Posted tagged ‘Operation Protective Edge’

The Lessons of the Hamas War

March 3, 2017

The Lessons of the Hamas War, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, March 3, 2017

hamas-3

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Sunni regimes, led by Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Saudi regime and the United Arab Emirates, were shocked to discover that the Obama administration was siding with their enemies against them.

If Israel went into the war against Hamas thinking that the Obama administration would treat it differently than it treated the Sunni regimes, it quickly discovered that it was mistaken. From the outset of the battle between Hamas and Israel, the Obama administration supported Hamas against Israel.

America’s support for Hamas was expressed at the earliest stages of the war when then-secretary of state John Kerry demanded that Israel accept an immediate cease-fire based entirely on Hamas’s terms. This demand, in various forms, remained the administration’s position throughout the 50-day war.

Netanyahu asked Sisi for help in blunting the American campaign for Hamas. Sisi was quick to agree and brought the Saudis and the UAE into an all-but-declared operational alliance with Israel against Hamas.

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The State Comptroller’s Report on Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s war with Hamas in the summer of 2014, is exceedingly detailed. The problem is that it addresses the wrong details.

Israel’s problem with Hamas wasn’t its tactics for destroying Hamas’s attack tunnels. Israel faced two challenges in its war with Hamas that summer. The first had to do with the regional and global context of the war. The second had to do with its understanding of its enemy on the ground.

War between Hamas and Israel took place as the Sunni Arab world was steeped a two-pronged existential struggle. On the one hand, Sunni regimes fought jihadist groups that emerged from the Muslim Brotherhood movement. On the other, they fought against Iran and its proxies in a bid to block Iran’s moves toward regional hegemony.

On both fronts, the Sunni regimes, led by Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, the Saudi regime and the United Arab Emirates, were shocked to discover that the Obama administration was siding with their enemies against them.

If Israel went into the war against Hamas thinking that the Obama administration would treat it differently than it treated the Sunni regimes, it quickly discovered that it was mistaken. From the outset of the battle between Hamas and Israel, the Obama administration supported Hamas against Israel.

America’s support for Hamas was expressed at the earliest stages of the war when then-secretary of state John Kerry demanded that Israel accept an immediate cease-fire based entirely on Hamas’s terms. This demand, in various forms, remained the administration’s position throughout the 50-day war.

Hamas’s terms were impossible for Israel. They included opening the jihadist regime’s land borders with Israel and Egypt, and providing it with open access to the sea. Hamas demanded to be reconnected to the international banking system in order to enable funds to enter Gaza freely from any spot on the globe. Hamas also demanded that Israel release its terrorists from its prisons.

If Israel had accepted any of Hamas’s cease-fire terms, its agreement would have constituted a strategic defeat for Israel and a historic victory for Hamas.

Open borders for Hamas means the free flow of armaments, recruits, trainers and money to Gaza. Were Hamas to be connected to the international banking system, the jihadist regime would have become the banking center of the global jihad.

The Obama administration’s support for Hamas was not passive.

Obama and Kerry threatened to join the Europeans in condemning Israel at the UN. Administration officials continuously railed against IDF operations in Gaza, insinuating that Israel was committing war crimes by insisting that Israel wasn’t doing enough to avoid civilian casualties.

As the war progressed, the administration’s actions against Israel became more aggressive. Washington placed a partial embargo on weapons shipments to Israel.

Then on July 23, 2014, the administration took the almost inconceivable step of having the Federal Aviation Administration ban flights of US carriers to Ben-Gurion Airport for 36 hours. The flight ban was instituted after a Hamas missile fell a mile from the airport.

The FAA did not ban flights to Pakistan or Afghanistan after jihadists on the ground successfully bombed airplanes out of the sky.

It took Sen. Ted Cruz’s threat to place a hold on all State Department appointments, and Canada’s Conservative Party government’s behind-the-scenes diplomatic revolt to get the flight ban rescinded.

The government and the IDF were shocked by the ferocity of the administration’s hostility. But to his great credit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surmounted it.

