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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dershowitz weeps: Hamas is killing the 'two-state solution'


Alan Dershowitz writes that by targeting Ben Gurion Airport, Hamas has effectively killed the 'two-state solution.'
Hamas's decision to fire rockets in the direction of Ben Gurion Airport may well have ended any real prospect of a two-state solution. Whether the regulators and airlines that have stopped flights to and from Israel are right or wrong, this stoppage cannot possibly be tolerated by a democratic country that relies so heavily on tourism and international travel. It is of course a war crime to target an international civilian airport, as Hamas has clearly done. Israel has every right to keep that airport open, employing all reasonable military means at its disposal. Since Hamas fires its rockets from densely populated civilian areas, there will be more Palestinian civilian deaths.
This of course is part of Hamas' grand strategy: by targeting Israeli civilians and international air travel from its own civilian areas, Hamas leaves Israel no choice but to take military actions that risk the lives of innocent Palestinians. There will be even more innocent Palestinian deaths now, as Hamas has raised the stakes considerably for Israel. Every country in the world would do everything in its power to keep open the airports, which are the lifelines to its economic viability. Hamas knows this and welcomes Israeli military action that produces more dead Palestinian civilians and hence more international criticism of Israel.
Even more importantly, Hamas' actions in essentially closing down international air traffic into Israel, considerably reduces the prospect of any two-state solution. Israel will now be more reluctant than ever to give up military control over the West Bank, which is even closer to Ben Gurion Airport than is Gaza.
Were Israel to end its military occupation of the West Bank—as distinguished from its civilian settlements deep in the West Bank—it would risk the possibility of a Hamas takeover. That is precisely what happened when Israel removed both its civilian settlements and its military presence in Gaza. Hamas took control, fired thousands of rockets at Israeli civilian targets and have now succeeded in stopping international air traffic into and out of Israel.
Israel could not accept the risk of a Hamas takeover of the West Bank and the resulting Hamas rocket attacks at the nearby Ben Gurion Airport. It may still be possible to create a two-state solution whereby Israel withdraws its civilian settlers from most of the West Bank and agrees to land swaps for areas that now contain large settlement blocks. But Israel will have to retain military control over its security borders, which extend to the Jordan River. It will also have to maintain a sufficient military presence to assure that what happened in Gaza does not happen in the West Bank. These military realities do not have to exist forever. Israel's military presence could be reduced if the Palestinian Authority were to maintain effective control over the West Bank and prevent terrorists from using that area to send rockets and terrorists into Israel.
The new reality caused by Hamas' shutting down of international air travel to and from Israel would plainly justify an Israeli demand that it maintain military control over the West Bank in any two-state deal. The Israeli public would never accept a deal that did not include a continued Israeli military presence in the West Bank. They have learned the tragic lesson of Gaza and they will not allow it to be repeated in the West Bank. The Palestinian Authority, however, is unlikely to accept such a condition, though it should. This will simply make it far more difficult for an agreement to be reached.
Dershowitz's belief that Fatah (and the 'Palestinian Authority') is not in agreement with Hamas is an alternative reality. Fatah just concluded a unity agreement with Hamas a few months ago, and it has given no indication that it intends to abandon that agreement over a few thousand rockets and a few dozen terror tunnels. He's right that Fatah will never accept an Israeli presence (of any kind) in Judea and Samaria, and telling them that they should will not change that fact.

Dershowitz has turned himself into just another peace processor who thinks that just because he believes we 'cannot live without peace,' the other side must also think that way.

What could go wrong?

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Jon Stewart Liebowitz goes after Israel again

'Comedian' Jon Stewart Liebowitz goes after Israel for the second time during this war, whining that he's not allowed to talk about the Jewish state.

Let's go to the videotape.



He's not very funny, is he? You don't think he has a personal thing about Israel, do you? Maybe he's ashamed of his own heritage.... In case you didn't notice this post's title, his real last name is Liebowitz.

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More Hamas use of Israeli terror victims as their own

Another disgraceful use by Hamas or its supporters of Jewish terror victims - this time from the March 2002 suicide bombing at Jerusalem's Cafe Moment - to claim that they are actually 'Palestinians' victimized by Israel.




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Israel to offer international airlines use of Eilat's Uvda airport

I know that many of you think that we have only one international airport, but in fact we have two. Uvda Airport outside of Eilat has been used by charter flights from Europe in the winter for many years and is capable of handling many commercial passenger jets (that's a Boeing 737 in the picture). From Noon on Wednesday Israel time (around when this post will go live), the State of Israel is offering the use of Uvda to foreign airlines who are afraid to use Ben Gurion.
Speaking to reporters at Ben-Gurion Airport, Katz said that Uvda would begin operating at noon local time. The minister said that efforts are also being made to provide service to some 4,000 Israelis who were left stranded in Istanbul after their airlines refused to fly into Lod in light of the FAA ban announced on Tuesday.
Katz said that his ministry had urged Turkish aviation officials to transport the Israelis back home, but that the Turks are hesitant to land their aircraft in Uvda.
Israel Radio reported on Wednesday that US Airways will renew its regular fights to Israel beginning on Thursday.
Well, maybe. If the FAA doesn't renew the ban. But we won't know that until about 7:15 tonight Israel time. In the meantime, you can find statistics on Uvda (or Ovda) here. I note that it says that the airport cannot operate at night. If that's true, it won't be much of a solution for the foreign airlines.

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The lady doth protest too much?

For the second time in five days, UNRWA has 'discovered' that Hamas is storing rockets in their schools (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
Today, in the course of the regular inspection of its premises, UNRWA discovered rockets hidden in a vacant school in the Gaza Strip. As soon as the rockets were discovered, UNRWA staff were withdrawn from the premises, and so we are unable to confirm the precise number of rockets. The school is situated between two other UNRWA schools that currently each accommodate 1,500 internally displaced persons.
UNRWA strongly and unequivocally condemns the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation of the inviolability of its premises under international law.
The Agency immediately informed the relevant parties and is pursuing all possible measures for the removal of the objects in order to preserve the safety and security of the school. UNRWA will launch a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding this incident.
UNRWA has reinforced and continues to implement its robust procedures to maintain the neutrality of all its premises, including a strict no-weapons policy and regular inspections of its installations, to ensure they are only used for humanitarian purposes.
Palestinian civilians in Gaza rely on UNRWA to provide humanitarian assistance and shelter. At all times, and especially during escalations of violence, the sanctity and integrity of UN installations must be respected.
Why can't UNRWA confirm the number of rockets? Didn't they disarm them? Or did they turn them over to Hamas like they did the first time rockets were 'discovered'?

Why is UNRWA pussyfooting about 'the group or groups responsible for this flagrant violation' of their non-standards? Do they really not know who is doing this?

In how many more schools are rockets 'hidden' despite UNRWA's 'robust procedures' and 'no-weapons policy'? Do they even have a clue?

And finally, instead of 'protesting' and 'condemning,' why doesn't UNRWA do something about the problem - like root out the terrorists in its midst.

