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Hamas Claims 50 Slain in Riots Were Own Members, Shoots at Israeli Home

May 16, 2018 Peace and Conflict

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

50 of the 62 persons killed in Monday’s violent riots against Israel were members of the Hamas terrorist organization, and the person making that claim is a spokesman for… Hamas. In a televised interview, a senior official with the group that rules the Gaza Strip said that over 80 percent of those slain in the protest were its members. IDF spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus posted a video clip of the claim to Twitter, noting, “Take his word for it. This was no peaceful protest.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed that sentiment on Wednesday, reiterating that the rioters were not “some civilian demonstrations.” He said Israel had similar numbers to those put forth by Hamas on who was involved in the protest, while Prime Minister’s Office spokesman Ofir Gendelman tweeted that at least four others of the dead were members of other terror groups.

Said Netanyahu in comments released by his office, “This is a warlike move by the Hamas… That is why Israel will continue to defend itself for as long as necessary and will not allow those who call for its destruction to storm its borders and threaten our communities.” And the violence from Gaza returned on Wednesday, this time in the form of machine gun fire. … Continue Reading

Beginning of Open War? Iran Launches 20 Rockets at Israel

Iran fired missiles at Israel directly instead of enabling terror partners instead. Illustrative image of rocket. By Joshua Spurlock

Iranian forces in Syria launched 20 rockets at Israel around midnight on Thursday in a dramatic escalation, less than 30 hours after the United States announced they were pulling out of the Iran nuclear deal. In the attack—reported by the IDF Spokesperson in a series of posts on Twitter—a number of rockets were intercepted by the Israeli Iron Dome missile defense system. No injuries were reported by the attack, which targeted IDF posts on the Golan Heights in Israel’s north. The IDF Spokesperson later confirmed via Twitter that none of the rockets hit targets in Israel.

Israel’s response was the largest official series of strikes in Syria in decades. IDF spokesperson Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus tweeted that “dozens of Iranian military targets in Syria” were targeted and posted a map showing hits in more than 30 different locations across Syria. A sizable grouping of those targets were around the capital of Damascus.

“This Iranian aggression is another proof of the intentions behind the establishment of the Iranian regime in Syria and the threat it poses to Israel and regional stability,” said the IDF Spokesperson in a separate series of tweets, following up by stating that “the IDF will not allow the Iranian threat to establish itself in Syria. The Syrian regime will be held accountable for everything happening in its territory.”

The Times of Israel reported that the Iranian attack came from the south of Syria. The government-controlled Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) said that Israel struck back by firing missiles at Syria, triggering Syrian air defenses. The SANA report claimed that Israel had also been behind a missile attack 24 hours earlier. … Continue Reading

Israelis Prevent Gazans from Breaching Border, Launching Terror Attack

May 7, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israeli soldiers prevent another terror attack. Israeli Soldiers. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Four terrorists carrying an axe, petrol and other means of destruction were neutralized as they aimed to break through the Israel-Gaza border on Sunday. The IDF Spokesperson posted a series of tweets stating that the aggressors reached the area of the security fence that separates Israel from the Gaza Strip “with the intention of infiltrating Israel & carrying out a terror attack.” However, the IDF kept an eye on them and after the terrorists sought to damage the security fence, the Israeli military fired at the would-be infiltrators, killing three of them.

“An attempt to damage security infrastructure, breach Israel’s sovereignty, & carry out an attack was thwarted,” continued the IDF Spokesperson in a series of tweets. “The IDF will continue to operate against those who attempt to harm Israel, its civilians, or security infrastructure.”