Netanyahu realized that Hamas is part of the Muslim Brotherhood nexus of jihad and also supported by Iran. As a result the Egyptians, Saudis and UAE rightly view it as a major enemy. Indeed, Egypt was in a state of war with Hamas in 2014. Gaza serves as the logistical base of the Salafist forces warring against the Egyptian military.

Netanyahu asked Sisi for help in blunting the American campaign for Hamas. Sisi was quick to agree and brought the Saudis and the UAE into an all-but-declared operational alliance with Israel against Hamas.

Since the Egyptians were hosting the cease-fire talks, Egypt was well-positioned to blunt Obama’s demand that Israel accept Hamas’s cease-fire terms.

In a bid to undermine Egypt, Obama and Kerry colluded with Hamas’s state sponsors Turkey and Qatar to push Sisi out of the cease-fire discussions. But due to Saudi and UAE support for Sisi and Israel, the administration’s attempts to sideline the Egyptians failed.

The cease-fire terms that were adopted at the end of the war contained none of Hamas’s demands. Israel had won the diplomatic war.

It was a strange victory, however. Netanyahu was never able to let the public know what was happening.

Had he informed the public, the knowledge that the US was backing Hamas would have caused mass demoralization and panic. So Netanyahu had to fight the diplomatic fight of his life secretly.

The war on the ground was greatly influenced by the diplomatic war. But the war on the ground was first and foremost a product of the nature of Hamas and of the nature of Hamas’s relationship with the PLO.

Unfortunately, the Comptroller’s Report indicates that the IDF didn’t understand either. According to the report, in the weeks before the war began, the then-coordinator of government activities in the territories, Maj.-Gen. (res.) Eitan Dangot, told the security cabinet that the humanitarian situation in Gaza was at a crisis point and that hostilities were likely to break out if Israel didn’t allow humanitarian aid into the Strip.

On Wednesday we learned that Dangot’s view continues to prevail in the army. The IDF’s intelligence chief, Maj.-Gen. Herzi Halevi, told the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that Israel must send humanitarian aid to Gaza to avert a war.

There is truth to the IDF’s position. Hamas did in fact go to war against Israel in the summer of 2014 because it was short on supplies.

After Sisi overthrew the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt the previous summer, he shut Egypt’s border with Gaza because Gaza was the logistical base of the insurgency against his regime. The closed border cut off Hamas’s supply train of everything from antitank missiles to cigarettes and flour.

The problem with the IDF’s view of Hamas is that providing aid to Gaza means supplying Hamas first and foremost. Every shipment into Gaza strengthens Hamas far more than it serves the needs of Gaza’s civilian population. We got a good look at Hamas’s contempt for the suffering of its people during Protective Edge.

After seeing the vast dimensions of Hamas’s tunnel infrastructure, the then-OC Southern Command, Maj.-Gen. Sami Turgeman, told reporters that Hamas had diverted enough concrete to its tunnel project to build 200 kindergartens, two hospitals, 20 clinics and 20 schools.

Moreover, the civilian institutions that are supposed to be assisted by humanitarian aid all serve Hamas. During the war, three soldiers from the IDF’s Maglan unit were killed in southern Gaza when they were buried in rubble of a booby-trapped UNRWA clinic.

The soldiers were in the clinic to seal off the entry shaft of a tunnel that was located in an exam room.

Hamas had booby trapped the walls of the clinic and detonated it when the soldiers walked through the door.

All of the civilian institutions in Gaza, including those run by the UN, as well as thousands of private homes, are used by Hamas as part of its war machine against Israel.

So any discussion of whether or not to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza is not a humanitarian discussion. It is a discussion about whether or not to strengthen Hamas and reinforce its control over the population of Gaza.

This brings us to the goals of the war in Gaza in 2014. At the time, the government debated two possible endgames.

The first was supported by then-justice minister Tzipi Livni. Livni, and the Left more generally, supported using the war with Hamas as a means of unseating Hamas and restoring the PLO-controlled Palestinian Authority to power in the area.

