were nearly 1,000 reported anti-Semitic incidents in Berlin alone last year.
To be visibly Jewish in Europe is to live on borrowed time. That’s not to doubt the sincerity and good will of European leaders who recommit to combating anti-Semitism every time a European Jew is murdered or a Jewish institution attacked. It’s only to doubt their capacity.
There’s a limit to how many armed guards can be deployed indefinitely to protect synagogues or stop Holocaust memorials from being vandalized.
Jews cannot rely for their safety on the kindness of strangers. Hence Israel’s robust willingness to use force to defend itself. Israel did not come into existence to serve as another showcase of the victimization of Jews. It exists to end the victimization of Jews
On Friday, Palestinians in Gaza returned for the fourth time to the border fence with Israel, in protests promoted by Hamas. The explicit purpose of Hamas leaders is to breach the fence and march on Jerusalem. Israel cannot possibly allow this – doing so would create a precedent that would encourage similar protests, and more death, along all of Israel’s borders.
The armchair corporals of Western punditry think the repeated use of deadly force to counter this is excessive. It would be helpful if they could suggest alternative military tactics to an Israeli government dealing with an urgent crisis against an adversary sworn to its destruction. They don’t. Their complaints provide moral sustenance for Hamas in its efforts to win sympathy for its strategy of wanton aggression and reckless endangerment.
Denis Ross: In conflicts with Israel, Hamas seeks to maximize Palestinian civilian casualties in order to generate international opprobrium and make it harder for Israel to engage in its self-defence. Recent mass marches on the border fence with Israel are a case in point. With popular dissatisfaction with Hamas growing, the only thing to be done was divert attention to Israel. As one European diplomat told me, Hamas leaders acknowledge privately that PA President Mahmoud Abbas is the source of their current difficulties, but shifting the focus to Israel is a proven, if cynical, tactic.
Both Israel and Egypt control what can go into and out of Gaza. But Hamas leaders have little interest in breaching the Egyptian border, knowing the casualties would be high and the international response minimal.
Dominic Green: Israel has marked 70 years of statehood, reflecting the “Ingathering of the Exiles” as promised in the Book of Deuteronomy.
Nothing like this has happened in recorded history. No other post-colonial state has remained a democracy while granting its people a developed-world standard of living. In the IMF’s 2018 forecasts for GDP per capita, Israel is 23rd out of 193 states – just behind France and New Zealand, and just ahead of Japan and the UK.
Shimon Koffler Fogel: Hamas’ “great march of return” is a clear statement that the group maintains its claim to the entire land. To insist that Palestinian rights can only be realized by denying the rights of Israelis is to destroy any hope for peace. The international community often voices its desire for a negotiated two-state solution. Yet, these declarations ring hollow when the UN indulges the Palestinian leadership in its zero-sum mentality, as the Security Council did in its response to the clashes. The global community must recognize Hamas’ tactics for what they are: a cynical provocation designed to cause bloodshed and make peace even more elusive
Moran Stern:The ordinary Palestinian is not only politically weary, he is also increasingly alienated from his leadership and political institutions as venues to propel a meaningful change in his life. Under such circumstances, responding to Hamas’ calls to protest and risk one’s lives by marching towards the border makes little sense.
Israel’s 70th Independence Day and annual torch lighting ceremony took place at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem Wednesday evening. Margalit Zinati from the village of Pke’in was one of 12 torchlighters representing the 12 tribes of Israel. The Zinati family has lived in Pke’in since the days of the Second Temple
The Iranian drone that was downed by the Israeli air force after it infiltrated Israeli airspace in February was armed with explosives and on its way to carry out an attack, it was revealed on Friday. The drone was operated by the Iranian air force from a command centre at Syria’s T-4 air base, which Israel then targeted.
At the T-4 base in Syria, Iran has been building a fully functional air base of its own in every respect, with only the fighter planes missing. It was the centre of Iran’s attack drone operations. It had surface-to-air missile defence systems and all manner of other protections. The February drone attack was the first direct Iranian confrontation with Israel, after years of it employing Lebanese and Palestinian proxies to target the Jewish state from Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza.
Thousands of Gazans gathered on the Israel-Gaza border on Friday as violent clashes with Israeli forces were renewed for the third consecutive week. Israeli troops used live fire and riot dispersal methods at several points along the security fence.
The IDF announced Friday: “There have been several attempts to damage the security barrier and cross it. In addition, a number of attempted terrorist attacks were carried out including the throwing of explosives, Molotov cocktails and the destruction of a security barrier.”
Speaking on Holocaust Remembrance Day last Thursday at a kibbutz 5 km. from Gaza, the Israeli Defence Minister said, “My message to our neighbours from the south…Change direction and start to think, not about how to destroy the State of Israel, but how to exist alongside the State of Israel.”
The IDF has exposed and neutralized a “high quality” Hamas terror tunnel encroaching 20 metres into Israeli territory. It was the 8th tunnel discovered and destroyed in the past few months. Israel’s Defence Minister described the tunnel as “the longest and deepest exposed thus far. Millions of dollars were invested in its excavation, money that would have been better served mitigating the plight of (Gaza) residents…
Regardless of stances on the Palestinian question, many African countries seek closer ties with Israel in fields such as security and counterterrorism. Extremist movements, such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabaab in Somalia, are a threat in East and West Africa alike. Israel’s security knowledge is perceived as beneficial, especially in surveillance, collecting personal data, and border-control systems.
P.A. President Abbas welcomed a terrorist immediately upon his release from a 20-year sentence in Israel prison for murder 1997 murder of yeshiva student Gabriel Hirschberg in the Old City of Jerusalem
The mayor of the West Bank Christian town of Beit Jala, near Bethlehem, on Wednesday dropped a bombshell by admitting that he also works as a sales representative for Tnuva, the Israeli food processing cooperative specializing in milk and dairy products.
