Articles of the Day 8/8/14: Plenty Of Mistrust
Israel-Hamas Conflict 2014
“As the truce formally ended at 8 a.m. local time, warning sirens rang in several towns and cities in southern Israel. More than 18 rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip at Israel, the military said. Two rockets were intercepted above the area around the city of Ashkelon, at least 14 hit open areas and two landed short in Gaza, Israeli forces added. Four hours before the cease-fire lapsed, two rockets from the Gaza Strip crashed into Israel, the military said. There were no injuries. Following renewed rocket launching at Israel, the military said it had targeted “terror sites” across the Gaza Strip.”
“GAZA CITY — Hamas officials, in their first public rally since a truce with Israel, vowed Thursday to never give up arms and to reignite war if Israel does not accept their demands to lift an economic blockade of the Gaza Strip.”
Lifting the blockade will only allow Hamas to re-arm more easily. I think most Israeli leaders understand that.
“Jerusalem (AFP) – The vast majority of rockets fired by Hamas at Israel over the past month were made in Gaza using civilian materials, a senior Israeli military official said Thursday. The coastal Palestinian enclave was the setting for the 28-day conflict with Israel, during which Israel set out to seriously impair the Islamist movement’s military abilities. Over the course of the conflict, the de-facto rulers of Gaza fired over 3,300 rockets and mortar shells at Israel, with over 500 rockets intercepted by the Iron Dome defence system, according to the Israeli military. “The vast majority of those launched were homemade, only a small minority were Fajr 5 made by Iran,” the official told reporters, speaking on condition of anonymity. The Gaza manufacturers of these rockets used “water pipes” of different diameters for the bodies of the rockets, filling them with explosives made from materials such as products used in agriculture, the official said.”
This is evidence the blockade is valid and working. No wonder Hamas wants it removed.
“In addition, Hamas terrorists are often difficult to identify because they wear civilian clothing. By doing so, Hamas terrorists are not only trying to avoid being targeted by the IDF, but the are also causing international organizations to incorrectly label the death of many terrorists as civilians. It should come as no surprise that Hamas has ordered Gaza’s social media users not to post images of terrorists online and to refer to all terrorists killed in IDF strikes as “innocent civilians.”
“Former Hamas strong man found dead under Gaza rubble, Palestinian official: He was killed for collaborating with Egypt.”
Plenty of mistrust and nervousness among Hamas leadership these days.
“Nonetheless, if the Israeli attacks have been “indiscriminate”, as the UN Human Rights Council says, it is hard to work out why they have killed so many more civilian men than women.”
“It’s a mystery why so many in the media accept as gospel Hamas-supplied figures on the number of civilians killed in the recent war. Hamas claims that of the more than 1800 Palestinians killed close to 90% were civilians. Israel, on the other hand, says that close to half of them were combatants. The objective facts support a number much closer to Israel’s than to Hamas’.
Even human rights group antagonistic to Israel acknowledge, according to a New York Times report, that Hamas probably counts among the “civilians killed by Israel” the following groups: Palestinians killed by Hamas as collaborators; Palestinians killed through domestic violence; Palestinians killed by errant Hamas rockets or mortars; and Palestinians who died naturally during the conflict. I wonder if Hamas also included the reported 162 children who died while performing child slave labor in building their terror tunnels. Hamas also defines combatants to include only armed fighters who were killed while fighting Israelis. They exclude Hamas supporters who build tunnels, who allow their homes to be used to store and fire rockets, Hamas policemen, members of the Hamas political wing and others who work hand in hand with the armed terrorists.”
“3. Based on our examination of the second group of 150 names on the Palestinian Health Ministry’s list, we reached the following findings:
1) We identified 69 names of Palestinians killed as terrorist operatives (for details about them see the table in Appendix A). In addition, we identified two terrorist operatives killed during the period that the Health Ministry’s list refers to, but whose names do not appear on the Health Ministry’s lists. We identified 71 terrorist operatives in total.
2) Of the 71 names of terrorist operatives that we identified, we found 39 photos of operatives (for photos of operatives, see Appendix B).