There were four problems with this notion. First, it would require Israel to reconquer Gaza.

Second, the Obama administration would never have agreed to an Israeli conquest of Gaza.

Third, Israel doesn’t have the forces to deploy to Gaza to retake control of the area without rendering its other borders vulnerable.

The final problem with Livni’s idea is that the PLO is no better than Hamas. From the outset of the war, the PLO gave Hamas unqualified support. Fatah militias in Gaza manned the missile launchers side by side with Hamas fighters. PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas represented Hamas at the cease-fire talks in Cairo. He led the political war against Israel in the West. And he financed Hamas’s war effort. Throughout the war Abbas sent a steady stream of funds to Gaza.

If PLO forces were returned to Gaza, they would behave precisely as they behaved from 2000 until Hamas kicked them out in 2007. That is, they would have acted as Hamas’s full partners in their joint war against Israel.

The second possible endgame involved a long-term strategy of defeating Hamas through attrition. This was the goal the government ended up partially adopting. The government ordered the IDF to destroy as much of Hamas’s missile arsenal as possible and to destroy its offensive tunnels into Israel. When the goals had been achieved to the point where the cost of opposing Obama grew greater than the battle gains, Netanyahu agreed to a cease-fire.

For the attrition strategy to have succeeded, the cease-fire would have only been the first stage of a longer war. For the attrition strategy to work, Israel needed to refuse to resupply Hamas. With its missile arsenal depleted and its tunnels destroyed, had Israel maintained the ban on supplies to Gaza, the residents would have revolted and Hamas wouldn’t have had the option of deflecting their anger onto Israel by starting a new war.

The IDF unfortunately never accepted attrition as the goal. From the Comptroller’s Report and Halevi’s statement to the Knesset this week, it appears the General Staff rejected attrition because it refuses to accept either the nature of Hamas or the nature of the PLO. Immediately after the cease-fire went into force, the General Staff recommended rebuilding Gaza and allowing an almost free flow of building supplies, including concrete, into Hamas’s mini-state.

The Comptroller’s Report is notable mainly because it shows that nearly three years after Protective Edge, official Israel still doesn’t understand what happened that summer. The problem with Hamas was never tactical. It was always strategic. Israel won the diplomatic battle because it understood the correlation of its strategic interests with those of the Sunni regimes.

It lost the military battle of attrition because it permitted Hamas to resupply.

Light at the end of the tunnel

March 1, 2017

Light at the end of the tunnel, Israel Hayom, Boaz Bismuth, March 1, 2017

It should be noted, however, that those who praised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and then-IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz at the time for their restraint during the unfolding events, which staved off embroilment in all-out war in Gaza and kept Hamas in power for fear of a worse replacement, are the ones now criticizing them.

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In the fight against Hamas and other terrorist organizations, decisions always have to be made: Should maximum force be used to win the fight in one week, despite the chaos likely to ensue as a result; or should Israel try to end the campaign taking into account the international community, Arab countries, the many civilian lives at stake, and the need for stability?

A decision has to be made, because you can’t have both.

In Israel, another factor must always be considered. The IDF is a unique army: On the one hand, it has to go to war to protect Israeli civilians; on the other hand, it knows in advance that any campaign of this sort also entails fighting for its reputation and defending itself against critical reports, from home or abroad. This has become part of the routine.

Operation Protective Edge was not a failure. The IDF did not lose. It even met its given objectives. With that, we would have preferred a quick “knockout.” Israel has the necessary superiority, weaponry and military to defeat a terrorist organization like Hamas and its satellites in less than 51 days. It should be noted, however, that those who praised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then-Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and then-IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz at the time for their restraint during the unfolding events, which staved off embroilment in all-out war in Gaza and kept Hamas in power for fear of a worse replacement, are the ones now criticizing them.

We heard the pundits explain to us on Tuesday that the most notable part of the state comptroller’s report is that the Netanyahu-led government did not examine diplomatic alternatives to the military campaign in Gaza. Has so much time passed? Could it be we have already forgotten why we were fighting? Perhaps we have forgotten the abduction of the three boys and their execution at the hands of Hamas terrorists, which was ordered by the group’s leadership in Gaza?