Randy Hultgren and Aviv Ezra:. Israel has implemented a good neighbour policy since 2013 that calls for medical treatment of all Syrian civilians seeking care. More than 4,000 Syrians have been treated in Israel, including 1,000 children. Israel has even opened up a maternity hospital on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights. Syrian children are also receiving necessities to improve their quality of life, such as eyeglasses and hearing aids. Israel treats any Syrian who needs it, free of charge. In addition, the Israeli Army has an official program, Operation Good Neighbour, that provides food, clothing, fuel, equipment and medical supplies to 250,000 Syrians.
We call upon the UN Human Rights Council to acknowledge that Israel has saved thousands of Syrian lives during one of the largest human rights atrocities in the world.
Vivian Bercovici: Peaceful protests do not encourage participants to overrun an international border, or use weapons, while threatening to conquer the country and murder its people. Peaceful protests are not organized by terrorist organizations and led by terrorist leaders, some of whom show up with Molotov cocktails and other weapons.
If a group like Hamas was to carry on in Europe as it does on the Gaza-Israel border, it is difficult to imagine Europeans would sit back in deck chairs with binoculars and just watch. The global community should be asking: why are Hamas’ “peaceful protesters” carrying weapons and calling for the destruction of Israel?
Thomas L. Friedman: Iran (is attempting) to turn Syria into a forward air base against Israel, something Israel is vowing to never let happen. The Iranian drone shot down on Feb. 10 “was carrying explosives.” It suggests that Iranian forces may have been trying to launch an actual military strike on Israel from an air base in Syria, not just reconnaissance.
“This is the first time we saw Iran do something against Israel – not by proxy,” a senior Israeli military source told me. This certainly helps to explain why Israeli jets launched a missile raid on the Iranian drone’s T-4 home base last Monday.
Defence officials say there is zero chance Israel will let Iran establish a massive missile threat in Syria like Hizbullah has established in Lebanon.
Prof. Eytan Gilboa : Throughout all the military confrontations Hamas initiated against Israel in 2008-09, 2012, and 2014, as well as in the recent “March of Return,” it has systematically disseminated outright fabrications and distortions and manipulated Western and social media.
Hamas deployed operatives among the demonstrators and ordered them to throw firebombs, shoot at Israeli soldiers, put explosives on the fence, cross into Israel’s territory, and, if possible, kill or kidnap soldiers and citizens. They also wanted as many Palestinians as possible to be killed, including women and children, in order to obtain favourable media coverage…
The media in the U.S. and Europe, including the elite press of the New York Times, Washington Post, Guardian, CNN, and BBC, largely accepted the manipulations, lies, and fabrications of Hamas without much questioning or reservation. They conveniently removed any reference to Hamas’ motivation, aggression, war crimes, and manipulations.
In 2005, Israel dismantled all its settlements in Gaza and evacuated all the Jews who lived there and its entire military, giving the Palestinians an opportunity in Gaza to show how they can live in peace with Israel. They failed. This failure suggests that territory and settlements have never been the main obstacles to peace. The Palestinians are not prepared to accept Israel as a Jewish state within any territory or borders.
Koolulam is a year-old social phenomenon that has gathered thousands of Israelis to sing together. Last week, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin joined Koolulam at a mass singing of Naomi Shemer’s “Al Kol Eleh” to honour Israel’s upcoming 70th anniversary.
Evelyn Gordon: 90% of Israelis define themselves as Zionist. Zionism is simply the belief that the Jewish people has a right to its own state, and that a Jewish state therefore ought to exist. Israelis …are very confident of their identity: They are Jews living in the world’s only Jewish state. This is the state created precisely so that all Jews, anywhere, will always have a home. https://www.jns.org/opinion/israel-proves-exceptional-once-again/
Barbara Sofer lists 70 plus 1 reasons why she loves Israel.
EXTRACT: 90% of our wastewater is recycled. Spain is No. 2 with 20%. 93% of Israeli homes use solar energy for water heating, the highest percentage in the world. Israel has the largest percentage of vegans per capita in the world – 5% of the population.
Tel Aviv has more start-ups per capita than anywhere else, and it has 61 companies on NASDAQ. That’s more than Europe, Japan, Korea and China combined. Israel has the highest percentage of start-ups in the world and is second only to the U.S. in absolute terms
Jack Rosen: Israel at 70: What next for the nation and its people?
This small country, 58 percent of which is largely barren desert, has despite all odds become a world leader in the fields of energy and technology, a veritable breeding ground for innovative start-ups. Despite being in its infancy as a nation, Israeli innovation has spawned myriad inventions, from the UBS memory stick and essential smart phone technology, to cherry tomatoes and water conservation technology.
Dore Gold: Israel at 70: Flourishing against all odds.
EXTRACT: There was this extraordinary commitment to innovation. Every time our adversaries threw at us another strategic challenge, we had an answer. Just even recently, we’ve been facing this threat of rocket fire from Lebanon and the Gaza Strip. So what does Israel do? It develops the first really working rocket defense system, after we developed missile defense systems 10, 20 years ago. To replace the rocket, our adversaries develop tunnels. Tunnels are an old technology, but these tunnels were going to allow terrorists to come in their hundreds into Israeli territory and kill innocent civilians. What does Israel do? It makes the first anti-tunnel system in the world. So innovation that came out of military necessity helped give Israel a scientific and technological leg-up.
Internationally, Holocaust Remembrance Day is January 27—the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. However, in Israel Yom HaShoah falls on 27thof the Hebrew month of Nisan, a date connected with the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.
After the second successive Friday’s Hamas-backed “March of Return” at the Gaza border, the Israeli army said it had managed to frustrate the terror group’s “manipulative” efforts to breach the border fence and carry out acts of terrorism under the cover of a public protest. Israeli military sources said it was believed that everyone who was hit by IDF gunfire had been engaged in violence.Israeli military officials indicated that the IDF’s warnings to Gazans to stay back from the fence, and its firm defence of the border at the previous week’s protests, had a deterrent effect as far fewer demonstrators came near the fence.