The Twitter feed included a photo showing the tools of the malicious trade that the terrorists had brought with them, including gloves, a metal cutter and an oxygen mask. In recent weeks, the Israelis have faced regular riots at the Gaza border that have included attempts to breach or damage the security fence infrastructure, as well as other acts of violence. In these efforts, the Hamas terror group has put their own Gazan civilians in harm’s way by encouraging the border violence and sending some of their own footsoldiers to carry out mayhem under cover of the protests. … Continue Reading

Israel Busts Hamas Money Smuggling Plot at University

May 3, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israeli security forces working hard to keep Israel safe. Illustrative security vehicle. By Joshua Spurlock

Students are the future, but the Hamas terrorist organization believes they can be the present as well—and they are willing to invest a lot of money in raising students for nefarious purposes. Israel had other plans, however, uncovering the Gaza group’s efforts to smuggle roughly 150,000 Euros to boost Hamas activity at the Bir Zeit University in Judea and Samaria.

The Israel Security Agency (ISA) noted in the press release on the bust that exposing the plan “further underscores the high importance Hamas command ascribes to student activities in its affiliated groups in order to recruit and train members in Judea and Samaria.”

And that’s recruiting for terrorism, not the typical student activities. As an example, the ISA highlighted a separate Hamas plot in 2017 to persuade students from Bir Zeit to commit suicide attacks. The ISA said the latest money smuggling scheme “also underscores the great danger involved in such activity and its status as a significant additional arm of Hamas, the goal of which is to harm the State of Israel, despite its taking place at an institution of higher learning.” … Continue Reading

Russia Threatens Israel over Missile Defense System in Syria

April 23, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Israeli jets reportedly flew have bombed Syria. Illustrative image of F-35. Image courtesy of the Department of Defense website. The appearance of U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) visual information does not imply or constitute DoD endorsement.

The Russians are seriously considering putting an advanced missile defense system in Syria—which has the Israelis concerned—and Moscow has warned the Jewish State against attacking that system should it be deployed to Israel’s northern neighbor. The Independent, republishing comments from the Russian Kommersant newspaper, cited Russian military sources threatening that Israel and “all sides” would “suffer catastrophic consequences” if they struck at the S-300 system.

Israel has reportedly bombed multiple targets in Syria over the years, including recent reports of a strike that killed Iranians at a Syrian airbase. The Americans, British, and French also recently attacked Syria in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime against its own people.

In light of that multinational attack, Russia is now nearing a decision to provide the S-300 advanced defense system to Syria, Kommersant reported in a separate article, and that’s disconcerting to Israel. The Russian newspaper quoted Israeli diplomat Alex Ben-Zvi as saying that any weapons that can “threaten Israel’s security” generically “bothers” Israel. Ben-Zvi, Israel’s Director of the Department of Eurasia of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, did not specifically say if Israel would discuss the Syrians’ obtaining the S-300 in Israeli discussions with Russia. … Continue Reading

Hamas Engineer Assassinated in Malaysia; Hamas Operatives Arrested Near Ramallah

April 22, 2018 Peace and Conflict

Killed engineer helped Hamas develop rockets. Spent Palestinian rocket. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

It was a bad weekend for the Hamas terrorist organization. On Saturday morning, an engineer involved in improving the Hamas rocket program was killed by gunmen on a motorcycle in the southeast Asian country of Malaysia, and roughly 24 hours later more than a dozen Hamas operatives were arrested near the pseudo-Palestinian capital of Ramallah. The New Straits Times, a Malaysian newspaper, reported that the gunmen waited for their target for 20 minutes before shooting him at point-blank range. Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman denied accusations that Israel was behind the assassination in comments to Israel Radio that were republished by The Times of Israel.

Lieberman was quoted as saying the killed Hamas man, Dr. Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh, was “no saint and he didn’t deal with improving infrastructure in Gaza. He was involved in improving rocket precision.” Posts on the Hamas website mourning his death claimed the slain al-Batsh was an electrical inventor.

Furthermore, the New Straits Times reported that al-Batsh was planning to travel to Turkey later on Saturday. Turkey has not only been a second home to Hamas members, but Hamas military activity in that country has occurred “unhindered as Turkish officials turn a blind eye and—on occasion—encourage it,” said an Israel Security Agency (ISA) press release in February. … Continue Reading

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