It has long been known that UNRWA knowingly hires terrorists [pdf link]. In UNRWA union elections in March 2009, Islamists won all eleven seats in the teacher's union. In March 2009, it was also reported that UNRWA was using a bank that had been sanctioned by the United States for money laundering. And in February 2009, UNRWA transmitted a letter from Hamas to then-Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John F. Kerry.

UNRWA has long since outlived its usefulness. All it does is perpetuate the myth that 'Palestinian refugees' will 'return' to the homes that their great grandparents abandoned in Israel. UNRWA has resisted efforts to find 'Palestinians' permanent housing. It's time for it to be dismantled.

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Our commanders lead from the front


Golani brigade commander Col. Ghassan Alian, the highest ranking Druze soldier in the IDF, has returned to his command just three days after suffering shrapnel wounds in battle.
Ynet reports today that Col. Ghassan Alian, the commander of the Golani Brigade and the highest ranking Druze in the IDF, has returned to fight against Hamas in Gaza, just three days after he suffered shrapnel wounds in battle.
“I’m leaving hospital to go to the unit,” he said. “I was in touch with the battalion commanders regarding the IDF’s accomplishments, and am returning to take command of the division, and move forward.
“The spirits in the division are strong and high. I visited the wounded fighters and I would have loaded them back inside the bus if I had had one available.We had a hard battle the morning I was wounded. A rocket-propelled grenade flew several meters over my head. I have a few scratches but I’m ok.”
Despite his confidence, Alian also acknowledged that the brigade has suffered losses in the fighting, “I want to send a warm embrace to the bereaved families. I could not see them all but plan on doing so. They give us strength.”
Alian wanted to return to battle right away, but his doctors made him stay. On Monday, his doctors still wanted him to stay a while longer in the hospital but he insisted on returning. “I have a lot of soldiers there and I have to get back to them,” he said.
The IDF posted a Hebrew video of Alian's release from the hospital. You can watch it here.

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President 'Lead from Behind' leads from the front for Hamas

President 'Lead from Behind' is finally leading from the front. Unfortunately, he's leading on behalf of Hamas against Israel by ordering the FAA to ban flights to Israel. This is from Jennifer Dyer.
Pundits and other advocates have been swift to condemn this U.S. action, a serious measure of economic isolation which will deny Israel millions of dollars in commercial revenues even if it lasts only 24 hours.  Eugene Kontorovich points out that the message is prejudicial and the timing is suspicious, with John Kerry heading for Israel to try to broker a ceasefire.
The subtext here is that Israel has a sword at its neck: face a private-sector no-fly zone or agree to a cease-fire that lets Hamas keep its rockets, and thus close Ben Gurion Airport again at the time of its choosing. It is a lose-lose proposition. …
Moreover, the timing of the FAA’s absurd and unjustified warning seems to have more to do with Kerry’s visit to the region to impose a cease-fire on Israel. Until his administration’s flight ban, that effort seemed entirely futile.
The message is unsubtle.  “Nice commercial hub you got, there, Bibi.  Be a shame if anything happened to it.”
Kontorovich observes further that the FAA would have been more consistent with its policies elsewhere if it had issued a warning rather than imposing a ban.  He cites the example of Afghanistan.
I would cite the example of Pakistan, where there have been multiple, very serious attacks on commercial airports in recent months, including an attack on an airliner in Peshawar, this one on the airport in Karachi, and an earlier one involving Taliban rocket fire in Peshawar.  In terms of the type of threat posed, the Pakistan Taliban is a fairly exact analogy to what Hamas can threaten Ben Gurion in Lod, Israel with – except that Israel does a much better job of securing Ben Gurion against the Hamas threat.  In none of the instances in Pakistan has the FAA banned U.S. carriers from flying in and out of the Pakistani airports.  At most, it has issued safety warnings.
Meanwhile, the implication many will propose, about an abundance of caution after the MH17 shootdown over Ukraine, falls apart on inspection.  The potential for a Hamas rocket to fall near the airport isn’t the same threat as the one posed by the fully militarized pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.  The pro-Russian separatists have the weaponry to shoot an airplane out of the sky at altitude – and they had actually done it before the MH17 shootdown.  That game-changing condition is not present in Israeli air space.
Ordinarily – as with Pakistan – the U.S. would take such things into account and avoid issuing flight bans against an ally’s airport.  As an “abundance of caution,” the flight ban on Ben Gurion is a psychotic one in comparison with the FAA’s use of its judgment elsewhere.  See the Special Notices here for the FAA’s ongoing warnings for U.S. carriers about air space in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and North Korea.  And note that in spite of the much greater potential threat to commercial aircraft in Syria and Iraq (for example) than in Israel, the prohibitions for U.S. carriers are not absolute in either nation.
The prohibition on Ben Gurion is uniquely stringent, and inconsistent with FAA practices elsewhere.  It also had to be approved by Obama.  Israel is an ally, one of America’s closest partners in the world.  Cutting off her commercial airport from U.S. carriers is inherently a presidential-level decision, and Obama is responsible whether he made it or not.
Caroline Glick also sees Obama's actions as fronting for Hamas
While Israel had killed 183 terrorists, it appeared that most of the terrorists killed were in the low to middle ranks of Hamas’s leadership hierarchy.

Hamas’s senior commanders, as well as its political leadership have hunkered down in hidden tunnel complexes.



In other words, Israel is making good progress.


But it hasn’t completed its missions. It needs several more days of hard fighting.


Recognizing this, Israel’s newfound Muslim allies [Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates] have not been pushing for a cease-fire.


In contrast, the Obama administration is insisting on concluding a cease-fire immediately.

As Israel has uncovered the scope of Hamas’s infrastructure of murder and terror, the US has acted with the UN, Turkey and Qatar to pressure Israel (and Egypt) to agree to a cease-fire and so end IDF operations against Hamas before the mission is completed.


To advance this goal, US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo on Monday night with an aggressive plan to force on Israel a cease-fire Hamas and its state sponsors will accept.



As former ambassador to the US Michael Oren told the media, it is clear that neither Israel nor Egypt invited Kerry to come over. Their avoidance of Kerry signals clearly that the US’s two most important allies in the Middle East do not trust US President Barack Obama’s intentions.


And their distrust is entirely reasonable.



The State Department has openly applauded Turkey and Qatar for their involvement in attempts to achieve a cease-fire. Last week Israeli officials alleged that the US was responsible for Hamas’s rejection of the Egyptian cease-fire proposal. By attempting to coerce Egypt to accept Qatar and Turkey as its partners in mediation, Obama signaled to Hamas’s leaders that they should hold out for a better deal.


Due to Turkey’s membership in NATO and the glamour of the Qatari royal family, many Westerners find it hard to believe that they are major sponsors of terrorism. But it is true. Turkey and Qatar are playing a double game.


While sending his ambassador to Brussels for NATO meetings, Erdogan has been transforming Turkey from an open, pro-Western society allied with Israel into a closed, anti-Semitic and anti-American society that sponsors Hamas, ISIL, al Nusra and other terrorists groups.



As for Qatar, the tiny natural gas superpower presents itself to Americans as their greatest ally in the Muslim world. The emirate gives hundreds of millions of dollars to US universities to open campuses in Doha and pretends it is a progressive, open society, replete with debating societies.