Prior to last Friday’s burning of hundreds of tyres,in an Arabic post on Facebook, Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai warned, “It’s the people in Gaza who will be strangled by black smoke.” He warned that the smoke is carcinogenic and harmful to the respiratory and immune systems He also wrote a letter asking the World Health Organization to intervene, saying he feared the burning tyres could cause an ecological disaster by poisoning plants and animals.
Around 80% of the 32 men killed by the IDF during the ongoing Gaza border crisiswere terrorist operatives or identified with terrorist organizations, according to a report by the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Centre.
A bomb was detonated near an Israeli construction vehicle adjacent to the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday. The I.E.D.was planted in the area during one of the demonstrations held along the security fence in recent weeks. In response, the IDF targeted “a number” of positions belonging to the Hamas terrorist group.
Hamas gunmen targeted Israeli aircraft with machine gun fire early Thursday morning. A bullet damaged an Israeli home in a kibbutz near the border. Fortunately the family, including a baby, were in their shelter.
While a senior advisor to Abbas accused Hamas of deliberately encouraging civilians to endanger themselves, Abbas’ Fatah Movement celebrated the participation of a six-month-old baby in the Gaza demonstrations.
ReWalk Robotics Ltd., the Israeli developer of a robotic exoskeleton system that helps the paralyzed to walk, has started a clinical study of a new product that will aid the rehabilitation of people who have suffered a stroke.
Israeli soldiers stationed near the Jordanian border have been canvassing the area to find ideal places to construct natural wildlife corridors before a new border fence is constructed. Operation Living Together is being carried out in conjunction with academic experts, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, IDF trackers, and the Jordanian army.
One purpose of the operation is to help migrating birds and animals access drinking water.
Israel is expected to complain to the UN over Syrian army deployment in a demilitarized area ahead of the regime’s planned assault on rebels, in violation of the Agreement on Disengagement signed in 1974 between Israel and Syria, which concluded the Yom Kippur War
Beginning on May 28, Syria will chair the UN Conference on Disarmament, based in Geneva (which produced the treaty banning chemical weapons) despite accusations that it has just perpetrated yet another deadly chemical weapons attack.
Thousands gathered Tuesday night in Tel Aviv to catch a sneak preview of 25 of the Eurovision 2018 contestants, who are currently in Israel as part of a four-day tour of the country. The star of the night was Israel’s Netta Barzilai with her song “Toy”.
Tarek Fatah (is a founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress).: Gaza could have been a Mediterranean paradise with mile after mile of beaches that could have turned the territory into an example of Palestinian ingenuity. Instead Gaza became a laboratory of Islamic extremism where leaders of the Palestinian Authority were tortured andassassinated, thrown over the roofs of buildings, and adversaries were killed and their bodies dragged by motorcyclists.
Larry Haas:.However carefully it responds to violent efforts to breach its borders and attack its people, Israel finds itself falsely portrayed, second-guessed, and ultimately condemned.. .Maybe Israel’s critics don’t realize that with their one-sided condemnations, they’re emboldening Hamas. Or maybe they do.
P.M. Netanyahu’s spokesman David Keyes was interviewed by Sky News presenter Gamal Fahnbulleh last week:
Keyes said (inter alia)…when Israel found itself in a situation where it was being shot at, where people were trying to infiltrate en masse, it took the steps that any state would have taken and defended its people. The full onus is on this genocidal terrorist organization which is theocratic, dictatorial, doesn’t care one wit about its people, and that’s why it is stealing so much money, hiding behind children and women. They took a 7-year-old girl and sent her to Israeli soldiers so if she was shot it would be a victory for Hamas. This is insane. This is outrageous. This is an abomination and it should stop right now…People are welcome to protest as much as they want, anywhere they want, anytime they want. What they can’t do is try to infiltrate Israel en masse, which is exactly what they said they would do.
Alan Baker:On March 30 and April 6, 2018, the world was witness to a series of Friday marches by thousands of Gazans toward the border fence with Israel. The organizers of the marches publicized them as a peaceful political demonstration. However, Hamas fighters embedded among the demonstrators committed a series of acts of violence including lobbing incendiary devices at Israeli soldiers, placing explosive devices on the border fence, using firearms against the soldiers, and attempting to cut the fence to cross the border. Despite witnessing the violence organized by Hamas, the leaders of the international community appear to hold the strange belief that what they saw was a peaceful demonstration that was forcefully frustrated and disturbed by the Israeli army. Calls for an international inquiry have become a routine and automatic phenomenon whenever Israel dares to defend itself.
Ira Stoll: Yet in one week in March 2018, 2,728 trucks entered Gaza from Israel carrying 74,202 tons of supplies. In addition, Israel supplies electricity to Gaza via ten power lines. And Israel supplies water to Gaza via two pipelines. Some “blockade.”Accusing Israel of a “blockade” of Gaza is inaccurate
Israeli UN Ambassador Danny Danon : These were not “peaceful protests.” Every critic of Israel must ask himself how he would expect the security forces of his own country to react if terrorists armed with rifles and Molotov cocktails began to march on his country’s border. It is the peak of hypocrisy for the international community to criticize Israel while ignoring the real factors causing pain and suffering to the innocent people of Gaza
Ray Hanania (Arab News-Saudi Arabia): Overall, I think Christian Arabs tend to get more support from Israel than they do from Arabs…There are only a few places Christian Arabs can turn to for support. One of those places is Israel, which constantly addresses their needs.Israelis talk about us; Arab activists want us to disappear.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Eizenkot said: “We are able to thwart 98% of potential terrorist attacks, but still, they keep trying. Just last year, we apprehended 4,600 potential terrorists…” “There is immense motivation to perpetrate terrorist attacks. The main problems are hatred, willingness, the culture, the religious beliefs and the profoundly painful understanding that they strongly believe terrorism is a way of fulfilling political, social and religious desires. This is something that won’t change for many years to come.”
The I.D.F. identified at least 10 of the 15 people reported killed during violent protests along the Gaza security fence as members of Palestinian terrorist groups, and published a list of their names and positions in the organizations. The army said that its sharpshooters targeted only those taking explicit violent action against Israeli troops or trying to break through or damage the security fence. All the fatalities were men of military age.