Anyway, the mention of diplomatic alternatives is amusing. With whom would we engage diplomatically? With Ismail Haniyeh in 2014, or maybe today with his successor, Yahya Sinwar, who is even more of a militant extremist? Don’t take our word for it, go and ask the Egyptians or even our neighbors in the Palestinian Authority what they think of the diplomatic alternative Hamas offers the Middle East. If anyone wants to insult Yahya Sinwar, ask him what “diplomatic alternative” he proposes.

Israeli society does not like wars, even if it is very proud of its army. It does not like terror, it does not like Hamas and Hezbollah, and it also does not like grieving for fallen sons and daughters. However, what it likes the least are attempts to harm its “sacred cow,” the IDF. Israeli society sees this comptroller’s report as nothing more than self-pity and self-flagellation.

Yes, self-criticism is essential. The IDF examines itself after every operation and mission. With that, our desire today to perform an X-ray on everything we do is, in retrospect, hurting the army. It undermines the decision makers and mostly handicaps future operational capability.

In hindsight, a report that strives to fix things can actually do more harm than good. Fateful decisions are made by a small handful of people, unless of course we have decided to return to the days of ancient Greece. Moreover, who can say that decisions made by broader forums are necessarily better or more successful?

The underground tunnel threat was never existential. Indeed, Hamas could have had its victory image had it been able to carry out a deadly attack, via one of those tunnels, inside an Israeli border community. The terrorist organization could have also acquired that coveted image if the Iron Dome defense system had not intercepted the barrage of missiles fired at us from Gaza. Israel reasoned that the missile threat was greater than the tunnel threat, and provided a response which proved to the world that in Israel missiles protect civilians, while in Gaza civilians protect missiles.

Regardless, things have changed. Before the comptroller’s report was even published, Israel had displayed its answer to the missiles from Gaza. According to reports, it also has an answer to the tunnel threat. Hamas’ national projects are on the verge of bankruptcy.

Before the report was ever published, we already understood there was a light at the end of the tunnel. This light is not a diplomatic alternative, but a decisive victory over Hamas, if and when it makes the grave mistake of trying to harm us again.

Hamas on Tuesday claimed that it emerged victorious from Operation Protective Edge, but that is certainly not because of its performance on the field of battle. It is more because of the report.

U.S. Generals: Israeli Military Restraint Bolstered Hamas

March 9, 2015

U.S. Generals: Israeli Military Restraint Bolstered Hamas

Report rejects American adoption of Israeli level of restraint

BY:
March 9, 2015 5:00 am

via U.S. Generals: Israeli Military Restraint Bolstered Hamas | Washington Free Beacon.

 

Israel’s military restraint during the conflict in Gaza last summer “unintentionally empowered Hamas” by allowing the terror group to distort international law and secure a public relations victory by exploiting the media, according a task force of retired U.S. generals.

The task force also warned that Hamas’ disinformation strategy could be replicated against the U.S. military and advised the U.S. government to institute a plan to combat similar media campaigns in the future.

“Hamas supported false claims against the [Israel Defense Forces] by distorting stories and images to serve the organization’s narrative, and by manipulating stories in the international media,” said the Gaza Conflict Task Force in a report commissioned by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs and released on Monday.

The report, titled “The 2014 Gaza War: Observations and Implications for U.S. Military Operations,” concluded that Hamas was not aiming for a military victory but instead put Gaza’s civilians at risk in order to increase casualties and damage the global standing of the Israel Defense Forces.

The main goal, according to the report, was to build international pressure on Israel.

“Hamas proved very effective at exploiting images of civilian deaths, particularly children, to gain international sympathy to their cause and a high degree of international opposition to the Israeli cause,” said the report. “Further, Hamas was effective at not allowing access to their more brutal and illegal actions, beyond what they published themselves as part of their internal intimidation efforts.”

According to the task force, the techniques used by Hamas “represent an evolution in unconventional warfare, and will probably be imitated and improved upon by America’s enemies.”

