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.
The US Treasury added three top Hezbollah figures to its list of sanctioned individuals on Tuesday, including two members of the Lebanese Parliament and a security official responsible for coordinating between Hezbollah and Lebanon’s security agencies.
It was the first time the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control had designated a member of Lebanon’s Parliament under a sanctions list that targets those accused by Washington of providing support to terrorist organizations. Washington has designated Hezbollah as a terrorist group.
South African fans in Cairo celebrating their team’s win over Egypt at the African Cup of Nations. Photo: Reuters / Sumaya Hisham.
Three days after South Africa stunned the world of international soccer by knocking hosts Egypt out of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, the sound of elation remains clearly detectable in the voice of the team’s Jewish midfielder, Dean Furman.
“It was a fantastic victory, just fantastic,” Furman told The Algemeiner during a break in training on Tuesday, as South Africa prepared for its crucial quarterfinal game against Nigeria, another of the continent’s toughest sides, tomorrow.
Pieter van Oordt, left, with his brother, Roger, at the Israel
For the second time in recent history, a Dutch Christian organization dedicated to supporting Israel has gone head-to-head with the government. With their family tradition of belief in Israel that preceded the state of Israel by almost one hundred years, it seems unlikely that the van Oordts are about to back down, no matter what the odds.
Last month, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy made a request from the management of the Israel Products Center (IPC) to ensure they were in compliance with regulations adopted in 2015 by the European Commission requiring products made by Jewish owned companies in Judea, Samaria, the Golan Heights, and sections of Jerusalem to be labeled in a manner indicating their origins.
Studies have shown that dairy cows contribute large amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, caused by the organisms living in their microbiomes.
Genetically modifying cows may help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and feed world populations, a new study led by Prof. Itzhak Mizrahi of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev suggests.
“Our findings are both a major breakthrough for basic science and will have a positive impact on two major challenges facing the international community for the foreseeable future: climate change and food security,” Mizrahi said.
The decision by IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi to promote Brig. Gen. Ofer Winter reflects his future political aspirations.
Incoming Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi walks out at the end of a handover ceremony where he replaces Lt. Gen. Gadi Eizenkot, at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Israel, Jan. 15, 2019.
Israel has its own version of Napoleon’s famous saying, “Every soldier carries a marshal’s baton in his pack.” In these parts, every general carries a prime minister’s baton — or at least that of a defense minister — in his pack
As Islamist Watch has pointed out many times before, Islam is enormously diverse – containing many competing schools of theology, schools of jurisprudence, sects, ethnicities, cultures and mysticisms. Islamism is also not a single force; it comprises dozens of (both) competing and collaborating radical ideologies.
One of the most intriguing divisions, then, within both American Islam and Islamism of late has been growing dissent over the question of liberalism.
Right after Trump’s inauguration, I ran an article about how incredibly fake the news coverage was about his inauguration. (Those reading my site know I’m not a big Trump fan, but credit where credit is due and calling fake where calling fake is due.) The media was nothing short of spectacularly fake in the news it contrived that week on CNN, the New York Times and the other major fake media, and they mostly got away with it.
It wasn’t condescension or contempt. Recent remarks by former Mossad head Shabtai Shavit reek of racism. That is the proper way to frame them, calling them anything else is letting him off easy. In its classic, formal sense, racism is when a certain social sector perceives itself as superior because of clear racial criteria. Shavit represents an updated version of racism that doesn’t require ethnicity or religion as proof of a defect – you can call it “essential racism.”
Little Napoleon Barak is going to save Israeli Democracy? What a bunch of claptrap Orwellian doublespeak.
Well let’s check out history. How well did the original Napoleon save France’s democratic revolution against the monarchy?
Hmm, if I recall he crowned himself emperor!
For years, the pundits have been telling us that Israeli democracy is in danger because of the Arab birthrate, or because of the Jewish nation-state law, or because of the debates over the powers of Israel’s High Court.
I wonder if they will recognize the danger posed by the 10 left-wing American Jewish organizations that have formed a new umbrella organization, the essential purpose of which is to undermine Israeli democracy.