Two Palestinian terrorists opened fire on IDF forces near the border fence in northern Gaza on Friday. The IDF spokesperson said this was further evidence that Hamas was using the protests to carry out terrorist attacks.
IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Manelis said that the protest – billed as nonviolent – was “not a nonviolent protest. It was an organized, Hamas act of terror using civilians as a cover.” “Hundreds of terrorists used the demonstration as cover to perpetrate violent acts…. Israel said all of those killed were engaged in violence against its soldiers and released videos showing Palestinian snipers shooting at soldiers.
The Israeli Defence Minister said Sunday that those Palestinians who protested peacefully were not harmed, and he rejected accusations of excessive use of force on Friday. He said troops acted appropriately by only firing on protesters who charged toward Gaza’s border with Israel. Israel says thousands of Palestinians approached the border, with hundreds engaged in acts of violence.
The IDF Spokesman described as “nonsense” claims by Gaza health officials that 800 Palestinians were injured by live fire, saying the number of live fire injuries was more likely in the dozens, with the rest hit by rubber bullets or tear gas
Meticulous planning went into organizing the “March of Return” along the Gaza border fence. About 250 buses brought 30,000 people to the border area. Some are relatives of Hamas operatives and public officials. Not everyone participated willingly. Some were forced. This was no peaceful, popular demonstration. Attempts were made to vandalize the border fence, and the demonstrators were used as cover for an attempted attack against IDF forces
The Israeli army accused the Hamas terrorist organization of sending a 7-year-old girl to the Gaza security fence during deadly protests on Friday.
She was spotted by soldiers as she approached the security fence. The troops, who were on the Israeli side, met the girl as she reached the fence, an army spokesperson said. “When the IDF troops realized it was a girl, they picked her up and made sure that she could get back to her parents safely,” the army said. It did not say how it coordinated with girl’s parents on the Gaza side.
Hamas announced shortly after Friday’s clashes that five of the Palestinians killed by IDF gunfire were members of the terror group’s military wing, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. The group published photos of the men wearing combat uniforms and armed with assault rifles.
Friday’s march in Gaza is a dress rehearsal for the main event planned for six weeks from now, when mass protests are planned for Nakba Day, when Palestinians mark the “catastrophe” of the creation of Israel and the ensuing war. The day is also when the U.S. will inaugurate its new embassy in Jerusalem.
Israel’s TV news reported Tuesday that Gazans were piling up thousands of tires to burn on Friday to create black smoke to hinder snipers. Marchers were also told to carry mirrors to dazzle the snipers.
Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Statement 31 March 2018
The border fence between Israel and the Gaza Strip separates a sovereign state and a terrorist organization.
It separates a state that protects its citizens from murderers who send their countrymen into danger. The fence separates an army that uses force in self-defence and in a focused and proportionate manner, and Hamas, an organization that sanctifies murder and death, that for years – yesterday included – has been intent on harming millions of Israelis.
Anyone who mistakenly views in this murderous spectacle even an iota of freedom of expression is blind to the threats the State of Israel faces.
Established in 1996, Save a Child’s Heart at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon, Israel, has provided life-saving cardiac surgery for 4,400 children from 55 developing countries, and on Thursday received the 2018 United Nations Population Award for outstanding achievements in health.
UK AID TO P.A.
More than £20 million of British aid money has been spent on Palestinian schools in the past year, despite ministers knowing the official curriculum could incite pupils to become martyrs and jihadists. A report by the Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education (Impact-SE) on the revised 2017 PA curriculum for schools in the West Bank said it “exerts pressure over young Palestinians to acts of violence.” The report concludes that “radicalization is more pervasive across this new curriculum” than the one that it has replaced, and that “the curriculum’s focus appears to have expanded from demonization of Israel to providing a rationale for war.” One poem taught to nine-year-olds calls for “sacrificing blood,” “eliminating the usurper,” and “annihilat[ing] the remnants of the foreigners.”
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in an interview published Monday, was asked whether he believes “the Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland,” he replied: “I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.”
Chinese drugmaker Kanghong has completed the first step of a $47-million deal to exclusively run the China operations of Israeli glaucoma-treatment-developer IOPtima Ltd. East Asians experience the highest rate of blindness in the world from one of the two most common types of glaucoma
Each year before Passover, Israel must dispose of hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of leavened goods hametz – mostly wheat and barley products as Jews cannot possess such products, during the festival, according to Jewish law. Last Thursday, as he has done for 20 years, Hussein Jabar, 57, an Arab Israeli hotelier from Abu Ghosh, outside Jerusalem, met with Israel’s chief rabbis to buy all the hametz, whose ownership will revert back after the holiday
Ben Caspit: The fact that the recent event ended with 16 casualties, 12 of whom have already been identified as Hamas terrorists, but without any casualties among the women and children, is a very significant achievement on our part.” “No country in the world would allow terrorists to break through its borders. All anyone has to do is to listen to the leaders of Hamas. They did not call this event a demonstration against the occupation but a March of Return.”
Adam Levick: Hamas’s staged, six-week long provocation on Israel’s border titled the “Great Return March” which began on March 30th took months of planning and siphoned off an estimated $10 million from government coffers, funds that of course could have been spent on infrastructure and other projects to relieve the suffering of the enclave’s population…
The fact that 10 out of the 16 Palestinians killed since Friday have been verified by the IDF as members of terrorist groups, or that the border protests have included the throwing of Molotov cocktails, the planting of IEDs and – in at least two cases – shots fired at Israeli forces hasn’t hampered the desired media narrative: a ‘disproportionate’ Israeli response to ‘peaceful’ Palestinian protesters.
In a March 31, 2018 article in the Kuwaiti government daily Al-Watan, columnist ‘Abdallah Al-Hadlaq harshly criticized the Hamas-led “Great Return March” initiative, stating that protests of this sort lead to chaos and are not accepted in Islam. Calling Hamas “terrorist” and “allied with Iran,” he accused it of using women and children as human shields and described the marches as “provocative.” He warned that the protests are likely to get out of hand and provoke violence by the Israeli Defence Forces, and that, like previous Palestinian protests, they will generate no international sympathy for the Palestinian cause. https://www.memri.org/reports/kuwaiti-columnist-slams-hamas-great-return-march
David Horowitz: Organizing and encouraging mass demonstrations at the border to face off against Israeli troops, while branding the campaign non-violent, is merely the latest iteration of Hamas’ use of Gazans as human shields for its aggression.
