amas has lost. The Islamist terrorist entity that governs the impoverished Gaza Strip has run out of military and political options. Following Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005, Hamas began a systematic campaign to harry and harass Israeli border communities by showering them with thousands of rockets. Soon, Hamas managed to increase the range, accuracy and payload of its rockets placing Ashqelon, Ashdod and even Tel Aviv in peril. But Israel answered the challenge by introducing its Iron Dome wonder weapon which effectively neutralized the rocket threat.
So Hamas turned to its Plan B – terror tunnels. Hamas began digging tunnels into Israel with the aim of carrying out mega attacks. In 2014, a plan was in the works to launch a massive attack on the Jewish new year of Rosh Hashanah in which Hamas would deploy hundreds of fighters who would emerge from tunnels and engage in a kidnapping-murder spree. As it would turn out, the plan never materialized. A series of Hamas provocations prior to Rosh Hashanah triggered a massive Israeli counter-insurgency operation against Hamas in the summer of 2014.
During the course of the 50-day campaign, the Israel Defense Forces uncovered some three-dozen tunnels, many of which penetrated into Israel. They were destroyed but the revelation prompted Israel’s military planners to invest in technologies capable of detecting terror tunnels. The investment bore fruit. Israel is in the midst of constructing a massive underground barrier aimed at thwarting infiltrations. In addition, the IDF has devised methods and technologies specifically geared to detecting underground anomalies.
In the past few months, the IDF has destroyed or caused the collapse of no less than five tunnels. Just days ago, a tunnel collapsed near the border in Deir al-Balah, in central Gaza killing a member of the so-called Al-Qassam Brigades. On April 15, the IDF destroyed a tunnel that it described as the “longest and deepest” yet uncovered. And in October 2017, the IDF destroyed a tunnel killing 14 terrorists – 12 belonging to Islamic Jihad and two from Hamas. Israel has transformed terror tunnels into giant burial chambers for terrorists.
Its rocket and tunnel threats neutralized, Hamas turned to a new tactic, one aimed at cynically employing civilians and garnering world sympathy. Three weeks ago, it began to stage mass protests along the border. These protests were anything but peaceful but the IDF was ready for all contingencies. In the first week of protests, 30,000 demonstrators, some of whom were armed, took part. That number whittled down to 20,000 in the second week and to about 5,000 in the third week.
The downward trend is expected to continue as Gazans recognize the futility of their actions and exploitation by their government. Noteworthy is the fact that 80% of “peaceful demonstrators” killed thus far along the border actually belonged to one of three terrorist groups, the Al Qassam Brigades, the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Islamic Jihad. Photos of some of them can be viewed here.
Armchair elitists who sit within confines of the Hollywood bubble have the luxury of second-guessing Israeli military decisions but those living in the Israeli community of Nir Oz, just a few hundred meters from the border, have no such luxury. For them it is a matter of life and death and they are under no illusions about what would happen to them if their genocidal neighbors just across the border breached the border, from above or below.
Having failed with rockets, terror tunnels and mass demonstrations, Hamas’s options have been severely curtailed. Hamas has invested heavily in Unmanned Aerial Drone technology but here too, Israel has stymied their efforts.
Last Saturday, 35-year-old Fadi Muhammad al-Batsh, was liquidated as he was walking from his house to a nearby mosque in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. The assassins pumped 10 to 14 bullets into his body to ensure death. Al-Batsh, an electrical engineer, was a lecturer at the British Malaysian Institute at the University of Kuala Lumpur. But al-Batsh had a more sinister side. He was a high ranking member of Hamas and was responsible for advancing the group’s militarized UAV program. Hamas described him as its “engineer commander.” According to a New York Times report, Batsh may have also been secretly negotiating with North Korean agents, on Malaysian soil, for arms transfers to Hamas. He thus became a legitimate target for liquidation.
In December 2016, Mohammad Zawari, another Hamas operative and an engineer who was also central to Hamas’s UAV program met a similar fate in Tunisia. In both cases, Israel remained tight-lipped but there is little doubt that Israel’s long arm of justice reached out and touched both of these menaces.
In the air and subterranean theaters, Israel has outmaneuvered Hamas and its affiliates. The Islamist group has plainly run out of options and is under extreme distress. Its negotiations to forge unity with Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority (the other corrupt Palestinian entity that governs 40% of Judea and Samaria) have run into a brick wall. Graft and mismanagement are rampant in the Strip and unemployment for those between the ages of 15 to 29 hovers at an astonishing 60%. Drug addiction is prevalent as many have resorted to opioids to escape their abysmal, Hamas-created reality. Electricity and water shortages are commonplace and raw sewage remains untreated.