The report recommended that the United States should institute a “whole-of government approach” to countering such efforts.

“The U.S. government and military must come to grips with the increased importance and use of the information domain in war,” said the task force. “They must develop effective countermeasures to this enemy advantage, as it threatens to exploit a strategic vulnerability for the United States and its allies.”

One issue that Hamas exploited in Gaza, according to the report, was the lack of clarity between international laws of war and military policy.

The task force argued that the IDF exceeded the Laws of Armed Conflict by using restraint during times when it was legally unnecessary. This created a precedent that could open Israeli civilians up to increased risk, according to the report.

“Unless there is a clear demarcation between law and policy-based restraints on the use of combat power, raising standards in one instance—even if done as a matter of national policy and not as the result of legal obligation—risks creating a precedent to which military forces will likely be expected to adhere in the future,” said the report.

“We do not believe the Israeli level of restraint should be considered the standard for U.S. armed forces in future conflicts,” the report concluded

The task force, which traveled to Israel while conducting the assessment, included General Charles Wald, Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell IV, Lieutenant General Richard Natonski, Major General Rick Devereaux, and Major General Mike Jones.

Israel News – Hamas test-fired 10 rockets from Gaza into the sea

January 26, 2015

Hamas test-fired 10 rockets from Gaza into the sea

Hamas fired 10 rockets into the Mediterranean Sea today, testing its rocket range limit.

Jan 26, 2015, 01:30PM | Yael Klein

via Israel News – Hamas test-fired 10 rockets from Gaza into the sea – JerusalemOnline.

 

Archive photo

Archive photo Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News

Today (Sun), the Palestinians completed a series of rocket testing. They fired 10 rockets toward the Mediterranean Sea.

Hamas has been conducting many tests over the past several months.  However, a barrage of 10 rockets is considered rare. 70 rockets have been fired by Hamas in tests conducted since Operation Protective Edge. The Palestinians are attempting to improve the rockets’ range limit. However, they are facing difficulties in doing so due to the lack of supplies delivered to them from outside the Gaza Strip. Therefore, they manufacture the explosives themselves, which is another reason for conducting the many tests.

One month ago, a siren alarm went off in a number of communities in the Eshkol Regional Council, after a rocket fired from Gaza exploded in Southern Israel, without causing injuries or damage.

Eshkol Mayor Haim Yalin stated following the incident: “The state had an extraordinary opportunity to agree upon a long-term arrangement with the Palestinians. Instead, we find ourselves with a ticking clock in hour hands, counting down to the next war.”

Hamas: Ruling West Bank could destroy Israel “with a speed that no one can imagine”

October 8, 2014

PMW BulletinsHamas: Ruling West Bank could destroy Israel “with a speed that no one can imagine”

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik Oct. 5, 2014

via Hamas: Ruling West Bank could destroy Israel “with a speed that no one can imagine” – PMW Bulletins.

 

Hamas leader Al-Zahar:
If Hamas were to transfer “what it has [in Gaza]
or just a small part of it to the West Bank,”
it would destroy Israel
“with a speed that no one can imagine”
“We will build an Islamic state in Palestine,
all of Palestine”
New Poll: Hamas leader Haniyeh
would defeat Abbas in elections
in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip
Haniyeh – 55%, Abbas – 38%
by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Last week, Hamas Political Bureau member Mahmoud Al-Zahar stated that Hamas wants to build an Islamic state in all of Palestine, meaning it would replace Israel:

“[Some] have said Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate in Gaza. We won’t do that, but we will build an Islamic state in Palestine, all of Palestine.” [Al-Ayyam, Oct. 1, 2014]

Al-Zahar further said that if Hamas had a military foothold in the West Bank as it does in the Gaza Strip, it would be able to destroy Israel. He alluded to a possible future war of destruction against Israel by citing a Sura from the Quran about “the final promise,” which speaks of destroying “the enemies” and “what they had taken over with [total] destruction” [Sura 17:7]:

“Al-Zahar said that if his movement [Hamas] were to ‘transfer what it has or just a small part of it to the West Bank, we would be able to settle the battle of the final promise with a speed that no one can imagine.'”

