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Hamas Protests Targets Security Fence Again; Israel Takes Down Another Hamas Terror Tunnel

April 15, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Gaza protests a cover for terrorism. Illustrative photo of Palestinian event. By Joshua Spurlock

Over the weekend, Israel thwarted another Hamas terror tunnel stretching from Gaza to Israel that could have been used for attacks on Israeli civilians, while Gaza has continued the violence above ground in the now regular border rioting inspired by Hamas. The IDF Blog reported that the targeted terror tunnel had “put the lives of hundreds of Israeli families at risk.” And the protests at the border are making the dangerous situation worse.

On Friday, the IDF Spokesperson posted to Twitter that multiple attempts were made to attack the security fence separating Israel from Gaza and posted a photo of a terrorist holding what appears to be an explosive device while near journalists and a handicapped person. Tweeted the IDF Spokesperson on Friday, “An explosive device was placed & detonated near the Karni Crossing in northern Gaza & a firebomb attached to a kite was dispatched. Meanwhile, explosive devices, rocks & firebombs have continued to be hurled.” Despite the chaos, the IDF isn’t allowing it to distract from the need to protect the border—including underground. … Continue Reading

Israel: Gaza ‘Photojournalist’ Slain in Riot Was Hamas Terrorist

April 11, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Gaza protests a cover for terrorism. Illustrative photo of Palestinian event. By Joshua Spurlock

The alleged photojournalist who was killed in the Gaza border protests last week was in fact a Hamas terrorist, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday, the same day an explosive device went off near the Israel-Gaza security fence highlighted the threat posed by the Hamas-led Gaza riots. Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Ofir Gendelman cited Lieberman in a Twitter post saying that the photojournalist, Yasser Murjata, was “a terrorist with a prior association” with the Hamas military wing.

Tweeted Gendelman, “He held the rank of captain & was paid regularly by Hamas since 2011. He used to fly drones to collect intel on IDF forces at the front.” Murjata was killed last Friday, and The Jerusalem Post—citing Israeli defense officials comments in a report from the Israeli Walla! news group—said a number of senior Hamas officials attended his funeral. The unnamed Israeli officials said he was still active in Hamas and beneficial to them.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, an explosive devise planted near the security fence “under the guise of the riots” was set off against an IDF engineering vehicle, tweeted the IDF Spokesperson. The tweet added that there were no reported injuries in the blast. … Continue Reading

UN Security Council to Talk Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack; Chief Israeli Rabbi Accuses Regime of ‘Genocide’

April 8, 2018 Peace and Conflict

More chemical weapons attacks in Syria? Illustrative photo of soldier training. Photo courtesy of Mr James Brabenec (IMCOM)

Reports of the latest chemical weapons attack on a Syrian hospital—suspected to have been carried out by the Assad regime against their own people—has led the United Nations most powerful council to schedule an emergency session, while one of the top leaders of Judaism in Israel on Sunday termed the conflict in Syria a “genocide.” As the UN Security Council prepares to discuss the latest Syrian chemical attack, United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has called for a new investigation.

“The Security Council has to come together and demand immediate access for first responders, support an independent investigation into what happened, and hold accountable those responsible for this atrocious act,” said Haley in a press release from her office. She wasn’t the only one to call for action.

Sephardi Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef said in a press release, “I have said in the past and I will say it again: What is happening in Syria is genocide of women and children in its cruelest form, using weapons of mass destruction. We have a moral obligation not to keep quiet and to try and stop this massacre.” … Continue Reading

Israel Nabs Palestinian Terrorist Fisherman Plotting to Attack Navy

April 4, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Illustrative naval ship off the coast of Israel. By Joshua Spurlock

Palestinian terrorists once again were seeking to exploit their own civilians to attack Israel, which arrested ten of them who were part of a plot to launch a rocket attack and kidnapping against the Israeli Navy. The plan, according to an Israeli press release on the arrests, was to lure a Navy vessel with one Palestinian boat and then have a second boat fire a Cornet ship-to-ship rocket at the Israeli vessel, intending to kill and wound crew members. A third boat would then swoop in and kidnap Israeli sailors to use in prisoner exchanges.

The plotters were caught last month aboard a fishing boat that had gone outside the fishing zone and was suspected of gathering intelligence on the Navy, notes the press release, which was jointly published on Wednesday by the IDF and Israel Security Agency (ISA). One of the Palestinians is a fisherman and a member of the Islamic Jihad terrorist faction. He had been directed to plan an attack from superiors, turning his otherwise innocent-looking fishing expedition into information-gathering for terrorism and it wasn’t the first time he’d scoped out naval vessels.

The press release said the incident “once again proves that the terrorist organizations are trying to exploit the civilian easements that Israel has repeatedly tried to enact vis-à-vis fishing in order to advance terrorist attacks that also harm the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.” … Continue Reading

Israel Stifles Border Attack, Kills Terrorists in Massive Gaza Riots

April 1, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Illustrative Palestinian banner of gunmen and Dome of the Rock. By Joshua Spurlock

Tens of thousands of Gazans rioted on the Israeli border last Friday, wielding Molotov cocktails, burning tires and attempting terrorism against Israel’s Gaza border security system. During the rioting, the IDF killed at least 10 known terrorists with a history of involvement in attacks, the IDF Spokesperson tweeted, later following up with photos of all ten terrorists.

During the riots, which Hamas dubbed the “Great Return March” and claimed would be peaceful, a terror cell opened fire on Israeli forces, the IDF Spokesperson Twitter feed reported. A follow-up Tweet said that in response, the IDF—“according to the rules of engagement”—fired at the terrorists and then further struck three Hamas terror sites.

The IDF Spokesperson tweeted that “this severe shooting attack is further proof that the terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip use these violent riots to camouflage terror.” A separate tweet highlighted that Israeli tanks prevented an infiltration attempt by terrorists trying to break across the border. Tweeted the IDF Spokesperson, “The Hamas terror organization is responsible for violent riots and everything taking place under its jurisdiction. The IDF will not allow the security fence to be turned into an area of terror.”

IDF Spokesperson Maj. Keren Hajioff detailed the Gaza riots in a summary video posted to the IDF Spokesperson’s Twitter feed. She noted that more than 30,000 Palestinians participated in the riots that included molotovs, burning tires and efforts to “harm or destroy Israel’s security infrastructure.” … Continue Reading

With Trump Deadline on Nuke Deal Approaching, Israel Talks Iran with Europe

March 26, 2018 Peace and Conflict

PM Netanyahu and German FM Maas. Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / GPO

Iran was a key topic as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosted two of the most influential diplomats in Europe on Monday, with time running out to fix the Iran nuclear deal before United States President Donald Trump pulls his country out of the accord. Trump had set a four month deadline to upgrade the arrangement in January, leaving Europe roughly six weeks to make the required changes. It was certainly a top-of-mind talking point for Netanyahu.

“The foremost terrorist-sponsoring regime in the world, in our region and beyond is Iran. We have to roll back its aggression, and it is vast, and we must ensure that Iran does not acquire nuclear weapons,” Netanyahu told French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in comments from his office. “I think this is the preeminent issue facing the international community in the coming months, in the coming years.”

Netanyahu also met with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas—just weeks after he was named Berlin’s top diplomat—and the Iranian nuclear deal was on the agenda. And even if the two nations don’t always agree, Haas made it clear they remain friends. … Continue Reading

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