Left with no viable military options to deflect Gazans’ attentions away from their hellish predicament, we can expect Hamas to resort to yet greater internal repression to maintain its vice-like hold on power.
Members of Students for Justice in Palestine speak at the “Palestine Without Borders” session at the 2018 United We Dream National Congress. Photo: Youth Empowerment Alliance.
A pro-Israel group on Thursday denounced an “antisemitic” session recently hosted by an immigrant youth organization, which compared Israel with Nazi Germany and equated the movement for Jewish self-determination with white supremacy and genocide.
69% of progressives are ashamed to be Americans, but 63% are proud of their political ideology instead. The majority don’t attend religious services, but 73% list politics as their preoccupation.
Numbers from one poll showed that, “religiously unaffiliated Democrats were more than twice as likely to have attended a rally within the past 12 months compared with their religious peers” and were “significantly more likely to have contacted an elected official or to have donated to a candidate or cause” or “bought or boycotted a product for political reasons or posted political opinions online”.
Campus Week: A guide for Jewish students and their elders
Anti-Zionism ghettoizes Jews from the rest of the justice movement, putting a wall around us that separates us from other marginalized people. It cannot be reconciled with any movement striving for inclusivity. It denies us access to solidarity-based movements which should be fighting for equality, for historically oppressed peoples. As American Jewish students return to campus, they should prepare to be challenged academically and intellectually, and should also prepare to challenge movements that don’t respect Zionism and their Jewish heritage.
The Jerusalem Post reviewed a video showing two speakers who called for the “liberation of all of Palestine 48” and “we must take a stand and boycott Israel. BDS.” The slogan to “liberate all of Palestine” reverts to the founding of the Jewish state in 1948 and is widely considered a euphemism to cleanse Israel of Jews.
The German Middle East expert Thomas von der Osten-Sacken wrote an article on the website of the Austrian-based think tank Mena-Watch, with the headline “Speaker at indivisible demonstration calls for Israel’s destruction.” The protest was called #unteilbar (indivisible) by its organizers.
From 1998 to 2008, 5.4 million Congolese died as a result of civil war. Most of the Congolese asylum seekers in Israel came during this period.
It is now the turn of hundreds of asylum seekers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to be deported back to their country. The Foreign Ministry has implied that the conditions that justified collective protection to Congolese asylum seekers no longer prevail and that there is nothing to prevent them from returning home safely. The Population, Immigration and Border Authority (PIBA) has given them 90 days to leave the country.
With its decades-old track record of murder and mayhem, Hamas has already secured itself a place in the annals of infamy.
From bus bombings to underground terror tunnels to the indiscriminate firing of thousands of rockets and projectiles at Israeli towns and cities, the Islamic extremist group has repeatedly found new ways to sow widespread death and destruction.
Since Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005, the standard of living for the Palestinian people in Gaza has steadily declined, even though Israel gifted the Palestinians with thriving agricultural lands, productive greenhouses and beautiful beachfront communities.
Every once in a while, I come across a book that I can say changed the way I understand the world I live in. Raymond Ibrahim’s new book, Sword and Scimitar, altered the way I understand the development of our civilization – I mean the one that America inherited from Europe and made our own. It drove home to me how little I knew about the way Islam – in the form of attempted and often successful conquest – really changed the way our civilization evolved and the way it grew to understand itself.
American Thinker: “How War with Islam Shaped and Defined Us”
“In the Hadith, the Day of Judgment will never happen until you fight the Jews,” Hatem Bazian reportedly declared, “until the trees and stones will say, oh Muslim, there is a Jew hiding behind me. Come and kill him!”
That was in 1999.
Two years later, Bazian had co-founded Students for Justice in Palestine. Three years later, 79 members of his new SJP hate group were busted for disrupting a Holocaust Remembrance Day event.
Iran is a formidable enemy. A large country of more than 80 million people, endowed with energy riches, it has always been a regional power. Having an imperial past and revolutionary zeal (since the 1979 Iranian Revolution), Iran nourishes ambitions to rule over the Middle East and beyond. Furthermore, theologically there is no place in Iranian thinking for a Jewish state.