Gaza Strip

Continue or Abort? You Decide

From the IDF Blog:

Last year, the IDF set out on a mission to stop Hamas aggression against Israeli civilians. One of our major challenges was that Hamas’ chose to embed its vast terror network deep within Gaza’s population. The terror organization hid weapons in schools and mosques, fired rockets from hospitals and dug terror tunnels under homes.

When a weapons storage facility or launching pad must be targeted, but suddenly civilians appear in the area, you are faced with a serious dilemma. If you fire at the target, you may harm civilians nearby. If you don’t, you may be leaving Israeli civilians at risk.

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Kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out

Politico has an article about the perceived strategy that Israel and the US are letting their enemies kill each other before moving to do anything.

As some see it, what’s happening now in the Mideast provides the best excuse the Israelis have had in a long time to just sit back and let their worst enemies rub each other out. Senior Israeli officials now view Hamas, the terror group that lobbed thousands of rockets at Israel last summer, as a potential bulwark against supporters of the Islamic State (Daesh in Arabic) in the Gaza Strip. This was the gist of a June 19 opinion piece by Efraim Halevi, former director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, in the popular daily Yediot Ahronot.  Reports suggest that Israel is now even mulling a truce with Hamas, with one intended consequence being that the group would devote its energies to defeating Daesh.

True, it is likely that both of Israel’s foes could be badly bloodied. And that’s probably a positive. This was the Western calculus during the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88). As Henry Kissinger reportedly quipped, “It’s a pity they both can’t lose.” But when the guns fell silent, neither country was defeated. And both emerged committed and able to destabilize the Middle East and threaten American interests.

The strategy was risky then and it’s risky now. Even so, it’s making a comeback. A growing gaggle of Western governments now appear to be altering their threat assessments of violent groups in an apparent effort to enlist them in the fight against the Islamic State.      Read more »

So how much aid was the Maori TV crew delivering to Gaza?

Look at us, we tricked the world and got a free cruise on the Med as well!

Look at us, we tricked the world and got a free cruise on the Med as well!

We were all told by Maori Television that their journalist was part of the Kia Ora Gaza flotilla and they were delivering “aid” to Gaza.

We were also told by the media, acting as useful mouthpieces for Kia Ora Gaza that the aid that was being delivered were “medical equipment and solar panels“.

Marianne’s cargo includes donated medical equipment and solar panels: “The sun cannot be blockaded.”

Sounds admirable doesn’t it?

Well…uhmm..no…it was a lie.

The Washington Post explains:

Pro-Palestinian activists aboard a Swedish vessel tried and failed to punch through Israel’s maritime blockade of Gaza this week. Israeli commandos boarded the vessel, searched the ship and brought it to an Israeli port.

The Israeli military called the operation “uneventful.” According to a report, Israel’s Channel 2, one of the activists was zapped with a taser. The foreign activists were detained and are being deported.

In the scope of Middle East confrontations, it was a minor, though publicized, affair.

Afterwards, Israel’s defense minister Moshe Yaalon said, “there was no aid on board” the activist ship.    Read more »

Maori TV journalists detained by IDF as they take control of ships

The Maori TV journalists who were aboard the “Marianne av Göteborg” have been detained after the ships were intercepted by Israeli Navy Commandos.

The Times of Israel reports:

Israeli Navy commandos boarded a ship that was headed for the Gaza Strip overnight Sunday-Monday and took control of the vessel.

The interception occurred without incident and there were no injuries, the IDF said.

The Swedish-registered Marianne of Gothenburg will now be taken to Ashdod port, after which the activists on board will likely be deported, as Israeli officials have warned.

“In accordance with international law, the Israeli Navy advised the vessel several times to change course,” the IDF said in a statement.

“Following their refusal, forces visited and searched the vessel in international waters in order to prevent the intended breach of the maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip. The forces have reported that use of force was unnecessary, and that the process was uneventful. The vessel is currently being escorted to Ashdod Port and is expected to arrive within 12-24 hours,” it went on.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated the commandos on “their determined and efficient action in detaining the passengers on the ship that tried to reach the Gaza coast in contravention of the law.”

