Archive for August 12, 2018

Between Ceasefire And War: Gaza On Knife’s Edge 

August 12, 2018

Source: Between Ceasefire And War: Gaza On Knife’s Edge – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

Israel and Hamas weigh their options after last week’s uptick in violence

 AUGUST 12, 2018 20:53
Between Ceasefire And War: Gaza On Knife's Edge

It is perhaps unique to this context that both sides of the current flare-up—the Israeli army and Hamas, the terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip—can simultaneously escalate their attacks on each other while negotiating a delicate ceasefire.

Such has been the case in recent days, leaving many on both sides wondering if the heavier blows exchanged are the final ones before a truce, or the opening salvos of a new war.

On Thursday, Israeli fighter jets flattened a five-story building west of Gaza City, injuring 18 people according to the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry. The army alleges that the building was used as a headquarters for Hamas’ internal security service. This, the army declared, was in response to a Hamas rocket attack on the southern Israeli city of Beersheba earlier in the day.

It was the first time since the 5-day conflict in 2014 that Beersheba, a major urban center about 25 miles from the enclave, was targeted by projectiles fired from Gaza.

Ronen Manelis, the Israeli military’s chief spokesman, said later Thursday that the bombing of the high-rise building in broad daylight was intended to send “a message to Hamas that as long as their choice of terror continues, the IDF’s [Israeli Defense Forces] responses will increase and become more powerful.”

Israeli authorities said that over 200 projectiles were launched at Israeli communities between Wednesday night and Thursday. Most of them hit open areas while the Iron Dome defense system destroyed about 25 rockets. Some projectiles, however, managed to penetrate defense systems and exploded in civilian areas, injuring several Israelis.

The rocket and mortar fire from Gaza then prompted waves of Israeli airstrikes and artillery bombardments against what the IDF described as military targets (about 150 in total) in the Strip. The Gaza Health Ministry reported that the Israeli strikes killed three and wounded six other Palestinians.

Meanwhile, incendiary kites and balloons from Gaza continued to scorch lands inside Israel. Thus far, over 7,000 acres of land have been burned, resulting in millions of dollars in damages, according to Israeli officials.

On Friday, around 9,000 Palestinian protesters gathered in five locations along Gaza’s border with Israel, with many throwing stones, makeshift bombs and Molotov cocktails at Israeli soldiers.

The Friday protests have been ongoing since March 30, when the first “March of Return” installment was held. The weekly demonstrations have resulted in over 100 Palestinian deaths by live Israeli fire. Many of those killed, the IDF alleges, were trying to breach the border fence.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said before the weekly government meeting that Israel is “in the midst of a campaign against the terror [Hamas] in Gaza.

“Our demand is clear—a total cease-fire,” Netanyahu continued. “So far, we have destroyed hundreds of Hamas military targets. With every round of attacks, the IDF exacts a heavy price from Hamas. I will not reveal our operational plans, but they are ready. Our goal is to restore peace to the residents of the south and the surrounding areas. This goal will be achieved in full.”

An Egyptian official claimed on Thursday night that a cease-fire deal had been reached between the two sides. A senior Israeli source, however, quickly denied the report.

Meanwhile, Egypt and the United Nations have continued their efforts to reach a truce deal that would include much-needed economic development in Gaza, while calling for reconciliation between Hamas and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ rival Fatah faction.

As hostilities spiked last week, senior Israeli officials have said more troops are being deployed to the southern front, adding that the government could start evacuating communities near the enclave in preparation for a military operation. But for now, they stated, “quiet will be met by quiet.”

Dr. Eran Lerman, Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies, told The Media Line that another war is not in the interest of either side.

He explained that if Israel seizes on a war to eradicate Hamas, an option often raised by high-ranking Israeli officials, the unknowns outweigh the perceived benefits.

“How long this could last and who could take over after Hamas—the list of volunteers is woefully short—is all unclear. If Israel doesn’t win, it then risks returning to an inconclusive cycle. What would be the point? Meanwhile, Israel would pay for it by suffering a major economic disruption.