Qatar hosts three major US military bases on its territory. And it is becoming one of the most important clients for US military contractors. Earlier this year Qatar signed an $11.4 billion dollar arms agreement with the US.


At the same time, according to the Calacalist report, Qatar is the major bankroller of ISIS and al Nusra in Syria and Iraq. It gives $50 million a month to jihadists in Libya. It gives Hamas $100m. in annual aid. And in the past two years Doha has provided Hamas with an additional $620m. dollars, including $250m. it transferred to Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal’s personal bank account, and $350m. in military aid to Hamas, transferred after the Egyptian military forced the Muslim Brotherhood government from power last July.


Add to that the $100m. per year that Qatar pours into Al Jazeera’s satellite network – which has dedicated itself to undermining pro-Western Arab regimes while popularizing the likes of al-Qaida and Hamas, and Qatar is the largest financier of international jihad in the world.


Rather than notice that Qatar and Turkey are playing a double game, and treat them with suspicion, the Obama administration has embraced them.
Caroline also fills in a few facts about the tunnels that you might have missed.
As we have seen from the heavily armed Hamas commando squads that have infiltrated into Israel from tunnels since the start of the current round of warfare, the first goal of these offensive tunnels is to deploy terrorists into Israel to massacre Israelis.


But the tunnels facilitate other terror missions as well.


Israel has found tunnels with shafts rigged with bombs located directly under Israeli kindergartens.


If the bombs had gone off, the buildings above would have been destroyed, taking the children down with them.


Other exposed shafts showed Hamas’s continued intense interest in hostage taking. In 2006 the terrorists who kidnapped Cpl. Gilad Schalit entered Israel and returned to Gaza through such a tunnel.


Today the presence of sedatives and multiple sets of handcuffs for neutralizing hostages found in tunnel after tunnel indicate that Hamas intends to abduct several Israelis at once and spirit them back to Gaza.


In an interview with Channel 2 Monday evening, Minister Naftali Bennett spoke of a mother at Kibbutz Netiv Ha’asara who told him that her children wake her in the middle of the night and tell her that they hear digging beneath their beds.


As Bennett said, this state of affairs simply cannot continue. People cannot live in fear that there are terrorists burrowing beneath their homes, digging tunnels to murder or kidnap them.
Indeed, they can't. And at least from the perspective of this Israeli, even if Obama is determined to hurt us and damage our economy now if we continue to pursue Hamas and its tunnels, that's still less of a price than we would have to pay to deal with the tunnels (and the rockets) later.

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Is the FAA the new IRS?

US Secretary of State John FN Kerry assured Prime Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday that the Federal Aviation Administration decision to ban flights to Israel was strictly a safety issue and there are no ulterior motives.
Kerry, in Cairo to broker a ceasefire in the Gaza conflict, told Netanyahu by telephone that U.S. authorities would review the order within a day, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki was quoted as having said.
The notice "was issued to protect American citizens and American carriers," Psaki said in the Egyptian capital.
"The only consideration in issuing the notice was the safety and security of our citizens," she said.
The Federal Aviation Administration "continues to monitor and evaluate the situation, and will issue updated guidelines no later than 24 hours from the time the (notice) went into force," she said, according to AFP.
It bears pointing out that what landed in a backyard in Yahud, five kilometers from the airport, on Tuesday, was not a rocket but a piece of shrapnel from a rocket that was shot down by Iron Dome.

But is this really just a safety question? WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein argues that it may not be. 
Behind the scenes, several Jerusalem diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity questioned whether the FAA flight-ban was in part a tactic to press Israel into a truce with Hamas. A cease-fire would tentatively stop Hamas’ rocketing of the Jewish state.
Kerry is currently in Egypt in an attempt to negotiate a truce.
State Department Deputy Spokeswoman Marie Harf suggested to reporters Tuesday that Kerry may stay in the Middle East until progress is made toward a cease-fire.
Except that the last three 'cease fires' did not stop Hamas' rockets, and it's Hamas that is unwilling to accept an unconditional cease fire (which Israelis are quite pleased about, but that's a separate story).

The Obama administration has already been caught using one government agency - the IRS - to advance its political agenda. Could it now be using another, namely the FAA?

Meanwhile, former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg left on a flight to Israel on Tuesday night to show that it's safe to travel to Israel (Hat Tip: Memeorandum). 
In a statement Bloomberg said, “This evening I will be flying on El Al to Tel Aviv to show solidarity with the Israeli people and to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel. Ben Gurion is the best protected airport in the world and El Al flights have been regularly flying in and out of it safely. The flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately. I strongly urge the FAA to reverse course and permit US airlines to fly to Israel.”
Of course, as I noted before, El Al's planes have a means of shooting down missiles shot at them. Other airlines' planes do not. But I agree with Bloomberg. You probably have a better chance of being hit by lightning than of your plane being struck by a Hamas rocket. 

But this should be yet another motivation to destroy Hamas quickly.

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IDF targets Mohammed Deif

Foreign reports indicate that the IDF took a shot at Hamas' Izz-a-Din-al-Qassam commander Mohammed Deif on Tuesday night. It was not the first time. Deif is apparently in hiding with the Hamas leadership, but two people in his house were killed and the house was likely destroyed.

This is from the first link.
Deif is considered the official who determines the agenda of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades and is regarded as the “brain” behind Hamas.
He is likely hiding underground somewhere inside Gaza, fearing the IDF will try to eliminate him.
Deif started out as a student of Yahya Ayyash, who was nicknamed “the Engineer” and who was the chief bombmaker of Hamas in the late 1990s, when the organization started carrying out suicide bombing attacks within Israel. Ayyash was eliminated by Israel in 1996.
Following Ayyash’s elimination, Deif carried out numerous murderous terror attacks in Israel, including two suicide bombing attacks on buses in Jerusalem and kidnapping attempts within Israel.
Israel tried to kill Mohammed Deif several times, without success. One time, he lost an eye and likely his hand as well. In another attempt he was seriously wounded, his hands and legs were amputated and he has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.
Ayyash is the guy who answered his cell phone and had it blow his head off :-)

You can bet that when we get Deif, we will get the same reactions we got when the IDF eliminated Sheikh Ahmad Yassin: That we're going after poor old men in wheelchairs. Right.... 

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Video: Pat Condell takes on Hamas v. the Jews in Gaza (with Hebrew subtitles)

This is a really well done video by Pat Condell in which he dismantles Hamas and its use of human shields.

Let's go to the videotape (Hat Tip: Steve D).




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Mrs. Abu Bluff and grandchildren flee to Jordan

'Moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen's wife and grandchildren have fled to Jordan.
Members of the family of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have secretly left Ramallah for Jordan, according to the online newspaper Rai Al-Youm.

“For the first time and secretly, all the members of President Abbas’s family have left to their residence in Amman,” the report said.

It said that Abbas’s wife and grandchildren were among the family members who left Ramallah recently.

The newspaper said that Mohamed Shehadeh, who is in charge of Abbas’s security detail, has decided to beef up security around the PA president’s office and residence in Ramallah.

The departure of Abbas’s family and the tight security measures came in response to growing resentment among Palestinians with the PA president and his policies in wake of the current war between Israel and Hamas.

