Monday, July 21, 2014

There's a Tunnel Under My House !

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night, hearing sounds of digging and drilling. You know that underneath your house there are monsters that are digging tunnels, trying to infiltrate your town. 

They are armed to their teeth with weapons, anesthetics and handcuffs, with the sole purpose of killing or kidnapping as much people as possible.

This description is not a horror story. This is the reality for thousands of Israelis living around Gaza strip.

No country can ignore such a threat. No nation would tolerate such danger. Israel has the right to defend itself.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Israeli and Gazan children suffer

With children being killed in Gaza when they are caught up in the cross fire as Hamas terrorists utilise their presence to protect themselves in abuse of international law, the media have a story line ready made  for their readers.

However, not one of the international media outlets that I am able to watch pays the slightest bit of attention to the effect of Hamas terrorism on Israeli children. 

The continuing missile attacks from Gaza have been taking their toll on Israeli children. The following are facts and figures which have been compiled between 13-17 July:from medical sources.

93 Children were wounded by rockets, of which 1 is in a severe condition (multi-trauma wounds); 2 are badly injured; 55 suffer light wounds (cuts from shrapnel etc.); 45 suffer from acute syndrome effect.

Over 20,000 children were moved north to lesser threatened areas.

Some facilities were relocated temporarily from the area bordering Gaza (up to 40 Km). For example, over 50 Special education children were transferred from a Kibbutz by the southern border to a safer location.
A total of several thousand calls have been made to different stress treatment facilities, an average of 600-700 calls per day to trauma centers: CHOSEN centers for trauma and preparedness received 550 calls between 13-16/7; Calls to the regional stress centers (MATAN) between 13-16/7 there were over 100 calls from children and 127 visits by children.

7 regional authorities (each encompassing many municipalities of towns and villages) in the southern part of Israel cancelled all activity in thousands of schools and summer camps, affecting tens of thousands of children.

This is just the tip of the iceberg since with the history of the conflict spanning years, the number of children growing up with psychological problems is immense.

Of course there is sympathy for those Gazan children caught up in this war but where is the same level of sympathy for the children of Syria,Iraq  and the other areas of conflict around the world?

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hamas Guidelines To Social Media Activists

 Always Call The Dead 'Innocent Civilians'; Don't Post Photos Of Rockets Being Fired From Civilian Population Centers

Hamas Interior ministry's guidelines issued  the "Be Aware – Social Media Activist Awareness Campaign," via an instructional video posted on its official website and via posters published on its Twitter and Facebook pages.

The ministry website included the following text along with its instructional video: "The Information Department of the Ministry of the Interior and National Security has instructed activists on social media websites, particularly Facebook, to correct some of the commonly used terms as they cover the aggression taking place in the Gaza Strip. The following Information Department video calls on all activists to use "the proper terminology", in order to play their part in strengthening the home front and in properly conveying information worldwide."

Following are excerpts from the guidelines:

1)   "Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don't forget to always add 'innocent civilian' or 'innocent citizen' in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.

2)   "Begin [your reports of] news of resistance actions with the phrase 'In response to the cruel Israeli attack,' and conclude with the phrase 'This many people have been martyred since Israel launched its aggression against Gaza.' Be sure to always perpetuate the principle of 'the role of the occupation is attack, and we in Palestine are fulfilling [the role of] the reaction.'

3)   "Beware of spreading rumors from Israeli spokesmen, particularly those that harm the home front. Be wary regarding accepting the occupation's version [of events]. You must always cast doubts on this [version], disprove it, and treat it as false.

4)   "Avoid publishing pictures of rockets fired into Israel from [Gaza] city centers. This [would] provide a pretext for attacking residential areas in the Gaza Strip. Do not publish or share photos or video clips showing rocket launching sites or the movement of resistance [forces] in Gaza.

5)   "To the administrators of news pages on Facebook: Do not publish close-ups of masked men with heavy weapons, so that your page will not be shut down [by Facebook] on the claim that you are inciting violence. In your coverage, be sure that you say: 'The locally manufactured shells fired by the resistance are a natural response to the Israeli occupation that deliberately fires rockets against civilians in the West Bank and Gaza'..."

Additionally, the interior ministry prepared a series of suggestions specifically for Palestinian activists who speak to Westerners via social media. The ministry emphasizes that conversations with them should be conducted differently from conversations with other Arabs. It stated:
  • "When speaking to the West, you must use political, rational, and persuasive discourse, and avoid emotional discourse aimed at begging for sympathy. There are elements with a conscience in the world; you must maintain contact with them and activate them for the benefit of Palestine. Their role is to shame the occupation and expose its violations.

  • "Avoid entering into a political argument with a Westerner aimed at convincing him that the Holocaust is a lie and deceit; instead, equate it with Israel's crimes against Palestinian civilians.

  • "The narrative of life vs. the narrative of blood: [When speaking] to an Arab friend, start with the number of martyrs. [But when speaking] to a Western friend, start with the number of wounded and dead. Be sure to humanize the Palestinian suffering. Try to paint a picture of the suffering of the civilians in Gaza and the West Bank during the occupation's operations and its bombings of cities and villages.

  • "Do not publish photos of military commanders. Do not mention their names in public, and do not praise their achievements in conversations with foreign friends!"

