Archive for November 13, 2019

The Islamic Jihad Explained 

November 13, 2019

 

 

Trump says he worries about Israel as missiles fly, jokes at political deadlock | 

November 13, 2019

Source: Trump says he worries about Israel as missiles fly, jokes at political deadlock | The Times of Israel

At Orthodox Jewish event, president boasts of ‘98%’ approval rating in Israel, quips he could move there and soon become PM: ‘They keep having elections and nobody is elected’

US resident Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he leaves the White House in Washington for a trip to New York City, November 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

US resident Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he leaves the White House in Washington for a trip to New York City, November 2, 2019. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he was watching missiles fly into Israel with concern, and also joked at Israel’s political system. Speaking at a Jewish event, he quipped that if impeached he could move to Israel and quickly become prime minister.

“What kind of a system is it over there, right, with Bibi and…? They are all fighting and fighting,” Trump said, addressing an event hosted by the Orthodox organization America First in New York City.

“We have different kinds of fights. At least we know who the boss is. They keep having elections and nobody is elected,” he quipped, eliciting laughter.

Israel is currently in a political deadlock after an unprecedented second election within a few months, with neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his rival Benny Gantz having a clear path to a governing coalition. There is a looming possibility of the country going to the polls soon for the third time in a year.

The crowd welcomed Trump like a king — literally. In presenting Trump, the host, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Jacobson, recited a traditional blessing said when meeting a king or a state leader.

Yashar Ali 🐘

@yashar

I’m not sure if he’s mentioned making calls to other leaders in the Middle East after changing the location of the US Embassy to Jerusalem. WH reporters would know.

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“We work hard on Israel, I think I have an approval rating of about 98 percent [there],” Trump said.

“If anything happens here” — a likely reference to efforts in the US Congress to impeach him — “I’m making a trip over to Israel and I’d be prime minister there very soon,” he continued, receiving more applause.

Trump also addressed the escalation of hostilities between Israel and terror groups in the Gaza Strip, which saw hundreds of rockets launched at Israeli cities on Tuesday.

“We’re all watching very closely… a lot of missiles going in and going out,” he said. “It’s a very bad day. And it’s very scary. We’re watching it very closely.” He said he woke up to see TV footage of the missiles flying. “We have to take care of Israel,” he said.

Trump also spent several minutes talking about his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“I gave you, in Jerusalem, the embassy. That was a big deal,” Trump said, before describing how he ignored numerous calls by officials and world leaders not to take that step.

Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, posted a tweet Tuesday supporting Israel in light of the Gaza fighting.

“The United States condemns the barrage of rockets on Israeli civilians,” he wrote. “It’s clear Hamas & Palestinian Islamic Jihad put violence ahead of bettering the lives of the people of Gaza. America strongly affirms Israel’s right to defend itself.”

 

Israel-Gaza Escalation After IDF Targeted Killings

November 13, 2019

 

Israel Under Fire – 36 Hours Later 

November 13, 2019

 

 

Hamas official said to warn that group will join fighting if IDF strikes persist 

November 13, 2019

Source: Hamas official said to warn that group will join fighting if IDF strikes persist | The Times of Israel

While terror group’s spokesman asserts it is working alongside Islamic Jihad and others, it’s widely reported that Gaza ruling organization has avoided firing at Israel

Palestinians gather around the remains of a house that the IDF says was used as a weapons cache controlled by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip November 13, 2019. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

Palestinians gather around the remains of a house that the IDF says was used as a weapons cache controlled by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which was destroyed in an Israeli airstrike in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip November 13, 2019. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

The Times of Israel is liveblogging the events of Wednesday, November 13, a day after Israel was hit by 200 rockets following the killing of Islamic Jihad terror chief Baha Abu al-Ata in Gaza.

Rocket sirens wail in Kibbutz Sa’ad east of Gaza Strip

Rocket sirens sound in the Israeli community of Sa’ad, east of the Gaza Strip.

There are no immediate reports of injuries or damage.

Hamas official tells Fox news group will join fighting if IDF strikes continue, contradicting spokesman

Fox News quotes a Hamas official who says, “If [Israeli] airstrikes and aggression continue, Hamas and the resistance groups will have to morally respond to and protect the Palestinian people.”

The comments contradict the remarks by the terror group’s spokesman who said Hamas is already involved in the fighting.

It has been widely reported that Hamas has not been directly involved in firing rockets at Israel during the latest round of violence.

 

Mortar shell from Gaza strikes empty greenhouse in Eshkol region

A mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip strikes an empty greenhouse in the Eshkol region of southern Israel, causing damage but no injuries, an Eshkol spokesperson says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Palestinian death toll rises to 23

The bodies of two Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in the southern Gaza Strip arrived at a hospital in Khan Younis, the Hamas-run Health Ministry says.

A total of 23 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have been killed since early Tuesday morning, according to the ministry.

At least 12 of the 23 killed were members of terror groups.

The IDF earlier said it had taken out two Islamic Jihad members who were preparing to fire rockets at Israel.

— Adam Rasgon

Gaza rocket hits water pipe in Eshkol region, causing large leak

A rocket fired from the Gaza Strip strikes a water pipe in the Eshkol region of southern Israel, causing a large leak.

“It is being handled by [the national water company] Mekorot,” an Eshkol regional spokesperson says.

Judah Ari Gross

@JudahAriGross

A rocket from Gaza struck a water pipe in the Eshkol region of southern Israel, causing a large leak.

“It is being handled by [the national water company] Mekorot,” an Eshkol regional spokesperson says.