Over the past two weeks, many Palestinians have accused Abbas of failing to display strong leadership in light of the Israeli military operation. Some have gone as far as accusing him of “collusion” with Israel and Egypt.
Nice house you have there Abu Bluff. Wouldn't want to see anything happening to it....

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Just when you thought they could not get any lower: 'Palestinians' using Fogel family murder pics for propaganda

I just found the picture above on Facebook.

Do the pictures look familiar? The originals from the Fogel family home in Itamar in March 2011 may be found in the video here.

From Facebook again:
How low can one go.

Hamas is using the pictures of the Fogel family massacre for their propaganda purposes and are claiming that this is what we did to a family in Gaza.

It is just beyond belief........disgusting creatures.
How low can they go? I don't think we've hit the bottom yet.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Poll: 77% of Israeli Jews oppose cease fire under current circumtances

It is rare that 77% of Israeli Jews agree on anything. But a New Wave poll shows that 77% of Israeli Jews oppose a cease fire under current circumstances, while only 16% are in favor. Hamas has managed to make the homeowner go berserk. These results are nothing short of amazing.
Are you satisfied with the performance of PM Binyamin Netanyahu in Operation Protective Edge?
Yes 73% No 16% Don't know 11%

Who is most appropriate now to be prime minister?
Netanyahu 48% Bennett 12% Liberman 9% Herzog 5% Livni 3% Lapid 1%

Are you satisfied with the performance of COS Gantz in Operation Protective Edge?
Yes 88% No 3% Don't know 9%

Are you satisfied with the performance of DM Yaalon in Operation Protective Edge?
Yes 71% No 19% Don't know 10%

Are you satisfied with the performance of the IDF in Operation Protective Edge?
Yes 94% No 3% Don't know 3%

Do you support or oppose the land invasion of Gaza?
Support 80% Oppose 12% Don't know 8%

Should Israel expand the ground operation in Gaza?
Yes 71% No 17% Don't know 12%


Should Israel set as a goal of Operation Protective Edge bringing down the Hamas regime in Gaza?
Yes 65% No 22% Don't know 13%


Given the achievements up to now, should Israel agree to a general ceasefire under the current conditions?
Yes 16% No 77% Don't know 7%

What do you think are the chances that at the end of the operation that there will be a complete halt to rocket attacks from Gaza?
Small 49% Certain no 19% High chance yes 25% Certain yet 3% Don't know 4%

As of today, who has achieved more in Operation Protective Edge?
Israel 73% Hamas 4% Neither 19% Don't know 4%
Wow!

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'No chance we'll cancel flights'

There's one airline that won't cancel its flights to Israel. And they even serve cholent on their Thursday night flights. Yes, it's El Al.
Israeli airline El Al said it would not cancel any flights as air travel to Israel from all American carriers and several European ones came to a halt on Tuesday after the Federal Aviation Authority banned US airlines from traveling to and from Ben Gurion Airport for 24 hours.
"There is no chance we will stop operations," an El Al spokesman told the Post.
In labor disputes with the government, El Al has argued that it is the only airline the country can rely on to continue flying during tough security times, and that Israel should foot more of the bill for its security needs. During the 1991 Gulf war, every airline but El Al suspended service to Israel.
...
Hamas has explicitly targeted the airport in hopes of stopping or slowing air traffic. Earlier in the conflict, it lobbed a handful of rockets in the direction of the airport, suspending traffic there for nine minutes.
"The armed wing of the Hamas movement has decided to respond to the Israeli aggression, and we warn you against carrying out flights to Ben-Gurion airport, which will be one of our targets today because it also hosts a military air base," a statement by the group said at the time.
In an interview with Channel 2, Katz added that he believed the decision was an automatic reaction to the rocket landing, and hoped to convince them to reinstate flights on Wednesday.
Maybe. This suspension could have really serious consequences, and some senior ministers in the government ought to get involved. I think it's a bit above Katz's grade level.
Yet the cancellation of flights, should it continue for a significant period of time, could have a greater impact on the economy. A May report by the Bank of Israel found that business travel to Israel tends to be more resilient than leisure tourism in the face of security problems.
Without ways to get into the country, however, business travelers, who have historically accounted for 12-20% of travelers to Israel, will also be kept behind. Worse, the precedent of flights canceled due to security may deter them from future business dealings.
On the other hand, the economic effects of a one-day suspension would be negligible, according to Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce Uriel Lynn.
"Is it affecting Israel's business now? No. It's 24 hours. It's not a big deal. We have telecommunications infrastructure that helps us get business done," Lynn told the Post.
The chances of a longer suspension seemed unlikely, he added, given Hamas’s inability to strike at the airport up until now. America’s political stance on terrorism and alliance with Israel, Lynn offered, would likely affect the FAA’s decision.
"The moment they forbid flights to Israel, they strengthen Hamas, who say, ‘Great, we're succeeding in isolating Israel, we're fulfilling our goals.' I don't think the FAA want to do that," he said.
What could go wrong?

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Hospitalized soldiers: Terrorists charged with babies in hand

I think the picture above was intended to be humorous. It's not. It really happened.
Parents of wounded soldiers spoke to Kol Yisrael on Tuesday and shared some of the disturbing stories they had heard from their sons. They said soldiers have repeatedly seen young children in Sheijaya, Gaza, be sent out into the streets with guns to try to attack IDF troops.
One parent reported that terrorists had run at IDF soldiers with a gun in one hand and a baby in the other, apparently in hopes that the soldiers would see the child and hold their fire. If soldiers fired, the parent added, the child’s death could be used as propaganda against Israel.
“They’re continuing the same trick of using children as human shields, just as they did in Operation Cast Lead,” one father said. Women are used as human shields as well, he added.
He expressed frustration at figures on the Israeli far-left who have accused IDF soldiers of committing war crimes. Israel’s soldiers do everything they can to avoid hurting innocent people, he said.
No words. 

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United, Delta and USAir suspend flights to Israel - UPDATE FAA BANS US FLIGHTS, EUROPEANS FOLLOW SUIT


United, Delta and USAir have suspended all flights to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport after a Hamas rocket this afternoon landed in Yahud, some 5 kilometers from the airport (Hat Tip: NY Nana). The White House says that it did not order the flights suspended, but Delta said it made its decision in coordination with the Federal Aviation Administration.
Delta said it suspended service to and from its New York JFK hub "until further notice," while the Israel Airports Authority would only confirm that the carriers had suspended flight scheduled for Monday. US Airways has not yet released a statement.
United announced it was also suspending flights to and from Tel Aviv until further notice.
Transportation Minister called on American aviation companies to return to normal functioning, stressing that Ben-Gurion airport was safe from for take-offs and landings, and that there was no security concern for passenger planes.
"There is no reason for the American companies to stop their flight and give a prize to terror," he said.
Though media had reported that the US Federal Aviation Authority had ordered the cancellations, it did not issue any new guidance on flying through the region. The airline companies had acted on their own authority.
An order from the FAA could have had far greater repercussions for Israel's economy.
"As soon as the FAA gives such an order to US carriers, in most cases it's a domino effect, and most European carriers will be forced to suspend their flights," said an industry source.
Regardless, the source added, "This is a huge coup for Hamas."
Tourism accounts for about 5% of Israel's exports, and has already declined as a result of the rocket fire from Gaza.
According to Channel 2, Israeli and American flight officials are reportedly trying to come to an understanding regarding the US concerns over rocket fire.
Israel contends that the Iron Dome rocket defense system, which has proven to be 90% effective during Operation Protective Edge, is also capable of intercepting projectiles in the area of Ben-Gurion Airport.
The rocket which landed in the courtyard of a home in Yehud on Tuesday, causing damage and leaving two people lightly injured, marked the first direct hit in the greater Tel Aviv area since the Gaza operation began more than two weeks ago.
There is an answer, but so far only El Al has bought into it.  American Airlines (which recently merged with USAir) decided six years ago that the solution was too expensive.