“I’ve been thinking of Palestinian behavior in the Gaza Strip as parents sending their children into the cage to prod the lion to see what happens,” he elaborated. “That is the level of irrationality—of trying to see at what point the Israelis will finally get angry and hit the Palestinians so hard that they will finally learn a lesson.”

Maurice Hirsch, a former IDF prosecutor, explained to The Media Line that it is not in Israel’s interests to start a war, but to defend itself.

“[The army] should deliver a clear message that firing missiles constantly into Israel will not be tolerated,” he said. “The general idea of getting rid of a terrorist organization that is running Gaza and embittering the lives of the population is positive. Another question is if this option is a plausible goal or not.”

He explained that much of what started the latest round of violence is unconnected to Israel. It includes the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to subjugate Hamas by cutting or limiting electricity in Gaza, as well as withholding salaries to Gaza-based PA employees.

“Therefore, any ceasefire that could be reached would end up being broken by Hamas leaders anytime they feel that PA President Abbas is not playing to their tune. What long-term goal would this achieve for Israel? In two-months, we could find our civilians again under a barrage of 150-200 missiles in a night. I think this is something that the Israeli government shouldn’t be willing to tolerate.

“When we see Hamas leading demonstrations on the border since March, completely disregarding its civilian population, deciding to fire rockets whenever it pleases—and often basing decisions on its internal politics—this suggests that a ceasefire with Hamas would be futile,” Hirsch concluded.

“A light unto the nations”Jewish ingenuity leading the way

August 12, 2018

Yet another, in the long line of books on Jewish contributions to the world.

“Israeli Innovation” covers Israeli inventions ranging from digital printing, the USB flash drive, drip irrigation and the Iron Dome defense system • Minister: Israel is a fountain of creativity and innovation and an inspiration to the entire world.

Israeli Innovation Authority

From cherry tomatoes to the Arrow ballistic missile defense system, a new book on Israeli innovation allows readers to discover notable Israeli inventions that have had a global impact.

Among the inventions included in “Israeli Innovation,” a book by the Israeli Innovation Authority, are the Iron Dome rocket defense system, the USB flash drive, innovative water desalination technologies, cherry tomatoes, the Arrow ballistic missile defense system, multiple sclerosis medicine Copaxone, the balloon expandable stent, drip irrigation and digital printing, to name a few.

“Thanks to the recognition of the importance of research, development and mainly human capital, we have become a fountain of creativity and innovation and a technological greenhouse that is an inspiration to the entire world and a source of national pride,” said Economy Minister Eli Cohen, whose office oversees the IIA.

“Since its inception, Israel has recognized the importance of research, development and innovation to its existence and the prosperity of the state. Today, too, Israel is first in the world in investment in these fields,” he said.

According to Israeli Innovation Authority Director Aharon Aharon, “Israel is known around the world as the ‘startup nation,’ a nation in which innovation, entrepreneurship and breakthrough technologies bring prosperity and economic growth. Many tourists come to Israel to see the past; investors come to Israel to see the future. Thanks to the entrepreneurs and inventors behind these products, we are known as the ‘innovation nation.'”

“Israeli Innovation” comes in both bilingual Hebrew-English and Chinese editions. A printable edition of the book is now available to the general public on the Israel Innovation Authority’s website.

Aussies strip citizenship from 5 wannabe martyrs

August 12, 2018

Meet your maker, inshallah.


Australia has stripped five Syria-based dual nationals of their citizenship due to their involvement with the Islamic State terrorist group, a government minister said Thursday.

A total of six people have now lost their Australian citizenship since the law was changed in 2015 to enable dual nationals to lose their citizenship rights for actions contrary to their allegiance to Australia, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said.

They join notorious Daesh fighter Khaled Sharrouf (pictured) — who made headlines when he posted a Twitter image of his young son holding a severed head — as the only nationals to be kicked out under tougher anti-terror laws.