Demanding a “right of return” to Israel for tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees and their millions of descendants is nothing less than a call for the destruction of Israel by demographic means. No Israeli government could accept this demand, since it would spell the end of Israel as a Jewish state.
Hamas’ Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar set out the ultimate goal, telling Gazans at the border on Friday, “The March of Return will continue…until we remove this transient border.” The protests “mark the beginning of a new phase in the Palestinian national struggle on the road to liberation and ‘return.’…Our people can’t give up one inch of the land of Palestine.”
Daniel Krygier: International reactions to the recent Hamas-organized Gaza border aggression against Israel follow the predictable script.
The purpose of Hamas’s “March of Return” was to erase the border and to flood Israel with Gaza Arabs. Israel did what it had to do to defend its border and its citizens. The international community though, turns reality upside down, portraying Israel as the “villain” and the Islamist attackers as “victims.”
Seasonal Greetings to my readers – Pesach Sameach/Happy Easter.H.R.G.
Israel’s security forces are gearing up for huge protests, expected to take place along the Gaza Strip’s security fence on Friday, putting additional units on alert out of concerns that large numbers of Gazans might try to break through the barrier and rush into Israel.
The IDF has proved it can deal with marches and demonstrations well when it has time to prepare, and it will send troop reinforcements to the border. The rules of engagement are: Anyone who tries to cross the border will be subject to the “suspect arrest protocol” (firing in the air and then at the legs), and anyone who tried to injure soldiers will be hit. The Chief of Staff has ordered commanders to try as much as possible to avoid civilian deaths, but the mission they were given is to prevent a mass crossing of the border fence.
The UNHCR passed five anti-Israel resolutions in Geneva last Friday. U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said: “When the Human Rights Council treats Israel worse than North Korea, Iran, and Syria, it is the Council itself that is foolish and unworthy of its name… Today’s actions make clear that the organization lacks the credibility needed to be a true advocate for human rights.” One resolution called on Israel to give the Golan Heights to civil war-torn Syria.
One resolution, which condemned the occupation in the Golan Heights, was supported by 25 countries and opposed by 24, and seven countries abstained. All European Union countries voted against the resolution and were joined by countries in South America, Asia and Africa.
The UK government attacked the UNHRC agenda on Israel’s actions in the West Bank, saying, “The disproportionate number of resolutions against Israel and the existence of a dedicated agenda item (Item 7) that singles out Israel does little to advance dialogue, stability or mutual understanding.” The UK delegation voted against two of five resolutions on Israel, but supported two others. The U.S. and Australia were the only nations to oppose each of the five motions
The Palestinian Authority (PA) has decided to return to directly providing financial aid to families of terrorists imprisoned in Israel and to families of terrorists killed in attacks against Israel. The PA had been indirectly paying the families of the “martyrs” for four years. The move comes after the US passed last Friday the Taylor Force Act—which halts economic aid to the PA until it ceases paying stipends to terrorists and to the families of deceased terrorists—as a show of defiance against the new clamp down. The legislation was named after a 29-year-old American military veteran fatally stabbed by a Palestinian while visiting Israel in 2016.
An Israeli military investigation determined that a Palestinian paraplegic was not killed by Israeli troops attempting to quell a riot near the Gaza border fence. The investigation revealed that Israeli snipers stopped firing at least an hour before Palestinians say the double amputee, who used a wheelchair, was killed. A Gaza Division investigation revealed that Abu Thuraya, who often participated in the fence protests, visited his family members on the night before the incident and apologized that he had to bid farewell to them as a “shahid” (martyr).
Moshe Kahlon, Israel’s finance minister, has succeeded in developing a quiet channel with the Palestinian leadership. First it was on the basis of economic cooperation, while later other issues were added. His conversations are sprinkled with the Arabic he learned from his parents.
Eight doctors, two nurses and one physical therapist from the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem travelled on a medical mission to Ethiopia recently. The Israeli team performed five complex spinal surgeries. The patients, all aged 18 and under, had spine deformities so severe that they were causing potentially lethal complications, including pressure on internal organs and lung infections. One doctor said:“The problem with pediatric cases is if you don’t treat them in time, they progress,” he said, “and these cases were so bad that if we wouldn’t have operated on these children, at least half of them would be dead by next year.”
Innovative Israeli agricultural technologies will help some six million Indian farmers grow crops such as sugar cane and cotton with maximum water efficiency, thanks to agreements signed recently in Tel Aviv between several Israeli companies and international solution-oriented civil society organization Solidaridad Network.
Zambia President Edgar Lungu said that bilateral relations between Zambia and Israel should result in economic growth if best practices, especially in agriculture, which Israel has implemented well, are emulated.
Two Palestinians armed with a knife and wire cutters breached the security fence around Gaza on Thursday, the fourth such incident in a week. On Wednesday an unarmed man was arrested moments after he crossed into Israeli territory. Last Saturday, four masked Palestinian men breached the security fence in southern Gaza and ran into Israeli territory. They tried to set fire to the engineering equipment being used to construct a barrier designed to counter efforts by terror groups to tunnel into Israel.
UBQ, an Israeli company has patented a process to convert household trash from landfills into reusable plastic. After five years of development, the company is bringing its operations online, with hopes of revolutionizing waste management worldwide and making landfills obsolete.
Israel has launched an innovative new programme to encourage researchers to venture into the field of precision medicine, an emerging medical approach in which treatments are tailored to meet the specific needs of patients and their illnesses.
Makvan Kasheikal (leader of the Democrats in Norway):Israel is the only real democracy in the Middle East, a country that defends Western Christian-Jewish culture, democracy, human dignity and humanism.
