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Today's News

August 27, 2014

Heavy Last Minute Palestinian Barrage Kills Two Israelis

 By DEBKAfile


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel-Fatteh El-Sisi were able to bring Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip to accept an unlimited cease-fire in hostilities in effect from 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 26, based on the 2012 deal. Netanyahu did not ask for his ministers’ endorsement, knowing he did not have majority support in the cabinet.


Up to the last minute, Hamas kept up heavy rocket and mortar fire, causing two Israelis' death and injuring seven people, three seriously, in an Eshkol District kibbutz. It is too soon to tell whether Hamas will honor the deal during the month’s run-up to negotiations on a durable truce accord to be brokered by Egypt.


A direct hit to a kibbutz in the Eshkol District Tuesday killed two people and injured seven, three seriously. Rocket fire continued against Ashkelon and Ashdod past the hour of the cease-fire accepted by Israel and the Palestinians.


There is no certainty that Israel and Hamas deal were not presented with different drafts for approval by Egypt, which will require nimble footwork from Cairo diplomats to bridge at some point, or that Operation Defensive Edge is indeed over.



Gaza Cease-fire: What Did Israel Agree to?

By AFP &


Azzam al-Ahmed, head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) delegation in the Cairo truce talks, revealed to AFP on Tuesday night what exactly was in the long-term cease-fire deal that Israel agreed to, and which went into effect at 7 p.m..


The first point raised was Gaza border crossings. Under the agreement, there will be an immediate easing of restrictions on the two main crossings between Israel and Gaza to allow in aid and reconstruction supplies.


Significantly, construction materials needed to repair the water network, electricity grid and mobile phone networks will be allowed in along with humanitarian aid, food and medical supplies. It should be noted that Israel continued supplying humanitarian goods throughout most of Operation Protective Edge.


Construction materials have in the past been used to build terror tunnels to attack Israel, and therefore earlier reports signaled they would not be allowed in until the cease-fire had proven itself for a set amount of time.


The deal did not give specific details about how construction materials might be restricted, in line with the Israeli blockade on Gaza that has been in effect since 2006. It did however call for a lifting of that blockade with no clear timeline.


As for the Gaza fishing zone, restrictions will be lifted immediately to extend the zone to six nautical miles from the shore, to be extended later to 12 miles. Over the past eight years, Israel has set a six-nautical-mile limit for Gaza's fishermen when tensions were lower, restricting it to three miles when hostilities have escalated. Israel temporarily lifted the ban on August 17, two days before Hamas breached the last truce.


During the operation fishing was canceled due to security threats, as Hamas terrorists made several attempts to infiltrate Israel by sea, and have often tried to smuggle weapons into the Hamas stronghold under the guise of fishing vessels.


The cease-fire deal likewise would have future discussions held about a swap of terrorists jailed in Israel for the bodies of IDF soldiers Second Lt. Hadar Goldin and First Sgt. Oron Shaul hy''d, who were killed in the operation.


Hamas wants hundreds of prisoners released, among them those arrested in Operation Brother's Keeper, during which the IDF cracked down on the Hamas infrastructure in Judea and Samaria while searching for three Israeli teens abducted by Hamas terrorists.


They additionally demanded the release of roughly 60 terrorists who were freed in the 2011 Gilad Shalit deal and later re-arrested, some of whom quickly returned to murderous acts of terror.


Hamas is also calling for the release of 37 Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) members, all but two of whom are Hamas members, along with the 26 terrorists promised in the fourth batch of releases as part of the Israel-PA peace talks that broke down in April. The Hamas demand for a Gaza sea and airport will be discussed in Cairo within the next month according to the agreement.


What will Israel get from all of this? The one major Israeli demand has been a demilitarization of Gaza, which has emerged as a terror haven since Israel's withdrawal in 2005. Apparently Israel has linked the lifting of the Gaza blockade and reconstructing the area with the disarmament of the terror groups. The Palestinian delegation flatly refused this lone demand.


Apparently Israel will raise demilitarization and the limitation on construction materials and weapons in the next stage of talks to be held in the coming month.