UPDATE 8:44 PM

The FAA has now banned all US airlines from flying here for the next 24 hours and Air France, KLM and Lufthansa have all said that they won't fly here either.
"The FAA immediately notified US carriers when the agency learned of the rocket strike and informed them that the agency was finalizing a [Notice to Airmen]" prohibiting the flights.
...
Delta diverted flight 468 from JFK with 273 passengers and 17 crew, Paris-Charles de Gaulle "after reports of a rocket or associated debris near the airport in Tel Aviv," and said that it was working to re-accommodate its customers.
While the FAA does not have jurisdiction over European or other international air carriers, the decision may lead to other cancellations.
"As soon as the FAA gives such an order to US carriers, in most cases it's a domino effect, and most European carriers will be forced to suspend their flights," said an industry source. "This is a huge coup for Hamas."
Air France suspended all flights to and from Israel due to "security reasons linked to the evolution of the local situation," Reuters quoted an airline spokesman as saying.
Lufthansa, Swiss Air, and KLM also suspended flights to Ben Gurion.
The US issued a travel warning against traveling to Israel or Gaza this morning. Nevertheless, over 200 North American immigrants arrived here today.

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Zbig spews anti-Israel hate on Morning Joe

In the book of Jimmy Carter's Secretary of State, and President Hussein Obama's adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Israel and only Israel is at fault for the current goings on in Gaza.

Let's go to the videotape.



More from Truth Revolt here.

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Video: The Arab Darwin Award Winner (Graphic warning)

WARNING - THIS IS GRAPHIC

I'm not even sure who gets the award for this one, but it happened in Syria.

A suicide bomber was killed before he could set himself off. He was wrapped in shrouds and they went to bury him. Unfortunately, whoever prepared him for the funeral didn't remove the bomb belt. And the results?

Let's go to the videotape.

video

So who gets the award?

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The pictures are fake

The pictures that I posted that were Hamas' attempt to prove that they have Oron Shaul are fake. Yes, even the one posted above, which I thought was real, is fake.

For the proof, go here.

Either he's dead, or Hamas doesn't have him (or more likely, both). At best, they might have some of his documents or his dog tag. But nothing more than that.

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Unbiased headlining, al-Reuters style

This is what al-Reuters considers an unbiased headline (Hat Tip: Memeorandum):

Israel pounds Gaza despite international peace efforts


Excuse me? Israel has accepted every cease fire offered over the last two weeks. Hamas has refused every one. Within the last hour, Israel Radio reported that John Kerry has given up and that Ban Ki-Moon is about to admit that the reason there is no cease fire is because Hamas is not backing off demands that would turn a rout into a victory and make Israel pay a penalty for winning.

So Israel continues to pound Hamas in the hope that it will agree to a cease fire (or will lose all of its strategic assets if it fails to do so), and al-Reuters makes it sound like we should stop fighting and wait for Hamas to come to terms?

Parts of the article aren't much better. The headline reflects the tone of the article. And that is precisely the problem. You would have no clue from reading the article that the reason that there is no cease fire is that the Hamas leadership in Gaza - safely ensconced in its bunker underneath Shifa Hospital in Gaza City - does not want one. They would rather fight to the last civilian. But don't expect Reuters to clue you in on that.

Shameful. Absolutely shameful.

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Israel's unwelcome visitors

US Secretary of State John FN Kerry and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon are in the area today. Anne Bayefsky explains why they're not welcome right now.
It is hard to imagine two more unwelcome, uninvited visitors to Israel in the middle of a war against Palestinian terrorists than UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and US Secretary of State John Kerry.  But even more unwelcome is that they are working together.

Their common cause is that although Israel has a right of self-defense in theory, Israel ought to be prevented from exercising this right in practice.


...


On July 16, 2014, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) issued a report stating: “the Israeli military delivered text messages to virtually all the residents of Ash Shuja’iyya and Az Zaitun neighborhoods in eastern Gaza city, approximately 100,000 people, warning them to leave their homes by 8 am today (16 July), ahead of attacks to be launched in the area.”  The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also made phone calls and distributed leaflets.

OCHA then describes what came next:  “Subsequently, the Palestinian Ministry of Interior in Gaza reportedly instructed the residents to…not flee the area.”  As a result, OCHA admits: “the vast majority decided to stay.”

This story tells us both that Israel adhered to the Geneva Convention demand of providing “effective advance warning” to civilians and that Hamas violated the rule forbidding parties to “direct the movement of …civilians in order to shield military objectives from attack.”


What was Hamas trying to protect when it used Palestinians as human shields in Shuja’iyya?

The IDF refers to Shuja’iyya as the Hamas’ “terror fortress” in the Gaza Strip. The IDF has found more than ten openings to tunnels in Shuja’iyya and since July 8, Hamas has fired over 140 rockets at Israel from this neighborhood alone. As IDF Chief of General Staff Benny Gantz put it: “Hamas has built a war machine in residential areas.”

This is another violation of the laws of armed conflict. By deliberately locating its terrorist infrastructure in the midst of Shuja’iyya’s civilian population, Hamas violates the prohibition on “locating legitimate military targets within or near densely populated areas."

Following the warnings, the IDF went into the Shuja’iyya neighborhood – and is still there – for the purpose of destroying the tunnels that have been designed and used to attack Israeli civilians.  This is Hamas’ most basic war crime of all. In the words of the Geneva Conventions, civilians “shall not be the object of attack.”

...

What is clear is the outrageous reaction of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.  On July 20, 2014 he said: “dozens more civilians, including children, have been killed in Israeli military strikes in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood in Gaza. I condemn this atrocious action. Israel must exercise maximum restraint and do far more to protect civilians.”

Ban Ki-moon said nothing about Hamas having failed to protect Palestinian civilians.  He said nothing about Hamas having put Palestinian civilians directly in harm’s way.  In fact he said nothing about any “atrocious action” by Hamas.  He also made no demand that Hamas “restrain” itself from fulfilling its stated goal, namely, that “Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it.”

For the UN, no move that Israel makes short of surrender to the Palestinian mob, will ever be sufficient.

When Palestinian civilians did heed Israel’s warnings and did not die, on July 16, 2014 OCHA complained “the relocation experience has been…traumatic…Women have reported stress due to their inability to maintain…modesty norms…[in] overcrowded spaces...”