[And here is the charming son, holding the pixelated head:

Image result for khaled sharrouf child head

“I can confirm that five more individuals have ceased to be Australian citizens because of their involvement with Daesh offshore,” Mr. Dutton said in a statement.

“Fundamentally, citizenship requires allegiance to this country… these five dual-nationals have been acting against Australia’s interests by engaging with terrorism and have effectively chosen to leave the Australian community.”

The five are all aged in their 20s and 30s. Mr. Dutton provided no further details on their identities but welcomed their exclusion, saying “Australia is a safer place for not having them return.”

Sharrouf, the first Australian national stripped of his passport for Daesh links, was also a Lebanese citizen. He left Australia for Syria in 2013 with his family.

His Australian wife Tara Nettleton, who went with him, has since died and Sharrouf was believed to have been killed in a drone strike in Iraq in 2015.

Under section 35 of the Australian Citizenship Act, a dual national’s Australian citizenship automatically ceases if they act contrary to their allegiance to Australia by engaging in terrorism-related conduct.

This includes those who fight for or who are in the service of a declared terrorist organization overseas. The Islamic State group was declared a terrorist organization for these purposes since May 2016.

Want a luxury holiday? Go to Gaza!

August 12, 2018

Looks nice to me… but maybe no alcohol…


















Next Israel-Gaza conflict is ‘just a matter of ‎time,’ ministers surmise 

August 12, 2018

Source: Next Israel-Gaza conflict is ‘just a matter of ‎time,’ ministers surmise – Israel Hayom

Israel is not looking for war, but Gaza tensions ‎make it highly likely

August 12, 2018

Source: Israel is not looking for war, but Gaza tensions ‎make it highly likely ‎ – Israel Hayom

U.S. ambassador urges Britain to ditch support for Iran nuclear deal

August 12, 2018

Source: U.S. ambassador urges Britain to ditch support for Iran nuclear deal – Middle East – Jerusalem Post

Britain, France and Germany have sought to keep the deal alive after the United States exited the 2015 accord.

 AUGUST 12, 2018 12:31
U.S. ambassador urges Britain to ditch support for Iran nuclear deal

LONDON, Aug 12 (Reuters) – The United States urged Britain on Sunday to ditch its support for a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran and instead join forces with Washington to counter the global threat it says Tehran poses.

Despite opposition from European allies, US President Trump in May pulled the United States out of a deal between world powers and Tehran under which international sanctions were lifted in return for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program.

Since then, Britain, France and Germany have sought to keep the deal alive, while Trump has prepared new sanctions, saying a broader and more balanced deal is needed. Iran has denounced the sanctions as “US unilateralism”.

US Ambassador to Britain Woody Johnson criticized Tehran for funding “proxy wars and malign activities” instead of investing in its economy. He said Iran needed to make tangible and sustained changes to behave like a normal country.

“Until then, America is turning up the pressure and we want the UK by our side,” Johnson wrote in the Sunday Telegraph newspaper.

“It is time to move on from the flawed 2015 deal. We are asking global Britain to use its considerable diplomatic power and influence and join us as we lead a concerted global effort towards a genuinely comprehensive agreement.”

Asked about Johnson’s article, the British foreign office pointed to comments from Middle East minister Alistair Burt, who last week ruled out Britain going along with the United States.

Burt said the deal was an important part of regional security and that, with the European Union, the government was trying to protect British companies from the US sanctions when dealing with Iran. Britain remained open to talks with the United States on how to address concerns about Iran.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said last week that Trump’s repudiation of the nuclear deal was illegal and Iran would not yield to Washington’s renewed campaign to strangle Iran’s vital oil exports.

But protests have broken out in Iran as its currency has collapsed in value and inflation has soared. The protests have often begun with slogans against the high cost of living and alleged financial corruption, but quickly turned into anti-government rallies. (Reporting by William James; Editing by Mark Potter)ll be back.