His expression “the final promise” is taken from Sura 17:7 of the Quran: “Then when the final promise came, [We sent your enemies]… to enter the temple in Jerusalem, as they entered it the first time, and to destroy what they had taken over with [total] destruction.'” (trans. Sahih International) By alluding to this passage in the context of Israel, Hamas is promising a future war of destruction against Israel.

A recent Palestinian poll shows that Hamas indeed has a strong base of support in the West Bank. Last week, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Research found that were elections to be held now between Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, Haniyeh would win with 55% support compared to 38% for Abbas. Interestingly, Haniyeh would win with only 50% – 47% in Gaza but on the West Bank Hamas’ Haniyeh is even stronger winning 57% to 33% over Abbas:

“If new presidential elections are held today and only two were nominated, Ismail Haniyeh [of Hamas] and Mahmoud Abbas, the former [Haniyeh] would win a majority of 55% (compared to 61% a month ago) and the latter 38% (compared to 32% a month ago). Votes for Abbas and Haniyeh are close in the Gaza Strip with the former receiving 47% and the latter 50%. In the West Bank, Abbas receives 33% and Haniyeh 57%.” [http://www.pcpsr.org/en/node/496, Sept. 29, 2014]

The following is a longer excerpt of the report on Al-Zahar’s statements about using the Wset Bank to destroy Israel and establishing an Islamic state in place of Israel:

Headline: “Al-Zahar: The Hamas movement will build an Islamic state in all of Palestine”
“Hamas Political Bureau member Mahmoud Al-Zahar emphasized that Hamas would ‘build an Islamic State in all of Palestine.’ During a ceremony for the relatives of policemen killed by the Israeli army in Gaza, Al-Zahar said: ‘[Some] have said Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate in Gaza. We won’t do that, but we will build an Islamic state in Palestine, all of Palestine.’ Al-Zahar said that if his movement were to ‘transfer what it has or just a small part of it to the West Bank, we would be able to settle the battle of the final promise (an allusion to Sura 17:7 of the Quran) with a speed that no one can imagine.’
He continued by saying: ‘We know exactly how to liberate the land of Palestine, and we know how to hit every inch of Palestine with our hands, brains, and money.’ Al-Zahar promised ‘to protect the resistance project, including all its military, police, security and civilian wings.’
On the [issue of the] PA and the transfer of control of the Gaza Strip to the unity government, he said: ‘They relinquished these positions, but we look out for our citizens and our homeland. In no way whatsoever will we allow anyone to harm the resistance project or the dignity of any citizen.'”
[Al-Ayyam, Oct. 1, 2014]

Hamas Says IDF Didn’t Destroy All Terror Tunnels

October 3, 2014

Hamas Says IDF Didn’t Destroy All Terror Tunnels

Hamas spokesperson tells terror group’s journal it remains committed to armed conflict – despite Cairo truce talks with Israel.

By Ari Yashar

First Publish: 10/3/2014, 11:32 AM

via Hamas Says IDF Didn’t Destroy All Terror Tunnels – Defense/Security – News – Arutz Sheva.

 

IDF forces find Hamas terror tunnel (file)

IDF forces find Hamas terror tunnel (file)
Flash 90

Hamas spokesperson Mushir Al-Masri said on Thursday night that his terrorist organization, despite returning to truce talks with Israel in Cairo in the last week of October, still remains fully committed to armed conflict.

“The ‘resistance’ is the basis for the clash with Israel. Only through the ‘resistance’ can victory and liberation (i.e. the occupation of Israel by Hamas – ed.) be accomplished,” Al-Masri told the Hamas journal Al-Risala in Gaza, reports Walla!.

The spokesperson continued by saying “there is no doubt that Gaza succeeded in achieving victory by the nation standing firm and the courage of the ‘resistance,’ which surprised the enemy on land, sea and air.”