Hamas Official: We'll Build Our Seaport without Permission



Senior Hamas official Mahmoud Al-Zahar declared on Tuesday that the group would build a seaport and airport in Gaza, even without permission. Al-Zahar hinted that any construction materials brought into Gaza for the purpose of its reconstruction will also be used for the construction of the seaport and airport.


"We will build our airport and our seaports and we will not ask for anyone's permission, and whoever will attack our ports and our airport we will attack their own ports and will once again attack again their airport," he said.


Al-Zahar, who spoke hours after a new long-term cease-fire in Gaza was announced, claimed that during the last round of fighting Hamas was able to topple Israel’s national security strategy by proving that Hamas is has the power to deter and not Israel. He also called to reconstruct the Gaza war in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem and by this to prepare for “the liberation of Palestine.


One of Hamas’s demands for a cease-fire was that a seaport and airport be built in Gaza. Both demands are seen as a security threat that would allow Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists to re-arm. According to the contents of the cease-fire agreement, the Hamas demand for a Gaza sea and airport will be discussed in Cairo within the next month



Iran Warns: We Will Arm Palestinians in West Bank

 By Israel Hayom


After shooting down what they claimed to be an Israeli drone over the Natanz nuclear site, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard announced Monday that Iran would "accelerate" its efforts to arm Palestinians in the West Bank as revenge.


"We are entitled to give any response [to the recent aggression] that we deem appropriate," said Revolutionary Guard Aerospace Force Commander Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, according to Fars News Agency. Iran also released a photograph of what it says is the Israeli-made Hermes drone. The Revolutionary Guards released a statement saying the drone was "radar-evading" and had been shot down with a surface-to-air missile.


According to Iran, some of the parts of the downed drone are still functional. "Our experts are studying the information and intelligence of these parts," said Revolutionary Guard Public Relations Department Director Gen. Ramezan Sharif. Iran has yet to provide conclusive evidence that the drone in question is Israeli.



New York Jewish Couple Assaulted by Gang Waving PLO Flags

 By Reuters &


A Jewish couple in New York were physically assaulted Monday by an anti-Semitic gang, who then fled the scene in cars flying the Palestinian Authority flag, according to the New York Post.


Police sources say two cars and several motorbikes suddenly pulled up next to the couple as they were walking on East 63rd Street near Third Avenue on the Upper East Side, just after 8 p.m. Monday evening. The attackers then started shouting "anti-Jewish statements," before launching their assault. One of the men struck the woman with a water bottle, and another punched her husband in the side of his head as he intervened to defend her.


The victims, who live in the area, were left shaken but not seriously injured, and refused medical treatment at the scene. Their identities have not been released, but the Post said the husband was 27 years old, and that they may have been targeted because he was wearing a kippah (skullcap).


Police have launched an investigation into the hate-crime, but as of Tuesday no arrests have been made and a profile of the suspects has not been released. There has been a dramatic spike in anti-Semitic crimes since Israel launched Operation Protective Edge to combat rocket fire on its civilians and terrorist infiltration tunnels from Gaza.


Europe has been particularly hard-hit, but several anti-Jewish hate-crimes have also occurred in the US and elsewhere, with anti-Israel and pro-Gaza slogans or sentiments featuring prominently. According to the World Zionist Organization, last month saw a more than 383% rise in anti-Semitic incidents compared to the same period the previous year.


How Naïve or Ignorant Israelis Can Be


By Tzvi Szajnbrum, Attorney at Law (Commentary)


"In most cases, people, even the most vicious, are much more naive and simple-minded than we assume them to be. And this is true of ourselves too." Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov


People who are "naive" tend to believe in whatever they are told, without questioning whether it is right or wrong and somehow they do it again and again, never questioning if it is right or wrong. Being naive refers to a lack of understanding or a lack of experience and wisdom versus ignorance which is more a lack of knowledge or may be lack of education.


Tsuk Eitan has shown us how our leaders in parliament can manipulate almost an entire population into thinking we are “winning this war, that we have destroyed Hamas’ capability, we have rebuilt deterrence, we now have an upper hand”, and so on.