Five million Israelis have just seconds to run for a bomb shelter and save their lives. Older people have died from heart failure when the sirens go off. Small children flee rockets raining down on their kindergartens and spend hours trapped between four walls day after day. Let alone the parents and brothers and sisters of the 50,000 plus heroic young men and women on the front lines who spend every waking minute dreading a phone call, haunted by the prospect of kidnapping by very real monsters.

The truth is the UN doesn’t give a damn about the suffering of Israelis.

...
When Ban Ki-moon comes knocking, therefore, his bona fides are non-existent. So why is Secretary Kerry by his side?
Read the whole thing.

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Michael Oren on Hamas' media strategy

Michael Oren explains how causing civilian casualties gains media attention and international sympathy for Hamas.
And the reason is simple: More than a military strategy, Hamas has a media strategy. Calculatingly, Hamas employs primitive military tactics to mount a sophisticated media campaign that can threaten Israel's basic security. And in conducting that offensive, Hamas can count on one of the world's most powerful weapons: the international media.
Hamas fires hundreds of rockets at Israeli cities and towns and tries to attack Israeli farms via the sea and through tunnels. Thanks to Israeli technology and vigilance, few of these actions have inflicted extensive damage. Still, they disrupt Israeli life, impair the economy, and leave cumulative psychological scars.
As a sovereign nation, Israel must respond robustly to such attacks. And as a state committed to Jewish and democratic values, Israel provides water, humanitarian aid, and electricity to the residents of Gaza even as their government murders Israelis.
Throughout, Israel strives tirelessly to minimize Palestinian civilian casualties. Yet in spite of the hundreds of thousands of leaflets Israel dropped, the countless text messages and personal phone calls it made warning Palestinian civilians to leave targeted areas, tragedies still occur. Israel deeply regrets these losses and continuously hones its operations to make them more surgical still.
In a war with Hamas, though, Israel's strength and morality can become vulnerability and guilt. By investing nothing in air raid sirens and bomb shelters, by hiding deep beneath neighborhoods and shooting near hospitals and mosques, Hamas ensures that Israel will invariably wound and kill civilians.
Hamas gunmen carry out attacks disguised as women and old men, fight from UN and Red Cross vehicles, store rockets in schools, and physically prevent Palestinian civilians from fleeing combat zones. This context, though, is rarely mentioned by the media when covering the civilian cost of the fighting.
...
Unwittingly or not, the international media is complicit in Hamas's plan. While some may think they help the Palestinians by highlighting their plight, in reality, the journalists only worsen it. They effectively absolve Hamas of culpability for using Gaza's population as a human shield, of stealing its aid money to buy munitions and dig fortified tunnels with the sole purpose of killing Israelis, and of contributing nothing to Gaza's welfare.
Read the whole thing.

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He's done apologizing for Israel



Rabbi Menachem Creditor of Berkeley, California explains why he's done apologizing for Israel to his liberal friends (Hat Tip: Mrs. Carl).
To those who suggest that Prime Minister Netanyahu is over-reacting to the missiles, I offer this response which I have now shared regularly at campus and communal conversations:
Israel is treating wounded Palestinians during this conflict, risking Israeli lives in surgical strikes to destroy weapons-smuggling tunnels created with building materials Israel allowed into Gaza for infrastructure projects to benefit Palestinian society. Just for a moment, consider the deaths that would result from Israel wishing harm on Palestinian civilians. In just the last 48 hours, Israel has allowed over 10 tons of goods into Gaza. During the past weeks, Israel has agreed to two humanitarian cease-fires. In the first hours of those ceasefires, Hamas rained down over 70 missiles onto Israel civilians.
I ask: What do Israel's enraged critics truly desire? How is it possible to hear indignant claims of human rights violations in the context of Syrians slaughtered by the hundreds of thousands, state-sanctioned terrorism around the globe, and young immigrants treated like chattel by the US and other? Israel is doing its best, sacrificing its own children to preserve the lives of Palestinians.
I also ask, regarding the world's seemingly acceptance of Hamas' tactics as the only remaining option left for a desperate leadership:
Were Hamas to truly lead its people forward to a life of stability and peace, wouldn't it use building materials for schools instead of smuggling tunnels? Wouldn't Hamas stop stockpiling weapons in mosques and transporting them in UN ambulances? Wouldn't Hamas stop firing missiles from civilian population centers if it valued Palestinian lives as much as Israel does? If Israel weren't so concerned for Palestinian lives, wouldn't it respond to Hamas' horrific decisions in kind?
I ask the enraged critics of Israel's defensive responses to Hamas: Would you have us not respond to this monstrosity? Do you think it's not worth losing the PR battle to retain our humanity and save as many lives as possible? What country would stand by when thousands of terrorist missiles assault its citizens? I, a Jew, have lost 20 of my sons in the last three days, because I will not lose my humanity and stage a careless ground war in Gaza that would cause mass casualties. Though I fight monsters, I will not become one.
My response has changed these last few weeks, in which three Jewish teens were murdered by Arab terrorists and Palestinians celebrated by distributing sweets to children and an Arab teen was murdered by Jewish terrorists and the Jewish world condemned the hatred. I am done trying to apologetically explain Jewish morality. I am done apologizing for my own Jewish existence.
Some will call this needless hyperbole. But, having watched in this last week anti-Semitic "die-ins" in Boston, violent assaults against Jews in Los Angeles and Antwerp, and an almost pogrom at a synagogue in Paris, I'm done mincing my own words.
We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else.
No more apologies.
Spot. On. 

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Video: Terrorists using ambulance for travel

IDF forces recently identified two Palestinian terrorists using an ambulance to travel within Gaza. On a daily basis, Hamas uses ambulances, houses and other civilian infrastructure to protect its terrorists.

Let's go to the videotape.



Yes, that's a war crime.

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Sick: Hamas sets up fake Twitter account in Oron Shaul's name - UPDATED

Tweets mostly in Hebrew and Arabic.

Disgusting.

Facebook too


As Akiva Novick writes on Facebook, Hamas is trading bodies using Google Translate.

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IDF identifies soldier missing in Gaza as Oron Shaul

The IDF has named the soldier who is missing from Sunday's APC incident in Shejaiya. He is Oron Shaul, the soldier whom Hamas claims to have. The IDF does not know if he is alive or dead. The Facebook page to which I linked on Monday morning has been taken down. The other six soldiers in the APC were all found dead. This is from the first link.
An IDF soldier who was in an infantry APC targeted in a Hamas attack in Gaza on Sunday is missing, the army said Tuesday.
Six bodies of soldiers  who were on board the ACP when it was hit were identified, the army said, but a seventh soldier who was also on board remains unaccounted for. His fate remains unknown, and the IDF is working intensively to find answers. 
The announcement came after Hamas claimed to have kidnapped an Israeli soldier on Sunday, not clarifying if he was alive or dead.
I'm going to share with you a couple of the images I found while searching for the one above.