3) We identified 66 names thatappear on the Health Ministry’s second list as non-involved civilians.”
In other words, nearly half of the UN claimed Palestinian ‘civilian’ deaths are really Palestinian terrorist deaths. The UN is a Hamas propaganda machine.
“What is so unusual when it comes to Israel is that by historical standards it has conducted itself in its conflict with Hamas (to say nothing of past conflicts) with remarkable care and decency. I’m not sure there are many parallels to it. (America’s conduct in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan has been similar, I think, to the care taken by Israel in Gaza.) Israel could have decimated Gaza and Hamas within hours, causing far more civilian deaths. It chose a far more humane, and historically rare, option. For much of the world and much of the Western media, then, to judge Israel harshly for how it’s acted in not only wrong; it is historically ignorant and morally obtuse.”
“The agency has roughly 30,000 staff on its payroll, almost all Palestinian. Some 12,500 work in Gaza, home to 1.2 million Unrwa-registered refugees, who account for about two-thirds of Gaza’s population. The U.N. agency’s welfare programs relieve Hamas of many of the costs of servicing the enclave it controls as its launchpad for terror.
With the agency handling household chores, Hamas—especially since its bloody takeover of Gaza in 2007, ousting the Palestinian Authority’s Fatah—has found the time and resources to amass rocket arsenals (Unrwa last month reported finding rockets stashed in three of its vacant schools), to bombard Israel (sometimes in close proximity to Unrwa premises), and to build miles of concrete-reinforced tunnels extending into Israel for terrorist attacks. Israel, in its counteroffensive, has been accused by the U.N. of deadly strikes on Unrwa schools serving as shelters.”
Always wondered how Hamas was able to take care of all those Palestinians, the UN does it, allowing Hamas to focus on killing Israeli civilians. Not a bad deal for Hamas.
“Israel has restrained itself in reacting to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s anti-Israel diatribes in the run-up to Sunday’s Turkish presidential election, but will respond to them if they continue after the vote, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told US Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday.”
Interesting, I wonder if Israel would go after the Hamas leadership living in Turkey. Be quite an embarrassment for something to happen to them under Erdogan’s protection.
Sunni-Shiite Civil War
“Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said that two F/A-18 jets dropped 500-pound bombs on a piece of artillery and the truck towing it. Kirby said the fighters had taken off from the aircraft carrier USS George HW Bush in the Persian Gulf to conduct the mission. He said it wasn’t clear how many militants might have been killed in the strike.”
I don’t think this is as significant as many people think or hope it will be. Two jets destroy one truck. It will take more then that to defeat ISIS. The more meaningful thing is that God has answered our prayers and is US is now sending food and water to some refugees. This really is the same thing the US is doing in Syria only…..minus one truck.
“US President Barack Obama said Thursday that he’s authorized “targeted airstrikes” in Iraq to protect American personnel and help Iraqi forces protect some 200,000 civilians on the run from Islamist attacks. Targeted strikes would be made against Islamist militants “should they move toward” Irbil, where dozens of American consular staff and military advisers work with the Iraqi military. For the destitute Yazidis and Christians trapped in northern mountains, US cargo planes airdropped 8.000 meals and dozens of gallons of water.”
There is that word again, ‘targeted’. That means we are really not doing anything, that this is only symbolic, and don’t expect much out of us. Targeted=weak.
“ERBIL, Iraq — Iraqi Kurdistan appears to be in a state of all-out war as its peshmerga forces have engaged in heavy clashes with Islamic State (IS) militants along a nearly 1,050-km (652-mile) line stretching all the way from the Syrian border in the west to areas close to the Iranian border in the east.”
“Key Takeaway: The current battle for Arsal represents the most significant spillover from the Syrian civil war into Lebanese territory and threatens to exacerbate Lebanon’s sectarian tensions. Although Syrian rebel operations in Arsal do not constitute an offensive by the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS), the battle for Arsal demonstrates the potential for localized Syrian rebel groups to pledge support to ISIS in a bid for resources and notoriety, thereby expanding the reach of ISIS into Lebanon. “