We Kurds are Western-oriented and want a Kurdish democratic state. We thank Israel for the support of our cause. It is time that other Western countries also wake up and support a group fighting for democracy and contributing to the fight against terrorism. For Western countries to support a Palestinian state, but show total uninterest in establishing a state for us Kurds, demonstrates a double standard. In addition, we have also noticed that the Palestinian Authority has failed to support us.
Wall St Journal Editorial: Syria bombs civilians with chlorine gas, China tortures dissidents, Venezuela restricts access to food and Burma is engaged in ethnic cleaning of a Muslim minority. So naturally the UN Human Rights Council trains the bulk of its outrage on…Israel.
Adiel Coleman, a married father of four, was stabbed to death Sunday near the entrance to the Temple Mount, by a West Bank resident. According to eyewitnesses, Coleman tried to fend off the assailant until police forces arrived at the scene and shot and killed the terrorist.
The Palestinian National and Islamic Forces coalition in the West Bank and Gaza had urged renewed mass protests Friday to mark 100 days since President Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital…On Thursday, Hamas issued a separate appeal to Palestinians to initiate clashes with IDF soldiers and settlers, saying the rage should continue until Trump’s decision is thwarted.
Speaking on Monday, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said, “Three young Israelis were murdered over the weekend, in cold blood, by Palestinian terrorists, and the reaction from the Palestinian Authority was deafening. No condemnation. I saw his [Abbas’] response on my iPhone. His response was to refer to me as ‘son of a dog.’ http://www.latimes.com/world/middleeast/la-fg-us-palestinians-20180319-story.html
Romain Franck, a French national who was the driver at France’s consulate in east Jerusalem, and a Palestinian guard employed there, were arrested by Israeli authorities last month for using a vehicle with diplomatic plates to smuggle 70 handguns and two assault rifles from Hamas in Gaza to the West Bank, the Israel Security Agency said Monday. The investigation clearly showed that Franck had a financial motive and was acting of his own volition, unbeknown to his superiors.
Micah Lakin Avni’s father, Israeli-American Richard Lakin, was killed in a terror attack on a bus in Jerusalem in October 2015. On Monday he told the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that those who killed his father and their families will be given $3 million over the course of their lives by the PA… “The Palestinian Authority actually has a pay-to-slay law. Palestinians systematically pay terrorists to murder Jews.” “Your failure to report or condemn these crimes makes you an accessory to the murder of my father, and to the murder of many other Jewish fathers, mothers and children who the Palestinians pay to slay. I call upon this council, and upon all UN members, to stop funding the P.A. until they stop the murderous practice of rewarding terrorists for killing Jews.”
Former Kenyan President Daniel arap Moi returned home Saturday evening after a medical trip to Israel. He had been admitted to Ichalov Hospital in Tel Aviv the previous Sunday where he underwent a series of checks on his knee. Before flying back home, the former head of state, 93, visited historical sites in Jerusalem.
The International Homeland Defence and Security Summit, organized by the Mississippi state government, was held last week in Biloxi. Representatives of 16 Israeli companies attended, along with a delegation from the Israel Defence Ministry. Gov. Phil Bryant told the conference, “If there’s anyone that knows about homeland security, it’s the Israelis. They have a tough neighborhood they live in.” …Beeper is a surveillance system – already deployed by the Israeli military and police departments in Baltimore and Houston – that can pinpoint where a gun is fired and instantly take video of who fired the weapon. Israel Aerospace Industries has two facilities in Mississippi.
A new report by the 35-member Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has found that the Israeli economy is one of the strongest in the world. Israel’s economy grew by 3.3% in 2017, helped by strong population growth and a robust high-tech sector, and the OECD forecasts 3.5% growth in 2018.
On Dec. 20, 2017, IDF soldiers spotted a powerful bomb being planted by Gazan rioters near the Gaza border fence. Sappers neutralized the bomb without incident using lasers that caused it to heat up and explode from 100 meters away. A tour of the area afterward found that hundreds of pieces of shrapnel had penetrated the fence and landed on the Israeli side. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5169466,00.html
SYRIAN NUCLEAR REACTOR
Israel on Wednesday formally acknowledged that its air force blew up a Syrian nuclear reactor in the pre-dawn hours of September 6, 2007
James Jeffrey, a former senior American diplomat, said: “The Israeli authorities had been working with the U.S. government for months before the site was struck….Very early it was clear to us that this was a North Korean-enabled plutonium enrichment reactor that was clearly designed to advance a nuclear weapons programme.” “It was a blessing for the Middle East and for humanity that the reactor was destroyed.”
Israeli blood analysis startup PixCell has been awarded a 2.5 million euro grant by the European Commission to accelerate commercialization of its HemoScreen. The product is a portable, easy-to-use, blood analyzer that can be operated by anyone. It performs the most common blood test – a complete blood count – within 5 minutes, enabling physicians to diagnose and treat their patients during a single visit.
Israeli researchers have developed a “revolutionary” way to improve eyesight and do away with glasses and contact lenses, which they say can be done at home with a smartphone, a small laser device, and special eye drops.
Israel has become the first country in the world to grant medical device approval to a vaporizer for the use of medical cannabis extracts and formulations. The Ministry of Health has granted initial approval to the VapePod vaporizer developed by Kanabo Research, a Tel-Aviv-based medical cannabis R&D company.
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University have developed low-cost infrared sensors that can be used for night-vision glasses, smartphones, and self-driving cars. The technology could help replace heavy night-vision goggles used by soldiers with lightweight, low-power consumption glasses…Researchers at the university’s Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology have also developed small, pollinating drones to make up for a lack of bees; wall-climbing, spiderlike robots for search and rescue operations; and fruit-picking robots
Lior Akerman: A look at the textbooks used in Palestinian classrooms makes it practically impossible to remain optimistic about reaching any sort of peace arrangement in the near future. A 2017 study found that these textbooks consistently delegitimize Israel, encourage a violent struggle against Israel, and portray Israelis and Jews as the evil enemy… These textbooks, which are paid for by UNRWA, are used to teach more than half a million Palestinian schoolchildren. Complaints have been filed by Israeli organizations and the Israeli government for years now, but the situation remains unchanged.