Our economy has suffered a blow, no one knows when and how we will fully recuperate and at what price. The interest rate has dropped to .025%, its lowest since the creation of the State of Israel. Our education system in the south is on hold and nobody knows how or when school will resume; as a result, hundreds of thousands of children could be wandering in the streets, a much more dangerous situation and no one has a solution for this.


Business all over the southern border has been deadly affected and there is no way the State of Israel can rescue all local business, therefore many hundreds or thousands of small and big business may just vanish during next year.


Every time we use “Iron Dome” it costs us at least $80,000  – for every single use (total estimate including the missile itself and the surrounding logistics needed to fire these missiles). The costs for the so badly needed medical care for all those injured is rocketing and we, the people will feel very soon that cost when the Ministry of Health starts to “re-budget”  due to this war.


It is well known in the legal system the dictum “Ignorantia juris non excusat” (or ignorantia legis neminem excusat) - Latin for "ignorance of the law does not excuse" or "ignorance of the law excuses no one", but is ignorance of the current situation an excuse or we are doomed to pay for our ignorance or let’s say our naïveté?


We must apply this rationale on ourselves. Don’t say “I didn’t know”, because we all know that regardless of how long a cease-fire might last, the next operation is already being planned by all sides.


We know if two or more rockets were to hit Ben Gurion airport, somehow in a miraculous change of heart the State of Israel would quickly find a solution to what today they say is “impossible to achieve” – the destruction of Hamas.


Israeli leadership believes that we the people, are either naive or ignorant.  It is up to us next time we vote to send them a clear message – we are neither!











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 Paradise Regained, Paradise Lost

By Don Canaan (Commentary)

This year marked the 29th anniversary of the return of the Sinai by Israel to Egypt--a day of mourning by many of the 2,000 settlers who settled and later were forcibly evacuated by Israeli authorities under the command of Ariel Sharon, from the seaside city of Yamit on the Mediterranean.

Yamit was former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan's dream--a projected seaport and city of 250,000 founded on the Sinai sand dunes overlooking date palm trees and the blue Mediterranean--a populated buffer between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on the other side of the Suez Canal.

Some alternate historians say Moses and the children of Israel passed near the site of Yamit 3,500 years ago as they wandered for 40 years through the Sinai Desert on their way to the proverbial land of milk and honey.

Since April 25, 1982 only the whine of the desert wind weaves its currents through the crevices of destroyed homes, businesses and monument--a memorial to the young men who died during the 1967 Six Day war.

Christians, Jews and Muslims died during three Arab-Israeli wars and battles that took place in the Sinai in 1956, 1967 and 1973--Egyptian and Israeli--young people who fought and died in that desolate, forsaken desert wasteland.

The modern-day chariot carrying Egyptian President Mohammed Anwar al-Sadat hugged the intermittently green coastline of Sinai on its historic mission to Jerusalem. Israelis glancing upward into the clear night sky saw merely a jet banking gently to the northwest.

Official Israeli government policy was that the settlers had to be removed and the army came and forcibly removed the remaining diehard residents. The Jerusalem Post described the scene: Apocalypse had arrived in Yamit and in the dust and noise and destruction one could wander freely. Dozens of bulldozers and giant mobile air hammers were loose in the city like a pack of predatory beasts."

April 25, 20011 marked the 29th anniversary of Israel's withdrawal from Yamit and Sinai and a cold peace between long-term enemies.

That gift of peace silently glided overhead as the Sabbath disappeared and the stars appeared. At 8:01 p.m. Sadat's jetliner landed at Ben-Gurion Airport and the first minutes of a then potential peace came to the Middle East.

Old enemies became new friends. The crowds roared its approval when Sadat shook hands with Moshe Dayan. A person standing nearby, according to the Jerusalem Post, said Sadat told Dayan, "Don't worry Moshe, it will be all right."

The peace treaty between the two nations was signed on March 26, 1979 and on April 25, 1982; the events that had started on a November day at Camp David came to fruition. Sinai was returned to Egypt. Yamit was bulldozed to the ground. But Anwar Sadat did not live to see that day. He had been assassinated seven months before.



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