Israel Defense Forces

IDF detains Hamas-hugging Green MP, while rockets rain down on Israel

While Hamas-hugging Green party MP?Marama Davidson has been detained, Israel has come under rocket attack from Gaza.

The Israeli Navy on Wednesday evening took over control of a boat of women activists that was headed to Gaza as a protest against Israel?s security blockade of the coastal strip.

The IDF confirmed the takeover.

The boat was commandeered without violence or any resistance from the 13 activists onboard, the army said.

It was intercepted some 35 nautical miles (65 kilometers) from the Gaza coast, and was making its way slowly toward the Israeli port of Ashdod.

The group of 13 women, including 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire, was traveling aboard the Zaytouna-Oliva sailboat in the Mediterranean Sea toward the Hamas-run Palestinian enclave.

?In accordance with government directives and after exhausting all diplomatic channels, the Israeli Navy redirected the vessel in order to prevent breach of the lawful maritime blockade,? the IDF said in a statement.

?In accordance with international law, the Israeli Navy advised the vessel numerous times to change course prior to the action. Following their refusal the Navy visited and searched the vessel in international waters in order to prevent their intended breach of the lawful maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip. The visit and search of the vessel was uneventful,? the statement concluded.

Women soldiers were placed at the forefront of the navy?s interception force, Israel Radio reported, in order to minimize friction with the activists.

The activists put up a website carrying prepared ?SOS messages? by those on board alleging they had been ?kidnapped? by the IDF.

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Human Rights Commission goes to war with the media

It seems the response to Dame Susan Devoy’s endorsement of decisions to not mention “Christmas” so as to not offend those precious thin-skinned Muslim?immigrants?has hit a nerve. She has lambasted media bias.

Most of us already realise our mainstream media has a powerful influence on people. What some of us do not already realise is that our media is neither neutral nor objective.

Chinese New Zealanders, Muslim New Zealanders, Jewish New Zealanders, Pacific New Zealanders, Indian New Zealanders, African New Zealanders and of course Maori New Zealanders: regularly tell the Commission that the media too often misrepresents, sensationalises or fails to include their voices in news stories about them.

Often news stories about ethnic minorities have negative themes and present minorities as problems and not as people. This is not a new phenomenon and with the advent of social media, these prejudices are often amplified.

Dame Susan Devoy, Race Relations Commissioner, who recently spoke at the Ethnic Migrant Refugee Community Engagement Summit about this issue, says that while the media may not be neutral or objective, it does reflect the society we live in.

?There have been a number of examples in recent times of the media?s incorrect treatment and portrayal of ethnic communities in New Zealand.

?The ?ban on Christmas? coverage last year was particularly telling ? taking The Commission?s defence of a Migrant Trusts right to use secular language and turning it into a story about how New Zealand?s way of life was at risk from migrants and newcomers.

?The article pushed the buttons of fear and intolerance and served an existing undertone of anti-migrant and anti-Muslim rhetoric: and the immediate response from many New Zealanders was angry, abusive and offensive.?

The article definitely got people talking, but after a month or so the majority of editorials and commentators had realised what we had been saying for weeks: no one was banning Christmas; Kiwis can decide for themselves; New Zealand?s way of life was not in danger.

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Hamas get military weapons ideas from Iran and North Korea

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It is well known that Iran supplies Hamas with weapons, but it appears that they are also sharing weapons technology and designs with the North Koreans.

Hamas claimed recently it has created its own tank, repurposing parts of another tank captured from Israel Defense Forces two years ago

The vehicle was put on public display during a parade last week at the funeral of seven Hamas members, killed during a tunnel collapse near the Israeli border.

A Hamas leader told the assembled crowd: “The Tufah neighbourhood (in Gaza) has a long story with enemy tanks, and therefore, we are preparing ourselves for the day we shall meet those tanks … Let the locally-produced vehicle move forward.? ?? Read more »

Victoria University academics against freedom of speech

Normally student bodies and academics are protesting against impinging of academic freedoms.

In the topsy turvy world of New Zealand universities though they mean only freedoms they agree with, but when it involves Israelis then there must be boycotts, demands for cancellation of events and bullying via the media.

So much for academic freedoms.

Israeli soldiers involved in an operation that left thousands of Palestinians dead will speak at Victoria University, to the horror of some staff and students.

But the group of Jewish students bringing the former soldiers out say attempts to stop them coming to the university are an affront to free speech.

Students are planning to picket the Tuesday evening event at the university while 11 academics have signed a letter opposing it, arguing Palestinians would not be able to do the same.

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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 »

Maori Television reporter deported from Israel

One of the two reporters from Maori Television on board the terror-supporting protest flotilla has been deported from Israel.

Maori Television reporter Ruwani Perera has been deported from Israel after she and cameraman Jacob Bryant were filming a story onboard a flotilla of ships detained by the Israeli military.

Perera contacted relatives on Tuesday morning (New Zealand time) via satellite phone to say she was being deported, her partner Tim Werry said.

Werry said she was safe and that she would be flying back into Auckland on July 1.

It was only a brief message, he said, and he did not hear what had happened to Perera’s colleague Bryant.

“It’s all happening so quickly,” he said.

Werry said he was initially relieved to hear the news that she had been released by the Israeli military. ? Read more »

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

The Maori TV journalists who were aboard the “Marianne av G?teborg” 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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UN report on Gaza is flawed and dangerous

Richard Kemp, a retired British Army colonel and the?former Commander of British Forces in Afghanistan, writes in the New York Times?about how deeply flawed and dangerous the UN report on Gaza is.

AS a British officer who had more than his share of fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Balkans, it pains me greatly to see words and actions from the United Nations that can only provoke further violence and loss of life. The United Nations Human Rights Council report on last summer?s conflict in Gaza, prepared by Judge Mary McGowan Davis, and published on Monday, will do just that.

The report starts by attributing responsibility for the conflict to Israel?s ?protracted occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip,? as well as the blockade of Gaza. Israel withdrew from Gaza 10 years ago. In 2007 it imposed a selective blockade only in response to attacks by Hamas and the import of munitions and military mat?riel from Iran. The conflict last summer, which began with a dramatic escalation in rocket attacks targeting Israeli civilians, was a continuation of Hamas?s war of aggression.

In an unusual concession, the report suggests that Hamas may have been guilty of war crimes, but it still legitimizes Hamas?s rocket and tunnel attacks and even sympathizes with the geographical challenges in launching rockets at Israeli civilians: ?Gaza?s small size and its population density make it particularly difficult for armed groups always to comply? with the requirement not to launch attacks from civilian areas.

There is no such sympathy for Israel. Judge Davis accuses the Israel Defense Forces of ?serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.? Yet no evidence is put forward to substantiate these accusations. It is as though the drafters of the report believe that any civilian death in war must be illegal.

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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 M?ori 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 G?teborg, which will meet up with other boats shortly. ? Read more »