Following a devastating earthquake that struck Papua New Guinea’s highlands region on Feb. 26, the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Agency for International Development Cooperation delivered 40 generators to affected communities on March 8.With 150,000 people in desperate need of emergency supplies, Israel was one of the first countries to send aid.
From increasing tomato yields in Tamil Nadu to helping farmers grow crops in the deserts of Rajasthan, the Indo-Israel Agriculture Project over the last decade has been a fruitful one. Israel recently inaugurated its 23rd agricultural centre of excellence in India. 22 other centres have been set up in 16 states since 2006 and have helped transfer Israeli agricultural technologies and knowledge to Indian farmers.
An Israeli Foreign Ministry delegation headed by their Ambassador to South Sudan recently distributed 20 tons of food to refugees affected by the civil war there. It was announced that Israel will receive 60 students from South Sudan for agricultural training in the coming year, up from 20 students this year.
A pregnant Syrian woman who was recently given the choice of dying or having her unborn son die decided to try saving both. The woman – facing almost certain death from a high-risk pregnancy – entered Israel and was treated at Rambam Medical Centre where working with colleagues in the vascular surgery and transplantation department,doctors successfully performed a procedure that would have been almost impossible to carry out in Syria. She returned home with her baby son last week..
Wisconsin, a US state whose name evokes flowing rivers and abundant lakes, has an endemic water problem of nutrient pollution and is turning to Israeli startups to solve it. Nutrient pollution is caused by agriculture, storm water, wastewater and fossil fuels, and is creating an excess of nitrogen and phosphorus in Wisconsin ’s water supplies, harming the economic viability of its freshwater lakes and drinking water.
Ten days after the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, experts from the Israel Trauma Coalition (ITC) arrived at the community to guide teachers and community leaders through a “day after” strategy for helping people face the future with resilience.
Since 2016, doctors and nursing staff from Tel Aviv & Berlin have travelled to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, for one week each year, to help perform heart surgery. The long-term objective is for the local doctors to run the pediatric cardiology clinic on their own.The mission was initiated by the Israeli organization “Save a Child’s Heart,” which works to improve medical care for children with heart defects in many countries.
Sam Gyimah the UK’s Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Development said. “Collaboration with Israel is something we want to build on as a strategic priority.” Medicine is one (area) “But I’m particularly focused on innovation. One thing Israel is really good at is commercialising new technology, maximising how research ideas are exported. Those are areas where I see us working together.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry has announced that for the first time Israel will broadcast the 2018 FIFA World Cup via satellite free of charge to Arab nations in the Middle East complete with pre-game discussion and live commentary in Arabic. Though Egypt qualified for the soccer tournament, along with Morocco, Tunisia and Saudi Arabia, it did not purchase the rights to broadcast the games. Previously, viewers had to purchase a subscription to the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera network to watch the games. However, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and the UAE
have since cut ties with Qatar and banned Al-Jazeera.
In Washington D.C. Israeli national security officials sat around the same table on Tuesday with their counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the UAE, ( & other nations) discussing the dire humanitarian situation unfolding in the Gaza Strip. Jason Greenblatt, a US administration special representative for international negotiations said: “We regret that the Palestinian Authority is not here with us today… This is not about politics. This is about the health, safety and happiness of the people of Gaza, and of all Palestinians, Israelis and Egyptians.”
An explosive device targeted the convoy of the Palestinian Prime Minister and the PA intelligence chief after they entered Gaza on Tuesday, in what Fatah called an assassination attempt. Three vehicles in the convoy were damaged, their windows blown out.
Palestinian officials contacted Israel’s military liaison in order to coordinate their P.M’s exit from the Gaza Strip following the assassination attempt. Israel offered to provide medical treatment to those injured in the attack and some of the wounded were being treated by doctors at the Israeli side of the Erez crossing.
Two Palestinian teenagers were detained by Border Police guards at the entrance to the Samaria Military Court on Sunday while carrying hidden pipe bombs. This was the sixth such incident.in the past few months.
Nearly 5,000 Israeli and American troops have been training together in Israel to defend against missile attacks. Hizbullah now possesses 100,000 rockets capable of striking anywhere in Israel. Gaza’s Hamas rulers have a vast arsenal of rockets, and Iran has developed long-range missiles that can reach Israel
In newly revealed posts from a secret British Facebook group, (Palestine Live) Greta Berlin, the spokesperson of the group involved in the flotilla that attempted to enter Gaza in May 2010, states that the Israeli troops did not open fire until after Ken O’Keefe, a former U.S. marine aboard the Mavi Marmara, seized a gun from one of them. She wrote that O’Keefe “was responsible for some of the deaths on board .
Alan Dershowitz: The Arab exodus from Israel in 1948 was the direct result of a genocidal war declared against the newly established Jewish state by all of its Arab neighbours, including the Arabs of Israel. If they had accepted the UN peace plan – two states for two peoples – there would be no Palestinian refugees. Nearly all of the Jews displaced from their Arab homelands could trace their heritage back thousands of years, well before the Muslims and Arabs became the dominant population. It has now been 70 years since this exchange of Jewish and Arab populations occurred. It is time to end the charade of calling the displaced Palestinians “refugees.” Almost none of the five million Arabs who claim the mantle of “Palestinian refugee” was ever actually in Israel. The time is long overdue for the world to stop treating these Palestinians as refugees.
Two soldiers, a border guard and a civilian were lightly injured in a suspected car-ramming attack in Acre on Sunday. One victim was hit by the car outside the city market. The driver, an Israeli Arab then continued toward a train station and hit the other two victims, before he was shot and stopped by an armed soldier at the scene
Scotland Yard has been asked to investigate whether the UK Department for International Development (DfID) and two ministers breached terrorism legislation by giving aid money to the Palestinian Authority. A complaint claims aid to the PA has been used to pay terrorists in prison, contravening the Terrorism Act 2000. The allegation follows concerns raised by Kay Wilson, a British citizen attacked and left for dead, while her friend American Kristine Luken was murdered in 2010 by Palestinian terrorists. Wilson alleged that her attackers are now receiving thousands of pounds in payments from the PA while in prison.