Al-Masri concluded with a troubling pronouncement, saying “the enemy did not succeed in stopping the rocket fire, and also didn’t succeed in destroying the military tunnels.”

The latter reference to tunnels, if true, would seem to confirm concerns that while the IDF destroyed all of the terror tunnels leading into Israel that it found, which numbered over 30, others may remain hidden and unknown.

The statement also may refer to numerous reports indicating that Hamas’s “military wing,” the Al-Qassam Brigades, as well as the Islamic Jihad terror group, have already restarted construction on the terror tunnels. In fact, video evidence shows that the renewed digging of the tunnels started even minutes after the ceasefire on November 26.

Despite the pledge to continue armed conflict and the lingering threat of tunnel attacks targeting Israeli civilians, Israel confirmed it has allowed 500 residents of Gaza to pray on the Temple Mount – something Jews are forbidden from doing by the Jordanian Waqf (Islamic trust) – this Saturday for Eid al-Adha, which celebrates Abraham’s “sacrifice of Ishmael” in an appropriation of the original Torah story.

Al-Masri also hinted strongly several days ago that his group may be on the verge of sealing a terrorist swap deal with Israel, which would see hundreds of jailed terrorists released in exchange for the bodies of fallen soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul hy”d.

 

Israel News – Abbas at the UN: “Israel is Planning a New Nakba”

September 27, 2014

Abbas at the UN: “Israel is Planning a New Nakba”

The political leadership reacted in rage to the harsh speech of the Chair of the Palestinian Authority, who accused Israel of genocide, on the stage of the UN General Assembly. “This is not the way a man of peace talks”, claimed the Prime Minister’s office. Foreign Minister Liberman: “Abbas is leading to the conflict continuing”

Sep 27, 2014, 09:22AM | Ayelet Izraeli

via Israel News – Abbas at the UN: “Israel is Planning a New Nakba” – JerusalemOnline.

 

n light of the renewed cooperation between Hamas and Fatah, which was announced two days ago in Cairo, Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, gave a harsh speech at the UN General Assembly yesterday (Friday), during which he accused Israel of war crimes during operation “Protective Edge”. According to him, “Israel is preparing for a new Nakba and the world must stop it”. The Israeli representative was absent during the speech.

Abbas began his speech with strong criticism of the deaths of Palestinian citizens during the operation in Gaza. “We will not forget and we will not forgive, and we will not allow war criminals to escape punishment”, emphasized the Palestinian President. “The Palestinian people hold steadfast to their legitimate right to defend themselves against the Israeli war machine and to their legitimate right to resist this colonial, racist Israeli occupation”.

Abbas, who very well understands the effectiveness of boycotts against Israel, supported those defending it. “Amidst a torrent of massacres and storms of massive destruction, we witnessed the peoples of the world gathering in huge demonstrations declaring their condemnation of Israel’s aggression”, said Abbas. “There was also an increase in boycotts meant to bring peace”.

 

The empty seat, Israel. Photo: AP / Channel 2 News
 

From the battles in Gaza, Abbas moved on to the diplomatic standstill, pointing a blaming finger towards Israel, claiming it is undermining the chance for peace. “Settlement construction, home demolitions, killing and forced displacement in the West Bank continued unabated, as well as the unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip”, he attacked.

According to him, “Israel reached an agreement with the Americans regarding the release of a group of Palestinian prisoners in the occupation’s jails – while we continue to insist on releasing all of them. Israel did not hesitate to reveal its true positions, it rejects the Palestinian state and refuses to find a just solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees”.

“Israel offers us isolated ghettos, without borders and without sovereignty, which will be under the subjugation of the racist settlers and army of occupation. At worst, Israel proposes Apartheid”, Abbas added and later claimed that “it reminds me of other scenes from history”.

Abbas also demanded that Israel and the international community set a deadline for any future solution. “There is no meaning nor benefit in negotiations not aimed to end the Israeli occupation and form a Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital, over the entire territory occupied in 1967. There is no value in negotiations without a specific time frame for the implementation of these objectives”.