I'm going to tell you flat out that I believe that the soldier is dead and that Hamas is holding a body. The body is probably being hidden somewhere in Shifa Hospital in Gaza City. I'm sick over this. I'm even sicker over it because of this sentence that appeared in the Times of London on Monday (sorry - I don't have a link. I received it by email), which has also appeared in Israeli media, but will likely not be addressed until the current war is over.
"However, in a development that may lead to criticism of Israel’s political elite, it emerged that seven of the soldiers were in an ageing 1960s’ armoured personnel carrier when they were killed by a rocket-propelled grenade. All were from the elite Golani Brigade."
Oron Shaul was one of those seven soldiers. 

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US intelligence: Hamas has many more tunnels than Israel has destroyed

According to US intelligence assessments, Hamas has many more tunnels - possibly as many as 60 - between Gaza and Israel than the IDF has destroyed.
Steven Emerson, founder and executive director of the Washington-based Investigative Project on Terrorism, told the Post in an exclusive interview on Sunday that US intelligence officials believe that Israel is underestimating the number of tunnels.

He said that according to a senior National Security Council official dealing with the Middle East, American satellites – equipped with special high resolution infrared detection technology – have preliminary findings of around 60 tunnels on the Israel-Gaza border.

This number could actually be higher though because it does not include overhead satellite coverage of ground structures that are several stories in height and are impervious to infrared detection, Emerson said.
This information seems to contradict Israeli estimates of remaining tunnels, Emerson said.

The IDF told the Post on Monday that up until now 45 tunnels have been discovered, but when asked how many it estimated remain, it said that no information was available.

Emerson said that the advanced American satellite, which was originally developed to deal with the Iranian theater, had been directed to orbit over Israel and send the data to specialized reconnaissance agencies operating under the aegis of  the National Security Agency (NSA) for analysis.

The infrared heat-seeking technology works by detecting changes in terrain density and the preliminary findings show that the tunnels are 1.5 m. by 1.2 m. and at least 46 m. in length.

Emerson said that he is unaware if Israel requested such intelligence from the Americans or if it has yet been shared between the two nations – though he presumes that if it hadn’t it will be.

...

Steven Emerson, founder and executive director of the Washington-based Investigative Project on Terrorism, told the Post in an exclusive interview on Sunday that US intelligence officials believe that Israel is underestimating the number of tunnels.

He said that according to a senior National Security Council official dealing with the Middle East, American satellites – equipped with special high resolution infrared detection technology – have preliminary findings of around 60 tunnels on the Israel-Gaza border.

This number could actually be higher though because it does not include overhead satellite coverage of ground structures that are several stories in height and are impervious to infrared detection, Emerson said.
This information seems to contradict Israeli estimates of remaining tunnels, Emerson said.

The IDF told the Post on Monday that up until now 45 tunnels have been discovered, but when asked how many it estimated remain, it said that no information was available.

Emerson said that the advanced American satellite, which was originally developed to deal with the Iranian theater, had been directed to orbit over Israel and send the data to specialized reconnaissance agencies operating under the aegis of  the National Security Agency (NSA) for analysis.

The infrared heat-seeking technology works by detecting changes in terrain density and the preliminary findings show that the tunnels are 1.5 m. by 1.2 m. and at least 46 m. in length.

Emerson said that he is unaware if Israel requested such intelligence from the Americans or if it has yet been shared between the two nations – though he presumes that if it hadn’t it will be.

...
Emerson said that Hamas has learned from Hezbollah how to improve its use of tunnels. He also said that Hamas terrorists are probably not using any communication devices while inside the tunnels, making it harder to detect them.

In addition, the tunnels are quite sophisticated, with water, sewage, and lighting allowing for month longs stays.

Regarding Israel’s efforts at using conventional forces, such as tanks and troop carriers, Emerson said that these are easier targets for Hamas since they can gather intelligence on them from close up.

Hamas has been very good at adapting and Israelis “need to think outside the box as they traditionally have and use their ability to think two steps ahead of their enemies,” Emerson said.
Unfortunately, it seems that we really need this war to go on for a while.

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Oh no.... IDF soldier missing in Gaza

You might recall that after Sunday's battle in Shejaiya, Hamas claimed to have kidnapped an IDF soldier, and that Israel's UN ambassador, Ron Prossor, denied that was the case. The IDF, however, said nothing. Now, the IDF is saying that there is a soldier missing - albeit not the one Hamas claimed to have kidnapped - and they don't know whether that soldier is dead or alive.
An IDF soldier who was involved in a Hamas attack on Israeli soldiers on the Gaza border on Sunday is missing, the army said Tuesday.
The IDF on Tuesday said that it had identified six of seven bodies of IDF soldiers killed in Sunday's attack on an armored personnel carrier (APC) on the Gaza border.
The announcement came after Hamas claimed to have kidnapped an Israeli soldier on Sunday, not clarifying if he was alive or dead.
Abu Ubaida, the spokesman of the Hamas's armed wing, said the soldier was seized in heavy fighting on the Gaza border. He displayed a photo ID and army serial number of the man, but showed no image of him in their hands.
...
The IDF had previously announced on Sunday that the seven soldiers aboard the APC were killed in the incident, but their names had not been released due to problems identifying them. The families of the soldiers, however, were notified that their loved ones had been killed in the incident.
The IDF on Tuesday released the names of the six soldiers who have been identified as Sgt. Max Steinberg, aged 24, from Beersheba;  Stf.-Sgt. Shachar Tase, 20, from Pardesiya; Stf.-Sgt. Daniel Pomerantz, 20, Kfar Azar; Sgt. Shon Mondshine, 19, Tel Aviv; Sgt. Ben Itzhak Oanounou, 19, Ashdod; Stf.-Sgt. Oren Simcha Noah, 22, Hoshaya. All six soldiers were from the Golani Brigade and have been promoted posthumously.
Deja vu all over again.... 

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Oh my... Egypt refuses to add Hamas' 'ridiculous' conditions to cease fire arrangement

The number in the picture is surely incorrect by now but you get the idea.

With a 'humanitarian cease fire' rumored (unconfirmed) to be going into effect from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm today, Hamas is holding up a real ease fire by demands that are far beyond what's been reported in the media and that are so 'ridiculous' that Egypt refuses to put them in the agreement.
Hamas, which has rejected not one, but three separate ceasefire attempts, called on Israel over the past week to submit to a number of 'conditions' - or demands - in return for an end to the violence against Israelis. The calls were accompanied by threats against the Israeli people, made through a series of weakly-worded text messages
These 'conditions' include, among other things, greater access to international waters, reopening of border crossings, and relaxation of trade restrictions; release of terrorists who were re-arrested during and after Operation Brother's Keeper earlier this month; and the possibility of constructing an international airport from Gaza. Israel rejects these demands for their potential to re-arm Hamas and enable it to make stronger ties with its Iranian and Arabian contacts. 
According to Tuesday's report, Palestinian Authority (PA) "Intelligence Chief" General Majid Faraj and representatives of Egypt met late Monday night to discuss a possible deal.
Faraj, who attended the meeting in Qatar between the head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshaal and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, left hastily after the Cairo meeting. 
Sources close to the negotiations claimed to the Israeli daily that Hamas's demands are even more than what was leaked to the media last week, and are so pretentious that even Egypt has balked at adding them to terms of the deal. 
Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports continue to circulate Tuesday morning that yet another "humanitarian ceasefire" has been called for a five-hour period, between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. 
It should be noted that Israel has denied these rumors, and has not admitted to being in cease-fire talks with Hamas in any event. However, the existence of indirect contacts, through mediators, is undeniable.
This has been the Arabs' problem since the War of Independence. They have lost every war, and then they expect to be treated as if they were a victor making conditions of surrender. Yes, they've lost again. But we're happy to keep going until their entire terror infrastructure is destroyed and the Hamas leadership is killed. And no one can say that we kept the war going.