The Palestinian Authority increased its payments to terrorists and their families in 2018 by nearly $56 million, Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee Chairman Avi Dichter said Monday, when a bill to discourage the practice passed a first reading in the Knesset. The PA paid terrorists and their families more than $347 million in 2017
Two Israeli high school teams returned from Qatar last week with a third-place trophy in the World Handball Championship for Schools, held in Doha. Qatar was criticized on social media for allowing the Israelis to participate.
The Israel Jiu-Jitsu Federation concluded its participation Friday in the Abu Dhabi Ju-Jitsu World Championship Juniors and Aspirants 2018 with two gold medals, but the Israeli national anthem was not played, nor was the country’s flag flown in the competition hall.
Air India confirmed plans for a direct route between Tel Aviv and Delhi Wednesday, with the flight being given permission to fly over Saudi airspace, a first. The ability to fly the route over Saudi Arabia is expected to cut the flight time by nearly two hours, and marks a significant achievement in Israel’s campaign to upgrade its ties with the Gulf.
Artificial intelligence software developed by an Israeli startup has proved in an international study to be quicker and more accurate at analysing legal documents than experienced lawyers. The software developed by LawGeex was able to analyse nondisclosure agreements with more accuracy and speed than 20 experienced lawyers, in a recent collaborative study.
Valerann’s four Israeli cofounders won the 2017 Intelligent Infrastructure Challenge of Highways UK. The Israeli technology is based on replacing existing reflective road studs — embedded in every 10 to 15 metres of road in the UK to highlight lanes, bumps and crossings — with wireless plug-and-play “smart studs” containing sensors and antennas that collect and transmit raw data to pole-mounted control units that send the data to the cloud for analytics.
Israeli start-up companies are finding new ideas to change the way we think about, produce, and eat food. Inno-Bev has created a plant-based drink that keeps El Al pilots awake during long flights. SuperMeat is developing lab-made chicken meat. Hargol runs a commercial farm producing grasshoppers as a source of protein. Other companies are developing new solutions to check for food safety. Yarok has invented a microbiological test which checks for bacteria in food in 45 minutes; the tests in use now take up to 72 hours and the results are often inaccurate.
Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich has donated $20 million toward a new nuclear medical facility at Sheba Medical Centre in Ramat Gan.. The new centre will house a cyclotron, a particle accelerator that can accurately pinpoint and kill cancer cells using radioactive ion beams.
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) Maj.-Gen. Mordechai published a video showing Hamas operatives hooking up illicitly to a Gaza power line Saturday in order to siphon electricity. He wrote: “The Hamas terror group continues stealing from the people of Gaza,” “This power was intended for hospitals and schools, but Hamas is uninterested in the populace and even exploits it. Watch the daylight robbery.” “Only a week ago it was published that Hamas is stealing fuel brought into the strip for the Palestinian public, and selling it on the private market to the highest bidder.”
A study shows that the percentage of Arab Israeli women succeeding on the bagrut (matriculation) exam surpasses that of Arab Israeli men, and is approaching that of non-ultra-Orthodox Jewish women. The ultra-Orthodox, with their stress on non-core curricula, traditionally score lower on the exam than their peers. In addition, there has been an increase in the share of Arab Israeli women pursuing higher education.
Amit Deri: During a tour of IDF reserve duty this month, my men and I were attacked by about 400 Palestinian rioters in the Hebron area throwing firebombs, hurling large rocks, using slingshots, and burning tires. They were documented by some 40 foreign press with cameras. They were shouting slogans about Muhammad’s army coming to avenge itself on the Jews, and pranced bravely in front of the photographers, knowing full well that the IDF’s strict regulations prevent us from doing much more than trying to disperse the violent mob by shooting canisters of tear gas. We did the best we could to keep anyone, Israeli and Palestinian, from getting seriously injured. And then, magic: A short while into the demonstration, the media, getting what it came for, decided to leave. As soon as the last cameraman was gone, the very same Palestinian rioters who were, just a moment earlier, so passionate and furious and violent, tossed aside their gasoline-soaked rags and boulders and cheerfully walked away. They weren’t interested in a real confrontation. They weren’t truly mad. They were putting on a show for the press.
Jose Maria Aznar and Stephen Harper (former Prime Minsters of Spain & Canada respectively): The Israeli military was forced last month to engage an Iranian drone launched into Israeli airspace from Syria. There will be more such incidents if Tehran is permitted to continue projecting force throughout the Middle East. North America and Europe must join Israel in stopping Iran…Iran’s leaders have threatened Israel time and again with total destruction, and now, Iranian power has arrived at Israel’s border….Predictions that the (2015 nuclear agreement) agreement would de-escalate tensions and improve cooperation have proved wrong. Since signing the agreement, Iran’s aggression and hostility have increased…But fixing the agreement and stopping Iran from going nuclear would not eliminate the threat. The U.S. and its allies must also roll back Iran’s aggression and influence throughout the Middle East. If left unchecked, Iran’s aggression will ultimately threaten Europe and North America as well.
Shmuel Rosner:Eliezer Tauber is an Israeli academic who specializes in the modern history of the Middle East. In the past decade, he dedicated a lot of time to writing a book about the so-called “massacre of Deir Yassin.” The result was a book arguing that there was no massacre in Deir Yassin. A detailed account of a fateful day, minute by minute, hour by hour. A convincing account.. Tauber knows the names of everybody, he knows the time and the place where everybody was fighting, or hiding, or wounded, or killed. But the myth was perpetrated not because of confusion. It was a deliberate attempt by the Palestinian leadership to force the Arab militaries of surrounding countries to intervene in the battle over Palestine. The leaders of the Palestinians sowed a wind and reaped a whirlwind. More than convincing the Arab states to intervene (they eventually did), they convinced their fellow Palestinians to flee.