“This flotilla is nothing but a demonstration of hypocrisy and lies that is only assisting the Hamas terrorist organization and ignores all of the horrors in our region. Preventing entry by sea was done in accordance with international law and even received backing from a committee of the UN Secretary General,” Netanyahu said in a statement released to the press.

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Has Maori Television disavowed its reporters?

There are two Maori television reporters aboard the boats planning on risking life and limb to run the blockade of Gaza.

Ruwani Perera (Ngati Sri Lanka) and her cameraman are in grave danger and it appears that the Maori Television management and board have not completed the appropriate risk assessments to protect them and the organisation from legal action if either of them are injured or killed.

The media are all over this because, as is usual, they are taking sides. But what they are not telling you is the following:

  1. The blockade of Gaza is legal.

    The blockade of Gaza by Israel and Egypt was put in place in 2007 after Hamas came to power and started to attack Israel. 

    The UN-commissioned ‘[Sir Geoffrey] Palmer Report‘ regarding the Gaza Flotilla Incident of 2010 deemed the naval blockade by Israel to be a legitimate security measure to prevent weapons from entering Gaza by sea and to protect the Israeli population: “Israel has faced and continues to face a real threat to its security from militant groups in Gaza. Rockets, missiles and mortar bombs have been launched from Gaza towards Israel since 2001. More than 5,000 were fired between 2005 and January 2009, when the naval blockade was imposed. Hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians live in the range of these attacks … The purpose of these acts of violence, which have been repeatedly condemned by the international community, has been to do damage to the population of Israel. It seems obvious enough that stopping these violent acts was a necessary step for Israel to take in order to protect its people and to defend itself.”

  2. Breaching the blockade is illegal.

    Violation of a lawful blockade constitutes unlawful activity, as reflected in paragraphs 10, 67, and 146 of the San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994.

  1. The UN recommends governments should dissuade activists from these activities.

    The Palmer Report clearly states: “Attempts to breach a lawfully imposed naval blockade place the vessel and those on board at risk. Where a State becomes aware that its citizens or flag vessels intend to breach a naval blockade, it has a responsibility to take pro-active steps compatible with democratic rights and freedoms to warn them of the risks involved and to endeavour to dissuade them from doing so.”

  1. Aid is being delivered to Gaza on a daily basis via Israel.

    According to the Israeli Coordination of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), there were 1,252 crossings from Israel into Gaza, including 14,533 tonnes of goods, on Wednesday, June 24th, 2015 alone, consistent with previous days.

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These stupid people are going to get hurt…or worse

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Super Dvora class fast patrol boat leaving dock in Haifa. Photo/ Cam Slater, Whaleoil Media

Two Maori Television staff are going to try and break Israel’s blockade.

They’re foolish and in grave danger.

Two Māori TV staff are aboard the “Freedom Flotilla III” currently steaming to break an Israel-controlled naval blockade.

The flotilla set sail from Messina, Italy this week on a humanitarian mission to take an undisclosed tranche of supplies through the Israel Defence Force (IDF) blockade to the Palestinian territory in Gaza.

Journalist Ruwani Perera and camera operator Jacob Bryant, facilitated by Kia Ora Gaza Trust, are on the Swedish former trawler Marianne av Göteborg, which will meet up with other boats shortly.   Read more »

Legal Standards in a war?

Call me old-fashioned but, apart from following the Geneva convention, I though war was about winning at all costs, preferably through superior firepower. That seems to be the case if you are a country like America but for some strange reason Israel is held to standards that no other country under ongoing attack from hostile forces is held to.

Any other country under ongoing attack  (let alone from forces that have promised to wipe it and its people off the face of the earth) is expected to defend itself and is usually offered assistance from other countries to do so. They are not told how they are allowed to defend themselves or restricted in how they defend themselves.

The MSM uses phrases like ‘disproportionate  force‘ when discussing Israel’s defence of its citizens, which is a phrase I have never heard used in any other conflict.