What could go wrong? 

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Obama: 'Mind if I play through'?

Hat Tip: Jack W.

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Cease fire talks going on, Kerry not invited

There are cease fire talks going in to try to bring the war between Israel and Hamas to an end, but US Secretary of State John FN Kerry - who is on his way - is not even invited. Former Israeli ambassador to the United States says that's because of the United States' tense relations with both Egypt (where the Obama administration backed the Muslim Brotherhood) and Israel.
In comments to Channel 2 on Monday afternoon, Oren cited the Obama administration’s strained relations with Egypt, and the “tension” in ties between the US and Israel. To Israel’s chagrin, he said, America has consequently not been able to play a more constructive role in this crisis, whereas previous administrations had been able to do so in past crises. He commented on the way the Administration handled the Arab spring, the blame it placed on Israel for the failure of the peace process, and the US’s strained ties with Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi.
Oren said Kerry and the Obama administration have close ties with Qatar and Turkey, “who are not on the best terms with Egypt right now.”
Oren emphasized that Kerry, who made things worse with a live-microphone slip Sunday criticizing the scope of Israel’s operation, was coming to the region even though that hot-mic incident showed he had “not been invited.”
“It’s a hell of a pinpoint operation, it’s a hell of a pinpoint operation,” Kerry told an aide over the phone on Sunday, seemingly criticizing the Israeli government’s pledge to limit the scope of its ground invasion, Politico reported. Kerry used the same word, “pinpoint,” that was employed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a Sunday interview with CNN.
Later in the phone call, Kerry added: “We’ve got to get over there…. I think John, we ought to go tonight. I think it’s crazy to be sitting around.”
It was plain from those remarks that Kerry decided on his own to come to the region, Oren said, rather than being invited to do so.
Oren’s comments followed remarks Sunday by Channel 2′s veteran Arab affairs analyst Ehud Ya’ari, who said that as far as Israel is concerned, the secretary of state’s ceasefire trip was premature “and bad for Israel,” and that he should have left it to the Egyptians to lead the ceasefire effort. Ya’ari said many people, “including senior American officials,” tried to convey this to Kerry.
This marks the continuing trend of the Obama administration “to give credit” to the Muslim Brotherhood, in this case Hamas, Ya’ari said, except that now it’s graver, because “we’re in a war.”
I guess the Obama administration has done one hell of a job of repairing the United States' relations with the Middle Eastern countries that George W. Bush had screwed up, haven't they?

The silver lining in the cloud as that at least the insufferable Martin Indyk has gone back to his think tank, and presumably won't be along on this trip. 

What could go wrong?

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And again: Terror attack in Samaria

There's been a terror attack at the Rechalim junction in Samaria. A 25-year old Israeli was shot by a passing car around sunrise, and has been taken to Beilinson Hospital in Petach Tikva in serious condition. More here.

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Report: Cease fire in Gaza on Tuesday

Reports on Arab television claim that Khaled Meshaal will sign a 'humanitarian' cease fire on Hamas' behalf in Cairo on Tuesday.
Mashaal held cease-fire discussions with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Qatar on Monday in the first meeting of its kind since the beginning of the current round of fighting.

During the meeting, Abbas emphasized the need for all parties to abide by the recent Egyptian cease-fire initiative, a Palestinian official accompanying the PA president said.

The official said that Abbas and Mashaal agreed to continue consultations in order to “stop the Israeli aggression” on the Gaza Strip.
There are two small problems with this report. One is that Meshaal is not in Gaza and does not control the Hamas terrorists in Gaza. Their leader - Ismail Haniyeh - would rather fight than quit.
In the Gaza Strip, former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said in a televised speech his movement has decided to “end the blockade with its blood and weapons and there would be no return back.”

Haniyeh said that Hamas’ conditions for a cease-fire include ending the blockade and Israeli “aggression” on the Gaza Strip and the release of former Palestinian prisoners who were rearrested by Israel in the past few weeks.
Haniyeh is also furious at the lack of support from the Arab world (well, duh - did you really expect the Arab world to support mass suicide with no gains in return?).
Haniyeh also denounced Arab “silence” toward the war in the Gaza Strip. “The silence of the Arab regimes has emboldened the enemy and given it a cover to perpetrate more crimes,” he charged.
There's a second problem with this report: No one seems to have asked Israel if we agree to this 'cease fire.' Do we?

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Monday, July 21, 2014

The New York Times on why no terrorist pictures in the New York Times

In an earlier post, I blogged an article by Noah Pollak on how the New York Times is playing by Hamas rules in this war - no pictures of terrorists and no pictures of weapons in civilian areas.

The Times has - unofficially - responded to Noah's accusations by two tweets from Anne Barnard. Barnard is the Times' Beirut bureau chief and is currently the Times' reporter who is embedded in Gaza.



Hmmm.




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Emergency Committee for Israel blasts Obama call for cease fire

President Obama appeared in the White House Rose Garden on Monday to call for a cease fire in Gaza.
US President Barack Obama said on Monday the world must focus on a cease-fire in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict to put an end to the rising number of civilian casualties.

The Palestinian death toll in an Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip rose above 500 on Monday. Hamas, which killed 13 Israeli soldiers in Gaza on Sunday in the biggest one-day toll in eight years, continued to fire rockets deep into Israel.

Obama repeated that Israel had the right to defend itself against onslaughts from Hamas militants but said he had serious concerns about the growing number of civilian deaths resulting from the conflict.

"As I've said many times, Israel has a right to defend itself against rocket and tunnel attacks from Hamas. And as a result of its operations, Israel has already done significant damage to Hamas's terrorist infrastructure in Gaza," Obama told reporters at the White House.

"I've also said, however, that we have serious concerns about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives, and that is why it now has to be our focus and the focus of the international community to bring about a cease-fire that ends the fighting and that can stop the deaths of innocent civilians," he said.
The Emergency Committee for Israel blasted Obama's call
Israel does not need a mediator. Israel needs an ally. Pressuring Israel to agree to a cease-fire that rescues Hamas from defeat and leaves it in possession of its missiles, tunnels, and terror infrastructure is foolish and wrong. If President Obama and Secretary Kerry want to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East, they should support Israel and its campaign to end the terror threat from Gaza.
That's been the problem since Day One of this administration. Obama does not see himself or the United States of America as Israel's ally. 

For those who have forgotten, as one of Obama's first acts even before becoming President, Obama forced Israel to stop Operation Cast Lead before his inauguration. After Operation Pillar of Defense, which was stopped before there was a ground invasion, Hamas started making threats before the ink on the cease fire was dry. There too, an inauguration was about six weeks away. Obama is about Obama - and nothing else. Counting the days until his term is over.

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