Thursday, July 17, 2014

More Arabs Criticising Hamas

Ceasefire discussions are taking place in Egypt. More and more Arabs are speaking out against the stubborness of Hamas, see three examples below 

·       Palestinian 5th Column - Ahmed Al-Jarallah

Hamas continues to trade in the blood of the innocent people in Gaza and it has rejected calls for a cease-fire. Do they think they will be able to defeat Israel with their primitive weapons? Whether we like it or not, Israel is there. No solution will go through without Israel being part of it.  Therefore, it is up to the Palestinians to get rid of their illusions and sincerely try to contemplate the benefits brought forth by Egypt's [cease-fire] initiative. (Arab Times-Kuwait)

    See also
What Is Hamas Trying to Achieve? - Dr. Azeem Ibrahim

Hamas is playing a cynical game by firing completely useless and militarily insignificant rockets into Israel. The purpose of these wanton attacks, that cannot hope to penetrate Israel's Iron Dome, cannot reasonably be other than to provoke Israeli retaliation. Their hope is that this will lead to significant sympathy around the Muslim world that might rescue Hamas financially. (Al Arabiya)

    See also
Where Are Gaza's Bomb Shelters? - Abdulateef al-Mulhim

Why was Hamas successful in spreading a sophisticated network of tunnels and failed to build simple bomb shelters if they knew there would be armed conflicts? If Hamas really wanted an armed conflict, then they should have at least built some bomb shelters for the poor innocent Palestinians. Most of them don't want this armed conflict. (Arab News-Saudi Arabia

Terror via Tunnel

IDF Thwarts Hamas Infiltration and Terror Attack Using a Tunnel

1.    IDF spokesperson reports that Early Thursday morning (July 17), IDF forces thwarted an attack by Hamas terrorists attempting to infiltrate Israel through a terror tunnel.

"This morning, IDF forces identified approximately 13 terrorists attempting to infiltrate Israel through a terror tunnel constructed by Hamas. The tunnel led underground from the southern Gaza Strip towards the southern Israeli community of Sufa. ​IDF forces thwarted an impending terror attack, preventing the terrorists from attacking an Israeli kibbutz. The foiled attack could have had deadly and devastating consequences if carried out. No injuries were reported to IDF soldiers.

Terror tunnels are just one example of Hamas’ constant attempts to violate Israel’s sovereignty and security, by carrying out lethal attacks against Israeli civilians. As the IDF demonstrated in recent days, Hamas will not be able to launch strikes against Israel without consequences."

2.    On July 8th, another major terrorist attack was foiled when a massive terror tunnel was exposed and was blown up close to the Kerem Shalom crossing, where dozens of truckloads of goods enter Gaza every day.

3.    Both these foiled terror attacks took place close to the land crossings between Israel and Gaza, which function as important lifelines for the civilian population of Gaza. Despite these repeated attacks, Israel will continue to operate the land crossings in order to allow for goods to enter the Gaza Strip.

4.    Video of the thwarted attack:

5.    Photos of the terrorists' weapons:

Does Hamas Really Kill Its Own Civilians?

Gaza Strip NGO Safety Office Project (GANSO) is a project of CARE International, funded by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) with the aim of providing the information and analysis the NGO community needs in order to implement humanitarian projects safely.

CARE International is an international, non profit, secular confederation of 12 member organisations committed to fighting global poverty and delivering emergency aid in times of humanitarian crisis. CARE International’s Secretariat is based in Geneva and the 12 members work in more than 60 countries around the world.

A check from the beginning of the year of reports of Gazan civilians killed by Hamas' own rocket fire, shows:-

9-22 January Of 36 Home Made Rockets (HMRs)/Mortars, 19 landed in Gaza.

23 January-5 February 50% fell inside Gaza.

6-19 February no mention.

20 February-5 March 6 dropped in Gaza.

6-19 March 24 out of 64 firings dropped short/exploded on-site.

20 March-2 April
9 civilians injured and 1 death due to accidents involving explosive devices and unexploded ordnance.

3-16 April
3 fatalities and 6 injuries due to accidental explosions.

17-30 April
8 rockets dropped short out of 24.

In summary, a significant percentage of rockets and mortars fired off by Hamas and Islamic Jihad fall short, never making it across the Green Line and do cause fatalities and injuries among civilians.

Over 1350 rockets have so far, at least, been fired at Israel since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. Just h
ow many of those fell short and caused death, injury and destruction of property?

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sound Bytes of failed cease fire

With the failed attempt at a cease fire yesterday, it not being accepted by Hamas, the rockets continue.

The following are short sharp sound bytes that can be used in letters or conversations with friends, colleagues, etc

·       Israel accepted the Egyptian brokered ceasefire, supported by the Arab League, but Hamas and Islamic Jihad rejected it.

·       By rejecting the ceasefire and continuing to launch rockets at Israel, Hamas demonstrates once again that it is more interested in terror than in caring for the citizens of Gaza.

·       Hamas is directly responsible for the continuing hostilities, and for the suffering caused to civilians on both sides.

·       Hamas commits war crimes by using Gaza civilians as human shields and cynically puts their lives in grave danger. Hamas deliberately embeds its military operations deep within residential areas, in schools, mosques and hospitals.

·       Hamas considers every man, woman and child in Israel a legitimate target.

·       Israel does not consider the population of Gaza as enemies. Israel does the utmost to avoid harming uninvolved civilians and is acting solely to weaken Hamas terrorist infrastructure and safeguard our civilians.

·       Israel's goal is to restore the quiet for its citizens while inflicting a significant blow on the terrorist organizations.

·       No country in the world would sit idly by while its civilian population is subjected to terrorist rocket fire. Israel is no exception.

·       There is no symmetry: "Israel uses missile defense to protect its civilians, while Hamas is using its civilians to protect its missiles" (PM Netanyahu).

·       The international community must strongly condemn Hamas and the war crimes it is perpetrating in order to put an end to suffering on both sides.

·       In 2005 Israel withdrew from Gaza to the last millimeter and every last settlement was removed, just as the international community demanded. It should now support Israel's campaign against Hamas.