America ended the war with Japan using ‘disproportionate force’ because that is how you win a war. If you have similar proportionate force you end up with a bloody stalemate like the Western Front in World War One. That stalemate was only broken once the Allies obtained ‘disproportionate force’ in the form of tanks.

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ISIS affiliates at war with Hamas and rocketing Israel

The bizarro world of ISIS and jihadi scumbags has just got weirder.

They have moved into Gaza and are having a demarkation dispute with Hamas who are none too happy that their little reign of terror is being challenged.

They are busily killing each other…and in defiance the ISIS affiliates rocketed Ashdod… because they are Jews presumably?

The Islamist group that fired rockets at southern Israel Wednesday night said Thursday that it would continue its “way of Jihad” and “attack the Jews” – whether or not Hamas approved. And the next attack, it said, would come within hours.

In a statement, the “Sheikh Amar Hadid Brigades” said that the rockets were fired in revenge for “the death of an Islamic State member in Gaza by Hamas members.”

“We have repeated that we will continue in the way of Jihad against the Jews, the enemies of Allah. No one will stop us from fulfilling our obligation and attacking the Jews.”

Several days ago, the same jihadist group took responsibility for the firing of a Grad rocket at Ashdod last week.

The group has since presented Hamas with an ultimatum demanding that it be allowed to attack Israel from Gaza and on Thursday said it would conduct another attack on the Jewish state within 12 hours.   Read more »

Amnesty International: Hamas committed war crimes as well

No surprises here other than it is Amnesty International who has recognised that Hamas committed war crimes during last year’s Gaza war.

Amnesty International has published a damning report on Hamas’s conduct during last summer’s Gaza war, accusing it and other Palestinian armed groups of committing “war crimes” by firing rockets and mortars into Israel.

The report, released today, is the first by the human rights group to target Hamas after a series of publications accusing Israel of waging attacks that constituted war crimes.

Six civilians were killed in Israel by rocket and mortar attacks from Hamas-controlled Gaza during the 50-day conflict in which 66 Israeli soldiers also died. Some 2,250 Palestinians were killed, at least 1,585 of them civilians, according to the United Nations.

Both sides must be held accountable, Amnesty says. “The violations by Palestinian groups, some of which are war crimes, do not in any way justify violations by Israeli forces; nor do Israeli violations justify those of Palestinian armed groups,” the report says.    Read more »

Anti-Israeli protestors turfed from Pak’NSave

Anti-Israeli protestors who are wanting a boycott of Israeli products at supermarkets have been turfed from Pak’NSave in Hamilton.

What is worse though is Fairfax promoting their cause, and even adding a link to their Facebook page in the story.

protestpromtion

It seems Fairfax is a political brand though, pushing a pro-Palestinian agenda and an anti-Israeli one.

Police were called to escort a group of about 12 human rights protesters out of the Pak’N Save supermarket in Mill St, Hamilton, today.

The multicultural organisation called Palestine Human Rights Campaign Waikato had entered the store and were distributing leaflets calling on customers not to buy goods made in Israel.

Protest organiser Ahmed Khaled said the protest was aimed at raising awareness of ongoing violence and the persecution of people in the Gaza Strip.

“We don’t want to single out Pak’N Save.”

The lengthy conflict has escalated this year. Between July 8 and August 27, more than 2100 Palestinians were killed in Gaza, and 66 Israeli soldiers and seven civilians in Israel. The United Nations says most of the Palestinians were civilians.

Pak’N Save store manager Stefan Hance had previously asked the group to restrict their activities to the roadside kerb outside the supermarket – however it was not long before they walked in and quickly dispersed throughout the store, quietly handing out flyers and talking to shoppers about why they were there.

Two of the group wheeled in shopping trolleys and before long homed in on a display stand with Beigel and Biegel Pretzels, one of the Israeli-made products on sale. After packing the pretzel packets into the trolley, Ruba Niza, another member of the group, sprinkled rose petals over them – a move she said signified the peaceful nature of their visit.

The protesters spent about 20 minutes inside the store before the police arrived, and once told to leave they complied.

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