📷: Gadash Halutz/Eshkol

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See Judah Ari Gross’s other Tweets

— Judah Ari Gross

IDF aircraft takes out Islamic Jihad fighters preparing to launch rockets at Israel

An IDF aircraft bombs a group of Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives as they were preparing to fire rockets at Israel from the southern Gaza Strip, the military says.

“A hit was confirmed,” the IDF says.

— Judah Ari Gross

Rejecting reports to contrary, Hamas spokesman says its members fighting alongside Islamic Jihad

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum says that the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’s military wing, is fighting alongside the Al-Quds Brigades, Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s armed wing.

“We say to the occupation: You cannot single out Islamic Jihad, and the Qassam Brigades and the Al-Quds Brigades are [standing] side by side in the fighting,” Barhoum tells the Hamas-linked Shehab.

Both Hebrew and Arabic media have widely reported that Hamas has not joined the fighting against Israel.

— with Adam Rasgon

Pro-Hezbollah channel to air interview of Islamic Jihad head this evening

The pro-Hezbollah Al-Mayadeen TV station says it will air an interview with Islamic Jihad Secretary-General Ziad al-Nakhala at 10 p.m.

 

Islamic Jihad says not ready for ceasefire; PM: We will do what’s needed 

November 13, 2019

Source: Islamic Jihad says not ready for ceasefire; PM: We will do what’s needed – Arab-Israeli Conflict – Jerusalem Post

“We will not tolerate attacks on our citizens,” Netanyahu said. “In the last year, we accumulated a mass of these attacks.”

BY LAHAV HARKOV
 NOVEMBER 13, 2019 12:43
IDF tanks along the Gaza border

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to continue targeting Palestinian Islamic Jihad on Wednesday as the terrorist group announced that it was far from ready to engage in ceasefire talks.
“We are not talking of mediation, it’s not appropriate to talk about it,” A spokesperson for Palestinian Islamic Jihad said. “When we complete our response that we want to send, it will be possible to talk about calming things down.”
Over 220 rockets have been fired at Israel by PIJ militants in the Gaza Strip in response to Israel’s targeted killing of Islamic Jihad leader, Bahaa Abu al-Ata. Earlier in the day, there were reports in the Arab press that Israel had conveyed a message via the United Nations to Islamic Jihad that it was prepared to assassinate its leaders in Syria if the rocket fire did not immediately cease.
During an address at the Knesset, Netanyahu argued with Arab MKs from the Joint List, who accused him of war crimes.
“We will not tolerate attacks on our citizens,” Netanyahu said. “In the last year, we accumulated a mass of these attacks.”
Al-Ata “was ready to carry out more and more terrorists attacks, including in these days. We thwarted him when we were not heading for an escalation, but we will do all that we need to defend our citizens,” the prime minister added.

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday said that any terrorist who plans to attack Israel during the day will not survive the night.

 

Jihad rocket fire moves east to Ramle, Modiin districts after 7-hour pause – DEBKAfile

November 13, 2019

Source: Jihad rocket fire moves east to Ramle, Modiin districts after 7-hour pause – DEBKAfile

After a 7-hour overnight pause, the Islamic Jihad resumed its rocket attacks early Wednesday, Nov. 12, swinging around from its usual boundaries to target the Shefela regions of eastern Israel.

The first rockets were aimed at locations close to the Gaza Strip and Ashkelon, but after 8 a.m.broadened out to Beit Shemesh in the Jerusalem Hills, the Mat Yehuda Council,  Kibbutz Hulda near the old highway to Jerusalem, and locations east of the town of Ramle: Mishmar David, Mishmar Ayalon, Kfar Bin-Nun and Karmei Yosef. Alert sirens were also heard in the Mate Binyamin Council northeast of the town of Modiin.  No casualties were reported.

On Tuesday, Tel Aviv and parts of central Israel, which took rocket fire, were placed on an emergency footing by extending the order to close schools and places of work from the 40km radius covering locations adjoining the Gaza Strip to 80km.  This extension was lifted overnight.

On Wednesday morning, the Israel Air Force kept up its steady assaults on Jihad positions and rocket stores, with the focus on picking off rocket launch teams. The IDF is not going over the top so as not to rouse Hamas out of its current posture of non-intervention coupled with non-restraint for Jihad’s rocket fire.

Of all the armed proxies run by the Al Qods Brigades of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad is the midget – no more than 7,000 to 10,000 men under arms and only about 5,000 combatants for a potential war against Israel. For comparison, the leading pro-Iranian Iraqi Shiite militias can muster an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 each. Hamas too has built a paramilitary force of 25,000 trained fighters.

Jihad commands an arsenal of around 10,000 rockets, around one-tenth of that amassed by Hamas, but still enough to immobilize large areas of Israel for days on end, especially as proved on Tuesday, when accompanied by constant threats of more punishment to come. This feat alone afforded a small Palestinian terrorist group a kind of success.

The IDF in its first briefing early Wednesday estimated that the Islamic Jihad has not done with reprisals for the death of a senior commander Baha Abu Al-Atta by Israeli forces 24 hours earlier. The emergency therefore remains in place, although the closures initially ordered by the IDF Home Command on schools, places of work and services in central Israel – which holds 40pc of the population – were lifted. They appeared at the time to be disproportionate after only two rockets of the 250 fired that day were aimed – and intercepted – at Tel Aviv and smacked rather of a full war emergency.

However, only 12 hours earlier, two Jihad commanders run by the Iranian Al Qods Brigades were targeted, one in Gaza and the other in Damascus. Israel appeared to be getting set for a possible decision by Tehran to widen the scenario of retaliation from Gaza to several more fronts. This potential danger has not been dismissed.